Wednesday, October 27, 2004

WAPS appeal to Counter Terrorism Secretariat - Norway violates UN resolutions by Dr. D. Jayasuriya

The World Alliance for Peace in Sri Lanka (WAPS) and the Society for Peace, Unity and Human Rights (SPUR) wish to bring to your attention that Norway has failed as a "facilitator" in Sri Lanka primarily because it violates UN resolution 1373. Peace in Sri Lanka too has failed to progress to a satisfactory end mainly because Norway has failed to honour its legal and moral obligations under UN Resolution 1373, as will be shown later.

It is our contention that neither the long-term peace process, nor the short-term Ceasefire Agreement signed on February 22, 2002, will provide any hope for the future as long as Norway is permitted to override legal provisions that prohibit terrorism and related activities in all its forms. This is a serious issue that should be dealt with by the counter-terrorism Committee as it is has global implications for peace processes and the threat to global stability and peace from threats of terrorism.

Under provisions of UN Resolution 1373 Norway is obliged to

1. criminalize the willful provision or collection, directly or indirectly, funds for terrorism;

2. freeze resources of persons who commit, or attempt to commit terrorist acts either by their nationals or those in their territory.

3. prevent suppressing the financing of terrorist acts and

4. prohibit their nationals or any person and entities within their territories from making any funds, financial assets or economic resources available to terrorists.

Norwegian authorities claim that they cannot combat the terrorist activities of the LTTE because the Sri Lankan government has lifted the ban on the LTTE as a terrorist organization. It could also be argued that it would be difficult for them to be a "facilitator" and win the confidence of the LTTE if they ban it as a terrorist organization. The underlying idea here is to present Norway as a non-partisan "facilitator" acceptable to both sides. But this claim to be a non-partisan "facilitator" ceases to be valid the moment Norway opens its doors to the agents of the LTTE to operate freely within its borders. Norway argues that the policy of non-interference with the activities of the LTTE is pursued in the name of peace. But it has three direct results:

a) It violates International Law and national laws. This is self-explanatory. The philosophy behind this was summarized succinctly by His Excellency Kofi Annan when in a recent BBC broadcast he stated: "Every nation that proclaims rule of law at home must respect it abroad." This principle applies to Norway in every respect. A state that permits terrorist groups to function freely within its borders knowingly that it has committed crimes against humanity, war crimes such as conscripting children as soldiers are deemed to be violating international laws, rule of law and humanitarian laws.

b) It defeats the declared purpose of Norway being a "state/facilitator" to bring peace because by appeasing one side — particularly the side that violates the Ceasefire Agreement and commits acts of terrorism — it has sowed deep suspicions of its role as an impartial and objective middle-man to the other side and

c) Undermines the very purpose of bringing peace to Sri Lanka because Norway has become a safe haven for the agents of LTTE who to this day has shown no signs of ceasing its terrorist activities. Norway’s credibility of being a "peace-maker" has been placed in doubt when its territory is being used to collect funds to commit acts of terrorism against all communities in Sri Lanka, including the Tamils.

The role of Norway, a state/facilitator, has raised five central issues:

1) Can a "state/facilitator" be allowed to violate the principles and purposes of international law as expressed explicitly in UN Resolution 1373?

2) Can a "state/facilitator" place itself above international law in the name of peace and open the doors to terrorism and its related activities within its borders?

3) Can a "state/facilitator", on the one hand, violate the fundamental principles of UN Resolution 1373, enunciated to combat terrorism, and, on the other, hope to bring peace in the terrorized domain?

4) Isn’t UN Resolution 1373 based on the basic principle that the encouragement of terrorism by any one of its member states leads to destabilization of global peace?

To what extent can the UN allow its member states to violate its laws in the name of peace, particularly when the terrorist groups exploit the loopholes and/or leniency to strengthen its forces and resort to crimes against humanity?

To take the concrete example of Sri Lanka, Norway’s entry as a state/facilitator has been compromised by its refusal to abide by the legal provisions expressed in Resolution 1373. It cannot hope to bring peace in Sri Lanka whle allowing the LTTE to raise funds, permit the LTTE agents operating in Norway to threaten, attack and vilify non-LTTE Tamils who are domiciled in Norway, provide a haven for LTTE agents, open its banks as centers of collecting funds for the terrorist activities of the LTTE, etc. In short, can "peace-facilitators" encourage and legitimize terrorism that is undermining its own peace process?

We submit to you following information on Norway’s direct assistance to the LTTE and request you to take required action in terms of your Committee.

1. Evidence of the well-known LTTE front organizations’ operations carrying out propaganda collecting funds in Norway.

Some of the front organizations functioning in Norway are as follows:

i) Tamil Co-Ordinating Committee, Norway

Pb 1699 Vika, 0110, Oslo.

ii) Tamil Rehabilitation Organization

P.O. Box 4742, Sofienberg, 0506, Oslo.

iii) Tamilsk resurs-og veiledningssenter

a. Nedra Rommen 3,0988 Oslo.

b. P.O. 135 Furuset, 1001 Oslo.

iv) Tamilsk Ungdoms Forum

P.B. 118, Blindern, 0313, Oslo.

v) Tamilsk Kvinne Organization

P.B. 6678, Rodelokka, 0502, Oslo.

vi) Tamil Development Network

Vestregata 64, 9008, Tromso.

viii) Tamil Sangam i Norge

P.B. 127, Stonner, 0913, Oslo.

2. Norway Government and Norway government-funded NGOs continue to finance the LTTE front organizations of the LTTE.

We give below the funds received from year 2000 to 2004 by the LTTE fronts.

