The Web Sri Lanka In Focus

Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Adampan Area map

Source : defencewire

U.S. Group advocates for Tamil Statehood

"Applying the 'self-evident' truths celebrated in the Declaration of Independence, the United States should recognize the right of Sri Lanka's long oppressed Tamil people to independent statehood from the racial supremacist Sinhalese," says Bruce Fein, the associate deputy attorney general under President Ronald Reagan, and a lawyer for Tamils For Justice, a U.S. group of Tamil activists, in an opinion piece appearing Tuesday in Washington's conservative news paper, The Washington Times.

Fein argues, the history of the persecution of the Tamil people "easily justifies Tamil statehood, with boundaries to be negotiated," and points out, "The Declaration of Independence proclaims: "[W]hen a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object, evinces a design to reduce [a people] under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security."

Fein chronicles his reasons for his stand by drawing on the principles articulated in the U.S Declaration of Independence drafted by Thomas Jefferson in June 1776.

Fein states: "In the last two years, four Tamil parliamentarians under the ostensible protection of the Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) have been assassinated. Sri Lanka's signature became predation, repression, and state sponsored race riots against Tamils, the first organized on May 27, 1958.

"The 1958 Sinhalese Only Act was a landmark in the history of Tamil oppression. It generally excluded or handicapped Tamils in public or private employment, education, housing or welfare. Roads, schools, hospitals and public utilities were shortchanged in Tamil areas, which reflected a Sinhalese policy of "separate and unequal" that has persisted for 50 years," he adds.

"In 1961, Tamils began a nonviolent, Gandhi-like protest in favor of regional autonomy. The Sinhalese government answered with assaults on the demonstrators, mass arrests, detentions of Tamil members of Parliament, torture and shootings.

"In 1983, the Sinhalese government originated raced riots that culminated in the slaughter of 4,000 Tamils. No prosecutions were brought against the Sinhalese culprits.

"There is no parallel to the United States Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education (1954). In 1970, for example, the GOSL inaugurated a system of standardization, which required Tamil students seeking college admission to score substantially higher marks than Sinhalese applicants.

Fein details in the article a Tamil family's struggle against State sponsored harassment and intimidation.

Fein also points to the Canadian Supreme Court, which "In re Secession of Quebec (1998)" elaborated that a right to secession may arise whenever a government flouts its obligation to represent "the whole people belonging to the territory without distinction of any kind." Tamils have been treated as third-class citizens for a half-century, Fein asserts.

Faulting the recent statement of Sri Lankan ambassador to the United States, Bernard Goonetilleke, who Fein claims falsely likened "the persecuted Tamils to the Confederate States of America," Fein questions, "Is it any wonder that an ambassador has been defined as an honest man sent abroad to lie for his country?"

Washington Times has a history of speaking on behalf of the Sri Lanka Embassy, as evident from the Sri Lanka Embassy internet archives.

Source: Tamilnet

SLA attacks bus carrying school children in Madu, 17 killed, 17 wounded

(TAMILNET)At least 11 school children, principal of the displaced Chinna Pa'ndivirichchaan school and two teachers were killed and 17 wounded when a Deep Penetration Unit of Sri Lanka Army triggered a Claymore mine targeting the bus carrying school children in Madu division of the Liberation Tigers of Tamileelam controlled territory Tuesday at 2:25 p.m. Pa'l'lamadu hospital authorities told TamilNet that 11 of 17 killed in the attack were school children. The bus was 1 km away from Madu church, after having picked up the children at Thadcha'naamaruthamadu and was on its way to Pa'l'lamadu from Madu.

The principal was among the dead. 7 children were critically wounded. 12 of the 17 wounded were in critical state.

Officials at the Mannaar Operations Command of the LTTE said they had spoiled a number of attempts by the SLA DPU teams to infiltrate and place Claymore mines along the roads within the past 3 months.

Source: Tamilnet

SLA denies any involvement in Mannar incident

Military Spokesman Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara totally denied LTTE allegations that Sri Lanka Army deep penetration unit attacked a civilian school bus in the Madhu area. He stressed that there were no military teams operating in those areas.

Source: Dailymirror

Sri Lankan army kills 43 rebels in clashes


Colombo : At least 43 Tamil rebels and a Sri Lankan soldier have been killed in clashes in the northern part of the country, military officials said Tuesday.

On Tuesday, troops captured the Vivattankulam area in Mannar, 320 km north of the capital, destroying 16 bunkers and killing at least 22 rebels, the military said.

Six rebels each were killed Monday in two separate incidents in the Wanni area, 240 km north of the capital while nine rebels were killed in Welioya, 280 km northeast of the capital, on the same day, military said.

A government soldier was killed in Muhamalai, 370 km north of the capital, in a confrontation with the rebels Monday, officials said.

Government troops are continuing their operations mainly in the Mannar area un the northwest while other smaller operations also are being conducted in the north.

