Thursday, November 04, 2004

Soldiers attacked, one injured

A soldier was injured in an attack upon a group of soldiers by members of the public at the Madathady junction Wednesday noon, police sources said. Police arrested a Tamil youth after the incident.

According to the pro-LTTE TamilNet, a group of soldiers had attempted to attack few youths, who had been identified by a Sinhala trader in the area for forcibly removing furniture, which he had put up for sale at that site.

On receipt of information, a group of civilians gathered at the site and set upon the soldiers, police sources added.

Akashi should not promote Direct Donor Interactions with the LTTE

Mr Yashshi Akashi has met the LTTE terrorist’s political wing leader S.P. Thamilselvan in Wanni a couple of days ago. According to reports in the Sri Lankan media, Mr Akashi has promised to obtain approval from the donor community to provide humanitarian relief to the people in the North and East prior to LTTE reaching a final agreement with the Government of Sri Lanka.

The Society for Peace Unity and Human Rights for Sri Lanka (SPUR) is deeply concerned with Mr Akashi’s commitment to persuade international donor agencies to provide direct aid to the LTTE in the East and the North of Sri Lanka.

Whilst Mr Akashi is considering appeasing the LTTE terrorists by offering direct aid on a humanitarian basis, one should pause to think of the party that is primarily responsible for the plight of the Sinhalese, Tamil and Muslim people living under the jackboot terror of the LTTE. The LTTE and Thamilselvan in particular continue to tarnish the image of the democratically elected Government of Sri Lanka and the Southern polity in the Island, laying the blame solely at the feet of these entities for the misery that the LTTE has brought upon the Tamil people in the Wanni.

There is no one else but the LTTE to be blamed for the current impasse in the peace negotiations. The LTTE by insisting on establishing an unconstitutional Interim Administration has found a useful red herring to divert the attention of the international community and more disappointingly, the focus of the Sri Lankan Government. As stated before, whilst the LTTE is shedding crocodile tears for the human rights of the Tamil people living in the Wanni, they continue to:

(1) Violate the Ceasefire Agreement

According to the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission, over 95% of the approximately 3000 violations of the ceasefire recorded by them have been committed by the LTTE. These include smuggling of arms, sinking of ships, establishing new camps, assassinating political rivals, killing and kidnapping civilians, killing Muslims due to ethnic reasons, moving armed cadres into Government areas .In this connection, we wish to draw your attention to the recent statements of the ICJ , Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, who have strongly urged the LTTE to " make a clear public commitment to international human rights standards and practical ways of putting them into effect".

(2) Violate the UN Resolution on the recruitment of child soldiers.

To this day, the LTTE has refused to honor the undertaking given in 1998 to Mr. Olara Otunu, the UN Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict. Neither the facilitator, nor the prestigious nations in Europe, who are keen on providing space to the LTTE even at the risk of balkanizing Sri Lanka, has succeeded in stopping this war crime. Faced with this horror, Tamil parents have committed suicide and according to the University Teachers for Human Rights Organization in Jaffna, the LTTE members are also accused of sexually exploiting these child soldiers.

(3) Violate the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1373 (2001)

The LTTE has brazenly flouted the United Nations Security Council Resolution on suppressing the financing of terrorism adopted after the 9/11 carnage in various countries by terrorizing the Tamil population, carrying out hate campaigns and raising and laundering funds through bogus front organizations who pose as charities, to perpetuate terrorism in Sri Lanka.

(4) Urge the Sri Lankan government to consider the LTTE as the sole representatives of the Tamil people and to accept ISGA as the basis for the recommencing peace talks

Despite the LTTE’s hold over some sections of the Tamil people in given areas in the North and the East, many Tamil groups have rejected the position taken by the LTTE. The majority of the Sinhalese and the Muslims and even the Tamils will never accept the demands of the LTTE. Therefore, the LTTE’s insistence is nothing but a ploy to scuttle the peace process. This has been confirmed by the breakaway LTTE leader Karuna, when he stated that the LTTE leader’s tactic was to drag the peace talks indefinitely to derail the peace process, so that he could achieve his dream of carving out a separate Tamil state from Sri Lanka.

We urge the Sri Lankan Government to take the leadership and convince the International community, in particular Japan to follow a path that punishes transgressions by restricting international interactions, free global movement, material and financial aid when the LTTE breaks conditions stipulated in the Cease Fire Agreement and National and International Law.

Humanitarian aid should be channelled through one single credible organization such as the ‘International Red Cross’ until the LTTE is capable of demonstrating its adherence to law and respect for human rights. Progressive steps taken by the LTTE should be rewarded with measured gestures coupled to humanitarian aid directly to organizations working in the Wanni.

