Tuesday, June 30, 2009

If you solve this ethnic conflict, we’ll prefer to be a part of a government...!!!

"Adieu assassination politics"- N.Srikantha

Nallathamby Srikantha entered politics as a member of TELO in the mid 1980s, just as the LTTE began to eliminate rival Tamil armed groups. Srikantha’s own leader Sri Sabaratnam was shot by an LTTE hit squad and displayed to the people of Jaffna. TELO entered democratic politics in the wake of the Indo-Lanka Peace Accord in 1987. In this interview, Srikantha speaks to C.A.Chandraprema abut the end of the Tamil armed struggle and the way forward for the Tamil people.

Q. The last time I met you was in 1991, and one of the things that we discussed was the crushing of the JVP rebellion in 1989. You were shocked at the figures given by me in my articles in The Island – 40,000 dead on both sides. Do you think there was any significant difference in the way the military crushed the Sinhalese and Tamil rebellions?

A. With regard to the JVP insurrection, there was no ethnic factor involved. But in the case of the Tamil militancy, this ethnic difference was there, and it has its own painful impact. Apart from that, these two cases differ in that the underlying causes were totally different. Generally speaking, any war, is cruel and crude. All declaration of commitment to international covenants, and also the protection of civilians, was observed in the breach in the conflict involving the Sri Lankan armed forces and the LTTE. I would not say that it was done intentionally, but in the pursuit of victory, the government was not adequately concerned about the civilians. I shall be failing in my duty if I don’t say that. There are instances when care was also taken on the part of the armed forces. But as the army advanced further and further and with the LTTE getting boxed in, in a tiny piece of land, what was uppermost in the minds of those directing the operations was the defeat of the LTTE. On the other hand, the LTTE held back 300,000 civilians, not in the least concerned about their safety. So the civilians were really between the devil and the deep blue sea. We the TNA was helpless at that juncture because even if we had appealed to the LTTE to release the civilians, they would not have done it. It was crystal clear that they wanted to have these civilians as a kind of protective shield against the onslaught of the advancing forces of the government. So we didn’t want to ask for the impossible from the LTTE. The LTTE was in a tight spot and we knew that however much we would have pleaded, it would have fallen on deaf ears. That is why we were consistently pressing for a ceasefire. We knew that the LTTE was willing to have a ceasefire. The government of Sri Lanka was bent on taking the military operations to their logical conclusion. With one party to the conflict amenable to a ceasefire, it was our considered opinion that if we could appeal to the government of Sri Lanka successfully, in that it was a constitutionally elected government that could not forsake its obligations towards its own citizens, there could be a way out to save the civilians. But our repeated calls were rejected by the government.

Q. If your organization TELO and the other groups such as PLOTE. EPRLF and EROS, had the guts to stand up to the LTTE in the mid-1980s, things would not have come to such a sorry pass…

A. We cannot be blamed for not confronting the LTTE. Since April/May 1986, the LTTE was engaged in systematically destroying the military strength of other Tamil militant groups. Within about a year, came the Indo-Lanka Peace accord. When the Indian Peace keeping force was here, TELO, EPRLF and ENDLF, fought shoulder to shoulder with the IPKF. With the exit of the IPKF, we threw our weight behind the Sri Lankan government in fighting the LTTE. We did so in the fervent hope that while we contributed to combating the LTTE, the Sinhala polity would offer a satisfactory solution taking into consideration the basic Tamil political aspirations. But that didn’t happen. President Premadasa was very keen to solve this problem. He understood the problem better than anybody else. But it was very unfortunate that he could not come out with a comprehensive political package. But events happened so quickly that he didn’t get the opportunity to do so. With regard to the point that had we stood up to the LTTE things would have been different, I must say that we did our part. All the other Tamil militant groups were opposed to the LTTE from 1986 up to 1996. In the case of TELO. We have lost hundreds of our cadres. The LTTE also suffered casualties. The Tamil National Alliance was formed because of the realization that the Sinhala polity was not living up to our expectations. With the formation of the TNA, we contested the 2001 parliamentary elections and since then it has been our consistent position that if the government in power could engage in negotiations and evolve a political solution, we would be only too happy to back it. We left the task from that Tamil side to the LTTE.

Q. Prabhakaran was a man who personally ordered the death of your leader Sri Sabaratnam. He was shot dead and displayed to the people of Jaffna. He had all the other Tamil leaders executed as well. So what was your reaction when you saw Prabhakaran displayed in the same manner?

A. As a human being who respects the right to life of any person I feel sad when I see somebody dead in tragic circumstances. In 1986, when I was in India in the immediate aftermath of the assassination of the late Sri Sabaratnam, and the murder of a number of TELO cadres by the LTTE, I wrote an editorial in the Tamil Times with the title "Adieu assassination politics". It has been a gory past. Now, Prabhakaran is no more. What is important is why did Prabhakaran take to arms in the first place. With regard to his omissions and commissions as the sole leader of a very powerful militant group, we have to leave that to impartial political analysts. Had Prabhakaran been alive, I would be more frank and forthright in expressing my views. But with him dead, I think decency demands that I should not make a critical analysis of the deeds of Prabhakaran. If I am to analyse the career of Prabhakaran starting from the assassination of Alfred Duraiappah, the then Mayor of Jaffna, in the case of militants, the yardsticks of right and wrong are different to what democrats would like to have. Violence breeds violence. Once you get into that system, it is very difficult to get out. With regard to Prabhakaran, I can only say that. No one can doubt his commitment to the cause. But at the same time, he had a good number of opportunities, to achieve something solid and tangible for the people whose case according to him, he was fighting for. He missed those opportunities. Had he been more responsive to the pulse of the Tamil masses, and also been conscious of the international ramifications of the Sri Lankan National question, I think Prabhakaran would have been alive today, and would have achieved something solid for our people.

Q. You said something about the ‘pulse of the people’. What is it that Prabhakaran missed?

A. Prabhakaran was of the view that the Sinhala political leadership would never deliver justice to the Tamil people. With the demise of his political advisor the late Anton Balasingham, there was hardly anybody who was in a position to tell him straight to his face, however unpalatable, it may be, the hard facts as the military situation was slowly and steadily changing in favour of the Sri Lankan government. I am rather sad that Prabhakaran missed more than one opportunity in recent times, vis a vis president Mahinda Rajapakse. He was more of a military commander than a political strategist. Prabhakaran was a man of indomitable courage and wonderful commitment. But ultimately, the tragic fact is that during his lifetime, he couldn’t achieve anything solid and tangible.

Q. There is an element of tragedy in that. But it also presents an opportunity. As Lenin said to Trotsky when the Kerensky government fell, "Power is now lying out on the road. All we have to do is, to go out and pick it up". The question here is, who is going to pick it up?

A. There are people who think that everything is gone with Prabhakaran. Prabhakaran was dealing with the problem militarily. Now with the LTTE defeated, it is for the democratic Tamil leadership to rise to the occasion. As far as the TNA is concerned, our consistent position has been that we are willing to have a political solution. When we said that the LTTE and government should negotiate for a political solution, we knew very well that the solution can be anything but never a sovereign state of Tamil Eelam. There was never any question of our pinning any hope on the ideal of Tamil Elam. The TNA has been misunderstood because we were willing to have the LTTE negotiating on behalf of the Tamil people, and I would say also because of the irrational and emotional utterances of inexperienced members of the TNA. One need not attach too much importance to the latter. The TNA leadership has always been for a negotiated political settlement within a united country.

Q. One cannot help noticing that the Jaffna Tamil leadership has never put forward achievable demands. G.G.Ponnambalam’s demands were rejected even by the British who would have been open to more reasonable suggestions. Since then Chelvanayagam, Amirthalingam and Prabhakaran went on the same path and ended up with the same result.

A. I agree with you that G.G.Ponnambalam’s 50:50 demand shouldn’t have been put forward. If he had asked for a federal form of government he would have got it. In India, federalism was introduced in 1936. But G.G.Ponnambalam and Chelvanayagam as his deputy in the Tamil Congress, didn’t ask for federalism. What does that indicate? The Tamil leadership never thought of separation. They did no think of federalism either, at that point of time. But within ten months of independence, the up country Tamil people were disenfranchised through the citizenship laws. Now regarding the unrealistic demands – I am not talking as a Tamil, but as an individual. What did Chelvanayagam ask for? He asked for a federal form of government. But the Bandaranaike-Chelvanayagam pact was for regional councils. The Dudley-Chelvanayagam pact was for district councils – not even regional councils. So he came down from federalism to regional councils and further down to district councils. So the demand was getting watered down by Mr Chelvanayagam himself. He wanted an adjustment. But neither Bandaranaiake or Dudley were able to honour their agreements. Amirthalingam and the TULF, won 18 out of the 19 Tamil seats in the north and east, but be came down pathetically to the district development councils. What happened to the DDCs? So don’t blame the democratic Tamil leadership. Right down the line the governments in power were engaged in the dirty political game of coming to some understanding with the Tamil leadership and cheating them thereafter. So this problem was aggravated to this extent because of the continuous follies of the Sinhala leadership.

Q. Does that mean that the politics of the north is going to continue to be oppositional politics, where you say, we don’t want governmental power, we don’t want development, what we want is to continue to fight for self government?

