Sunday, March 20, 2011

Sri Lanka President inaugurates International Buddhist Conference

ColomboPage News Desk, Kandy, Sri Lanka.
March 20, 2011

Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa this morning inaugurated the International Buddhist Conference organized by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) at the International Buddhist center in Pallekele, Kandy as a part of the joint commemoration by India and Sri Lanka of the 2600th Sambuddathwa Jayanthi anniversary of the attainment of enlightenment by Lord Buddha.

The Ministry of External Affairs and the Ministry of Buddhasasna and Religious Affairs of Sri Lanka, together with the Sri Lanka International Buddhist Academy and the University of Peradeniya were the Partner Institutes for the Conference under the theme "Cultural Interface between India and Sri Lanka based on Buddhist History, Art, Literature and Philosophy".

According to a press release issued today by the High Commission of India in Colombo, scholars from Cambodia, Indonesia, India, Nepal, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam are participating in the Conference. The papers presented at the two-day Conference will be published in the form of a volume.

Speaking at the occasion, the High Commissioner of India, Ashok Kantha said the cultural interaction between India and Sri Lanka had been marked by constant cross fertilization in the spheres of art, literature and philosophy and the journey of the Holy Tree from India to Sri Lanka demonstrated this amply.

High Commissioner also highlighted the other activities being undertaken by India to commemorate the Sambuddathwa Jayanthi including an exposition of the Kapilvastu Relics in Sri Lanka later this year.

Setting up of an Indian gallery at the International Buddhist Museum in Kandy, and installation of a specially crafted Buddha statue in Sarnath style from the Gupta period at the entrance of the International Buddhist Museum complex in Sri Dalada Maligawa are also planned, the release said.

Kantha also announced that Indian Railways was planning to launch a special Buddhist Train Damba Diwa Vandana later this year from Chennai catering to Sri Lankan pilgrims, adding that all these initiatives were reflective of India's desire to strengthen her cultural and people-to-people linkages with Sri Lanka, with which India shared deep historical bonds.

President Rajapaksa also viewed an exhibition organized by the Indian High Commission to showcase various Buddha statues and frescos unearthed from several states in India.

Sri Lanka Minister of External Affairs, Prof. G. L. Peiris, addressing the gathering, highlighted the foundation of many modern-day precepts in Buddhist thought and philosophy.

The Diyawadana Nilame (Custodian) of Sri Dalada Maligawa presented the first issue of the academic journal of SIBA, "Sri Lanka International Journal of Buddhist Studies", to President Rajapaksa at the occasion.

The academic sessions of the conference will be held today and tomorrow and the valedictory session will be held on 21st March.

The Conference being organized in Kandy is the third such conference on Buddhism sponsored by ICCR, following similar events in Singapore and Cambodia. More international conferences on Buddhism are on the anvil for Nepal and Vietnam.

Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne, Minister Susil Premajayantha, Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga, Governor of Central Province Tikiri Kobbekaduwa, Attorney General Mohan Peiris, Secretary to Ministry of Buddha Sasana and Regional Affairs Casian Herath, Deputy Indian High Commissioner Vikram Misri, Director General of Indian Council for Cultural Relations Suresh K Goel, also participated in the ceremony.

Sri Lanka President invokes blessings for Japanese tsunami victims

ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Mar 28, Colombo: Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa and First Lady Shiranthi Rajapaksa Sunday evening held a special Buddhist ritual at the Temple Trees to offer merit to the Japanese people who lost their lives in the recent earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan.

Head of the Vidyalankara Pirivena, Most Venerable Welimitiyawe Kusaladhamma Nayaka Thera conducted the Buddha Pooja to invoke merits with the participation of a large gathering of Buddhist monks.

Sri Lanka has launched a series of Buddhist rituals to bless the victims of the earthquake and the tsunami.

The Japanese Ambassador to Sri Lanka Kunio Takahashi, Minister Bandula Gunawardena, Deputy Minister Geethanjana Gunawardena, Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga, and many Japanese citizens in Sri Lanka, as well as a large number of foreign nationals and Sri Lankans were also present at this religious event.

Sri Lanka offered a cash contribution of USD one million and USD 65,000 worth tea to help the tsunami victims and sent several medical teams to assist recovery efforts.


Ananda-USA said...

In the future, much of Sri Lanka's strength will be derived from our historical bonds and cordial relations with other neighboring nations in our region.

As a Premier Refuge of Theravada Buddhism, it is incumbent upon Sri Lanka to continue its leading role by fostering and growing those relationships with other Buddhist countries.

It also serves to reaffirm in our own minds, that Sri Lankan Buddhists are not alone and isolated in this world, but are a vibrant branch of the vast sheltering tree that is Buddhism.

May the Holy Triple Gem .. the Buddha, the Dhamma, and the Sangha .. Bless and Protect all those enlightened nations participating in this Conference!

Ratna Deepa Janma Bhumi!
Lanka Deepa Vijaya Bhumi!
Mey Apey Udara Wu,
Mathru Bhumiyayi!
Mathru Bhumiyayi!


Ananda-USA said...

That is Right!

To abandon Nuclear Energy is to condemn the Planet Earth to slow death by choking on fossil fuel generated fumes.

We MUST LEARN to make Nuclear Energy Safer and MASTER the technologies required to ensure safety in the face of sequences of catastrophic natural events.

It is POSSIBLE to do so. FAILURE is not an OPTION .. because that would condemn humanity to a bleak energy-starved future.

The INCREASED COSTS OF ENSURING SAFETY pale into insignificance because there are NO OTHER OPTIONS, Solar and Wind renewables notwithstanding.

Nuclear power with FUEL BREEDING is .. in effect .. a RENEWABLE ENERGY FORM .. that is both VERY CLEAN and AVAILABLE ON DEMAND unlike Solar and Wind energies.

Indeed, India cannot afford to abandon Nuclear Energy.

Neither can Sri Lanka!

India Can't Abandon Nuclear Power: Ramesh
March 20, 2011

Union Environment minister Jairam Ramesh has said that though country needs to learn appropriate lessons from crisis at nuclear plant in Japan, it could not give up on nuclear energy.

"What has happened in Japan is very serious. We will have to learn appropriate lessons and whatever additional safeguards, additional precautions are required we must take, but I don't believe India can abandon nuclear energy (programme)," Ramesh told media here yesterday.

As to the Jaitapur nuclear power project in coastal Maharashtra, where local opposition to the plant has intensified after the earthquake in Japan, Ramesh said, "The country is divided into different levels of seismic zones. I don't know at what level the Jaitapur plant is located."

"A decision is taken based on the environmental studies that are conducted by NEERI. We gave clearance based on that report in the November and we imposed 35 conditions for that clearance," Ramesh said.

"As far as safety and radioactive waste management is concerned, it is the responsibility of the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board," he said.

Ananda-USA said...

Then what ... Indeed!

Byron Williams echoes the recently expressed concerns of Senator Richard Lugar: then what?

Beyond that question related to our interests only, the U.S. always seems to want to impose our own values on other countries .. on the flimsiest of assumptions .. without letting the citizens of those countries decide their future for themselves.

Make no mistake: Imposing a no-fly zone by air attacks on Libya that has not attacked any other nation, is an unwarrented ACT OF WAR against a sovereign country, the United Nations resolution notwithstanding.

Also, Make no mistake: This will ultimately be viewed by most ordinary Arabs .. despite the Arab League decision that we jumped upon as an excuse for military intervention .. as a NeoColonialist foreign move aimed at dividing and dominating the Arab region. They will not lose sight of the fact that Libya is rich in oil resources, that Europe would very much love to corral within captive fiefdoms .. as in the Persian Gulf.

In the process, the West unnecessarily demonize the targeted leaders out of all proportion as the first step towards achieving Western objectives, destabilize those nations by lending support to rebellions and unknown ill-defined "democracy movements" without any deep knowledge of their leaders and agendas.

Then, a captive "coalition of the willing" are rounded up, the United Nations is manupulated into giving legal cover, and then deploy awesome arsenals are unleashed in military interventions. It is modern-day "Gunboat Diplomacy" all over again!

The application of the term "international community" to this cabal of Western Powers out to secure their economic interests by hook or by crook, is transparently clear to the vast multitude of citizens in powerless developing nations who form the true "international community" of this world. They are powerless, voiceless.

All of this while we in the U.S. barely have the means to take care of the millions of our unemployed citizens. There is always money for war, but none for taking care of our own homeless and unemployed, or for ensuring our future energy security through massive investments in renewable energy and nuclear power that would wean us away from foreign oil. What idiocy!

Do we know what the majority of Libyans want?

No .. we don't .. we only know that some Libyans with good media skills, self-serving foreign support, and unknown political agendas are engaged in an armed revolt to topple their Government. Instead of acknowledging our ignorance and remaining uninvolved, we are taking sides in an internal conflict in a sovereign nation whose Government has the legal right to defend the nation against an armed mob.

The United Nations is being used as a puppet to serve the self-serving agendas of the Western Nations dominating the Security Council.

Today the Arab League protested that the scope of the military attacks on Libya go way beyond what they requested. No major arab nation, with the exeception od Saudi Arabia and a few Gulf Shiekdoms said they will support these attacks. These, obviously, are nations that, fearful of Iran, depend on Western militaries for their survival, despite their new fear of Western support for "democracy demonstrators". No doubt a deal has been struck .. and assurances given .. for eliciting that support.

They may rue that trust in the future ... as Hosni Mubarak no doubt does!

And we may rue the day when these unknown "true democrats" rebeal themselves as Muslim fundamentalists opposed to the United States!

In Libya, will we get it wrong again?

Byron Williams
Trivalley Herald
March 20, 2011

Now that the United Nations, led by the United States, Britain, and France, has called for a no-fly zone over portions of Libya if Muammar Gaddafi does not immediately cease military actions against rebels, the yet-to-be answered question remains: Then what?

Ananda-USA said...

In Libya, will we get it wrong again?

.....contionued 1....

President Barack Obama in his recent press conference failed in his attempt to link two irreconcilable outcomes in that he offered the US would maintain limited involvement with no-fly zones and he wants Gaddafi out.

The no-fly zones implemented in the Balkans and Iraq would suggest a minimum 10-year committment. In the case of the Balkans, the no-fly zone failed to eliminate Srebrenica genocide. To stop any massacre in Libya would also require ground forces. Is the president prepared for that possibility? If that were to occur, would that not mean the United States has in effect gone to war against Libya?
Moreover, no-fly zones have been proven to be ineffective at removing dictators. It would stand to reason that if indeed the goal is to remove Gadaffi from office, the actions taken by the U.N. fall short, thus returning us back to the initial question posed, then what?

Given the United States air superiority, it is impossible to believe, as the president alluded, this will be a joint venture .. a coalition of the willing redux. Make no mistake: The united States will lead the effort. How will that sit with others in the region?

There have been reports that Saudi Arabia was not happy with how the president handled deposed Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. This certainly can't aid relations with the Saudis, no matter how unpopular Gadhafi may be.

A no-fly zone is just enough to be involved, but not enough to shape the direction of the policy. The president wants us to believe we can maintain involvement with only our big toe in the water. The president took great pains to explain what the U.S. would not do, but that seems to contradict his desire to get rid of Gadhafi.

Two weeks ago, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said at a House Appropriations subcommittee hearing, "Let's just call a spade a spade. A no-fly zone begins with an attack on Libya to destroy the air defenses ... and then you can fly planes around the country and not worry about our guys being shot down." Gates added, "It is a big operation in a big country."

Implementing a no-fly zone over Libya requires there is a rescue strategy for those who have been shot down. Search-and-rescue missions alone could intensify U.S. involvement.

The president maintains that Gadhafi remaining in power destabilizes the region. Gadhafi had led Libya since a military coup in 1969. Based on that history, which is more likely to destabilize the region, Gadhafi staying in power or the U.S. entering into its third war effort in the region, to once again remove a dictator, even if it is an unpopular one?

Speaking recently at West Point, Gates candidly told the audience: "Since Vietnam, our record has been perfect. We have never once gotten it right ... from the Mayaguez to Granada, Panama, Somalia, the Balkans, Haiti, Kuwait, Iraq, and more."

With this stark history in mind, the president wishes to convince us that Libya is the exception to the rule. Was not a similar case made for every country on Gates's aforementioned list?

In spite of his words of coalition, the president's tone at the press conference struck a more unilateral chord. Haven't we already seen this movie? Doesn't history teach us that only Libyans can liberate Libya? But once again, the American people are being sold the notion of a simple, limited mission, ignoring that without warning it can quickly transform into prolonged effort costing blood and treasure.

Should Gadhafi go? Yes. But that's the easy part of the dilemma that offers little debate outside of those close to Gadhafi. The United States appears again to be on the brink of leading a military effort for which it has no second act. Well, that's never stopped us before. Maybe the president can make one up as he goes along.

Byron Williams: .

Ananda-USA said...

Sri Lanka names first coal power plant as Lakvijaya

ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Mar 20, Colombo: Sri Lanka has named its first coal power plant as Lakvijaya meaning the victory of Sri Lanka.

Lakvijaya Power House that adds 300 MW to the national grid will be opened by President Mahinda Rajapaksa on March 22 at Norochcholai, Puttalam in Northwestern Province.

The President laid the foundation stone to build the coal power plant on May 11, 2006.

Minister of Power and Energy Patali Champika Ranawaka, Minister of State Administration John Senevirathne and other cabinet ministers are to take part in the opening ceremony.

The coal power plant was built using a USD $455 million loan from China's EXIM bank. Much of the construction work was carried out by China National Machinery Import and Export Corporation.

Agreements have been signed with China to obtain Rs. 90 billion from China for the second stage of the power plant. The estimated cost for the second stage is Rs. 110 billion (approximately US dollars 1 billion).

The second phase is scheduled to be completed by 2013 and is expected to inject 600 MW to the national grid.

Ananda-USA said...

Bahrain says forces have foiled foreign plot

By Erika Solomon and Lin Noueihed
March 21, 2011

MANAMA (Reuters) – Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa has said a foreign plot against his Gulf Arab kingdom had been foiled and thanked troops brought in from fellow Sunni-ruled neighbors to help quell weeks of unrest.

Hamad's announcement came after a day of tit-for-tat diplomatic expulsions between Bahrain and Shi'ite-ruled Iran.

"An external plot has been fomented for 20 to 30 years until the ground was ripe for subversive designs ... I here announce the failure of the fomented plot," he was quoted as telling troops in a report on state news agency BNA overnight.

Had such a plot succeeded in one Gulf Arab country, Hamad said, it could have spilled into neighboring states.

The ferocity of last week's crackdown, in which Bahrain called in Gulf troops, imposed martial law and drove protesters off the streets, has stunned majority Shi'ites, the main force behind the protests, and angered Tehran.

Iran, which supports Shi'ite groups in Iraq and Lebanon, has complained to the United Nations and asked neighbors to join it in urging Sunni-led Saudi Arabia to withdraw forces from Bahrain.

In a sign of rising tensions between the countries, Bahrain expelled Iran's charge d'affaires on Sunday, accusing him of contacts with some opposition groups, a diplomatic source said.

He left shortly after the Iranian ambassador, asked to leave last week. Iran expelled a Bahraini diplomat in response.

Bahrain has also said previously that it arrested opposition leaders for dealing with foreign countries.

More than 60 percent of Bahrainis are Shi'ites, and most are campaigning for a constitutional monarchy, but calls by hardliners for the overthrow of the monarchy have alarmed Sunnis, who fear the unrest serves Iran, separated from Saudi Arabia and Bahrain by only a short stretch of Gulf waters.

Bahrain complained to Arabsat on Sunday over "abuse and incitement" on Iran's Arabic-language Al Alam television, Hezbollah's Al-Manar and Shi'ite channel Ahlulbayt, which are all carried by the broadcaster, state news agency BNA said.

Bahrain's political crisis has been the subject of a media war between pro-Iranian channels and Bahraini state television. Both have accused each other of incitement.

Bahrain also condemned a protest outside the Saudi consulate in Tehran, after reports on Saturday that some 700 demonstrators broke windows and raised a Bahraini flag over the gate.


An uneasy calm has spread through the city as most Bahrainis begin to return to work and there were fewer checkpoints in the streets, though helicopters still buzz over Shi'ite areas.

Shaking their fists and shouting "Down with Al Khalifa," about 2,000 people joined the fourth funeral procession in as many days on Monday.

Waving black and Bahraini flags, mourners gathered in the Shi'ite village of Buri, to bury 38-year-old father-of-three Abdulrusul Hajair, who went missing in recent days and was found on Sunday, apparently beaten to death.

Bahrain's largest Shi'ite opposition group, Wefaq, said police told Hajair's family on Sunday to collect his body from hospital.

Speaking at a 15-minute protest in front of the United Nations building in Manama on Sunday, a former Wefaq parliament member said almost 100 people had gone missing in the crackdown.

"We don't know anything about them, we've asked hospital and ministry authorities and none of them are telling us anything about them," said Hadi al-Moussawi, one of around 21 former Wefaq MPs carrying Bahraini flags and calling on the UN to help ensure rescue medical services were working in Bahrain.

Ananda-USA said...

Who thinks the ordinary Arab supports the bombing of Libya?

Pro-Gadhafi protesters converge on UN chief

CAIRO – A group of protesters angry about international intervention in Libya blocked the path of U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon as he left a meeting at the Arab League.

Ban had finished a meeting with the Arab League chief and was leaving the organization's headquarters in Cairo when dozens of protesters converged on him and his security detail.

The protesters, carrying pictures of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi and banners critical of the U.S. and U.N., blocked his path as he tried to walk away from the building. Ban returned inside and apparently drove out of the league from another exit.

On Sunday, Arab League chief Amr Moussa questioned Arab participation in the coalition after saying the international attacks went beyond the mandate to impose a no-fly zone.

Ananda-USA said...

Death toll in Japan's tsunami disaster rises above 18,400,; far more than previously estimated!
Workers pulled at Japan nuke plant as smoke rises

March 21, 2011

FUKUSHIMA, Japan – Operators evacuated workers from Japan's tsunami-damaged nuclear plant Monday after gray smoke rose from one of its reactor units, the latest of persistent troubles in stabilizing the radiation-leaking complex.

The evacuation brought to a standstill some of the work on restoring the plant's electrical lines and restarting the water pumping systems needed to keep nuclear fuel from overheating and releasing even greater amounts of radiation.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. spokesman Hiroshi Aizawa said the evacuation was prompted by smoke rising from the area of the spent fuel storage pool at the plant's Unit 3 reactor building. However, nuclear safety agency official Hidehiko Nishiyama later told reporters in Tokyo he didn't think the smoke was linked to the fuel pool.

"We are checking the cause of the smoke," nuclear safety agency official Hidehiko Nishiyama said in Tokyo.

There had been no explosion, and no immediate spike in radiation at the plant, Nishiyama said.

Japanese officials had reported some progress over the weekend in their battle to bring the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant under control after it was damaged during the massive March 11 earthquake and tsunami that devastated northeast Japan and likely left more than 18,400 people dead. But there also were hitches, including an unexpected surge in pressure in the reactor core at the troubled Unit 3.

And the nuclear crisis was far from over, with the discovery of more radiation-tainted vegetables and tap water adding to public fears about contaminated food and drink.

The toll of Japan's triple disaster came into clearer focus Monday after police estimates showed more than 18,000 people died in the quake and tsunami, and the World Bank said rebuilding may cost $235 billion.

The safety of food and water was of particular concern. The government halted shipments of spinach from one area and raw milk from another near the nuclear plant after tests found iodine exceeded safety limits. But the contamination spread to spinach in three other prefectures and to more vegetables — canola and chrysanthemum greens. Tokyo's tap water, where iodine turned up Friday, now has cesium. Rain and dust are also tainted.

Early Monday, the Health Ministry advised Iitate, a village of 6,000 people about 30 kilometers (19 miles) northwest of the Fukushima plant, not to drink tap water due to elevated levels of iodine. Ministry spokesman Takayuki Matsuda said iodine three times the normal level was detected there — about one twenty-sixth of the level of a chest X-ray in one liter of water.

In all cases, the government said the radiation levels were too small to pose an immediate health risk.

But Tsugumi Hasegawa was skeptical as she cared for her 4-year-old daughter at a shelter in a gymnasium crammed with 1,400 people about 80 kilometers (50 miles) from the plant.

"I still have no idea what the numbers they are giving about radiation levels mean. It's all so confusing," said Hasegawa, 29, from the small town of Futuba in the shadow of the nuclear complex. "And I wonder if they aren't playing down the dangers to keep us from panicking. I don't know who to trust."

Ananda-USA said...

Workers pulled at Japan nuke plant as smoke rises

The World Bank said in report Monday that Japan may need five years to rebuild from the catastrophic disasters, which caused up to $235 billion in damage, saying the cost to private insurers will be up to $33 billion and that the government will spend $12 billion on reconstruction in the current national budget and much more later.

All six of the nuclear complex's reactor units saw trouble after the disasters knocked out cooling systems. In a small advance, the plant's operator declared Units 5 and 6 — the least troublesome — under control after their nuclear fuel storage pools cooled to safe levels. Progress was made to reconnect two other units to the electric grid and in pumping seawater to cool another reactor and replenish it and a sixth reactor's storage pools.

But the buildup in pressure inside the vessel holding Unit 3's reactor presented some danger, forcing officials to consider a deliberate release of radioactive steam to release the buildup. The tactic produced explosions of radioactive gas during the early days of the crisis.

"Even if certain things go smoothly, there would be twists and turns," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano told reporters. "At the moment, we are not so optimistic that there will be a breakthrough."

Growing concerns about radiation add to the overwhelming chain of disasters Japan has struggled with since the 9.0-magnitude quake. The resulting tsunami ravaged the northeastern coast. All told, police estimates show more than about 18,400 died. More than 15,000 deaths are likely in Miyagi, the prefecture that took the full impact of the wave, said a police spokesman.

"It is very distressing as we recover more bodies day by days," said Hitoshi Sugawara, the spokesman.

Police in other parts of the disaster area declined to provide estimates, but confirmed about 3,400 deaths. Nationwide, official figures show the disasters killing more than 8,600 people, and leaving more than 13,200 people missing, but those two lists may have some overlap.

The disasters have displaced another 452,000, who are living in shelters.

Ananda-USA said...

The article below is one of many that we will see in the coming days justifying the crime of Western military attack on Libya.

Oops! We made a mistake but can't turn back now without losing prestige .. so let us carry on regardless .. they will say .. futher exaggerating and demonizing their intended targets to fortify their position!

The criticism of the bombing of Libya has already begun in earnest, and I hear the rumbling of a veritable tsunami of criticism about to hit the Western "coalition of the willing" gathered like vultures to profit from Libya's internal problems. So blind, and so certain of the wishes of the majority of Libyan people and the "international community" which they assume are themselves, that they can take advantage of it to dismantle Libya!

And once more .. we are in the midst of yet another foreign policy bungle!

Many warned ... but no one heeded ... so convinced are they of the "Divine Destiny of the West" to interfere in sovereign developing nations and foment rebellions intent on overturning their lawful governments!

Many more Libyans will die as a result of the EGGING ON of unrest in Libya by the West, and the military intervention in that country, than anything Gaddafi could have done himself.

Here we go AGAIN!

Arab League Criticizes No-Fly Zone After Initial Approval

By William Browning
March 20, 2011

The Arab League's top leader has come out against the U.S. and European actions against Libya's Moammar Gadhafi just a week after asking the United Nations for help. At issue is the shelling and bombing of targets on the ground and subsequent civilian casualties. The Arab League can't have it both ways; it can't ask for help and then decry the deaths of civilians when Western air forces implement the no-fly zone.

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates warned when the proposal was first discussed that in order to establish a no-fly zone, targets on the ground will have to be taken out to disrupt communications and radar contacts with Libyan planes. The planes patrolling the no-fly zone need to protect themselves against attacks from the ground including ground-to-air missiles and anti-aircraft guns. The planes enforcing the no-fly zone are simply doing their jobs.

In order to achieve full protection, targets on the ground must be hammered from a distance since there are no foreign ground troops in Libya. The only way to implement the strategy from afar is to launch missile strikes and bombing raids.

Gadhafi has already killed hundreds, if not thousands, of his own people in the five-week uprising. Unfortunately, he will likely kill many hundreds more if he truly vows to "die a martyr" as he stated early in conflict. Seeing enemy planes over his skies will surely anger the Libyan dictator even more and may even lead him to kill even more rebels. The more desperate Gadhafi gets, the more likely he will do more destructive things.

Arab League chief Amr Moussa has called for an emergency meeting of the 22-member organization. He says these bombardments aren't what the Arab nations called for initially.

"What is happening in Libya differs from the aim of imposing a no-fly zone," Moussa said to the Associated Press.

What's happening is exactly what had to be done to make the skies over Libya safe. For planes to fly without impediments, targets on the ground must be destroyed. It's a fact of modern warfare. A meeting in Paris the day before strikes began was to explain to nations involved exactly what was going to happen.

Ananda-USA said...

Arab League Criticizes No-Fly Zone After Initial Approval


The Arab League has more to fear from a desperate Gadhafi than civilian casualties brought on by the implementation of the no-fly zone. Arab countries were in Paris taking part in the meetings discussing the strategy behind enforcing the no-fly zone over Libya. They could have voiced any objections at that point or even reported to the Arab League this isn't what they expected.

Even Libya's own people realize the problem isn't the Western show of military force but Gadhafi himself. If the Arab League wants more control over the situation in Libya then they need to send in their own forces to help. Qatar has already sent planes. Why can't the Royal Saudi Air Force, the largest air force in the Middle East except for Israel, send in their planes for assistance?

So many other Middle Eastern countries are worried about their own protests and uprisings, having U.S. and European planes over Libya is just a distraction so Arab League nations can take care of their own home fronts.

It's too late now to back down now. The no-fly zone can't be done half way nor can the Western forces abandon the rebels now. Foreign air force power must stay in Libya until Gadhafi surrenders or is killed by rebels.

Ananda-USA said...

Russia and China condemn Libya bombing, following the Arab League!

France "discovers" that Arabs don't want US-led military alliance to be in charge of intervention, and Ban Ki-Moon, the UN Secretary general, exits through the backdoor of Arab League HQ in Cairo to escape demonstrators protesting the bombing of Libya! What .. does he not relish the exercise of democracy?

The most ludicrous thing in this tragic comedy of errors is that of Britain, who claim they did not intend to kill Gaddafi when they bombed his compound!

LoL .. who did they want to kill? His dog?

Well, we did warn these serial bunglers of what they should have LEARNED THEMSELVES BY NOW from past misadventures in military interventions!

West strikes Libya as Gaddafi forces choke Misrata

By Maria Golovnina and Michael Georgy
March 20, 2011

TRIPOLI (Reuters) – Forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi surrounded Misrata, the only big rebel stronghold in western Libya, killing at least nine people, cutting off its water and bringing in human shields, residents said on Monday.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said a U.N. resolution authorizing military action in Libya resembled "medieval calls for crusades" and China stepped up criticism as Western forces prepared to switch from air strikes to air patrols.

The first strikes at the weekend halted the advance of Gaddafi's forces on Benghazi and targeted Libyan air defences to give Western warplanes control of the skies, but there have been no immediate rebel gains on the ground.

The White House said the United States intended to hand over the lead role in Libyan operations to others within days. British Prime Minister David Cameron said the intention was to transfer the coalition command to NATO, but France said Arab countries did not want the U.S.-led military alliance in charge.

While Western governments wrangled, bloodshed continued on the ground despite a ceasefire decreed by Gaddafi's military.

"The people of Misrata went into the streets and to the (city) center, unarmed, in an attempt to stop Gaddafi's forces entering the city," a resident told Reuters by telephone.

"When they gathered in the center the Gaddafi forces started shooting at them with artillery and guns. They committed a massacre. The hospital told us at least nine people were killed," the resident, who gave his name as Saadoun, added.

The report could not be independently verified because Libyan authorities prevented reporters from reaching Misrata.

In an appearance on Libyan television on Sunday, Gaddafi promised his enemies a "long war" after the U.N.-authorized intervention in the uprising against his 41-year rule of this oil producing north African desert state.

Officials in Tripoli said earlier that one missile in the second wave of attacks they said was intended to kill Gaddafi had destroyed a building in his fortified compound, which was heavily bombed in 1986 by the Reagan administration.

"It was a barbaric bombing," said government spokesman Mussa Ibrahim, showing pieces of shrapnel that he said came from the missile. "This contradicts American and Western (statements) ... that it is not their target to attack this place."

The military coalition enforcing a no-fly zone over Libya fired 10 to 12 missiles at targets in that country overnight, a spokesman for the U.S. Africa Command said on Monday.

Spokesman Vince Crawley said the number of coalition missile strikes was scaled back significantly from previous evenings. Early on Saturday, forces fired 110 missiles at 22 targets.

"We spent the first 24 hours establishing conditions for a no-fly zone and are now transitioning over to a patrol posture," Crawley said.

Ananda-USA said...

West strikes Libya as Gaddafi forces choke Misrata

......continued 1......


The head of Britain's armed forces denied Gaddafi was a target. "Absolutely not. It's not allowed under the U.N. resolution and it's not something I want to discuss any further," General David Richards told the BBC.

A U.S. official in Washington said the effectiveness of the British strike on the Gaddafi compound remained unclear.

The second wave of air strikes also hit Gaddafi's troops around Ajdabiyah, a strategic town in the barren, scrub of eastern Libya that rebels aim to retake and where their fighters said they need more help to take the battle to the enemy.

"If we don't get more help from the West, Gaddafi's forces will eat us alive," rebel fighter Nouh Musmari told Reuters.

Many military experts expect Gaddafi to resort to a "human shield" tactic to protect tanks and artillery that have proved to be the most effective part of his armed might.

In Misrata, residents said water supplies had been cut off and government troops had encircled the city.

"The Gaddafi forces are forcing people from Zawiyah, al Mahjoub and Al Ghiran out of their houses and giving them Gaddafi's pictures and the (official Libyan) green flag to chant for Gaddafi," Hassan, a rebel spokesman, told Reuters.

"They are bringing them to Misrata so they can enter the city and control it by using the civilians as human shields because they know we are not going to shoot woman and children and old people," he said by telephone.

The United States, carrying out the air strikes in a coalition with Britain, France, Italy and Canada among others, said the campaign was working well and dismissed a ceasefire announcement by the Libyan military on Sunday evening.

The U.N.-mandated intervention to protect civilians caught up in a one-month-old revolt against Gaddafi drew criticism from Arab League chief Amr Moussa, who questioned the need for a heavy bombardment, which he said had killed many civilians.

However, Moussa said on Monday the League respected the U.N. resolution while stressing the need to protect civilians.


Underlining its commitment to avoiding civilian casualties, Britain's Defense Ministry said one air force mission was called off because of civilians in the target area.

Libyan rebels welcomed the second wave of air attacks.

"The committee rejects foreign troops on the ground but we encourage the bombardment of Gaddafi's army," Ahmed El-Hasi, a spokesman for the February 17 opposition coalition, said in the eastern rebel stronghold of Benghazi where the uprising began.

He said the rebel leadership had coordinated with coalition powers on the air strikes, but a U.S. commander said American or coalition aircraft were not providing close air support to opposition forces.

"There is a connection between us. One, to pinpoint the position of Gaddafi's troops, and two, to pinpoint the position of our fighters so they don't get hit with the bombardments," the rebel spokesman said.

The speed with which Britain, the United States and France have found themselves effectively at war in Libya meant there was little of the public debate that preceded the 2003 Iraq war.

