Diaspora violence, Indian polls last hope for sinking Tigers
The 24 hour humanitarian pause offered by President Mahinda Rajapaksa
for the LTTE to allow the civilians taken hostage by them to enter
cleared areas ended on Tuesday midnight without any sign that the LTTE
is heeding to any pressure by the international community to get these
innocent Tamil civilians out of the Tiger grip.
Not only had they kept those innocent civilians under their detention
but also continue to harass them and shoot at them at each and every
attempt they made to flee from the Tiger grip. Though thousands were
ready to flee the Tiger grip on Monday they were stopped by the Tiger
cadres at their guard points facing the Nanthikadal lagoon.
The Security Forces made tireless attempts using loudspeakers to
convey the message to the civilians to use this chance to flee from the
Tiger grip but it became futile as Tiger guns pointed at the heads of
Although Security Forces held up their military operations the LTTE
continued to use their tanks, 12.7 mm heavy weapons, 30 mm canon and
their snipers to target the Security Forces manning the Forward defences
closer to the No Fire Zone.
A view of the No Fire Zone from the Security Forces defences in
Ampalavanpokkanai. Picture by Rukmal Gamage
Some of the soldiers sustained injuries due to Tiger fire but did not
fire a single shot in the firing direction.
So, the LTTE for the second time breached the confidence, the
international community placed in them, by not allowing the civilians to
escape from the conflict zone.
On the first occasion in January this year when the Government
offered a 48 hours humanitarian pause, the LTTE not only stopped the
civilians fleeing the Tiger held area but also responded to it by
launching a massive counter attack on the Security Forces operating in
the South of Puthukudiyiruppu, which was later foiled by the Security
Though Government was aware that the LTTE is not willing to allow
these civilians to flee from the Tiger grip, it offered this 48 hours
humanitarian pause as gesture of goodwill towards the civilians trapped
inside the No Fire Zone in view of the Sinhala and Tamil New Year
However, it was yet another example proving that the LTTE, even at
the last moment is not willing to give up their terror tactics and
continue to keep these innocent civilians as hostages as long as Tiger
leader Velupillai Prabhakaran remain inside the No Fire Zone.
The Tiger leader does not believe in any other weapon to protect but
the human shield as the most guaranteed weapon against the Security
Forces. Therefore, it is inevitable that Tiger leader Velupillai
Prabhakaran would use this human shield effectively to protect his life
and also to achieve all his sinister aims.
Therefore, it is inevitable for the Security Forces to go ahead with
their military plans to rescue the civilians trapped inside the No Fire
For this, three offensive Divisions, 53 Division under the command of
Major General Kamal Gunaratne, 58 Division under the command of
Brigadier Shavendra Silva and 55 Division under the command of Brigadier
Prasanna Silva are preparing to achieve this task which has become the
most challenging task before the Sri Lanka Army in the two and half
decades long history of the North and East conflict.
After the 48 hours pause in firing lapsed the Security Forces once
again began their operations to detect and destroy the Tiger positions
from which the LTTE is firing at the Security Forces.
The Commanding Officers of each Division ready to enter into this
final battle to rescue the civilians were busy convincing the Brigade
Commanders and the Battalion Commanders about the seriousness of the
task they are to achieve.
The 58 Division under the command of Brigadier Shavendra Silva has
already completed its mission of capturing the land stretch between
Puthukudiyiruppu and the No Fire Zone as of April 9, with the 10 Sri
Lanka Light Infantry battalion under command of its second in command
Major Shantha Bandara capturing the last terrain that leads to the
Ampalavanpokkanai area in the No Fire Zone after crossing the
The troops attached to the 10 SLLI completed their mission amid bad
weather conditions and crossing the mud filled Nanthikadal lagoon.
Company Commanders Captain Kumarasiri Liyanage, Captain Kumar
Abeynanda and Captain Lasantha Illeperuma commanded their troops to
achieve this task in a surprise move and establish their defences closer
to the edges of the No Fire Zone with the capture of the Tiger earth
This correspondent who visited the last point manned by the Security
Forces before the No Fire Zone in Ampalavanpokkanai, observed that each
and every soldier operating at the edge of the No Fire Zone have
properly understood their responsibility they are going to shoulder very
They can now monitor the movements of the civilians trapped inside
the No Fire Zone and the way the LTTE is getting up its defences.
A high degree of discipline and patience is maintained by these
troops manning the defenses whilst operating just 100 to 200 meters away
from the edge of the No Fire Zone. Despite, observing Tiger movements
they have to keep their weapons still as reacting to those observations
might ended up in chaos inside the No Fire Zone causing a massive number
of civilian deaths.
Meanwhile, the 53 Division troops under the command of Major General
Kamal Gunaratne too are making their way through the terrain between
Puthukudiyiruppu and the No Fire Zone to reach the edge of the No Fire
Zone across the Nanthikadal lagoon.
Whilst the Security Forces are making this disciplined and patient
march to rescue an estimated 50,000 to 100,000 civilians trapped inside,
the LTTE is trying its best to exert huge pressure on the Sri Lankan
Government to stop its military thrust into the No Fire Zone.
Tiger leader Velupillai Prabhakaran still believes that there would
be a miracle to save his life even at the last moment before he breathes
his last. It is obvious that they will make every effort to drag this
situation until the Indian General Elections which began yesterday, is
over as the LTTE issue would be one of the key factors that will surface
if major political parties failed to obtain a majority of seats to form
a stable Government.
