September 4, 2009
New Delhi, 19 May 2009 -. Ceilanés The Army today released the first images of the corpse of the leader of the Tamil Tigers (LTTE), Vellupillai Prabhakaran, hours after the President of Sri Lanka officially announced the end of 26 years of war.
"The body of V. Prabhakaran, psychopath in the most barbaric terrorist organization the world leader, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) has been found recently," the Defense Ministry said in a statement.
The video released by Defence showed a group of soldiers around the body of the guerrilla leader, rebel uniform provisions on a stretcher and attacked by flies, with a swollen face and apparent gunshot wounds to the head.
The discovery was made by the Army in the vicinity of Lake Nanthikadal where troops Monday rejected a final attempt by the guerrillas to escape suffering siege, which caused, according to official reports, 352 deaths in the rebel ranks.
"The victory we have achieved by defeating the LTTE is the victory of our country, our homeland. Protect Tamil people is my responsibility and my duty, "Rajapaksa said in his appearance before Parliament, received by continuous applause.
Rajapaksa called for help from the international community to rebuild the country's north, ravaged by war, but refused to "import" a policy to provide autonomy to the Tamil minority solution, the main victims of the conflict.
"We have no time to experiment with the solutions suggested by other countries," Rajapaksa said after providing for national reconciliation and advocate for the integration of all.
The fighting guerrillas and the army in recent months have killed at least 6,500 civilians, according to UN figures, 265,000 while others are confined in camps set up by the Government unable to leave them.
"Our goal was to protect the Tamils from the clutches of the LTTE. To protect the innocent Tamil civilians our soldiers sacrificed their lives to defeat terrorism "," Rajapaksa, who declared a holiday tomorrow in commemoration of the said ".
During his speech, Rajapaksa was silent on Prabhakaran, fueling speculation for a few hours of his death, further reinforced because a senior guerrilla in exile denied the death of their leader.
"The Government of Sri Lanka makes unverified claims. I can only say that our national leader is alive and safe, "he said in an interview for Tamilnet-related website to the guerrillas, the head of international relations of the LTTE, S. Pathmanathan.
Various official sources confirmed on Monday the death of Prabhakaran, who allegedly tried to flee the area aboard an armored vehicle and an ambulance with his number two, Pottu Amman, and the head of the naval division, Soosai.
The guerrilla was surrounded for weeks by the Army in a small strip in the northeast where tens of thousands of civilians, victims of bombings of rebel troops and repression should also try to escape overcrowded.
After the final match on Monday, the Army published a list of 18 names of dead guerrilla leaders in which Prabhakaran was not found, although his closest aides and his eldest son, Charles Anthony, chief technology area.
Today, Pathmanathan troops accused of committing a "crime against humanity" by "killing" the political leader of the LTTE, B. Nadesan, and the head of the Peace Secretariat (LTTEPS), S. Puleedevan who tried negotiate with the unarmed troops and white flags.
"What happened on Monday was a well-planned slaughter of several unarmed LTTE with the aim of annihilating its political structure civil officers," the Tamilnet portal, which pointed to a "high figure of Defense" is responsible.
The LTTE launched an armed uprising against Sri Lanka in 1983 for an independent state in the north and east of the island controlled by the Sinhalese majority, and since then has killed more than 80,000 victims of violence.
The international community and focuses on the fate of civilians confined in the fields of government, pending a visit Friday to the island of Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
September 4, 2009
New Delhi, May 18, 2009 -. Sri Lanka Army today gave terminating the nearly 26 years of war in the country after finishing with the dome and the last fighters "tigers" Tamils in an offensive several months during that has killed thousands of civilians.
"All leaders of the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) have died," he told Efe by telephone Government CIO, Anusha throbs.
Soon after, the chief Ceylonese Staff, Sarath Fonseka said in a statement released by the Ministry of Defense that troops have "defeated militarily" the LTTE and "freed the nation from three decades of terror."
The guerrilla was surrounded for weeks in a small coastal strip in northeastern Sri Lanka, which also tens of thousands of civilians who have been victims of harsh military bombing and shooting rebels if they tried to escape overcrowded.
This weekend, the Army managed to isolate the guerrillas last less than one square kilometer, until this morning LTTE carried out a desperate operation to achieve the flight of the top management.
