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Archive for September 27th, 2004

LTTE has notified registered villagers in Nadduwan Kawdu village in Elephant Pass under the LTTE not to return until further notice.

The LTTE has prohibited resettlement until land mines and anti-personal mines are cleared and protection confirmed.

LTTE has commenced clearing land mines by their land mine clearing unit Wemipura battalion and the human unit engaged in clearing operations.

There were 168 families left this village for Vavuniya, Jaffna or Killinochchi when the war was on for refugee camps or to stay with their relations. Now they have informed the LTTE that they need to come back. The LTTE response was negative.

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A member of a paramilitary group working with the Sri Lanka army was shot dead by unidentified gunmen in Jaffna Monday afternoon, Police said. The man, identified as Valli Sundaram, was riding a motorbike on KKS Road between Maruthanamadam and Inuvil when two gunmen on a motorbike fired on him with a handgun, according to Police.



He is from the coastal village of Myiliddy. Mr. Sundaram was residing in the EPRLF (V) camp by the Sri Lanka army’s main garrison in Jaffna town after he was displaced from his village due to Sri Lanka army operations in 1990, Police said.

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The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in an official statement issued from its headquarters in Vanni Wednesday, strongly condemned the killing of one of its senior leaders, Colonel Shankar. The statement said the LTTE leadership “shares the Tamil people’s outrage and treats the killing of a senior leader with utmost gravity.”

The full text of the press release follows:

“The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in an official statement issued from its headquarters in Vanni Wednesday, strongly condemned the killing of one of its senior leaders Colonel Shankar.

“A deep penetration commando unit of the Sri Lankan Army triggered a claymore mine on Col. Shankar’s vehicle and he was killed on the spot. The incident occurred around 10.45 a.m. today near Oddusudan in the heart of Vanni, Northern Sri Lanka.

“Col. Shankar has been an active participant in the Tamil people’s freedom struggle for nearly two decades. He was a close confidante of the LTTE leader, Mr. Vellupillai Pirapaharan and accompanied him in the first historic meeting in the Vanni with Oslo’s Special Envoy, Erik Solheim, in November 2000.

“Provocatively, Col. Shankar’s killing occurred on the anniversary of the death during hunger strike of Lt. Col Thileepan, a day of profound sadness amongst the Tamil people. The LTTE leadership shares the Tamil people’s outrage and treats the killing of a senior leader with utmost gravity.

“Whilst maintaining to the international community that it is committed to a negotiated settlement, President Chandrika Kumaratunga’s regime has repeatedly sought to sabotage the Norwegian peace initiative and continued its military operations. As a result of repeated Sri Lankan acts of aggression, formal and informal efforts to de-escalate the conflict have proved futile. The attack on Col Shankar and the date chosen for it highlights the Sri Lankan government’s ongoing determination to seek the military option in solving the Tamil national question. Prospects for peace talks through Norwegian facilitation, stalled earlier through Colombo’s efforts to sideline Mr. Solheim, have been further set back by the killing of this senior LTTE leader.”

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The ‘Peace’ cacophony increased in crescendo last week and hit the high notes. It was the International Day for Peace and this was commemorated in this country perhaps as no other country did.

The state media had little news other than ‘Peace’ and President Chandrika Kumaratunga’s visit to the New York UN headquarters where she too made a clarion call for peace in the world over as well as in her country. The peace drums were being beaten in gusto in the newspapers, over radio and TV. Peace demonstrations were organised in many parts of the country such as mini marathons. The Centrepiece was Sarvodaya Chief’s demonstration termed, Ahimsa, on the lawns of the BMICH where some thousands who had been transported from far away places gathered. Mr Ariyarartne’s demonstration was held to ‘meditate on Peace’.

Transcendental and metaphysical thoughts and prayers to gods may help in bringing about the wishes of the devotees but to whom were they appealing to on terra firma? What is the ‘Peace’ that they wanted and whom did they think was disturbing the tranquillity or in more materialistic terms, making war?

Was it the government of Sri Lanka? Are our armed forces at war right now and killing people or is it the LTTE itself in their fratricidal between its two factions? Who is killing so called government intelligence agents and cadres of the EPDP? Who is abducting children for war? The answer is all too obvious.

All are well aware that there is one organisation under one fascist megalomaniac making war and killing people but none of these ‘peace’ demonstrators dared even to name him or the organisation. Why oh why is this deadly silence? The favourite excuse from NGO workers to diplomats is that it is not the way of conflict resolution. And all negotiators have been scared of calling a spade a spade. This has been an ideal situation for Prabakaran right right along—- using the peace fa`E7ade to further his military and political objectives.