Integration funds from Oslo Municipality

2000-kr 130,000

2001-kr 100,000

2002-kr 116,000

2003-kr 95,000

2004-kr 100,000

Government Funds for the LTTE front organization voluntary work

2000-kr 30,000

2002-kr 72,000

2003-kr 130,000

2004-kr 95,000

Government funds for the LTTE fronts

2000-kr 203,430

2001-kr 144,960

2002-kr 137,550

2003-kr 168,250

2004-kr 191,320

(Source — Oslo Municipality, Dept Leader Trond Borgeresen as per their letter 22.6.2004).

3. Norway donations of Hi-Tech radio equipment to the LTTE (Asian Tribune of 22.7.2004)

India has warned Sri Lanka of these facilities LTTE possess to track down telephone conversations and locations. Asian Tribune reports states. "The LTTE can track down even telephone conversations by the officials in the Presidential Secretariat of Sri Lanka through remote-sensing radio transmitting devises which have been provided by Norway in 2002, when helping the purchase and importing radio transmitting equipment in 2002. India also pointed out that LTTE was able to locate telephone conversation between Sachi master with Tamil Broadcasting Corporation through their remote sensing devise and they subsequently managed to slay him inside the Batticaloa prison through one of their inmates." Since signing the CFA in February 2002 nearly 180 political opponents have been killed by the LTTE, in most cases helped by the tracking down facilities of sensitive hi-tech equipment provided by Norway.

4. Norway has no restrictions on the funds remitted by the LTTE fronts in Norway to Sri Lanka for funding of the LTTE terrorists.

The following information indicates the extremely high level of funds remitted to Sri Lanka by the LTTE fronts.

Total Funds Trade Balance

remitted from Aid (in Norwegian

Norway to Sri Kroners)

Lanka 2003

365 m 70 m 202 m 93 m

Source — Estimates based on figures received from Bank of Norway (transfers less than NOK 250,000 — are not included in above figure)

It can be easily be assumed that 75% of the transfers are from the LTTE fronts in Norway to LTTE related organizations in Sri Lanka.

It is also a well-known fact that Norway acts as the banking centre for the LTTE funds collected in Europe, North America. Col Karuna who was a inner circle member of the LTTE until he parted company in an interview with London based Tamil Broadcasting Corporation as reported in the Asian Tribune of 18.8.2004 said "Money collected for terrorism activities in Sri Lanka are banked in the monetary institutions in Denmark and Norway... "He alleged that Norway Government has helped the LTTE with banking money collected from expatriate Tamils and other questionable sources, intended to be used in future for violent terrorist activities against the Government and the people of Sri Lanka."

5. Norway’s organized visits for the LTTE representatives to Rene Special Forces camp in Norway.

On April 1, 2003 the Norwegian Government, knowing very well that the LTTE representatives were members of a group who believe in armed violence, took them on a conducted tour of the military camp. The Norwegian government argued that this was to enable the LTTE peacekeepers understand their techniques. To our knowledge, there is an obvious contradiction in "peace-makers" being shown military exercises. We are of the view that it was a familiarization visit for the members of the terrorist group to get first hand information about operations inside a specialist camp. This is perhaps the first time the members of the Tamil Tigers were given access to military camp in the developed world. About 15 years ago, some groups of Tamil Tigers received training in PLO camps and later in Indian camps. The visit to Rena lasted for four hours.

6. Arrest of a Norwegian National, Christy Reginald Lawrence, in April 2000 in Phuket, Thailand.

When the Thai police raided Christy Reginald Lawrence’s speedboat they found advanced communications equipment, LTTE training videos, weapons and military uniforms. Later, they found a half built submarine in a nearby shipyard. Lawrence was given bail in Thailand and went back to Norway. Since, then Norway has not taken any action about this treacherous act. The fact that no action was taken by Norway to further investigate the anti-Sri Lanka, pro-Tamil Tiger activity of this Norwegian National proves that either the Norwegian government was directly involved in assisting the Sea-Tigers wing of the LTTE or helped them by engaging in a cover up act.

(Ret http://tuxt.attenposten,no/nyneter/urlka/8292516htm)


It is also reported that the Norwegian ex-special forces had trained the LTTE’s Sea-Tiger wing.


7. Norway government officials take part in Tamil Tiger front propaganda and fund collection meetings.

Recently in Oslo, when the Tamil Sangam, a well known LTTE front organization had a propaganda meeting Norwegian government officials such as Mr. K. M. Bondevid, Prime Minister, Erna Solberg, Minister of Local Government, Lisa Golden of the Foreign Ministry and Eric Solheim, the Special Adviser to the Foreign Ministry were present. The meeting openly collected funds and Prabhakaran’s photographs and photographs of armed attacks carried out by the Tigers against the SL government were displayed.

At this meeting V. Balakumaran, the trainer of suicide squads of the LTTE who had been granted a visa by the Norwegian Government, addressed the gathering and openly stated that the LTTE planned to use suicide bombs in the event of a war, according to Danish newspapers. He also said that the LTTE would not allow opponents to damage the organization, with the inference that such opponents would be killed.

The sponsors of the propaganda meeting, the Tamil Sangam had been helped by way of Norwegian Government and municipal funding.

8. There are a number Norwegian police and intelligence reports on visa scandals of the LTTE in Norway.

Norwegian police is in possession of a number of reports in which the LTTE is engaged in visa scandals with the official complicity. Also threats against the Norwegian police and Tamil dissidents resident in Norway are pigeon holed due various pressures from the state.

The eight-page intelligence report prepared by Widar Brathen, Norwegian Police Officer submitted to Norway’s internal Security Department clearly indicate the close relationship between Norways’s Immigration officials and the LTTE. The report proves that Norway had detailed knowledge of the LTTE activities from the early ‘90s such as weapons depots in Europe, collection of funds to purchase arms, selling of visas by the foreign office officials to the LTTE, helping the smuggling activities of the LTTE etc. The Norwegian government due to reasons best known to the political masters is ignoring the report.

The above documentation amply demonstrates how Norway is overtly and covertly helping a terrorist organization violating the UN Resolution 1373(2001).