"The resolution is defective and flawed," said Putin, whose country did not use its power to veto the resolution at the United Nations. "It allows everything. It resembles medieval calls for crusades," Putin added.

That drew an implicit rebuke from Russian President Dimitry Medvedev, who said using the term crusades was unacceptable.

Ananda-USA said...

West strikes Libya as Gaddafi forces choke Misrata

......continued 2......

Henri Guaino, one of French President Nicolas Sarkozy's closest aides, said strikes were not aimed at ousting Gaddafi but said they were likely to last "a little while."

Not everyone was convinced. "The long-term goal, unspoken but well understood, is regime change," wrote George Friedman, head of political risk consultancy Stratfor.

The intervention in Libya is the biggest in an Arab country since the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Withdrawal of Arab support would make it harder to pursue what some analysts say could in any case be an open-ended campaign with an uncertain outcome.


On Sunday night, Libyan officials took Western reporters to Gaddafi's compound, a complex that houses his private quarters as well as military barracks and anti-aircraft batteries, to see what they said was the site of a missile attack.

A short walk from a brightly lit tent where Gaddafi receives his guests, a three-storey building stood in ruins, and a circular hole was visible on its gutted facade.

The wrecked building was close to a house in the compound which was attacked by the Reagan administration and which was never rebuilt. Outside in a symbol of defiance, a giant golden fist crumples a model of a U.S. warplane.

Ananda-USA said...

The Rape of Libya...To every neo-colonialist a pound of Libyan flesh!

A self-appointed "coalition of the willing" races to demonize the leaders of another sovereign state that has not attacked any other nation and carve it up for their own pecuniary benefit, under the cover of a PUPPET United Nations arrogating to themselves the mantle of the "international community".

Most developing nations are TIRED of the DOUBLE STANDARDS of this CABAL and their UN Puppet!

It is about time that most developing nations .. the true "international community" comprising 90% of the world's people .. realized that the United Nations.. controlled by a neocolonialist cabal .. does not serve their interests or protect their nations .. and replaced it with a more suitable world organization.

Just as China created the Confucious Foundation to replace the Nobel Foundation manipulated by another cabal for political purposes, let us create a the Union of Nations to replace the current United Nations controlled by a neocolonialist N-CABAL.

If the N-CABAL threw a party at the U.N. and no one came .. it would not be much of a party ... would it?

Divisions strain NATO push for Libyan airstrikes

By Don Melvin
March 21, 2011

BRUSSELS – Discord erupted Monday in Europe over whether the military operation in Libya should be controlled by NATO, after Turkey blocked the alliance's participation while Italy issued a veiled threat to withdraw the use of its bases unless the alliance was put in charge.

Germany also questioned the wisdom of the operation, and Russia's Vladimir Putin railed against the UN-backed airstrikes mounted so far against Moammar Gadhafi's force by Britain, France and the United States outside of their NATO roles.

"The Security Council resolution is flawed, it allows everything and is reminiscent of a medieval call for a crusade," Putin said. "In fact, it allows intervention in a sovereign state."

A day after Turkey declined to support a military plan for the alliance to enforce a Libya no-fly zone, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he could support the NATO effort — but only if it does not turn into an occupation.

"NATO should only enter Libya to determine that Libya belongs to Libyans and not to distribute its natural resources and richness to others," Erdogan said during a visit to Saudi Arabia.

There had been widespread expectation that the strikes against Libya would be overseen by NATO, and the hastily improvised nature of the military coalition has drawn criticism.

The United States, France and Britain initiated attacks on Libya on Saturday, raining cruise missiles and precision bombs on Libyan military targets on the ground, including Gadhafi's residential compound. Other countries have since joined in.

Diplomats said Turkey, a NATO member that sees itself as a bridge between Europe and the Muslim world, was angered by its exclusion from an emergency summit Saturday in Paris organized by French President Nicolas Sarkozy, at which the 22 participants agreed to launch armed action against Gadhafi's military.

France ended up making the first strikes, and the diplomats said Turkey's envoys had warned that NATO's participation in the airstrikes could damage the alliance's standing in the Islamic world at a time when it is heavily engaged in the war in Afghanistan.

The diplomats, who are accredited to NATO, spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the discussions.

NATO's participation in any military action against Libya would require the approval of all 28 NATO members. But Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Selcuk Unal denied that his country was grounding NATO.

"Turkey is not blocking NATO, Turkey has been contributing to the preparations with a positive approach since the beginning," Unal told The Associated Press.

Ananda-USA said...

Divisions strain NATO push for Libyan airstrikes

.....continued 1....

The NATO diplomats said the North Atlantic Council, NATO's top decision-making body, was unable to reach agreement Monday, and would take up the issue again on Tuesday for the fourth day in a row.

Even if such an order is adopted, it would take several days before aircraft under NATO command could start flying missions over Libya. The order also is likely to restrict NATO's air forces to making sure there are no unauthorized flights over Libya, with no mention of attacks on ground targets, one of the diplomats said.

Turkey was apparently not the only obstacle. Diplomats said France was seeking political leadership of the mission, but this was opposed by a number of other nations, which wanted NATO firmly in charge. Another sticking point was just how aggressive the enforcement of the no-fly zone should be, as several nations strongly opposed continuing the air strikes on Libyan ground targets.

Italy warned Monday that it would review the use of its bases by coalition forces if NATO does not take over. The country lies just across the Mediterranean from Libya and is allowing the use of seven of its military bases.

"Italy will begin reflecting on the use of its bases," said Foreign Minister Franco Frattini, according to Italian news reports. "If there is a multiplication of command centers, we must study a way in which Italy retakes control of its bases."

Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi insisted the mission should pass to NATO's command, and said Italian planes would not launch any missiles. Speaking in Turin, he said coordination among partners must be "different from the one that has been established so far."

British Prime Minister David Cameron, however, praised the performance of the informal coalition, saying its forces had neutralized Libyan air defenses and helped avert a bloodbath.

The prime minister told British lawmakers that Gadhafi had violated a U.N. Security Council resolution by moving troops toward rebel-held cities and also had lied to the international community.

"Gadhafi responded to the U.N. resolution by declaring a cease-fire, but straightaway it was clear he was breaking that promise," Cameron said.

Cameron stressed that through airstrikes, coalition forces helped avert what could have been "a bloody massacre in Benghazi."

The aims behind coalition airstrikes — which Cameron called "necessary, legal and right" — were to suppress Libyan air defenses to enable the enforcement of a no-fly zone and to protect civilians.

"Good progress has been made on both fronts," Cameron said.

Calling intervention in Libya a "coalition of the willing," Cameron said Britain wants "to internationalize this to the maximum degree possible" and outlined commitments from other nations.

While no Arab planes have flown in the mission, Cameron said the Qataris are providing a number of jets to help enforce the no-fly zone and the U.K. is doing everything it can to encourage other Arab nations to come forward.

Cameron declined to say whether Gadhafi was himself a potential target of the airstrikes.

Support from the Arab League was critical to obtaining U.N. approval for international action to protect Libyan civilians. But after the international operation began, the league chief Amr Moussa was quoted as telling reporters in Cairo that it should not have included attacks on Libyan targets on the ground.

Ananda-USA said...

Divisions strain NATO push for Libyan airstrikes

.....continued 2....

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said Monday that Moussa had been misquoted, but German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle offered the comments as evidence that Germany's decision not to participate in the operation was justified.

"This does not mean that we are neutral," Westerwelle said. "This does not mean that we have any sympathy with the dictator Gadhafi. It means that we see the risks, and when we listen closely to what the Arab League yesterday said."

Westerwelle said Germany would focus on broadening economic and financial sanctions against the Gadhafi regime.

On Monday, the EU extended its travel ban and the freeze on assets to another 11 Libyan officials and its assets freeze to a further nine Libyan companies. It did not name the people or the companies involved.

And in France, diplomats were hosting members of Libya's opposition for talks in Paris. Foreign ministry spokesman Bernard Valero noted France has had regular contacts with Libya's transitional national council — a top opposition group.

Analysts said Turkey does not completely oppose military action, but wants to promote its role as a broker for peace in Libya.

"Turkey with its Muslim identity is emerging as a peace-builder and prefers reducing of the presence of foreigners and its policies might differ from those of Europe or the United States," said Ilter Turan, a professor of political science at Istanbul's Bilgi University.

Turkey has vast business interests in Libya, most notably in the construction sector, and had relatively friendly ties with Gadhafi. More than 30,000 Turks were working in Libya before the uprising against Gadhafi's 42-year rule began last month.

Ananda-USA said...

Sri Lanka expert says solar energy too costly without subsidy

Aug 18, 2008 (LBO) - Solar energy is still too expensive to be used widely without government subsidies, a Sri Lankan expert has told the island's energy-intensive industries which are grappling with the highest electricity costs in Asia.

Tilak Siyambalapitiya, managing director, Resource Management Associate, said solar energy cost 60 rupees per kilowatt hour whereas now industrialists are not paying over 13 rupees per kilowatt hour for power from the state utility.
Power now is generated by hydro-electric and diesel-fired thermal plants but the island also plans to build coal-fired plants to cope with growing energy requirements and prevent blackouts.

"The reality is that the investment cost of solar panels on a per watt basis is five dollars without import duty," Siyambalapitiya told seminar on alternative fuel resources for Sri Lankan industry.

"Maybe a large array can be bought at three dollars."

The seminar was organised by the Sri Lanka Ceramics Council, which represents the energy-intensive ceramics industry.

Other conventional technologies cost around one or two dollars per watt, Siyambalapitiya said.

Another problem with solar energy technology was utilisation with the maximum solar output being available only for 4.5 hours a day or one-sixth of the time.

"The level of utilisation is only 16 percent," Siyambalapitiya said. "While the investment is three times that of conventional technology, it is used only 16 percent of the time."
This is compared with the 80-85 percent usage of conventional technology.

"Despite sunlight being free of charge, until the capital costs come down there's no way it can compete with large power plants," Siyambalapitiya said.

Apart from solar panels producing electricity for only 16 percent of the time, their economic life is only 20 years, he added.

"Wherever you see solar panels, there's a subsidy coming to the user."

The Sri Lankan government is trying to promote use of alternative energy technologies as well as reduce wastage in an effort to cope with the energy crisis.

The island's industries are also trying to reduce energy costs, which are the highest in Asia, according to recent studies.

According to a regional comparison of electricity prices, Sri Lanka is the most expensive for commercial customers.

Ananda-USA said...

Sun shines on Sri Lanka's solar industry

By Feizal Samath
August 21, 2001

DAMBULLA, Sri Lanka - Many homes in remote corners of Sri Lanka's rural countryside, where electricity is still a luxury, are gradually turning to solar power.

Dozens of solar panels have sprung up on roofs in this north- central region after solar power was introduced a couple of years ago. The entry of solar power into Sri Lankan households has much to do with the collective energies of three entrepreneurs - Viren Perera, Lalith Gunaratne and Pradip Jayewardene - who ventured into the business in 1986.

But their pioneering efforts met many roadblocks. It was not until 1999, when the group sold their company to Anglo-Dutch oil multinational Shell, that things started burning brighter.

"We sold out to Shell and then a new company called Shell Renewables Lanka Limited was formed," says Jayewardene, a grandson of former Sri Lankan president Junius Jayewardene. His expertise in renewable energy led to his invitation to become the managing director of the new company.

The firm's sales figures since then reflect this change. Shell, which sold 300 solar-power units to rural households in 1999, sold 1,800 units in 2000. Its sales figures for this year are expected to be even higher. During the first half of 2001, for instance, some 2,200 solar-power units had been sold. The company plans to sell 4,500 units in 2001 as "demand is constantly growing", says Jayawardene.

It must be - given that close to 50 percent of Sri Lankan households in a population of 19 million do not have electricity. And they are unlikely to get it in the next decade due to the high cost of installation and the rising demand for power among current users.

According to government data, 47 percent of households - mostly-rural homes - do not have access to the state-owned Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) national grid. The demand for electricity is rising by an average of 8 percent per year, while the present demand is expected to double by 2010, according to the Central Bank's annual report for 2000.

With the country's hydropower resources unable to meet the demand, dependence on thermal power has risen sharply to 35 percent of total power needs in 2000 from 20 percent in the 1990s. Delays in launching a major coal power plant on the western coast due to protests from residents and environmentalists have also stalled CEB plans to increase energy resources.

Driving through rugged roads off Dambulla last week, Jayawardene explained that he believed the rural countryside was too vast and widespread for electricity. It was unlikely, he added, that residents would get power from the national grid for a long time. "Installation of power lines is a costly exercise," he says, turning the car into the home of Wickremasinghe Silva, a 48-year- old farmer at Anakatawewa village, about five kilometers off Dambulla.

Silva has a five-light solar-power unit costing 35,000 rupees (nearly US$400), but uses the tube lights sparingly. "For once my children can study with the help of a light," he points out.

Like many who use solar power in the village, Silva pays for the unit every six months - when his rice harvest is ready for sale - and hopes to settle the loan in a couple of years.

The solar units, which come with panels, a battery, tube lights and wiring, are offered to residents at prices ranging from 26,000 rupees for a three-light system to 76,000 rupees for 15-light unit.

Ananda-USA said...

Sun shines on Sri Lanka's solar industry


Sri Lanka's few solar-power companies have also joined a World Bank project under which the units are subsidized to users. Under the bank-assisted Energy Services Delivery (ESD) project, solar power has been recognized as a key way to meet the micro-level requirements of rural households. The bank has set aside $5 million for the promotion of solar home systems "via private companies". It disburses funds to the local NGO SEEDS, which handles the financing and loan collection under the project.

Once the units are installed, SEEDS pays the solar companies and collects the money from users. Solar users make a small down payment, then pay once every six month for an average five-year loan. There have been few defaulters among the farmers so far.

Due to the success of its cooperation with an NGO to push renewable energy in Sri Lanka, Shell is considering it as a model for similar projects in India, Indonesia and the Philippines.

Solar power recipients are normally middle-income farmers with an average monthly income of 5,000 rupees. "It is still too expensive for low-income farmers," says Ajit Kumarasiri, manager of the Shell Solar Centre at Dambulla.

For Osgolla Ratnajothi, a Buddhist monk, his solar-power unit has meant much more than just light to brighten his austere home at night. This alternative source of power has also helped him chase wild elephants away from attacking his home and those of his neighbors and their crops. "'I have a powerful light outside that scares the elephants away," he says.

Another villager hooked on solar power is N G Punchi Banda, a rice and onion farmer, who has more than 25 people crowding into his small, mud-splattered floor in the sitting room, intently watching cricket matches on a solar-powered black and white television set. "When Sri Lanka plays I don't go to the fields. I stay at home to watch the match," he says.

(Inter Press Service)

Ananda-USA said...

First plant opens in Hambantota in April: Solar power for the future

By Shirajiv SIRIMANE
February 27, 2011

Gone are the days when people even in cities had to wine and dine under candlelight due to power cuts which used to be quite common. This had a severe impact not only on households, but also drew the economy backwards as industries too suffered.

One of the main reasons for this situation was the lack of a vision for the future and the then governments depending only on hydro power and the expensive mode of generating power through diesel energy. It is said that not a single power generation project got under way during the past six years. Several projects were planned, but were confined to drawing boards and foundation stones.

However, over the past five years this negative thinking pattern has reversed and alternative power generation avenues were tapped in a bid to ensure that there would be no power shortages in the future.

Minister of Power and Energy Patali Champika Ranawaka, himself an electrical engineer, has taken further steps to ensure that the entire population of the country would have electricity to their homes by the end of next year.

This is a challenging task as the population keeps increasing and with the end of the conflict, the Government has more areas to provide electricity to. The Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) had been branded as one of the biggest loss-making institutions in the country mainly due to mismanagement, lack of vision, heavy overheads and being burdened with financial obligations running into millions of rupees.

The Minister who studied the CEB's future prospects decided that one main reason for the heavy overheads was the heavy use of diesel for power generation.

Alternative energy was the key, it was decided. Thought was even given for nuclear energy and other sources.

One such source that was earmarked two years ago to generate electricity was solar power.

As a result, Sri Lanka's first solar energy garden (plants) will be opened in April in Baruthakanda, Hambantota, adding valuable energy to the national grid.

This would be the first time that solar energy is being added directly to the national grid on a mass scale. The solar power system would generate power and minimise environmental pollution.

Solar power is the conversion of sunlight into electricity, either directly using photovoltaics (PV), or indirectly using concentrated solar power (CSP). Concentrated solar power systems use lenses or mirrors and tracking systems to focus a large area of sunlight into a small beam. Photovoltaics convert light into electric current using the photoelectric effect.

CSP plant
Commercial CSP plants were first developed in the 1980s. The 354 MW SEGS CSP installation is the largest solar power plant in the world and is located in the Mojave Desert of California. Other large CSP plants include the Solnova Solar Power Station (150 MW) and the Andasol solar power station (100 MW), both in Spain. The 97 MW Sarnia Photovoltaic Power Plant in Canada is the world's largest photovoltaic plant.

The first stage of the Hambantota project will be financed by the Japanese Government while the Korean Government will finance its second stage.

Japan has already provided Rs. 1,024 million for the first stage of work under which 737 KV of power will be added to the national grid upon completion.

Work relating to the construction of the first stage is expected to be completed by August next year.

The second stage of the power garden which will open in April will add 500 KV of power to the national grid. Solar panels are now fixed in an area of over two acres in Hambantota.

The park, when completed would add 1.2 megawatts to the national grid. The total investment on this project by both Korea and Japan is US$ 13.4 million with the Japanese government investing US$ 8.9 million.

Ananda-USA said...

First plant opens in Hambantota in April: Solar power for the future

.....continued 1.....

A unique feature of this project is that the total investment of US$ 13.4 million has been awarded as a grant.

Both Korea and Japan wanted to share their solar power technology with the world. They wanted to build two plants and hence the two nations called for expressions of interest from developing countries.

Project Engineer, Hambantota Solar Park Suriyakumara Hettiarachchi said that since the proposals forwarded by Sri Lanka were up to expectations, the two grants came Sri Lanka's way. "This is a very good achievement for a country such as Sri Lanka," he said.

Construction commenced last year and the plant built by the Koreans in two hectares of land would be opened first, in April, adding 0.7 hours of annual electricity to the nation. "If this amount of power was to be generated with diesel, the country would have to burn 171,841 litres of diesel! Had this process taken place it would have created 391 metric tons of carbon dioxide"

Though the initial cost of generating solar power is high, it is considered one of the cheapest modes of generating power. Several world renowned scientists have said that Hambantota is a hot spot for solar power plant projects, as little rain falls in the area.

One of the other advantages of solar power is that it needs little attention. Less than 20 people would be working in this plant. Solar plants do not have any negative impacts on the environment.

The safety element in solar power too is good, making it an ideal source for Sri Lanka.

There are now 15 solar energy companies operating in Sri Lanka, creating employment for the young. Due to its immense advantages, the private sector too is making more investments in this segment.

Ananda-USA said...

Bangladeshi, Sri Lankan group providing warm help for victims

March 24, 2011

SAGAMIHARA, Kanagawa Pref. — A group of Bangladeshis and Sri Lankans living in Kanagawa Prefecture has been providing warm bowls of Bangladesh curry since Monday to quake and tsunami survivors in Kesennuma, Miyagi Prefecture.

Pitching in: Saber Sakura (right) and other Bangladeshi and Sri Lankans from Kanagawa Prefecture serve curry to evacuees of the March 11 Tohoku catastrophe at a shelter in Kesennuma, Miyagi Prefecture, on Monday. COURTESY OF P.R. PLACID

"Everything was in ruins. A car was on top of a three-story building. Another was literally twisted. A big fishing vessel was in the center of the city. It's really beyond description," Saber Sakura, who organized the 25-member group, said of what he witnessed in the destroyed city.

"If the tsunami hadn't hit, I think only 10 or 15 percent of the buildings would have been damaged," the 47-year-old Sakura said Wednesday back in his office in Sagamihara, Kanagawa Prefecture.

Known as one of the richest fishing areas in the region, Kesennuma was hit hard by the tsunami, followed by a fire that swept through a wide area of the city. Currently, some 15,000 residents are taking shelter in 99 locations around the city.

"The tsunami hit the area only after 15 minutes of the quake. The lives of the survivors must be gifts from God," said Sakura, president of B.J. International Co., an auto import and export business based in Sagamihara. He has lived in Japan 23 years.

Soon after the major earthquake struck, Sakura said he wanted do something right away, but he was initially busy helping Bangladeshi exchange students studying at Tohoku University in Sendai return to their home country.

Finally, after gathering the necessary supplies, Sakura and his wife, Suma, 33, and their local Bangladeshi and Sri Lankan friends left Sagamihara on Sunday evening. They loaded up two cars, a minivan and a 2-ton truck with supplies, including 700 kg of rice, 400 kg of meat and boxes of diapers, snacks and medication.

They drove eight straight hours to Kesennuma on the Tohoku Expressway. Upon their departure, Sakura obtained an emergency permit from the Kanagawa police that is required to use the expressway during the crisis.

"Driving through Fukushima Prefecture was scary because of the radiation. We closed all the windows, stopped the heater to prevent outside air from coming in. It was very dark, and we were the only cars driving," Sakura said, adding he was impressed to see the Tohoku Expressway was barely damaged.

The group went to Kesennuma City Hall and obtained information and instructions on where they should go. Before returning to Kanagawa Prefecture the next day, Sakura visited three different shelters and offered curry rice for 500 people at each one. Others from the group are still in the area continuing to offer curry.

"Most people only had miso soup as something warm to eat, so we're glad that they were able to eat warm curry," said Suma Sakura, who runs a curry restaurant in the Asakusa district in Taito Ward, Tokyo.

"Japan is a good friend to Bangladesh, and Japanese have always supported us when help was in need. And now, I wanted to do my part to support Japanese," Sakura said.

Ananda-USA said...

Sri Lanka tells the UNPALATABLE TRUTH: The Emperors are NAKED; The military attack on Libya by a powerful, but lawless, "coalition of the willing" is a CRIME that violates International Law.

This is no different than that "Day of Infamy" when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor compelling the United States to declare war against Japan!

It was WRONG THEN; this is WRONG NOW!

Bravo, Sri Lanka!

Sri Lanka condemns airstrikes on Libya

Mar 23, 2011, 14:21 GMT

Colombo – Sri Lanka on Wednesday condemned airstrikes on Libya saying it was a violation of the territorial integrity of an independent country.

'The airstrikes are harming civilians and a violation of the territorial integrity of an independent country,' External Affairs Minister GL Peiris told Parliament.

He said the airstrikes were contrary to a UN resolution that was adopted with the aim of alleviating the suffering of civilians in that country.

Sri Lanka's government itself came under criticism over the deaths of civilians during its conflict with ethnic Tamil separatist rebels, which ended with the rebels' defeat in May 2009.

The United Nations estimated that 7,500 civilians were killed in the final stages of the conflict, but the government has denied the charge.

Peiris spoke Wednesday during a debate on the situation in Libya, in which ruling party members strongly condemned the airstrikes but opposition members refrained from making any comments.

Sri Lanka has a longstanding relationship with Libya, and President Mahinda Rajapaksa visited Libya in September 2009 to attend the 40th anniversary of the military coup that brought Moamer Gaddafi to power.

A UN-mandated no-fly zone was imposed over the weekend by a coalition led by the United States, Britain and France after Gaddafi ordered his military to confront demonstrators seeking to remove him from power.

Ananda-USA said...

As Always, Wimal weerawansa is UNFRAID to act on his conscience and call A SPADE A SPADE!

The "coalition of the willing" is A CABAL of BLOODY HYPOCRITES hiding behind a PUPPET UN, and feathering their own nests!

Protests in Sri Lanka against coalition airstrikes on Libya

ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Mar 24, Colombo: Hundreds of people in Sri Lanka staged a protest outside the United Nations office in Colombo today against the western coalition-led airstrikes on Libya's military forces and the UN's stand on the Libyan conflict.

Around 500 members of the government alliance party, National Freedom Front (NFF) held placards and shout slogans during the protest against the UN's "biased" behavior towards Libya and military attack on Libya by international coalition forces.

The NFF leader Wimal Weerawansa has told the media that the party condemned the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon against his support towards the United States and Britain.

The UN Chief Wednesday called again for an immediate end to violence by all parties, in accordance with Security Council resolutions 1970 and 1973, and for the responsibility to protect civilians.

Coalition airstrikes and missiles targeted Libyan military forces for a fifth day on Wednesday to protect civilians in Libya from Muammar Gaddafi's forces.

Sri Lanka External Affairs Minister G. L. Peiris on Wednesday condemned the airstrikes on Libya and said Sri Lanka does not approve of the US-led airstrikes.

"The airstrikes are harming civilians and are a violation of the territorial integrity of an independent country," the Minister said in the parliament.

The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon Wednesday called again for an immediate end to violence by all parties, in accordance with Security Council resolutions 1970 and 1973, and for the responsibility to protect civilians.

Gaddafi's regime meanwhile has alleged that dozens of civilians have been killed in the coalition attacks.

Ananda-USA said...

Although the Browns and the Milibandas are deaf, dumb and blind, at least the British Royalty recognises a Genuine Diamond when they see one!

Buddhist representation in Royal Wedding
March 23, 2011

The Venerable Bogoda Seelawimala thera, Viharadhipathi of the London Buddhist Vihara in Chiswick will represent Buddhists at the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton.
The Ven.Seelawimala thera who is also the Vice Chairman of the Interfaithnetwork in the UK, is the first Buddhist monk to be invited to a royal wedding in Britain.

The Thera told Sandeshaya that many believe this invitation has been extended to him based on the social structure of this country.

"I believe this is a symbolic invitiation to all the Buddhists living in this country. I am looking forward to participate in the wedding," Ven.Seelawimala thera said.

Historic occasion

As this a historic occasion where a Buddhist priest is going to represent at a royal wedding, local and foreign media have shown a keen interest to come and interview the venerable thera.

He said among the media was a television crew from the United States which interviewed him.

Prince Charles visited the Vihara in 2005 following the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami.

Formed in 1926 by Anagarika Dharmapala, the Vihara was the first Buddhist monastery to be established outside the continent of Asia.

Ananda-USA said...

What? .. More Bureaucracy?

I hope this level of integration of Colombo, and its formerly independent suburbs, into a single unit is really necessary.

Although I see the benefits of planning for future growth of the area, and streamlining services for increased efficiency, is that what will actually happen? Or, will it degrade into another layer of bureaucracy stuffed with favorite sons of politicians?

I am always troubled when overlapping layers of control are introduced into government administration. We need to burden the people less with overhead!

I hope there will be a real benefit to the ordinary citizen, and not only lucrative jobs for administrators.

Let us rely on Gothabhaya Rajapaksa to bring the required honesty, transparency and efficiency into the process.

Sri Lankan government streamlines administration of local governments surrounding capital Colombo

ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Mar 24, Colombo: The Sri Lankan government has decided to set up an organization named Colombo Metropolitan City Corporation to assist the administrations of five local government bodies in the capital city region.

The relevant local government bodies are Colombo Municipal Council, Dehiwela-Mt Lavinia Municipal Council, Sri Jayewardenepura- Kotte Municipal Council, Kolonnawa Urban Council, and Kotikawatta- Mulleriyawa Pradeshiya Sabha.

The new corporation is to be established to streamline the local administration and to build their capacity and capabilities with required powers.

However, the existing five local bodies will continue to function, said a cabinet press statement.

A City Governor appointed by the President will lead the City Corporation. All Heads and the Deputy Heads of the five local bodies and a nominated member from the opposition of each local authority will constitute the composition of this Corporation.

Twelve Advisory Committees comprising of elected members of local bodies will also be set up to advice the Corporation.

The government says this will enable the ruling and the opposition members equally to play a participatory role in exercising the powers of the new Corporation in more democratic manner.

The cabinet, acting on Minister of Local Government and Provincial Councils Mr. A.L.M. Athaulla's proposal, has decided to instruct the Legal Draftsmen to prepare legislation for presentation in Parliament.

Ananda-USA said...

While Sri Lanka accepts all assistance from friendly allied countries, Sri Lanka REJECTS any "spheres of influence" and "restrictions on use" of any facilities developed on its territory with their aid.

Sri Lanka should not bargain away its sovereign right to its national territory FOR ANY REASON.

No "Foreign Bases" of any kind, nor "Guantanamo Bay"-like territories, in Sri Lanka .. EVER!

That kind of assitance .. we don't need!

Together and apart in Sri Lanka

By K. Venkataramanan
March 25, 2011

India-U.S. military cooperation was excellent in tsunami relief but concerns varied on rebuilding of Palaly airfield

When U.S. troops arrived in Sri Lanka for relief work in the aftermath of the December 2004 tsunami, alarm bells rang in sections of the Indian establishment, media and the strategic community over possible American ‘intrusion' into its backyard. But U.S. diplomatic cables of the time, accessed by The Hindu through WikiLeaks, show that the official thinking in the United States favoured utilising its military participation in relief efforts to strengthen “military-to-military” cooperation with other participants in the effort, especially India.

In New Delhi, Political Counselor Geoffrey Pyatt on January 7, 2005 clarified to Ministry of External Affairs Director (Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Maldives) Taranjit Singh Sandhu the extent of U.S. military presence in Sri Lanka. On January 10, 2005, Ambassador David Mulford in New Delhi wrote in a cable (25165: confidential): “Sandhu seemed surprised to learn that the widely reported figure of 1,500 US troops in the country was incorrect, and that the USG [United States Government] was going to refocus some military assets on Indonesia because India was doing a very good job of providing assistance to Sri Lanka.” And, Mr. Mulford added in a note in parenthesis: “We have heard from others that the Indian Embassy in Colombo has been a source of some of these alarmist reports about US military plans for Sri Lanka.”

However, India, which dispatched its Navy to render immediate relief and medical aid to Sri Lanka, was actively cooperating with the U.S. troops on the ground. In Colombo, Ambassador Jeffrey J. Lunstead, apparently responding to suggestions that the cooperation be upgraded into joint Indo-U.S. efforts, saw no need to “turn this into some sort of joint (as opposed to cooperative) effort,” which is in a cable sent on January 5, 2005 (24950: confidential).

Reporting that based on a U.S. initiative, a cooperation mechanism was in place for all foreign militaries working in the island nation, and that there was a daily coordination meeting, Mr. Lunstead said: “The Indians enthusiastically participate in this meeting.”

‘Are separate efforts’
The Government of Sri Lanka itself did not want this to be “a possible Indo-US condominium.” The Ambassador had assured that country's Foreign Secretary that the U.S. was cooperating with India, “but these are separate efforts.” Despite the “excellent relationship,” the Indians were also “very careful to assert their independence.” Indian High Commissioner in Colombo Nirupama Rao had made it plain that on the civilian side she was ready to share information, but she did not want any greater level of cooperation or coordination. When a number of bilateral donors formed a coordination group and nominated one member to be their liaison with the GSL, she emphatically stated that “India will not let anyone represent us.”

Ananda-USA said...

Together and apart in Sri Lanka


The U.S. Ambassador added: “We and the Indians are good buddies and share all information. Our mil [military] program is about to get off the ground. Let's not try to fix something that is not broken.”

On third party usage
If these observations were of a piece with the growing convergence of interests between India and the U.S., there were phases in which their military concerns were divergent. For instance, in discussions that preceded India's decision to assist the rebuilding of the Palaly airfield in the Jaffna peninsula, a crucial air and military base for the Sri Lankan security forces in the peninsula through much of the war with the LTTE, it is clear that the Indian help came with a rider that the U.S. thought did not accord with U.S. interests. India wanted to be consulted on all “third party usage of the airfield,” which is in a cable sent on November 17, 2004 (22910: confidential). The U.S. thought such restrictions would be “unfortunate.”