A. The Tamil National Alliance believes in constructive engagement in finding a political solution. We are ready to talk to the president and the ruling alliance. We are also ready to talk to the main opposition party and the JVP and whoever that matters. But we have our primary duty to the Tamil people. The Tamil people have been continuously threatened by the systematic colonization of the eastern province. That was one of the primary causes for the conversion of a political conflict into a military conflict. We are not opposed to the Sinhalese people settling down in those areas on their own like the thousands of Tamil people who have come to the south and live among the Sinhala people. In as much as I have the right to live in Colombo, the Sinhalese have the right to live in any part of the north and east. Tamil is now an official language. That should be implemented in both letter and spirit. Then there is the question of the devolution of power. Already there is the provincial councils system thanks to the 13th amendment. But the 13th amendment cannot be the solution. If it could have been the solution, there was no need for the all party conference, there would have been no need for the Mangala Moonesinghe committee, there wouldn’t have been any need for the Neelan Tiruchelvam proposals and the Chandrka Kumaratunga proposals. So we have to go beyond the 13th amendment. What should be devolved to the province should go to the provinces. What should remain with the centre should remain with the centre. No one can ask for external affairs, defense, the printing of currency, or national planning. The national budget must be in the hands of the centre. What is uppermost in the minds of the Sinhalese is that Sri Lanka should remain united. As one who believes in a political solution to the ethnic conflict, I am equally concerned about the sovereignty of Sri Lanka. I envisage a situation where the Tamils will compete with the Sinhalese in defending the sovereignty of and territorial integrity of Sri Lanka. If you solve this ethnic conflict, we’ll prefer to be a part of a government, because it is only then that one can deliver. All political parties compete for power. The Tamil parties that are mindful of the grievances of the Tamil people, refuse to participate in the government. Why? Because there is a wide gap between the policies and programmes of the government and that of the Tamil parties.


Beechcraft logged 6,150 flying hours during Eelam war IV. We flew 2,186 missions..!!! LTTE destroyed two Blue Horizon Unmanned Aerial Systems....!!!

They too helped
win the war against terrorism
by Shamindra Ferdinado

Effective deployment of UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) and Beechcraft on surveillance and intelligence gathering missions, had been one of the critical factors in Sri Lanka’s successful military strategy against the LTTE.

The No 11 Squadron comprised of two types of Israeli built UAVs and US-built Beechcraft of the No 08 Squadron had facilitated a three-year-long offensive spearheaded by the Army which brought the LTTE to its knees last month.

Wing Commander Dilshan Wasage, Commanding Officer of No 11 Squadron and Wing Commander P. B. Ekanayake, senior officer in charge of the Anuradhapura based No 08 Squadron, responsible for operating Beechcraft, said that their squadrons operated day and night in support of the war effort. They said that what they have achieved with available resources was tremendous though the public seemed to be unaware of their contribution. They said analysis of footage obtained by them and follow up action had been of vital importance, but there had been limitations over the years, but they had perfected the art during Eelam war IV.

Ekanayake, a veteran flyer with about 12,000 flying hours to his credit, in an interview with The Island said that Beechcraft logged about 6,150 flying hours during Eelam war IV. "We flew 2,186 missions," he said, adding that the squadron lost one of its two Beechcraft in an LTTE attack on the Anuradhapura air base in October 2007. He said that though the loss caused immense difficulties, the SLAF succeeded in meeting a daunting workload. In fact, the remaining Beechcraft operated continuously until the SLAF acquired another several weeks before the Army finished off the LTTE leadership in the third week of May.

Responding to our queries, he said that Sri Lanka had acquired the required technology and expertise to turn the aircraft to a sort of command and control centre capable of facilitating both offensive and defence action on the ground.

According to him, the squadron had been engaged in information gathering in the Northern and Eastern regions even before the outbreak of fighting in June 2006.

During the then UNF government, the LTTE repeatedly urged the government to cease surveillance operations undertaken by UAVs and Beechcraft on the basis such flights violated what it called the spirit of the CFA.

He said that once the Katunayake-based jet squadrons or Mi-24 helicopter gunships of the No 09 Attack Helicopter Squadron had engaged enemy targets, Beechcraft had been deployed to assess the damage. Depending on that assessment, some times, the SLAF had engaged the same target again, he said, adding that the bottom line was that Beechcraft had been an integral part of their biggest air campaign.

He emphasised that Beechcraft crews had facilitated heavy bombardment of enemy positions. "We provided ‘real time intelligence’ to service chiefs in Colombo, as well as frontline ground commanders, thereby making the decision making process easier," he said. A Beechcraft crew comprised six personnel, including two pilots, he said, revealing that rest of the crew had been responsible for operating sophisticated equipment used to monitor LTTE movements. The LTTE, he said, couldn’t carry out a sizeable deployment of men and material due to their constant vigilance.

According to him, there had been instances when Beechcraft crew directed ground forces to zero-in on major LTTE assets. He said that the Beechraft flew until the end of the final battle in the Nanthikadal lagoon area.

He said that Beechcraft also helped the SLN to move troop carrier Jetliner between Trinomalee and Kankesanthurai. According to him, keeping Sea Tigers under constant surveillance, particularly during major sea movements between Trincomalee and KKS, had been an important task. "We have been the ears and eyes of our ground forces" he said, adding that Beechcraft crew and ground forces got on well.

According to him, LRRP (Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol) deployed in clandestine missions behind the enemy line in the Vanni theatre, had access to footage obtained by Beechcraft. In fact, their deployment too, was facilitated by the availability of authentic ‘ground pictures’ on enemy positions from hardened underground shelters to training facilities used by Black Tigers.

In the last three months of the offensive, Beechcraft clocked about 950 flying hours, he said, emphasising that Y 12s of his light transport squadron too, met the challenging task of transporting personnel and cargo and evacuation of the wounded.

He said that the crew of Beechcraft had been able to launch the aircraft in 15 minutes. Squadron Leader Kapila Weerakoon and Squadron Leader Nuwan Welagedara with about 9,000 and 4,000 flying hours to their credit, respectively, had spearheaded Beechcraft operations with Flight Lieutenant Nishantha Seneviratne making a significant contribution. They were among altogether eight pilots and a set of officers and men dedicated to keep the aircraft serviceable.

Ekanayake said that Beechcraft had operated as low as 7,000 feet though the LTTE had an anti-aircraft capability.

He said that Beechcraft had spotted Sea Tiger craft coming out of Farah III which ran aground off Vellamullivaikkal on the north-eastern coast. The LTTE had cut a huge opening on one side the ship to accommodate Sea Tiger craft, he said, adding that jets had engaged both Sea Tiger craft and radar also mounted on the vessel.

He played a glowing tribute to Surveillance Section commanded by Squadron Leader Damien Weerasinghe who had contributed significantly to their success. He said that their exploitations with modified Beechcraft to speed up the collapse of the LTTE could be an example for any other air force.

Wing Commander Dilshan Wasage said that since the acquisition of four Israeli-built Super Scout UAVs in 1996, the SLAF had come a long way. The Vavuniya-based UAV operations involved five officers and 15 men, he said, adding that he took over UAV operations in 2000 after stints with the Regiment and No 7 helicopter squadron. By then, the SLAF had lost three of the UAVs which Wasage described as first generation machines. In 2000, the SLAF had acquired two Searcher Mark II UAVs and after initial training at Ratmalana, had moved to Vavuniya.

Wasage said that over the years, the No 11 Squadron had implemented a series of changes to improve and enhance UAV operations with the formation of Vavuniya and China Bay based 111 comprising Searcher Mark II and Anuradhapura based Blue Horizon Unmanned Aerial Systems acquired in 2006, particularly in support of ground forces. The 111 and 112 are commanded by Squadron Leader Shehan Wijenayake and Squadron Leader Mohan Balasuriya. The 112 had also launched operations from Weerawila.

Responding to queries, he said that, No 11 squadron, too, facilitated LRRP operations and during Eelam war IV, they logged over 2,000 flying hours. During Wasage’s tenure as senior officer in charge of UAV operations, the squadron had brought in changes with the advent of technology to speed up the decision making process. Years ago, it took days to reach a consensus on intelligence made available by UAV, but Eelam war IV changed everything, he said.

He said that Israeli-built Kfirs mounted raids on targets ‘laser designated’ by UAVs. According to him, only Kfirs had been equipped to direct bombs at targets pin pointed by UAVs. He said that UAVs played a critical role in facilitating ground action by coordinating UAV operations. The stepping up of a battle management command centre too, had been part of their overall strategy. He said that laser designated bombs had been directed at Soosai’s home and several other targets, including one armoured fighting vehicle and artillery pieces as well as Sea Tiger assets.

The LTTE destroyed two Blue Horizon Unmanned Aerial Systems during October 2007 attack on Anuradhapura air base, but Israelis had replaced the two machines out of the four without any additional cost to Sri Lanka.


I met several men and women who sought assistance in locating their missing kith and kin....!!!

May minds be cleared soon
Spirit of voluntarism:

I had heard the rest of the world call them Internally Displaced Persons or IDPs. But not Supem de Silva, the lead volunteer coordinator of the Rotary Club’s effort at the Arunachalam Transitional village’s sections A, B and C. I was taken by his use of the nomenclature of Internally Displaced Sri Lankans or IDSLs to describe our brethren in the camps. Such focus I thought, augers well for our future, where we need to identify, own and seek solutions to our issues by ourselves.

I appreciated that Supem had identified the need for us to recognize and own both the problem and the solution. He had realized that this was critical if we were to have lasting peace in our country, with conflict and terror never, ever raising its ugly head again.

IDPs engaged in reconstruction. Picture by Chaminda Hiththetiya

He together with his wife Eshani, had left their three little children, with his mother-in-law to leave Colombo at 3 a.m. that morning to reach Chettikulum in time to meet his other colleagues who had already arrived.