"Trying to escape was his only chance. Now everyone is dead and there is no survivor in the area, "he told Efe the military spokesman Udaya Nanayakkara, who announced that the military and control" throughout the country ".
During this last battle, the troops took the lives of about 250 fighters, according to the spokesman, who was assumed that among the dead include both the supreme guerrilla leader, Vellupillai Prabhakaran, as his number two, Pottu Amman.
The guerrilla leader, 54, tried to leave the combat zone with Amman and the head of the guerrilla navy Soosai in a convoy of an ambulance and a van were shot by the army.
The news of his death came hours after the Army announced the firstborn of Prabhakaran, Charles Anthony, and six other known leaders of this longevity and bloody guerrilla group fighting for Tamil independence on the island.
Among them were the maximum charge of political affairs, B. Nadesan; the head of the Peace Secretariat (LTTEPS), S. Puleedevan, and the director of the rebellious police, Ilango.
"This is the first time that a terrorist group has been completely annihilated by a democratic government," he told Efe by telephone ceilanés Foreign Secretary Palitha Kohona, who dismissed credible allegations of civilian deaths.
In a statement posted on a related website Tamilnet-to-LTTE, the guerrillas denounced the Army has undertaken a "resolute slaughter" against the last Tamil stronghold, where they were just "1,000 wounded guerrillas, officials and civilians."
"Colombo has decided not to allow any opportunity for the LTTE to negotiate and destroy its leadership" kept the guerrillas, with connections outside the country.
This Sunday, the LTTE and declared that the battle had reached its "bitter end" and announced a unilateral cessation of fighting to prevent more blood shedding among civilians.
It was the Government's response to the announcement about the "rescue" of the 50,000 civilians who continued guerrilla areas in the past and who were transferred to camps set up by the authorities to accommodate the displaced.
"We believe that the Army has taken between 50,000 and 80,000 civilians in recent days and are moving into camps. Has won the war, but an obvious question arises: what now, "he told Efe the UN spokesman in the country, Gordon Weiss.
Violent fighting has since the beginning of the year caused the death of over 6,500 civilians, according to UN estimates, in the absence of added data in recent weeks, and the guerrillas surrounded by thousands of people used to protect themselves.
And in the camps by Kohona, There are 250,000 people waiting for the Government to rehabilitate their areas of origin, but aid agencies reported that Tamils are not allowed to leave them.
The death of the guerrilla leaders who were struggling to get the Tamil independence marks the end of a stage in this ancient Asian conflict Asia and was greeted with celebrations in Colombo today by the Sinhalese majority.
September 4, 2009
New Delhi, May 18, 2009 -. Vellupillai The elusive leader Prabhakaran, died today at the hands of Sri Lanka Army after 26 years of struggle, has been the face of the Tamil Tigers, a bloody body came to have a own aviation and patented suicide attacks as a weapon.
The inflexible founder of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and other guerrilla leaders "are all dead," Efe said a military spokesman, who said that lack only officially confirm the identification of the body.
Hero to his followers and to the Sri Lankan government terrorist, Prabhakaran led with an iron hand a well-trained and disciplined guerrilla buzzed for decades the Army, said today that have killed what was left of the LTTE, a few hundred men who resisted cornered in less than one square kilometer.
Gone is the time when Prabhakaran came to control two thirds of the costs and one-third of the total territory of Sri Lanka.
For two and a half decades of struggle, the "tiger" Prabhakaran has not hesitated to remove by any means any hint of dissent among the Tamil community, and to the end his men fired on the people who wanted to flee the fighting.
Born in November 1954 in the Jaffna peninsula (north) as the youngest of four siblings, his life can be summarized in a bloodthirsty race for the independence of the island's Tamils after decades of discrimination by the majority Sinhalese.
Although during his command has granted very few interviews, it is said that Prabhakaran was a shy student, angered by the abuse suffered by the Tamils, was aimed at martial arts and began his activism in independence movements.
In 1975, he was accused of murdering six yard box to the then mayor of Jaffna, Alfred Duraiappah, shortly after founding an organization called the Tamil New Tigers (TNT), the seeds of what would become the LTTE.