We appeal to you to investigate this issue and take action in keeping with the United Nation’s determination.

1) To enforce international obligations and laws that require member states to adhere the rule of law and

2) To defeat terrorist organizations by enforcing UN Resolutions endorsed by member states.

Norway’s refusal to adhere to moral and legal obligations underlined in instruments of international law has led to the recurring violations of human rights in Sri Lanka. Norway has been and continues to be the central banking ENTITY for collecting funds for Tamil Tiger terrorists, as stated by Col. Karuna, the rebel LTTE member. Even the Norwegian counter-terrorist authorities cannot take any action as Norway has failed to act in accordance with provisions of UN Resolution 1373.

We believe that the evidence provided above is sufficient to establish more than a prima facie case of Norway’s guilt in violating UN Resolution 1373. To summarize Norway is guilty of

`95 Providing financial bases to collect and bank funds collected by agents of Tamil Tiger terrorists in Norwegian banks,

`95 Harbouring Tamil Tiger terrorists,

`95 Giving grants to agents of Tamil Tiger terrorists based in Noway to run pro-Tiger publications (UTROP) and broadcasting station

`95 Running hate campaigns against fellow - Tamils opposed to the Tamil Tigers,

`95 Assisting Tamil Tiger terrorists in devious ways in the name of facilitating peace, and colluding with SLMM and agents of Tamil Tiger terrorists to strengthen and white-wash crime against humanity, war crimes and force conscription of children in violation of UN Resolutions 1261.

At a time when the law-abiding world is seeking ways and means to coordinate an action plan to fight international terrorism, it is unfortunate that Norway, a signatory to a number of UN resolutions and conventions, is openly supporting the LTTE. New York Times identified the LTTE, better known as Tamil Tigers, as one of the most brutal terrorist organizations. At a recent presentation in Oslo, Dr. Peter Chalk of Rand Corp, USA, concluded that "....the LTTE is probably a decade ahead of Al-Qaeda, but more intrinsically The group itself may be serving as a critical benchmark for informing and guiding developments in a wider area of maritime terrorism.

Norway violates..


From page 8

We conclude with a quotation from His Excellency Mr. Kofi Annan, who told the General Assembly on 21.9.2004:

"....At the international level, all States - strong and weak, big and small - need framework of fair rules, which each can be confident that others will obey. Fortunately, such a framework exists. From trade to terrorism, from the law of the sea to weapons of mass destruction, States have created an impressive body of names and laws. This is one our organization’s protest achievement.

"And yet this framework is riddled with gaps and weaknesses. Too often it is applied selectively end enforced arbitrarily. It lacks the teeth that turn a body of laws into an effective legal system.

"Where enforcement capacity does exist, as in the Security Council, many feel it is not always used fairly or effectively. Where the rule of law is most earnestly invoked, as in the Commission on Human Rights, those invoking it do not always practice what they preach.

"Those who seek to bestow legitimacy must themselves embody it: and those who invoke international law must themselves submit to it."

Put simply, member states cannot be the firemen in the UN and simultaneously be pyromaniacs at home. We most earnestly seek your assistance to keep the UN firemen abroad working, without any inhibitions, as firefighters in their respective homes too.

World Alliance for Peace in Sri Lanka

(Dr. D. Jayasuriya , President - Society for Peace, Unity and Human Rights)

Fresh diplomatic push to salvage peace talks by Amal Jayasinghe

Sri Lanka’s peacebroker Norway and the country’s main financial backer Japan are due to step up diplomatic efforts to salvage a faltering peace process, officials and diplomats said Sunday(24).

Japan’s peace envoy to Sri Lanka, Yasushi Akashi, is due to visit the island this week to try to nudge Tamil Tiger rebels and the Colombo government to resume stalled negotiations, Asian diplomats said.

Government officials said Norway’s peace envoy Erik Solheim was also expected early next month while US Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage plans to visit Sri Lanka after the US presidential elections.

Armitage has taken what he has called a "hands-on" interest in the fragile peace process since Oslo brokered a truce between the Tigers and Colombo in February 2002.

The intensified international diplomacy comes amid Sri Lankan government optimism that the talks, on hold since April 2003, could begin next month with Colombo making a fresh proposal to revive the process.

However, the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) last week rejected Colombo’s proposals to revive negotiations and played down prospects of resuming talks next month.

The LTTE said they would open talks only on the basis of a self-rule plan seeking an "Interim Self-Governing Authority" in embattled areas.

"It’s unlikely we can expect any early breakthrough," an Asian diplomat said. "What we’ll see is a lot of talk about talks. The challenge is to ensure the ceasefire is maintained."

The Tigers have recently faced international criticism over a wave of assassinations. They have denied involvement and have accused the military of supporting a breakaway rebel faction to undermine the peace process.

Peacebroker Norway has also warned of a danger of the country slipping back to war, a fear echoed by a visiting Swiss delegation earlier this month.

Japan’s Akashi wrapped up his last visit to Sri Lanka in May, urging Colombo and the Tigers to "give and take" in their negotiations.

He ruled out quick resumption of talks, saying they might take place in the summer. "They want time to reflect on the contents of the negotiations. It’s important to have stable and fruitful discussions," he said then.(AFP)

President Chandrika Kumaratunga has invited the rebels to discuss setting up a federal state in exchange for peace. But her government’s main coalition partner, the Marxist JVP, opposes territorial concessions to the Tigers.

Opposition parties have demanded a united front to push ahead with the peace process. Suspension of the peace process has also affected foreign aid flows as most aid has been linked to progress on the peace front.

India’s humiliation not yet over

Veerappan, the bandit who reigned supreme in the jungles of South India was killed on Tuesday and buried on Sunday. His blood stained dramatic life spanning over three decades on the run came to an anti climactic end, as is often the case with criminals.

His saga may have ended with his death but lessons one could draw from India’s experience with him will live on.

