Sunday, January 31, 2010

This election must have reminded the ethic Tamils to look for new strategies in countering Sinhala nationalism and ethnic centered politics..!!!

Place of minorities in Sri Lankan politics after elections

(Lanka-e-News 31.Jan.2010 5.30PM) 2010 Presidential Election in Sri Lanka is over. However, political developments unfolded during the last few weeks, revealed prevalence of deep rooted ethnic division in the country. Most probably this election must have reminded the ethic Tamils to look for new strategies in countering Sinhala nationalism and ethnic centered politics. Additionally, it provided sufficient ingredients for the international community to criticize Sri Lankan government on mistreating Tamil voters. It dismissed the notion that after elimination of the LTTE, the path is open for successful integration of diverse ethnic groups into a highly united and cohesive Sri Lankan nation. This election indicated that due to ethnocentric and opportunistic politics in Sri Lanka, the notion of Sri Lankan nation would be unreachable for decades.

As a whole this election proved majority of Sinhalese and some politicians are still racists. This theory was proved by the President's camp. When R.Sambandan, the leader of Tamil National Alliance declared their support for Sarath Fonseka, this racist camp theorized it as pumping oxygen to the LTTE. For them every Tamil is a member of the LTTE. If this is the belief of the government, it would not be able to build trust among Tamils and Sinhalese bridging the gulf between the two ethnic groups. If we continue to believe this theory, there is no point in eliminating the LTTE. It appears that we still want to keep the Tamils away from mainstream politics. Under the circumstances, can we talk about peace in Sri Lanka?

Labeling the TNA as LTTE supporters, we signaled them that all Tamil politicians are LTTE supporters and they have no place in Sri Lankan political environment. Only Sinhalese and Tamil leaders who support the Sinhalese government can engage in politics. While refusing the TNA, we continue to accept Karuna, who was responsible for more civilian massacre than any LTTE leader.

JR did the same mistake in 1979. When the Tamil United Liberation front [TULF] left parliament, we did not have anyone to engage in any serious dialogue related to Tamil issues. Even the LTTE refused to talk to the government on the ground that it could not be trusted. Unfortunately, during the recent election, we followed the same path preventing Tamils in the North casting their votes. With this undemocratic act, on the one hand we proved to the international community that we are not allowing the Tamils to exercise their political rights freely and Tamils are still prisoners of war. On the other hand, we indicated the Tamils that we do not trust them anymore and their place in the society is always far below the majority Sinhalese.

It is also a fact that the majority of the Tamils opted to vote Sarath Fonseka rather than Mahinda Rajapakse due to a very specific reason. In realty, for them Sarath Fonseka should be the devil. This is because he was the military leader responsible for shattering their dream of carving a separate state in Sri Lanka. Yet, they thought that he can be trusted than Mahinda Rajapske whose survival is based on nationalism and false promises. Additionally, President Rajapakse has always been identified himself as the leader of the Sinhalese not the leader of Tamils as well. Moreover, the Tamil politicians who are with the government have been acting like puppets. They have no voice in the government. Their voice has purposely been suppressed using many indecent methods. The Tamil community does not accept them as their leaders. This was proved during the last election. They have not been able to influence the Tamil community to vote Mahinda Rajapakse. In this milieu, no one can rule our reborn of another Prabhakaran.

If this is the actual situation in Sri Lanka, no independent Tamil politician could be able to contest in any election or support anyone party of person they like. They would not even be able to express their opinion about Sri Lankan politics. The North and East are still under the rule of the military. Still some people are in the camps. Freedom of movement is restricted for Tamils in these areas. So far, opposition politicians have denied access to these communities. Ironically, everyone else in the world has been allowed to visit these areas even using government owned helicopters.

With all these actions what are we trying to prove? We are supporting the argument of the LTTE that Tamils are suppressed in Sri Lanka.. Even the international community tempts to believe their stories and again they would consider extending their assistance to the radical Tamil groups.

Accordingly, in the name of winning the elections some politicians are paving a way for another dark age rather than a bright future for all. All these are the results of ultra nationalism and trying to win election by chook or crook. The major problem of pro-government political leaders is that their unpreparedness to accept accommodation or compromise as a part of democratic political behavior. They think what they believe to be the most sensible and politically rewarding. This was adequately proved prematurely calling for Presidential election. However, they are supposed to respond to wide range of societal interests. In this context, as Boutros Boutros-Ghali, former Secretary General of the UN stated vision, eloquence, cooperative spirit, and political intuition should be essential characteristics of political leadership. The question is whether the present leaders in power in Sri Lanka possess these characteristics.

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EC said when he was trying to carry out his duties impartially and properly , some individuals are subjecting him to humiliation & harassment! SHAME!

The situation now is such even the ballot boxes cant be safeguarded : I am disgusted and mentally shattered –Elect. Commissioner

(Lanka-e-News 31.Jan.2010 8.00PM) The Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake deeply regretted that this is the first time , at a Presidential election, the District presiding officer was abused in filth and chased away.

He said when he was trying to carry out his duties impartially and properly , some individuals are subjecting him to humiliation and harassment . He is therefore disgusted of his duties and will not continue any longer after this election . He will not be a candidate for this post in the future, he observed.

The Elections Commissioner made these comments when announcing the official results of the Presidential elections. He stated that he can’t face any more blame or labels being attached to him.

When the election results were being announced , of the Presidential candidates , Mahinda Rajapakse and his Ministers were present to hear them.

The Commissioner pointed out that he has gone 8 years beyond his retirement age and hence pleaded that he shall be relieved of his position after this election . He made this request publicly to the President when announcing the results officially.

Two Govt. Institutions did not adhere to his instructions. Consequently , he had to relieve the competent authority of his duties, he stated with great disappointment. He clearly noticed that some Govt. Institution s did not know what they ought to do and they ought not to do. Some charged that I am there only to safeguard the ballot boxes and vote counting . But , I am ashamed to say even safeguarding the ballot boxes is a big problem in the prevailing lawless culture , he emphasized.

© 2005-2008 E-Mail:

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Don't be a part of any wrong-doing or don't ignore or overlook any violations of law! Police service are the custodians of law!!... EC frustrated.!!!

Elections Commissioner threatens to withdraw from duties Wednesday, 13 January 2010 01:07
By Kelum Bandara

UPFA Secretary and Minister, Susil Premajayantha, leaves the Elections Secretariat after meeting Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake.

Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake threatened, yesterday, to withdraw from his duties related to the Presidential Election asserting that the authorities concerned had not aided him by adhering to the guidelines and regulations issued by him to create an atmosphere conducive to a free and fair election.

Mr. Dissanayake, at a meeting with the representatives of political parties, expressed his disgust and disappointment over the failure of the government to cooperate with him in this respect.

However, he withdrew his threat after the political parties assured him that they would abide by the election laws in the run up to the

election. Mr. Dissanayake had reportedly told the meeting that the Competent Authority appointed by him had been humiliated by the state media.

UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake told reporters after the meeting, that the Commissioner had come under pressure by some government elements who had obstructed him in the discharge of his duties.

“The Commissioner took up all these issues with the representatives of the political parties at the meeting and explained how helpless he was in the present circumstances,” said Mr. Attanayake.

According to Mr. Atrtanayake, Mr. Dissanayake had criticized the abuse of state resources -- despite his instructions to ministry secretaries regarding this matter.

Mr. Ravi Karunanayake MP (UNP) said the Commissioner had warned the government on this matter.

The Opposition said that they had also tape recorded Mr. Dissanayake’s remarks that were critical of the government.

However, UPFA Secretary and Education Minister Susil Premajayantha said that the Commissioner had vowed to use his powers to conduct the election in a free atmosphere, without interference from anyone.

“We all agreed to co-operate with him to hold a free and fair election. The police were given instructions to remove unlawful cut-outs and posters. The Commissioner also agreed to arrange a meeting between IGP Mahinda Balasuriya and representatives of political parties on January 16,” he said.

Mr. Premajayantha said that the Commissioner had sorted out some of the problems, and even spoken to the police over the phone during their discussions – which, he said, were cordial.


Act impartially, say retired police officers

The retired senior police officers’ association yesterday called upon members of all ranks in the police service to act impartially and implement and enforce the law without fear or favour.

“The President and the members of the Executive Committee of the Retired Senior Police Officers’ Association (RSPOA) being concerned and perturbed at the allegations and accusations levelled against members of the Police service, where we served our best period of our

life, call upon the mem bers of all ranks to act impartially and implement and enforce the law without fear or favour,” the association’s President Muni Gomes said in a statement.

“Maintain law and order according to the law of the land. Do not be a party to any wrong-doing or do not ignore or overlook any violations of the law. You, the members of the Police service are the custodians of the law. The law abiding citizens of our country expect the Police to conduct themselves during the pre election and post election periods to prevent and curb violence and to bring to book the perpetrators of criminal and violent acts. We are confident that the Police service will rise to the occasion and regain the lost prestige and image by acting impartially and maintaining law and order as expected by the majority of the silent law abiding citizens of our Country,” the statement further said:


RACIST SINHALA TROOPS Relaxed Restrictions ON TAMILS in Jaffna prior to President Election Began to Impose them Again Actively!UNPF SHD COME NOW&HELP!

SLA, SLN restrictions in Jaffna peninsula imposed again
[TamilNet, Saturday, 30 January 2010, 04:42 GMT]

Sri Lanka Army (SLA) and Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) which had relaxed their various restrictions in Jaffna peninsula prior to president election have begun to impose them again actively, sources in Jaffna said. These restrictions include the checking of passengers travelling within the peninsula and to the islets of Jaffna besides access to their places in the SLA High Security Zones (HSZs), they said. People of Ezhuthumadduvaa’l in Thenmaraadchi who were told by Minister Douglas Devananda and SLA officials that they would be permitted to resettle in their places immediately after the presidential election were turned back when they tried to go to their homes Friday.

In the peninsula, SLA soldiers make people to alight from their vehicles at main junctions and some important places in Jaffna town and subject them to checking.