India's Deputy Chief of Mission in Colombo Mohan Kumar, and First Secretary Amandeep Singh Gill told U.S. Embassy officials that the proposed agreement on rehabilitating the Palaly airfield would include a clause requiring that India be “consulted” on all third-party usage. “We are not trying to shackle the Sri Lankan government,” the Ambassador, Mr. Lunstead, quotes Mr. Gill as saying. “But we would naturally expect to be consulted.”

However, Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar told the U.S. there were no such restrictions on third-party usage. “I personally settled that,” he said.

In his comment, Mr. Lunstead noted the Indians and the Sri Lankan Foreign Minister had “widely differing ideas” about the contents of the proposed agreement, but the U.S. was on record expressing its concern on such restrictions.

(This article is a part of the series "The India Cables" based on the US diplomatic cables accessed by The Hindu via Wikileaks.)

Ananda-USA said...

The basic concept of SEPARATE "aspirations" for different communities of Sri Lanka is flawed, dangerous to the nation, and must be REJECTED completely.

Acceptance of this in the past was at the ROOT OF ALL CONFLICT in Sri Lanka (and elsewhere in the world for that matter).

Only shared "Sri Lankan Aspirations" common to all people of Sri Lanka should be recognized.

The flawd notion of SEPARATE Sinhala aspirations, Tamil aspirations, Muslim aspirations, Buddhist aspirations, Christian aspirations, ad nauseam, ad infinitum, SHOULD NEITHER BE RECOGNIZED, NOR ENCOURAGED.

Consequently, there should be NO DEVOLUTION OF POWER on any COMMUNAL BASES such as ETHNICITY, RELIGION, LANGUAGE, CASTE, or SEX to separate communities in Sri Lanka.

All power should be derived from a single system of governance that is BLIND to COMMUNAL ATTRIBUTES of groups of people. All privileges should be derived ONLY from a common and equal Sri Lankan Citizenship, not any other communal attribute.

Dear Mr. President, please EXPLAIN this CLEARLY and FIRMLY to the TNA politicians still trying to create separate communal fiefdoms in Sri Lanka, and even trying to speak for "Muslim aspirations" that they rejected together with "Sinhala aspirations" from the Tamil Eelam they tried to create in the not too recent past.

The right of EACH citizen to ONE VOTE to elect their representatives to the national parliament, or a local government body, without any legal basis forallocation of rights on communal bases, should be sufficient franchise and liberty for any and all citizens of Sri Lanka.Each citizen must accept the will of ALL CITIZENS expressed through such elections.

That is the path towards building ONE NATION of ONE PEOPLE with ONE DESTINY in Sri Lanka with equal rights under ONE SYSTEM OF LAWS, and an EQUAL RESPONSIBILITY to Love, Protect and Foster the Motherland.

National INTEGRATION should be our GOAL, not National DISINTEGRATION based on separate Community Aspirations embedded in the flawed concept of preseving wellbeing by ecounraging "diversity" and "separateness".

If we permanently embed the notion of separate community aspirations in the law of the land through devolution of power on communal bases, it will form the legal basis for future disintegration of Sri Lanka.

No nation divided within itself can long survive, given the propensity of greedy people to feather their own nests exploiting the evils of communalism.




Sri Lanka President says solution to the ethnic issue must be acceptable to all

ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Mar 25, Colombo: Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa today said the talks with the major Tamil party Tamil national Alliance (TNA) are continuing and there will be several more rounds of talks in the future seeking a political solution to the ethnic issue.

During a meeting with editors of the local print and electronic media at the Temple Trees today, the President said that he is ready to accommodate a solution that meets the aspirations of the Tamil people and acceptable to all the communities in the country.

However, he stressed that he will never give in to LTTE�s demands and the Eelam dream of Prabhakaran for a separate state will not become a reality under any situation or solution.

"My aim is to achieve the best possible solution acceptable to all," the President told the journalists.

Highlighting that terrorism was totally uprooted from the country, the President stressed that the national conflict can be resolved through a home grown solution suitable for the country and not harm any community.

Ananda-USA said...

Sri Lanka President says solution to the ethnic issue must be acceptable to all

Rajapaksa said that the TNA had submitted several proposals for the national issue but a final decision has not been reached yet on the issue.

"A problem which prevailed for nearly 60 years cannot be resolved in a day or two," the President said.

When asked about the government's probing of some Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), the President said the government is not hampering the services rendered by the NGOs but there should be a transparency in their spending of foreign funds.

In the recent past some NGOs in Sri Lanka have obtained foreign funds worth over 500 million rupees but there are no reports on how they spent those funds, the President pointed out.
President Rajapaksa assured that the government's decision to establish the Colombo Metropolitan City Corporation will not cause any impact on the local government institutions in the Colombo city and suburban areas. Electing public representatives for these institutions will be carried out as usual.

The proposed Colombo Metropolitan City Corporation will streamline the development activities in the city areas, the President asserted.

Ministers Prof. G. L. Peiris, Keheliya Rambukwella, Vasudeva Nanayakkara, Wimal Weerawansa, Champika Ranawaka, Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga and Media Ministry Secretary W. B. Ganegala were also present at the occasion.

Sri Lanka Tamil party says Muslim aspirations need to be addressed in the solution to ethnic issue

ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Mar 25, Colombo: Sri Lanka major Tamil party, Tamil National Alliance (TNA) says that the aspirations of the Muslim community in the country needed to be addressed when presenting the solution to the ethnic issue.

TNA parliamentarian Mavai Senathirajah has told parliament today that the party had even raised the issue during its discussions with the government.

He has added that the late S.V. Chelvanayagam had also accepted the right of the Muslims to self-determination and had also included in the Vaddukkoddai convention.

According to Senathirajah, the internally displaced Muslims in the North have to be resettled along with the displaced Tamils.

Ananda-USA said...

Indeed! These so called Non-Governmental Organizations, of both Foreign and Local origin, often are the TOOLS of various Anti-National Forces attempting to mould the country to serve their own SELFISH needs.

They operate under various seemingly benign umbrellas and disguises, trumpeting the benefits of diversity and freedom, but in fact exacerbate divisions within the country, and attempt to destabilize it, to divide and conquer it, suit their sponsors agendas.

We must closely monitor these organizations, what they do, what funds they bring in, and how and to what purposes they actually deploy their funds. We should shut down and kick out those that do not serve the NATIONAL INTEREST, and UNDERMINE the COHESION of our country.

In doing so, we must remember that even our National Budget is small potatoes to these folks. Consequently, they have enormous power to corrupt our society from within, engineer unrest, and seize power in the nation. Only our laws, properfly exercised within our sovereign territory, and our vigilance prevents that from happening.

Among those that do not serve the National Interest are FOREIGN MISSIONARIES who seek to change the demographics of the country and espouse separatist agendas, and "DEMOCRACY BUILDING" organizations who serve their political masters by egging-on and creating dissatifaction among the people.

They should be thrown out as soon as their activities are revealed, for we have our own religious leaders to tend to the religious needs of our people, and need no lessons in "democracy" from foreign hypocrites attempting to remake Sri Lanka in their own image.

Democracy, conditioned by the immortal words of the Buddha that ring throughout every corner of this land, is alive and well in Sri Lanka. Democracy will continue to bloom in Sri Lanka with a character and form that is uniquely our own, fashioned by our own native wit, and our understanding of what is good and what is bad for our society with an ancient heritage of Dharmishta governance.

Sri Lanka to formulate a mechanism to monitor NGOs

ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Mar 25, Colombo: The Sri Lankan government is to introduce a policy to monitor the activities of Non-Governmental organizations (NGOs) in Sri Lanka, the President's office announced today.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa has said that specific guidelines are needed for NGOs to obtain funds through the correct methods and spend in a correct manner. Therefore, he said, a suitable policy would be worked out to monitor them.

"Many millions of rupees come into the country on a monthly and a yearly basis and currently there is no mechanism to monitor from where they come from and how these funds are utilized," the President has noted.

President Rajapaksa emphasized before the heads of media institutes this morning that the government had the right and responsibility of monitoring the activities of the NGOs.

The President also emphasized that it would not be an anti-NGO policy but a valid mechanism to ensure that the people benefit through such funds.

Minister of Mass Media and Information Keheliya Rambukwella has said that unmonitored fund inflows could even lead to money laundering, which is now a growing global concern.

Ananda-USA said...

Demonize the lawful Govt of Libya, prevent it from opposing the takeover of the country by an armed mob and agents/surrogates of foreign powers, seize the oil assets of Libya and place them under control of a pliable dependent puppet regime ... these are the objectives of the Western military assault on sovereign Libya.

All this talk of "democracy" "violation of human rights", and "saving civilians" is so much hogwash .. pure drivel dished out to the gullible in this world to justify and sanctify an illegal "UN-sanctioned" cover for NAKED AGRRESION against an independent sovereign nation.

Under these interpretations, no government .. democracies, dictatorships, monarchies or whatever .. will have the right to defend their nation's integrity and preserve law and order from foreign inspired rebellions, or foreign nations seeking regime changes.

There is, of course, no overarching and consistently applied legal principle here, but a "case-by-case" evaluation by a self-appointed vigilante "coalition of the willing" .. a criminal cabal .. of their own self-interest, with a puppet United Nations providing the legal cover to undertake NAKED UNHOLY AGGRESSION.

The United Nations, created to maintain INTERNATIONAL PEACE, now regularly violates its charter and interferes in the INTERNAL MATTERS of its member nations. No one bother to find out what the great majority of Libyans want; the Western cabal .. in its infinite wisdom .. just "knows" what the majority of Libyans want. A majority by acclamation within the cabal itself .. I might add!

It is time the developing member nations of the UN understood this stark fact: the UN no longer serves their interests, but only those of a powerful Western Power Clique. These victimized majority of nations .. I would call them the "true international community" ... albeit powerless and voiceless .. should form their own "Union of Nations" to REPLACE the current Uited Nations.

Failure to do so, will in time sanction and permanently embed the right of the United Nations to intervene in the internal conflicts of its member nations, at the behest of a small group of powerful Western nations, intent on preserving and perpetuating their economic advantages and their political interests.

Ananda-USA said...


The United Nations has now become, in effect, a "Global Government" under control of an international elite that is totally unrepresentative of the majority of its member nations.


By its very structure, some member nations of the UN have DICTATORIAL POWER OVER OTHER MEMBER NATIONS!


among nations!

This CALLS for a NEW Boston Tea Party to Heave the Despots OVERBOARD! Doesn't it?

Sri Lankan Muslims protest US air attacks on Libya

ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Mar 25, Colombo: Sri Lankan Muslims today took to the streets of Colombo to protest against the air strikes by the United States led coalition on Libya's military forces.

Hundreds of Muslim protesters, holding placards supporting Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi marched from the Jummah Mosque in Kollupitya to the United States Embassy on Galle Road in Colombo.

The Sri Lankan police however set up blockades and prevented the protesters reaching the Embassy. The irate protesters beat and burned effigies of U.S. President Barack Obama.

Western warplanes bombed Gaddafi's armor in eastern Libya on Friday for a seventh day in an attempt to break a battlefield stalemate and help rebels take the strategic town of Ajdabiyah, Reuters news agency reported.

Meanwhile NATO has said that it is planning to assume full control of the no-fly zone over Libya in coming days and their operation could last three months. France has cautioned the conflict would not end soon while the African Union tried to end the crisis soon.

Ananda-USA said...

Sri Lanka (231/0, 63 balls left) sails into the World Cup Semi-Final by defeating England (229/6).

Tons by both Dilshan (108) and Tharanga(102)!

Go Lions! Jayawewa!

Tharanga and Dilshan crush England

By Andrew Miller
March 26, 2011

Tillakaratne Dilshan and Upul Tharanga set an emphatic seal on Sri Lanka's place in their home semi-final against New Zealand next Tuesday, as England's chaotic World Cup campaign came to an abrupt and anticlimactic end under the floodlights at the Premadasa Stadium in Colombo. Set a testing total of 230 at a venue where successful run-chases have been notoriously thin on the ground, Sri Lanka's openers set about proving that history is bunk as they sauntered to victory by 10 wickets and with a massive 64 balls to spare. After five months on the road for England's cricketers, and six consecutive nail-biters in the group stages of the tournament, they found they had nothing left to give as the first round of knock-out matches was concluded with an utter walloping.

Though several higher scores have been made in this tournament to date, England's total of 229 for 6 ought to have competitive in the conditions. Only eight times in 49 internationals at the venue had a team batting second chased 230 or more for victory, and the most recent occasion came back in 2004. However, Dilshan and Tharanga battled through a tricky start with a flurry of aggression, before settling back into an effortlessly accumulative tempo. For the second time in the campaign, following on from their crushing of Zimbabwe in Pallekele, both men brought up centuries in a massive and indomitable stand.

Ananda-USA said...

Knowledge-based industries will reach $ 10 b

March 27, 2011

The Sri Lankan economy has transformed to a service economy and only services that can be sustained in the future will be knowledge-based, said the Secretary to the Treasury Dr. P.B. Jayasundera. He was addressing the CIO Council meeting of SLASSCOM in Colombo last week.

P.B. Jayasundera

Delivering the keynote address on “Sri Lanka beyond 2011 - The role of the industry to support the knowledge economy”, Dr. Jayasundera said that the government is doing its best as the facilitator of the economy. The corporate sector should take the lead and engage more aggressively in its role as the key player of the economy.

Dr. Jayasundera who compared pre and post war economic statistics expressed his doubt over the trickling down of benefits of peace dividends to all segments of society. However, he said that corporate profits have increased significantly in many industries.

The corporate sector has recovered and they are earning huge profits. Banking, insurance and finance companies are performing well. Banks are recording a less than 4 percent NPL ratio reflecting low risk of lending, he said.In the 1990s the size of the economy was $20 billion, international trade was $ 5 billion and the service sector was 40 percent of the GDP. Throughout the period Sri Lanka faced internal and external shocks.Most of the time we were in a conflict. The economic crisis in many regions, oil shock and global economic crisis in 2008 and 2009 hardly hit the Sri Lankan economy. However, we sustained, survived, grew and achieved. Today the size of the economy is $50 billion. International trade has passed $ 20 billion. The service sector has evolved to two thirds of the economy. The unemployment rate has dropped to 5 percent. Poverty has dropped from 21.2 percent in the 1990s to 7.2 percent.

The Exchange Rates and interest rates are market driven. The financial system, and trade are liberalised and exchange control relaxed. Apart from a few areas the capital account is open. Value addition in Sri Lankan exports is high and now we have our own tea brands. We export value added high branded rubber instead of raw rubber.

The $ 3 billion apparel industry is competitive and resilient without protected markets in USA are concessions from the EU.

The tourism industry is booming and tourist arrivals have reached 700,000. Hotels are operating to their full capacity after 20 years.

The average spending of tourists too is increasing and new investments are coming in. Foreign remittances have reached $4.5 billion.

Not only in numbers but in the changed composition of the jobs from unskilled, semi skilled and skilled in the expatriated workforce who contribute to the increased foreign remittence.

Knowledge-based services may increase further and it will reach $10 billion. With investment on power generation and shifting from thermal to coal and other alternative energy sources and consolidation in the hydro power, oil imports will reduce further. It will ease pressure on the balance of payments. By the next year all households in Sri Lanka may have electricity and with this Sri Lanka will be the only emerging country where 100 percent of the households have electricity, Dr. Jayasundera said.

Ananda-USA said...

This is a Great Idea that meets the people's need for nutritious food by leveraging Sri Lanka's access to the ocean as an island nation.

It will help the local fishing indistry to grow by ensuring a ready market with refrigeration facilities for its harvest.

We should replicate this facility in every Province of Sri Lanka.

Let us farm not only the land but also the sea for the benefit of our people.

Sri Lanka President opens new state-of-the-art fish market complex

ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Mar 27, Peliyagoda: Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa Saturday (26) evening inaugurated the newly built state-of-the-art fish market complex in Peliyagoda, a suburb of capital Colombo.

The new Central Fish Market Complex is situated on a 3.17 hectare reclaimed marshy land along the main Katunayake airport expressway.

The complex was built at a cost of 1.7 billion rupees under the Colombo city restructuring programme to replace the age old St. John's fish market built in 1894 in Pettah, Colombo.

The Asian Development Bank has provided 675 million rupees and the government has provided the remainder.

The wholesale fish complex on ground floor will have 148 stalls. The top floors have been allocated for banks, post offices, police services, restaurant, and a quality control room. A 25-metric ton ice factory, three cold storages, and a water purifying plant also have been set up.

Ministers Basil Rajapaksa, Rajitha Senarathna, Mervyn Silva, Johnston Fernando, Sarath Gunaratne, Felix Perera, Deputy Minister Susantha Punchinilame, Governor of Western Province Alevi Moulana, Chief Minister Prasanna Ranatunga and the Country Director, Asian Development Bank, Richard Volks also participated.

Ananda-USA said...

Tiger Nominated Agent (TNA) FOXES are requesting to be appointed GUARDIANS of the Sri Lankan HENHOUSE!

The Chutzpah of the TNA is INCREDIBLE TO BEHOLD!

This is the same MOUTHPIECE PARTY OF THE LTTE ... whose leaders have NOT YET BEEN HELD ACCOUNTABLE and PAID FOR their TREASONOUS ACTIVITIES during the reign of the LTTE in the North & East. They are now demanding in PEACE the POWERS of the sovereign EELAM STATE they FAILED TO WIN in WAR!

This is what happens when you let TRAITORS and TERRORISTS get away without prosecution & imprisonment for ther murderous misdeeds .. they come to demand the same powers they usurped and enjoyed collaborating with the Tamil Tiger enemies of Sri Lanka!

NO .. Provincial Governments should not have Police Powers .. certainly not for Provinces likely to be controlled by the same terorist supporting hoodlums who fought tooth and nail to secede from Sri Lanka.

Policing is CENTRAL TO MAINTAINING NATIONAL SECURITY .. we must not place the foxes in charge of it.

NO .. all crown land, including use of forests, must remain within the jurisdiction of the central government of Sri Lanka.

All CROWN LAND should be held in trust by the central Govt of Sri Lanka to use for the common benefit of ALL sri Lanka citizens. Devolution of that power to former Tamil Separatists will enable them to erect barriers to settlement by other communities and to the development of national infrastructure benefiting all citizens.

If these rights are given over to the same people who carried out ethnic cleansing of the North & East, we will embed and make permanent their sole claim to land on a communal basis forver making the North & East the ethnic enclave of the Tamil separtists.

This is the THIN EDGE of the SAME WEDGE the LTTE tried to drive into the heart of the nation during their separatist struggle.

All demands for devolution of ANY & ALL such power to Provinces must be TOTALLY REJECTED.

We must learn from the past, and implement policies to homogenize the ethnic demographics of the nation, as the ONLY PERMANENT SOLUTION to SRi Lanka's communal strife.

ETHNIC INTEGRATION is the only PERMANENT SOLUTION. Let us not fall captive to the soothing lamentations of defeated racists and separatists, suddenly become democrats in love with ethn ic diversity. These are the same enemies of Sri Lanka hiding in sheepskins ... we must not become lulled and enmeshed in the web they weave to deceive.

ONE Nation of ONE People sharing ONE Destiny with the EQUAL RIGHT to settle and live anywhere in Sri Lanka .. that should be our National Goal.

The Sri Lankan Govt MUST PRESERVE that right for ALL CITIZENS of Sri Lanka!

TNA seeks police and land powers for North

By Chris Kamalendran
March 27, 2011

Devolution issues to be taken up with President

The Tamil National Alliance wants the Government to grant the Northern Province police powers besides the right to manage land and forest reservations.

Ananda-USA said...

TNA seeks police and land powers for North

This request will be placed before President Mahinda Rajapaksa through a government committee in the course of periodic consultations. The TNA points out that these subjects are already listed in the Concurrent List of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution.

These are the major subjects of power sharing the TNA wants to discuss with the Government. TNA MP Mavai Senathiraja told the Sunday Times this would be the first time issues relating to power sharing would be discussed by the TNA with UPFA leaders.

In the previous meeting with the President, the TNA delegation had discussed welfare measures for people affected by the war in the north. TNA leader R. Sampanthan who has been overseas for medical treatment for nearly three months is expected back on April 4 and a TNA decision on power sharing proposal would be finalized after that.

President Rajapaksa told newspaper editors on Friday that even though talks with the TNA had proceeded well, the party was still to come up with proposals on power sharing.

“We will look into the TNA proposals and have discussions with other parties before taking a decision. They will ask for more, but we will have to strike a balance,” he said. “Whatever proposals they make, I will not give what the LTTE has been asking for,” he said.

Ananda-USA said...


Can photovoltaic solar energy panels installed on the roof of the train significantly reduce the fuel costs of operating diesel-electric trains in Sri Lanka?

This can be done quite easily using available photovoltaic solar panel technology, and by modifying existing equipment on Diesel Electric Trains to use the produced solar energy.

Solid state charge controllers can be used to charge small banks of lead acid batteries located under the floor of each carriage. The power produced by each carriage can be transferred from carraige-to-carraige via quick disconnect cable connections to the diesel-electric engine containing the genset. The battery power can be transformed in the engine room to the appropriate voltage of the traction motors using solid state DC/DC converters, or DC/AC inverters.

The proposed system can leverage existing inexpensive PV technology (eg. polycrystalline solar panels, solid state MPPT charge controllers, and converter/inverter power conditioners), and existing diesel-electric train technology (electric generator, load panels, speed controllers, electrical switchgear, and series DC, or AC induction, traction motors), to reduce the upfront capital cost.

The question is, will the amount of solar energy generated be significant in comparison to the fuel energy requirements of a typical diesel-electric train? Let us assess that in a simple way.


Assuming that a typical carraige is 64ft long, 8ft wide and 12ft tall, we can fit 16 units of 285-Watt STC solar panels, each 40 in x 77 in size, on the roof of each carriage. For simplicity, we will assume that Standard Test Conditions (1000 W/m^2 irradiance, 25 deg C) for PV panels apply to the operating conditions of a typical train in Sri Lanka with over 5 hours of exposure to the sun every day. Thus, each carriage will have 4.56 STC kW of solar panel capacity installed on its roof, and will produce 4.56 x 5 = 22.8 kWh of solar energy each day.

If a typical diesel-electric train pulls 12 similarly equipped carriages, the total solar power generation capacity of the train will be 54.72 kW, and the train as a whole will produce 273.6 kWh of energy per day.

Ananda-USA said...



To answer this question, we have to estimate the electrical energy output of the genset.

Let us assume that a typical diesel electric train engine has an output shaft power rating of 600 HP, or 440 kW, and that is in service 8 hrs/day.

Let us also assume that most of the fuel is consumed when operating the train between stations with the engine working at half its rated shaft power. Therefore ... on average ... the diesel-electric train will require 0.5 x 440kW x8 hr = 1,762 kWh/day of mechanical energy to move it.

In this case, the rooftop solar panels will contribute (273.6 /1,762)x100 = 15.5% of the normal elecrical energy consumption of the train.


A 15.5% contribution towards the electrical energy requirement of the train IS substantial, and it does appear to be TECHNICALLY FEASIBLE. That reduction in the amount of electrical energy that the genset needs to produce will translate into a similar percentage reduction in the amount of diesel fuel consumption.

However, we have not assessed the COST BENEFIT of using rooftop mounted solar panels in this way. That should be evaluated from a life cycle cost standpoint, taking into account the cost of capital investments, and operating costs including labor, maintenance and fuel costs spread out over the life of a typical train, and discounted to the present day, and comparing that cost to the cost of running the trains over its lifetime on diesel fuel alone. The cost of battery storage, and the impact of the added weight of the batteries on fuel consumption should also be included.

It is only then that we can decide on the FEASIBILITY of the idea from both TECHNICAL and ECONOMIC points of view.

Ananda-USA said...

It is good that Englishmen help in reconstruction and rehabilitation now.

But, the help we really needed was to stop the terrorist network in the Sri Lankan Tamil Diaspora in Britain funding the murderous LTTE terrorists who destroyed the lives of hundreds of thousands of people in Sri Lanka over three decades.

Then, as now, Britain says these are "legitimate activities". Does Britain consider similar activities by Muslim extremists who bombed London buses "legitimate"?

Or, are there different strokes for different folks?

Ian Botham 'shocked' by Sri Lanka war damage

By Mel Gunasekera
March 28, 2011

COLOMBO (AFP) – England cricket legend Sir Ian Botham has described his shock at the destruction and hardship that Sri Lanka's war-displaced civilians have had to face, following his tour of the region.

Botham, who on Sunday visited Sri Lanka's former war zone to oversee plans to build a sports complex, said he was "horrified" to hear tales of young children dragged off to fight the decades-long war that ended in May 2009.

"I was completely shocked. The scenery was unbelievable. Flattened lands for miles, houses shelled, treetops burnt," he told reporters after visiting the project site at Mankulam, 300 kilometres (187 miles) north of Colombo.

"I was surprised how wide spaced the place (northern war zone area) was, everything was so flat. It was like a wilderness. " the former player said.

The project is led by Sri Lanka's world record bowler Muttiah Muralitharan's charity, the Foundation of Goodness, to help thousands of children in the former conflict zone.

Muralitharan, who has a record 800 Test and 538 one-day scalps to his credit, plans to build a school, English and IT training centres and an Elders' Home over the next two years to help war-displaced people rebuild their lives.

Botham, who was joined on the tour by former Ashes-winning England cricket captain, Michael Vaughan, played a friendly match with local children, which included several former child soldiers.

More than 500 child soldiers were picked up by the Sri Lankan military after they defeated Tamil Tiger rebels in a bloody final battle, ending 37-years of ethnic bloodshed.

"These children, they looked so innocent, warm and friendly," Botham said of the former child soldiers, who have since been rehabilitated and allowed to return to their families.

Botham and Vaughan also visited a school in Mankulam and handed out food, mosquito nets, torches, cooking utensils and stoves.

"It amazed me that so many things I took for granted like clean water, mosquito nets, bicycles, meant a lot to these people who have endured decades of a horrible war," the 55-year-old said.

Vaughan, who also distributed bats and tennis balls to 100 children during the visit organised London-based Laureus Sports said he was happy to bring a little joy to young people who have suffered a terrible tragedy.

"Their eyes lit up, when we gave them a bat and ball, and played a short game of cricket. The children were all smiles. It was touching," Vaughan said of the visit.

Ananda-USA said...

Ian Botham 'shocked' by Sri Lanka war damage

Vaughan said he hoped the sports complex will breed promising cricketers such as Muralitharan and Sri Lankan skipper Kumar Sangakkara, who play a key role in the home team.

"In 15 years time, I hope to hear of another Sanga (Sangakkara) and Murali (Muralitharan) emerging from the north. That is the vision I like to see for this country," Vaughan said.

Botham visited Sri Lanka days after the December 2004 Asian tsunami to drum up aid. Around 31,000 people were killed in the worst natural disaster to hit the island.

The England hero began supporting the Foundation of Goodness in 2005 and returned in 2009 to oversee the build up of a similar sports centre in the southern town of Seenigama that was hit by the tsunami.

Muralitharan's charity is also supported by Sangakkara and former international teammate Chaminda Vaas.

Ananda-USA said...

>Turkey says it will take over Benghazi airport

Istanbul, March 28 : Turkey will be taking over Libya's Benghazi airport to organise humanitarian assistance in the country as part of the NATO-led multinational task force, the Anatolia Agency reported Monday.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey had agreed to three tasks within the scope of the NATO mission in the strife-torn North African country.

"One is to run the Benghazi airport for the coordination of humanitarian assistance. We will also take part in monitoring the airspace and deploy Turkish naval forces on the corridor between Crete and Benghazi," Erdogan said at a news conference in Ankara before leaving on an official trip to Iraq.

After previously having expressed strong opposition to taking part in any intervention in Libya, Turkey said Thursday that it supported NATO taking over the UN-backed operation and would be contributing four frigates, a submarine and an auxiliary ship.

Ananda-USA said...

Intervention in Libya at odds with UN resolution: Russia

Moscow, Mar 28 : Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said here today the military intervention by the Western-led coalition force in Libya's civil war is out of tune with the relevant UN Security Council resolution.

"We believe that the coalition's intervention in the civil war in Libya has not, essentially, been sanctioned by the UN Security Council resolution," Lavrov said.

He added its only purpose "is to ensure the protection of the civilian population," stressing "this resolution contains no other goals." Expressing concern over reports of civilian casualties, Lavrov said Russia hopes for the soonest verification of reports of civilian victims in the Western coalition's operation in Libya.

"We are concerned about reports claiming civilian victims, although these reports cannot be confirmed immediately. We want these reports to be verified," he said.

NATO began taking command of all aerial operations in Libya yesterday from the US-led force. The transfer of authority will take up to three days.

Russia abstained from a UN Security Council resolution adopted on March 17 imposing a no-fly zone over Libya and measures to protect civilians from Gaddafi's forces.

Western-led military strikes against Gaddafi, whose forces have been attacking rebels in the east of the country since mid-February, began last Saturday.

Libyan television has reported that at least 100 civilians have been killed and over 150 wounded in the strikes and that many health and education facilities have been destroyed.

Ananda-USA said...

Putative coup plotter granted bail.
Sri Lankan court grants bail to former Army commander's secretary

ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Mar 28, Colombo: A Sri Lankan court has granted bail today to the former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka's private secretary, Captain (retired) Senaka de Silva.

The Court of Appeal has granted bail to Silva when his bail application was taken up for hearing today. The state counsel had said there was no objection to grant bail to him.

Silva was remanded on a charge of employing army deserters during the last presidential election campaign.

Silva was released on a cash bail of Rs.100,000 and has been ordered not to leave the country.

He was ordered to hand over his passport to courts and to report to the OIC of the Criminal Investigations Department on the last Sunday of every month.

Ananda-USA said...

Five myths about why the South seceded

By James W. Loewen,
February 26, 2011

One hundred fifty years after the Civil War began, we’re still fighting it — or at least fighting over its history. I’ve polled thousands of high school history teachers and spoken about the war to audiences across the country, and there is little agreement even about why the South seceded. Was it over slavery? States’ rights? Tariffs and taxes?

As the nation begins to commemorate the anniversaries of the war’s various battles — from Fort Sumter to Appomattox — let’s first dispense with some of the more prevalent myths about why it all began.

1. The South seceded over states’ rights.

Confederate states did claim the right to secede, but no state claimed to be seceding for that right. In fact, Confederates opposed states’ rights — that is, the right of Northern states not to support slavery.

On Dec. 24, 1860, delegates at South Carolina’s secession convention adopted a “Declaration of the Immediate Causes Which Induce and Justify the Secession of South Carolina from the Federal Union.” It noted “an increasing hostility on the part of the non-slaveholding States to the institution of slavery” and protested that Northern states had failed to “fulfill their constitutional obligations” by interfering with the return of fugitive slaves to bondage. Slavery, not states’ rights, birthed the Civil War.

South Carolina was further upset that New York no longer allowed “slavery transit.” In the past, if Charleston gentry wanted to spend August in the Hamptons, they could bring their cook along. No longer — and South Carolina’s delegates were outraged. In addition, they objected that New England states let black men vote and tolerated abolitionist societies. According to South Carolina, states should not have the right to let their citizens assemble and speak freely when what they said threatened slavery.