A close look at his limited but powerful terror network reveals that apart from relying on violence for survival he, too, had made himself attractive to a section of the populace in whose eyes he is still a hero. It is little surprise that in those rural backwaters, he managed to project himself as the Robin Hood of India letting crumbs fall off his table for the consumption of the poor. Thus, he found his way into the hearts of thousands who had no other way to give vent to their pent up frustration. To the voiceless, he was a gun-totting knight charging at the dragons of oppression and their support for him may have made it difficult for the Indian police to bring him to justice.

According to a BBC report, at his funeral some mourners had cursed the police who had killed him. They had said by killing him the police had incurred the wrath of gods.

Veerappan was a character wrapped in layers of myth and heroics like the protagonists of olden ballads. Any criminal usually spawns a coterie of admirers who sing hosannas to him. Even mass murderers like Hitler and Idi Amin were not short of followers who were prepared to kill or even die for them. Veerappan was no exception.

The problem that Veerappan had in that part of India was that he could not hijack an ethno-religious cause to justify his terror project. This prevented him from gaining international support unlike his soulmate across the Palk Strait and as a result had none to stand in the way of the Special Task Force of Tamil Nadu, which closed in on him and sent three bullets through his head.

A jubilant Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayaram Jayalalitha proudly announced the death of Veerappan: "It is with a sense of pride and fulfilment that I wish to announce ... the good news that the notorious forest brigand, bandit, murderer and dacoit Veerappan, along with his entire gang, has been shot dead." But it is intriguing what India, which accomplished the mission of eliminating Veerappan within just ten months, had been doing for over thirty years. Why the Tamil Nadu leaders had balked at going for the kill previously is also a question that needs to be answered.

In a way, why India took so long to get him is understandable given the failure of the mighty US to track down its bete noire, bin Laden. Despite having the best military machine on the planet at its disposal, the US has been trying to capture Osama the Elusive for years.

As much as Bush is trying to pull bin Laden out of his hat closer to the polling day so as to kick Senator Kerry out of the ring, bin Laden must be working overtime with a view to launching an offensive devastating enough to turn America against Bush. Terrorists always have an edge over democratically elected leaders. For they have to be lucky only once. Others have to be lucky all the time.

With the killing of Veerappan, India will now be able to bury its past tainted with failure to deal with a brigand for so long. But its humiliation is far from over. Across the Palk Strait, it has the killers of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi at large. That they had links with Veerappan is well known. How India is going to handle the issue of bringing assassins of Rajiv to justice, remains to be seen.

Tigers attack wounded Karuna loyalists, kill one by Norman Palihawadana

The LTTE’s Vanni faction on Monday night attacked a group of wounded Karuna loyalists, who were recuperating at a safe-house in the Wellawatte police area.

Police said that the killers befriended the Karuna loyalists before they mounted Monday’s attack. They claimed the life of one and wounded three, police said.

The wounded were rushed to the Kalubowila Hospital for emergency treatment, police said.

According to police they moved into a rented house at Roxy Gardens in Wellawatte recently after they were released from the National Hospital where they were admitted after being wounded in an attack by the Vanni faction. Two of their colleagues were killed in the confrontation at Nagastenne early this month.

Swiss national killed by Tigers by Mohammed Ghouse

BATTICALOA- A foreigner, married to a Tamil woman and living in First Cross Street, Mamamgan in Batticaloa, was killed in a grenade attack on Monday night.

Police identified the 61-year-old victim as a Swiss national named Hans Ulrich. He had settled down in Batticaloa about two years ago. Police said two persons were involved in the attack.

Meanwhile, the attack had triggered speculation that the LTTE carried out the attack as the foreigner had refused to pay protection money to them.

The sources said that the foreigner had previously paid protection money to the LTTE but recently refused to make further payments.

Karuna faction gives ultimatum to East TNA MPs by T. Chandrasekara

The breakaway LTTE Karuna group has given an ultimatum to the TNA parliamentarians of the Eastern Province to sever all connections they have with the Wanni LTTE leadership.

After the ultimatum was given a seminar to be held by the Young Tamil Journalists Forum with the TNA parliamentarians has also been cancelled, sources in Batticaloa said.

Karuna group has also warned all persons in the Eastern Province that those who continue to have connections with the Wanni LTTE leadership will be considered traitors and will be punished with death, sources added.

SC asks Attorney General to report on IDP petition by Chitra Weerarathne

The Supreme Court on Monday requested the Attorney General to verify from the Ministry of Defence whether it was possible for two petitioners from Maviddapuran and Kallan Kolledy located in the High Security Zone in Jaffna, to get back to their homeland and cultivate their lands.

Uditha Egalahewa, Senior State Counsel appeared for the Attorney General and told court that at a previous occasion he had been instructed by the Army Commander that mine clearing was still going on and that cultivation could be dangerous in such areas. He said he will get further instructions from the authorities concerned about the latest situation in these areas.

The court gave the Attorney General time till December 3, 2004, to ascertain from the Defence Ministry, whether these petitioners could get back to their home and start activating. The petitioners are M. S. Senathirajah, MP for Jaffna District and V. Rajadurai. K. Kanag Ishwaran, PC appeared for Senathirajah while M. A. Sumanthiran appeared for Rajadurai.

The bench comprised, the Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva, Justice T. B. weerasuriya and Justice N. K. Udalagama.

The petitioners had complained to the court about an alleged delay on the part of the Defence Ministry to grant them permission to get to their village homes and start cultivating. The petitioners had alleged arbitrary treatment and a denial of the freedom of movement by the respondents, the Secretary Defence and the Army Commander.