Having begun these visits in April, this perhaps is his eighth or ninth weekly visit to coordinate the work that the Rotarians were doing here in sections A, B and C. Other Rotarian who joined him on this visit was Senaka Kotagma, an exporter of tea, when away from the voluntary effort supporting the IDSLs.

We also had with us Stanley Obeysekera, who joined in as a volunteer observing the needs with a view of supporting future efforts.

For medical doctors, Ajith Amarasinghe, Suranga Ranasinghe, Nilupul Perera and Anil Weerasinghe, the visit that originated in Colombo at 2 a.m. was indeed no fun run. After a hard day’s work in a leading private hospital in the city, they drove with Rotary Club’s President- elect Hiran de Silva.

Dealing with the many
Sections A, B and C under their charge is at the far end of the Zone 3 village and houses families with children, the disabled, elderly and expectant mothers in the main.

There are 4,000 persons in over 400 tents and it was established since April this year in a well planned manner. But with the sudden inflow of IDSLs in mid May, the tents had to be occupied by more than the desired numbers.

The doctors, saw the enormity of the task before them in identifying the manifold problems faced by the people in the three sections and seeking adequate solutions for them. True, there is a Grama Niladhari appointed to each section.

But with inadequacy of water supply, toilets and other basic facilities in the early days, the task faced by each of them had been insurmountable. To add to this situation, until a little over a month ago, most in the camps had viewed outside volunteers with suspicion and doubt.

With the doctors providing initial care and medicine at the several clinics, they were able to win some level of confidence that gave them a way ahead to seek involvement of the people in setting up self-help initiatives.

Interactive solutions
With Dr. Suranjith’s experience and training as a community medicine specialist and the assistance of the Grama Niladhari, they began appointing a volunteer leader for a cluster of 10 tents.

The task of the leader was to visit each tent and record in Tamil in an exercise book provided for him, all details of the families and their needs such as the health status, clothing needs, food and nutritional status, displacement from other family members, special needs of children, pregnant mothers, disabled and the elderly.

Each week, the doctors would sit around on a mat with the volunteer leaders and have an interactive discussion (with the help of interpreters found from within the leaders) to identify and prioritize the most urgent issues.

At the sessions I observed last week, there was discussion on the need for more toilets and for a scheme for them to be operated under supervision of the leaders to ensure cleanliness.

To establish study centres with adequate electric lighting in the night, seek permission to extend the tents with pol athu shelters, the poor segment wanted to seek work within the camp for wages to enable them to buy additional items of food and other needs from the Sathosa Cooperative Shop established within the Zone 3 camp site were the other identified issues.

They also wanted to begin cultivating maize, manioc and spinach plants around their tents and sought a supply of mammoties and other basic implements for that purpose.

No false hopes
When I walked around, I met several men and women who sought assistance in locating their missing kith and kin.

I was advised earlier that we as volunteers should not make promises or give hope where we did not have the ability to assist with a degree of certainty. The doctors were collecting information through the appointed volunteer leaders on this aspect to present them to the appropriate authority to assist in the process of locating them.

A significant observation I made while at the Arunachalam transitional village was that everyone there from the assigned volunteer organizations were performing useful functions.

The school area at the edge of the Zone was operational even at 4.00 p.m. A few weeks ago, a vocational training centre had been set up where wood work, carpentry, welding and computer training is provided on six months NDT certificate level courses.

A Kovil for worship was to be available from this week set up by the Rotary volunteers. Setting up of a Christian Church is also on the pipeline, a barber shop (run by an IDSL) has set up business and was already active.

A library with Tamil and English books is to be set up soon and several TV sets are to be installed.

Discussed and resolved at last week’s meeting, a home-grown solution has been found to counter the problem of flies that were breeding in the garbage disposal pits.

This week they were covering it with the ash from the cooking area. An idea suggested by a volunteer leader at the interactive session.

Mending hearts and minds
All is not certainly well at Sections A, B and C of the Arunachalam Transitional Village or Zone 3 of the Menik Farm IDSL Camp. But what I observed encouraged me immensely and gave me a renewed sense of faith in the spirit of voluntarism and the level of commitment our young demonstrate, in working towards healing our wounds and mending our hearts.

May the minds be cleared, while the process of clearing the mines goes fast forward to ensure safety, security and the well-being of all sons and daughters of Mother Sri Lanka.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

S.Pathmanathan(KP): I would initiate direct contacts with India...!!! The decision of silencing our guns was taken by our leader before his death..!!!