While, people travelling to the islets are allowed to proceed only after being checked at Allaippiddi, a practice which had been temporarily suspended prior to the presidential election.

SLN has set up a new check post in Pungkudutheevu.

Persons going to Nainaatheevu and Nedunththeevu have to submit their National Identity Cards (NIC) at Kurrikkadduvaan jetty before embarking on their journey.

Meanwhile, the areas in HSZs where people had been promised of resettlement by ministers and SLA officials with much publicity just before the presidential election are now out of bounds for public.

Areas in Ezhuthumadduvaa’l South and the outskirts of Valikaamam North are some of the places where the displaced are not allowed to resettle.

Some residents who had been permitted to clean up their homes in the villages of A’rukampanai, Keerimalai, Pannaalai and Kollankaladdi are not allowed to spend the night in their houses. They have to get back to the places where they were living as displaced people.

SLA has closed the road connecting Mahajana College and Union College in Thellippazhai and people have to use circuitous roads to reach their destinations.

Similarly, people allowed to resettle in some parts of Ezuthumadduvaa’l have to go through hamlets to their houses as they are not allowed to use A9 route at Mirusuvil junction by the SLA.

The restrictions which had been suspended temporarily prior to the presidential election are now being gradually imposed again, the sources said.

SLA soldiers are actively engaged in checking persons travelling and at some places police personnel are checking them, since Thursday.

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This is the best chance in years, in the absence of an insurgency, to unite our country and rebuild the economy...!!!

Rise to the occasion, Mr. President

You have won the election with a margin of 20 percentage points. General Fonseka says, he is going to challenge the result: his allegations of electoral fraud will be difficult to prove.

Now the work begins, in your second term to reach out to all Sri Lankans with magnanimity. You can do so by implementing the 13th & 17th Amendments to the Constitution. Seriously address the underlying grievances of the minorities and build bridges, since you have stated, ‘you are the President of all the people’. While you may focus on development which is crucial, you need to correct the seriously flawed institutions of governance that crooked and inept law-makers built over the years.

This is the best chance in years, in the absence of an insurgency, to unite our country and rebuild the economy. You have received the mandate and the ball is firmly in your court to deliver. Should you fail, then history will judge you harshly.

Rev. Fr Silva


We must now turn away from the violence of the past and move forward to ensure democratic and good governance...!!!

Grace to reach out and to reconcile

by Shanie

"Courage!" he said, and pointed toward the land,

"This mounting wave will roll us shoreward soon",

In the afternoon they came into a land,

In which it seemed always afternoon.

Is there confusion in the little isle?

Let what is broken so remain.

The Gods are hard to reconcile;

‘Tis hard to settle order once again,

There is confusion worse than death,

Trouble on trouble, pain on pain,

Long labour unto aged breath,

Sore task to hearts worn out with many wars

And eyes grown dim with gazing on the pilot-stars.

Mahinda Rajapakse has won re-election to the Presidency of Sri Lanka. The margin of 1.8 million votes over Rajapakse’s nearest rival was a decisive one. Even allowing for malpractices on polling day like credible evidence of attempts to intimidate potential voters for the opponents particularly in the North from exercising their franchise, the margin of victory was sufficiently large for such malpractices not to have made a significant difference to the final outcome. No doubt, the campaign itself was marred by blatant violation of election laws and the scandalous misuse of public resources. Sarath Fonseka has spoken of mounting a legal challenge to the election process. But the Courts in any country would normally be wary of taking any action to nullify a poll except in very exceptional circumstances. Any such action can plunge a country into a deeper crisis, and Fonseka would be better advised to desist from taking that step.

But the way Fonseka and his security personnel were treated immediately after the conclusion of the poll was nothing short of disgraceful. Fonseka is a distinguished son of the country who has served with distinction as Commander of the Sri Lanka Army. The attempt to humiliate him and his security officers because of the political position he took after retirement deserves contempt and condemnation. We need to turn away from this culture of seeking revenge and directing extra-judicial violence at political opponents. We need to turn away from this culture perfected by the LTTE and which was followed by their clones in the south. Surely, President Rajapakse can rise above this and put a stop to this crudity. With strength derived from his decisive re-election, Mahinda Rajapakse now has the opportunity to deliver on his manifesto promise of ensuring human rights and the rule of law. That will be a step forward towards democratic governance.

From War to Peace and Unity

Lord Tennyson was the poet laureate in England in the mid nineteenth century at the time of the Industrial Revolution when the working people were undergoing much hardship. His poem Lotus Eaters, stanzas from which we quote at the beginning of this column, is based on the legend concerning the wanderings of Ulysses, the Greek hero of the Trojan War. In the course of his voyage home, he comes upon the land of the Lotus-eaters where he and his men are tempted to give up their struggle and lead a life of ease. The poem is about this temptation to escape from the difficulties and complexities of present life and to dwell on the pleasant moments of the past. In Tennyson’s time, it was escapism from the harsh conditions of the Industrial Revolution. In our context, it is escapism into the mood of post-war euphoria that will prevent our country from moving forward to peace, unity and reconciliation.

The results of the recently concluded Presidential Election show how deeply fractured we are as a country. It appears that the overwhelming majority of the minorities, ethnic and religious and from across the country, have voted for Sarath Fonseka and the overwhelming majority of the Sinhala Buddhist majority, again from across the country, have voted for Mahinda Rajapakse. There was an element of polarisation in previous elections too but it is starkly plain in this election. The credible explanation for this is that the nationalist mood of triumphalism at the defeat of the LTTE still prevails and the UPFA’s campaign has been successful in identifying Rajapakse with the success achieved in defeating the LTTE. At the same time, some of the campaigners for Rajapakse injected communalism into the campaign by alleging a non-existent secret agreement between Fonseka and the minority parties that allegedly was going to sell out to the minorities, at the expense of Sinhala rights. This crude campaign aimed at winning the Sinhala vote has instead united the Tamils and Muslims of not only the North and East but also of the Hill Country and the rest of the country.

Despite the ethnic and religious polarisation at the election, President Rajapakse must reach out to all the people of our country. After election he is the President of the country and all her people. He should resist the temptation to feel that he was elected by the Sinhala Buddhist majority and can therefore overlook the aspirations of the minorities who did not vote for him. At the Presidential Election of 1999, Chandrika Kumaratunge won re-election, again decisively. But she lost the districts of Jaffna, Vanni, Trincomalee, Batticaloa and Nuwaraiya to her UNP opponent. During the campaign, a suicide bomber attempted to assassinate her – she survived but lost an eye in the process. But the statesperson that she was, she did not allow rejection of her electoral bid by the minorities to prevent her from reaching out to the Tamils and Muslims. In 2000 and again in 2002, she presented, after all-party discussions, far-reaching constitutional proposals for power-sharing. Mahinda Rajapakse has the capacity to rise to the same level of statespersonship. He has received a strong mandate from the people which will enable him to reach out to the minorities. The Tissa Vitarana Committee appointed by him has made some proposals and he must not make the mistake of dismissing those proposals to appease the Sinhala extremist lobby that supported him at the election. There can be little doubt that such a move to implement the APRC proposals will strengthen his hand at the forthcoming parliamentary election. The UNP is committed to power-sharing and cannot afford to do a U-turn at this juncture to oppose any proposal on those lines, except at their own peril. The extremists will bark but, without the electoral support that they lack, cannot bite.

Lessons from the Election

From a simple reading of the results, it could appear that they disprove the notion that the support of the minorities is essential to win an election. Such a reading will be a facile one. This election was unique in that it came within twelve months of the end of the war and it has become clear that the mood of euphoria and triumphalism is still prevalent, contrary to what many thought. Mahinda Rajapakse was projected as the architect of that victory. Sarath Fonseka, the Army Commander, was projected as having ‘let the side down’ by becoming a candidate of those forces that were not fully behind the war effort. In that sense, the result at this election was a personal one for Rajapakse. Even if the bulk of the UNP block vote stood by Fonseka’s candidature, nearly the entire floating vote among the Sinhalese, which forms the majority and which would normally have been evenly divided, appears to have opted for Rajapakse. This personal vote for Rajapakse, the man, is unlikely to be translated into a similar vote for the UPFA at the parliamentary that must follow in a few months time. This columnist is convinced that the minority votes will certainly matter at the parliamentary election.

For the Opposition, some of their irresponsible statements ridiculing the war effort, like the comparisons of Alimankada and Pamankada, came back to haunt them. Senior parliamentarians must resist the temptation to score cheap debating points and must provide responsive co-operation in matters of national interest. For this same reason, they must not oppose any meaningful power-sharing proposals in the event they are presented by Mahinda Rajapakse.

During the election campaign, Rajapakse promised to ensure human rights and respect for the rule of law. He also promised to curtail some of the powers of the Executive Presidency. These are admirable if he can keep to his promises. Two matters regarding the Executive Presidency require urgent attention. First, would be to rid the constitution of the presidential immunity clause. This is an anachronism in a democracy. It may be acceptable where the position of the Head of State is purely a ceremonial one like in Britain where the ‘Queen can do no wrong’. But in a democracy, a citizen must have recourse to the law in respect of the executive actions of a President.

The second, which will deal both with the curtailment of executive powers as well as the rule of law and human rights, is the implementation in full of the 13th, 16th and 17th amendments to the Constitution. These amendments are not ‘defunct’ as a senior minister is infamously reported to have stated. They are a part of the law of this country and their fill implementation – the 13th on power-sharing, the 16th on language rights and the 17th on an independent and efficient public service – will go a long long way towards good governance. Now that the rhetoric of electioneering is over, the President must know that all nominations to the Constitutional Council are in place and those nominated are eminently qualified to serve on the Council. The appointment of these independent commissions will address his campaign promise to ensure the rule of law, human rights and an administration free of bribery and corruption.

We have come through a bruising election campaign. We must now turn away from the violence of the past and move forward to ensure democratic and good governance. The country deserves nothing less.


