Saturday, December 24, 2005 wishes all our visitors a very Merry Christmas

Please spare a thought for the Parliamentarian Mr. J. Pararajasingham who was shot dead by the Sri Lanka Army Intelligence while participating in Mass.

TNA MP shot dead during Christmas Mass

Mr. Joseph Pararajasingham, a senior Tamil politician and the Batticaloa district Member of Parliament (MP) of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) was shot and killed by gunmen of the Sri Lanka Intelligence Service at St. Mary's co-cathedral church in Batticaloa town while attending Christmas prayers early morning at 12:15 a.m Sunday.

The MPs wife, Mrs. Sugunam Pararajasingham, seriously wounded in the gunfire, was rushed to Batticaloa Hospital in critical condition. Seven more persons were injured in the gunfire, civilian sources said.


LTTE requests for immediate resumption of peace talks

The Political Head of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) MR. S. P. Tamilselven, requested the co-chairs of the peace process in Sri Lanka to take immediate steps to resume the peace talks.

While welcoming Japan’s offer to host the 1st round of peace talks Mr. Tamilselven highlighted the need to hold the first round of talks in Norway, the country that is the facilitator of the peace process and also heading the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission.

Mr. Tamilselvan denied that the LTTE had any involvement in the recent attacks against occupying forces in Jaffna and Mannar. He further highlighted the fact that most of these attacks seem to be in retaliation to several crimes being committed against residents in the occupied areas. He further highlighted the abduction, rape and murder of a 20 year old female in the Pungudutheevu area of Jaffna by the Sri Lanka Navy (SLN), on days leading up to the mine attack on the same.

Trincomalee General Hospital staff request for protection

Following several attacks by the Sri Lanka Army (SLA), Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) and auxiliary armed gangs, the workers including doctors and nurses of the Trincomalee General Hospital held a peaceful protest requesting for protection.

The peace march which began at the premises of the hospital, continued towards the North-East Health Secretariat.  

5 civilians shot dead in Jaffna

Following a grenade attack by unknown attackers, the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) had opened fire into a crowd of people, injuring many and killing five people including one female.

Reports from Jaffna suggest that the five had arrived on the Jaffna mainland from the islets of the Jaffna peninsula, just minutes before becoming the latest victims to SLA’s continued campaign of violence.

At the same time, several buses had been stopped, passengers unloaded and severely beaten by the SLA.

At least 20 people have been admitted to Jaffna Hospital with injuries following attacks by the SLA.

Meanwhile, the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) has remained tight lipped.

Many civilians have started to question the impartiality cover of the SLMM.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

'laughing is good for the heart'

"Don’t be a traitor to your people" Mr. Anandasangaree (not even an MP) writes to Thondaman

Eastern University students protest against Sri Lanka Army atrocities

The students of Eastern University held a peaceful protest against the atrocities being committed by the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) in the North, specifically the violence that has been unleashed in recent days against the lecturers and students of the Jaffna University.

The students called upon the international community to immediately condemn all attacks on Tamil civilians including students and academics. However, the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM), international community and international media continue to turn a blind eye to these gross violations of the Cease Fire Agreement.

High Security Zone Residents’ Liberation Force strikes in Jaffna

The High Security Zone Residents’ Liberation Force (HSZRLF) has claimed responsibility for a knife attack on an occupying Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldier in the Ambun area of Jaffna peninsula.

The solider was rushed to Pallali Military hospital, sources said.

The HSZRLF is a people’s force that has emerged during the past few months. The same group claimed responsibility for the two claymore mine attacks on occupying soldiers earlier this month.

HSZRLF has vowed to continue its armed campaign until the last occupying soldier leaves the Tamil Homeland.

32% of the Jaffna peninsula is occupied under the pretext of High Security Zone by the SLA. Over 300 000 people were forcibly removed from their homes from 1989 onwards. After four years of cease fire these people continue to live as internally displaced people on road sides, schools and cattle sheds.

Sri Lanka Army attacks Jaffna Hindu College students

Students of the prestigious Jaffna Hindu College became the latest targets for the guns of the occupying Sri Lanka Army (SLA).

Sources from Jaffna reported that the students were involved in a peaceful sit in protest against the violence that was unleashed by the SLA on the Vice Chancellor, professors, workers and students of the University of Jaffna on the previous day.

The SLA which seems to have been given a licence to murder by the new extremist government in Colombo had opened fire on the students. Several students were reported injured during the firing, sources added.

Sri Lanka Army fabricates ‘grenade attacks’

The entire Jaffna peninsula is being intensely combed by the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) which is fabricating incidents of ‘grenade attacks’ to justify its unnecessary intrusion on civilian lives, said local sources.