'We will continue to fight through political means' - KP

The LTTE's Selvaraja Pathmanathan says the group is giving up violence and adopting a non-violent agenda to secure the political rights of Tamils in Sri Lanka.
In an exclusive email interview to Headlines Thursday (25.06.2009), Pathmanathan said one of the priorities of the Tamil Tigers would be to push for revoking the international ban on it. Excerpts from the interview:
Q: What are the facts about Prabhakaran's death?
KP: According to the information I have, our leader Vellupillai Prabhakaran has attained martyrdom in the fight against the Sri Lankan armed forces on May 17, 2009.
Q: Were you in touch with Prabhakaran during the final hours? What were the final moments like?
KP: Yes, I had contact with our leader during the final hours until his communication link was active. My final contact was with Col Soosai, who was leading the defensive resistance of LTTE against the Sri Lankan armed forces during the final hours. He described to me in detail what was happening on the ground then.
The final moments were full of horrific and brutal attacks by the Sri Lankan armed forces. Thousands of our people were killed and injured. There were no medical personnel or facilities to take care of the injured. People were dying due to lack of medical attention. Col Soosai confirmed to me that our leader was engaging the Sri Lankan armed forces and sacrificed his life for our cause of the Eelam Tamil nation.
Q: What remains of Prabhakaran's family?
KP: We have highly reliable information that our leader's elder son Charles Antony and daughter Duvaraka were part of LTTE fighting formations and that they also attained martyrdom in the fight against the Sri Lankan armed forces during the final moments. Until now, we do not have accurate information on the fate of our leader's wife Mathivathani and their younger son Balachandran.
Q: In an interview to Headlines Today, Eric Solhiem said the LTTE was in touch with him in the final hours of the last battle. Were you in touch with other world leaders?
KP: Yes. I had contacts with some world leaders. For diplomatic reasons, we are not in a position to reveal the information on such contacts at this particular point in time.
Q: Why did these efforts fail to bear fruit?
KP: The international community continued to insist on the LTTE laying down arms before they took any meaningful steps to stop the war. Our leadership held the view that any process of laying down arms should be linked to an acceptable political solution. Instead of laying down arms, we were seeking a ceasefire and a political negotiation for a political solution. Unfortunately, our position was not acceptable to the international community on the grounds that our position was not acceptable to the Sri Lankan government. So no effective measures were taken to stop the war.
In the final moments, after seeing the intensity and brutality of the offensive by the Sri Lankan armed forces and the non-existence of any kind of medical facilities, our leadership decided to silence our guns for the purpose of saving the lives of the civilians and the remaining cadres. Our leadership was concerned that if our organisation did not silence the guns, the Sri Lankan government would use it as justification for completing the massacre of our people. The message about silencing the guns was conveyed to me in the evening of May 15. It was a Friday.
We were working with the international community around the clock for the next 48 hours to implement an immediate ceasefire, and we got positive responses for our position. Though the days left for us were a Saturday and Sunday of the weekend, members of the international community were trying to convince the Sri Lankan government to implement a ceasefire. But the response of the Sri Lankan government remained negative. The Lankan government and the armed forces were adamant on carrying out the final assault and finishing the final phase of their brutal massacre.
Q: Many pro-LTTE leaders in India, including Vaiko and Nedumaran, have criticised you for announcing that Prabhakaran is dead. It is reported that individuals within the LTTE's structure do not accept that Prabhakaran is dead. How do you see this?
KP: The message I brought to the Tamil people was very bad and a sad one. Of course, it also took me many hours to take the message in and accept the reality. Some cadres and a large section of Tamil people were in disbelief of the news that I brought out. I understand their state of mind and I am very sympathetic towards them. Their reactions were the result of their emotions. As a responsible liberation movement, we cannot hide the truth from our people. It is also politically wrong to hide the truth from our people.
Q: Does your assertion that the LTTE has shunned the path of violence have wide acceptability within the organisation? Is this permanent or does the LTTE retain its right to take up arms later?
KP: The decision of silencing our guns was taken by our leader before his death. We are now moving forward towards a new path. This position has attracted wider acceptance within the organisation. The LTTE's political position is that any political solution for the Tamil national question should be based on the recognition of the fundamental principles of political aspiration of the Tamil people i.e. recognition of Tamils as a nation, having the northeast as their historical homeland and that they are entitled to right to self-determination.
We will continue our fight through political means until these aspirations of the Tamil people are realised. We will stick to this position. If you read the history of the evolution of armed struggles, you can clearly observe that fundamentally an armed struggle has its roots in oppression, occupation and denial of the political means of protest and denial of the democratic rights for fighting for the cause of an oppressed people.
This also happened to us and the armed struggle of the LTTE was the historical product of injustice against the Tamil nation. The LTTE has now chosen to take the political path. I would leave the question of another armed struggle towards the rights of Tamil people for the pages of history.
Q: What do you have to say to people within the organisation and sympathisers outside who still believe that only an armed struggle is the means to achieve Tamil Eelam?
KP: Our leader had faced tremendous challenges during his more than three decades of armed struggle. He achieved the maximum that he could achieve within the prevailing conditions. He was very committed to the cause. Due to a world order that rotates on the axis of self-interest, our armed struggle could not attract sympathy among the world countries. Instead, we have seen that the Sri Lankan government has utilised the present world order and the geo-political structures to mobilise the entire world on its side. This was the fundamental reason for our military defeat in the recent war. The best option left for us is to be firm on the cause and the principles and fight through the political means in our next phase of the struggle.
Q: How do you respond to reports that talk of a split in the LTTE and a power struggle within the organisation?
KP: I deny it. It is true that there were different views amongst us on the issue of announcing our leader's death. We were not successful in reaching an agreement on the issue. We are now working to resolve the differences through dialogue.
Q: What role will you play in the organisation going ahead?
KP: As the head of the department of international relations of LTTE, I will lead the political programme and the required international relations for winning international support for our course. We are planning a restructuring of our organisation and will inform the Tamil people and the world when we make it.
Q: What role will the new non-violent LTTE play in the future?
KP: The LTTE will continue to fight for the political aspirations of the Tamil people based on the principles of Tamil nationhood, homeland and right to self-determination. As we have decided to choose a new path, we are now transforming our organisation for the purpose of continuing our fight through political means. As one of our tasks, we need to work with the international community to remove the ban on our organisation with support of the Tamil Diaspora and fellow Tamils in Tamil Nadu and in other parts of the World. We hope that the international community, especially India and the West, would welcome our new path and reward it by removing the ban on our organisation to open the door for political engagement.
Q: Can you tell us about the provisional transnational government of Tamil Eelam? How will it be different from other governments-in-exile, which have not been very effective?
KP: A committee has been formed to create a provisional transnational government of Tamil Eelam under the leadership of our legal advisor Visuvanathan Rudrakumaran. There are some conceptual differences between a transnational government and an exile government. I think Rudrakumaran, the coordinator of the formation committee, would be the right person to answer this question further.
Q: Will the LTTE consider participating directly in elections in Sri Lanka? You have sought a link-up with the TNA. How will this relationship work?
KP: We do not see any rationale or space for participating in the elections in Sri Lanka. Fighting the cause through political means does not necessarily mean participating in the elections. The LTTE would not participate in the elections until a political settlement is reached based on the principles of Tamil nationhood, homeland and right to self-determination. We do not seek a link-up between the LTTE and TNA, but realise the importance for a link-up in the political programmes in the Tamil homeland and among the Diaspora. It is too early to comment on how this common understanding would emerge and function.
Q: What is your message to President Rajapakse?
KP: The Sri Lankan government may have defeated the LTTE militarily but not politically. The fundamental causes for the Tamils' struggle for self-determination remain unaddressed. Over the years since its independence, Sri Lankan democracy has become a strong Sinhala majoritarian dictatorship. Sri Lankan Parliament, government and judiciary have been functioning as instruments for establishing Sinhala hegemony over Tamils and Muslims. The recent claim by President Rajapakse that there was only one country and one people in Sri Lanka, without recognising the identity of Tamils and Muslims in that island would lead to dangerous consequences for ethnic harmony there in the future.
It is also absurd to make a claim that the island has no majority and minority, but only patriots and non-patriots, and this while ruling the country under Sinhala hegemony. President Rajapakse must understand that Sri Lanka has miserably failed in nation-building. Tamils in Sri Lanka and in the Diaspora do not identify themselves as Sri Lankans but as Eelam Tamils. Tamils consider Sri Lankan rule as an alien rule.
In this scenario, the only option left for true reconciliation is recognising the Tamils' political aspirations, Tamils as a nation, their historical homeland in the Northeast, and that they are entitled to the right to self-determination. Now President Rajapakse has very strong popular support among the Sinhala people. If he decides to recognise the political aspirations of Tamil people, chances for strong resistance from the Sinhala people are minimal. If he considers himself a true leader who treats all communities as equals, then he must prove himself by accepting the political aspirations of Tamil people.
Q: How do you view India's role during what is now being called "Eelam War IV"? Do you think India could have done more to save Tamil civilians?
KP: In the recent war, India took side with Sri Lanka firmly and provided full support to Sri Lanka. It is not a secret. Sri Lankan leaders, military commanders and Indian officials openly admitted it. Our organisation and the Tamil people have become victims of this Indian position.
Even though we are fully aware how India has contributed to the military victory of Sri Lanka, we do not hate India. We consider Tamil people would be the true and reliable friends of India in its own geo-political struggle with other countries, especially with China. We firmly believe India would realise this one day in the future and support Eelam Tamils' struggle for self-determination.
If India had decided to do something more to save the civilian lives, it would have stopped the war when the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, M. Karunanidhi, and other political leaders called for a ceasefire back in November 2008.
Q: Will you initiate direct contact with India? Is there a role India can play in the formation of the proposed provisional transnational government of Tamil Eelam?
KP: Yes. I would initiate direct contacts with India and request to remove the ban on the LTTE and seek support for Eelam Tamils' political aspirations.
At conceptual level, support from other states is not a precondition for the formation of a transnational government. This is a people-based exercise to be carried out at a transnational level by the Tamil Diaspora. Of course, there is no doubt that support from friendly states will strengthen the transnational government and the cause it would be working for. The committee for formation of the provisional transnational government of Tamil Eelam would seek support for the transnational government from many countries, importantly India.
Q: There are some LTTE fighters who are still active in Sri Lanka. They are said to be operating from the forests in the East. Col. Ram is said to be a prominent leader. What information do you have about this group? What will be your relation with these groups going ahead?
KP: We have contact with them. They are following our new path by silencing their guns and functioning under my guidance. I am very much concerned about their safety and security since we could not reach any kind of acceptable mechanism for ensuring their safety. I strongly feel that the international community must take more responsibility on this matter.
Q: The Sri Lankan government has launched an international campaign against you, seeking your capture. How do you see these efforts? How do you react to the Sri Lankan government's charges against you?
KP: I have read this news in the newspapers. I have been a part of our liberation movement which took arms to fight for the legitimate rights of the Tamil nation. This struggle has its justification under international law. A military defeat cannot erase the justification of the struggle. I have not done any crime or harmed against humanity. Furthermore, I am now leading the process of transforming and developing our organisation as a political organisation. The decision of this transformation is taken in the interest of a Tamil nation, but it would also be beneficial for the Sinhalese and Muslims in the island. It is also important for the peace and stability in the island, and indeed the region. I hope that actors concerned on the issue would approach it in a pragmatic way. However, I am ready to take any kind of risk or even to sacrifice my life for the sake of the Tamil cause.
Q: What is the truth about Pottu Amman. The Sri Lanka government says he is dead but they have not been able to give any evidence?
KP: According to our information, Pottu Amman too attained martyrdom on May 17, 2009 in the fight against the Sri Lankan armed forces.


A way out for child soldiers.....!!!

A way out for child soldiers

In the aftermath of war, a lost generation of Sri Lanka’s youth is seeking rehabilitation, writes Tom Farrell in Ambepussa.

Ranjendran has the acne and somewhat awkward gait of many a 17-year-old schoolboy. He has already completed his O-Levels and is studying for his A-Level examination. He says he would like to be a teacher in the future, an aspiration that possibly comes from having his own childhood brutally cut short.

Ranjendran pulls up his sleeve to reveal a fearful scar arching down his forearm, just below the elbow. “I still have problems. I can’t do any heavy work,” he says, adding that “the doctor is very sure I will recover though”.

Child soldiers were denied the right to education

Ranjendran is one of 112 teenagers at Ambepussa camp, a Government-run rehabilitation centre set up last March with assistance from the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

Many of the children arrived in the last few months as the Government’s war against the Tigers reached its apocalyptic conclusion. In the weeks before the Government declared victory over the Tigers, killing its leader Vellupillai Prabhakaran and most of his deputies, the LTTE press-ganged children as young as 12 and 13 into battle as its area of control shrank into a small strip of coastal territory.

In March, Ranjendran was taken from the bunker where his family sheltered as Government artillery pounded down on the Tiger-held district of Mullaitivu.

“I met Bhanu “ says Ranjendran. “He told us we had to struggle against the Government. There were 75 children in my group. I do not know what happened to most of them.” Ranjendran says he received his bullet wound when he and some other boys escaped from the “training camp” where they were being detained.

A new hope for ex-combatant children. Pictures internet

“It was about two in the afternoon,” he says. “Altogether, five of us made the attempt. Only two escaped, another boy and myself - one boy was shot and fell, and may have been killed. Two were recaptured.”

Although most of the children in Ambepussa were hastily inducted into the LTTE in the last weeks, use of under-age fighters was long a tactic of the Tigers.

By the time President Mahinda Rajapaksa declared victory over the LTTE on May 16, nearly 100,000 people were estimated to have been killed in the war.

Nearly 300,000 civilians now languish in welfare camps. These camps are mostly scattered around the former LTTE-held Northern Province.

Meanwhile, a lost generation of Tamil children and ex-combatants is in urgent need of rehabilitation.

The LTTE first established the “Baby Brigade” for recruits under the age of 16 in 1984. At that time, Tamil children underwent physical training and political indoctrination. They also received the vial of cyanide on a string necklace that each Tiger is instructed to bite down upon in the event of capture.

In later battles, such as the three-month siege of Jaffna Fort in 1990, child soldiers as young as 12 were sent to the front lines.

“It was a question of where the supply was because if you’re 18 or 21, you’re not going to join a guerilla group,” says Dr. Hiranthi Wijemanne, a Harvard-educated expert in public health issues working for the Sri Lankan Justice Ministry.

“I think it is true for any kind of labour. Now look at the carpet industry in Pakistan or Nepal: they use little children because they don’t have to pay them. They have no power.”

“The LTTE was saying that the Army and Sinhalese people want to kill them and their families,” says Major Herman Fernando, Director of the camp. “But within one or two weeks (here) the children feel secure.”