Five Major Media Organizations in SRILANKA have Expressed Deep Concern over what they called Increasing Media Suppression in the post PREZ ELECTION!!!

Five media groups seek free post-poll environment Saturday, 30 January 2010 00:25

Five major media organizations in the country have expressed deep concern over what they called increasing media suppression in the post presidential election situation.

They alleged in a statement that the presidential election was marred by various threats to non state media and misuse of state controlled public media.

“The post election period media situation is becoming serious day by day as clearly shown by the development in last few days. We, the Five Media Organizations condemn theses suppressive measures in the strongest terms and express our unconditional solidarity with the media and journalists who are under attack, the statement said.

The organizations alleged that Lanakenews journalist Prageeth Eknaligoda, disappeared on January 24 night on his way home from the office. There has been no news on his whereabouts till now. The only answer police has given to the complaint made is that they are carrying out investigations.

The State controlled Sri Lanka Telecom blocked the on the Election Day making it impossible for Sri Lankan citizens to visit the site. Lankaenews had been providing much needed space for opposition news and opinions, it the statement said.

It added that the Election Commissioner (EC) ordered Sri Lanka Telecom to lift the blockade in response to the complaint made by its editor. But soon after the final election result was announced by the EC, Sri Lanka Telecom re-imposed the ban, this time more strictly. Meanwhile the editor and staff of the lankaenews continued to receive death threats on their phones.

On January 28 night an unknown group surrounded the lankaenews office located in Rajagiriya, and stayed there for nearly two hours inquiring about the staff, according to the statement.

“Further it has been reported that at least four more websites with critical content has been blocked by state as well as privately owned servers in Sri Lanka. Those are, ,, and” the media organizations alleged.

It further said that On 28th January morning Ravi Abewickrema, a programme producer of Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC) was assaulted by SLRC deputy transport manager G.D. Somapala at the office of SLRC Chairman Ariyarathna Ethugala. Later Chairman Atugala, additional Director General Devapriya Abeysinghe threatened programme producers Kanachana Marasinghe, Herburt Kumara Alagiyawanna and Gamini Pushpakumara using abusive language. These media personal are being targeted for their leading roles in advocating the compliance of Election Commissions media guide lines by the institution to ensure fair coverage for all sides.

“On 28 January the leader of the major opposition collation partner, the Peoples Liberation Front (JVP) Somawansas Amarasinha told a news conference that Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa calling on his mobile from Rajapaksa's mobile threatened to set fire to the Lanka newspaper which is a pro JVP Sinhala weekly. Later it was reported that unofficial ban on carrying this news item was imposed. Incidentally none of the TV news bulletins carried the news.”

The organizations claimed these developments would hamper any informed discussion on the aftermaths of presidential election and the malpractices reported. “The result will be the violation of people's right to information.”

“In this context, considering that the news freedom as the expression of people's right to information and freedom of speech, we, the five media organizations in Sri Lanka earnestly urge all democratic forces in the country, diplomatic corps in Sri Lanka, United Nations, International human rights, press freedom and journalists safety organizations to use their good offices to ensure that the government of Sri Lanka stop the media suppression and create a free and democratic post election environment” the five media organizations said.


GR/DS/GOSL: Threatened to set fire to Pro JVP Sinhala weekly Irida Lanka..!!! Irida Lanka has been harassed continually by the Police..!!!

Defense secretary threatened to set fire to newspaper Irida Lanka


On 28th Defense secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaska threatened to set fire to Pro JVP Sinhala Lanaguage weekly Irida Lanka. Irida Lanka newspaper has been harassed continually by the police over last six months and its staff was arrested several times. It editor Chadan Sirimalwatta was summoned to Criminal Investigation Department at lease 3 times during the last six months. ( see MFSL monthly reports). It is unbecoming for the defense secretary, who has the responsibility to maintain rule and law of the country to threaten a leader of a political party in this manner.

This threat came in the wake of presidential election victory by Defense secretary's elder brother Mhinda Rajapaksa on 27th January. The election results has been challenged by the opposition. JVP was one of the major political parties supported that supported common opposition candidate Sarath Fonseka.

According to JVP leader Somawansa Amarasingha defense seratary has called him form his mobile phone no( 00 94)77 350 1626 on 28th morning and threatened to kill him and set fire to Irida Lanka.
Irida Lanka newspaper played an important role during the election campaign in providing news and analysis form the opposition point of view. This was all the more important as mainstream media was under unprecedented pressure form the sate apparatus not provide proper coverage to common opposition candidate Sarath Fonseka.

MFSL condemns the threat in strongest terms and demand that Mr.Gotabhaya Rajapaska make an apology for his unruly behavior.


© IT Division - Lanka News

2 days after he was declared the winner of P.Election, Reporters Without Borders appealed to President:MR to put a stop to arrests and intimidation.!

President Rajapaksa urged to halt post-election crackdown on media


Two days after he was declared the winner of this week’s election, Reporters Without Borders appealed today to President Mahinda Rajapaksa to put a stop to arrests and intimidation of journalists working for privately-owned and foreign media.

“This wave of post-election violence could cast a lasting stain on the start of President Rajapaksa’s second term and bodes ill for the political climate during the coming years,” said Reporters Without Borders, which highlighted an increase in election violence and censorship in countries such as Iran and Tunisia in its latest press freedom roundup.

Reporters Without Borders also reminds the president of the statements in support of press freedom that he has made on many occasions, including a meeting with a Reporters Without Borders representative in October 2008.

“It is quite normal for journalists and privately-owned media to side with a candidate before and during a democratic election but it is unacceptable for them to the victims of reprisals once the elections are over,” the press freedom organisation added.

Police and unidentified groups have been targeting the media, especially media that supported the leading opposition candidate, Gen. Sarath Fonseka, every since the announcement of the result, which some opposition sectors including Fonseka are disputing. Sri Lanka’s five main journalists’ organisations have issued a joint statement condemning the “post-election media suppression.”

The following serious press freedom violations have been reported:

1. Police today arrested Chandana Sirimalwatta, the editor of Lanka, a newspaper that supports the JVP opposition party, after he responded to a summons for questioning about an article published on 26 January. The president’s brother, defence minister Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, threatened to burn the newspaper down a few days ago.

2. Plain-clothes men using a car with the license plate 32/ 84 32 placed seals yesterday evening over the entrance to the office of the Lankaenews website. Men searched the office earlier in the day. The website itself has been rendered inaccessible for the past few days by the state telecommunications company Sri Lanka Telecom.

3. In an interview for the Colombo-based Daily Mirror newspaper yesterday, Tamil government minister Douglas Devananda threatened the Jaffna-based newspaper Uthayan with unspecified reprisals.

4. Reporter Karin Wenger of the Swiss public radio station DRS is facing possible deportation on 1 February following the withdrawal of her press accreditation. “I had a visa and accreditation that were valid for the election,” she told Reporters Without Borders. “I think this decision is linked to the questions I asked an official during a news conference after the results were announced.” A presidential adviser referred to her insultingly as a “white face.”

5. Ravi Abewikrama, a reporter with state radio broadcaster SLBC was attacked yesterday by one of the station’s officials for criticising the biased election coverage imposed by the head of the station.

6. Soldiers took up position on 26 January around and inside the buildings that house two privately-owned TV stations, Sirasa and Swarnavahini, in Colombo.

7. Soldiers roughed up photographers working for foreign news agencies when they tried to attend a news conference given by Gen. Fonseka yesterday. One was forced to delete the photos on his camera’s memory card. Soldiers also prevented journalists from working freely near a hotel being used by Fonseka the previous day.

Reporters Without Borders finally also urges President Rajapaksa to assign more police officers to the search for political reporter and cartoonist Prageeth Eknaligoda, who has been missing since 24 January. His family has had no news of him since that date.

© IT Division - Lanka News Web.COM

SRI LANKA: The country's capacity for holding free and fair elections in doubt..!!!

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: AHRC
Date: 2010/1/29
Subject: [AHRC Article] SRI LANKA: The country's capacity for holding free and fair elections in doubt

January 29, 2010
An Article by the Asian Human Rights Commission
SRI LANKA: The country's capacity for holding free and fair elections in doubt
Basil Fernando

On the 26th January the election for the position of Executive President was held in Sri Lanka and the election commissioner declared the incumbent president, Mahinda Rajapakse, as the winner. The common candidate for the opposition, retired general Sarath Fonseka, rejected the results stating that the announced results were false due to the prevalence of violence, electoral fraud and tampering of the counting process itself. The commissioner while announcing the results to the nation in a televised message stated in strong terms that he was subjected to severe pressure and humiliation to an extent that he was unable to bear it any longer. All commentaries on the election commissioner’s speech interpreted it to indicate that he was not satisfied with the conditions under which he had to carry out his duties in conducting the election in a free and fair manner.

Very clearly, the question as to whether Sri Lanka is any longer capable of conducting a free and fair election has been raised in this election. It is not only the electoral process that is under challenge but the very process of receiving, preserving and counting of the ballot at the commissioner’s office itself which is the issue that has been prominently raised. Besides this, the enormous abuse of state resources by the government for its electoral purposes and particularly the blatant abuse of the state media for direct propaganda to request people not to vote for the opposition candidate, in defiance of the commissioner’s direct interventions, have all contributed to the creation of the overwhelming impression that the conditions for a free and fair election were not observed during this election.

The problem of the difficulties in ensuring a free and fair election was recognised previously. In 2001 the amendment to the Sri Lankan Constitution of 1978 was passed in the parliament with rare unanimity which, among other things, created a Constitutional Council in order to ensure proper appointments to several important public institutions with the view to preserve professionalism in the government service. This was the result of a widely held realisation that political interference which had crept into the public service since the introduction of the executive presidential system in 1978 has contributed to the deterioration of standards in all public services and this deterioration was referred to as ‘politicisation’. This simply meant direct interference by the executive president and his agents into the running of the public service to an extent to make it impossible for it to function professionally.