Other seceding states echoed South Carolina. “Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery — the greatest material interest of the world,” proclaimed Mississippi in its own secession declaration, passed Jan. 9, 1861. “Its labor supplies the product which constitutes by far the largest and most important portions of the commerce of the earth. . . . A blow at slavery is a blow at commerce and civilization.”

The South’s opposition to states’ rights is not surprising. Until the Civil War, Southern presidents and lawmakers had dominated the federal government. The people in power in Washington always oppose states’ rights. Doing so preserves their own.

Ananda-USA said...

Five myths about why the South seceded


1. The South seceded over states’ rights.

Confederate states did claim the right to secede, but no state claimed to be seceding for that right. In fact, Confederates opposed states’ rights — that is, the right of Northern states not to support slavery.

On Dec. 24, 1860, delegates at South Carolina’s secession convention adopted a “Declaration of the Immediate Causes Which Induce and Justify the Secession of South Carolina from the Federal Union.” It noted “an increasing hostility on the part of the non-slaveholding States to the institution of slavery” and protested that Northern states had failed to “fulfill their constitutional obligations” by interfering with the return of fugitive slaves to bondage. Slavery, not states’ rights, birthed the Civil War.

South Carolina was further upset that New York no longer allowed “slavery transit.” In the past, if Charleston gentry wanted to spend August in the Hamptons, they could bring their cook along. No longer — and South Carolina’s delegates were outraged. In addition, they objected that New England states let black men vote and tolerated abolitionist societies. According to South Carolina, states should not have the right to let their citizens assemble and speak freely when what they said threatened slavery.

Other seceding states echoed South Carolina. “Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery — the greatest material interest of the world,” proclaimed Mississippi in its own secession declaration, passed Jan. 9, 1861. “Its labor supplies the product which constitutes by far the largest and most important portions of the commerce of the earth. . . . A blow at slavery is a blow at commerce and civilization.”

The South’s opposition to states’ rights is not surprising. Until the Civil War, Southern presidents and lawmakers had dominated the federal government. The people in power in Washington always oppose states’ rights. Doing so preserves their own.

2. Secession was about tariffs and taxes.

During the nadir of post-civil-war race relations — the terrible years after 1890 when town after town across the North became all-white “sundown towns” and state after state across the South prevented African Americans from voting — “anything but slavery” explanations of the Civil War gained traction. To this day Confederate sympathizers successfully float this false claim, along with their preferred name for the conflict: the War Between the States. At the infamous Secession Ball in South Carolina, hosted in December by the Sons of Confederate Veterans, “the main reasons for secession were portrayed as high tariffs and Northern states using Southern tax money to build their own infrastructure,” The Washington Post reported.

These explanations are flatly wrong. High tariffs had prompted the Nullification Controversy in 1831-33, when, after South Carolina demanded the right to nullify federal laws or secede in protest, President Andrew Jackson threatened force. No state joined the movement, and South Carolina backed down. Tariffs were not an issue in 1860, and Southern states said nothing about them. Why would they? Southerners had written the tariff of 1857, under which the nation was functioning. Its rates were lower than at any point since 1816.

3. Most white Southerners didn’t own slaves, so they wouldn’t secede for slavery.

Indeed, most white Southern families had no slaves. Less than half of white Mississippi households owned one or more slaves, for example, and that proportion was smaller still in whiter states such as Virginia and Tennessee. It is also true that, in areas with few slaves, most white Southerners did not support secession. West Virginia seceded from Virginia to stay with the Union, and Confederate troops had to occupy parts of eastern Tennessee and northern Alabama to hold them in line.

Ananda-USA said...

Five myths about why the South seceded

......continued 2....

However, two ideological factors caused most Southern whites, including those who were not slave-owners, to defend slavery. First, Americans are wondrous optimists, looking to the upper class and expecting to join it someday. In 1860, many subsistence farmers aspired to become large slave-owners. So poor white Southerners supported slavery then, just as many low-income people support the extension of George W. Bush’s tax cuts for the wealthy now.

Second and more important, belief in white supremacy provided a rationale for slavery. As the French political theorist Montesquieu observed wryly in 1748: “It is impossible for us to suppose these creatures [enslaved Africans] to be men; because allowing them to be men, a suspicion would follow that we ourselves are not Christians.” Given this belief, most white Southerners — and many Northerners, too — could not envision life in black-majority states such as South Carolina and Mississippi unless blacks were in chains. Georgia Supreme Court Justice Henry Benning, trying to persuade the Virginia Legislature to leave the Union, predicted race war if slavery was not protected. “The consequence will be that our men will be all exterminated or expelled to wander as vagabonds over a hostile earth, and as for our women, their fate will be too horrible to contemplate even in fancy.” Thus, secession would maintain not only slavery but the prevailing ideology of white supremacy as well.

4. Abraham Lincoln went to war to end slavery.

Since the Civil War did end slavery, many Americans think abolition was the Union’s goal. But the North initially went to war to hold the nation together. Abolition came later.

On Aug. 22, 1862, President Lincoln wrote a letter to the New York Tribune that included the following passage: “If I could save the Union without freeing any slave, I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves, I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone, I would also do that. What I do about slavery and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union.”

However, Lincoln’s own anti-slavery sentiment was widely known at the time. In the same letter, he went on: “I have here stated my purpose according to my view of official duty; and I intend no modification of my oft-expressed personal wish that all men every where could be free.” A month later, Lincoln combined official duty and private wish in his preliminary Emancipation Proclamation.

White Northerners’ fear of freed slaves moving north then caused Republicans to lose the Midwest in the congressional elections of November 1862.

Gradually, as Union soldiers found help from black civilians in the South and black recruits impressed white units with their bravery, many soldiers — and those they wrote home to — became abolitionists. By 1864, when Maryland voted to end slavery, soldiers’ and sailors’ votes made the difference.

Ananda-USA said...

Five myths about why the South seceded

.......continued 3......

5. The South couldn’t have made it long as a slave society.

Slavery was hardly on its last legs in 1860. That year, the South produced almost 75 percent of all U.S. exports. Slaves were worth more than all the manufacturing companies and railroads in the nation. No elite class in history has ever given up such an immense interest voluntarily. Moreover, Confederates eyed territorial expansion into Mexico and Cuba. Short of war, who would have stopped them — or forced them to abandon slavery?

To claim that slavery would have ended of its own accord by the mid-20th century is impossible to disprove but difficult to accept. In 1860, slavery was growing more entrenched in the South. Unpaid labor makes for big profits, and the Southern elite was growing ever richer. Freeing slaves was becoming more and more difficult for their owners, as was the position of free blacks in the United States, North as well as South. For the foreseeable future, slavery looked secure. Perhaps a civil war was required to end it.

As we commemorate the sesquicentennial of that war, let us take pride this time — as we did not during the centennial — that secession on slavery’s behalf failed.

Ananda-USA said...

DOUBLE TALK from START to END in Western military attacks on Libya!

Engineer a rebellion, setup some pliant puppets, and move to grab Libya's oil reserves .. by MILITARY FORCE.

Reduction of civilian casualities now long forgotten.

The purpose now is to TAKE SIDES IN THE CIVIL WAR they created, and engineer a REGIME CHANGE!


Libyan rebels bear down on Gadhafi's hometown


BIN JAWWAD, Libya – Rebel forces bore down Monday on Moammar Gadhafi's hometown of Sirte, a key government stronghold where a brigade headed by one of the Libyan leader's sons was digging in to defend the city and setting the stage for a bloody and possibly decisive battle.

The opposition made new headway in its rapid advance westward through oil towns and along stretches of empty desert highway toward Sirte and beyond to the big prize — the capital, Tripoli.

But the rebels remain woefully outgunned by Gadhafi's forces, who swept the insurgents from positions in eastern Libya until the international intervention forced government troops to withdraw.

Rebels acknowledged they could not have held their ground without international air and cruise missile strikes. Libya state television reported new NATO airstrikes after nightfall, targeting "military and civilian targets" in the cities of Garyan and Mizda about 40 miles and 90 miles respectively from Tripoli.

NATO insisted that it was seeking only to protect civilians and not to give air cover to an opposition march. But that line looked set to become even more blurred. The airstrikes now are clearly enabling rebels bent on overthrowing Gadhafi to push toward the final line of defense on the road to the capital.

Vice Adm. William Gortney, staff director for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the U.S. was hitting Libyan targets with Thunderbolts and AC-130 gunships, aircraft that can fly low enough to support ground operations.

There was growing criticism from Russia and other countries that the international air campaign is overstepping the bounds of the U.N. resolution that authorized it. The complaints came at a critical transition in the campaign from a U.S. to a NATO command. That threatens to hamper the operation, as some of the 28 NATO member nations plan to limit their participation to air patrols, rather than attacks on ground targets.

On Monday, rebel fighters moved about 70 miles (110 kilometers) west Monday from the coastal oil terminal and town of Ras Lanouf to just beyond the small town of Bin Jawwad, where their push was halted by government fire along the exposed desert highway and the heavily mined entrance to Sirte.

The rebels are currently just 60 miles (100 kilometers) from Sirte, the bastion of Gadhafi's power in the center of the country.

Take control of that, and there's only the largely rebel-held city of Misrata — and then empty desert — in the way of the capital. Sirte could therefore see some of the fiercest fighting of the rebellion, which began on Feb. 15.

"Gadhafi is not going to give up Sirte easily because straightaway after Sirte is Misrata, and after that it's straight to Gadhafi's house," said Gamal Mughrabi, a 46-year-old rebel fighter. "So Sirte is the last line of defense."

He said there are both anti- and pro-Gadhafi forces inside Sirte.

Some residents were fleeing Sirte, as soldiers from a brigade commanded by Gadhafi's son al-Saadi and allied militiamen streamed to positions on the city's outskirts to defend it, witnesses said. Sirte was hit by airstrikes Sunday night and Monday morning, witnesses said, but they did not know what was targeted.

Ananda-USA said...

Libyan rebels bear down on Gadhafi's hometown


The city is dominated by members of the Libyan leader's Gadhadhfa tribe. But many in another large Sirte tribe — the Firjan — are believed to resent his rule, and rebels are hoping to encourage them and other tribes there to help them.

"There's Gadhafi and then there's circles around him of supporters. Each circle is slowly peeling off and disappearing," said Gen. Hamdi Hassi, a rebel commander speaking at the small town of Bin Jawwad, just 18 miles (30 kilometers) from the front. "If they rise up, it would make our job easier."

Sirte, which houses a significant air and military base, is crucial both for its strategic position and its symbolic value. Over the years, Gadhafi has made it effectively Libya's second capital, building up what had been a quiet agricultural community into a city of 150,000 with lavish conference halls where Arab and African summits were held.

Fighting in such a densely populated area is likely to complicate the rebels' advance and add to the ambiguity of the NATO-led campaign, authorized by a Security Council resolution to take all necessary measures to protect civilians.

In Russia, which abstained from the U.N. vote, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said strikes on Gadhafi's forces would amount to taking sides in what he called Libya's civil war, and thus would breach the mandate that was initially envisaged as establishing a no-fly zone only to protect civilians.

But the inclusion of language allowing "all necessary means" opened the door to airstrikes and ship-fired cruise missile attacks on Gadhafi's forces to stop attacks on cities and cut supply lines.

And Pentagon officials are looking at plans to expand the firepower and airborne surveillance systems, including using the Air Force's AC-130 gunship armed with cannons that shoot from the side doors, as well as helicopters and drones. That weaponry might allow for more precision in urban fighting, while drawing forces closer to the combat.

NATO's commander for the operation, Lt. Gen. Charles Bouchard of Canada, insisted his mission was clear, saying every decision was designed to prevent attacks on civilians. "Our goal is to protect and help the civilians and population centers under the threat of attack," he said.

Britain and France, which has been the most vocal supporter of the rebellion and is the only Western nation to officially recognize its political leaders, added their voices to those appeals.

In a joint statement, British Prime Minister David Cameron and President Nicolas Sarkozy of France said Gadhafi loyalists should abandon the dictator and side with those seeking his ouster.

"We call on all his followers to leave him before it is too late," the two leaders said. "We call on all Libyans who believe that Gadhafi is leading Libya into a disaster to take the initiative now to organize a transition process."

The Gulf nation of Qatar on Monday recognized Libya's rebels as the legitimate representatives of the country — the first Arab state to do so. Qatar is also one of only two Arab states — the other is the United Arab Emirates — that is contributing fighter planes to the air mission.

Gadhafi is not on the defensive everywhere. His forces continued to besiege Misrata, the main rebel holdout in the west and Libya's third-largest city. Residents reported fighting between rebels and loyalists who fired from tanks on residential areas.

Libyan officials took foreign journalists on a tour of the city's outskirts but not into the center, indicating government control did not extend far. Explosions and gunfire echoed through empty streets lined with burned out tanks and bullet-scarred buildings.

Ananda-USA said...

Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka, Jayawewa ... Pembara Sri Lanka!

Sri Lanka storms in to World Cup Final

ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Mar 29, Colombo: Sri Lanka won the first semi-final of the ICC World Cup crushing New Zealand's hopes for World Cup final today at the R. Premadasa Stadium.

After winning the toss and deciding to bat against Sri Lanka, New Zealand set a modest score of 218 for Sri Lanka to chase.

In reply Sri Lanka struggled after Upul Tharanga was caught for 30 but Tillakaratne Dilshan (73) and Captain Kumar Sangakkara (54) steadied the runs and with Thilan Samaraweera's unbeaten 23 Sri Lanka cleared the way for the final.

Ending his remarkable career on home grounds Sri Lanka's greatest spinner Muttiah Muralitharan struck Scott Styris of New Zealand with his final ball to claim 2 for 42. Lasith Malinga and Ajantha Mendis claimed three wickets each.

Sangakkara was the man-of-the-match for his multiple roles of batting, wicket keeping and leading the Sri Lankan team.

Sri Lanka will face the winner of the second semi-final between India and Pakistan tomorrow at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium in Mohali, India.

The final match will be played at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, India.

Ananda-USA said...

Wind power plant to be established in Sri Lanka

ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Mar 29, Colombo: LVL Energy Fund (Private) Limited, a Sri Lankan Energy firm is reportedly planning to build a wind power plant in Kalpitiya peninsula.

As Sri Lankan government is encouraging the generation of electricity using renewable resources as an alternative to the electricity generated from burning fossil fuel, LVL Energy Fund (Private) Limited has entered into an agreement with LTL Holdings to set up the 10 MW plant in Kalpitiya in the Northwestern coast of the island.

Lanka Energy Fund is to invest Rs. 384 million in the project representing an equity stake of 40%, reported business website News360.

The joint venture will go as Pawan Danavi (Private) Limited.

Ananda-USA said...

World Cup Cricket!

Our Indian and Pakistani cousins play today to decide who will confront Sri Lanka in the World Cup Final on April 2nd.

May both teams play with honor and courage, and may the better team win this day!

When one great scorer comes,
To play against your name.
It's not whether you won or lost,
But, how you played the game!

No matter who wins this game, on April 2nd the Sri Lanka Lions will Roar in Triumph!

JAYAWEWA! Sri Lanka!

Ananda-USA said...

WANTED: "Peg Leg Shankar" or Shanmugasundaram Kanthaskaran, 38, a native of Silavathurai, Sri Lanka.

Former Sea Tiger, and Gun Runner, now People Smuggler!

Interpol issues warrant for a UK man alleged of smuggling Sri Lankan Tamils to Canada

ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Mar 23, Colombo: The Interpol has issued an arrest warrant for a Sri Lankan Tamil man in the United Kingdom accused of running human smuggling operations.

The world's international police organization has issued a Red Notice for Shanmugasundaram Kanthaskaran, 38, a native of Silavathurai, Sri Lanka.

According to the Intepol, he is wanted for his alleged involvement in people smuggling, trafficking and illegal immigration, and terrorism.

While the public Interpol notice is vague, Canada's daily National Post says based on classified details of the allegations obtained by the newspaper says he is wanted in connection with the human smuggling vessel Ocean Lady that sent 76 Sri Lankans to Canada aboard a cargo ship in 2009.

Citing a confidential Sri Lankan government report, the National Post says Mr. Kanthaskaran, also known as "Peg Leg Shankar," holds a British passport and operates from the U.K., Indonesia, Thailand, and Malaysia.

"The subject has established an effective network covering South Asian countries to run the human smuggling operations," the paper quoted the document adding that the accused organized the Ocean Lady smuggling run with a Canadian named Ravi Shanker.

According to the report, Mr. Kanthaskaran who was a member of the Sea Tiger unit of LTTE moved to London after he lost his leg battling government forces. He was allegedly involved in procuring arms for the rebels.

During the final phase of the war the LTTE operatives in the UK had organized to smuggle arms on board a ship called Princess Easwary to the cornered Tiger rebels in Northern Sri Lanka in the guise of humanitarian aid.

The ship was not allowed to sail to Sri Lanka and the Sri Lankan forces decimated the LTTE in Sri Lanka before the ship could reach the final destination with arms reportedly smuggled from North Korea. According to the National Post report Mr. Kanthaskaran organized that arms smuggling operation in May 2009.

After the news of Tiger leader Velupillai Prabhakaran's demise, the ship's crew had dumped their cargo into the sea off Indonesia.

The report says that Mr. Kanthaskaran then modified the ship, changed its name and used it to smuggle people from Thailand to Canada.

In October 2009, reportedly the modified ship, MV Ocean Lady brought 76 illegal Sri Lankan migrants, all males, to British Columbia. MV Sun Sea's human cargo included 380 men, 63 women, and 49 children. All the migrants have sought asylum in the country.

Ananda-USA said...

Curious! Were they attacked by LTTE terrorists from Tamil Nadu?

Four Sri Lankan Navy sailors missing - report

ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Mar 30, Colombo: Four Sri Lankan navy sailors have been reported missing along with their boat and Sri Lankan officials have sought the help of Indian Navy and fishermen, Indian media reported on Wednesday.

The authorities reportedly suspect that the boat may have sunk or developed a snag and drifted to a coast in the Palk Strait.

The Tamil Nadu Fisheries Department which has been informed of the incident has sought the help of the state's fishermen to look out for missing Sri Lanka sailors, a PTI report said.

The Indian authorities had asked about 650 fishermen, who went out to sea from Rameshwaram in Tamil Nadu Wednesday evening to inform officials if they come across the missing Sri Lankan Naval boat.

Officials of Q Branch police have also alerted the state's Coastal Security Police about the missing sailors.

Ananda-USA said...

Sri Lanka's Rajapaksa on a roll

By Amantha Perera
April 01, 2011

COLOMBO - The latest elections in Sri Lanka serve as yet another reminder that despite all its follies, President Mahinda Rajapaksa's government is unshakable.

In the March 17 elections for 234 local government bodies, the United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) led by Rajapaksa secured control of 205 bodies outright and seven more through allies and coalition partners. The opposition United National Party (UNP) won nine while the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) won 12 councils, all of them from the north of the country.

National newspapers called it a hat trick of victories for

Rajapaksa, counting his resounding wins at last year's presidential and general elections.

Election monitors complained of violence and subtle manipulations of the state machinery to suit the government. But they admitted that evidence of vote-rigging and levels of intimidation showed that their absence would not have changed the outcome of the election.

"The trend that favors the government is still there," said Keerthi Thennakoon, the executive director of the election monitoring body Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CAFFE). "It is still a very popular government."

The government has been riding on a crest of popularity, especially in areas dominated by the majority Sinhala community. The popularity is primarily based on the government successfully bringing a two-and-half decade bloody ethnic war to an end in May 2009.

Opposition parties had wagered that popularity was eroding in the face of rising prices and accusations of nepotism within the government. It was a bet that they lost badly in most parts of the country, except for a few areas in the north and east.

The main opposition party, the UNP, has also been hobbling in the past year, wrecked by defections into government ranks and a long-running leadership tussle. Ranil Wickremasinghe, the UNP leader for almost 17 years, recently faced off a stiff challenge from Sajith Premadasa, the son of the party's last elected president, Ranasinghe Premadasa.

"It is a very feeble opposition we have right now," Thennakoon said.

Government ministers have been much more gung-ho in their observations. "I don't think there has ever been a government that is this popular, five years after it was first elected," Minister Dullas Allahaperuma told national television soon after results were announced.

Monitors like Thennakoon, however, are wary that notwithstanding its immense popularity, the government and its allies were still indulging in efforts to rig the vote.

Thennakoon's prime contention is that elections for 23 local government bodies were postponed - citing the holding of the ongoing cricket world cup, which Sri Lanka is co-hosting with neighbors India and Bangladesh. The monitors say that in some areas where there have been postponements there are no matches played or any sight of international cricket. Elections in 65 other councils have been postponed due to court cases.

"Staggered elections, we have seen in the past, are a recipe for violence and intimidation," Thennakoon said.

Ananda-USA said...

Sri Lanka's Rajapaksa on a roll

........continued .......
The People's Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL), another national polls monitoring body, wrote to the government soon after the election requesting it to hold polls for the remaining bodies on just one day. "Our experience has shown that if elections are held on a staggered basis, there is bound to be wastage of resources and external influence on the elections," said Rohana Hettiarachchi, PAFFREL executive director.

Thennakoon told Inter Press Service (IPS) that there were indications that subtle manipulations had taken place. He gave the example of Kathankuddi, a Muslim-dominated constituency in the eastern Batticaloa district. The monitor said that voting was relatively low until around noon there. "After 2.30 pm, less than 90 minutes before polls closed, there was an unbelievable increase in voting," he said. By the time polls closed, over 75% of the registered voters had voted in Kathankuddi - which the UPFA won.
In the Verugal electorate - in the eastern Trincomalee district - Thennakoon said similar patterns were observed, but this one was won by the TNA.

The TNA victories in the 12 local elections in the north and east were the only instances where the ruling UPFA's otherwise unassailable supremacy was shattered. The victories came in the Northern and Eastern provinces, home to much of the country's 18% Tamil minority.

A TNA representative told IPS that the overwhelming vote was a stamp of acceptance by the population of the TNA's policies. The TNA has, however, long been considered a proxy of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) who were defeated by government forces in 2009. Since the war's end it has been trying shed its links with the Tigers and assert its independence.

"The Tamil people have given us a mandate, they have shown that they back our policies," said Appathurai Vinayagamurthi, a TNA parliamentarian.

The TNA has been involved in discussions with the government while calling for greater political autonomy in the northern areas. It has also called for speedy rehabilitation of the war-devastated region and for the government to release a full list of all those detained since the end of the war.

"We will continue the dialogue [with the government]. Now that the people have given their choice, we can't let them down," Vinayagamurthi said.

(Inter Press Service)

Ananda-USA said...

Three army men sentenced to death

By Farook Thajudeen
March 31, 2011

The Colombo High Court yesterday imposed the death sentence on three soldiers who were found guilty of the abduction, rape and murder of a 22-year-old woman in Jaffna in 1996. The three soldiers, Gamini Saman Uyanage, A. P. Sarathchandra and D. Gamage Kithsiri were indicted for the abduction and murder of Valaudan Pillai Rajini in Kondavil on or around October 30, 1996. Gamini Saman Uyanage and D. Gamage Kithsiri were also indicted for the rape of the 22-year-old woman.

High Court judge P. W. D. C. Jayatilake imposed the death sentence on the three accused when the seven-member jury found them guilty of the murder.

State Counsel Lakmini Girihagama appeared for the prosecution.

Ananda-USA said...

India declares South Mumbai a no-fly zone for World Cup final with Sri Lanka

ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Mar 31, Mumbai: Enforcing heavy security measures in preparation for the Saturday's World Cup final between India and Sri Lanka at the Wankhede Stadium India has declared the entire south Mumbai a no-fly zone to prevent any possible aerial attacks.

Indian police has said that only aircraft belonging to the security agencies including the Indian Army, the Indian Air Force, the Indian Navy and others will be allowed in the air space.

According to the police, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa as well as other high level VIPs of both countries are expected to attend the Saturday's World Cup final.

The Maharashtra state government has already declared a holiday for Mumbai city and suburbs Saturday, Indian media reported.

The authorities have also decided to ban group text messages for the day and are conducting background checks on various foreign nationals living or touring in south Mumbai.

Police Commissioner Arup Patnaik has said that all security personnel have been issued special bio-metric identity cards and instructed to operate at 'zero tolerance' levels on the match day, the IANS reported.

Meanwhile, the Sri Lankan team arrived in Mumbai on Wednesday amid heavy security from commandos and crack units of the Mumbai police.

Ananda-USA said...

Great, but what specialized capabilities makes it one of Asia's "most advanced" neorosugery units?

What diagnostic equipment?
What surgical equipment?
What training of personnel?


We would like to know!

Sri Lanka President to open the neurosurgery unit of the National Hospital

ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Mar 31, Colombo: Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa is to open the newly constructed neurosurgery unit of the National Hospital today.

Once opened the 300-bed super-specialty tertiary-care facility will be one of Asia's most advanced neurosurgical units constructed, with special focus on neurotrauma, neurology, and neurosurgery.

The unit is equipped with state-of-the-art facilities including a roof-top helipad on top of the 10-story building to provide air ambulance services.

The new unit was built at a cost of Rs. 2.8 billion. The project was partially funded through a US $ 4.89 million loan provided to the Sri Lankan Government by the Saudi Fund for Development.

According to the Director of the Colombo National Hospital Dr. Hector Weerasinghe the Unit will be Asia's most sophisticated Neurosurgical Unit. A staff of 600 is expected to be employed at the facility.

Ananda-USA said...

World Cup Cricket:

GO .. Lanka ... GO .. ALL THE WAY!

Jayawewa, Sri Lanka!

Let the Lions ROAR Again in Mumbai!

Ratna Deepa, Janma Bhumi!
Lanka Deepa, Vijaya Bhumi!
Mey Apey, Udara Wu
Mathru Bhumi-yayi!
Mathru Bhumi-yayi!

Ananda-USA said...

More DOUBLE STANDARDS by the US: meeting representatives of LTTE war criminals to assess "war crimes" by the GOSL!

CLEARLY, LUNATICS have taken over the ASYLUM!

SL concerned over US-LTTE meet ahead of UN ‘war crimes’ report

By Shamindra Ferdinando
April 01, 2011

The Sri Lankan government is concerned over a recent meeting involving senior representatives of US State Department, Global Tamil Forum (GTF) and British Tamil Forum (BTF) at the State Department, where they are believed to have discussed a strategy to compel Sri Lanka to accept an international ‘war crimes’ probe.

Authoritative sources say that in spite of both GTF and BTF pursuing the LTTE’s separatist agenda, Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs Robert Blake met the head of the GTF Fr. Emmanuel, Suren Surendiran of the BTF and the US-based head of the GTF Dr. Jeyarajah on March 28.

The meeting took place ahead of a three-member UN Panel, appointed by UNSG Ban Ki-moon releasing its ‘war crimes’ report on the final phase of Eelam war IV. Sources said that this week’s rehearsal at the UN mission in Colombo indicated that the UN expected a possible siege on the offices after the release of the report.

Responding to a query, intelligence sources told The Island that the BTF was spearheading the separatist campaign. The Diaspora was trying to achieve through international intervention what the LTTE couldn’t do with arms and the support of a section of the international community.In fact, the GTF had been created by the UK-based BTF as part of its strategy to strengthen hardliners, led by Norway based Perinpanayagam Sivaparan aka Nediyawan.

Sources said that the US move could undermine US-based attorney-at-law V. Rudrakumaran, the first ‘Premier’ of the Transitional Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) now under pressure not only by the GTF and BTF but a section of his so-called cabinet of ministers.

Asked whether the BTF had received the support of political parties in Europe and the US, sources said that the Diaspora had launched the BTF on Feb. 24, last year at the House of Commons in the presence of the then British Foreign Secretary David Miliband. Since then, the BTF had established offices in at least 15 countries, with its main secretariat in London. Sources said that the London Secretariat is headed by former Labour MP for Enfield North Joan Ryan, who first entered parliament in 1997 until her defeat at the 2010 General Election.

Ryan on Dec. 3, last year filed an application on behalf of the GTF in London for an arrest warrant against Maj. Gen. Chagi Gallage, of the Presidential Security Division, alleging that he had committed ‘war crimes.’ Maj. Gen. Gallage, one of the key officers involved in executing ground operations, was accompanying President Mahinda Rajapaksa on a private visit to London.

Ananda-USA said...

World Cup Cricket:

SL 274/6 (50 ov), Mahela 103 (no), Sanga 48, Dilshan (33), Kulasekhara 32, Thusara 22 (no), Samaraweera (21) ; 5.48 Runs/Over


Can India score 275 to win?

I don't think so!

Jayawewa .. Sri Lanka Lions!

Miss Information said...

Blogger Ananda-USA said...


Can India score 275 to win?

I don't think so!

Jayawewa .. Sri Lanka Lions!


Sadly, you are, as usual, quite wrong.

On the topic of Sri Lanka offering money to aid the Japanese post-tsunami...

They should be giving much more. All they need to do is dip into the hundreds of millions MR and his gang skimmed from the disaster aid given to the people of Sri Lanka after the Boxing Day Tsunami.



Ananda-USA said...

World Cup Cricket:

Our Indian cousins won the Cup with 10 balls remaining!

We celebrate their achievement!


India today, Sri Lanka tomorrow! AGAIN! Never say die!

Lanka Lanka Pembara Lanka!
Pinawamu Oba Lanka!
Obawemu Oba Lanka Devindey!
Surakimu Oba Lanka!

Ananda-USA said...

Dhoni and Gambhir lead India to World Cup glory

By Andrew Miller
April 02, 2011

Twenty-eight years on from the match that transformed the history of world cricket, India recaptured the crown that Kapil Dev and his men first lifted at Lord's in 1983, and this time they did so in their very own back yard. An iron-willed 97 from Gautam Gambhir was matched for intensity by the finest captain's innings since Ricky Ponting in Johannesburg eight years ago, as MS Dhoni trumped a poetic century from Mahela Jayawardene to pull off the highest run-chase ever achieved in a World Cup final.

Against a triumphant backdrop at the Wankhede Stadium, victory was sealed by six wickets with 10 balls to spare, as Dhoni - who had promoted himself to No. 5 to heap extra lashings of responsibility onto his own shoulders - rushed through the gears as the victory target drew nearer. With 15 required from 17 balls, he flicked Sri Lanka's only true threat, Lasith Malinga, through midwicket for consecutive boundaries, before smoking Nuwan Kulasekara over long-on to finish on 91 not out from 79 balls, and spark the most delirious scenes of celebration ever seen on the subcontinent.

However, the final margin did little justice to the tussle that had preceded it. Even the toss ended up being disputed, as Kumar Sangakkara's initial call was drowned out by the crowd, but it was the ebb and flow of Zaheer Khan's day that epitomised the fluctuations of a compelling contest. Zaheer opened his account with three consecutive maidens and the scalp of Upul Tharanga in a peerless spell of 5-3-6-1, only to be clobbered for 17 and 18 runs in his ninth and tenth overs, as Sri Lanka monstered 63 runs in the batting Powerplay to post an imposing 274 for 6.

And India's day got much worse before the team's fortunes began to inch upwards. Virender Sehwag had hit a boundary from the first ball of six of India's previous eight innings in the tournament, but this time Malinga's slingers dealt him a second-ball duck, as he skidded a full delivery into his back pad. And then Sachin Tendulkar, for whom the script had seemingly been written, was drawn into a loose drive by a fast Malinga outswinger, having set the stadium on standby for instant history with 18 sumptuously accumulated runs from his first 12 deliveries.