Residents of the peninsula expressed grave concerns over the lack of respect shown by the SLA towards people’s right to privacy and the Tamil cultural norms.

‘There are at times isolated incidents of grenade attacks carried out by the people’s forces in retaliation to arbitrary violence unleashed by the SLA,’ said a resident of Manipay. ‘Although the SLA knows fore well that the attacker was just one individual who had probably fled far from the scene, they (the SLA) insist on searching every house and every inch of land in the town,’ he added.

Defence analysts say that the overreaction of the SLA, including the use of excessive force against civilians is indeed propelling the cycle of violence in the peninsula.

Monday, December 19, 2005

They say a picture tells a thousand words

Above are photos taken on Monday morning, when Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers attacked the Vice Chancellor, professors, workers and students of the University of Jaffna.

Below is the REUTERS (news agency) version of the incident. Many press, television, radio and web based news organisations report news (?) from Reuters.

Sri Lanka army fires as crowd attacks checkpoints
Mon Dec 19, 2005 3:49 AM ET

COLOMBO (Reuters) - Sri Lankan troops fired shots on Monday to disperse a crowd attacking checkpoints in the northern city of Jaffna, the army said, while the local hospital said at least one man had been wounded.

Jaffna Teaching Hospital said it had received 14 casualties, including one person with a gunshot wound.

Army spokesman Brigadier Nalim Witharanage blamed the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) for inciting the marchers to throw stones at the checkpoints and said the troops had fired into the air.

"It is obviously incited by the LTTE," he said, adding that he had no details on whether anyone had been shot.

"There are not many of them -- definitely less than 100 -- but there are people behind the scenes who are trying to provoke the army," he said.

The military blames the rebels for a string of attacks on its troops in the northern government-held Jaffna enclave and in the east. Diplomats fear that a 2002 cease-fire is coming under mounting strain.

The hospital said it was unclear whether a second person being treated had been shot and that 12 others had suffered non-critical injuries.

"There is definitely one gunshot injury, but it is in the thigh and his condition is stable," hospital director Dr V. Shivantha said. "The other injuries are multiple injuries, maybe some fractures."

Further the agency claims;
Our information is trusted and drives decision-making across the globe. Our reputation is based on speed, accuracy and freedom from bias.

We are confident that our visitors are more than capable of making up their own minds with regards to the above claim.


Peaceful march attacked by Sri Lanka Army; Vice Chancellor; Professors; workers and students of the University of Jaffna injured

A peaceful march set off from the grounds of the University of Jaffna to the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) offices on Monday morning. The marchers were to present a complaint against the use of violence against students, by the occupying Sri Lanka Army (SLA) on Sunday evening.

The non-violent demonstration was brought to an abrupt end when the SLA soldiers based at Parameswara Junction in Jaffna opened fire. Many people including the Vice Chancellor; Professors; workers and students were severely injured. Firing and merciless beatings by the SLA soldiers went on for several minutes, local sources reported.

Attack on innocent civilians, especially on students and academics of the calibre of Vice Chancellor are a gross violation of the Cease Fire Agreement.

The SLMM and the international community have remained tight lipped. It appears that the international media will forever remain blind to the photos that have been included in this news report. A follower of Sri Lankan affairs can easily envisage the reactions of the SLMM, international community and the international media, had these attacks been carried out by people not wearing the SLA uniform.

6000 Jaffna University students request for self defence training from the LTTE

Following the recent spree of violence unleashed on the Vice Chancellor, Professors, workers and students of the University of Jaffna; the 6000 students who currently study at the university have requested the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to provide them with self defence training.

In recent months the LTTE had been providing self defence training to civilians from many villages. Those living in the occupied areas have been travelling to the liberated Vanni mainland to take part in the exercises.

Fishing nets are being destroyed by Sri Lanka Navy

Fishermen from the Poonereyan area of Kilinochchi district have complained of their fishing nets being systematically destroyed by the Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) which is based on the other side of the lagoon, at Kilali Naval base.

The fishermen, who have suffered from over 25 years of war and the Tsunami disaster of December 2005, had just begun to rebuild their lives.

A fishing net costs in the region of 150 000 Sri Lankan Rupees and is often unaffordable to an average family.

Many fishermen had benefited from donations of fishing nets from the Non-Governmental Organisations operating in the area.

Sri Lanka army tells civilians to knock down all tall buildings near the High Security Zone

The Sri Lanka Army (SLA) which occupies the Jaffna district has ordered residents to knock down all tall walls, water tanks and other tall structures that are present near the area designated as High Security Zone.

Nearly 32% of the district falls under the pretext of High Security Zone, from which civilians have been forcibly removed.