The facility has the feel of a summer camp or sports club. A volleyball court overlooks a spectacular sweep of forest and mountains.

Boisterous youngsters mill around the dining area. In the central hall they go through dance routines as a form of therapy.

One tell-tale sign of former LTTE membership is the close cropped hair of some of the girls. The Tigers compelled female fighters to wear their hair in tight plaits or cut it short to avoid it becoming cumbersome in battle. According to Amnesty International, one third of their child fighters were female.

Marie Theresa, a 15-year-old girl from Jaffna district, spent 17 days in a Tiger training camp after every family in the LTTE zone was forced to supply the movement with one child.

“I was on sentry duty when I escaped. There were altogether 22 children in the base. Some of them were killed in the last battles,” she says.

In most cases, the parents and siblings of these children are still in welfare villages in the North.

Access to these camps has been severely restricted to foreign aid workers and media.

Nevertheless, Marie Theresa says she has contact with her family. “My mother telephoned me. They are in a welfare village in Thandikulam in the North, she says.

The camp provides the children with vocational training in tailoring, plumbing and computer studies. There are also forms of psychological support and counselling.

“As long as they are kept outside a fighting situation, they probably function quite well,” says Dr. Wijemanne. “We don’t even ask them how many people they killed. If under 18, there was no choice for them.”

Former child soldiers can be found all over the North and East, in the areas the LTTE claimed as “Eelam”. Batticaloa, several thousand under-age fighters were released in April 2004 when Karuna Amman, a powerful eastern commander, defected from the LTTE.

Nanthini, a 20-year-old woman from the village Mandoor in the East, was just 12 when she was kidnapped by the LTTE on her way to school one morning. She describes the three years she subsequently spent in a Tiger camp.

“I did not wear cyanide: that was only for the older sisters,” she says.

“Punishments for wrongdoing included humiliations, running around the camp with a rifle over my shoulders.” Nanthini now works for a charity that maintains a home in Batticaloa for orphaned and indigent girls.

When asked what she would like to do in the future, she says: “I would like to be a social worker.”

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Last modified on: 6/22/2009 11:33:08 AM

The End Battle
The cowardly death of the LTTE chief :

There’s one thing you men will be able to say when you get back home. Thirty years from now, when you’re sitting by your fireside, with your grandson on your knee and he asks “What did you do in the great World War Two?” you won’t have to shift him to the other knee, cough and say, “Well, I shovelled sh*t in Louisiana” - General Patton

A death of a criminal, who led a murderous group that caused immense sufferings on innocent, is indeed a great relief for those who have to live under constant threat of that group. When, this criminal is one who is responsible for the deaths of over 75,000 people and one who threw a nation to the verge of destruction, the news not only brings relief to the nation, but also the individuals who brought that relief become national heroes. Their effort becomes a legend that would be told from generation to generation.

The death of V. Prabhakaran, the megalomaniac killer who haunted Sri Lankan citizens for 30 years is certainly a story that would never be forgotten. team presents the true story of the valiant effort that ultimately brought an end to the most implacable curse caste on Sri Lankan citizens.

“The End Battle” is for the generations to come, so they would know the difference between the true heroes who secured them a life without terror and the scoundrels who sought to destroy the nation they born by promoting terror for their own advantage.

The End Battle was fought for nearly four days starting from 16th to 19th May 2009 by Sri Lanka army 53, 58, and 59 Division troops on a neck of land situated on the north-eastern coast of the Island. The battle resulted in the total elimination of the Liberation Tamils of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), the most barbaric terrorist outfit known to the mankind.

The Road to Mullivaikkal
Sri Lankan armed forces undertook their noble mission of ridding the country of terrorism in July 2006 when the LTTE closed down Mavil Aru sluice gates, denying water for over 30,000 civilians. With in one year, they accomplished their mission in Eastern Province and were knocking on the doors of Wanni mono-ethnic hellhole under Prabhakaran’s tyranny.

It took another 2 years for them to reach the final destination. It was a battle like no other. The challenges faced by the Sri Lankan Armed Forces were immense. The way they were dealt with was unique. They had to fight with a terrorist outfit that took 200,000 odd civilians at hostage and held them as a human shield. They fought with extreme care to avoid civilian casualties. It was for the benefit of those civilians more than anything else that they were risking their lives.

Also, there was a powerful section of the international community that did not want Sri Lanka to defeat terrorism. The agenda went beyond boundaries of the Island, one that wanting to keep the region unstable and non-competitive. Every armed forces personnel from private to general knew that there was no room for trial and error. The above section of the IC was already dancing to tune of the terrorist propaganda with great deliberation.

Like a swan separates milk from water, the soldiers had to rescue civilians from the terrorists. They boxed in a terror group that held almost 15000 square kilometres in the Island to 1000 square metres at the end.

They accomplished the largest hostage rescue mission the world has ever witnessed with great success before they struck the final blow on the terrorists. Thus, road to Mullivaikkal was not a cakewalk by any means. It was marched with great sacrifices, fortitude and professionalism on the part of Sri Lankan soldiers.

The Terrain
The final battle took place in an area not more than 4 square kilometres. The battleground was a narrow stretch of land opening to the Indian Ocean from the East and to the Nanthikadal lagoon from the West. Thus, there was an open beachhead on the East, a dusty scrubby land in the middle and a waterlogged stretch full of mangroves on the West.

On a large scaled map the ground can be seen lying diagonally to the North- South axis as it is located on the northeastern coast of the Island (see map). It has one main road access, the A-35 [Paranthan- Mullaittivu] that runs on the northwest- southeast axis, slanting itself towards the lagoon bank.

Yet, anyone who stepped into the terrain where this historic battle was fought would soon know that the description is not as simple as above. There were plenty of manmade and natural barriers that no other battleground of the identical size would ever have.

There were two causeways to be crossed, an open beach to be marched on, over dozen of earth bunds to be cleared, hundreds of enemy bunkers to be neutralized, and above all there was an human shield made out of over 75,000 civilians that had to be rescued before the final push.

Also, the terrain offered excellent hiding places for the terrorists more than they need and possible escape routes if they had ever managed to breach the army forward boundaries on the ground or the naval blockades at the sea (see pictures).

The deployment
There were three Army Divisions and one Task Force mainly involved in the ground battle. The 53 Division commanded by Major General Kamal Gunrathne, the Task Force 8 commanded by Colonel G.V. Ravipriya, which was again placed under the operational command of the 53 Division and the 58 Division commanded by Brigadier Shavendra Silva were the main offensive elements that fought the End Battle.

The 58 Division marched southwards along the A-35 axis dominating the ground stretching from the road to the coastal belt whereas the 53 Division marched on the same axis, dominating the ground stretching from the A-35 to the lagoon bank.

The 59 Division commanded by Major General Prasanna Silva, though remained defensive at the End Battle, made a vital contribution to the final victory. It was the 59 Division that was holding the defence line south of Vadduvakal causeway for months until the other offensive elements swept down from the North.

Three days before the End Battle, 59 Division troops crossed the Vadduvakal causeway and established their defence immediately south of the no fire zone. It was by this manoeuvre that the Army could rescue majority of the last group of civilians held at hostage by the terrorists.

The Battle
The final battle unfolded as Sri Lankan armed forces successfully completed the largest hostage rescue mission ever conducted by a conventional military force. Troops started rescuing the last group of hostages since the 16th May morning and declared the mission accomplished by the next day morning.

Meanwhile, troops of 58 Division linked up with 59 Division troops on the coast by the evening on the 16th. The link up marked the liberation of the entire coastal belt in the Island from the terrorists clutches.

Thus, the coastal belt was sealed off for the terrorists making it impossible for them to venture in to the seas.

Then, troops of the three Divisions started boxing in the terrorists from the North, East and South leaving only the lagoon bank on the West open for the terrorists as bait. If the LTTE terrorists wanted to try anything than surrendering themselves, they had no option than swallowing the bait, which they ultimately did to their demise.

The Failed Surface Attack
The terrorists made their first attempt to escape on the 17th morning. They launched a surface attack across the lagoon using boats around 3 AM and landed on the western bank of the lagoon. The attack was at the army defence line at Keppularu where 53 and 59 Divisions linked with each other. However, the attempt was soon foiled by well-prepared troops causing a heavy toll to the terrorists.

According to the ground commanders, the aim of the terrorists in the initial attack was to establish a foothold on the eastern bank of the lagoon and then to open up an escape route to the Muthiyankaddu jungle. One senior officer called the attack a desperate attempt made using an obsolete strategy.

“We knew that the terrorists would try this option first. They tried to breach the line at the link as they always did, but only to meet the most prepared adversary. They wrongly analysed the planning capability of the army and swallowed the bait”, he said.

“If they managed to establish the foothold there, they would certainly evacuate the leadership and the others across the lagoon and disappear into the huge Muthiyankaddu jungle. The victory over terrorist would have long delayed if they achieved this,” he further said.

The 5 Vijayaba Infantry Regiment (5 VIR) of the 53 Division and 19 Sri Lanka Light Infantry (19 SLLI) of the 59 Division were the battalions that crushed the first escape attempt of the terrorists. The 5 VIR soldiers collected over 40 bodies of slain LTTE cadres whereas another 90 odd bodies were collected by 19 SLLI. The total terror bodies found after the attack was 148.

According, to the intelligence sources, senior LTTE military leader Jeyam had led the attack. However, he had not come to the front as most of the senior LTTE leaders do and was killed on the next day.