At 31 for 2 in the seventh over, India were struggling to keep their toehold in the contest, and it was all too much for a faithless few in the crowd who turned their backs and set off for home. But Gambhir and Virat Kohli epitomise a generation that does not easily accept defeat, and their third-wicket stand of 83 laid the foundations for an epic turnaround. The prospect of a seam-friendly surface, allied to the grievous loss of Angelo Mathews to a thigh strain, had tempted Sri Lanka into four key changes to the team that had triumphed over New Zealand in Colombo, and with Muttiah Muralitharan lacking bite in the final wicketless appearance of his 19-year career, Malinga alone could not carry the day.

Ananda-USA said...

Dhoni and Gambhir lead India to World Cup glory

.....continued 1....

The hard-hitting of Nuwan Kulasekara and Thisara Perera had been instrumental in hoisting Sri Lanka's total to such heights, but in their primary role as front-line seamers they lacked menace and were all too easy to squeeze as 119 runs came from their combined allocation of 17.2 overs. The newcomer to the squad, Suraj Randiv, caused a moment of alarm with his high-kicking offspin when Gambhir, on 30, was dropped by a diving Kulasekara at long-off, but as the innings progressed, his lack of guile proved costly. The decision to omit both Ajantha Mendis and Rangana Herath, whose combined efforts had been so effective against England and New Zealand, is one that will haunt Sri Lanka for years to come.

But this was a victory that still had to be grasped, and India found the men who were willing to do so. The 22-year-old Kohli, who was greeted with a stern word of encouragement as he replaced the outgoing Tendulkar, showed all the mettle for the big occasion as he eased along to 35 from 49 balls before falling to an outstanding return catch by Tillakaratne Dilshan, who dived full-length across the crease to intercept a leading edge. But it was Gambhir and Dhoni to whom the ultimate duty fell. Their 109-run stand was the highest by an Indian pairing in three World Cup final appearances, and even when Gambhir gave away the chance for an unforgettable century with a tired charge and slash at Perera, the result was no longer in doubt.

Gambhir struck nine fours in a 122-ball statement of indomitability, and both he and Dhoni required treatment for stiff backs as the sapping Mumbai heat took its toll. Dhoni at one stage looked so immobile that a precautionary retirement seemed the only logical response, but after some harsh work from the physio he resumed his stance and responded with another trademark filleting of the extra cover boundary, an area in which he scored six of his eight fours - three of which helped to blunt Murali's attacking instincts.

Both teams contained numerous veterans of World Cup final defeat, with no fewer than five Indians still remaining from the team that lost to Australia back in 2003, and as a consequence this was a match thick with performances that spoke of the wisdom of experience. Though each of the previous five centurions in finals had gone on to lift the trophy, as well as seven of the nine teams that had had the chance to bat first, Jayawardene had the misfortune to become an exception to both rules. His stunning 103 not out from 88 balls was proof that finesse has as much of a place at this level as brutality, but ultimately it was not enough to deny India their destiny.

Ananda-USA said...

Dhoni and Gambhir lead India to World Cup glory

.....continued 2....

Four years ago at Sabina Park, Jayawardene produced a supreme century against New Zealand to carry his side to their second World Cup final, but this was an innings of even more exquisite application. He came to the crease with his side under the cosh at 60 for 2 in the 17th over, having been throttled by Zaheer's supreme new-ball spell. But he responded with a tempo that scarcely wavered from a run a ball, until with Kulasekera for company, he opened his shoulders to power through to his hundred from 84 balls.

For an occasion of this magnitude, cool heads were the order of the day, and though his final figures did not show it, no-one was cooler in the opening exchanges than Zaheer. On his watch, Sri Lanka were limited to 31 for 1 in their mandatory Powerplay, their lowest ten-over score of the tournament, and the hapless Tharanga was restricted to two runs from 20 balls before snicking to Sehwag at slip, whose sharp low take epitomised a fielding effort that was rarely less than totally committed. Then, when he returned in the 37th over, Zaheer deceived Chamara Kapugedera with a beautiful slower ball that was driven to short cover, on route to equalling Shahid Afridi as the tournament's leading wicket-taker, with 21.

And yet, the speed with which his figures were vandalised was astounding. Though each of Jayawardene's 13 fours was a classy stroke in its own right, none was better than the last of them, an inside-out cover-drive to one of Zaheer's trademark outswinging yorkers, as he premeditated the late movement and filleted the ring of fielders on the off-side. The outright acceleration came from the other end, however, where Kulasekera made 32 from 30 balls before his sacrificial run-out led to a pat of gratitude from Jayawardene as they parted. And then, by the time Perera, who made 22 from nine balls, had sealed his onslaught with a dismissive thump for six over midwicket, the decibel levels in the Wankhede had plummeted.

But run by run, over by over, minute by minute, India picked themselves up, dusted themselves down, and turned the screw on Sri Lanka with a determination that a lesser group of men could not have begun to muster, amid the sure knowledge that several billion countrymen were investing all their hopes in their actions. And though he himself played just a walk-on part in the wider drama, it was Tendulkar who was chaired from the field as the celebrations began in earnest. "He's carried the burden of our nation for 21 years," said the youngster Kohli. "It was time to carry him on our shoulders today."

Ananda-USA said...

Sri Lanka to construct new Colombo Port City at a cost of US$ 300 million

ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Apr 03, Colombo: Under a presidential directive, the Sri Lankan government is to reclaim between 300-400 acres of sea land between the Colombo South Port Development project and the Galle Face Green in order to build a Port City at a cost of US$ 300 million.

The proposed offshore city, to be divided into three segments- business, residential and leisure, will be developed into a modern city with high rises, hotels, residential apartments, shopping malls, and other space to cater to the public needs.

The Ports and Highways Ministry says that of the 330 acres 200 acres of the City are to be either sold outright or given out on a long term lease to investors.

The government is hopeful of providing land to investors for leisure activities and international hotel chains. The government is to consider offering tax holidays and a 30-year lease on land to attract foreign investors. Local investors are also expected to invest in the new City.

The Ministry says that before filling of the reclaimed sea land for the new City commences, a second breakwater is to be built in front of the Old Parliament at sea level, which would serve as a buffer to the City.

Deputy Ports and Highways Minister Rohitha Abeygunawardana has already informed parliament that a feasibility study and an environmental impact assessment are underway by the Sri Lanka Ports Authority and the Moratuwa University.

The City will use construction resources from the Colombo Harbour Expansion Project, currently under construction near the site of this proposed city.

Hydraulic experts have validated the feasibility of reclaiming the sea land and concluded that it is unlikely to cause a harmful effect on the environment such as beach and land erosion but there could be a long term impact on marine resources. Land reclamation is expected to be completed by the end of 2012.

The Urban Development Authority is to prepare schematic diagrams for the new City after completion of the filling work.

Building this New Colombo City on Sea will be carried out in coordination with the Urban Development Authority, Colombo Municipal Council, All Service Ministries, and the Archaeological Department, the government has said.

Ananda-USA said...

Welcome Back .. Udara Lanka Puthrayeni!

You have done us proud by always conducting yourselves with great dignity, courage and honor!

Sri Lanka President extends greetings to the cricket heroes

ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Apr 03, Colombo: Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa extending his wishes to the World Cup finalist and runner-up cricket team for future victories said the whole nation is rallying behind the team as well.

The President pointed out that Sri Lanka's ability to reach the final itself is a victory and becoming runners up in the World Cup tournament is a significant milestone in Sri Lanka's cricket history.

"The Cricket team captained by Kumara Sangakkara has created a defining moment while becoming the runner up," the President has said.

The President has said that he expects to meet all members of the team, to congratulate them and wish well for their future endeavors on behalf of the people of the country.

Ananda-USA said...

These boats look as if they were designed for one- or two-man sabotage missions.

Sri Lanka Police recover boats hidden by the LTTE during the war

ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Apr 03, Colombo: Sri Lanka Police said today that 23 fiberglass boats belonged to the LTTE have been recovered in Mankulam, the second largest town in the Vavuniya District of Northern Sri Lanka.

Police Spokesperson Senior Superintendent of Police Prishantha Jayakody told the media that the boats had been hidden in a forest area in Mankulam by the LTTE during the war and a police team has recovered them.

The Mankulam police are conducting further investigations into the recovery.

Ananda-USA said...

President Mahinda Rajapaksa has achieved much and richly deserves a place of honour in Sri Lanka's historical chronicle .. the Mahavamsa.

However, the official's claim that President Rajapaksa's accomplishments are "unparalleled" in Sri Lankan history is historically inaccurate at best, and a gross exaggeration at worst.

Give President Rajapaksa the TIME IN OFFICE he deserves to ATTAIN that GOAL. If he remains HUMBLE and places the welfare of ALL of his countrymen uppermost among his priorities, he may IN TIME deserve that HIGHEST OF ACCOLADES.

Instead, let all of us PATRIOTS who love this Ratna Bhumi Vijaya Bhumi like NO OTHER .. join hands with President Rajapaksa and wholeheartedly help him to attain that distinction. His glory will be ours also, allowing us to proclaim that we lived in the New Golden Age of Sri Lanka .. in Mahinda Rajapaka's time, and that we played our part in making it Golden.

Until the President achieves that goal, let us not embarrass him unduly by heaping excessive praise upon his innocent head.

3 chapters on Rajapaksa in Sri Lanka''s new Mahavasma

Colombo, Apr 6 (PTI) A new volume, with three chapters dedicated to President Mahinda Rajapaksa, will be added to the Mahavamsa -- a historical poem written in Pali language describing reigns of Sri Lankan rulers, Cultural Affairs ministry said today.

The Mahavamsa or The Great Chronicle describes the Sri Lankan history from the coming of Vijaya in 543 BC to the reign of King Mahasena (6th Century BC to 4th Century AD). A companion volume, the Culavamsa or Choolavansha ("lesser chronicle"), covers the period from the 4th century to the British takeover of Sri Lanka in 1815.

"A panel of eminent writers have begun the work on the sixth volume. This will cover the period between 1978 and 2010," Wimal Rubasinghe, the secretary to the ministry, said.

The ministry has decided to dedicated three chapters to Rajapaksa as opposed to his predecessors whose periods will be limited to two chapters or less.

"Rajapaksa''s achievement in ending the Island''s 30-year separatist war has no parallels in the chronicle," the official said.

Ananda-USA said...

CORRECTION: ALL Political Solutions should be in accord with the wishes of ALL PEOPLE OF Sri Lanka, not only its Tamil People.

Political Solutions should be craftyed for the nation as a whole, not part by part, community by community or region by region.

One vote for each citizen to elect a representative of his/her choice to Parliament should be the SUM TOTAL of a citizen's franchise.

No Power should be devolved to any group or any region of the country on any communal basis, be it ethnicity, religion, language, sex, caste or wealth.

The Tiger Nominated Agents of the TNA pretend not to understand this principle in their single minded quest to resurrect the separatist state of Eelam that they failed to win in a teerorist war lasting 30 years.

This is what happens when these former LTTE agents are not held accountable for their WAR CRIMES and TREASONOUS ACTIVITIES over 30 years!

Political solution should be in accord with Tamil people’s wishes – TNA leader

By Trincomalee correspondent Sinniah Gurunathan

Seventy nine members of ITAK who were elected to local bodies in the North and East took their oaths before TNA leader R.Sampanthan at the Trincomalee town hall yesterday. Picture shows the members being brought in a procession for the oath-taking ceremony. Pic by Amadoru Amarajeewa.

Any political solution in the North and East should be in accord with the legitimate needs of the Tamil people, said Tamil National Alliance (TNA) leader R. Sampanthan. He was speaking at a ceremony in which 76 local councillors of the Illankai Tamil Arasu Kachchi (ITAK) took their oaths. The event was held in Trincomalee yesterday.

“What the Tamils demand is a negotiated political solution in keeping with their legitimate needs,” Mr Sampanthan said. “The negotiated political solution cannot depend upon the wishes of the government but on the wishes of the Tamils.”

The 76 ITAK councillors, elected at the last local elections, will be joining 15 local bodies in the North and East. ITAK won seats in 12 local authorities, including two Urban Councils (Trincomalee and Mannar) and 10 Pradeshiya Sabhas.

The newly elected local councillors were taken in a procession from the Kali Kovil to the Trincomalee Town Hall, where the ceremony took place.

Accompanying the councillors were TNA leaders, including Mr. Sampanthan, Mavai Senathiraja, Selvam Adaikalanathan, Suresh Premachchandran, PLOTE leader D. Siththarthan, and TNA Parliamentarians.

Ananda-USA said...

Sri Lanka's STF personnel recover a cache of arms in Valachchenai

ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Apr 09, Colombo: Sri Lanka's Special Task Force (STF) personnel have recovered a cache of arms in Valachchenai, Batticaloa.

The STF has reportedly made the discovery following a tip off from a former LTTE cadre.

The local media has reported that the STF has recovered six rocket launchers, 226 T 56 bullets, and 40 grenades during the search operations.

The STF in Valachchenai is continuing investigations.

Ananda-USA said...

INSANITY IN GOVERNMENT! The revenue of the US Govt can only pay for 57% of what it spends in a year; the rest it borrows. To keep this ponzi scheme going, the US Govt keeps printing money, and borrowing more backed by its sovereign right to tax its increasingly impoverished citizens.

Sometime soon, other countries will stop lending to the US and will not accept US $ as payment for "real" goods. In other words, the US will go into foreclosure.

They will replace the US Dollar with another currency .. and Americans will not be able to buy real goods made abroad with any amount of virtual money. All those essential and inexpensive made-in-China goods that make our lives comfortable will no longer be affordable.

While Congress spends lavishly, and US citizens are losing their jobs, their homes and their financial security, the US Govt is able to find the money to fire 400 Tomohawk missiles at Libya at $2 million apiece. The tab for the just the first two days of that humanitarian intervention was about $1.6 billion. No money for food; plenty of money for wars-of-choice.

Meanwhile, Republicans and Democrats bitterly fought a budget battle in Washington and brought forth a molehill of spending cuts($48 billion) from a multitrillion dollar budget mountain, as a fig-leaf to hide their nakedness. Clearly, these guys are deaf, dumb and blind.

The author of the article below proposes to end this madness by handing over the asylum to the lunatics!

4 Draconian Ways to Fix Washington

Rick Newman
April 7, 2011

There's obviously a problem in Washington. The U.S. government is the most profligate spender in the world, earning enough revenue to cover just 57 percent of what it spends. It borrows the rest, stacking an unfathomable pile of debt on the backs of future Americans. Everybody knows this is uncool, but it would be inconvenient to do anything about it right now. So nothing changes.

Democrats, Republicans, and Tea Partiers all think they have a magical solution. But they can't agree, so instead of fixing the mismatch between income and spending the way a responsible family or business would, politicians have big fights over small issues and accomplish nothing of significance. The problem just gets worse, or course, making the government so dysfunctional it can barely keep itself running. So maybe we need some more dramatic, unconventional ideas about how to fix the government. Here are four:

Get the whole debt crisis started already. We keep hearing about the panic that will ensue when investors lose confidence in Treasury securities, rating agencies downgrade U.S. debt, borrowing rates skyrocket, and Washington suddenly runs short of cash, like Greece or Ireland. But it keeps not happening, which gives the whole issue a Chicken-Little quality, making voters suspicious of the doomsayers and the big changes they say are necessary. And as we all know, without a crisis, politicians will continue to vituperate, do nothing meaningful, and drive citizens mad with their hypocrisy.

Ananda-USA said...

4 Draconian Ways to Fix Washington

.....continued 1.....
So let's tempt fate and see what happens if we rapidly drive the national debt to 100 percent of GDP, 200 percent, or even 500 percent. Here's how: Congress should pass legislation suspending all tax collections indefinitely, which would please Republicans, while hiring every unemployed person in the country, which would satisfy Democrats. The government would have no income and skyrocketing costs, but that's okay, because it would simply borrow the money to pay for everything. If that became a problem, then Congress for once would have a genuine crisis to solve--and they would solve it, because if they didn't, they wouldn't get paid. But who knows, maybe we'd happily discover that all this scary talk about paying down the debt is a big hoax, and we really can live on borrowed money forever, because the U.S. of A. is so important that the rest of the world is willing to pay us to spend.

Create some low-cost competition. When did a monopoly ever provide high-quality products and great service, at the lowest possible price? Never, that's when. So why should we expect any better from the U.S. government? Let's face it: As the sole provider of national government to citizens of the United States, Washington enjoys one of the greatest monopolies of all time, because it gets to enforce its own status as single provider. That's like allowing Microsoft or Ticketmaster to run the Justice Department's antitrust division.

Previous efforts to establish a competing government, like in 1861, haven't succeeded, but those were ham-handed efforts undertaken by amateurs who didn't have the tools that today's modern businesses have. Besides, today's enlightened Congress is much more open to capitalist solutions. So Congress should pass legislation that lowers the barriers to entry for entrepreneurs wishing to set up their own federal government, to compete with Washington. The airline industry might serve as a useful model. A few basic services would be required, but the new governments would be free to force down costs and price their services however they choose. Without a doubt, savvy entrepreneurs running GovernRite or would be able to undercut Washington's costs and outshine its offerings, forcing the incumbent government to become more efficient or risk going out of business altogether.

Instead of setting up shop in high-cost areas like Washington, D.C., the low-cost governments might establish headquarters in North Dakota or New Mexico, and they'd be free to outsource as much of their work as possible to India, Vietnam, the Philippines, or whoever could do it most cheaply. Some people might still choose to patronize the high-cost Washington government, paying high annual fees for a full-service bureaucracy and a familiar, if tarnished, brand name. But others might patronize a new, upstart government that charged, say, a low annual fee for basic citizenship rights, then charged for other services a la carte, such as the use of highways, defense against terrorists, or a Social-Security-type pension. The beauty of demand-driven competition for government is that it would let consumers choose the amount of government they want, and pay only for what they get. There might even be government-free zones administered and policed by nobody, where the heartiest libertarians could experiment with a new utopia.

Ananda-USA said...

4 Draconian Ways to Fix Washington

.....continued 2.....
Pay the press to stay home. If we can pay farmers not to farm, then surely we can pay reporters not to report the antics of publicity-starved politicians. Sure, people at home might desperately miss their hourly updates on the latest political tiff, but think for a moment about whether Democrats and Republicans would fight endless, pointless proxy battles over tiny fractions of government spending if nobody were watching. Every parent knows what would happen, because it's exactly the same as a child who acts out as long as you fuss over him--then pipes down when you stop paying attention.

If every meeting, gesture, remark, and procedural turn weren't regurgitated by throngs of media outlets, Congress might work the way everybody else does: By trying to accomplish the most in the least amount of time. We might even have a balanced budget by now. Plus, this plan would be cheap. Journalists don't earn that much to start with, and an increasing number even work for free. So it wouldn't take much taxpayer money to persuade journalists to stay at home, where they could send tweets or play Farmville all day. There would be a few diehards intent on reporting the news, even if they could earn more by not doing it. Here's how to deal with that: Require all working journalists to post their stories to a webite viewers had to pay for. That would ensure nobody got the news.

Let Goldman Sachs run it. The marquee investment bank might be a vampire squid with tentacles that reach into every facet of American life--but so is the federal government. And unlike Uncle Sam, Goldman Sachs actually makes money at its squidwork. So instead of railing against Wall Street's most successful bank, let's turn the government over to it. If Goldman can make money selling self-destructing, collateralized-debt obligations and other double-secret derivatives, then surely it can find a way to squeeze a profit out of the underfunded Medicare program or green-energy initiatives. A little financial innovation might do wonders for our government. Any innovation would, actually.

Ananda-USA said...

The UN Sanctions Bombing of Libya and the Invasion of Iraq under Manufactured Pretexts, yet "finds" Sri Lanka in Violation of Human Rights" when Sri Lanka fights terrorists bent on undermining its national integrity and the will of its people expressed through a democratically elected Government.

Where were these bleeding hearts when 150,000 innocents were blasted to bits in their places of work and buses and trains, hacked to pieces in night attacks on villages, held captive in "human shields", and children abducted to form cannon fodder as soldiers, and trained to swallow cynadide capsules? Wehere was the UN THEN?

Under these "UN Standards", Abraham Lincoln would have been hauled into the International Criminal Court under "war crimes" charges ... for prosecuting the American Civil War with the utmost vigor to preserve the Nation whole.

The UN no longer works in the interest of Developing Nations; it is MERELY A TOOL of a Powerful Western Cabal enunciating DOUBLE STANDARDS with a FORKED TONGUE!


Bloody Hypocrites!

UN plans to ‘ambush’ Lanka during festive week

The United Nations might be planning to ambush Sri Lanka next week over the New Year period with its expert panel report on alleged human rights violations during the last phase of the war to defeat the LTTE, sources said.

The three-member UN advisory panel headed by former Attorney General of Indonesia Marzuki Darusman returned to New York on Thursday. Its other members are Yasmin Sooka of South Africa and Steven Ratner of US.

They said had US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Robert O. Blake been permitted to come here during that period it could have been a double blow. Blake last week openly met the LTTE support group Global Tamil Forum amidst wide publicity. There is also a resolution pending before the US House of Representative (Congress) for adoption calling for a war crimes probe against Sri Lanka. The same resolution was approved by the US Senate last month.

Recently British Prime Minister David Cameran too has called for a war crimes probe against Sri Lanka.

The controversial probe team appointed on September 15 last year without the sanction of either the General Assembly or the Security Council as an advisory panel to the Secretary General to advise him on alleged violations of humanitarian law by Sri Lanka failed to deliver its report as scheduled in January. Thereafter it was given an extension till February 15. However that deadline too lapsed without them submitting a report.

When the spokesperson for the Secretary General was asked about the report last month he said the panel will decide when its report will be completed.

While this build up against Sri Lanka is continuing despite big Western nations being preoccupied with their own continuing sins in Africa and Asia, observers said Sri Lanka’s External Affairs Ministry itself was found lacking in not engaging our friends and allies to counter the impending storm against us.

“The External Affairs Ministry only awakens after damage is done to issue some denial”, sources charged.

Ananda-USA said...

Sri Lanka to discuss a MOU with India regarding nuclear accidents

ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Apr 10, Colombo: The Sri Lankan government has decided to sign a memorandum of understanding with the government of India regarding possible nuclear accidents.

Accordingly, the two governments will agree to the actions to prevent hazardous impact of a nuclear accident.

Sri Lanka has no nuclear power plant but India has set up several nuclear power plants in South Indian states. Sri Lanka is just 20 kilometers away from Indian main land at the closest point.

India already has 8 nuclear reactors in the state of Tamil Nadu and reportedly plans to set up another 3 plants by 2015.

Sri Lanka Atomic Energy Authority does not possess adequate facilities to face a threat of nuclear accident.

The government has decided to discuss with the Indian government and the Atomic Energy Authority of India regarding possible nuclear catastrophes.

Ananda-USA said...

Sri Lanka to revoke misused permits issued for small scale hydropower projects

ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Apr 11, Colombo: Sri Lanka Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources Management Nimal Siripala de Silva said the Ministry has decided to revoke the misused permits issued for small scale hydropower projects.

The Minister points out that some permits have not been used properly and expected development has not taken place. In some other cases the permit holders have illegally sold the permit to third parties, the Minister noted.

The Ministry of Irrigation and Water Resources Management has so far issued 18 permits to build small scale hydropower projects.

The Ministry has given the permit holders two weeks to submit reports on the progress of the projects.

The Minister has directed the officials to revoke the misused permits and call tenders again for the projects.

Ananda-USA said...

The Voice of a United Sri Lanka rings out again from Kokavil!


Sri Lanka's reconstructed communication tower in the North begins test transmissions

ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Apr 10, Colombo: Sri Lanka's Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) said the multipurpose transmission tower constructed in former rebel-controlled Kokawil of Mullaitivu District in Northern Province has commenced test transmissions.

The local media has reported that the tower is scheduled to be opened next month.

The tower, which is Sri Lanka's first ever multi-channel broadcasting tower, will be allocated for the providers of services of high speed internet, radio, television, and telecommunications transmissions, as well as military communication operations.

Sri Lanka Army Commander Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya also visited Kokawil in Kilinochchi and inspected the rebuilt transmission tower on Friday.

The LTTE rebels captured the original tower and used to broadcast their clandestine transmissions before blowing it up when Sri Lankan troops were approaching in 2009.

Kokavil tower, the largest and the highest transmission tower in Sri Lanka is 175 meters in height. Around 350 million rupees have been spent for the construction of the tower.

Sri Lanka Telecommunication Regulatory Commission expects to provide space for state and private media and telecommunication channels transmission space through this tower.

Ananda-USA said...

What "GIFTS" ... other than DEATH ... did the MASS KILLERS of the LTTE DESERVE?

And what RIGHT has ANYONE in Tamil Nadu has to interfere in the INTERNAL MATTERS of Sovereign Sri Lanka?

How would Indians feel if Sri Lankans fomented terrorism in India, for example, aiding and abetting the Maoist terrorists plaguing 850 million of India's helpless people?

Is not terrorism fomented by Pakistan supporting separatism in Kashmir the second security threat to India?

Instead, why not maintain the friendly relations between our two countries that go back thousands of years?

As the Eelamist Tamil Diaspora try to stir up violence and hatred yet again in Tamil Nadu, Indian citizens of Tamil Nadu should remember their foremost duty is to INDIA, not to Sri Lankan Tamil terrorists.

Ahead of Elections, Pro-LTTE Journal Attacks Karunanidhi

New Delhi
April 11 (IANS)

Just ahead of elections in Tamil Nadu, a pro-Tamil Tiger journal has accused Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi and his daughter-cum-MP Kanimozhi of betraying the rebels as they went down fighting two years ago.

Ezhamurasu, which is widely circulated among the Tamil Diaspora in the West, has said that a senior Tamil Tiger leader was in touch with Kanimozhi but neither she nor her father did anything to save the guerrillas.

The journal has reproduced three brief letters that P. Natesan, who headed the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam's (LTTE) political wing, wrote to Kanimozhi between Oct 14, 2008 and March 30, 2009 - and two from her to the LTTE.

Natesan also reportedly addressed one letter to Karunanidhi but it elicited no response.

The last of the letters from Natesan, according to website, was a virtual SOS to the father-daughter duo, asking them to put pressure on the Indian coalition government - of which their DMK was a key component - to persuade Sri Lanka to call off the punishing military offensive.

Natesan underlined March 30 that if Karunanidhi and Kanimozhi acted "even at this hour", then the war that was claiming innumerable lives in Sri Lanka's northeast could be halted.

According to Ezhamurasu, the desperate appeal did not generate any immediate answer although it was crisis time for the LTTE.

When Kanimozhi did respond on April 7, according to the journal, she told the Tigers to lay down their arms, and added that if they took her advice, there was a fair chance of the Indian government coming to their aid.

If this wasn't possible, then the LTTE could get in direct touch with the Indian government, she said.

Kanimozhi reiterated this in yet another letter, marking copies of both to Home Minister P. Chidambaram and then National Security Advisor M.K. Narayanan.

With Tamil Nadu inching towards the 2009 Lok Sabha election, the journal said Karunanidhi staged a "drama" of a hunger strike in Chennai towards the end of April to demand a ceasefire in Sri Lanka.

That of course never happened, and the LTTE was militarily crushed by the Sri Lankan government in the third week of May 2009.

LTTE founder leader Velupillai Prabhakaran, who decades earlier used to live in Tamil Nadu, was among the scores of guerrillas killed in May.

Another high-profile victim was Natesan himself, a former Sri Lankan police officer who headed the LTTE's police wing when the guerrillas lorded over the island's northeast.

In an acerbic tone, the journal accused Karunanidhi of "gifting death to the Tamil people" when they had high expectations from the chief minister.

Karunanidhi, it said, had acted like a "traitor" to the Tamil cause.

The publication of the letters between the LTTE and DMK leaders comes as Tamil Nadu is set to elect a new assembly Wednesday.

Ananda-USA said...

Only IGNORANT IDIOTS would oppose Wind Power plants at Kalpitiya for this reason.

Maybe they are NOT IGNORANT, but are only GREEDY THEIVES atempting to blackmail the Government and the Power Plant Operators into coughing up a BRIBE to stay quiet!

This is A GOOD OLD SHAKEDOWN .. in the time-honored Sri Lankan way .. cookup a "grievance" and demonstrate for "human rights"!

They say that Sri Lankans are the only people who cannot get out of POVERTY ... because if anyone rises out of poverty .. the rest haul him down into the MUD!

Find out WHO ARE BEHIND THIS BLACKMAIL SCHEME & WHY .. and give them a vacation at tax-payer expense in PRISON, breaking ROCKS!

Sri Lankan villagers protest against proposed windmill project

ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Apr 12, Colombo: A group of villagers in Sri Lanka's North Western city of Kalpitiya held a protest today against a proposed wind power project.

The local media in the area reported today that villagers in Mampuriya, Kalpitiya have staged a protest against a proposed windmill project in the area due to the adverse impact it would have on their vegetable cultivations.

The villagers have called on President Mahinda Rajapaksa to intervene and address their grievances.

Sri Lankan government encourages the generation of electricity using renewable resources as an alternative to the electricity generated from burning fossil fuel and accordingly the government plans to transform Kalpitiya area into a wind power generating zone.

The location experiences winds in a north easterly direction from December to February and much stronger winds in a south westerly direction from May to September.

Already 20 wind power plants have been established and five more are being built in the area.

Ananda-USA said...

CLEARLY, this is a "Political Gundu" to win votes for Congress candidates in the Local Govt Elections in Tamil Nadu.

Sonia gets religion on this issue at election times, temporarily forgetting that her husband was killed by these same folks who supported pitiless murderous terrorists! Shameless!

What Sonia does in India on Indian issues is her business, but when she interfers in the internal matters affecting the security of Sri Lanka, it BECOMES OUR BUSINESS!

How does Sonia like it when Pakistan supports Muslim Kashmiris drive for independence? If not, why not? Examine your flawed "policies" and see whether you still like them when they are applied to your country! If not, ABANDON THEM!

Also, Sonia should start worrying more about how tha VAST MAJORITY OF SRI LANKANS feel about India, rather than supporting the separatist aspirations of a miniscule minority of Sri Lankan Tamils! Sonia is not acting in the best interests of INDIA when she PANDERS to Tamil Separatists in Sri Lanka!

Lankan party accuses Sonia of 'interfering' in country's politics
April 12, 2011

An Opposition party in Sri Lanka accused Congress President Sonia Gandhi of "gross interference" in the country's internal affairs for seeking constitutional amendments to fulfil the political aspirations of the ethnic Tamil community here.

"Mrs Gandhi has said that there must be constitutional changes to address Sri Lankan Tamil issues. This is a gross interference in our internal affairs," said Tilwin Silva, General Secretary of JVP, the country's communist party.

This was not the first time that India has interfered in Sri Lanka's affairs, Silva said, adding the JVP condemns India as much as it condemned the Sri Lankan government for keeping mum on Indian interference.

"You can't address Tamil issues through a mere constitutional change. There must be a genuine programme for reconciliation to bring in communal harmony. It is for us Sri Lankans to change the constitution or not. Mrs Gandhi has no business to tell us," Silva said in a statement.

Reaffirming India's support for the Sri Lankan Tamils, the UPA Chairperson last week said New Delhi would continue to press Colombo for constitutional amendments to ensure equal rights and status to ethnic minorities in the country.

JVP has often taken anti-Indian stand on bilateral matters, particularly between 1987-90.

LTTE rebels, who were defeated in May 2009, had fought a three-decade-long civil war for a separate Tamil state, alleging discrimination against the minority ethnic community by the majority Sinhalas.