Kotelawala Defence Academy: A unique training center for armed forces personnel — Minister Wickramanayake

The Kotelawala Defence Academy is a unique and prestigious institution of High Education in Sri Lanka. It is the only University in Sri Lanka established for the purpose of conferring degrees on officers of the Armed Forces. It is also unique in being the only military academy that trains officers of all the three Armed Forces jointly and together, said Minister of Buddha Sasana, Public Security, Law and Order and Deputy Minister of Defence Ratnasiri Wickramanayake when he addressed as the Chief Guest at the Annual Convocation of the Kotelawala Defence Academy held at the BMICH.

The Minister said that the rationale behind this joint training is to lay an informal, yet a strong foundation for the mutual understanding and co-opertion for the joint operations which has been discovered as a critical factor by the military research in the developed world for achieving success in military operations the world over.

Over 130 who completed their courses were awarded degrees by the Chancellor Gen. J. E. D. Perera. Minister Wickramanayake handed over the special awards for the best overall performance to Wing Commander S. K. Pathirana and also to those who secured best overall performance in Academic Studies in the Engineering stream, Management and Technical Sciences stream, Arts stream and Commerce stream.

The Minister said that the K. D. A. is also different from a conventional university because in addition to the subject knowledge in spheres such as Engineering, Technical Sciences and Management it also provides students with the basic military training in a highly disciplined environment with total personality development with an emphasis in sports, battle training. It is therefore the duty of the Academy to utilise these unique features to aim at nurturing the future officers of the Armed Forces with the rare blend of physical as well as mental and intellectual prowess. This, I believe is compulsory in modern context in which the sheer bravery and physical stamina alone would not make a capable officer. Today, the country needs highly versatile, knowledgeable and intelligent military leaders. I am convinced that the KDA is producing such officers who are able to take up more complex challenges of the future.

Since its inception in early 1980 the KDA which was granted university status in 1988 has grown from strength to strength producing over thousand three hundred graduate officers including 65 female officers for the three services todate. Since 1996, the Academy has been training cadets from several SAARC countries as well. Today the KDA enjoys and prestigious membership of the Commonwealth Universities Association of UK.

Under these circumstances, we would be failing in our duty if we do not thank those pioneers who were responsible for the establishment of an academy of this nature, first for having the foresight and then for convincing the then government and getting the project implemented, said the Minister.

We must also express, on this occasion, the gratitude of our nation to the magnanimous benefactor of the academy, the Late Prime Minister General Sir John Kotelawala for generously donating his Walauwa and the property at Kandawala to establish the academy.

It is heartening to note that senior and middle level military officers also show a keen interest in pursuing high-level degrees in military management at KDA. This is a field in which a lot of research and development activities are essential to face the future challenges of security of our nation. It is learnt that the academy has also initiated an external BSc course in Management and several certificate courses in Advance Military, Technology, Information Technology, Military History Georgraphy etc. In addition to the graduation of officer cadets, the Academy is also involved in the much needed task of updating the knowledge of the middle and senior level officers of our Armed Forces.

I have no doubt that with the academic and military training received at KDA, the officers moulded there will exert a positive influence on the overall outlook of the Sri Lankan Armed Forces. It is indeed the responsibility of the senior military officers to educate themselves and also to disseminate such knowledge among those whom they command, said the Minister.

India-Lanka defence pact will threaten peace process -LTTE by PK Balachandran

Colombo, October 25 The LTTE has criticised the proposed Defence Cooperation Agreement (DCA) between India and Sri Lanka, saying that it will upset the military balance and threaten the peace process in Sri Lanka.

In a statement broadcast by the Voice of Tigers radio, the LTTE’s political advisor, Anton Balasingham, said that the proposed agreement would tilt the military balance between the Sri Lankan armed forces and the LTTE, and further strain an already fragile peace process.

Sri Lankan and Indian officials had finalized a draft DCA in a meeting in Colombo on last Tuesday. The draft is to be considered by the political leaderships of these two countries and an agreement signed "within weeks" reports said.

Non-LTTE Sri Lankan Tamils have also bitterly opposed the proposed defence pact. In a front page editorial on Sunday, the Tamil daily Thinakkural said that India would have to clarify whether the pact was aimed at scuttling the Sri Lankan Tamils’ struggle for substantial autonomy based on their right to self-determination.

A commentator in the popular paper Sunday Virakesari even went to the extent of accusing India of fishing in the troubled waters of Sri Lanka to establish its economic and military hegemony over the entire island.

Sengotan, the writer, predicted that once the Sinhala-Tamil conflict was resolved, Sri Lankans would have to jointly fight a long and destructive war against India!

The edit in Thinakkural pointed out those successive governments of Sri Lanka had wanted to use India to crush the legitimate struggle of the Tamils.

Thinakkural wondered if underlying all this, there was a belief that India would be a stumbling block to the Tamils’ movement to secure substantial self-rule, based on their right to self-determination.

"It is India’s responsibility to clear doubts in this regard, " the edit said. Thinakkural made a veiled attack on Tamil Nadu leaders like the DMK leader, M. Karunanidhi, and the MDMK leader, Vaiko (who claimed to support the cause of the Sri Lankan Tamils) for not raising their voice against the proposed defence pact with Sri Lanka.

In his article in the Sundar Virakesari, writer Senkotan warned that India’s actions might finally lead to a war between that country and India.

The proposed Sri Lanka-India defence pact was not only aimed at crushing the Tamil struggle for self determination, but was also meant to increase Indian hegemony over Sri Lanka as a whole, the author alleged.

He warned that India had a plan to use the defence cooperation agreement to sell out-dated equipment to the Sri Lankan armed forces and get a foothold in the Palaly airfied in Jaffna by offering full aid to repair and upgrade it.

He said that in the guise of globalisation, Indian goods were flooding the Sri Lankan market. The Indian Oil Corporation had entered the Sri Lankan petroleum sector. The Trincomalee oil tanks had also been leased out to the Indians.