Local residents said that the SLA has threatened to kill them, unless they followed orders. Many residents said that they had spent several thousand rupees building new water tanks and walls during the past few years.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Sri Lanka navy opens fire on civilians, one person seriously injured

One person was seriously injured and several others attained minor injuries when the Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) opened fire at civilians in Pungudutheevu area.

Sources from the region said, that the local residents were involved in a peaceful protest to condemn the abduction, rape and murder of a 20 year old female in Pungudutheevu on Saturday by the SLN.

Meanwhile the seriously injured Mr. Palasingham Varatharasa (54) a postman from the same area has been submitted to the Jaffna Hospital.

Pungudutheevu area remains tense as civilians fear further attacks and sexual assaults by the occupying SLN.

107 Tamils arrested in Colombo

Sri Lanka Army (SLA) and Sri Lanka Police (SLP) were involved in house to house searches across Colombo on Sunday. 107 Tamils were said to have been detained during the search operation.

Meanwhile three journalists working for the ‘Thinakural’ Tamil daily were also arrested while returning home from work.

The possession of journalist’s identification card, national identification card could not prevent these journalists from being arrested. Even calls from Tamil MPs have been unable to free them.

Auto-rickshaw drivers attacked by Sri Lanka Army

Two auto-rickshaw drivers came under violent attacks from the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) in the Erupaalai area at around on Saturday.

The SLA soldiers who were involved in a search operation had mercilessly beaten the drivers before threatening to kill them unless they stopped working during evening hours.

The drivers have filled a complaint with the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM).

Mothers Front strongly condemns rape and murder of young female in Pungudutheevu

A young female who was visiting a relative’s home in Punudutheevu of Jaffna district on Saturday at around 7p.m was abducted, raped and murdered by the Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) which is based on the island.

Jaffna Mothers Front has strongly condemned the incident.

Sexual assaults by Sri Lanka Army, Navy and Police on youth, mothers and even the elderly have continued through the four years of the so called peace process, a strongly worded statement by the mothers said.

They further highlighted the fact that a female by the name of Sarathampal, was subjected to rape and then murdered by the SLN in the same area of Pungudutheevu during war years.

While the whole world seems to be highly concerned about women’s right and women’s welfare, the whole world seems to be turning a blind eye to the suffering the Tamil women have to face at the hands of the occupying forces, the statement added.

Today women across the Tamil Homeland are living in a state of constant fear. They can be sexually assaulted or raped at any time. Many rapes and murders have occurred throughout the North-East. The peace process and the cease fire have changed little. The occupying forces still remain and their horrible crimes continue in the open. Should incident of this nature continue we will refuse to remain silent victims, the statement concluded.

LTTE meets with CWC leaders

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) held a meeting with leaders of the Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC) on Saturday in Kilinochchi.

Mr. S. P. Tamilselvan, Political Head of the LTTE as well as Mr. A. Thondaman an MP and a prominent figure in the CWC were present at the meeting.

During the press conference that followed, both sides stated that in the future they hoped for all Tamil parties on the island to be able to work together on issues of common interest.

The CWC is one of the two main political parties representing over a million of the Hill Country Tamils of Indian origin.

Brought in by the British to work in the tea plantations during the 19th century, the Hill Country Tamils have been resident on the island for over 200 years. Many lost their citizenships and rights to vote soon after Ceylon gained independence from the British in 1948.

TRO donates finishing nets in Amparai

The Tamil Rehabilitation Organisation (TRO), the largest local Non-Governmental Organisation working in the North-East, donated fishing nets to several families in the Amparai district on December 16.

The fishing net donations were part of TRO’s back to sea project, which falls under Tsunami rehabilitation.

The Tsunami disaster of December 05 washed aware or tore apart several thousand fishing nets in the North-East. Many affected fishermen have been struggling to make ends meet as the cost of a single net is around 150 000 Sri Lankan Rupees.

Many of the victims of the Tsunami have not received any substantial help from the government. Meanwhile, PTOMs, an agreement signed between the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) for equitable distribution of international Tsunami aid across the North-East have been shelved amid pressure from Buddhist monks and extremist Sinhala political parties such as the JVP.

External Link: TRO WEBSITE

Unidentifiable female body found in Vaalaichenai

The body of a young female has been found in an unidentifiable state in the Nagavigan area of Batticaloa district.

The body was found between Nagavigan stream and the sea by travellers on Sunday. The body has been moved to Vaalaichennai Hospital. Medical sources said the female was between the ages of 25 and 30.

Meanwhile the news of a 20 year old female being abducted, raped and murdered by the Sri Lanka Navy in Jaffna on Saturday, has raised alarms across the Tamil Homeland.