Now renamed, LTTE guerrillas launched a campaign of low-level violence that had a significant popular support and in 1983 led to an open war against the Government of Sri Lanka has caused more than 70,000 deaths (nearly 6,500 of them this year , according to UN estimates).
Prabhakaran built a totalitarian organization prepared to carry out terrorist attacks bold and dramatic effects, but also to manage a state of fact, hospitals, police and even its own customs service.
Undisputed leader of the LTTE, Prabhakaran was adamant against dissent in the armed movement, which has led from their bunkers and tunnels networks in jungle areas conquered by the Army now.
"Prabhakaran is not the kind of man who lives on the surface. I'm sure you are living underground, "he told reporters a few days ago Brigadier Shavendra Desilva, who gave for granted that the" tiger "would fight" until the last moment. "
Each year, the head of the LTTE gave a speech to mark the Day of Heroes of Tamil Eelam.
"There are three fundamentals: the Tamil homeland, Tamil nationality and the right to self-determination of the Tamils. Those are the fundamental demands of the Tamils, "he said at a packed press conference and outstanding in 2002, when the LTTE reached a ceasefire with the government.
Subject of constant rumors and speculation, said the historic guerrilla leader, who suffered from diabetes, survived several assassination attempts and capture, and he wore around his neck a cyanide capsule to avoid being atrapasen alive.
Prabhakaran was Mathivathani Erambu married and has three children, two boys and a girl.
According to the Ceylon Army, his wife, his daughter and his youngest son out of the country, but the biggest of 23 years and followed his father in the front, also died today shortly before his father.
Prabhakaran was wanted by Interpol for terrorism, murder, organized crime and terrorism conspiracy.
September 4, 2009
New Delhi, 11 May 2009 -. Recent fighting in the stronghold of the Tamil guerrillas in northeastern Sri Lanka have caused this weekend a "bath of blood", as the UN reported today, which amounted to 380 civilians killed , hundreds of them children.
"We give good data for government doctors present in the area, which reported the death of 380 people. More than 100 children are among the dead, "he told Efe by telephone UN spokesman in Sri Lanka, Gordon Weiss.
Weiss said that the UN "no attribute" responsibility for the massacre, the government and the guerrillas who accuse each other, but remembered the organization and "had warned that there would be a bloodbath" because civilians are among the fighting.
Sri Lanka Army launched a few weeks ago its final offensive against the last stronghold of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), a coastal strip north in which are crammed between 50,000 and 100,000 civilians, according to UN although the government says are between 15,000 and 20,000.
An aid worker in Sri Lanka told Efe that is "impossible" to know what is happening in the combat zone because no observers in it, but remembered that the only side "with military capability to bomb from the air is the Government ".
On 27 April, the Ceylonese Government ordered the Army to limit its operations, and end the use of heavy weapons and aerial bombardment, even though it had previously repeatedly denied the use of such weapons.
Despite the order, and fighting continued this weekend escalated in the areas of Mullivaaykaal and Vadduvaakal, the last under the control of the guerrillas, encircled by troops in an area of about four square kilometers.
The head of the Organisation for Tamils Rehabilitation (TRO)-also linked to the guerrilla-Lawrence Christy, said Tuesday that more than 3,200 civilians have been killed since Sunday afternoon and called for international intervention to stop the "genocide ".
A related goal guerrillas, Tamilnet published photographs allegedly taken this weekend with victims of bombing and burning buildings.
The allegations have been denied the guerrillas by the Ceylonese Defence Ministry, said today that it is the LTTE itself that is attacking the Tamil population in the area under their control to promote international intervention.
"They are bombing their own civilians with heavy weapons to blame the forces of Sri Lanka. In their calculation, they believe that this will lead other countries to throw a lifeline to redeem their souls, "said Defense said in a statement.
The "Tigers" Tamils "are powerless to resist the forces of Sri Lanka. Need their international friends and will resort to anything to attract them. So again civilians are the target, "he added.
In recent weeks there has been growing concern about the state of the trapped civilians, who, according to Efe said spokeswoman Red Cross in Sri Lanka, Sarasi Wijeratne, face an acute doctor shortage of water, medicine or personal being seen .
"Since last February the area have carried 2,350 tons of food. That amount is insufficient to meet even the basic needs of the trapped population, "said the source.