But sections of the Sinhala polity had begun opposing these Indian inroads, Sengotan pointed out. When a second Indian oil company, Bharat Petroleum, wanted to enter the oil sector, trade unions belonging to the Sinhala nationalist Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna had protested. President Chandrika Kumaratunga did not accept the Indian condition that the Palaly airport could be used only by Sri Lanka and India, and she ordered that the repair work be undertaken by the Sri Lankans themselves, Sengotan said.

The writer said that India was only fishing in the troubled waters of Sri Lanka and predicted that after the ethnic question (the fight between the majority Sinhalese and the minority Tamils) was resolved, Sri Lankans, as a whole, would have to begin a long and destructive war against India.

The mystery of 19 Indian fishing trawlers

India wants Sri Lanka to hand over 83 seized Indian fishing trawlers to their rightful owners.

"We recently wrote to Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry regarding this. We expect Colombo to release the vessels soon as possible," an authoritative Indian High Commission spokesperson told The Island yesterday.

This follows Lanka’s recent decision to make use of seized Indian fishing trawlers to transport passengers and goods. We revealed this in our front-page story "A fishy plan for Indian trawlers" on October 22.

According to the Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Ministry a total of 64 vessels were seized, over a period of time, from Indian fishermen, who were apprehended by the Navy while poaching in Sri Lankan territorial waters. A ministry spokesperson said ten of these vessels were recently handed over to the Government Agent of Jaffna and the navy base at Karainagar in the Karaitivu Island.

He said of the ten vessels, four would be used to transport passengers and goods between Kayts and the islands of Delft, Nainativu, Analativu and Eluvativu.

The ten vessels are estimated to be worth approximately Rs. 1.5 million. The navy routinely arrests poaching vessels, particularly off the Mannar coast, but there were no previous cases of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources releasing such vessels to be used by the navy or any other government agency.

But the Indian High Commission said that according to their reports, 83 Indian vessels were held by Sri Lankan authorities. (SF)

Anandasangaree’s letter to Prabhakaran by Stanley Weerasinghe

In a letter addressed to ‘Thamby’ Prabhakaran, published on October 16 TULF leader V. Anandasangaree had shed light on the myth of implementing LTTE’s ISGA proposals, which call for LTTE’s absolute control in N/E. The ISGA is an attempt to bring the entire North and East under the control and subjugation of LTTE. ‘Do you think any member of Sinhala, Muslim or Tamil community will agree to these proposals?’, the TULF Leader queries.

Following are some of the salient points contained therein:

(i) No government will agree to give majority representation to LTTE in the ISGA. What people want is a democratic rule.

(ii) ISGA proposals have aggravated problems and have diminished the hopes of early settlement. ‘Please cry a halt to all meaningless killings’, the TULF Leader urges the LTTE, on behalf of the Tamil community.

(iii)The LTTE has not been impartial in any field, especially, in administration of law and order. The people living in N/E will not have faith in LTTE police and courts.

(iv) Some proposals in the ISGA are not acceptable even to the Tamil people living in N/E. How can one expect the government to consider them seriously?

(v) No government will survive after conceding absolute control of N/E to LTTE.

(vi) Whatever is demanded, the concerned parties must be in a position to concede. Demand for majority representation in the ISGA for LTTE will be the first step for de-merger of North and East.

(vii) Sinhala and Muslim communities living in the East will never consider Prabhakaran as their ‘sole representative’, let alone, the Tamil community.

(viii) This demand will not only compel any government to dodge the issue, but also deter the international community from interfering in our problem.

(ix) Not a single Muslim will ever agree to come under a self-governing authority dominated by the LTTE. Muslims who have been living for hundreds of years, have been driven out of the Northern Province without their possessions and life-time savings by the LTTE.

Even though the TULF Leader says, "If you are serious in bringing back peace to our people quickly, please consider my suggestions very earnestly", it is most unlikely that a favourable response would be forthcoming, for the LTTE leader has his own ‘peace’ agenda, that of a separate state, the ISGA being the half-way house in achieving that objective. Democracy, pluralism and human rights do not convey any meaning for Prabhakaran, as he cannot survive in a pluralistic society, as amply demonstrated by his killing of hundreds of Tamil leaders and human rights activists. Rajini Thiranagama, young Tamil academic, who dared to challenge the rise of Tamil fascism 15 years ago, had to pay for it with her life, like thousand of others that sacrificed their lives at the altar of Prabhakaran’s dreamland.

<>Hence, it is most likely that the TULF leader’s fatherly advice to his ‘Thamby’, will be yet another cry in the wilderness.

Funding Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination - ndia launches fresh hunt for LTTE kingpin ‘KP’ From S. Venkat Narayan

NEW DELHI, October 26: India has begun a fresh hunt to trace "KP," the mysterious LTTEer who is allegedly the main financier of late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’s brutal assassination more than 13 years ago.

The Multi-Disciplinary Monitoring Agency (MDMA), set up under the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in 1998 to probe the conspiracy aspect of the sensational Rajiv Gandhi assassination, wants to nab "KP" to get to the bottom of the conspiracy. It consists of officials from the Intelligence Bureau (IB), Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), the CBI, the Directorate of Army Intelligence, and the Enforcement Directorate.

The MDMA has asked the government to "renew" its diplomatic efforts to track Tharmalingam Shanmugham, alias Kumaran Pathmanathan (or KP as he is colloquially known). The agency believes that KP has the key to unravel the mystery.

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) will soon approach each of the 23 countries in which KP is believed to have established his network through investments in different business enterprises.

According to a senior CBI official, the countries in which MDMA has traced KP’s business interests include: Switzerland, Sri Lanka, Australia, Germany, Canada, France, Holland, Italy, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, South Africa, and New Zealand.

KP is also suspected to be the main financier of LTTE supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran, one of the main accused in Rajiv Gandhi’s murder by an LTTE woman suicide-bomber at an election rally at Sriperumbudur near Chennai, the Tamil Nadu capital, on the night of May 21, 1991.