Tamil Nadu based political parties backing the LTTE can influence
Indian politics to interfere into the Sri Lankan situation directly, if
they are to support any major political party to form a coalition
Therefore, it is incumbent on the Security Forces to rescue the
civilians before this becomes a crucial issue in Indian politics after
the General elections and without allowing the LTTE to play with the
lives of the innocent Tamil civilians.
However, there is huge resistance from the Indian public towards any
Indian involvement to safeguard the LTTE at a time the organization is
breathing its' last. They wish to see Prabhakaran and Pottu Amman killed
if they want to see an end to LTTE terrorism.
Many are of the opinion that if Tiger leader Velupillai Prabhakaran
survives that would be the beginning of international terrorism by the
LTTE as it has already created a base for this through its international
LTTE supporters across the globe are now preparing to inject oxygen
to the dying LTTE by engaging in massive demonstrations urging
respective Governments to exert pressure on the Sri Lankan Government to
stop the military thrust on the last pocket held by the LTTE along with
Massive demonstrations were held in London, Toronto and Oslo where
LTTE terror networks are active. It was on April 12, the LTTE terror
network operating Oslo attacked the Sri Lanka Mission there and caused
extensive damages to the Embassy building and its property.
An LTTE terror gang of more than 20 stormed the Sri Lankan Embassy
building and damaged the floor, computers and other equipment inside the
Embassy. The Government blamed the Norwegian Government for not
providing enough security for the Sri Lankan Mission in Oslo.
Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama, expressed Sri Lankan
Government's concern about the damages caused to the Sri Lankan Embassy
property and the displeasure at the Norwegian Government's failure to
provide enough security for the mission building according to the
international conventions on diplomatic missions.
On one hand the sovereignty of the Sri Lanka has been challenged by
this act as it had not been provided with enough security according to
international law. The Foreign Ministry also has observed that there is
delay in conducting investigations into the matter even after Sri Lanka
Mission providing all required video clipping of the incident to the
officials conducting investigations.
According diplomatic sources the pre-meditated attack on the Sri
Lanka Embassy in Oslo has been launched by the LTTE operatives either
from Norway or from the neighbouring countries who have gathered there
in Oslo for week long demonstrations to exert pressure on the Norwegian
Government to exert pressure to halt military operations to rescue
Apart from this the Sri Lankan Government has also reportedly
expressed its concern about the facilitation of a telephone conversation
between newly appointed LTTE political Chief Kumaran Pathmanathan and
the UN officials.
Therefore, the Government officially conveyed to the Norwegian
Government that Norway can no longer play the role of facilitator under
these circumstances ending a nearly decade-long facilitator role in Sri
Lanka to solve the North East crisis.
With this the LTTE has lost its last chance of legitimately involving
the Norwegian Government in its affairs and open doors of the
international forums through their facilitation and to bring pressure on
the Sri Lankan Government.
Due to this situation the international terror network of the LTTE is
busy creating international pressure on the Sri Lankan government by
engaging in violent campaigns and disrupting the law and order in
countries to get them involved in the Sri Lankan issue.
Many countries who are not aware of the ground reality in Sri Lanka
may succumb to the pressures exerted on them by the LTTE terror network
through their violent campaigns, but these countries should understand
the real situation in Sri Lanka after having talked to more than 65,000
civilians who had escaped from the Tiger grip and sought refuge in
Security Forces controlled areas.
Therefore, the international community should make a genuine effort
to get the correct version of the situation without being misled by the
false information campaign by the LTTE propagandists across the globe at
a time the Sri Lankan Security Forces are trying to fulfill the task of
eliminating one of the ruthless terror outfits in the world from the Sri
President's surprise visit to Kilinochchi
With the dawn of the Sinhala and Tamil New Year the Northern town of
Kilinochchi was in for a surprise. The soldiers engaged in humanitarian
operations there were amazed at the visit of their Commander-in-Chief
and Head of State President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday morning.
Kilinochchi was liberated from the control of the LTTE by the 57 and
58 Divisions on January 2, 2009. Army Commander Lt. General Sarath
Fonseka who gave leadership to this battle was also with the President
for the first time in Kilinochchi to witness the situation.
President's Secretary Lalith Weeratunga, Defence Secretary Gotabhaya
Rajapaksa, Navy Commander Vice Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda, Air Force
Commander Air Marshal Roshan Gunatilleke and IGP Jayantha Wickremeratne
also accompanied the President during this historic visit.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa who steered this military campaign along
with the Security Forces chiefs made this sudden visit to Kilinochchi
town yesterday morning at an unexpected moment at a time our valiant
troops were celebrating the Sinhala and Tamil New Year far away from
their residences and loved ones.
He was briefed by General Officer Commanding the 57 Division Major
General Jagath Dias and 58 Division GOC Brigadier Shavendra Silva about
their victories from Kalmadu to Visuamadu and from Mannar to
Puthukudiyiruppu, at the briefing held at the Kilinochchi hospital.
The President was very keen to hear from the field commanders about
the situation in No Fire Zone and about the plans mooted by them to
rescue the civilians trapped there in the No Fire Zone.
President Rajapaksa gave away gift parcels to each and every soldier
present there at the Kilinochchi hospital premises and talked freely to
the soldiers while having tea and carefully inspected the weapons
recovered by the 57 and 58 Divisions.
He freely walked on the streets in Kilinochchi and closely inspected
the water tank which had been destroyed by the LTTE and made a surprise
visit to 58 Division headquarters located in the Kilinochchi town and
inspected the Operations Room and had view of the UAV visuals of the No
Fire Zone. All the LTTE buildings including the LTTE political
headquarters and the Peace Secretariat building came under his
inspection and he visited the barracks of the soldiers and officers to
observe the facilities provided to them.