Among the institutions that were recognised as being polluted by ‘politicisation’ was also the department of the commissioner of elections. Under Article 3 of the Constitution an amendment was introduced regarding the election commissioner. Under this article it was legislated that ‘there shall be an election commission consisting of five members appointed by the president on the recommendation of the Constitutional Council, from among persons who have distinguished themselves in any profession or in the field of administration or education. The President shall on the recommendation of the Constitutional Council, appoint one member as its chair.’

The governments since 2001 have refused to comply with this constitutional provision. The present commissioner of elections who was appointed to the position before this amendment was passed reached his retirement age in 2002. However, as no election commission was appointed according to the new provision he had to continue in office due to the absence of a substitute. On several occasions he publically requested permission to retire and as there was no satisfactory response from the government he even went before the court and sought permission to retire. The court refused his request on the basis that until a substitute was appointed under the constitutional provisions he had to remain in his post. Even the courts did not intervene to ensure that the government complied with the constitutional provision to appoint an election commission.

The failure on the part of the government to appoint an election commission consisting of five members nominated by the Constitutional Council has been perceived by all observers as a ploy to prevent the conduct of free and fair elections without political interference into the working of the election commissioner’s office. It was this situation which has led to the final outburst of the commissioner in which he voiced his frustrations to the entire nation in announcing the election result on the 27th January. Several of his comments are reproduced here due to their importance on any future discussion on this issue. (Translated from Sinhala by Roshan Fernando, quoted from Lanka Guardian).
"Under the empowerment of the Elections Commissioner as indicated in the 17th Amendment to the Constitution, I issued specific guidelines to the state media that were duly ignored. I then installed a Competent Authority for the state media who was completely disregarded. I then met the heads of state media but to no avail. I realized that this was a hopeless cause and so I had the Competent Authority removed.”

" I was able to note that during the election, many state institutions operated in a manner not befitting state organisations.”

"Some blamed me saying that my task was to ensure that the ballot boxes were safe and to ensure that the counting was done right. But under the circumstances I faced today, I could not even ensure the safety of even one ballot box. I did my duties during this time under great duress and mental agony.”

" I hereby state that the situation has reached a dangerous level that is beyond me. I am also advanced in years and have served in this capacity for eight long years so I only ask that I be released from this thankless duty.”

"It is impossible for me to work in peace under the circumstances – I am constantly under stress and find that I may fall sick and have to face consequences of such an illness.”

"Regional leaders harassed my team and I in several areas such as Puttalam, Anuradhapura, Matala Districts, they even bothered the counting centres. This is not a good trend. In fact, it reached an uncontrollable level of verbal abuse directed at Presiding Officers and Asst Elections Commissioners. “

"I have been accused of favouring one party in the process of carrying out my duties. I regret that it is no longer possible for me to suffer such indignity and insult – I am not able to do so physically or psychologically.”
Quite clearly, until the electorate is assured that the process of elections is not abused by violence, by the use of state resources in favour of the party in power, by the abuse of state media and without the tampering of the ballot in the process of receiving, preserving and counting at the commissioner’s office it would not be possible to create public confidence in a free and fair election. However, this cannot be done until a commission of elections is appointed in compliance with the 17th Amendment to the Constitution.
# # #
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Thursday, January 28, 2010

SINHALA MARGINALISATION: Tamil family didn't get polling cards & were not amongst the registered voters although they lived since 2005 in Colombo!!

VOTERS IN THE COLD Tuesday, 26 January 2010 00:43

‘No vote’ at Presidential Election means ‘no vote’ at General Elections as well

By Sumaiya Rizvi

If you belong to the many disappointed citizens unfortunate enough in being unable to vote owing to no fault of your own, then you are part of an unknown number of people who will be left out of the Presidential Election not forgetting the Parliamentary Elections to follow. It is time to put ourselves into the shoes of those who fall into this category when their votes will be a crucial factor.

“I feel I’m not a citizen of this country as I don’t get an opportunity to make my vote count,” a sixty-six year old Kanapathipillai Pathmawathie resident of Vaverset Place, Wellawatte South said. She was among the many that came in search of the Grama Sevaka with the hope of securing her right to vote. Four of her family members including herself did not get their polling cards and were not amongst the registered voters although she had been living at the above address since 2005. Her family had missed the 2005 Presidential Election after they moved from Jaffna and this was to be their second time in a row.

Looking back she weighed the decision that brought her to Colombo. “When we were in the North we could not vote freely and without fear,” Pathmawathie said. Interestingly her family had applied for their names to be included in the 2008 electoral list but their names had been inadvertently included in the 2008 ‘A’ list (primary list) that included the names that will be excluded from the 2008 electoral list. Having noticed it she made an appeal to the Divisional Secretariat to ensure that her name is included in the 2008 electoral list which carries the final list of eligible voters. In this regard, she had explained her position and had produced the forms and letters that she had received from the Divisional Secretariat.

At a Presidential Election the power is returned to the people and the politician who had been entrusted with power falls at the mercy of the people. It is a gratifying feeling (with a short expiry date) during which time a voter can exercise a right in selecting a leader for the next six years. Thereafter the power is transferred and the voter, the citizen, is left literally on his/her own.

Lost franchise
Undoubtedly the public cast their ballots in the name of the war at the last Presidential Election. It is to be seen to whom the public will favour to re-awaken the country battered by the war. The forthcoming Presidential Election is creating an unprecedented buzz on the streets and in the minds of the millions. In this post-war era people were hopefully looking forward to the election. However, thousands of voters are at the mercy of the Election Department and the Grama Sevaka to uphold their fundamental rights. The Deputy Executive Director of Transparency International of Sri Lanka, Ruckshana Nanayakkara expressed his concern over the number of voters who will not be able to cast their votes at the Presidential Election. He said that the voters denied their voting rights had no access to a mechanism through which they can make a complaint. Ideally, voters should be able to make complaints with the Ministry of Public Administration, Nanayakkara stated.

“There should be a system of late voter registration once the voter’s list is announced to avoid denying citizens their freedom of expression as guaranteed in the Constitution.

The Grama Sevakas have not submitted eligible voters’ forms. They should give a receipt in acknowledgement when they accept such application forms. But that is not done,” Nanayakkara said pointing to the politicization of the Grama Sevaka appointments. He explained that in certain countries like the United States of America people get registered for a particular election within a stipulated period of time in a highly developed election system. However, he said that it would be hard to adopt the same system in Sri Lanka due to its technological backwardness. During the past Presidential Election more than 200,000 eligible voters’ names were deleted from the voters’ list he recalled. “Such omissions can have a huge impact on the elections.”

Who is responsible?

The Daily Mirror spoke to the Grama Sevaka of the Colombo South, U N.Vasana in charge of Pathmawathie’s area. Vasana said she assumed duties recently and therefore doesn’t have the files to find out why people’s names had been deleted from the 2008 electoral list. She said that the previous acting Grama Sevaka had the files relating to the 2008 electoral list and that it was not her responsibility.

Airing her views on the responsible parties for the hordes of persons flocking to her office with the hope of securing their voting rights she said that the Elections Department was responsible for omitting the names. “It is easy for them to say that we are politically biased and that our appointments are politicized,” Vasana grimaced defending her appointment.

“If the Parliamentary Elections fall before July the Elections Department will use the 2008 electoral list. Yes, the people who do not get to vote at the Presidential Election won’t get to vote at that election too,” Vasana confirmed. “The Elections Department usually prepares and finalizes the electoral list in July every year. So if the Parliamentary Elections are held before that, then they will use the former list,” she said.

The advisor to the Elections Department, Bandula Kulatunga lashed out at the political climate in the country. “The entire system is politicized from the secretaries of the ministries who want to stay in power after their age of retirement,” Kulatunga admitted. He said that the system was to blame for the scores of voters who are denied their fundamental right to vote. They [members of the public] can go to courts. It’s not worth scolding us.” Kulatunga complained that the Elections Department could not do anything for the voters who were unfairly penalized. He said that it was up to the President and the ruling party to consider the woes of the public when they decide on the dates of the Parliamentary Elections and said that if these elections are to be held before July it was most likely that the department would be left with no option but to use the 2008 electoral list.

The right to vote is a principle of democracy and it is worth considering postponing the elections based on securing the voting rights of one’s citizens. It needs to be considered because after all it is the people’s sovereignty at stake.


The Elections Department said that they cannot help voters whose names do not appear in the voters’ list. Advisor to the Elections Commissioner Bandula Kulatunga said that it was the voter’s responsibility to ensure their names are included in the electoral list. “These voters should have checked for their names in the 2008 ‘A’ lists that were made available to the Grama Sevaka in January last year. And if their names had appeared in them they could have complained about it then. But now it’s too late,” Kulatunga said.

According to him, the ‘A’ list includes the names of people who will be excluded from the electoral list of a particular year while the ‘B’ list consists of the names that will be included in the electoral list. And if a person finds that his name is in the ‘A’ list he is able to make a complaint against the Election Department for excluding his/her name.

Kulatunga also told DM that the names of voters should be included in either list and said that they should have provided both lists to the Grama Sevakas with a deadline of four weeks to make appeals. He said that the Elections Department compiles the ‘A’ list for double counting errors and to ensure that voters are permanent residents of the area.

Two households from the same neighborhood in Sri Boddhirukkarama Road, Wellawatte didn’t find their names on the ‘A’ list. Consequently, they will not be voting at the forthcoming Presidential Election. Sharadha Balasubramanium said, “All five family members’ names were not included in the ‘A’ list. Now what can they (Elections Department) say. We checked whether our names were included in the ‘A’ list and though our names were not included we didn’t complain.” The head of another household, Chaminda Kumara living down the same road said, “I went to the Grama Sevaka to see why I did not get my polling card and found that my name wasn’t in both the ‘A’ and ‘B’ lists. The Grama Sevaka told me that it was impossible situation and although it is not my fault I don’t get to vote.”