The adoption of a carrot and stick approach is a must for curbing LTTE instigated violence. The LTTE executes civilians, especially Tamil civilians belonging to democratic political parties such as the EPDP and continues to test the patients of the Sri Lankan government. International community’s preference to pursue a path of passive engagement will be misconstrued by the LTTE as a sign of weakness.

It is time to take a stance based on justice, pluralism, democracy and human rights. The international community should stop rewarding terrorism. Brokering of so called humanitarian aid for the murderous LTTE unconditionally will be condemned universally if Mr Akashi proceeds to provide Thmilselvan’s perverted demands a global platform and credibility.

We urge you to advise Mr Akashi to follow a principled approach to seeking an end to LTTE’s terrorism. It is hypocritical of Japan not to negotiate with terrorist in Iraq (even when a Japanese citizen’s life was at stake) whilst promoting increased interactions with the international community for the LTTE terrorists even when they assassinate political opponents showing scant regard for human rights and human life. Please veto Mr Akashi’s attempts to procure direct aid for the LLTTE terrorists until they abide by Sri Lanka’s law, respect human rights and commit to a unitary state and the territorial integrity of Sri Lanka.

SPUR (australia)

Bush needs new strategy on terrorism - Analysts

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 4 (AFP) — While some world leaders have hailed the re-election of President George W. Bush as a victory against terrorism, experts caution that his iron-fisted approach has fuelled the flames of anti-American sentiment among Muslims.

Bush’s foreign policies had increased rather than reduced the risk of global terrorism, several analysts said Thursday. But they suggested that in his second term he might recognise the need to change his strategy, particularly on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

"President Bush himself may realise the approach he has been taking may not be all that successful, because there is general agreement that the US, their allies and their friends face a much graver threat than before the September 11 attacks," said terrorism expert Rohan Gunaratna.

"He realises that without the support of the Europeans, without the support of the Asian and Middle Eastern countries, especially the Muslim countries, he cannot persist."

Hardline Muslims "will certainly be angry" over Bush’s re-election, said Gunaratna, associate professor at the Singapore-based Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies and author of a book on the Al-Qaeda terror network.

But for Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden "it really doesn’t matter whether it is (losing candidate John) Kerry or Bush," Gunaratna told AFP.

"The hatred (among Muslims) is not towards one president, the hatred is towards the United States because of its policies on Israel," he said.

"I think that President Bush and his advisers have gradually come to realise it is a core issue that needs to be resolved.

"It has been made so clear to him and his advisers and I think if they are not going to take that into consideration in their strategic calculations the United States and their allies will continue to suffer, perhaps in a much more grave way."

In Asia, the Al-Qaeda-linked Jemaah Islamiyah terror network remained capable of mounting attacks, "but I doubt very much that they will attack because Bush has been re-elected; they will attack because that is their strategy," Gunaratna said.

Clive Williams, director of terrorism studies at the Australian National University, said that from Al-Qaeda’s point of view Bush’s re-election "is quite a positive development because the mistake the Americans made in going into Iraq has opened up a lot of opportunities for them."

Williams said he believed Bush’s policies would continue to drive more Muslims into the ranks of militant groups.

"The US will be seen to be continuing to be a strong backer of Israel. It’ll obviously do more of the same in Iraq, which I think has been counterproductive because the US is winning the battles and losing the war there."

Singapore-based security analyst Andrew Tan said there was a chance Bush would moderate his policies during his second term.

"I think most non-Americans and most of America’s allies would have preferred a change, given that the first Bush administration made a number of strategic errors in Iraq and elsewhere which have alienated Muslims and complicated the war on global terror," he said.

However, "given the sobering experience of Iraq and all the problems that have cropped up since," the second Bush administration might adjust its strategy.

"The war on terror has to take into account political, economic and social factors and the second Bush administration will I think gradually move beyond unilateralism and the one-dimensional (military) approach to a more multi-dimensional and multilateral approach," Tan said.

Kadirgamar slams door on LTTE proposal [TamilNet, November 05, 2003 07:44 GMT]

Mr. Lakshman Kadirgamar, advisor to President Chandrika Kumaratunga’s and Sri Lanka’s former foreign minister, slammed the Liberation Tigers’ proposal for an Interim Self Governing Authority at a press conference in Colombo Wednesday to explain his party’s reaction to the LTTE’s suggestions. “We can in no way consider the LTTE’s proposal. It is totally unacceptable that they (Tigers) would have access rights to 2/3 of Sri Lanka’s coast. This is not negotiable”, the President’s confidante charged.

In their proposal for an ISGA for the northeast, the Liberation Tigers suggested the authority be given sole access rights to the adjacent seas.