Ananda-USA said...

Oba Hamata Subha Aluth Avuruddak Wewa!

Happy Sinhala & Tamil New Year!

Cities emptied as Sri Lanka celebrating New Year

COLOMBO, April 14 (Xinhua) -- Sri Lanka's Sinhala majority and Tamil minority join together in celebrating the New Year, or " Aluth Avurudda," which falls on April 14 this year.

During the most import holiday of Sri Lanka, cities are deserted as people return to their villages to celebrate the New Year. They carry gifts to family and friends and join in the revelry.

The most remarkable feature of the "Aluth Avurudda" is the rituals performed at a specified time on the clock.

The astrologers work out these times known as "Nekath" ( auspicious times) to perform the rituals in order to bring about prosperity and happiness.

The local New Year comes when the sun moves from the House of Pisces to the House of Aries in the celestial sphere. The transition period is called "nonagathaya," during which people will indulge in religious activities, such as trekking to temples to pray and make offerings.

"The New Year rituals are all about one's preparation to face life's tasks," Reverend Halwature Rathanawansha, a senior Buddhist monk said.

It is also a festival of a series of social customs and good behavior.

The custom of offering betel leaves to parents and elders demonstrate the act of paying gratitude. The children in turn receive blessings from parents.

The sense of goodwill and friendship among relatives and friends is at its best during this period.

The women commence their work when they face correct direction at the correct time to light the hearth to prepare the traditional Kiribath or rice boiled together with coconut milk.

The milk boiling ceremony in an earthen pot, which symbolizes prosperity when the milk spills over from all sides of the pot, marks a key event of the festivities.

The family sit down to eat the first meal at the auspicious time wearing the lucky color for the New Year facing the right direction.

The first transaction in the New Year takes place thereafter -- coins wrapped in betel leaves are exchanged.

It will be followed by the auspicious times to apply oil to one 's hair and depart for work in the New Year.

Sweetmeats specially prepared for the occasion are made in advance to serve the visitors who drop by.

The community then get together to play traditional games. "The games will promote goodwill and camaradery," Reverend Gonadeniye Seevali said.

Ananda-USA said...

Sri Lankan government organizes New Year celebrations for former LTTE members in rehabilitation centers

ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Apr 14, Colombo: The Sri Lankan government has taken steps to ensure that former LTTE members undergoing rehabilitation be provided with a chance to celebrate the Sinhala and Tamil New Year.

Commissioner General of Rehabilitation Brigadier Sudantha Ranasinghe has said the New Year celebrations will be held in rehabilitation camps island-wide.

According to Brigadier Ranasinghe, the security forces bands have organized musical shows in every rehabilitation center from April 17 as part of the New Year celebrations.

Those undergoing rehabilitation in these centers have also been given the opportunity to spend time with their families.

With the defeat of the LTTE, over 11,000 rebel cadres surrendered to the Sri Lankan security forces. Of them, over 6,000 have been rehabilitated and socialized. The government is hopeful of completing the rehabilitation of the remaining members by the end of this year.

Ananda-USA said...

President Mahinda Rajapaksa is MORE THAN JUST INFLUENTIAL ... He is a Good and Decent man who has the BEST INTERESTS of all of his fellow citizens at heart, and has won their RESPECT & UNWAVERING SUPPORT!


Sri Lanka President ranked 6th in TIME 100 List poll

ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Apr 15, Colombo: Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has been voted as the 6th most influential person of the world in the 2011 TIME 100 Poll.

Out of the 203 influential persons listed in the poll Sri Lankan President has been placed at the 6th place receiving a total of 95,456 votes so far with 74,357 saying he is influential.

The US-based magazine says although official voting for inclusion on the TIME 100 list was closed on April 14th users can continue to vote for their favorites until April 21st.

In introducing Rajapaksa TIME says since ending Sri Lanka's 26-year-long war against the Tamil Tigers in 2009, and grabbing control over once independent institutions like commissions on human rights and elections, the 65-year-old President has come to dominate the institutions of his nation more than any other democratically elected head of state.

"He challenged the U.S., the European Union and the U.N. to prosecute him for war crimes, confident that Russia, China and India would not support it � the latter two have billions of investment at stake in Sri Lanka," the brief introduction said.

Rajapaksa is the first Lankan leader to be featured in the annual list. The final list, selected by the editors will be revealed on Thursday, April 21st.

Ananda-USA said...

The 2011 TIME 100 Poll

See how your picks for the most influential people in the world rated among TIME readers. Though official voting for inclusion on the TIME 100 list has now closed (with Rain as the 2011 readers' choice), users can continue to vote for their favorites until the final list, selected by our editors, is revealed on Thursday, April 21st

The 2011 TIME 100 Poll This table lists the poll results as voted on by users. To sort the data, click on any of the column headers.

Rank Name Influential Not
Influential Total Votes
1 Rain 423044 34382 457426
2 Jay Chou 217138 36718 253856
3 Susan Boyle 155079 5652 160731
4 Cheng Yen 91781 6330 98111
5 Beyoncé 69562 9361 78923
6 Mahinda Rajapaksa 82072 22363 104435
7 Chris Colfer 53246 9437 62683
8 Christopher Hitchens 40122 3268 43390
9 Bradley Manning 36261 1616 37877
10 Glenn Beck 56064 22676 78740
11 Julian Assange 26985 2760 29745
12 Lady Gaga 32301 8302 40603
13 Tawakul Karman 23740 4756 28496
14 Ron Paul 21090 2530 23620
15 Fukushima Power Plant Workers 22874 5558 28432
16 Mohamed Bouazizi 17905 1137 19042
17 Wisconsin's 'Fab 14' State Senators 20981 5323 26304
18 Han Han 16357 1380 17737
19 Rihanna 18493 5054 23547
20 Dan Savage and Terry Miller 15627 2761 18388
21 Alan Mulally 11107 1017 12124
22 Mohamed Elbaradei 11404 1368 12772
23 Aamir Khan 10752 1672 12424
24 Gabrielle Giffords 11221 3602 14823
25 Wael Ghonim 10034 2689 12723
26 Mara Brock Akil 8572 1262 9834
27 Hu Jintao 8091 1110 9201
28 Mark Zuckerberg 9501 2676 12177
29 Michelle Obama 10930 5745 16675
30 Sarah Palin 9111 3945 13056
31 Ray Kurzweil 6277 1138 7415
32 Al-Jazeera 6998 1868 8866
33 Michelle Rhee 6267 1891 8158
34 Andy Cohen 5296 1260 6556
35 Betty White 5812 1889 7701
36 Marc LaForce 4221 893 5114
37 Steve Jobs 3927 672 4599
38 Craig J. Venter and Daniel Gibson 3995 760 4755
39 Aung San Suu Kyi 3422 229 3651
40 Chilean Miners 4765 1611 6376
41 Stephen Hawking 3473 446 3919
42 Hillary Clinton 4444 1459 5903
43 Warren Buffett 3448 491 3939
44 Cory Booker 4011 1141 5152
45 Elizabeth Warren 6532 3993 10525
46 Barack Obama 5606 3199 8805
47 Ryan Schreiber 3027 823 3850
48 Katy Perry 4656 2567 7223
49 Christian Bale 4124 2050 6174
50 Lee Unkrich 2867 819 3686

Ananda-USA said...

The 2011 TIME 100 Poll

51 Mark Bittman 3206 1211 4417
52 Johnny Depp 2869 980 3849
53 Conan O'Brien 2688 878 3566
54 Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert 5355 3623 8978
55 Florence and the Machine 2960 1282 4242
56 Geoffrey Canada 1990 371 2361
57 Carrie Fisher 2531 942 3473
58 Paul Ryan 2563 1059 3622
59 George Clooney 2417 960 3377
60 Marco Rubio 2209 833 3042
61 Mitt Romney 3289 1955 5244
62 Anna Bligh 2040 713 2753
63 Rafael Nadal 2165 848 3013
64 Colin Firth 1873 582 2455
65 Salvatore Giunta 1497 257 1754
66 Andy Carvin 1918 697 2615
67 Cecile Richards 6132 4945 11077
68 Jeff Bridges 2169 995 3164
69 Kamala Harris 1780 641 2421
70 Clinton Cragg 1538 432 1970
71 Scott Brown 2368 1272 3640
72 David Petraeus 1746 650 2396
73 Vladimir Putin 1527 443 1970
74 Robert Gates 1419 342 1761
75 Marisol Valles Garcia 1282 235 1517
76 Chris Christie 2153 1119 3272
77 Roger Ebert 1508 479 1987
78 Lionel Messi 2037 1020 3057
79 Dick Costolo 1766 759 2525
80 Charles Ferguson 1294 337 1631
81 Trey Parker and Matt Stone 1521 593 2114
82 Oprah 2287 1373 3660
83 Benjamin Netanyahu 1525 628 2153
84 Matt Damon 1874 982 2856
85 Derrick Rossi 1724 867 2591
86 Sandra Bullock 2156 1319 3475
87 David Drummond 1524 734 2258
88 Jamie Oliver 1356 581 1937
89 Yukio Edano 1051 310 1361
90 James Franco 1613 899 2512
91 Natalie Portman 2908 2200 5108
92 Li Chengpeng 1553 846 2399
93 Siddhartha Mukherjee 1094 396 1490
94 Mumford & Sons 1730 1051 2781
95 René Redzepi 1740 1101 2841
96 Ricky Gervais 1331 709 2040
97 Christopher Nolan 1164 545 1709
98 Christine Loh and Joanne Ooi 1171 573 1744
99 Sonia Gandhi 1125 529 1654
100 Levon Helm 1096 535 1691


Ananda-USA said...

The UN Puppet of the Western Cabal now does its Moon Dance ... Accusing the only Govt in recent times to DEFEAT TERRORISM by itself, and rescue its ENSLAVED TERRORIZED CITIZENS!

Clearly, there is a REGIME CHANGE AGENDA at work here with the UN being USED as the TOOL of CHOICE.

Only the CABAL is allowed to engage in "Humanitarian Operations" in foreign Developing Nations .. God Protect any Indigenous Govts who DARE to RESCUE THEMSELVES and deny the CABAL any CREDIT!


UN panel urges probe of alleged Sri Lankan abuses

April 16, 2011

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka – A U.N. panel has called for a thorough investigation into what it calls credible allegations that war crimes were committed in Sri Lanka as its decades-old civil war drew to a close nearly two years ago.

A copy of the three-member panel's report was printed Saturday in The Island newspaper. The report said there were credible allegations that Sri Lankan soldiers and Tamil Tiger rebels committed serious violations, including some which could amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity.

The panel gathered evidence for 10 months and submitted its report to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon this past week. The U.N. spokesman's office said it was "deeply regrettable" that the report had been leaked before its official release next week.

"The (Sri Lankan) government says it pursued a 'humanitarian rescue operation' with a policy of 'zero civilian casualties.' In stark contrast, the panel found credible allegations, which if proven, indicate that a wide range of serious violations were committed," by both sides, the report said.

The panel recommended that the Sri Lankan government initiate an inquiry into the allegations in its report. It also said the U.N. secretary-general should set up an international body to monitor the government's probe as well as conduct its own investigation.

The Sri Lankan government, which received a copy of the report, issued a statement calling the report "fundamentally flawed and patently biased," saying it was "presented without any verification." The government said it will respond to the allegations in more detail soon.

Ananda-USA said...

UN panel urges probe of alleged Sri Lankan abuses

The U.N. panel said it found credible allegations that the government 's widespread shelling caused a large number of civilian deaths in the Wanni region of northern Sri Lanka.

"This campaign constituted persecution of the population of the Wanni," it said.

"The government shelled on a large scale in three consecutive no fire zones, where it had encouraged the civilian population to concentrate. It shelled the United Nations hub, food distribution lines and near the International Committee of the Red Cross ships that were coming to pick up the wounded and their relatives from the beaches," the report said.

The government "systematically shelled" hospitals in the front lines and all hospitals were hit by artillery and mortar shells, despite the government knowing their locations, the report said..

It also "systematically deprived people in the conflict zone of humanitarian aid, in the form of food and medical supplies, particularly surgical supplies, adding to their suffering. To this end, it purposely underestimated the number of civilians who remained in the conflict zone," the panel said.

Tens of thousands died in just the last five months of the war that ended in May 2009 and many of them died anonymously in the carnage, it said.

Among the allegations against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, the panel said the insurgents refused civilians permission to leave areas under their control, "using them as hostages, at times even using their presence as a strategic human buffer between themselves and the advancing Sri Lanka army."

The Tigers also conscripted civilians of all ages, including children as young as 14 years old, and forced civilians to perform labor, blurring the distinction between the civilians and combatants. The rebels also shot dead civilians trying to escape the conflict zone and fired artillery from near the civilians provoking retaliatory fire, the report said.

According to the U.N. between 80,000 and 100,000 people were killed in the country's 26-year civil war, but human rights groups say the number could be much higher

Ananda-USA said...

US congressman praises Sri Lanka's progress after the dawn of peace

ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Apr 16, Colombo: The Sri Lankan Embassy in Washington in a press release has stated that Joe Wilson, Republican Party Congressman from South Carolina, addressing the US Congress has praised Sri Lanka on its progress after the dawn of peace in the country after defeating terrorism.

He has said that he looked forward to a new era of Sri Lankan-American relations built on economic, strategic, and political cooperation between the two countries.

"Mr. Speaker, having just ended a decades-long conflict in which the government finally defeated terrorist forces within its borders, the Republic of Sri Lanka recently celebrated its second New Year at complete peace," he has said.

"In his New Year address, President Mahinda Rajapaksa stated celebrating the New Year is a �time when all enjoy the freedom achieved in our Motherland. Therefore, this New Year will help bring a renewal in spirit and new expectations to the people about future progress."

"I would like to wish a happy new year to the 250,000 Sri Lankan-Americans," Wilson had continued, "along with the 21 million citizens of Sri Lanka, a dynamic nation of South Asia."

Rep. Wilson had called for a "new-era" of relations between Sri Lanka and the United States.

"During this time of national reconciliation, I look forward to a new era of Sri Lankan-American relations built on economic, strategic, and political cooperation between our two democratic societies."

Ananda-USA said...

Dayasiri attacks US

By Ajith Alahakoon
April 15, 2011

UNP MP Dayasiri Jayasekera says the US shouldn’t be worried about Sri Lanka’s human rights record.

The UNPer alleged the US was responsible for numerous HR violations over the years, though it routinely blames other countries of rights violations.

The Kurunegala District MP was responding to UNSG Ban ki-Moon’s decision to appoint a three-member panel to investigate ‘war crimes’ charges in relation to Sri Lanka’s successful war against terrorism.

The MP said that the US-led forces had been accused of indiscriminate military action in Iraq and Afghanistan."We’ll protest against the UN action. We should unite as a nation to face the post-war threat," MP Jayasekera said. He urged the government not to lebel the UNP or its Deputy Leader Karu Jayasuriya as traitors. "We should settle our problems through discussions among ourselves without bringing in foreign interference," he said.

Ananda-USA said...

Well, it seems that the READERS of TIME are more discerning of the TRUTH than TIME's editors who introduced President Mahinda Rajapaksa in a derogatory fashion!

You may fool SOME people ALL the time,

You may fool ALL people SOME of the time,

But, you CAN'T FOOL ALL of the people ALL of the time!

Vast numbers of ORDINARY PEOPLE all over the WORLD recognize and appreciate a GOOD, DECENT & INFLUENTIAL LEADER when they see such a RARITY .. despite ALL the INSULTS hurled at him by JEALOUS competitors ... without REAL accomplishments of their own that HELP REAL PEOPLE ... prancing on the GLOBAL Stage for attention!

JAYAWEWA ... Mahinda Rajapaksa Janadhipathi Thumani!


Rajapaksa an unlikely hit in Time's 2011 movers and shakers

By Sutirtho Patranobis,
April 15, 2011

It could well be the perfect New Year gift for President Mahinda Rajapaksa. He has been ranked sixth, far ahead of any contemporary political leader or statesmen, in Time magazine’s prestigious poll to find out the 100 most influential persons of 2011. It is being said that he is the first Lankan leader to be featured in the annual list.

While Rajapaksa seems to be sitting in pretty in the company of singer-actor Beyonce, who precedes him, whistle blower Julian Assange is a distant 11.

The US based magazine’s list came out on a day when the US government again reminded the Rajapaksa regime to engage in a process of accountability, with regard to the allegations of war crimes during the civil war with the Tamil Tigers.

In a brief introduction of Rajapaksa, Time said, "Since ending Sri Lanka's 26 year long war against the Tamil Tigers in 2009, and grabbing control over once independent institutions like the Commissions on human rights and elections, Mahinda Rajapaksa has come to dominate the institutions of his nation more than any other democratically elected head of state."

It added that with the help of friends like India and China, Rajapaksa is also someone who has dared the western nations to prosecute him for alleged war crimes.

"He challenged the US, the European Union and the UN to prosecute him for war crimes, confident that Russia, China and India would not support it — the latter two have billions of investment at stake in Sri Lanka."

Some could have found the use of words like "grabbing", not exactly generous. Rajapaksa’s official website, however, put up the news distinctly, though expectedly leaving out the introduction. The website proudly said, "President Mahinda Rajapaksa has been voted the most influential among political leaders worldwide by readers of TIME, in voting for inclusion in the TIME 100 list. The Sri Lankan President came sixth in the list among 203 personalities voted…"

The Presidential website pointed out that Rajapaksa easily beat contemporary leaders like Hu Jintao of China, Myanmar’s Aung Sang Suu Kyi , US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, President Barack Obama and India’s Congress leader Sonia Gandhi.

Ananda-USA said...

We Sri Lankans are bound to our Indian cousins in innumerable ways that exend far back into the dim mist of father time itself ....

Come one, come all, my dear cousins ... and rediscover your own roots in the embrace of our beautiful and fair isle!

Ramayana Sites Helping Sri Lanka Tourism Attract Indian Tourists

By Mayank Gupta
April 15, 2011

Sri Lanka tourism is seeing strong growth in Indian tourists thanks to Ramayana sites. Sri Lanka tourism identified over 50 Ramayana sites that has helped in increase of Indian tourists.

Ramayana is a Indian epic, the story of Hindu God Rama life who rescues his wife Sita from the demon King Ravana who used to live in Sri Lanka. Rama is among the most worshiped gods in India. There are several temples of Lord Rama in India. By identifying around 50 sites related to Ramayana, Sri Lanka has managed emerged as a Pilgrimage destination for Indian tourists.

These 50 Ramayana sites include a 600 step climb that goes up to a cave in Ella which is supposed to be the place where Ravana hide Sita after kidnapping her. Other places include a spot in Divurumpola where Sita went through agni pariksha. The Shiva lingam at Manawari Kovil in Chillaw is believed to be installed by Lord Rama himself.

Sites like these any many others has helped Sri Lanka to attract over 37,000 tourists in the first quarter of 2011, an increase of 43.4 per cent. Since 2010, India has been the biggest source of income for the Sri Lanka tourism industry. With the help of these Ramayana sites, Sri Lanka hopes to attract more Indian tourists in the months to come.

Ananda-USA said...

Whatever the weather: Monsoon storms dominate lush tropical island

By Dr Liz Bentley in Sri Lanka
April 16, 2011

Sri Lanka has a tropical climate which leads to hot and very humid conditions all year round. There is some variety across the island, with the central highlands experiencing a cooler and more temperate climate, while coastal areas are moderated by sea breezes. The country also experiences a dry season and two wet seasons, with the latter coming from monsoon rain that falls in opposite halves of the country.

The south and west have their monsoon from May to September while the north and east see monsoon rains between October and January. The south-west monsoon is the more intense of the two and brings rain to the capital, Colombo. Located along the south-western coast, it receives about 2,500mm of rain a year. During the rest of the year there's very little precipitation, with areas in the north and east of the country generally more arid. The native creatures and plants here adapt accordingly to conserve precious moisture.

During the most recent monsoon, Sri Lanka had unusually heavy rainfall which has been linked to La Niña – a cooling in the eastern Pacific Ocean that also brought severe floods to Queensland, Australia. Record rainfall fell in November and continued for two months, leading to three major flooding events and landslides.

Temperatures on the Sri Lankan coast regularly climb to between 28C and 34C, and overnight they remain at a sweltering 22C and 26C. Combine this with the high humidity and the weather can feel very oppressive. In the central highlands, such as at Nuwara Eliya at 1,990m above sea level, daytime temperatures vary between 18C and 23C, falling to about 10C at night. It is not unusual to have overnight frost from time to time.

The best time to travel to Sri Lanka is between December and March for the west coast, southern highlands and interior, while May to September is best for visiting the east coast.

Dr Liz Bentley is the founder of the Weather Club, formed by the Royal Meteorological Society to promote an appreciation and understanding of the weather. Visit for more information.

Ananda-USA said...

The UN is now a PUPPET of a NeoClonialist Western Cabal that wants to reimpose its Colonial Gunboat Diplomacy in the World.

Yes, Sri Lanka should appeal to Russia, China and India for assistance, in addition to looking to its defences against military attacks in the future!

Forced to seek protection from Russia, China: Gota
April 17, 2011

Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa yesterday lashed out at the UN experts panel report on the conduct of the Sri Lanka government and armed forces during the last stages of the war against the LTTE in 2009, saying there was an agenda behind the report and if the United Nations cannot protect one of its member states, Sri Lanka will be forced to look for protection from Russia and China.

He said the UN seemed to have been "hi-jacked by some countries" and that Sri Lanka as a member-state of the UN needs its protection. "This will push us to other countries to protect us. The UN should not be a pawn of some countries,” he added.

Mr. Rajapaksa said the experts panel was "white-washing the LTTE" and had failed to recognise that the LTTE was a terrorist organisation which, at one time, had control of one third of the country.

"The LTTE had an air wing and a sea wing in addition to cadres fighting on land. It sent suicide bombers to the south and bombed civilian buses and buildings and targeted politicians. It overran army camps and killed thousands in one night. This was not an organisation that could be neutralised by the police. The UN, the US, Norway and others, told us we can’t fight such a ferocious enemy. We had to send in our armed forces and use superior fire-power to overcome them".

In an interview with the Sunday Times, Defence Secretary Rajapaksa said the UN report seemed to have ignored reports of UN agencies like the World Food programme (WFP) or the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

"Had they asked the WFP or the ICRC, they would have been told how humanitarian aid including food was distributed to civilians caught up in the fighting during the last stages of the war. It was the LTTE that held these civilians as human shields. In the final days, the LTTE had forced them into a lagoon area. When food convoys could not reach them because of the water that surrounded them, we allowed the LTTE to even pick up the food from the sea and hand it over to the civilians".

He said there was a Consultative Committee on Humanitarian Assistance (CCHA), a high level government body that included several foreign ambassadors, UN agencies and NGOs that over-looked humanitarian aid during the height of the fighting.

"We have a legal process in Sri Lanka with a democratically elected President. When fathers and mothers can’t send their children to school, or they are abducted by the LTTE to fight for them, and when two parents don’t travel in the same bus because of the fear of LTTE bombs, or when people praying in mosques and student monks are killed, it is the duty and the responsibility of the government towards the people who elect it to protect them by eliminating the scourge of terrorism.

Answering some specific issues raised in the UN report (a summary of which is published on Page 10), Secretary Rajapaksa said one of the issues raised was about disappearances or missing persons. He pointed out that 6,000 government soldiers were killed during the last four years of fighting and 20,000 injured of whom 10,000 were critically wounded.

He said the the LTTE's casualty rate had to be greater because the military had superior firepower. "When people complain that someone is missing it could well mean that he was killed in action fighting for the LTTE, but they don’t say that. They only say he is missing.” He estimated the number of LTTE cadres who died in battle to be close to 30,000.

Ananda-USA said...

Forced to seek protection from Russia, China: Gota

Referring to a passage in the report that states that the Army fired on hospitals during the last stages of the war, the Defence Secretary said he had it "in writing" that the hospital had been vacated before the firing had started. "The LTTE moved its heavy guns close to the hospital and started firing at us. We retaliated only after the patients and doctors had left. We dropped leaflets, announced on loud-speakers, declared no-fire zones and had restrictions (on the use of heavy artillery). The report should have taken into account the amount of heavy artillery used by the LTTE. We had a clear justification for the use of force".

Describing the report as an unreasonable analysis, the Defence Secretary admitted that the government should have better engaged the UN on this entire issue. He said there was an argument that the report was orchestrated by "certain western powers" and therefore Sri Lanka should challenge its legitimacy and the procedures adopted.

"We will now engage with the UN provided it has no hidden agendas,” he said. "The UN must see the benefits that have accrued to the people as a result of the end of terrorism. It takes time to bring in changes and change the mind-set of the people who have been under the influence of the LTTE for a quarter of a century, but normalcy is quietly returning to the once war-ravaged north and east and the people will benefit in time to come with the return of peace,” he added.

Ananda-USA said...

Let ALL Sri Lankans Rally around our Deshapremi National Government to protect our PEOPLE and our beloved Motherland!

We will CONFRONT & TRIUMPH against all ENEMIES of our hallowed land.

There is no pain we will not bear, and no sacrifice we will not make, to protect our Ratna Deepaya, our Janma Bhumiya!

Sri Lanka President calls for country to unite against the UN report

ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Apr 17, Colombo: The Sri Lankan government plans to launch major diplomatic effort against the report of the United Nations' Panel of Experts handed over last week to the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

The report prepared by the three-member panel holds the Sri Lankan government and its security forces as well as the Tamil Tiger Terrorist group, Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) responsible for thousands of civilian deaths and massive violations of human rights and humanitarian laws during the final phase of the war against the terrorists that ended in May 2009.

The government rejected the UN report saying that it is 'flawed and biased'. It said a formal response will be released when the country's External Affairs Minister Prof. G. L. Peiris returns to the island this week following an overseas tour.

An AFP report said today that President Mahinda Rajapaksa has called for mass protests against UN report to show solidarity for the country's armed forces.

Reportedly Rajapaksa has asked members of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) to turn the upcoming May Day rally in Colombo into a "show of strength" against the report.

"All these days we did not demonstrate our strength, but now on May Day we will show our strength," Rajapaksa has said on Saturday. According to AFP, an audio tape of the speech was released by his office.

Several opposition parliamentarians have expressed support to the government's stance against the UN report.

Moneragala District MP Ranjith Madduma Bandara has said that everyone should think and act as one nation and safeguard the country.

"As citizens of this country it is necessary for us to stand by our country�s pride and our forces if any international intervention is trying to act against it," he has said.

Matara District MP Buddhika Pathirana has said that Sri Lanka is an independent and sovereign State.

"We hail our pride as an independent state. If any international intervention disregards this we need to stand by our country and our forces," Pathirana has said.

Meanwhile Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa told the Sunday Times that the government would take the report "seriously" and send teams to friendly countries and other Non-Aligned countries including those in Africa and Latin America to explain why Sri Lanka had no option but to use military force to liquidate the LTTE's military capabilities.

The UN Chief appointed the Panel last May to investigate allegations of violating humanitarian law by the government security forces and the rebels during the successful military offensive in 2009 that completely eliminated the LTTE from Sri Lanka.

The Panel has found credible allegations, "which if proven, indicate that a wide range of serious violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law were committed both by the Government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE, some of which would amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity."

Ananda-USA said...

Sri Lanka President calls for country to unite against the UN report

The Panel of Experts had recommended the Secretary-General to "immediately proceed to establish an independent international mechanism" that is mandated by several functions defined by the Panel.

President Rajapaksa has said the allegations of war crimes by the Panel were not new but that there were increasing suggestions that those who led the military campaign should be taken before a war crimes tribunal.

"On behalf of the country, if they ask me to sit on the electric chair, I will happily do it," the President has said.

Ananda-USA said...

Leniency towards LTTE cadre and political agents has only encouraged them to persist in the same criminal activities for which they were not held accountable after the military defeat of the LTTE.

For example, what were the TNA leaders doing in India inciting intervention and rousing Tamil Nadu against Sri Lanka? In the United States they would be HANGED for treason!

It is time to treat TRAITORS & MURDERERS as TRAITORS & MURDERERS ... and HOLD THEM ACCOUNTABLE ... under the laws of the land.

Treating them as peacemakers in building a unified nation IS SIMPLY NOT POSSIBLE.

It was not possible in post Civil-War United States in 1865; it is not possible today in post-Civil War Sri Lanka either.

UN report: Govt. launches major counter-offensive

Teams to visit Non-Aligned countries; White paper to explain justification for use of force to end terrorism

By Our Diplomatic Editor
April 17, 2011

Sri Lanka will launch a diplomatic offensive in "neutral" countries to meet the allegations made against the government in the report of the three-member experts’ panel that advised the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on civilian casualties during the last stages of the military offensive against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in early 2009.

Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa told the Sunday Times that the government would take the report "seriously" and send teams to India, Pakistan, Indonesia, Malaysia, the other Non-Aligned countries including those in Africa and Latin America to explain why Sri Lanka had no option but to use military force to liquidate the LTTE's military capabilities.

He said a white paper would be prepared outlining the justification for military action; the civilian casualties caused by the LTTE; the benefits that have accrued to the people of Sri Lanka both in the north and south from the elimination of terrorism; and the humanitarian measures taken by the government during that final offensive against the LTTE and thereafter for the displaced civilians during the final stages, especially in the Vanni and Mullaitivu districts.

Already three retired Foreign Secretaries -- Nihal Rodrigo, Bernard Gunatillake and H.M.G.S. Palihakkara -- have been requested to assist the Attorney General in preparing a report to counter the allegations made in the UN panel report.

The UN panel that comprised Marzuki Darusman (Indonesia), Yasmin Sooka (South Africa) and Stern Ratner (the United States) has made some strong recommendations to the UN Secretary General. It calls on the SG "to establish an independent international mechanism" to probe accountability in civilian casualties during that period in early 2009, and that the "Government of Sri Lanka should issue a public,
the people of Sri Lanka both in the north and south from the elimination of terrorism; and the humanitarian measures taken by the government during that final offensive against the LTTE and thereafter for the displaced civilians during the final stages, especially in the Vanni and Mullaitivu districts.

Already three retired Foreign Secretaries -- Nihal Rodrigo, Bernard Gunatillake and H.M.G.S. Palihakkara -- have been requested to assist the Attorney General in preparing a report to counter the allegations made in the UN panel report.

Ananda-USA said...

UN report: Govt. launches major counter-offensive

The UN panel that comprised Marzuki Darusman (Indonesia), Yasmin Sooka (South Africa) and Stern Ratner (the United States) has made some strong recommendations to the UN Secretary General. It calls on the SG "to establish an independent international mechanism" to probe accountability in civilian casualties during that period in early 2009, and that the "Government of Sri Lanka should issue a public,formal acknowledgement for its role in and responsibility for extensive civilian casualties in the final stages of war", which is interpreted by diplomatic analysts as being a call for a public apology by the government for what happened.

The report, a copy of which was sent to the Sri Lanka government by the UN Secretary General through the country's permanent mission at the UN headquarters in New York on Wednesday, rejects the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) established by the government to go into issues relating to the separatist insurgency and matters connected to it.

In a hard-hitting reference to the LLRC, the panel's report says it "fails to satisfy key international standards of independence and impartiality, as it is compromised by its composition and deep seated conflicts on interests of some of its members". It says the LLRC is "deeply flawed" and cannot be seen to satisfy the joint commitment of the Sri Lankan president and the UNSG to an accountability process.
The panel has also rejected the explanation given by the government delegation that it met secretly last month on measures adopted to "balance reconciliation with accountability".