Meanwhile Kulatunga said that except for the Uva and Southern Provinces the remaining voters’ lists for the 2009 Provincial Council Elections were compiled based on the 2007 electoral lists. Kulatunga also said that voters who did not get to vote at the Presidential Election will not be able to vote at the Parliamentary Elections if it is held before July as the 2009 electoral list with all the corrections that are being done now will come into effect only after July, 2010.


UN EXPERTS: Noted that Sri Lanka was among dozens of countries where people were detained at secret locations and grilled to gather information...!!!

Report notes secret detention Thursday, 28 January 2010 12:35

A group of four independent U.N. rights investigators have, in a report, noted that Sri Lanka was among dozens of countries where people were detained at secret locations and grilled to gather information. The report is to be discussed at the UN Human Rights Council in March.

The 221-page report constitutes the most exhaustive U.N. study of secret detention practices, examining abuses by the United States and dozens of countries, including Iran, Pakistan, China, Russia, and Sri Lanka.

The report notes that in Sri Lanka, the protracted conflict between the Government and the LTTE has perpetuated the use of secret detention and that in general, Sri Lankan army officials, dressed either in military uniform or civilian clothes, would arrest ethnic Tamils and hold them in secret places of detention for a week or longer.

One such location mentioned in the report of the Special Rapporteur on torture was an army camp located off Galle Road, Kollupitiya, Colombo. The detainees were often interrogated under torture, the purpose of which was to make them confess their involvement with the LTTE. In 1992, the Government adopted a law giving more power to the armed forces and authorizing the use of secret detention camps. Although the emergency regulations issued subsequently in June 1993 outlawed secret detention, there were reliable reports indicating that people continued to be held in undisclosed places where torture was practised, and no action was taken against the perpetrators, the report said.

United Nations human rights mechanisms and non-governmental organizations have expressed serious concerns with regard to abductions by police and military personnel, detention at undisclosed locations, and enforced disappearances.

In its 2008 report to the Human Rights Council, the Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances remarked that it “remains gravely concerned at the increase in reported cases of enforced disappearances in the country”.

In its concluding observations on Sri Lanka, the Human Rights Committee expressed its regret regarding impunity for abductions and secret detentions: “the majority of prosecutions initiated against police officers or members of the armed forces on charges of abduction and unlawful confinement, as well as on charges of torture, have been inconclusive due to lack of satisfactory evidence and unavailability of witnesses, despite a number of acknowledged instances of abduction and/or unlawful confinement and/or torture, and only very few police or army officers have been found guilty and punished.” The Human Rights Committee also “note[d] with concern reports that victims of human rights violations feel intimidated from bringing complaints or have been subjected to intimidation and/or threats, thereby discouraging them from pursuing appropriate avenues to obtain an effective remedy”.

Among other countries the report notes that the United States in the company of a long line of despotic regimes, from Soviet leader Joseph Stalin to Chilean strongman Augusto Pinochet, that have used secret prisons -- although the scale of alleged U.S. abuses is infinitesimally small in comparison. (Daily Mirror online)



General Fonseka under House Arrest


Although the Army allowed General Sarath Fonseka, who contested the last Presidential Elections as the Common Opposition Candidate to go home from Hotel Cinnamon Lakeside, we reliably inform the readers that he is being kept under an unofficial House Arrest. His house on Queens Road, Colombo 03 is encircled by soldiers of the Special Task Force and Gajaba Regiment of the Army, a reliable source informed Lanka News Web.

A senior Government Minister informed us that the troops are kept near his private residence for his own security. Meanwhile, the Army troops who were assigned for General Fonseka’s

security have been withdrawn from midnight yesterday.

© IT Division - Lanka News
A Staged Suicide for Sarath Fonseka
The plan is out!


We Lanka News Web very exclusively and responsibly report that a plan hatched by the Rajapakse camp to plant a person inside Cinnamon Lakeside hotel where the Opposition Candidate General Fonseka stays at the moment to assassinate him and claim that General Fonseka “Committed Suicide” due to the pressure of the defeat. The assassin in supposed to be already inside the hotel.
The prelude to this plot is already hatched by a news item telecast on the State Media that General Fonseka assaulted the Leader of SLFP (Mahajana Wing) Mangala Samaraweera at Cinnamon Lake Side Hotel whereas Mr.Samaraweera is still in Matara.

The dictatorial government which has been existence from 2005 is now taking steps to increase the its actions by suppressing the entire opposition by intimidating and assassinating the opponents including the main Opposition Candidate and further its dictatorial activities.

© IT Division - Lanka News

“I will set fire to your Lanka Newspaper, You too be careful” – Gota threatened me! - Somawansa Amarasinghe


Mr.Somawansa Amarasinghe revealed to the media today that he was threatened by the Presidential sibling and the Secretary of Defense Gotabhaya Rajapakse over the phone stating that he will set fire to Lanka Newspaper and threatened Mr.Amarasinghe with his life. Mr.Amarasinghe was addressing a media briefing today (28) at his office in Pelawatte, Battaramulla.

Mr.Amarasinghe further stated “Today (28) at around 9.32 a.m Mr.Gotabhaya Rajapakse called me from his own mobile phone number 077 350 1626 and threatened me with my life.

I told him that we all die once and therefore, I am not afraid to die. Then he told me that I am a man who has been staying abroad. I said that he too is a man who stayed abroad for a long period of time. Then he said that he will set fire to Lanka newspaper.”
Answering a question from a media person, Mr.Amarasinghe said that he activated the speaker phone of his mobile handset when the call came and the threat was clearly heard by his security staff and the driver. He also showed the media personnel present the “incoming call log” of his mobile phone to prove the phone number and the time of receipt of the call.

- Lanka Truth

© IT Division - Lanka News

HON.OBAMA: It's why I need your help -- because I am determined to fight to defend the middle class..!!!

We don't quit‏

Fra: President Barack Obama (
Sendt: 28. januar 2010 07:30:42
Til: shan Nalliah (

shan --

I just finished delivering my first State of the Union, and I wanted to send you a quick note.

We face big and difficult challenges. Change on the scale we seek does not come easily. But I will never accept second place for the United States of America.

That is why I called for a robust jobs bill without delay. It's why I proposed a small businesses tax credit, new investments in infrastructure, and pushed for climate legislation to create a clean energy economy.

It's why we're taking on big banks, reforming Wall Street, revitalizing our education system, increasing transparency -- and finishing the job on health insurance reform.

It's why I need your help -- because I am determined to fight to defend the middle class, and special interest lobbyists will go all out to fight us.

Help me show that the American people are ready to join this fight for the middle class -- add your name to a letter to Congress today:

We have finished a difficult year. We have come through a difficult decade. But we don't quit. I don't quit.

Let's seize this moment -- to start anew, to carry the dream forward, and to strengthen our union once more.

President Barack Obama

Paid for by Organizing for America, a project of the Democratic National Committee --430 South Capitol Street SE, Washington, D.C. 20003. This communication is not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.
This email was sent to:

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION – 2010: Mahinda Rajapaksha 6,015,934....57.88% ; Sarath Fonseka 4,173,185.....40.15% !


Official Results

All Island Final Result


Mahinda Rajapaksha 6,015,934........... 57.88%
Sarath Fonseka 4,173,185............... 40.15%

Mohomad Cassim Mohomad Ismail 39,226.... 0.38%
Achala Ashoka Suraweera 26,266.......... 0.25%
Channa Janaka Sugathsiri Gamage 23,290.. 0.22%
W.V. Mahiman Ranjith 18,747............. 0.18%
Panagoda Don Prince Soloman Anura Liyanage 14,220... 0.14%
Sarath Manamendra 9,684............................. 0.09%
M.K. Sivajilingam 9,662............................. 0.09%
Ukkubanda Wijekoon 9,381............................ 0.09%
Lal Perera 9,353.................................... 0.09%
Sirithunga Jayasuriya 8,352......................... 0.08%
Vickramabahu Karunaratna 7,055...................... 0.07%
Idroos Mohomad Ilyas 6,131.......................... 0.06%
Wije Dias 4,195..................................... 0.04%
Sanath Pinnaduwa 3,523.............................. 0.03%
Mohamed Musthaffa 3,134............................. 0.03%
Battaramulle Seelarathana Thero 2,770............... 0.03%
Senaratna de Silva 2,620............................ 0.03%
Aruna de Zoysa 2,618................................ 0.03%
Upali Sarath Kongahage 2,260........................ 0.02%
Muthu Bandara Theminimulla 2,007.................... 0.02%


Valid Votes 10,393,613............................. 99.03%
Rejected Votes 101,838.............................. 0.97%
Total Polled 10,495,451............................ 74%
Regis.Electors 14,088,500

© Department of Elections All rights reserved 2010 - Site by UCSC - Hosted by SLT net

War is an institutionalized violence that has intrinsic unique elements. It is a man made disaster, which is multi-dimensional...!!!

Warfare and Mental Dr Ruwan M Jayatunge

The question is not whether PTSD is real and serious. It's a devastating mental illness. The question is how many veterans have PTSD, and clearly our goal should be to try to address the veterans' needs and help them deal with their problems and move on in life.

Chet Edwards

War is an institutionalized violence that has intrinsic unique elements. It is a man made disaster, which is multi-dimensional. War can be individual as well as a collective form of trauma. Wars represent a mental health emergency. Mental health is the springboard of thinking and communication skills, learning, emotional growth, resilience, and self-esteem. War trauma can change the parameters of mental health towards the negative side. The circumstances of the armed conflict can produce a range of emotional and behavioural stress reactions among soldiers and civilians.

In a war situation, combat stress is an inevitable factor. Combat stress is a specific stress factor that can affect the mental and physical health. It is a form of psychological pathology that is resulted from traumatic exposure to battle events. Combat in most cases involved with fear, despair, shock and anxiety. Combat stress is the result of internal and external stresses.

Combat stresses do not come from the enemy action alone. Some stresses are generated from the soldiers own unit leaders and mission demands. Combat stress symptoms and reactions interfere with mission performance. Battle stress affects both the combatants as well as civilians especially living in the war zone. War disrupts the existing social structure. The major impact of war includes disintegration of psychological wellbeing. It create a specific calamity sub-culture and often generates vicious cycles that echo even after the war.