The CBI official said: "We have already sent letters rogatory to 23 countries, seeking help to trace KP’s whereabouts. He was last seen in Sweden. We have some documents of his bank transactions in Sweden. But, before we could alert the Swedish authorities, he flew out. KP owns a number of companies, through which he is believed to finance the LTTE."

Early this month, this matter came up for discussion at a high-level meeting in the Indian Home Ministry.

Chaired by Home Minister Shivraj Patil, the meeting was specifically convened to review the working of the MDMA. It was attended by senior Home Ministry officials, Home Secretary Dhirendra Singh, and Intelligence Bureau (IB) Director AK Doval. The MDMA was given an year’s extension after the Congress Party-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government assumed office in May this year, and has been asked to expedite its work.

Two commissions of inquiry were set up to probe Rajiv Gandhi’s murder. While the Justice JS Verma Commission had probed the aspect of security lapses, the MC Jain Commission investigated the conspiracy aspect.

The Jain Commission had also recommended a further probe into several areas, like the role of controversial Godman Chandraswami and others, including some LTTE leaders, in the conspiracy. The MDMA was set up primarily to tie up the loose-ends in the wake of the Jain Commission report.

Protesting Indian fishermen plan invasion of Sri Lanka

Hundreds of striking fishermen had on Sunday made preparations for their proposed sail to Sri Lanka on October 28 as part of their plan to protest against the detention of fishermen by Sri Lankan Navy, The Hindu reported.

The report said : "Hundreds of fishermen tied "white flags" on their boats to show their resolution to send 10,000 fishermen to Sri Lanka if their demands including fishing rights in Kachativu under the control of Sri Lanka, release of fishermen arrested by Sri Lankan navy and return of 92 fishing boats were not met."

"Fishermen from Rameswaram, Nagapattinam, Pudukottai, Thanjavur and Ramanathapuram are on an indefinite strike in support of their demands.

Last week the fishermen had held a demonstration in front of the Sri Lankan High commission office at Chennai and had submitted a memorandum to the President Chandrika Kumaratunga through the High commissioner, fishermen's association sources said.

They had also warned that they would be forced to commit self-immolation if they were not allowed to fish near Kachathivu".

Meanwhile when The Island contacted the Minister Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Chandrasena Wijesinghe for his comments on the the report, he said the Sri Lanka Government would not allow foreigners to poach and exploit the country's resources. He admitted that the failure of the governments of both countries to address the problem had led to the current crisis.

"Now the problem is by and large controlled by the social forces. This would lead to worsening of the situation," he said.

"Fishermen in the North and East have been complaining for decades that Indian fishermen were poaching in Sri Lankan waters. We can never allow foreigners to make use of our resources. So far our government has been involved in discussions with both, the Thamilnadu Government and Indian Central Government. We have scheduled further discussions for next month.

Meanwhile, the Indian fishermen spurred by some other forces have resorted to this agitation.

We accept that they have a right to protest and demonstrate in their country, but not in Sri Lankan territory," the minister said.

He added that former Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike had managed to solve the Katchchthivu dispute without harming the bilateral interests of the two countries, but successive governments had failed to continue to safeguard the interests of fishermen of the two countries. "We are certain that these fishermen are not backed by the Indian Government which had initiated discussions with us to solve the current crisis through negotiations," the minister said.

"In any case, we are not ready to forfeit our fishermen's rights," he added.

Navy spokesman Commodore Jayantha Perera said the Indian fisherman had not got the blessing of the their government and as such they could not enter Sri Lanka territory as they had to pass the Indian navy and their coastguard which were patrolling the seas and were also cooperating with the Sri Lankan navy.

The Deputy Minister of Defence Ratnasiri Wickremanayake and the Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Narasima Rao were not available for comment.

Meanwhile, an official of the Indian HC said they had no information on the proposed visit by the Indian fishermen.

T-56 tool kit recovered from LTTE woman cadres

An attempt by two female LTTE cadres to smuggle a tool kit of a T-56 assault rifle to the government-held area across the Mankerni Entry/Exit point had been foiled by security forces on Monday.

They were identified as P. P. Sooder (LTTE no. 017267) and K. Kamalaveni (LTTE no. 017266). They were allowed to proceed to the government-held area. Troops had kept the tool kit.

"We asked them to collect their tool kit on their way back," an army spokesman said.

Japanese special envoy Akashi to visit Eastern province by Ranga Sirilal

Japanese special envoy Yasushi Akashi who arrived in the country yesterday is to visit the Eastern province this week to get a first hand view of the situation there.

Mr. Akashi is to visit Trincomale and Batticaloa on Saturday for a first hand study of the situation in the East and is expected to meet the ordinary civilians in the area, sources told the Daily Mirror.

Mr. Akashi is to urge both the government and the LTTE to resume the peace talks immediately to enable donor countries to release the pledged funds, diplomatic sources said.

He is to meet President Chandrika Kumaratunga on Friday to explain the stand of the donors on the peace process. Mr. Akashi had been appointed by the Japanese government to inspect the follow up action on the Tokyo Declaration adopted in June 2003 in Japan.

Mr. Akashi is to hold talks with Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse on Thursday and with Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe next week. He is also due to meet Foreign Minister Laskhman Kadirgamar and political party leaders during his stay in Sri Lanka.

Mr. Akashi will leave for the Wanni on Sunday to meet LTTE political wing leader S.P. Tamilselvam and other leaders.

Informed sources said that in a surprise turn of events, JVP leader Somawansa Amarasinghe had telephoned the Japanese Embassy and asked for an appointment to meet Mr. Akashi. The meeting between the peace envoy and the JVP leadership has been scheduled for Friday at the JVP headquarters. This is in contrast to what happened during Mr. Akashi's last visit in May when the JVP reportedly refused to meet him.