"The assertion of a choice between restorative and retributive justice presents a false dichotomy. Both are required," says the panel. The panel confirms the meeting between the Sri Lankan government delegation comprising Attotney General Mohan Peiris, then Foreign Secretary Romesh Jayasinghe, Ambassador to the UN Palitha Kohona and his deputy Maj. Gen. Shavindra Silva.

The panel says, "The Government's two-pronged notion of accountability as explained to the panel, focusing on the responsibility of past governments and of the LTTE, does not envisage a serious examination of the government's decisions and conduct in prosecuting the final stages of the war or the aftermath, nor the violations of law that may have occurred as a result".

The Sri Lanka government rejected the findings of the expert panel's report saying it was "flawed" and "biased".

“The report includes "unconfirmed and unsubstantiated details and figures on the final stages of the ethnic conflict. The report is entirely misleading and baseless. We are not ready to accept this report,” Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said.

Make May Day rally a show of strength against UN panel’s report: President

President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday urged SLFP organisers to turn the May Day rally into a massive show of strength that would send a strong message to the world that the people are with him in the wake of a UN report that accused his government of committing war crimes.

Addressing them at a Temple Trees meeting, the President said his government had been lenient towards LTTE detainees and had even released hardcore member after rehabilitating them.

Expressing surprise at the allegations contained in the UN Secretary General’s expert panel report, the president said that not even close relatives of the LTTE cadres had made such charges when they appeared before the government’s Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC).

Ananda-USA said...

A warm welcome for Sri Lankan players

By R. K. Radhakrishnan
April 03, 2011

Lankan people displayed grace and warmth in the face of a defeat, accorded a warm reception for the Sri Lankan team.
Smiling faces, all-religion blessings, hordes of cheering fans and representatives form the Sri Lankan government welcomed its cricketers warmly, as they arrived here on Sunday morning at the Bandaranaike international airport in Colombo.

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa set the tone for the celebrations, congratulating his team on its performance as the nation shrugged off the defeat to a better team the night before in Mumbai.

“Sri Lanka can be proud of its cricketers led by its captain Kumar Sangakkara. The whole of Sri Lanka was with the team. The performance of the team augurs well for the future,” the President told the team.

On his part, Sangakkara, who was selected captain of the ICC world team following the World Cup, mentioned that he and his team were grateful to the President for all the support, encouragement and guidance that he had given the team. The fireworks remained in their wrappers in all of Sri Lanka after the country's defeat in the ICC world cup cricket final but the rest of the planned celebrations went on. There was an elaborate ceremony at the VIP lounge at the airport where religious leaders blessed the team after which the team interacted with officials and others. The cricketers looked tired but were smiling and willing to oblige autograph and interview seekers from the media.

The team then left to the major celebrations venue, the Independence Square in the city, where hundreds of people had gathered to watch the match on big screen on a hot Sunday.

Amazing grace

With amazing grace, unseen elsewhere in the sub-continent following a defeat, the crowd cheered its cricketers. “They are our heros. They played superbly for most part,” said a middle-aged man in the crowd, when asked if he did not feel that the team had let him down in the finals.

Sangakkara addressed them in Sinhala and said that it was good to make it to the finals in 2007 (world cup), in 2009 (T-20 world cup) and in 2011 (world cup). But it was disappointing that none of this could be converted into a victory befitting a champion side.

No apology was expected of him in a country that treats its cricketers with dignity minus the intrusive curiosity; and he offered them none. Sangakkara talked about the World Cup journey, thanked the support of the fans and said that only very good teams made it to the finals so many times. So there was nothing wrong about the way they were playing the game; and it meant that the future of cricket in the country was bright.

The team witnessed traditional dance performances, posed for pictures and signed autographs and Sangakkara addressed a media conference ahead of warm good-byes.

Sri Lanka's cricketers had lost the final game sometime past 11 p.m. on Saturday. In under 12 hours, as a hot Sunday sun blazed in all its glory, Sri Lankan people, by the grace and warmth they displayed in the face of a defeat, unlike all over the sub-continent, proved that they can rise above: cricket, after all is a game. All that matters is that the game is played well and in its true spirit. In doing so, the people have set an example to the rest of south Asia.

Ananda-USA said...

A WAR CRIMES TRIAL should be held by Sri Lanka to identify, prosecute and convict all those who murdered captured Sri Lankan Soldiers & Policemen ..... especially after the fall of Mullaitivu to the LTTE!

Why is the GOSL so INACTIVE on this issue?

After the US Civil War, the US prosecuted and hanged all those responsible for the starvation and killing of Union Prisoners at the Andersonville POW camp of the Confederate forces.

Why should such JUSTCE not be meted out in Sri Lanka? WHY NOT?

Tamil migrant should be deported for shooting captured Sri Lankan soldiers, Canadian IRB told

ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Apr 20, Vancouver: Canada Border Service Agency (CBSA) has told the Canadian Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) to deport a Sri Lankan Tamil migrant arrived in the MV Sun Sea for his role in the shooting of captured Sri Lankan soldiers.

The Tamil migrant, identified only by a number, has been accused of war crimes for ordering to shoot the Sri Lankan soldiers brought to the area controlled by the Tamil Tiger terrorists Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). He appeared before the Immigration and Refugee Board for an admissibility hearing Tuesday.

According to a report in the Globe & Mail, the man has told the IRB through a translator that the LTTE called for any Tigers carrying weapons to come forward when they brought the soldiers but he ignored the call and walked away because he feared the soldiers were about to be killed.

But Kevin Hatch, CBSA's hearing representative, has questioned his version of events and pointed out that in an interview the man had with Canadian officials he has said that he told people behind him "to go," suggesting he ordered others to heed the call, the report said.

During questioning by his lawyer, the migrant has denied that he ordered anyone to shoot the soldiers.

The hearing is to be resumed on Thursday Morning.

The Tamil migrant is one of the two refugee claimant from the MV Sun Sea to face the IRB over allegations of war crimes. He has been held at a Maple Ridge jail since he arrived in Canada. If he is found to be involved in the criminal activity, he would be deported.

The MV Sun Sea, a Thai cargo ship modified to accommodate people reached Vancouver in August 2010 with 492 Tamil asylum seekers on board.

Canadian federal government authorities have accused 32 asylum seekers aboard the MV Sun Sea of having links with Sri Lanka's vanquished terrorist group LTTE.

Ananda-USA said...

Unfortunately, the UN is a PUPPET of a LAWLESS PIRATICAL Western CABAL that sings any tune .. including the "humanitarian crisis" lament .. to achieve its Neo-Colonialist ends.

As long as the great majority of UN Member Nations tolerate this situation, and fail to condemn these hegomonistic powers because of pecuriary interests .. the abuse of developing nations one-by-one by the so-called "United Nations" will continue.

If they do not cry out now in UNISON when their fellow members are threatened, who will help when THESE GOONS come for them?

China, Russia, India and Brazil should take the LEAD in creating an alternative "Union of Nations", because it is impossible to loosen the GRIP of the Cabal on the present CAPTIVE "United Nations".

If the majority of Member Nations LEAVE the UN, the current UN will become IRRELEVANT, and the Cabal cannot clain to represent the "World Community" as they do now!

Let the process BEGIN IMMEDIATELY!

UN should not complicate reconciliation process, Russia says

ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Apr 21, Colombo: When Sri Lanka is healing from the 30-years long armed conflict, the United Nations must render assistance, not complicate the reconciliation process, The Russian government has said.

The Ambassador of the Russian Federation to Sri Lanka Valdimir P.Mikhaylov has made these remarks during a meeting with Sri Lanka's Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa at the Ministry on Wednesday (20).

"We believe that now, when Sri Lanka healing its wounds after long armed conflict, the UN may render its assistance, if needed, and not to complicate the process of reconciliation. Our representative to the UN in New York recently reconfirmed this position," the Ambassador has said.

The Russian diplomat has said that the report, handed over to the UN secretary-General Ban Ki-moon by the Panel of Experts appointed by him to probe Sri Lanka's accountability during the last stages of the war between the government forces and the Tamil Tiger terrorists, is not a "UN report".

"We speak not about a 'UN report', since it was prepared neither by a UN body or nor even by its request. It was just a personal initiative of the UN Secretary General," Mikhaylov has said.

"We should be more precise in definitions not to mislead public," he has added.

The Ambassador has said that the Russia's position on the matter was made public by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation in its press statement on June 24, 2010.

The statement criticized the UN Chief for not asking the opinion of the Security Council or the General Assembly on this matter before appointing the panel.

"What also makes us cautious is the fact that this decision was taken without regard to the position of a sovereign state and a member of the UN, Sri Lanka," the statement said last year.

The Ambassador has criticized the Panel's actions saying that the Panel of Experts went beyond its task, at least as it had been made known to Russia's representatives of New York.

Ananda-USA said...

Are Canadians WAKING UPTO LTTE Diaspora INFILTRATION of their government?

Minister revokes support for Tory candidate who praised terrorists

April 21, 2011

In a rare act of dissent in the midst of an election campaign, Conservative cabinet minister Peter Kent has criticized his own party for allowing a man who hosted a tribute to the Tamil Tigers to run as a candidate.

“It is certainly a reflection on the party’s lack of due diligence,” Mr. Kent told The Globe and Mail on Thursday, referring to the candidacy of Gavan Paranchothy, a Tamil broadcaster running in Toronto’s Scarborough-Southwest riding. “Someone’s obviously dropped the ball.”

More related to this storyCandidate made it ‘crystal clear’ he had no sympathy for terrorists, Tories say
Conservative candidate takes pains to obscure his Tamil background
Tories' bid to win over South Asians opens party to Tamil Tigers' remnant

Last November, Mr. Paranchothy hosted a sombre program to mark Heroes Day, an annual commemoration of Tiger fighters killed in the Tamils’ bloody separatist war in Sri Lanka. He called the dead militants “freedom fighters” and “heroes,” though Stephen Harper’s Conservative government labelled the Tigers terrorists in 2006.

“This program … is unacceptable and it flies in the face of the fact that our government listed the Tamil Tigers as a terrorist organization,” said Mr. Kent, a former foreign correspondent and the current Environment Minister, after he watched the program on YouTube, where it has been displayed for nearly five months.

His criticism came a full week after The Globe reported Mr. Paranchothy’s involvement in the controversial program. At that time, Mr. Harper brushed aside questions about the broadcaster’s candidacy, while his spokesman, Dimitri Soudas, said Mr. Paranchothy had been “crystal clear” in denying any Tiger sympathies during prenomination screening.

Mr. Kent, who said he completely missed the story last week due to a heavy campaign schedule, provided an endorsement to Mr. Paranchothy this week based on assurances he had been properly vetted by party officials. Jason Kenney, the Immigration Minister and a key Harper lieutenant, provided a similarly glowing testimonial.

Both ministers’ comments were circulated in an e-mail from Mr. Paranchothy’s campaign manager, Bret Snider, to potential party volunteers this week.

When The Globe questioned him about his endorsement Thursday, Mr. Kent withdrew it and said Mr. Paranchothy should no longer be a candidate.

“The Tamil Tigers, in no context, can be portrayed as freedom fighters and heroes; they were terrorists,” Mr. Kent said, adding that he was unaware of the video until The Globe sent him a link to it Thursday morning. “It was a tribute, and it’s unacceptable even if he didn’t write it, even if he didn’t believe it.”

Neither Mr. Kenney nor Conservative Party officials in Ottawa responded to requests for comment.

Ananda-USA said...

Minister revokes support for Tory candidate who praised terrorists

Reached Thursday afternoon, Mr. Paranchothy said he hadn’t seen Mr. Kent’s remarks and asked for “time to look that up.” He did not answer subsequent calls.

The 36-year-old’s first foray into politics has been marked by curiosities. After he won his nomination on March 12, he shortened his first name from Ragavan to Gavan, even though he was familiar in the Tamil community under his old name. He has said that voters found Ragavan difficult to pronounce.

He also removed all references to his Tamil heritage and community involvement from his campaign materials. While he worked simultaneously for two affiliated stations, Canadian Multicultural Radio and Tamil Vision International, only the first station is mentioned in brochures and on websites.

Mr. Kent, who had a lengthy, high-profile career as a TV journalist, said he only had to view the opening frames of Mr. Paranchothy’s TV special to find it “outrageous.”

The Tamil Tigers were notorious for using suicide bombings, child soldiers and political assassinations in their failed 26-year war for a separate Tamil state in Sri Lanka. Since the war ended in 2009, remnants of the Tigers’ large Canadian support base, based mainly in Toronto, have aligned themselves with the federal Tories and the Ontario Progressive Conservatives.

In his endorsement of Mr. Paranchothy, Mr. Kent wrote, “As a fellow journalist and Broadcaster, I have great respect for Gavan. He has a moderate, balanced world view and has had the courage to take on tough subjects in his career.”

Asked why he provided the recommendation, Mr. Kent said, “I assumed and I was told that the party had vetted Mr. Paranchothy.”

Ananda-USA said...

LTTE Agent trying to Enter Canadien Parliament?

Canada polls: Last person to call ‘KP’ before his arrest now in the fray - Tamil sources say Paranchothy received the backing of top Conservative politicos

By Shamindra Ferdinando
April 19, 2011

A close contact of Thambiaiya Selvarasa Pathmanathan is contesting the forthcoming parliamentary elections in Canada. A Canadian citizen of Sri Lankan origin Gavan Paranchothy aka Ragavan Paranchothy, is running on the ruling Conservative Party ticket for the House of Commons in the Toronto suburb of Scarborough, which has a large Tamil population.

In an exclusive interview with ‘The Island’ in July last year, Pathmanathan aka ‘KP’ said that Malaysian security personnel had swooped down on him at First Tune Hotel on 316 Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman Road, Kuala Lumpur as he was talking with Ragavan, a Canada-based broadcaster with CMR Radio. Pathmanathan said that LTTE ‘Political Wing" leader S. Nadesan’s brother and brother’s son had been with him at the hotel, when he received a call from Ragavan on Aug. 5, 2009.

The next day Velupillai Prabhakaran’s successor Pathmanathan was flown to Colombo by Sri Lankan Intelligence.

However, Paranchothy recently told the Canadian press that he had returned a call from Malaysia on Aug. 5 2009 and he didn’t know whether he was talking to ‘KP’ or one of his assistants.

Sri Lankan security officials said that Paranchothy had hosted a pro-LTTE television show last November to celebrate the Tigers’ Heroes Day in spite of the group being a proscribed organization in Canada.

Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to Belgium, Luxembourg and the EU Ravinatha Aryasinha recently warned of the threat posed by the Tamil Diaspora spearheaded by the LTTE rump taking advantage of the political system to enhance its power.

Ambassador Aryasinha told the European Corporate Security Association (ECSA) on Mar. 23, 2011: "No doubt a complicating factor host governments will have to grapple with, is that particularly as the Sri Lankan Tamil Diaspora communities convert themselves into vote banks and could have a political bearing in marginal constituencies in Europe, that the political establishments in these countries will invariably come under greater pressure, to ignore the activities of the LTTE/ its front organizations operating on European soil."

Aryasinha went on to say: "Given that there can no longer be a dichotomy in the manner terrorist and criminality related issues are treated across the globe between the law enforcement /criminal justice community on the one hand, and the political community on the other, there should not be a disconnection between these respective institutions of Governance on how to deal with this growing problem.

It is important that European States and Institutions do not provide any political or symbolic support, nor should they be fooled by the false pretences of those continuing to advocate mono-ethnic separatism in Sri Lanka "through peaceful means", while espousing the ideology of the LTTE, using its money and being manipulated by its surviving military leaders".

Canada based Tamil sources told ‘The Island’ that since the revelation of Paranchothy’s alleged connection with the LTTE, the Canadian Prime Minister and Conservative Party leader Stephen Harper had come under pressure to explain his decision to accommodate a known LTTE activist on his nomination list.

Ananda-USA said...

Canada polls: Last person to call ‘KP’ before his arrest now in the fray - Tamil sources say Paranchothy received the backing of top Conservative politicos

The Canadian press last week quoted Harper as saying that his Conservative Party holds "a strong position against the Tamil Tigers." His government banned the Tigers in 2006, despite days of protests by Tamil immigrants in Ottawa. Tigers’ aid agency, the World Tamil Movement, was suppressed in 2008.

Still, federal police and security agencies claim the Tamil Tigers raise money in Canada and smuggling rings bring wanted Tamil terrorists to Canada.

Sri Lankan officials allege that foreign governments with large groups of Tamil Diaspora are seeking to win their votes by nominating members of the community in spite of their links to the LTTE. They say the Sri Lankan Tamil community in Canada is involved in the polls campaign in a big way. "They have the wherewithal to promote political parties in Canada. This is not an isolated situation but happening in many parts of the world," sources said.

Sources alleged that Paranchothy had also met Pathmanatahn in Malaysia. Responding to a query by The Island, a senior Sri Lankan intelligence official said whatever the post-war differences among various factions, all of them stand for a separate state in Northern and Eastern Provinces of Sri Lanka. The bottom line was that their aim was the same. "They still believe in spite of losing their conventional military capability, they still stand an opportunity to achieve their eelam dream by other means."

Sources said that before Malaysia had handed over Pathmanathan to Sri Lanka, there had been a determined bid to unite all factions under one banner. Paranchothy had met both Pathmanathan and Nediyawan in Malaysia and Norway, respectively in the immediate aftermath of Tigers’ collapse on the banks of the Nanthikadal lagoon in May 2009, to settle differences.

Ananda-USA said...

Jayalalitha resorts AGAIN to DEMOGOGUERY!

When the LTTE was trying to KILL her, she was RAILING against the LTTE.

Now that the main LTTE is NO MORE, and she is SAFE, she SUPPORTS the rump LTTE and Tamil racism!

We have not seen the depths to which this woman will descend in her drive to grab power again in Tamil Nadu: Chief Minister or Bust!

SHAME on you Jayalalitha!

Tamil Nadu legislator demands to try Sri Lankan President for alleged war crimes

ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Apr 22, Chennai: The opposition leader of India's Tamil Nadu government and AIADMK chief J. Jayalalitha has demanded the Indian government to take immediate measures to bring Sri Lankan President and his military to trial at the International Court for alleged war crimes during the war that ended the three decades of terrorism in Sri Lanka.

In a statement, the Tamil Nadu legislator, quoting the leaked report of the UN Expert Panel, has said that the report was very clear and lists out the war crimes of the Sri Lankan government.

"The Indian Government, on its part, should initiate immediate steps to make Rajapaksa and his cronies stand trial in the International Court of Justice for his war crimes," the PTI news agency quoted Jayalalitha.

She has said that the Sri Lankan security forces 'had shelled no fire zones and hospitals, deprived humanitarian aid in the form of food supply and medicine', a claim pro-LTTE groups have constantly stated despite the government claims to the contrary.

The AIADMK chief has flayed her opponent in the State legislature DMK president M. Karunanidhi for his ineffective fast in 2009 demanding the Sri Lankan government to stop the offensive and declare a ceasefire.

However, she has failed to point out the accusations noted in the report against the terrorist group LTTE.

The Panel's report has said that LTTE refused civilians permission to leave and used them as hostages to form a human buffer between themselves and the advancing Sri Lanka Army.

"Many civilians were sacrificed on the altar of the LTTE cause and its efforts to preserve its senior leadership," the Panel's report said.

"It implemented a policy of forced recruitment throughout the war, but in the final stages greatly intensified its recruitment of people of all ages, including children as young as fourteen," it said.

The Sri Lankan government rejected the UN report saying it is fundamentally flawed in many respects.

The government Thursday asked the UN not to make the report public as it would irreparably damage the country's reconciliation process.

The UN however, said yesterday that it would publish the report 'in full without any amendment' along with a statement from the UN Secretary-General that would discuss the next steps.

The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon appointed the three-member panel to advise him on Sri Lanka's accountability during the last phase of the war that effectively crushed the Tamil Tiger terrorist outfit Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in May 2009.

The Panel last week handed over its report to the UNSG which he shared with the Sri Lankan government before being made it public. However parts of the report had been leaked to the Sri Lankan daily The Island.

Sri Lankans have united in rejecting the Panel's report saying that it has only voiced the accounts of pro-LTTE diaspora and human rights groups that are conspiring to tarnish the country's image and halt the post-war development and reconciliation among the communities.

The government has called the Sri Lankan to show their solidarity against the UN report at the May Day rallies this year.

Ananda-USA said...

GL to phone Ban to reiterate SL’s position - Strong support for SL from Russia and China
April 23, 2011

Both China and the Russian Federation are extending strong support to Sri Lanka on her demand that UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon desists from publishing the damaging report of his advisory panel on accountability issues relating to the final phase of Sri Lanka’s 30-year war against terrorism, External Affairs Minister G.L. Pieris said yesterday.

Ambassador Vladimir. P. Mikhaylov Friday met Pieris and conveyed his government’s position to the minister while Chinese Ambassador Mme. Yang Xiu Ping has also consistently assured the minister that Beijing considers the matters raised by the Ban Panel as local issues adequately handled by the Lessons Learned and Reconciliation Commission.

These positions have been conveyed by both China and Russia at a meeting of the Consultative Committee of the Security Council held in New York on Monday, Pieris said.

The minister, who left for Oman last evening, is also due to speak ``very soon’’ on the telephone to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to reiterate Sri Lanka’s position on the publication of the report and urge him to desist from a course of action detrimental to a UN member state and the UN system, well informed sources said.

They indicated that contacts with other member countries of the Security Council are also underway.

Pieris said that the Russian position has been stated in a ``clear and emphatic statement’’ that has been handed to him by the ambassador.

``Why are we so firmly opposed to the publication of this document?’’ said the minister. ``This action they want to take (publication of the panel report) places in jeopardy the whole UN system and the role of its various bodies, particularly the Security Council.’’

He explained that Chapter 7 of the UN Charter defines the responsibilities and powers, including veto power, assigned to the Security Council and the legal consequences of resolutions passed there. All this is intended to maintain peace and tranquility internationally.

``Now what we have here is that the SG on his own initiative appointed a panel to advise him and is now preparing to publish their report. The appointment of the panel had no sanction from the UN General Assembly or the Security Council,’’ Pieris said.

``This is entirely contrary to principles with consequences far beyond the Sri Lanka situation.’’

The minister made the point that when the UNSG (or for that matter any other authority) appoints an advisory panel, such advise may be tendered either orally or in writing.

``What happens if the party to whom the advise is tendered unilaterally and arbitrarily chooses to publish it?,’’ he asked. ``If this is done in Sri Lanka’s case an unsound and dangerous precedent would be set.’’

Ananda-USA said...

GL to phone Ban to reiterate SL’s position - Strong support for SL from Russia and China

The minister further said that the publication of the panel report would be gravely damaging to the reconciliation process. At a time when it is attempted to heal old wounds, they’re trying to probe them aggravating tensions.

``The UN system should try to facilitate the reconciliation process with every resource available to it. The publication of the report is contrary to that.’’

Moscow has seen the present situation as one challenging the basic principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of an independent state with the UNSG exceeding the powers given him by the UN Charter and in conflict with the previous assurance that the sole purpose of the panel was advisory.

At the April 18 New York meeting, Russia had criticized the working methods of the UN Secretariat saying that the actions of the SG must be based on the mandate of the Security Council or the General Assembly or the request of the government concerned.

Moscow has seen Sri Lanka’s actions in this regard as constructive and assured the minister that they will convey their views to the SG. China too has expressed a strong view on the action proposed by the SG at the New York meeting.

``The Chinese ambassador has been in regular touch with me and indicated that this is China’s stance,’’ the minister said.

Ananda-USA said...

‘Moon’s panel of experts went beyond its task’: Lanka’s UN allies express solidarity

by Manjula FERNANDO

Sri Lanka’s UN allies have expressed solidarity against the UN Panel of Experts report which tries to pin war crimes charges on Sri Lanka.

The country began mustering support from its UN allies amidst announcements of the report being released to worldwide media in full today.

The Government said the panel has breached its mandate by proposing punitive action against the country for crushing one of the world’s most feared and ruthless terror organisations and rescuing thousands of civilians held hostage for months at gunpoint.

“The panel which was appointed exclusively to advise the UN Secretary General, as repeatedly communicated and announced by the UN, has overstepped its mandate and we would be seeking support from our allies to fight against this obvious move to frame war crimes charges against Sri Lanka,” a Foreign Ministry official told the Sunday Observer yesterday.

The official said the heads of missions of friendly nations based in New York including some of the superpowers have communicated their solidarity towards Sri Lanka and the same assurances have been extended by the foreign offices of the respective countries via Sri Lankan missions overseas.

Russian Ambassador Valdimir P. Mikhaylov who met Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa last week said that they do not consider the panel as a UN body.

“Unfortunately it seems that the Panel of Experts went beyond its task, at least as it had been made known to our representatives of New York”.

He said the UN should render assistance without complicating the reconciliation process when Sri Lanka was trying to heal its wounds after long armed conflict.

The official declined to comment if there would be a written response to the Panel report by the Foreign Ministry but said the Minister has made it clear that he would not be commenting on the contents of this report.

Acting spokesperson for the UNSG Farhan Haq on Thursday said they hope to publish the report along with a review by the senior advisors of Moon and a response by the Sri Lankan Government.

External Affairs Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris in a media briefing on Thursday said the Government considers the panel as an Interim Committee which has neither the backing of the Security Council nor the UN itself.

Expressing strong objections to the publication to the report, he said the move would damage the UN system seriously and harm relations with one of its foremost members. He also said the report interferes with the post conflict reconciliation process and causes divisions among the communities.

Moon is expected to consult Minister Peiris before releasing the UN Panel of Expert Report, official sources said.

Meanwhile, Secretary General Ban ki-Moon was in Russia late last week to meet the President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev from whom he sought backing to continue into the second term as the Head of the UN.

“I would like to really count on your strong support, and leadership and guidance in continuing my work as Secretary-General,” he said at the meeting with the Russian President.

The Secretary General received an honorary doctorate at Ukraine’s Kyiv Institute of International Relations

Ananda-USA said...

Demagogues of a Feather, Karunabudhi & Jayalalitha, Fighting Each Other!

All of these Racists dig up the "Sri Lankan Tamil Issue" for Opportunistic Political Reasons.


“It is Jayalalithaa who should apologise over Sri Lankan Tamils issue”
April 24, 2011

Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam president and Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi on Saturday stated that it is All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam general secretary Jayalalithaa, not he, who had to apologise over the Sri Lankan Tamils issue.

Reacting to Ms Jayalalithaa's demand for the apology, the DMK leader, in a statement, gave an account of his position on the Tamils question over the years and questioned the locus standi of Ms Jayalalithaa to make such a demand.

He recalled that the AIADMK leader had, in January 2009, accused the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam of using the Tamils as a shield in the war against the Sri Lankan army.

Ananda-USA said...

LTTE arms cache in Trinco
The Navy has recovered a cache of weapons and communication equipment used by the LTTE in Trincomalee.
April 24, 2011

Navy spokesman Commander Kosala Warnakulasuriya said the Navy personnel attached to the Eastern Naval Command had recovered these weapons and communication equipment on Friday.
However, according to him it was only yesterday that the descriptions of the weapons and the communication sets were released to the Navy headquarters from the east.
Meanwhile the Navy website also said that the Eastern Naval Command on information received had recovered an LTTE armoury and communications sets at Mankernikulam.

The following weapons were recovered by the navy: Three T56 SMG weapons (fixed butt), three T56 SMG weapons (side butt), one T81 SMG weapon (side butt), one 40 mm grenade launcher, twenty T56 magazines, five T81 magazines, fifty-six 40 mm grenades, six LTTE hand sets (YESU VX 150), one ICOM Trans Receiver Set (with antenna), three LTTE hand sets antennas, one claymore blasting device, one LTTE belt order, one 40 mm grenade belt order, 165 pistol ammo (9 mm), 2,600 7.62x39 mm ammo, 800 5.56x51 mm ammo and 1,500 7.62x54 mm ammo.

Moshe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ananda-USA said...

Hooray, Osama Bin Laden bites the DUST!

Today, President Barack Obama announced that Osama Bin Laden had been killed by Navy Seals in an attack on a guarded compound 60km NorthWest of Islamabad in Pakistan!

Congratulations to the United States for a Job Well Done!

Now, if only the US would stop shedding crocodile tears about Sri Lanka's Osama bin Laden .. Velupillai Prabhakaran that is .. and his murderous followers.

Let the US help Sri Lanka instead of trying to DEMONIZE and level fake "war crimes charges" against our Patriotic Courageous Leaders who nailed the putative Sun God along the banks of the Nanthikandal Lagoon, after 30 years of Mass Murder and Mayhem by them in Sri Lanka.

Let us not have Different Strokes for Different Folks!

The Blood of Sri Lankan citizens is as Precious as that of American citizens!

Congratulations USA! Another Bloody Mass Murderer has received his DESERVED DUE.


Ananda-USA said...


Osama bin Laden, the face of terror, killed in Pakistan

By the CNN Wire Staff
May 02, 2011

(CNN) -- Osama bin Laden used the fruits of his family's success -- a personal fortune estimated in the hundreds of millions of dollars -- to help finance al Qaeda in its quest for a new pan-Islamic religious state.

The Saudi-born zealot commanded al Qaeda, a terrorist organization run like a rogue multinational firm, experts said, with subsidiaries operating secretly in dozens of countries, plotting terror, raising money and recruiting young Muslim men -- even boys -- from many nations to its training camps in Afghanistan.

Timeline: The life and times of Osama bin Laden

Bin Laden and his terrorist network were behind the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States and are linked to others around the world.

The enormity of the destruction in the 9/11 attacks -- the World Trade Center's towers devastated by two hijacked airplanes, the Pentagon heavily damaged by a third hijacked jetliner, a fourth flight crashed in rural Pennsylvania, and more than 3,000 people killed -- gave bin Laden a global presence.

His death early Monday in Pakistan ended a nearly 10-year long manhunt for one of the world's most-wanted men.

President Obama: Bin Laden is dead

Even before September 11, 2001, bin Laden was already on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list.

He had been implicated in a series of deadly, high-profile attacks that had grown in their intensity and success during the 1990s.

They included a deadly firefight with U.S. soldiers in Somalia in October 1993, the bombings of two U.S. embassies in East Africa that killed 224 in August 1998, and an attack on the USS Cole that killed 17 sailors in October 2000.

Bin Laden eluded capture for years, once reportedly slipping out of a training camp in Afghanistan just hours before a barrage of U.S. cruise missiles destroyed it.

On September 11, sources said, the evidence immediately pointed to bin Laden. Within days, those close to the investigation said they had their proof.

Ananda-USA said...

Osama bin Laden, the face of terror, killed in Pakistan

.....continued 1....

Bin Laden's death affects the world

The Iraqi invasion of Kuwait provided the next turning point in Osama bin Laden's career.

When the United States sent troops to Saudi Arabia for battle against Iraq in the Persian Gulf War, bin Laden was outraged. He had offered his own men to defend the Saudi kingdom but the Saudi government ignored his plan.

He began to target the United States for its presence in Saudi Arabia, home to the Muslim holy sites of Mecca and Medina. With bin Laden's criticisms creating too much friction with the Saudi government, he and his supporters left for Sudan in 1991.

There, according to U.S. officials, al Qaeda began to evolve into a terror network, with bin Laden at its helm. Tapping into his personal fortune, bin Laden operated a range of businesses involved in construction, farming and exporting.

Although the U.S. government was unaware of it at the time, bin Laden was already actively working against it.