War trauma

War can produce incredible acts of heroism and courage and it can produce intense fear and chaos. War trauma is a horrendous experience. As Hanscom (2001) points out war trauma refers to an experience that meets the definition of trauma as described in the DSM IV under PTSD that results from exposure to war conditions. War trauma may also occur and persist within the affected society in the aftermath of war. War trauma survivors may exhibit substance abuse, mistrust in social institutions, flashbacks, suicidal thoughts, antisocial behaviour, and problem with peers. Their typical responses include sleep disturbances, somatic complaints, anxiety, withdrawal and isolation. The war trauma gives rise to complicated, sometimes uncanny alterations of consciousness and personality. War trauma can alter one's view of life permanently.

The long term effects

War is a multi-layered, multi-factorial phenomenon that can have long lasting affects on the physical and mental wellbeing of the soldiers. Soldiers bear disproportionate consequences of armed conflict. Therefore, equal damage is not seen among the combatants. They sustain physical and mental damage that are not commonly seen in civilian populations. Ailments such as depression, adjustment disorders, somatoform disorders post-traumatic stress disorders, remain under treated legacies of many soldiers. In-depth interviews with veterans reveal that their experiences have impacted their personal and family life. As a result of combat trauma, mental health problems, alcohol and drug abuse, physical and sexual violence, child abuse and family disharmony are found among the combatants.

Combat- related PTSD

The circumstances of war can produce a range of emotional, psychological and behavioural stress reactions among the soldiers and officers that can lead to a condition known as combat related PTSD. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is described in the DSM4 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) as the development of characteristic symptoms following exposure to an extreme traumatic stressor. PTSD is marked by symptoms of re-experiencing, avoidance and arousal, was officially delineated in 1980 as a clinical diagnosis within the category of mental disorders.

Combat experiences are often traumatic and it can cause catastrophic stressors outside the range of usual human experience. These events include actual or threatened death or serious injury or threat to soldier's physical integrity or witnessing an event that involves death, injury, or a threat to the physical integrity of another soldier. The person's response to the event must involve intense fear, defenselessness or horror.

Combat- related PTSD is not restricted to the combat experienced veterans. Those who spent time in war zones and were surrounded by death or were put in to life threatening situations may also suffer from PTSD. In the Kulka et al.(1990) study the prevalence of current PTSD for Vietnam veterans was 15% among all veterans. In Sri Lanka, this figure could be 12% or more than that.

Stress factors experienced by the combatants:

1) Physical Stressors


Heat, cold

Vibration, noise, blast

Poison, chemicals, radiation

Infectious agents / disease

Bright light, darkness

Skin irritants

2) Physiological stressors

Strenuous work

Sleep debt



Illness or injury

3) Cognitive stressors




4) Emotional stressors

Fear and anxiety

Anger & rage producing frustration



Interpersonal feelings

Battle Fatigue

Battle Fatigue is a military term used to categorize a range of behaviours resulting from the stress of battle, which decrease the combatant's fighting efficiency. The term "Battle Fatigue" was introduced after World War II and the experts point out that 5%-15% of battle fatigue casualties fail to improve sufficiently to return to duty in the combat zone. The most common signs include, slowing of the reaction time, slowness of thought, difficulty prioritizing, difficulty initiating routine tasks, preoccupation with minor issues and familiar tasks, indecision and lack of concentration, loss of initiative with fatigue and exhaustion.

Combat shock

Soldiers can go into a state of traumatic shock after exposure to vigorous stress. Shock is a sudden and often intense disturbance and emotional state that may leave soldiers feeling stunned or dazed. The initial traumatic event must have involved actual or threatened death or serious injury or a threat to the physical integrity of self or another person, and the person must have felt fear, helplessness or horror. During the event or immediately after soldiers usually experience numbing, detachment, derealization, depersonalization or dissociative amnesia. As the initial shock subsides, reactions vary from one soldier to another.

War trauma and civilians

In a military conflict, the first casualties are always the innocent civilians and it is the naked truth of an armed conflict. Nearly 85% of victims killed in WWI were combatants (Graves, 2003). However, "today, some 90% of all people killed in wars are innocent, civilian women and children" (Ehrenreich, 1997; Kolb-Angelbeck, 2000, cited in Graves, 2003, p. 203). In a war today, heavy artillery shelling and aerial bombings take place and because of high tech warfare, innocent civilians suffer.

The Northern conflict in Sri Lanka has led to tens of thousands of people fleeing their native villages. Some families had left to avoid LTTE child forcible recruitments. Many houses in the conflict zone are now in ruins. Some civilians perished in cross- fires.

Stanley Krippner and Teresa M. McIntyre highlight the psychological impact of war trauma on civilians. They point out that psychological and emotional injuries may be the most enduring effects of war, yet historically they may be the least addressed in terms of rebuilding a society and preventing future violence.

War dislocates the social fabric affecting livelihoods. According to Professor Daya Somasundaram disasters have an effect not only on individuals but also on their family, extended family, group, community, village and wider society. The civilians of the North and South faced the disturbing effects of the war.

The civilians exposed to war were traumatized in different ways. The effects have longer-lasting consequences than destruction itself. Sometimes unintentionally, parents inflict their psychological baggage on their children and it leads to a vicious cycle of trauma. On most occasions, the impact of war and extreme stress on civilian populations has caused numerous personality changes in them. Psychological responses to these phenomena were expressed as social aggression, alcoholism, family discord, child abuse, self-harm and suicides.

The psychophysical effects

The psychophysical effects of combat have been recorded since the early days of human civilization. From the time of Homer’s ancient story of the battle between the Trojans and the Greeks (1200 BC), military personnel have been confronted by the trauma of war. According to historians, Saul the King of Israel (11th century BC) had abnormal behaviour with inclination towards violence. On one occasion, he went into a brutal rage and tried to kill his son Jonathan.

Alexander the Great (356 BC – 323 BC), who had conquered a large portion of the known world in that era, suffered from combat fatigue. When his forces came near the Indus river, Alexander’s forces were exhausted and refused to march further.

Emperor Ashoka (304 BC- 232 BC) of India experienced a depressive reaction soon after the Kalinga War, after witnessing deaths and destruction. He felt disheartened for his military actions and completely renounced violence and embraced Buddhism.

The Roman Empire, which lasted from 27 BC to 1453, was filled with battle stress. A countless number of soldiers and civilians experienced a great deal of combat related stresses during this time period. Once archeologists discovered an ancient bunker in the Britannic Islands, which was used by the Roman soldiers. They found frescoes that portrayed the isolation, nostalgia, uncertainty, and fear experienced by the soldiers.

The Great Oriental Conqueror Tamerlane (1336- 1405) was highly affected by war stress and demonstrated aggressive and sadistic behaviour. He was fond of building pyramids of human skulls. Once he made a giant pyramid after a war which contained some 40,000 skulls. The prophet Nostradamus named Napoleon Bonaparte an Anti Christ. Napoleon’s forces invaded many parts in Europe and North Africa. His Moscow invasion in 1812 caused heavy damage to the French forces. The French army had to face a cold Russian winter, famine and General Kutuzov’s cannon fire. After his disastrous retreat, Napoleon was sent into exile. He escaped from the island of Elba and engaged in the so- called Hundred Day War. Finally, Napoleon Bonaparte was defeated by the Duke of Wellington – the Leopard of England. Napoleon went into post combat depression and died in the island of St Helena in 1821 while in exile.

During the US Civil War Dr Mendez Da Costa evaluated 300 soldiers referred to him for a syndrome that he called Irritable Heart. This syndrome was characterized by shortness of breath, palpitations, burning chest pain, fatigability, headache, diarrhoea, dizziness and disturbed sleep. This condition was later called Da Costa Syndrome. (a syndrome is a group of symptoms that occur together and that are characteristic of a disease or condition).

At the beginning of the World War one the Effort Syndrome was frequently attributed to cardiac hypertrophy caused by heavy marching , packs compressing the chest. The Effort syndrome was considered to be a psychoneurosis and not a medical disease. In 1938 Soley and Shock claimed that hyperventilation was responsible for the symptoms of Effort Syndrome.

Until the World War 1 (1914-1918), psychological consequences of war trauma were considered merely manifestations of poor discipline and cowardice and often the victims were severely punished. Some military records of the WW1 indicate that a considerable number of shell shocked soldiers were given the FP -1 or the Field Punishment Number One. FP -1 involved the offender being attached to a fixed object for up to two hours a day and for a period up to three months, often put in place within range of enemy shellfire. Dr Charles Myer suspected the psychological factors associated with shell shock.

The Nobel Prize Laureate Ernest Hemingway served in the Lincoln Brigade during the Spanish Civil War that erupted in 1936. Hemingway saw the horrendous war trauma in Spain and that inspired him to write his famous novel 'Farewell to Arms'. Anyhow, in later years Ernest Hemingway experienced depression and took his own life. According to the Military Psychiatrist Dr William Pike, half of the Spanish Civil War veterans suffered from severe combat- related stress. At one point, Dr William Pike treated 28 shell-shocked men who were hiding in a wine cellar.

During World War 2 (1939-1945), battle stress was classified as Operational Fatigue or War Neurosis. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome was evident during World War 2 and most of the symptoms had a somatic nature. It has been estimated that 10% of US servicemen developed combat exhaustion in WW2. The military authorities were not very empathetic towards war stressed sufferers and on one occasion General George S. Patton slapped and verbally abused Pvt Paul G. Bennet and Pvt Charles H. Kuhl, who experienced battle fatigue.

The term Section Eight was used to identify the victims of psychological effects of war trauma in the Korean War, which continued from 1950 to 1953. Psychiatric evacuations were considerably reduced during the Korean War due to the praiseworthy work of Dr Albert Glass. However in a recent study done by Dr Malcolm Sim and colleagues of Centre for Occupational and Environmental Health, Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria,they found anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and depression in Korean War veterans 50 years after the war.