Straight to the lion’s mouth
On the 17th May morning, troops rescued the last group of hostages held by the terrorists, bringing an end to the hostage rescue mission. By the evening of the same day, troops were able to box in the remaining terrorists to an area not more than 600 x 500 m (see map) keeping the lagoon bank on the west still open.

With the nightfall, Special Forces and infantry units of 58 Division pierced into the “box” from the southern edge, pushing the terrorists to fall into the trap waiting for them. Only three options left for the LTTE leadership, either to surrender, or to fight to the death as a true fighter or to try escaping like a coward until the last moment, betraying all his closest followers, including his not-so-loved son, Charles Anthony.

Knowing the character of the LTTE leader for a long time, the battle-hardened commanders realized that he would try to save his life at any cost. A snare was laid to lead him straight to their hands.

Major General Kamal Gunarathne, General Officer Commanding [GOC] of the 53 Division was quick to identify the crucial role that his troops have to play in the end battle. He called the entire battlefield commanders to place their troops at red alert and briefed them how to deal with the last escape attempt of the LTTE. All possible escape routes were blocked, ambush teams were placed, and all counter penetration measures were taken.

Commander of the Army, General Sarath Fonseka , was well briefed on the situation and the battle preparations were made under his direct guidance. By the 17th May evening the battleground was set for the final encounter and the soldiers were waiting for the LTTE leader to make his move.

The End Battle
As anticipated, the LTTE leadership opted to escape using the route that army was so eagerly wanted him to take. His plan was to escape with a small group of his personal bodyguards while all other cadres die in fighting with army, as a deception to cover his movement. He did not want to take even his elder son, Charles Anthony with him, but freed himself from the burden by ordering some of the most senior LTTE military leaders to take him from a different route. Over 12 million rupees found near the location where Charles Anthony was killed might give an explanation how those LTTE leaders were persuaded to the task.

It was troops of 17 Gemunu Watch [GW] to have the first contact with the terrorists. According to Lieutenant Colonel Keerthi Kottachchi , Commanding Officer of the 17 GW, a group of terrorists disguised as civilians had asked his troops manning the defence at the lagoon bank to let them in around 2.30 AM on the 18th May (see map).

“It was my troops that manned the civilian rescue point at Karayamullivaikkal. The terrorists had come along the lagoon bank and were hiding in a small islet that lies in front of our defence (see pictures). Only a small group of them have come to our line and pleaded the officer there to let them in saying there were lot of casualties among them”, Colonel Kottachchi said.

However, Colonel Kottachchi was well briefed of the situation by his Task Force Commander, Colonel G.V. Ravipriya and Brigade Commander, Lieutenant Colonel Lalantha Gamage of the possibility that the terrorists might launch an attack disguising themselves as civilians. The 17 GW was a unit under the command of 682 Brigade of the Task Force 8, which was also under the operational command of the 53 Division.

“Since, all civilians were already rescued, I have given strict instruction to not to take anyone in, until dawn. Around 3 AM, the officer at the rescue point reported that the group who called them civilians was becoming violent and trying to force into the line. So, I ordered him to fire two shots into the air and take control of the situation”, he said.

With the firing of two shots, nearly 200 terrorists opened up fire and charged into the defence. The end battle began.

“We were well prepared for the attack”, said Lieutenant Colonel Lalantha Gamage 681 Brigade Commander. “The terrorists neutralized two of our bunkers opening about a 100m gap in the defence. Most of the initial intruders stepped into the beaten zone of our machine guns and died on the lagoon bank itself. The commandos and infantrymen killed about 100 LTTE cadres including some of the most senior leaders even before they stepped out of the water”, he added.

The plan of the terrorists as analysed by the military officials were to take hold of the A-35 road for some time and execute their escape plan whatever it was (see map). With the attack at the 17 GW frontline, it was evident that about 100 other LTTE cadres had infiltrated into the area shown in the map, through various location of the lagoon bank. However, army had pre plans to deal with such an infiltration. The terrorists were again put into a box sealed with three strong defence lines of Army 53 and 58 Divisions.

The 53 Division held the northern and southern defence lines across the A-35 whereas the 58 Division held the eastern line along the A-35. Soon after the first engagement, Commandos and Special Forces under the operational command of 53 Division were sent to reinforce the northern defence line. With no strongholds or hideouts they earlier had, the terrorist ran in every direction with in the box until they finally met their fate. With the failed infiltration, LTTE lost 90% of its remaining cadre with in 24 hours.

The first terrorist group to meet their fate at the hands of army counter penetration troops was the group comprising of Charles Anthony. The group was gunned own by 5 GW troops before they walk 250m distance from the point of infiltration.

A large majority of the other infiltrators who managed to step on the ground were dealt by the 58 Division troops manning the defence line on the coastal side of the A-35 road. Over 100 other LTTE cadres who remained hiding in the mangroves were killed by the commandos, Special Forces and infantry troops conducting mopping up operations.

Meanwhile, another group comprising over 100 LTTE cadres tried to breach 58 Division defence, north of Vadduvakkal (see map) with the first light of the day. This group of also met the same fate at the hands of Special Forces soldiers and infantrymen already engaged in mop up operations in the last remaining LTTE hideout.

The ambulance that mislead media
The End Battle gave birth to number of speculations among the media circles than any battle in the Sri Lanka’s war on terror. The government has allowed number of media personnel in state and non-state media to cover the progress of the battle from the battleground itself.

However, the inherent thirst of media personnel for new information clashed with inherent chaotic situation created in the battleground that resulted in number of unsubstantial news items. The team was not an exception.

The controversy that affected most on defence reportage was about an ambulance that supposed to have hijacked by the terrorists to transport their leader. This ended up with a huge uproar in media that the LTTE leader was killed.

“It was an ambulance belonged to the Advanced Dressing Station of the Air mobile brigade, a senor military official of the 53 Division said.

“It was destroyed by the terrorists may be in a failed attempt to hi jack the vehicle. We initially received from the soldiers that there was a burnt body lying closer to the destroyed vehicle that have a similar structure to the LTTE leader. Later, the information was proven wrong”, he added.

The Mission Accomplishment
On the 18th May evening, troops not only crushed the desperate attempt of the LTTE to escape but also took hold of the last remaining land under the LTTE control. Commander of the Army, General Sarath Fonseka declared the accomplishment of the mission by liberating the motherland from terrorism. The next day morning (19th), His Excellency Mahinda Rajapaksa, President of Sri Lanka and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces was to officially declare the liberation of the country at the parliament.

Meanwhile, military commenced clearing operations to neutralize possible enemy pockets and to collect the bodies and captured LTTE assets. On the 18th May itself over 350 bodies of slain LTTE cadres were collected. Intelligence officials managed to identify some 30 odd top level LTTE cadres before the nightfall (see the list). However, the whereabouts of LTTE chief V. Prbhakaran, his intelligence chief Pottu Amman and Sea Tiger chief Soosai were still a mystery.

However, the country was celebrating not only the liberation of the country but also the death of LTTE leader, as media including state media continued to confirm the same. However, Army refrained issuing an official statement on the death of the LTTE leader but expressed its strong belief that the LTTE leader may be among the dead.

In reality, the process of identifying the bodies and collecting them was still in progress. Yet, not for a second army ignored the possibility of that the LTTE leader may be alive. Despite relaxing the operations, the battlefield commanders tightened the clearing operations, with the soldiers starting to search every inch of the shrub on the ground and the mangroves in the lagoon.

The End of the villain
The 19th May 2009 was indeed an unforgettable day for all Sri Lankans. The President officially declared the liberation of the motherland from clutches of terrorism. Addressing the parliament, he said that from the day onwards the laws made in the democratically elected parliament would govern in whole country. The country was jubilant and the celebrations were on.

Meanwhile, the day was still busy for the soldiers. The battlefield commanders were yet to get the ultimate catch of the trap they laid. Major General Kamal Gunarathne, Colonel G.V. Ravipriya and Lieutenant Colonel Lalantha Gamage were preparing to launch the final phase of the master plan, the clearing of the last remaining patch of mangroves that lies south of the causeway at Karayamullavaikkal (see map).

Lieutenant Colonel Gamage was confident; it was just the previous night that he swore to his fellow officers that it was his troops that would catch “Prabha” at the end. Those who planned the battle knew that the 681 Brigade Commander was not talking nonsense. If Prabhakaran swallowed the bait as planned and remained live, he had nowhere to go than hiding in the mangroves behind the 4 Vijayaba Infantry [4 VIR] frontline.

The commandos already cleared a large part of the mangroves on the previous day evening. Knowing the possibility that LTTE leader had betrayed majority of his followers in a deceptive attack to save his life, the second clearing operation was launched in the remaining part of the mangroves by both commandos and 4 VIR troops around 8.30 AM on the 19th morning (see map).

Lieutenant Colonel Lalantha Gamage, and Lieutenant Colonel Rohitha Aluwihare, Commanding Officer of the 4 VIR were on the frontline expecting for a good news. Two eight man teams and one 4 man team of 4 VIR Bravo company were in the mangroves.

The first team into the mangroves, lead by Sergeant SP Wijesinghe, encountered heavy small arms fire as they stepped few metres in the growth. The soldiers had to wade through thorny bushes with water up to their chest (see pictures).

Sergeant Wijesinghe was quick to feel the presence of a high profile LTTE leader in the area from the resistance he had got. The team charged mangroves despite all difficulties and managed to collect five bodies carrying pistols and small arms that were usually carried by VIP escorts.

The Brigade Commander and the Commanding Officer were soon informed. One of the bodies was identified as of Vinodan, one of the most senior bodyguards of the inner protection team of the LTTE leader. “With in seconds we knew the importance of the finding”, Lieutenant Colonel Lalantha Gamage said.