Could not that messiah for peace, A.T.Ariyaratne ,from the foot steps of the BMICH on the day of his ‘Ahimsa’ cried out aloud for the world to hear : ‘Vellupillai Prabakaran, in the name of humanity, in the name of your brothers and sisters of Sri Lanka, stop the killings?’ Mr. Ariyaratne who once threatened a ‘Peace March’ to Jaffna from Dondra but which failed to proceed even a short distance, made no such direct appeal to the killers. Meditation with his demonstrators dressed in white, 190,000 of them, as he claimed, was his contribution.

But the message he sent out gave a totally wrong picture to what is happening in this country. Such mass demonstrations for ‘Peace’ in a country where only a terroist organisation continues its killings, coveys a totally different picture to the outside world. It conveys the impression that a massive bloody conflict is on in this country and the minorities are being massacred. The crimes committed by the killers are covered by this fa`E7ade of peace.

It is doing no good to the country and its people. It only amounts to preaching to the convinced and taking away attention from the killers.

It will be recalled that peace has been the objective of every Sri Lankan government since the guerrilla war with the terroist groups commenced. President J.R.Jayewardene went over to India to bring about a settlement because India at this stage was building up the guerrilla groups. Since then, every government has sued for peace. But the ‘Peace Mongers’ particuarly those backed by foreign NGOs consistently portrayed the government as the war mongers and the LTTE as representatives of a suppressed minority.

It happened last week, this time the objective being to compel the government to sit down for negotiations on terms demanded by the LTTE. Even foreign governments that conceded that the LTTE proposals were a blue print for a separate state now want the government to start negotiations—- come hell or high-water—- for the government and the people of this country.

People like Mr. Ariyaratne must realise that preaching to the convinced like his faithful Sarvodaya organisation in the full glare of the media will not contribute to peace. It is counterproductive to peace. Go forth Mr. Ariyaratne, to the north and east and preach your ‘ahimsa’there. The people of Colombo are not killers and don’t need your loving kindness.

(http://www.island.lk/2004/09/27/editorial.html)

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Fighting has been reported between the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) and the Liberation Tigers in Nagar Kovil on the southeastern coast of Jaffna since Tuesday afternoon.

Residents in neighbouring areas reported heavy shelling and firing. Further details were not known.

The Sri Lanka army has a large base in this coastal village and its environs. The Liberation Tigers control the coast and its hinterland immediately south of the SLA’s forward defences in Nagar Kovil.

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High level officers from Colombo head quarters of Sri Lanka Airforce (SLAF) visited Valaiyiravu military airport in Batticaloa district yesterday to investigate the feasibility of expanding the airport while the two schools, Puthur Vigneswara Vidiyalayam and Valaiyiravu Methodist Vidiyalayam, remain located in close proximity to the perimeter of the airport, security sources said.

The SLAF officers are to submit a report to Austin Fernando, the defense secretary in the United National Front (UNF) government.

Education officials from the Batticaloa district also participated in a meeting yesterday morning with the SLAF officers at the Valaiyiravu military airport premises, according to security sources. It was decided to convene another meeting with the members of the School Development Society on the 3rd of October, the security sources added.

Although funds were allocated some months ago for the improvement of the buildings and for the construction of new buildings for the schools, the Batticaloa SLAF refused to give permission for work on school buildings to begin.

The School Development Society lodged a complaint with the Defense Department which resulted in the Defense Secretary directing the SLAF to prepare a detailed report on the matter.

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“Sri Lanka’s President Ms Chandrika Kumaratunge should take immediate steps to commence peace talks with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) on the basis of the Interim Self Governing Authority (ISGA) proposals submitted by the LTTE,” said Moulavi. M.Subiyan, Secretary of the Association to Protect Rights of Northern Muslims, when TamilNet asked him to comment on the current peace stalemate. M.Subiyan is also the President of Killinochchi District Muslims’ Secretariat.

“We will be meeting Ms.Kumaratunge to request her to start peace talks with the LTTE on the basis of ISGA,” said M.Subiyan.

M.Subiyan urged Sri Lanka’s President to be sincere in her effort to find a lasting peace through negotiation with the LTTE as early as possible without issuing contradicting statements. He cited the speech Ms.Kumaratunge made in UN General Assembly alleging that the LTTE has been refusing to attend the peace talks and said that it is a clear distortion of truth.

M.Subiyan further said even the President is prepared to commence peace talks with LTTE on the basis of ISGA, her political partner in the government, Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) would not allow her to proceed with her independent decision. Now the ball is squarely in the President’s court, he said.

“We have also decided to meet foreign envoys in Colombo to brief them on the stand taken by the Northern Muslims regarding the ISGA. We support that talks should immediately commence on the basis of LTTE’s ISGA proposal. We would also be requesting the envoys of Norway, America and Japan to use their good offices to assert pressure on the Government of Sri Lanka to accept the ISGA as basis for future peace talks” M.Subiyan told TamilNet.

M.Subiyan said only through peace talks between the GOSL and LTTE problems faced by Tamils and Muslims could be solved satisfactorily.

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