The Web Sri Lanka In Focus

Thursday, 27 March 2008

Sri Lanka campaign to discourage suicide bombers

Sri Lanka has launched a mystery poster campaign inviting would-be Tamil Tiger suicide bombers to phone a government helpline in exchange for 10 million rupees ($92,000) and a new life overseas.

"Why should you die with a scattered body?" the red-and-yellow posters, placed in Tamil-dominated areas of the capital, Colombo, asked readers contemplating becoming members of what the rebels call elite "Black Tiger" suicide squads.

"You also were born to live. Why should you carry bombs?" the posters said alongside a fuzzy black-and-white photograph of a suicide bomber's severed head.

Sri Lanka's capital and other districts have increasingly been targeted by suicide attacks as the government and military vow to defeat the Tigers by December, pressing home an offensive against northern rebel strongholds.

The military, perhaps wary of scaring off genuine callers with rebel sympathies, said it was unaware of the posters, which invited readers to phone a government-operated 118 line that went unanswered when called by Reuters on Thursday.

Military spokesman Brigadier Udaya Nanyakkara said he did not want to comment on whether the failure to answer was a fatal campaign flaw or whether the line could be swamped by the poor in a nation where average yearly salaries are $2,230.

Police, who with the military man most road corners and major buildings in Colombo, said they were also unaware who placed the posters, which make no mention of a backer other than relying on a government number.

"We do not know who pasted up the poster," said Mangala Dehideniya, in charge of Wellawatta Police where many of the posters were placed.

The posters said Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam leader Vellupillai Prabhakaran should sacrifice his own son before asking others to become suicide bombers.

"Your life is precious and you have only one. Do not die for the brave words of an illusion," the poster read, promising 10 million rupees for genuine callers to build a new life at home or overseas if necessary.

The Tigers are regularly hitting back at the government's offensive with bloody suicide strikes and roadside bombs increasingly aimed at civilians, escalating a conflict in which an estimated 70,000 people have died since 1983.

In February, a suicide bomber blew themselves up near Colombo's main port, wounding seven others and spreading body parts around a house in the Modhara quarter during a search and cordon operation by police.

($1=107.79 rupees)

Source: Reuters

Row erupts over Tamil rebel film

A Sinhala-language movie about Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels has provoked a row between Indian Tamil activists and the film's director.

The activists, who sympathise with the Tigers, were involved in a scuffle with the director, Tushara Peiris, in the south Indian city of Madras (Chennai).

The scuffle broke out at a studio where the film, named Prabhakaran after the Tigers' leader, was being processed.

Mr Peiris has now demanded government help to ensure his film rolls are safe.

He told the BBC he was going on a hunger strike to make the Indian and Sri Lankan governments guarantee that the prints of his film - believed still to be at the studios - are returned undamaged.

According to the Sri Lankan press, Mr Peiris' film focuses on a would-be suicide bomber recruited by the Tamil Tigers.

Rising violence

The Chennai studio processing the film was picketed by activists from the Dravidian Tamil movement, a group of parties that backs the Tigers' cause.

Scuffles broke out when Mr Peiris appeared before the protestors in an attempt to defend his film.

A leader of the protesters, Suba Veerapandian, told the BBC he regretted that the confrontation had turned violent.

But, he said, his group had acted to defend Tamils against an "insulting" film.

Tamils are the main ethnic group in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, of which Chennai is the capital.

Tamil speakers are in a minority in Sri Lanka, mostly concentrated in the island's north and east.

The Tigers took up arms against the Sri Lankan government more than 20 years ago, arguing that the island's ethnic Sinhala majority discriminated against Tamils.

The collapse of a recent ceasefire deal has seen fighting intensify along frontlines in the north of the country, where the rebels control a swathe of territory.

Source: bbc

Air Force warplanes destroy LTTE training facility and Radar post in Wanni

Sri Lanka Air Force fighter jets successfully carried out two bombing missions targeting two identified camps of LTTE terrorists located in Wanni region this morning (March 27). According to the defence sources the targets were a training facility and a Radar command post both located in Kilinochchi district.

Air Force Spokesman Wing Commander Andrew Wijesooriya speaking to said that the first mission was launched around 6.25.a.m. targeting a training facility located inside a jungle patch at Kalmadhu, in Iranamadhu. According to the defence intelligence, the terrorists have also used the location as a marshalling point for the conscripts.

The second mission was launched at 6.35.a.m. targeting a Radar Command post located in the Vallaipadhu area, South of Poonaryn, said the Air Force spokesman. Meanwhile, defence intelligence revealed that the terrorists have been using the location to coordinate boat operations across the Gulf of Mannar. The location was a recently established one by the terrorists due to frequent air raids on the strategically important coastal belt in the Northwest of the Island, the sources further said.

According to Wing Commander Wijesooriya the targets have been positively identified through human intelligence and verified by air surveillance. The Kfir and F-7 fighter jets carried out the missions jointly and the targets were accurately hit the added citing the fighter pilots.


Multivision allowed to transmit

Sandasen Marasinghe

Colombo District Judge Sisira Ratnayake yesterday issued an enjoining order preventing Union Residencies (Pvt) Ltd from taking measures not to allow the Ruhunu 2001 Multivision (Pvt) Ltd to use the satellite dishes on the rooftop of the Union Residencies (Pvt) Ltd for their transmission.

The plaintiff Ruhunu 2001 Multivision (Pvt) Ltd filing the plaint before the District Court stated that it was using the two existing satellite dishes on the rooftop of the Union Residencies (Pvt) Ltd to operate their pay TV Service and Cable TV network.

The plaintiff stated that it entered into an agreement with the defendant company on November 24, 1997 to use the two existing satellites on the rooftop of the defendant company for 20 years to broadcast and transmit the plaintiff's services.

Plaintiff further submitted that the defendant later informed the plaintiff that they were unable to supply the services to the Ruhunu 2001 Multivision (Pvt) Ltd. The plaintiff further stated that the Ruhunu 2001 Multivision (Pvt) Ltd was incorporated as a joint venture between an Australian Company and Southern Development Authority to set up and operate a pay Cable Network in Sri Lanka.

The Government owns a 10 per cent share in the Ruhunu 2001 Multivision (Pvt) Ltd through the Southern Development Authority.

The Plaintiff evaluated the case for Rs. one million.

Source: dailynews