“The matter was informed to the GOC and under his guidance, the first team was ordered to hold the line and sent another eight man team and a four man from the flank to support them” (see map). The second team was lead by Sergeant TM Muthubanda.

After an hour of heavy fire fight in the mangroves the guns were suddenly fell silent. A message came from the team leaders that there was body bearing similar appearance to Prabhakaran found among 18 other dead LTTE cadres. Both Lieutenant Colonel Gamage and Lieutenant Colonel Aluwihare rushed into the mangroves and found that the villain who haunted the nation for 30 years was no more.

The Achilles’ heel
The end of the megalomaniac killer and the megalomaniac outfit he created finally did the justice to the 19 million Sri Lankan citizens who suffered immensely due to the madness he unleashed. Ironically, it was the same madness and the hatred championed by Prabhakaran and his followers that became their Achilles’ heel.

Had the insular minds of Prabhakaran and his ardent followers abroad could perceive the reality, at least 500 LTTE cadres could have saved their lives even at the last moment. It is quite clear that Prbhakaran kept his last hope at the strength that he believed to be there with the pro terror Tamils abroad. Perhaps, he might have thought that Donald Gnanakoon and the lot had the power to send whole US army to Mullivaikkal to save him. Unfortunately, propaganda lies of LTTE could only took few mediocre diplomats for a ride and made them making fool of themselves by clamouring for a terrorist outfit.

On the other hand, it appears that the so-called “diaspora” Tamils supportive of terrorism had believed that Prabhakaran processed some kind of super natural powers and therefore his outfit would be invincible. Perhaps, they might have believed Prabhakaran was buying time to use some secret weapon that can whack whole Sri Lanka Army with a single blow. What they did not know was that that Prabhakaran was a coward who spent most of the hard earned “diaspora” monies sent to him for his own luxury.

However, the most immediate victims of this two-way deception carried out for last 30 years were the Tamils lived in Wanni under Prabhakaran’s tyranny. The brutal war that was fought at the expense of the Tamil youth had no genuine interest one the part of the person who led it or the people who funded it. The whole process was conducted out of unbridled hatred and lacked the scope to reach anywhere near to its so claimed goal, redressing legitimate grievances of the Tamil people.

In contrary, Sri Lankan Armed Forces fought a different war backed by strong will of the national leadership. Every member of armed forces and police shared the vision of their Commander in Chief that is to create a country free of terror for the next generation. Instead of hatred they brought the kindness on their Tamil brethren. They risked their lives to save innocent civilians from the evil grip of LTTE terror. They braved the raining artillery and mortar shells only with the riffles in their hands to free the civilians held hostage by the terrorists.

Finally, it was their kindness that was understood by the Wanni civilians and made them to seek protection with the soldiers. There was no bloodbath, no genocide, massacre as predicted by pro terror media but an end to terror and freedom to the Tamil nation.

Monday, June 22, 2009

TNA parliamentarians to meet President Rajapaksa to pledge their support and cooperation to the Government’s rehabilitation and resettlement of IDPs!

President will offer viable political solution:

TNA MP pledges support to Govt


The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Vavuniya district Parliamentarian Sivanathan Kishore castigated the LTTE saying that the outfit’s rhetoric of heroism and valour over the past several decades had achieved nothing other than leading them to their present plight.

Wanni District TNA MP Sivanathan Kishore who abstained from voting during the vote on the extension of the Emergency in Parliament recently told the Sunday Observer that he and certain other TNA parliamentarians would be meeting President Mahinda Rajapaksa shortly to pledge their support and cooperation to the Government’s rehabilitation and resettlement programs for over 250,000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).

The bulk of the people now languishing as the IDPs belonged to his Wanni constituency and it was nothing but fair on his part to support the Government’s humanitarian welfare measures now being extended to them and other plans for their rehabilitation and resettlement, he said.

Asked to comment on Kumaran Pathmanathan’s proclamation in the pro-LTTE TamilNet website of a ‘provisional transnational government’, he said it was absurd and shameful for them to make such announcements after causing destruction of life and property for so long and ultimately leading the Tamil people to their present plight.

He did not dismiss speculation of the TNA joining the Government.

He strongly believes that President Mahinda Rajapaksa will offer a just and viable political package by way of a lasting solution to the Tamil problem and was not inclined in pressing any specific proposals, he said, adding that his objective was a life of dignity and independence for Tamils.

Explaining that the situation of the TNA parliamentary group was precarious during the LTTE regime which inhibited their independent stance on several vital issues concerning the Tamil people, he pointed out that all LTTE rhetoric of heroism and valour over the past several decades had achieved nothing other than leading them to their present plight.

“We cannot remain passive observers while the Government is engaged in measures for the welfare and rehabilitation of displaced Tamil people”, he said.

His party hierarchy had so far not raised any objections to his change of stance and he believed that his fellow parliamentarians will also support his stance in the best interests of the of Tamil people in the North, he said.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

FROM THE WHITE HOUSE: US First Lady Michelle Obama..... WROTE ME...!!!

|First Lady Michelle Obama to me
7:23 PM (2 hours ago)

Happy Father's Day,

I’m writing to share a special video of Barack talking about fatherhood, but first I want to share some thoughts of my own.

My father, Frasier Robinson, was the rock of our family. Although he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in his early thirties, he was our provider, our champion and our hero.

He worked tirelessly through good days and bad to make sure my brother and I had every opportunity he didn't -- to go to college and pursue our dreams. His example continues to guide me every day.

Barack didn't have my good fortune -- his father left when he was just two years old. But he has always been determined to give our daughters what he never had, and he values being a good father more than any other accomplishment in his life.

On Friday, Barack brought some men (and a bunch of kids!) to the White House to talk about fatherhood. Check out a video of the event:

We all know the remarkable impact fathers can have in our children's lives. So today, on this 100th anniversary of Father's Day, take a moment to celebrate responsible fatherhood and the men who've had the courage to step up, be there for our families, and provide our children with the guidance, love and support they need to fulfill their dreams.



This email was sent to

The White House • 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW • Washington, DC 20500 • 202-456-1111

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First Lady Michelle Obama

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On Sun, Jun 21, 2009 at 7:23 PM, First Lady Michelle Obama wrote:

Over 100000 expatriate Tamils in Britain marched through London to express their outrage at ICs inaction over massacre of 1000s of Tamils..!!!

100,000 Tamils march in London over Sri Lanka’s concentration camps
[TamilNet, Sunday, 21 June 2009, 02:25 GMT]

Over one hundred thousand expatriate Tamils in Britain marched Saturday through central London to express their outrage at international inaction over Sri Lanka’s massacre of tens of thousands of Tamils and the suffering of hundreds of thousands more enduring starvation, disease, disappearance, rape and torture in Colombo’s internment camps. Dressed in black, carrying placards and several hundred Tamil Eelam flags, the protesters marched from Hyde Park to rally at Embankment. The event was organised by the British Tamil Forum.

The protestors began forming up at midday and began their march at 2:00 p.m. By the time the lead protestors reached Haymarket, the hundred thousand-strong column stretched the mile-long length of Piccadilly and up Park Lane. The rally began at 5.30 p.m.

To facilitate the march, the Police closed off traffic in one direction along the three-lane Park Lane and Piccadilly roads and along Haymarket, past Parliament Square and one direction of the thoroughfare along the Embankment.

Hundreds of red and yellow Tamil Eelam flags fluttered in the summer breeze as the marchers chanted slogans, handed out leaflets to tourists and spectators crowding the pavements and balconies of central London. Several Union Jacks were carried by the protestors.

“The protests we have been doing [in the Diaspora centres], at last has opened the conscience of the Western world,” a BTF spokesman said. “For example, the mainstream media has begun to expose the scale of the tragedy suffered by our people.”

“Our struggle has now shifted to the hands of the Diaspora,” he said.

“We have gathered here today to begin the next chapter of our long struggle to come.”

Tamil expatriates were joined by delegations from Columbian, Kurdish, Palestinian and some Indian communities in Britain, as well civil liberties and social justice groups.

At the front of the protestors’ column were mobile street theatres depicting Sri Lanka’s militarized concentration camps where hundreds of thousands of Tamils are detained without access to sufficient food or medicine and suffering escalating abuse.

Groups of Tamil people, including – elderly, children, families, dressed in blood-stained clothing and bandages marched within squares of barbed wire bearing signs with names of known concentration camps. Other protestors dressed in military uniform threateningly wielded batons to symbolize the ongoing brutality.

Leaflets handed out set out the protestors’ demands about Sri Lanka’s abuses: “[1] Stop the disappearances, rapes and torture occurring daily at the internment camps, and find all those who have already gone missing [2] Free people from the camps immediately so that they can return to their normal way of life [3] Bring the perpetrators of the genocide against the Tamils to justice.”

Protestors marching as inmates of internment camps of all the districts of North-East
Another leaflet stated: “The Tamil community, disappointed and embittered by the failure of the UK and other international powers to prevent the recent carnage despite constant and repeated warnings, are demanding that the international community must at least now act decisively to save the estimated 300,000 civilians in these camps, who remain in grave danger.”

The protestors gathered on Embankment by Blackfriars Bridge where a stage had been set up, decorated in Tamil colours of red and yellow and a banner demanding “Free Tamils from Nazi style concentration camps! Prosecute the war criminals of the Sri Lankan State!”

The rally was addressed by British political personalities, including Tony Benn, Simon Hughes MP and Jeremy Corbyn MP, as well as Tamil and British human rights and social justice activists.