Mr. Kadirgamar categorically denied that the sacking of three key ministers of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s government Tuesday and the proroguing of Parliament had anything to do with the LTTE’s proposal for setting up an Interim Self Governing Authority (ISGA) in the northeast.

He lambasted the LTTE’s proposal as a “total incursion into Sri Lanka’s sovereignty” and hence unacceptable.

Mr. Kadirgamar said that the move was made in accordance with the President’s long-standing position that the Prime Minister Ranil Wicremesinghe’s government was endangering the country’s security.

President Kumaratunga’s opponents charge that she moved at this juncture to stop Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe from restarting peace talks with the LTTE on the basis of the ISGA proposal, which, according to them, would have encouraged countries that had pledged a vast sum in aid at Tokyo donor conference earlier this year to release funds for development in Sri Lanka. They say that President Kumaratunga moved as she did to to throw the spanner in the works, to scuttle ‘positive negotiations’ on the ISGA that would have spurred the economy further, boosting the popularity of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s government.

SLAF claims it hit Tiger arms vessel [TamilNet, November 02, 1997 23:59 GMT]

The Sri Lankan Airforce claimed today that they detected and desroyed a large ship which it suspected of belonging to the Liberation Tigers off the coast of Mullaithivu in the early hours of the morning today.

The SLAF also claimed that some Sea Tiger boats which were engaged in the unloading were also destroyed by Kfir aircraft and Mi 17 helicopter gunships.

The Sri Lankan Navy also claimed that it took part in the attack. The SLAF said that the ship is burning now in mid sea.

Two trucks which had been transporting the weapons unloaded from the ship were also bombed said the SLAF this afternoon.

Meanwhile Tamil sources in Vavuniya said that the detection appears to have taken place well after the Sea Tigers had unloaded the cargo during the previous night.

However, there was no independent confirmation of the SLAF's claims.

SLAF Bombed Abandoned Ship - Paper [TamilNet, November 03, 1997 23:59 GMT]

The Voice of Tigers, the official radio of the LTTE, quoting Eelanatham, the Tamil daily published in the Vanni, announced this morning that the vessel which the Sri Lankan airforce hit and sunk yesterday was a cargo ship that lay abandoned off the Mullaithivu coast for some time.

The radio quoting the story in the Eelanatham further said that the Sri Lankan airforce had bombed and sunk this vessel around 10 a.m. yesterday.

Meanwhile the SLAF and the SL Navy commanders called a press conference at 4 p.m. today at the Ministry of Defence to explain the interception and show camera footage from the UAV (unmanned air vehicle) that had spotted the ship.

The commanders insisted that it was an LTTE armaments ship. They said that they had received intelligence three days ago that a 170 meter ship flying a Maltese flag was on its way to the coast off Mullaithivu to unload arms to the LTTE. But, a UAV sent out on patrol had detected an eighty foot vessel of unidentified origin about 8 a.m. yesterday along with some Sea Tiger boats near it.

The journalists were shown the camera footage from the UAV in which the boats near the ship were seen dispersing and some lorries going in different directions from a sea coast .

It was clear from the UAV footage that if the claims of the SLAF are true then the Liberation Tigers had already unloaded the cargo onto their boats and lorries.

However, the SLAF and SLN chiefs claimed that of the three latches on the ship's hold only one was open. This, according to them, was evidence that the LTTE hadn't managed to unload all its weapons from the ship's hold.

The SLAF and the SL navy also claimed that they had information that the ships' cargo was 1500 tons. They said the LTTE might have unloaded ten percent of this cargo from the vessel.

The bombing and sinking of the ship was shown on the state run television last night.

Ex paramilitary supporter shot dead in Colombo [TamilNet, November 04, 2004 17:09 GMT]

A former supporter of the PLOTE, Mr. Velayutham Dayalakumar, 44, was shot dead in Dehiwela, a suburb in the southern outskirts of Colombo, around 7.30 p.m. Thursday, Police said. A man identified as 'Jayasingha' was seriously wounded in the attack by unidentified gunmen in a very busy part of Dehiwela Junction. The ex PLOTE supporter and Jayasingha were shot when they were having tea at Sumihiri Hotel at Dehiwela Junction, according to Police. Mr. Dayalakumar, also known as Dayalan, had a business near Dehiwela Junction. He was associated with the PLOTE, a paramilitary working with Sri Lankan armed forces, in 1987-89.

Tigers name troops killed in ship attack [TamilNet, November 05, 1997 23:59 GMT]

The Voice of Tigers, the official radio of the LTTE announced today in the Vanni that fourteen Liberation Tigers were killed in the SLAF attack on a cargo ship off the Mullaithivu coast on Sunday.