According to court testimony, he sent one of his top lieutenants, Mohammed Atef, to help train Somalis to attack U.S. peacekeeping troops stationed there. Bin Laden would later hint, during an interview with CNN, of his involvement in the deaths of 18 U.S. Army Rangers in 1993 in Mogadishu.

Also in 1993, terrorists bombed the World Trade Center in New York, killing six and wounding hundreds. Eventually, bin Laden would be named along with many others as an unindicted co-conspirator in that case. The mastermind of the attack, Ramzi Yousef, would later be revealed to have close ties to al Qaeda.

In 1996, bin Laden took his war against the United States a step further. By then, he had been stripped of his Saudi citizenship and forced by Sudanese officials, under pressure from the United States, to leave that country. He returned to Afghanistan where he received harbor from the fundamentalist Taliban, who were ruling the country.

By then, the United States had begun to recognize a growing threat from bin Laden, citing him as a financier of terrorism in a government report.

According to reports, however, the U.S. government passed up a Sudanese government offer to turn over bin Laden, because at the time it had no criminal charges against him. The Saudis, according to an interview with their former intelligence chief in Time magazine, also declined to take custody of bin Laden.

In Afghanistan in 1996, bin Laden issued a "fatwa," or a religious order, entitled "Declaration of War Against Americans Who Occupy the Lands of the Two Holy Mosques."

"There is no more important thing than pushing the American occupier out," decreed the fatwa, which praised Muslim youths willing to die to accomplish that goal: "Youths only want one thing, to kill (U.S. soldiers) so they can get to Paradise."

In his first interview with Western media in 1997, bin Laden told CNN that the United States was "unjust, criminal and tyrannical."

"The U.S. today, as a result of the arrogant atmosphere, has set a double standard, calling whoever goes against its injustice a terrorist," he said in the interview. "It wants to occupy our countries, steal our resources, impose on us agents to rule us."

In February 1998, he expanded his target list, issuing a new fatwa against all Americans, including civilians.

They were to be killed wherever they might be found anywhere in the world, he decreed. This new fatwa announced the creation of the "The World Islamic Front for Jihad against the Jews and the Crusaders" and was co-signed by Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri, head of Egypt's al-Jihad terrorist group.

Six months later, explosions destroyed the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, killing 224 people and injuring 4,000 more.

U.S. prosecutors later indicted bin Laden for masterminding those attacks.

Ananda-USA said...

Osama bin Laden, the face of terror, killed in Pakistan

.....continued 2....

By the time three hijacked airliners struck the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, symbols of the U.S. business and military might, bin Laden's terror network had become global in its reach.

The organization soon became America's prime target in Bush's war against global terrorism. Bin Laden, its founder, became the most-wanted man in the world.

Then-U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell explained al Qaeda's network this way: "Osama bin Laden is the chairman of the holding company, and within that holding company are terrorist cells and organizations in dozens of countries around the world, any of them capable of committing a terrorist act."

"It's not enough to get one individual, although we'll start with that one individual," Powell said.

In statements released from his hideouts in Afghanistan after September 11, bin Laden denied al Qaeda was responsible for the attacks.

A videotape of bin Laden later obtained and released by the U.S. government, however, showed him saying he knew the September 11 attacks were coming, chuckling and gloating about their toll. Even with his knowledge of the construction trade, he said with a smile, he did not expect the twin towers of the World Trade Center to collapse completely.

Speaking in an earlier video recording that was first broadcast over the Arabic-language television network Al-Jazeera, bin Laden said America is "filled with fear from the north, south, east and west. Thank God for that."

"These events have split the world into two camps -- belief and disbelief," he said. "America will never dream or know or taste security or safety unless we know safety and security in our land and in Palestine."

Bin Laden had taken advantage of his time in Afghanistan, cementing his ties to the Taliban.

He was particularly close to Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar. He built a mansion in Kandahar but spent most of his time on the move around the country, according to intelligence sources.

Al Qaeda had a network of training camps and safe houses where recruits from around the world were brought for combat and weapons training and indoctrination.

As long as the Taliban ruled Afghanistan, bin Laden, his four wives and more than 10 children were able to avoid capture.

Before September 11, the Afghan government refused U.S. requests to turn over bin Laden. "Osama's protection is our moral and Islamic duty," one Taliban official was quoted as saying in July 2001.

As the United States bombing campaign helped the Afghan opposition drive the Taliban from power, however, bin Laden's days were numbered.

The reward on his head grew to $25 million. Countless leaflets advertising the bounty were dropped from U.S. airplanes, which flew with impunity over Afghan skies.

"We're hunting him down," Bush said on November 19, 2001. "He runs and he hides, but as we've said repeatedly, the noose is beginning to narrow. The net is getting tighter."

But he eluded U.S. and allied authorities during the war in Afghanistan, vanishing in December 2001, apparently fleeing during the intensive bombing campaign in the rugged Tora Bora region near the border with Pakistan.

"He's alive or dead. He's in Afghanistan or somewhere else," then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said in April 2002 when asked about bin Laden's whereabouts.

No more videos showing bin Laden were released during the spring and summer of 2002 and there was speculation that he may have died during U.S. bombing raids in Afghanistan.

But audiotapes released in October and November 2002 and broadcast on Al-Jazeera were allegedly were from him. U.S. government experts analyzed the tapes and said the voice on the tapes was almost certainly bin Laden's.

Ananda-USA said...

Osama bin Laden, the face of terror, killed in Pakistan

.....continued 3....

On February 11, 2002, a new audio message purportedly from bin Laden called on Muslims around the world to show solidarity against U.S.-led military action in Iraq.

The tape was broadcast on Al Jazeera, which originally denied its existence. The voice on tape added that any nation that helps the United States attack Iraq, "(Has) to know that they are outside this Islamic nation. Jordan and Morocco and Nigeria and Saudi Arabia should be careful that this war, this crusade, is attacking the people of Islam first."

Days later, U.S. government reports suggest that bin Laden had survived sustained bombing and could be near the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Then, in May 2002, Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar is quoted in a Saudi-owned publication, "Sheikh Osama is still alive, praise God." A Russian newspaper publishes a similar report likewise quoting Omar, saying, "Osama helped us during the war with the (Soviets), he would not leave us now."

Abdel-Bari Atwan, the editor of the London-based Al-Quds Al Arabi newspaper, said in July of that year that bin Laden was in good health, despite being wounded in an attack on his base in Afghanistan the previous December. Atwan said then that bin Laden's followers had told him that the al Qaeda leader would not make more video statements until his group launched another attack on the United States.

That appeared to prove prescient, as there were no further attacks on U.S. soil in subsequent years -- though there were several high-profile attempts, purportedly linked to al Qaeda -- and few signs of bin Laden.

Muslim clerics in Spain turned the tables on bin Laden in March 2005, issuing the first fatwa against the terrorist leader. The Islamic edict called him an apostate and urged other Muslims to denounce him.

More details about bin Laden came out in October 2009, in the form of a book written by one of his wives and sons titled, "Growing Up bin Laden: Osama's Wife and Son Take Us Inside Their World."

A few months later, the U.S. government admitted a "lack of intelligence" on his whereabouts -- suspecting that he could be in Afghanistan or Pakistan.

Bin Laden was born in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 1957, the 17th of 52 children in a family that had struck it rich in the construction business.

His father, Mohamed bin Laden, was a native of Yemen, who immigrated to Saudi Arabia as a child. He became a billionaire by building his company into the largest construction firm in the Saudi kingdom.

As Saudi Arabia became flush with oil money, so, too, did the bin Laden family business, as Osama's father cultivated and exploited connections within the royal family.

One of the elder bin Laden's four wives -- described as Syrian in some accounts -- was Osama's mother. The young bin Laden inherited a share of the family fortune at an early age after his father died in an aircraft accident.

The bin Ladens were noted for their religious commitment. In his youth, Osama studied with Muslim scholars. Two of the family businesses' most prestigious projects also left a lasting impression: the renovations of mosques at Mecca and Medina, Islam's two holiest sites.

As a young man attending college in Jeddah, bin Laden's interest in religion started to take a political turn. One of his professors was Abdullah Azzam, a Palestinian scholar who was a key figure in the rise of a new pan-Islamic religious movement.

Azzam founded an organization to help the mujahedeen fighting to repel the Soviet Union's invasion of Afghanistan in 1979.

Ananda-USA said...

Osama bin Laden, the face of terror, killed in Pakistan

.....continued 4....

Bin Laden soon became the organization's top financier, using his family connections to raise money. He left as a volunteer for Afghanistan at 22, joining the U.S.-backed call to arms against the Soviets.

He remained there for a decade, using construction equipment from his family's business to help the Muslim guerrilla forces build shelters, tunnels and roads through the rugged Afghan mountains, and at times taking part in battle.

In the late 1980s, bin Laden founded al Qaeda, Arabic for "the base," an organization that CNN terrorism analyst and author Peter Bergen says had fairly prosaic beginnings. One of its purposes was to provide documentation for Arab fighters who fought against the Soviets in Afghanistan, including death certificates.

Al Qaeda, under bin Laden's leadership, ran a number of guesthouses for these Arab fighters and their families. It also operated training camps to help them prepare for the fight against the Soviets.
In the early 1990s, with the disintegration of the Soviet Union, bin Laden turned his sights on the world's remaining superpower -- the United States. War-hardened and victorious, he returned to Saudi Arabia following the Soviet retreat from Afghanistan.

In a 1997 CNN interview, bin Laden declared a "jihad," or "holy war," against the United States.

But he reappeared on the world's radar in January 2010, with the release of two audiotapes released in the span of a week.

In the first, he purportedly claimed responsibility for the alleged Christmas Day attempt by Nigerian national Umar Farouk AbdulMuttallab to blow up a Northwest Airlines plane as it neared Detroit, Michigan, from Amsterdam, Netherlands. In that tape, the voice -- thought to be bin Laden's -- warned the United States of more attacks.

Days later, Al Jazeera released an audiotape purportedly from bin Laden in which he condemned the United States and other industrial nations for causing climate change.

Then, in January of this year, a speaker claiming to be the terrorist mastermind warned French troops to leave Afghanistan -- or else two French journalists abducted by militants there could be killed.

The speaker thought to be bin Laden said on the audiotape, which also aired on Al Jazeera, that France's alliance with the United States will prove costly.

One U.S. counterterrorism official told CNN at the time that the tape "sends a chill up your spine," as it refers to "a couple of human beings whose lives are at stake."

For several months before that last tape's release, however, U.S. officials had received specific information about where bin Laden may have been hiding in Pakistan, according to President Barack Obama.

On Sunday, the president said he ordered an operation -- carried out by a handful of U.S. troops -- to get bin Laden in Pakistan. The al Qaeda leader resisted and was killed in an ensuing firefight, and U.S. forces took custody of his body. He was later buried at sea, with one U.S. official saying his body was handled in the Islamic tradition.

"His demise should be welcomed by all who believe in peace and human dignity," Obama said in a speech announcing bin Laden's death. "Justice has been done."

Ananda-USA said...

Sri Lanka soldiers' plight 'ignored' in Iraq

By Saroj Pathirana
BBC Sinhala service

'The Sri Lankan government should understand that we are sending our salaries -in US Dollars- to Sri Lanka'

A group of former Sri Lanka soldiers serving in Iraq without pay for months says their plight is ignored by the authorities despite repeated requests.
Sudath Rohana Kumara, the mission commander of the Talat Eddin Hussam Younis Group in Baghdad, said the company owes him nearly $67,000 as wages for over 17 months.

At least 41 Sri Lankan workers, in the capital and Al-Amara, are stranded for months as the company has failed to pay their monthly salaries.

The workers have arrived in Iraq as private security officers for the Jordanian company involved in a construction project in Al-Amara, some 700km away from the capital, Baghdad.

The workers say the company is facing financial difficulties as it has failed to complete the housing project.

Foreign Revenue

The company owes at least $25,000 each to 40 Sri Lankan workers as a result, they say.

The retired Sri Lankan soldiers insist that they do not want to go back to Sri Lanka empty handed after working under very difficult conditions in Iraq for months without pay.

We are now given food by the people in the surrounding villages. And we get water from a nearby canal

Lalith Kumara de Silva, retired Sri Lanka soldier

Officials at the Sri Lankan embassy in Lebanon have pledged to find a compromise before the end of April.

But the stranded Sri Lankans say both Sri Lankan as well as the company officials are now ignoring their appeals.

“The Sri Lankan government should understand that we are sending our salaries -in US Dollars- to Sri Lanka,” Rohana Kumara told BBC Sinhala service, Sandeshaya.

But Sri Lankan workers in Al-Samara say Sudath Kumara, who served as a personal bodyguard to the company chief, is also partly responsible for their plight.

“He could have persuaded the company owners to resolve the issue but Sudath has been too loyal,” Lalith Kumara de Silva, who is stranded in Al-Amara together with 30 other Sri Lankans, told BBC Sandeshaya.

The former soldiers say they have already made appeals to the international human rights groups and International Organisation for Migration seeking help in resolving the issue.

As a result of the construction project going bust, the Sri Lankan employers are not even provided with food for the last week, according to de Silva.

“We are now given food by the people in the surrounding villages. And we get water from a nearby canal.”

PeacefulHumanRace said...

Ananda, according to most news channels Obama has ordered to eleminate Osama Bil laden, not to arrest him. This is clearly a war crime, infact it was said that the strike team first identified him according to his facial discriptions before he was shot in the head. I hope Srilankan officials will point this out to the Amaricans when they talk abount UN report.

Ananda-USA said...


US tries to Dictate to Sri Lanka Undermining its Security & Sovereignity!

Classic Example of How NOT to Win Friends & Influence People!

Hypocritical Double Dealing!

US to discuss a range of issues with Sri Lanka, not just the UN report

ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

May 02, Colombo: The United States hopes to move forward in their relations with Sri Lanka and wants to have discussions on a full range of issues, a high ranking U.S. official has said.

Before his departure to Sri Lanka and Maldives, Robert O. Blake, Jr., the Assistant Secretary for Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs of the U.S. State Department, has told the Press Trust of India (PTI) that his country has wider relations with Sri Lanka than the much-talked about United Nations Expert Panel report on Sri Lanka.

"In general we want to move forward on our relations with Sri Lanka. Although everybody is very focused on the Panel of Experts Report, we have wider relations with Sri Lanka than just that. I want to discuss the full range of issues on our agenda," the former Ambassador to Sri Lanka has said in an interview to PTI on Friday (April 29).

When asked what his message to the Sri Lankan government is, the envoy has said that he will keep his message private until he actually delivers it to the Sri Lankan government but he will hold a press conference afterwards.

Blake is expected to travel to the North to observe the development process and meet some of the non-governmental organizations working in the former Tamil Tiger terrorists-controlled areas.

"I'm looking very much forward to having the opportunity to travel up to the north for the first time ever in my career to Kilinochchi and to Mullaitivu which were formerly LTTE-controlled areas when I was there. So I've never actually seen either of those cities. We have quite a lot of U.S. Agency for International Development cooperation going on there, and I'm going to have a chance to not only see some of that but also to meet with some of the NGOs that are active there. I'm very much looking forward to that," Blake has said.

During his second day of the tour to Sri Lanka Blake is expected to hold meetings with senior government officials, civil society leaders and other relevant personnel. The envoy will hold a press conference at the end of his tour.

The Assistant Secretary, who is in Maldives today, is expected to leave Male this evening to Sri Lanka.

Ananda-USA said...

International conspiracies to revive terrorism in Sri Lanka, President says

ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

May 01, Colombo: There are certain international conspiracies to revive the terrorism in the country and the working masses will stand united to preserve the victory the country gained by defeating terrorism, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa said in his May Day message today.

The President expressed his appreciation to the Sri Lankan labour community for "contributing fruitfully to increase the country's economic development growth rate to eight percent."

Full text of President's May Day message:

I remind you with pride of Sri Lanka's higher recognition among the South Asian countries as a country which enforced the conventions of the International Labour Organisation very successfully. First and foremost I extend my gratitude for the Sri Lankan labour community for contributing fruitfully to increase the country's economic development growth rate to eight percent.

With the defeat of terrorism we have expedited our program to win the rights of the working class. The introduction of a Pension scheme for the Private sector as a government which could recognize the interests of the people is a massive victory of the general public. It ensures a better future for the contributors of the Employees' Trust Fund. It is a great pleasure for us as we dedicated ourselves to win the rights of the working class throughout the history.

Compensation for male and female labourers for accidents at the workplace was also increased. Timely amendments were also brought to the Workers' Compensation Act. Laws are already imposed to eliminate the child labour. Sri Lankan women contribute largely to the labour force. Therefore strengthening the legal provisions related to their rights and privileges is a contemporary necessity. The government has paid attention towards it.

Moreover, steps have been taken to create the necessary administrative and management methodologies to use the foreign labour in a more fruitful manner. Our expectation is to grant the benefits enjoyed by the working class of the developed countries to our general public.

The main challenge our working community experienced was terrorism. The support we received from the working community when we stepped into defeat terrorism showed their awareness of this challenge. During our war against terrorism the labour community did not leave space for any strike or sabotage. The dedication and patience showed by our labour community to defeat terrorism is an honour for the world labour community. I also extend my best wishes for the trade union movement.

Ananda-USA said...

Minster Rathnasiri Wickramanayaka's position is well taken: All who "welcome" and "endorse" the UN Panel report are TRAITORS. Let us NOT PARLEY WITH THEM!

The Tiger Nominated Agents of the TNA were ACTIVE TRAITORS before the defeat of the LTTE. They are continuing NOW as hidden TRAITORS with Tiger STRIPES WELCOMING the UN Reports designed to punish Sri Lanka for eradicating the terrorist menace!

Bloody TRAITORS & MASS MURDERERS who still have NOT BEEN HELD ACCOUNTABLE for their treasonous activities during the fake Sun God's murderous rampage in Sri Lanka.

Throw them in PRISON .. at least NOW!

TREACHERY of this kind would NOT be tolerated in the United States! Off to GUANTANAMO BAY PRISON with them!

Sri Lanka Tamil party to continue dialogue with government despite resignation of minister

ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

May 02, Colombo: Sri Lanka's major Tamil party, Tamil national Alliance (TNA) has said the dialog between representatives of the party and the government would continue despite the resignation of a member of the government delegation who was a senior government minister.

Former Prime Minister and senior minister Rathnasiri Wickramanayaka resigned from the government delegation saying that he could not hold discussions with the TNA after the party had welcomed the report by the Experts Panel appointed by the United Nations Secretary-General on Sri Lanka.

TNA parliamentarian Suresh Premachandran has told the media that the discussion between the government and TNA would continue as decided at the previous meeting which was held at the Presidential Secretariat last week.

He has said that the government had informed the party that the talks would continue.

The government has immediately appointed the former Secretary-General of the Sri Lanka Peace Secretariat, and the former Secretary to the Ministry of Disaster Management and Human Rights, parliamentarian Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha in place of Wickramanayaka.

The sixth round of talks between the government and TNA is to be held on May 12.

In addition to Prof. Wijesinha, the government delegation will include parliamentarians Sajin de Vass Gunawardena and Ministers Prof. G.L. Peiris and Nimal Siripala de Silva.

The TNA delegation will include parliamentarians R. Sampanthan, M.A Sumanthiran, Suresh Premachandran and Presidents Counsel K. Kanag-Iswaran.

Ananda-USA said...

Now, LTTE rump targets Sri Lankan cricketers on UK tour

Signature campaign underway in UK calling for int’l war crimes probe, petition to be handed over to UNSG in New York on May 18

by Shamindra Ferdinando
May 01, 2011

The UK-based LTTE rump is planning to disrupt the Sri Lankan cricket team’s forthcoming tour of England, The Island learns.

A senior government official told ‘The Island’ that the LTTE activists had organised a series of protests, targeting the Sri Lankan team and in a bid to pressure the England Cricket Board to call off the tour. Responding to a query, the official said that it would be the responsibility of the UK authorities to ensure the safety and security of the visiting cricket team.

The official said that the organisers had launched a campaign to bring a large group of Eelam activists on May 14 morning to the Oxbridge Cricket Ground, where Tillekeratne Dilshan’s team would be playing their first match. According to him, the protesters would try to disrupt the match, unless the British took tangible action to keep them at bay.

The first Test match begins on May 26 at Sophia Gardens Cardiff. The tour includes three Tests, one T- 20 international and five ODIs.

According to a widely circulated message among the eelamists, the LTTE rump says the UK cut all bilateral relations with Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe in 2008 due to large scale human rights violations in that country. South Africa, too, had been subject to ‘sports sanctions’ not only by the British, but FIFA and IOC as well, the eelamists say, urging the British to slap sanctions on Sri Lanka.

The LTTE rump has declared that a team which represented "war criminals and a genocidal state," should not be welcomed in the UK.

UK-based Ram Sivalingham, Deputy Prime Minister of the so-called Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) called for a meet at Scarborough Civic Centre, conference Room B, on May Day, to discuss ways and means of pressuring the UNSG to appoint an independent international war crimes investigation in spite of strong protests by the GoSL. Sources said that the TGTE was planning a series of events beginning May 12 to 18 to mark the final week of eelam war IV.

The campaign would culminate with the handing over of a petition to the UNSG at his New York headquarters on May 18, demanding a war crimes probe. Sources said that the LTTE rump was planning to bring together a large group of eelam activists at the UN headquarters on May 18.

TGTE launched the signature campaign on Apr. 29 at Markham City Council Chambers.

The British High Commission couldn’t be contacted for comments as it was closed from Apr. 29 to May 2.

External Affairs Ministry sources told ‘The Island’ that tough action had to be taken by the British to prevent troublemakers from disrupting the cricket tour. The British government allowed the LTTE activists to force President Mahinda Rajapaksa to cancel his scheduled speech at Oxford last December.

Ananda-USA said...

Sri Lanka main opposition would stand by security forces and protect Sri Lanka's democracy, deputy leader says

ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

May 01, Colombo: The deputy leader of Sri Lanka's main opposition United National Party (UNP), Karu Jayasuriya has said the party would stand to protect the country's security forces.

Addressing a ceremony to mark the 18th death anniversary of late President Ranasinghe Premadasa, Jayasuriya has said the party would stand by the security forces and safeguard democracy in the country, as it was the UNP that played the main role in gaining independence to the country.

He said the best tribute to the late President would be to uphold his principles.

Jayasuriya observed that Premadasa managed to rescue the country for destruction amidst many challenges during his tenure as President.

Ananda-USA said...

Sri Lanka president attacks UN war crimes report

by Mel Gunasekera
Sun May 1,2011

COLOMBO (AFP) – Sri Lanka's president on Sunday poured scorn on the United Nations over a report it published alleging that his military forces may have been guilty of atrocities during the island's civil war.

Mahinda Rajapakse did not name the UN directly but his government had declared that May Day rallies were a protest against UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon, who commissioned the report that was released last Monday.

Tens of thousands of ruling party activists cheered Rajapakse as he said the war against the Tamil Tigers, which ended in victory for the government in 2009, had been waged with respect for human rights.

"When we try to rebuild the country, we face various external threats, people creating problems. I want to tell you that we won't bow down to them," he told the crowd.

"I won't name people, but I appeal to those reporting or writing about this country not to be lured by dollars and write incorrect things."

The UN report highlighted "credible allegations" that both the Sri Lankan army and Tamil Tiger rebels had been involved in violations that could amount to war crimes or crimes against humanity.

It said the Sri Lankan military killed most of the tens of thousands of civilian victims of the offensive when it shelled Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) territory between January and May of 2009.

"During the war, we initiated a massive humanitarian operation to rescue more than 300,000 people from the clutches of the LTTE," Rajapakse said. "We clothed them, fed them, gave them medicine, shelter, and help to resettle them.

"Is this a crime or a violation of human rights?" he asked.

Supporters chanted "Ban Ki-moon, we don't want you. We want our president," while they held up placards reading "Banki is a yankee. Go home" and "We reject the UN."

The May Day demonstrators were led by ministers from Rajapakse's United People's Freedom Alliance, and accompanied by brass bands and traditional drummers.

"Thousands of people have stepped out, sacrificing food, water and comforts, to support our president who is facing international pressure as he tries to rebuild our motherland," veteran labour activist Alavi Mowlana said.

Roads to the rally in Colombo were decorated in the party colours of blue, red and maroon, while billboards were erected showing the president and recently-completed development work.

"We want to send a clear message to the international community that no imperialist interventions are possible in Sri Lanka," said petroleum minister Susil Premajayantha, who is also the ruling party's general secretary.

More 8,000 police officers and hundreds of army personnel were deployed around the capital to maintain security on May Day, which is traditionally a day of workers' demonstrations across the world.

Sri Lanka has repeatedly denied any rights violations during the civil war and refused to allow the three-member UN panel of experts who wrote the report access to the country.

Rajapakse said that even rebels who were being trained to become Tamil Tiger suicide bombers had received rehabilitation care and then been released.

"Some are in universities," he said.

The UN report also cited evidence that Tamil Tiger separatists, who fought for decades for an ethnic Tamil homeland, had used civilians as a "human buffer" and shot people who tried to escape.

Ananda-USA said...

On Scene in Abbottabad at Bin Laden's Last Stand

By Omar Waraich / Abbottabad
Monday, May 02, 2011

Sohaib Athar was jolted upright by the low-flying buzz of helicopters passing over his home next to Abbottabad's Jalal Baba auditorium. In this sedate garrison town ringed by jagged peaks, the gentle thrum of the day is reduced to a whisper by night. "The helicopter was circling around for five to six minutes," Athar tells TIME. "It's not commonplace here." In what soon became among the world's most read tweets that day, Athar alerted his Twitter followers: "Helicopter hovering above Abbottabad at 1AM" on Sunday morning Pakistan time. For the next half hour, he live-tweeted what he was hearing, without the faintest inkling that his tweets were the first public record of Osama Bin Laden's final moments. In less than 24 hours, Athar's name was trending and his followers had swollen incredibly from some 800 to now 55,000 — and counting.

Moments after Athar first heard the helicopter, the force of a loud explosion rattled him. "I heard the blast and everything shook in my room," he says, sitting in the Coffity cafe that he and his wife run. The sound was keenly recognizable to the couple; it was the reason why they had left their native Lahore, where suicide bombs have wrought terror regularly over the past two years. "But unlike the aftermath of those blasts, there were no ambulance sirens." All he could hear was the sound of a car racing through empty, quiet streets. And then the familiar sound of a helicopter in flight returned, before it, too, faded away.

Naturally alarmed, Athar reached out to friends over Facebook, asking them what they had heard. Two of them, living as far as six kilometers away, felt the explosions. Zabiullah Khan, 20, a college student says that he saw the helicopters arrive. "There were two black gunship helicopters," Khan says with a tone of certainty. "I couldn't see them clearly in the night, but it was obvious that they weren't Pakistani. We don't have gunship helicopters." He was convinced that the helicopters were American. "I began to wonder if the Americans were invading us," he says, recalling the recent history of strained relations between the two countries. His fears were heightened when he saw what he says was a flash moments before the explosion.

The home where Bin Laden had been hiding since at least last summer is located in the Bilal Town neighborhood of Abbottabad. (Update: An American source tells TIME that he may have been at the location upwards of five or six years.) It is less than a kilometer away from Pakistan's Military Academy at Kakul — the country's equivalent of West Point Academy. "It's a respectable middle class area," says Azim Durrani, another student who heard the raid. "The people who live there are doctors and different kinds of professionals. They drive Corrolas and Hondas." The morning after the raid, the army was keen to not allow anyone else to catch a glimpse. Within moments of President Obama's speech, they had setup checkpoints athwart all nearby major roads and sealed the neighborhood itself. A Der Spiegel journalist who managed to forge his way through was arrested for one hour, his camera confiscated, and the images of the notorious compound wiped. ABC News managed to broadcast images from what appeared to be a bloody bedroom in the compound.

Ananda-USA said...

On Scene in Abbottabad at Bin Laden's Last Stand

.....continued 1....

The compound doesn't quite fit the descriptions of a mansion, as some have labeled it. The walls are 12 feet high walls and about 13 inches thick — enough to shield the tall terrorist leader from public view. The property itself is spread over an area slightly smaller than an acre. The house is a great deal smaller, rising over two-storeys. In other ways, it was unremarkable but sometimes noticed. Muhammad Riaz, 34, a construction worker who lives in the neighborhood says that he had viewed it with some suspicion. Unlike other homes in the Thanda Chuha area of Bilal Town, he was unfamiliar with its occupants. "I know that it was owned by a Pashtun man, who had come from elsewhere, called Akbar," Riaz says. "It's just five minutes away from my house." Like others, he denies ever glimpsing Bin Laden.

For Riaz, the mystery of the explosion swiftly faded. "We rushed out of the house immediately," he says, echoing the words of several residents across Abbottabad who hastened out on to the streets out of panic. "When we came outside, I saw the helicopter on fire, there was smoke rising out of it." The images were also broadcast that night on Pakistani television. The helicopter, Riaz says, had fallen out of the sky and plunged on to the compound, damaging at least a boundary wall. U.S. officials have said that the helicopter suffered a mechanical failure. None of the Americans involved in the raid were hurt, President Obama said in his speech. Part of the reason for the rigidly enforced perimeter was that Pakistani authorities were attempting to remove the wreckage from the scene, behind hastily erected tarpaulins. (Update: A U.S. source tells TIME that the helicopter crashed not because of mechanical failure but because the compound's walls were too thick and high that, when the aircraft hovered above them, its rotors could not generate enough aerodynamic lift to keep the chopper aloft.)

When Athar and his friends realized who the target of the half-hour raid was, they were shocked. "I don't know what to say," says a visibly incredulous Durrani. "What does one say in these situations?" For years, he had heard of Bin Laden's name. He had heard that he might even be in Pakistan. "We never thought he would be here, though." The raid itself seems so surreal as to merit a fantasy comparison. "It reminds me of the game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare that I play on my Xbox."

Ananda-USA said...

On Scene in Abbottabad at Bin Laden's Last Stand

.....continued 2....

Similar feelings of bewilderment were much in evidence throughout the rest of the town, as residents tried to return to their ordinary lives, but often wearing expressions of head-scratching bemusement. Other residents demand proof. "We heard rumors before, then he shows up in a video," says Durrani. While a series of opinion polls in previous years have registered frightening levels of support for Bin Laden, the reaction to the current news has not reflected this. There used to be great shows of support for the man some perceived as a champion of their anti-American hostility. In Abbottabad, feelings about Bin Laden's death almost don't register. "We aren't happy and we're not sad," says Mohammed Ishtiaq, a junior government officer, echoing many.

In some ways, Abbottabad was the ideal hiding place for bin Laden. Squeezed between the Pashtun-dominated frontier, where militancy has thrived in recent years, and the bustling heartlands of the Punjab, the Hazara region is an oasis of relatively prosperous calm. From the capital Islamabad, the journey is a slow three-hour drive, snaking up and around sometimes dizzying bends. Along the way, visitors pass sensitive military installations, but also plush fields that reveal a view of rising mountains. Named after Major James Abbott, a 19th century colonial officer, the town is an exhibition of colonial and martial traditions. Burn Hall, a near replica of a British boarding school, is sprawled over several acres on the west of the town.

It was the orderly calm and surrounding beauty that lured Athar and his wife here. Bin Laden's presence and death may give him reason to revisit that view. "It's ironic," he says. "I left Lahore because of the bombs, then I come to Abbottabad and find out that Bin Laden lived here." Like many Pakistanis, he is now confronted by two pressing questions. Why weren't the country's much-vaunted intelligence agencies able to track the arch-terrorist down? And if they did already know where he was, why did they choose to hide it?