In 1965, United States sent troops into South Vietnam to help fight communist guerrillas. US troops fought in hostile territory facing sudden ambushes and booby trap mines. US forces faced defeat and were forced to withdraw from Vietnam in 1975. During the Vietnam War, 2.8 million US servicemen served in Southeast Asia, mainly in Vietnam, and almost one million were exposed to active combat. By the end of the war over 50,000 Vietnam veterans were diagnosed with Combat- related Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. PTSD has been found in 15% of 500,000 men who were in Vietnam. It is said 20,000 veterans committed suicide in the war's aftermath.

In 1979 on December 25th, the Soviet Union sent forces to Afghanistan. By 1986, about 118,000 Soviet troops and 50,000 Afghan Government troops were facing perhaps 130,000 Mujahideen guerrillas. Following the conflict over one million Afghans died and the Soviet army lost 14,427 combatants. When Mikhail Gorbachev became the Soviet leader in 1985, he was keen in getting Soviet troops out of Afghanistan. The Soviet withdrawal was completed in February 1989. Although the Soviet health authorities did not comment on psychological casualties of the Afghan war, there were significant numbers of PTSD victims in the Red Army who fought in Afghanistan. Since PTSD was not recognized in the Soviet Union of that era, the Afghan veterans did not receive proper psychological and psychiatric treatment. Many veterans are still hounded.

The Persian Gulf War (2 August 1990 – 28 February 1991), also known as the First Gulf War was conducted by the Coalition Forces to free Kuwait from Iraqi forces, led by Saddam Hussein. The number of Coalition wounded in combat seems to have been 776, including 458 Americans. Iraq sustained between 20,000 and 35,000 fatalities. The Gulf War Syndrome was evident during the Persian Gulf War and many returning Coalition solders reported illnesses such as headaches, memory loss, fatigue, sleep disorders, intestinal ailments, and unusual loss of hearing. Nearly 150,000 veterans have showed symptoms of Gulf War illness.

According to Toomey R and Kang HK, Karlinsky ( "Mental health of US Gulf War Veterans 10 Years After the war", British Journal of Psychiatry 2007), found that deployment in the Gulf War was associated with increased levels of mental disorders, psychological symptoms, and a lower quality of life - beginning during the war and persisting at a lower rate 10 years later. Around 700,000 US military personnel were deployed to the Middle East during the 1991 Persian Gulf War. These veterans reported greater psychological symptoms immediately after the war than veterans who were not sent to the Gulf. Ten years later, these cases of depression and non-PTSD anxiety disorders remained significantly more prevalent among the deployed compared with non-deployed veterans. PTSD was over three times more prevalent among deployed veterans.

The War in Afghanistan is an ongoing armed conflict which began on October 7, 2001 and the Second Gulf War, also known as the Iraq War, is an ongoing military campaign, which began on March 20, 2003, with the invasion of Iraq by a multinational force led by troops from the United States and the United Kingdom. There are massive military campaigns in the present day. These conflicts have produced a large number of psychological casualties. The researchers say nearly 20 percent of military service members who have returned from Iraq and Afghanistan, 300,000 in all, report symptoms of PTSD or major depression. According to a 2005 VA study of 168,528 Iraqi veterans, 20 percent were diagnosed with psychological disorders, including 1,641 with PTSD.

The Sri Lankan conflict, which lasted for nearly three decades, had generated a large number of combatants, members of the LTTE and civilians affected by war trauma, especially PTSD. Most of these war stressors were not diagnosed sufficiently, and they are not receiving adequate treatment. Therefore, war stress can affect Sri Lankan society for a long time. To minimize the psychological damage to society, effective measures must be implemented.


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Today new aspirations and hopes have come up in minds of innocent civilians living in the North for a prosperous future..!!!

Murikandy Pillaiar

IDPs- Resttlement-Mankulam
Mullaitivu booms with rapid development
Irangika Range in Mullaitivu

Sri Lanka is on the threshold of a new beginning. The ruthless terrorism that hindered the country’ s development for almost three decades has been eradicated completely from its soil and the country is in the process of a renaissance.

Despite a number of obstacles and allegations, President Mahinda Rajapaksa has been able to proclaim a new epoch in the country by liberating motherland from the clutches of terrorism. Today new aspirations and hopes have come up in minds of innocent civilians living in the North for a prosperous future. A large number of reconstruction activities have already been initiated by the Government. Simultaneously relief operations are under-way to restore the lost opportunities in the regions.

Transmission tower construction in Kokkavil

Relief and resettlement operations have been expedited under directives of President Mahinda Rajapaksa by the Presidential Special Task Force on Rehabilitation and Resettlement for those people displaced from their regular places of living due to the situation that prevailed in the country.

In the process, the Government, Security Forces and the Local Government Authorities had shouldered a greater responsibility to make every village in the North to become the hub of development. The people in the North have already expressed their enthusiasm extending their full support to the Government for its efforts to develop their native places.

The `Uthuru Wasanthaya’ is in full swing in the Mullaitivu district which was severely battered by atrocious LTTE terrorism. Under the directives of Presidential Task Force for the Northern Development Chaired by Senior Presidential Advisor Basil Rajapaksa (M.P.), mega development projects which were confined to Colombo earlier have initiated in the Mullaitivu district.

Identifying priorities is the key factor in properly implementing such a mega project. Therefore, without depending on secondary information the Task Force meets local government authorities, people, displaced people at welfare centres, to get a clear picture of the respective localities by making regular field visits.

According to Northern Province Governor Major General G.A. Chandrasiri, the mega development plan focuses on three main aspects of deminig, resettlement and infrastructure development. It is implemented in three stages under the “Uthuru Wasanthaya” 180-day program as short term plan and the long-term plan. At present demining and resettlement have accelerated parallely to the development in Mullaitivu.

Realizing a main concerns on human resettlements, President Mahinda Rajapaksa in his recent visit to the North has directed Government Officials to rebuild the town water tank and the water supply scheme, electricity, sanitation facilities, with immediate effect in the area, to support the livelihoods of resettled people which is carried out under the plan.

Uthuru Wasanthaya programme was commenced to cater to the needs of the people who have undergone numerous hardships due to the war in the past three decades. Infrastructure development, electricity, water supply and sanitation, agriculture, irrigation, livestock development, inland fisheries, health, solid waste disposal, education, sports, cultural affairs and transportation are some of the areas have already been helped the civilians to return to their normal livelihood while businessmen to restart to their buying and selling.

Mullaitivu at a glance

Sales center of Pooja items

Mullaitivu District is one of the newly created districts in Sri Lanka in 1979 which was covered by Mannar, Trincomalee and Vavuniya districts. The district occupies the Eastern part of the mainland of Northern Province.

Mullaitivu district has Killinochchi district on its northern border, Trincomalee district and Vavuniya district and part of the Mannar district in the south, Mannar district in the west and the sea in the East. It covers land area approximately 2516.9 forest area excluding larger inland water). This district accounts for 3.8 percent of the country’s total area.

The physical feature of Mullaitivu district is flat land, generally sloping to the East and North, in the Western part, towards West and South.

This district has 70km of coastal belt and four lagoons of Kokkulai, Nayaru, Nanthikadal and Mathalan with high potentials for prawn culture. The elevation varies from sea level to 36.5 metres. Major soil groups are reddish brown earth and red yellow lato soils which are suitable for cultivation.

This district consists of different eco-systems as forest land. Shrub land, coconut plantation, agriculture land and water bodies etc. Total land area (including forest area and excluding large inland water bodies) is 251,690 hectares. Approximately 167,850 hectares which is 64.1 percent of the total land area consists of forest, agriculture covers nearly 44,040 hectares (16.9 percent), range land accounts for 13,650 hectares (5.2 percent) another 26,150 hectares constitutes of water and homestead and build up land accounts for 5.1 percent.

Mullaitivu district is in the dry zone of Sri Lanka having bimodal rainfall pattern. The average annual rainfall varies from 626 mm to 3276mm per year. The district receives most of the rain during the North-East monsoon, from early October to late January. Annual temperature is low during October to January and there being significant fluctuation between day and night temperatures. The temperature is ranging from 23.0 degree Celsius to 39.3 degree Celsius.

This district is bestowed with water resources, which could be utilized for agriculture development. There are no major perennial rivers that could be tapped to provide irrigation cultivation. The district has three major irrigation tanks with irrigable area of 15,373 acres, another sixteen medium tanks with irrigable are a of 9,552 acres and 383 minor irrigation tanks with a command area of 11,099 acres. Rain water is the only major source of irrigation for agriculture.

The district has five administrative divisions and covers 127 Grama Sevaka officers divisions of Maritimepattu, Puthukkudiyiruppu, Oddusuddan, Thunukkai and Manthai East and 620 villages estimated population in this district was 220,311 as at December 31, 2007.

The Economy
Major portion of the population is engaged in Agriculture sector which includes fishing and livestock, other occupations are in the industrial sector, Government Sector and private establishments. Nearly 19,416 and 3,612 families are engaged in agriculture and fishing respectively.

Devotees in Murukkandi Kovil

Development drive
The Government has allocated Rs.1,000 million for the development projects in last year. Infrastructure facilities are developed in keeping with the Uthuru Vasanthaya 180-day development program in the Mullativu district with a heavy capital outlay. It is expected to add the economic potentials in the district to boost the national economy. The Government has allocated funds of Rs.125 million for the road development, Rs.20 million for the minor irrigation development, Rs. 40 million for the education, Rs.17 million for the cooperative sector development under the Uthuru Wasanthaya program in last year.

Meanwhile, a sum of Rs.20 million has been allocated for the roads improvement under the Maga Neguma project and Rs.30 million for the administration sector development in the district.

Under the roads development sector, Mankulam-Mullaitivu road at a cost of Rs.77 million, Mankulam-Vellankulam Road at a cost of Rs.59 million and Kandy-Jaffna road at a cost of Rs.10 million are being constructed in Oddusuddan.