The LTTE has reportedly asked Mr. Akashi not to release the pledged US $ 4.5 billion aid till the peace talks are resumed, Tamil political sources told the Daily Mirror.

On the way back to Tokyo Mr. Akashi is scheduled to stop in New Delhi to brief Indian leaders on the position regarding Sri Lanka's peace process.

SLMM unable to confirm LTTE hand in Swiss citizen's killing by Sunimalee Dias

The Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission is unable to confirm that the LTTE is behind the killing of the Swiss national in Batticaloa on Monday night.

The SLMM is inquiring into it (the killing) and trying to find out what has happened, SLMM deputy chief Hagrup Haukland told the Daily Mirror yesterday.

He said that despite the allegations levelled against the LTTE in this regard by certain sections it was not possible to confirm this.

The victim Hans Horalin Harraso had been living for more than two years in Batticaloa with a Tamil woman with three children.

It is alleged that the LTTE had fined him and the woman's son, for breaking up an affair with a girl. But since they were unable to pay the full amount the LTTE had allegedly demanded they had frequently visited his house asking for money. On Monday two cadres had visited them and allegedly lobbed a hand grenade at the victim.

The SLMM was immediately informed of the incident by the police who is currently conducting investigations in this regard.

Govt. prepares contingency plans by Sunil Jayasiri

A high ranking special committee has been appointed by the Defence Ministry to face any possible resumption of hostilities in the near future and map out future military action.

A senior Defence Ministry official said that Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Daya Sandagiri had appointed the 'Strategic Planning Committee' to evaluate the present defence mechanism in the north-east and make necessary recommendations to rectify shortcomings. Accordingly, Director General Operations of the Navy, Rear Admiral Sarath Weerasekera has been appointed as chairman of the committee, while Brigadier Parakrama Pannipitiya (Director Operations, Joint Operations Headquarters), Brigadier Krishantha Silva (Director Operations, Army), Air Commodore Roshan Gunatilake (Director Operations, Air Force), Brigadier A. Chandrasiri and Commodore Thisara Samarasinghe have been appointed as members of the committee.

The official also said that the team has already visited the North and East and obtained first hand information in this regard. "Once they gather information, the committee will submit the report to the CDS, who will take it up at the National Security Council", he said.

The committee is expected to gather information on every aspect of the Army, Navy and the Air Force based in the north and east and evaluate their strength to face any surprise strike.

It is also expected to make recommendations on managing the security of the entire country in the event of resumption of war.

The defence authorities had taken this action, since there was no proper strategic plan to implement if war breaks out again. This is the first time the government had taken measures to evaluate its military power since the signing of the Ceasefire Agreement.

KDA graduates asset to security forces: Wickramanayake

The Kotelawala Defence Academy is a unique and prestigious institution of Higher Education in Sri Lanka, established for the purpose of conferring degrees on officers of the security forces, the Deputy Minister of Defence Ratnasiri Wickramanayake said.

The Minister who was chief guest at the annual convocation of the Kotelawala Defence Academy held at the BMICH said the rationale behind the joint training provided by the Academy was to lay an informal, yet a strong foundation for the mutual understanding and co-operation during joint operations which has been discovered to be a critical factor by the developed countries for achieving success in military operations.

While more than 130 who completed their courses received degrees from the Chancellor Gen. J.E.D. Perera, the Deputy Minister handed the special award for the best overall performance to Wing Commander S.K. Pathirana and to those who secured the best overall performance in academic studies in engineering, management and technical sciences, arts and commerce.

Mr. Wickramanayake said the KDA was also different from a conventional university because in addition to subjects as engineering, technical sciences and management it also provided students with basic military training in a highly disciplined environment with total personality development and an emphasis in sports and battle training.

"It is the duty of the Academy to utilize these unique features with the aim of nurturing future officers of the security forces with a rare blend of physical as well as mental and intellectual prowess. This, I believe is compulsory in the modem context in which sheer bravery and physical stamina alone will not make a capable officer. Today, the country needs highly versatile, knowledgeable and intelligent military leaders. I am convinced the KDA is producing such officers with the capability to take up more complex challenges", he said.

Mr. Wickramanayake said the KDA since its inception in early 1980 and the granting of university status in 1988 had grown from strength to strength and more than 1,300 graduates including 65 female officers left its portals to serve with distinction in the security forces.

He said since 1996 the Academy had been training cadets from several SAARC countries as well and today the KDA enjoys prestigious membership in the Commonwealth Universities Association of UK.

Mr Wickramanayake said: "Under these circumstances, we would be failing in our duty if we do not thank those pioneers who were responsible for the establishment of an academy of this stature, first for having the foresight and for convincing; the then government in getting the project implemented.

“On this occasion we must also express the gratitude of our nation to former Prime Minister Sir John Kotelawala for the magnanimous gesture in gifting his Walauwa and property at Kandawala to establish this prestigious academy. The future of a nation depended on the creativity and innovation of its people, and the quality and quantity of research conducted by its intellectuals. It is the responsibility of the intellectuals of a country to engage in research that would guarantee constructive changes. And, it is the responsibility of the government to create an environment conducive for such advanced activities. The Government is strongly committed to this task and is taking steps to stop the brain drain and encourage research in all fields of human development, so that such knowledge can be maximally utilized for the benefit of the nation, It is only then, we believe, that we will be able to liberate ourselves to claim that we are a truly independent nation".

He said the government has realized this urgent need at this crucial juncture of our nation, where the social, political and economic challenges are becoming more and more complex in the midst of globalization and it was heartening to note that senior and middle level military officers showed a keen interest in pursuing high-level degrees in military management at the KDA.

"I have do doubt that with the academic and military training received at the KDA, the officers moulded there, will exert a positive influence on the overall outlook of the Sri Lankan security forces. It is indeed the responsibility of the senior military officers to educate themselves and to disseminate such knowledge among those whom they command", the Deputy Minister of Defence said.