The Voice of Tigers gave the names of the Tigers who died in the attack in which the cargo ship, believed to have been carrying arms and explosives to LTTE the was bombed and sunk. They are

  1. Major. Vetti
  2. Captain Vettikkarasan
  3. Captain Ratnakumar
  4. Captain Ravi
  5. Captain Isaippriyan
  6. Captain Thuvarahan
  7. Captain Thiraichitpi
  8. Lt.Pulithevan
  9. Lt.Veeran
  10. Lt.Muthurasa
  11. Lt.Muhilan
  12. 2nd Lt.Palasekeran
  13. Veera Vengai Veerappan
  14. Veera Vengai Viduthalai

Tamil sources in Vavuniya said that the ship had been spotted after the Sea Tigers had unloaded the cargo during the previous night.

The SLAF say they launched their attack at, two hours after an unmanned drone detected the ship.

LTTE boat destroyed -SLN [TamilNet, November 05, 2000 08:48 GMT]

A sea battle was reported between the Liberation Tigers and the Sri Lanka Navy off the coast of Trincomalee around 8.30 p.m. Saturday said sources in the eastern town. The Sri Lanka Navy Sunday morning claimed that a LTTE boat laden with explosives was destroyed in the sea battle. Meanwhile the Voice of Tigers radio Sunday evening said a SLN Dvora gun boat was heavily damaged in the sea battle around 7.45 p.m. Saturday near Trincomalee port. According to the radio two Sea Black tigers, identified as Lt.Col. Naresh (Murugesu Brammakumar of Jaffna) and Major Sudarmany (Sivarasa Sritharan of Jaffna) died in the attack.

Grenade attack wounds three [TamilNet, November 05, 1998 10:04 GMT]

An unidentified person lobbed a grenade at a public transport bus bound to Kalmunai from Batticaloa this afternoon around 12.45 p.m. wounding three civilians who were standing by the road side.

The bus was passing the Police sentry at Aaraipattai, seven kilometers south of Batticaloa, when the grenade was lobbed sources said.

Some Police sources claimed that the grenade was lobbed from the bus at the sentry. But residents said that it was vise versa.

The wounded persons have been admitted to the Batticaloa hospital.

Meanwhile, the Special Task Force (STF) in Aaraipattai said this afternoon that they have arrested a suspect identified as Lingaratnam Sooriyakumar of Munaithivu in connection with the grenade blast.

They said that the suspect could be a member of the Liberation Tigers. Munaithivu is a village south west of Batticaloa.

Thousands flee monsoon floods [TamilNet, November 05, 1997 23:59 GMT]

Thousands of people began moving out of Thunukkai, Mankulam west and Mallavi as three irrigation tanks burst their bunds yesterday following heavy, unceasing monsoon downpours in the Vanni which began lashing the northern province since last week.

Floods from the waters of Ananjayan Kulam, Yokapuram Kulam and Ottaruththa Kulam hit several villages within and near their drainage zones, forcing people to flee to high ground further west and northwest of the Vanni.

The water level in the large Iranaimadukkualm has also risen to dangerous levels today due to the continuing rains. The water level in this tank has risen by 17.6 feet.

The rains are filling up Akkarayan Kulam, Kalmadukkulam, Vannerikkulam, Viswamadukkulam and Kanakambikaikulam in the Vanni.

Meanwhile low lying areas in the peninsula have also been flooded due to the heavy showers.

The rains ceased a little this evening around 6.30 p.m. in the Jaffna town and its environs. But areas such as Vaddukkoddai and Araly are flooded said residents.

Be vigilant-Indian Army chief

The Indian Army commander NC Vij told senior military officials in Sri Lanka that although there is a truce in fighting Sri Lankan soldiers need to be vigilant.

The Indian Army commander visited Vavuniya and met senior Sri Lankan Army (SLA) officials early hours on Wednesday.

General NC Vij addressed the SLA officials at the Army headquarters in Vavuauniya.

<>Commenting on the defence agreement to be signed between the two countries he said “the defence agreement is of immense importance. It would mutually help procurement of arms ,and training. Although the ceasefire is in force recruitment and boosting the moral of soldiers should continue.”General Vij also emphasised the strategic importance of the coast line between the two countries. <>

The Army commander toured the area along the A-9 high road with his wife and other Indian Army officials. As he reached the Omanthai check point which is a crossing point between the government-held area and LTTE-held area a Sri Lankan Army official said that if he would travel a little bit further he could meet Tamil Tigers pointing towards the LTTE-held area.

The general declined the offer.He also refused to speak to the journalists.