The military during this month has claimed to have killed over 800 rebels and lost 30 soldiers, but there is no independent confirmation of the figures.


SAARC summit to be held in Sri Lanka

The 15th SAARC Summit will be held in the picturesque Sri Lankan city of Kandy from July 27 with Colombo planning ''foolproof'' security arrangements to ward off any LTTE attack as it battles the rebel forces in the north.

''Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse visited Kandy (about 80 kms of North East of Colombo) on Monday and held a meeting with regard to making available all facilities in time before the SAARC summit beginning on July 27,'' a top official told PTI.

''Security issue was also discussed,'' the official said, adding it was decided to take special measures to ensure ''fool proof arrangements.''

The week-long summit that will conclude on August 3 is expected to be attended by SAARC heads of state including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Among various infrastructural facilities, the government proposes to renovate the whole road network in Kandy in time for the summit. The event will be marked by special cultural pageants and other colourful programmes in the hill resort.

The summit is also expected to be attended by around 1,000 delegates from the SAARC countries besides a 300 strong representatives from the media, officials said.

Arrangements will also be made for special train services from Colombo to Kandy during the summit. Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama and his cabinet colleagues Mahindananda Aluthgamage, Rohana Dissanayake were among those who attended the meeting chaired by the president.

Fighting between military and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam has intensified since the government scrapped a ceasefire on January 16, leaving over 600 rebels dead.

Source: NDTV

Sri Lanka seizes rebel stronghold

Sri Lankan soldiers have captured a small area of a rebel-held territory in the country's embattled north killing 22 insurgents.

Sri Lankan troops backed by artillery and mortars on Tuesday destroyed 10 rebel bunkers and seized about 1 square kilometer of territory in the village of Viyattankulam in the Mannar district, the military said.

Ten rebels were killed in the battle.

In another confrontation in nearby Palaikkuli village, troops destroyed six rebel bunkers and killed 12 guerrillas. A small area of rebel land was also captured in Palaikkuli.

Military officials said that troops did not suffer any casualties.

The Colombo government has gained the upper hand in recent months, killing senior rebel figures including the Tigers' political leader and military intelligence chief.

Military analysts, however, say the rebels have retained their strike capability and see no clear winner on the horizon.


Cong raises alarm over ‘pro-LTTE’ wave in TN

TNCC informs party high command, writes letter to the CM against open support to the outfit

The Tamil Nadu Congress Committee has informed the AICC leadership about the hail LTTE meetings in Tamil Nadu, particularly the recent one organised by a DMK ally, Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi led by Thol Thirumavalavan, demanding the lifting of the ban on the Tiger outfit.

“The TNCC president has informed Arun Kumar, MP and CWC member in-charge of Tamil Nadu, about the VCK meeting in Chennai on Friday night and about several political and non-political organisations praising the LTTE and its leader, Prabhakaran,” said a party source.

Despite its posturing about coming down hard on members of any organisation supporting banned outfits by way of meetings and rallies, the DMK Government has not initiated any move against ally VCK whose leaders hailed the LTTE and its chief, describing them as “the only beacon of hope” for the “suffering Tamils” in Sri Lanka. The VCK has a sizeable support among Dalit voters in Tamil Nadu.

Meanwhile, the TNCC has written a letter to Chief Minister M Karunanidhi expressing its ‘anguish’ about the ‘open support’ for the LTTE in Tamil Nadu and the ‘severe mental strain” this is causing to its leaders. Incidentally, TNCC president M Krishnasamy happens to be the father-in-law of Union

Minister Anbumani Ramadoss whose party Pattali Makkal Katchi is another strident LTTE backer.

In his letter to the Chief Minister on Monday, Krishnasamy, pleaded for ‘stern action’ against those supporting the banned terrorist outfit. Without specifying any organisation by name, the TNCC chief said in the past two months, some political as well as non-political organisations had expressed support openly for the LTTE at public meetings and through the media.

“They were also making statements demeaning the Congress. This has hurt the sentiments of not only the Congressmen in the state, but the feelings of the people as well,” he said, adding: “Our senior leaders are under severe mental strain due to these comments. I request you to take action against those responsible for this.”

When Karunanidhi wrote an elegy for Tamilselvan in November last, members of the TNCC Legislature Party passed a resolution saying the DMK chief’s tribute for the LTTE leader killed in an aerial attack in Sri Lanka, “brought tears of blood to their eyes.”

The AICC too soft-pedaled the issue, passing a resolution in its November session saying that any support to the LTTE was “bound to hurt the sentiments of Congressmen”.


The newly formed Mac Infantry in action

The Badge investiture ceremony of the newly formed Mechanized Infantry Regiment of the Sri Lanka Army was held today at the Palay Army base in Jaffna. Jaffna Security Force Commander - Major General G.A. Chandrasiri was the Chief Guest at the event. Pictured here are soldiers taking part in the parade with armed Tanks in the background.

Source/Image: Dailymirror