Among the mega scale projects, new transmission tower which is the Sri Lanka’s tallest broadcast tower at a cost of Rs.400 million in Kokkavil, Mankulam Regional Urban Center Development project, which will develop Mankulam as provincial administration centre second to the Jaffna Metro Urban Centre in the North including Police Complex, Courts Complex, Bus stand and Railway station, Electricity scheme in Thirumurukkandy and new two fuel stations are progressing the constructions currently.

Base Hospital in Mallavi, Divisional Hospital in Naddankandal and the MOH office in Mallavi have been opened and they are functioning now.

The renovations and reconstructions of the irrigation systems and canals are also taking place and will be completed shortly. A number of tanks are being renovated and constructed to provide water to the farming lands. The Government is in the process of re-opening schools while helping the displaced to resettle. In addition inland fisheries and other vocational training programs to promote self- employment are implemented in the Mullaitivu district.

Huge amount of money is allocated to develop roads, in the rural areas which are under the Local Governments while the main access roads are reconstructed by the Road Development Authority.

Under the Northern Spring, road development, uplifting transport system, developing ayurvedic hospitals, repairing and reconstructing irrigation systems as well as improving the schools are given priority.

Under the Gama Neguma program, developing fisheries and agricultural industries and livestock development activities are in progress.

Meanwhile, Nation Building and Estate Infrastructure Development Ministry has allocated Rs.74 million for repairing of Oddusuddan-Thaddamalai road, Olumadu-Pulumachchinathakulam- Ampakamam road in Oddusuddan. Repairing Kokkavil-Thunukkai road at a cost of Rs. 9 million, Thunukkai-Alankulam road at a cost of Rs.1 million, Poovarasankulam-Thunukkai road at a cost of Rs. 25 million, Thunukkai-Thenniyankulam road at a cost of Rs.3 million and Nagapaduvan path at a cost of Rs. 8 million had already been constructed in Thunukkai area. Roads of Kollavilankulam, Vannivilankulam-Panamkamam, Palamoddai-Moonrummurippu, Vavunikkulam, Vavunikkulsm-Pandiyankulam have been repaired at a cost of Rs.12 million in Manthai East area.

In addition eight rural roads in Ampalapperumalkulam, Mallavi, Thunukkai, Koddaikaddiyakulam, Pukalenthinagar, Mallavi, Alankulam and Puththuvedduvan had constructed at a cost of Rs. 5 million in Thunukkai area.Seven rural roads in Palinagar, Ampalpuram, Oddaruthtakulam, Kollavilankulam, Palinagar, Panankamam and Pandiyankulam has completed the construction at a cost of Rs.5 million in Manthai East. Three rural roads in Mannakandal, Muththaiyankaddu, Katchilaimadu had already been constructed in Oddusuddan division at a cost of Rs.6 million. These roads had constructed under the financial assistance by the Highways and Road Development Ministry under the Maga Neguma project.

In addition, Nation Building and Estate Infrastructure Development Ministry has funded for completion of constructions of 24 roads at a cost of Rs.7 million in the Thunukkai division while 30 roads at a cost of Rs.15 million in Manthai East. In Oddusuddan, 30 roads have been completed constructions at a cost of Rs.21million.

Newly resettled people in Mankulam. Pictures by Sudam Gunasinghe

Meanwhile, construction of the public market in Mallavi and Palinagar are being progressed at a cost of Rs.2 million funded by the Provincial Council.

Construction work of seven electricity schemes in Maritimepattu, two schemes in Oddusuddan and one scheme in Thunukkai have undertaken by the Power and Energy Ministry at a cost of Rs.48 million.

Seventeen electricity schemes in Maritimepattu, Oddusuddan and Thunukkai are also under construction at a cost of Rs. 221million funded by the CAARP.

Under the irrigation projects, 9 tanks in Thunukkai at a cost of Rs.10 million, 3 tanks in Manthai East at a cost of Rs.2 million, one tank in Oddusuddan and Puthukudiyiruppu at a cost of Rs.6 million provided by PSDG have been renovated currently.

Meanwhile, the Nation Building and Estate Infrastructure Development Ministry has allocated Rs.19 million to construct and repair 10 tanks and three buildings in Thunukkai, 8 tanks in Manthai East and four tanks and two buildings in Oddusuddan.

In addition, 11 schools in Thunukkai division at a cost of Rs 26 million, five schools in Manthai East and five schools in Oddusuddan have constructed at a cost of Rs 39 million.

Under the health sector development, renovation and repairs of base hospitals, doctors quarters, water tanks, wards, clinic rooms, operation theaters, nurses quarters and provision of furniture and ambulances have been undertaken at a cost of Rs.109 million in Thunukkai, Manthai East and Oddusuddan areas.

Meanwhile, 10 outlets in Thnukkai, 9 outlets in Manthai East and six outlets in Oddusuddan have constructed to setup cooperatives at a cost of Rs.17 million.

Resettlement Process
The Government has resettled 6,783 members of 2,173 families in Thunukkai division, 5,276 members of 1,676 families in Manthai East division and 703 members of 214 families in Oddusuddan currently.

As soon as these areas were liberated the Government initiated the de-mining program. “A major part of the de-mining activities is conducted by the Sri Lanka Army and three Non Governmental Organizations in the East of Mullaitivu district to expedite the resettlement.

Displaced people in the Mullaitivu district were given all possible facilities they need. Their health and sanitation facilities were also kept at a high level with sufficient medical staff in each hospital and medical centers in the area.

Meanwhile, Resettlement and Disaster Relief Service Ministry has provided 21,960 tin sheets, Rs. 5,000 cash payment and agricultural tools for 1,830 families to resettled people in Thunukkai while 15,156 tin sheets, Rs.5,000 cash payment and agricultural tools for 1,263 families in Manthai East. Meanwhile, It has provided 1,032 tin sheets and Rs.5,000 cash payment and agricultural tools for 86 families in Oddusuddan have already been provided.

Local Government Office in Northern Province has provided 4 tractors and trailers, 01 land master and 2 push bicycles for resettled people in Thunukkai while Agrarian Services and Agriculture Development Ministry has provided 9 four wheel tractors for them.

Agriculture Ministry and Provincial Public Administration Secretariat in Northern Province have provided 10 tractors, 30 water pumps, 86 sprayers, 3 bicycles, 65 vegetable crates, 17 secateurs, 3 pruning saws, cutting knife, 30 bicycles and Rs.1,000 for 82 beneficiaries in Thunukkai. State Trading Corporation has provided 1,950 agriculture implement items were proved for resettlers in this division.

Meanwhile, UNHCR, IOM, WFP,NECORD and LEADS have also provided NFRI core kits and hygiene kits for 1,830 resettlers, 3 ambulance, 3 water bowsers, 15 water tanks, 01 water pump, 01 gully emptier, 1,275 timber set tents, 500 tarpaulin, 200 million tents, 6 Japan tents, 8 Mamties, 8 axes, 8 saws, 5 crow bars, 1 hammer, 5 knives, 20 bicycles and pumps, dry rations, 2 tractors, 575 half barrels and 560 plastic buckets to restterlers in Thunukkai.

Meanwhile, hygiene kits and tarpaulin for 1,263 families, 6 water tanks, 1,400 agricultural implement items, dry rations, 2 tractors, 5 water pumps, 12 sprayers, 2 bicycles, 15 vegetables crates, 10 secateurs and 15 vegetable crates, 20 bicycles and Rs.10,000 for 14 beneficiaries in resettled people in Manthai East.

In the Oddusuddan division, hygiene kits for 99 families, 6 water tanks, 3 tractors, 1 water bowser, 86 agricultural implementation items and dry rations had been provided.

Meanwhile, Among the health facility, mobile health services, health educational programs and Line awareness education programs are being conducted for the benefit of resettled people.

Seven schools in Thunukkai division have been reopened and 24 principals have reported to the zonal educational department in Thunukkai.

Meanwhile, 301 students in Thunukkai and Manthai East had faced the G.C.E O/L examination . Arragnments have been taken to reopen all schools in these three divisions in January.

Education Ministry, UNICEF and Provincial Ministry have provided delets school furniture to reopened schools in Thunukkai.

In addition, 9 cooperative outlets had opened in Thunukkai. Weekly mobile services are conducted by cooperative societies in Palayamurukandy and Puththuvedduvan resettled villages.

Eight outlets in Manthai East and two outlets in Oddusuddan are being implemented currently.

There are 10 major and medium tanks will provide water for the cultivation of 2,970 acres in Thunukkai. Twenty-one minor tanks will supply water for the cultivated land of 1,030 acres in Thunukkai. Cultivation activities are in progress in this division while 20 farmer organizations have already been registered in Thunukkai and Manthai East divisions.

Agricultural Department has provided 3,070 seeds of cowpea, maize, ground nuts, 500 cuttings of sweet potatoes, 1,000 cuttings of manioc, vegetable seeds and 1,027 home garden kits and 2,250 bushels of paddy seeds for the resettled people in Thunukkai.

Meanwhile, 400 jack fruit plants, 150 mango plants and 100 coconut plants have already been provided to resettlers in Thunukkai and Manthai East respectively.

Three post offices and two sub post offices have been opened in Thunukkai, Manthai East and Oddusudan recently. Pradeshya Sabhas in Thunukkai and Manthai East had started to function now. Banks, cultural centers and markets and libraries have also been opened currently. Meanwhile, 269 wells in Thunukkai, 50 wells in Manthai East and 4 wells in Oddusuddan had already cleaned by the Water Resources Board.

Preliminary actions for reconstruction of houses under the North East Housing Reconstruction program have commenced in Thunukkai, Manthai East and Oddusuddan.

Meanwhile, resettled farmers are engaged in paddy cultivation in 1,000 acres of lands in Thunukkai, Manthai East and Mallavi divisions.

Special Thanks

Task Force 3 in Mullaitivu Lt. Col. Keerthi Ranasinghe, Media Secretary to the Northern Governor Harindranath Chandrasiri