Veteran politician Tony Benn condemned the Sri Lankan state’s violence against the Tamils as crimes against humanity in which Britain continues to play an unacceptable. He also criticised the British media for the woeful lack of coverage the conflict in Sri Lanka has received, compared to similar conflicts around the world.

Raji Nesaraja, representing the Tamil Youth Organisation (TYO), said the recent events in Sri Lanka were “nothing short of genocide”.

In a stirring speech that illustrated the strong feelings amongst young Tamils in the UK, she went on to say that, following repeated and desperate warnings of an impending bloodbath, young Tamils were left dumbfounded and disappointed by the UN’s complete lack of response.

She however expressed her optimism in the awakening of all sections of the British Tamil community in the past few months, and, observing that “we are witnessing a global uprising of Tamils,” vowed the Tamil struggle would be taken forward.

Jan Jananayagam, who stood as an independent candidate at the 4 June European election, winning a historic record of 50,000 votes for an independent, urged everyone to work tirelessly until the Tamils of Sri Lanka enjoy the same rights that Tamils take for granted in the UK.

She also reminded the crowd of the power of their vote in a genuine democracy, and urged them to ensure they make their individuals vote count during the next UK general election towards the cause of stopping Sri Lanka’s genocide..

Andy Higginbottom, secretary of the Columbia Solidarity campaign and lecturer in human rights at Kingston University, called claims that the LTTE used civilians as human shields during the conflict the “first lie of the international media” and the “first propaganda victory of the Sri Lankan government”. He went on to denounce the inaction of the UN during the conflict, and the pitiable resolution passed by the UN Human Rights Council following the conflict, an “absolute and utter disgrace”.

Simon Hughes MP, a senior Liberal Democrat and long-time supporter of the Tamils, praised the “fantastic courage and determination” that UK Tamils have shown in the past few months, and assured the crowd that there were many non-Tamils that supported them in their aspirations.

Cllr Julian Bell, leader of the Ealing Labour Party and researcher for the All Party Parliamentary Group for Tamils (APPG-T) admitted that members of the APPG-T share the Tamil community’s feelings of being let down by Britain’s Labour government.

He said the APPG-T were working hard to ensure that the food and medical aid that UK Tamils collected and sent to Sri Lanka on board the Mercy Mission ship, which was recently turned away by the Sri Lankan authorities, would still reach the desperate Tamil civilians there.

Dan Mayor, national organiser for the Socialist Worker Party, angrily dismissed complaints about the alleged police cost during the 73 day Tamil protest at Westminster, saying that the Britain had made much more money through the sale of military equipment to Sri Lanka.

He blamed the US/UK led ‘War on Terror’ for masking the political question in Sri Lanka and weakening the Tamils’ position and making possible Sri Lanka’s brazen onslaught against the Tamils.

Jeremy Corbyn MP, Labour politician and chairman of the human rights organisation Liberation, called for a complete economic boycott of Sri Lanka, saying “the tourism must stop, the arms must stop, the trade must stop”.

Tim Martin, former aid worker and director of the charity Act Now, was loudly cheered by the crowds as he thanked them for the huge support he received from UK Tamils during his recent 21-day hunger strike in Parliament Square. Revealing that Bob Geldoff and several other international celebrities have begun pledging their support for the Tamils struggle against Sinhala oppression, he urged UK Tamils to “keep on fighting” for the freedom of their people in Sri Lanka.

Police presence was light throughout the event. Officers closing off side roads, so protestors could pass and guiding tourists and others seeking to reach places on the other side of the column of marchers.

Officers worked with several hundred Tamil volunteers to keep the crowd moving steadily and there were no riot police, in contrast to some other major protests in London. Media helicopters and police chopper remained aloft for the duration.

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Saturday, June 20, 2009


May 18: National Victory Day

Ranil WIJAYAPALA in Mullaitivu

Army Commander General Sarath Fonseka said yesterday that the ‘National Victory Day’ which falls on May 18 to mark the liberation of the country from the clutches of LTTE terrorism will be celebrated in much grandeur than the Independence Day celebrations on February 4.

He said President Mahinda Rajapaksa is of the opinion that the celebrations of the National Victory Day should be given much prominence than the Independence Day celebrations as it gives a special prominence to the nation in the present day context.

“May 18 will be considered as the National Victory Day in which the Security Forces were able to liberate the entire land from LTTE terrorism unifying the entire country under one flag,” the Army Commander said.

The Army Commander said the great achievement by Sri Lanka against the most ruthless terror outfit in the world would be added to the history of the military books since the victory against the LTTE was the first one against any terror group after the Malaysian Government’s victory against a terror group in the 1950s.

He said the Army will establish a museum to mark this glorious victory with the weapons and equipment captured from the LTTE to depict the military victories against the LTTE.



Completion of de-mining process, strengthening of Army must for civilian resettlement

Ranil WIJAYAPALA in Mullaitivu

The completion of the de-mining process and the strengthening of the Army to hold the entire North and East to avoid any type of terror raising its ugly head are pre-requisites for the resettlement of displaced civilians in Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu districts, Army Commander General Sarath Fonseka said yesterday.

Army Commander Fonseka also paid tribute to troops of the 53, 55, 59 Divisions and Task Force 8 who contributed to the victory achieved by the Army against the LTTE, on the date of completing one month to that great victory.

The Commander said the strength of the Army has to be increased to hold the entire area captured by the Army during the past three years.

“The number required is very much higher than that at the time of offensive operations against the LTTE,” the Commander said.

General Fonseka made these observations addressing the media personnel at the 59 Division headquarters in Mullaitivu during his visit to Mullaitivu for the first time after it was captured by the troops.

The Army Commander said the Army had a strength of 116,000 at the time they started offensive operations against the LTTE and it has been increased up to 200,000 with 84,000 youth being recruited to the Army during the past two and half years.

The Army Commander said that according to his assessment the strength of the Army has to be increased to at least to 300,000 to cater to all requirements in the post conflict scenario to hold the entire areas liberated from the LTTE, and for the Army to have a proper deployment plan with a decent leave period for soldiers.

However, he said no final decision has been reached regarding the increase of the strength of the Army further.



Army Chief pays glowing tribute to troops

Ranil WIJAYAPALAin Mullaitivu

Army Commander General Sarath Fonseka paid a glowing tribute to troops who contributed to the victory against the LTTE after visiting Vellamullivaikkal and Mullaitivu as the nation celebrates the completion of one month to the victory against the LTTE.

The Army Commander addressed the troops of the 53, 55, 59 Divisions and the Task Force 8 troops during his visit to Vellamullivaikkal and Mullaitvu.

The Army Commander reached the shores of Vellamullivaikkal where the LTTE faced its last debacle on May 18 and addressed the troops of the 53 Division commanded by Major General Kamal Gunaratne, 55 Division commanded by Brigadier Prasanna Silva,59 Division commanded by Brigadier Chagi Gallage and Task Force 8 commanded by Colonel G.V. Ravipriya during his visit to Mullaitivu yesterday.

He also inspected the submarine recovered by Task Force 8 troops closer to the wreckage of the Fara III ship in the Mullaitivu shores during his visit and posed for a group photograph with the troops who contributed to the victory against the LTTE.

The Army Commander also visited the 1 Sinha Regiment headquarters in the centre of Mullaitivu town which was his mother battalion in his Army career. He said it was the Sri Lanka Army which made a 95 percent contribution to achieve this victory after sacrificing the lives of 5,200 Army men whilst suffering 27,000 casualties. The Army Commander said 6,000 of the army men became disabled in the battle against the LTTE.

He said the Security Forces were also able to kill more than 22,000 terrorists and arrested more than 10,000 Tiger cadres and recruits.

The Army Commander said it was due to that commitment of the Army the nation could achieve this victory against the LTTE. The Army Commander said that it was the blood, sweat and the tears of the soldiers of the valiant troops that matters in this victory and it was due to their commitment the Army could achieve this great victory. He said through this victory the Sri Lanka Army has proved to the entire world that the Sri Lanka Army is the best in the world.



Canadian Tamils outraged over e.mail from Sri Lanka

Toronto, June 19: An e.mail by a Sri Lanka-based Sinhala to offer his services for a fee to Tamils to find their missing relatives has outraged the community in Canada.

Thousands of Tamil Canadian families are desperately looking for their relatives who have either died in the recent conflict or become ‘internally displaced people’ (IDPs).

In his e.mail two days ago to Tamil Canadians, he had asked them to register with him for $25 for "professional services" to help find their missing kin.

Under the banner of Internally Displaced People (IDP) Services, he said, "We try to find out IDPs: whose-who? In direct contact/communicate with the law enforcement authorities. Please inform us the full details."

Promising the Tamils to recover their lost homes, lands and properties, his "first come first served basis" service said: "All the work that we do is with government officers and law authorities, namely forces/security personal, ministries, our personal contacts, SMS, telephone calls, lawyer’s fees etc., involves travel and stay in the north or east (permit areas). So the expenses incurred are on a case by case basis."

Outraged at the e.mail, Canadian Tamil leaders said their 300,000-strong community is deeply disturbed over this development.

"How can anyone do business on people’s misery? This is an outrage. The international community, and Indian and Tamil Nadu governments in particular, should not allow this trade in Tamil misery," Canadian Tamil Congress (CTC) leader David Poopalapillai said Thursday.

"Who is this man? Who is backing him? He cannot operate without the Sri Lankan government’s consent. This shows how low Sri Lanka can stoop to deal with Tamils," he added.

Asking the Tamil diaspora "Do you want to build a monument for your loved ones?", the e.mail said, "If you want to organise a thanksgiving mass for lost family friends/relatives or another person of any race or build a monument please let us have the details." (IANS)