According to the spokesperson, the Red Cross has taken in the area from February to 13,769 civilians injured or sick in 31 evacuation naval operations, which have sometimes been hampered by constant fighting.
The Government of Sri Lanka has so far rejected all international demands to halt its offensive against the Tamil Tigers, fighting for more than 25 years for an independent state in the east and north of the island.
Both the LTTE and the government maintain an active propaganda to gain support in the conflict, but most of the claims have no independent verification that the access to the front lines is prohibited.
The organization Human Rights Watch has asked the Security Council to determine whether an investigation is taking place "war crimes" in Sri Lanka, the end on the UN spokesman declined to comment.
September 4, 2009
New Delhi, April 27, 2009 -. The Government of Sri Lanka said today that his troops will cease to bomb or use heavy weapons against the last Tamil rebel stronghold, after a week of international pressure for the death of 2,000 civilians in their crackdown guerrillas.
"The Government of Sri Lanka has decided that combat operations have reached their conclusion," said Executive ceilanés in a statement.
"Our security forces have been instructed to end the use of heavy caliber guns, combat aircraft and aerial weapons which could cause civilian casualties," said the executive, who first admitted the employee has on offense.
Sri Lanka Army launched a final attack against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in a coastal strip of the northern district of Mullaitivu, the last outbreak of guerrilla resistance after more than 25 years of war a week ago.
In this small area, approximately 17 square kilometers and previously declared "safe area" by the Government, had gathered up to 190,000 civilians (UN estimates), many fled to other combat zones.
The Ceylonese Army ensures that 110,000 civilians have been "rescued" from that territory in the last week and left between 15,000 and 20,000 with a few hundred members of the LTTE, now surrounded by about six square kilometers.
According to the press today, troops henceforth limit its activities to rescue those civilians "held hostage" by the "Tigers" Tamils, though a military spokesman said Efe by telephone that this will not pose an obstacle to their operations the area.
"The LTTE is confined to a small area. What the government means is that the fighting will be limited to the rescue of those people, "said spokesman Udaya Nanayakkara, referring to the Tamil population.
In the same line, a defense source denied that the government announcement means a ceasefire by international pressure, and clarified that it is part of a policy of "zero civilian casualties" when combat missions "are reaching their end."
The UN estimates that 50,000 people remain inside the coastline, although the LTTE puts the figure at 165,000 and warns that they are "imminent" death from starvation because the government blocking food supplies earlier this month.
A representative of the "Tigers", S. Puleedevan, today accused the Ceylonese government of trying to "trick" the international community, as the bombing continued in the area after the government announcement, reported the website related to the guerrillas, Tamilnet .
Guerrillas also Ceylonese troops accused of causing further deaths of civilians in an attack this morning by Nanayakkara qualified as "rescue operations" - and then said that there were two bombings against civilian targets after the announcement that they would cease.
Harassed by the Army, the LTTE declared yesterday, Sunday, a "unilateral ceasefire" with immediate effect citing poor humanitarian situation in the area, but the government considered it a mere attempt to buy time guerrillas and regroup.
The "ceasefire" guerrilla and the government's announcement coincided with the presence on the island of Undersecretary General for Humanitarian Affairs, John Holmes, who yesterday urged both sides humanitarian "pause".
Holmes, who is scheduled to leave tonight, met with the Ceylonese Minister of Foreign Affairs Rohitha Bogollagama and visited Vavuniya (north) to verify the conditions of the Tamil civilians detained by the government in camps, where lack of everything to meet their basic needs.
Also is scheduled to meet this afternoon with President Mahinda Rajapaksa, told Efe a spokesman for Foreign contacted by phone.
Rajapaksa was allowed today to send a message to the international community taking advantage of the massive victory this weekend scored his party in regional elections.
"The Western Province has sent a decisive message to the international community. Has stated categorically that no power has the right or moral justification to bail the brutal terrorism when the last lines of the final chapter is written, "Rajapaksa said.
September 4, 2009
New Delhi, April 26, 2009 -. The Government of Sri Lanka took not even half an hour today in rejecting a ceasefire announcement by the Tamil Tigers, which is produced in full visit by a UN envoy and hours after the Ceylonese Army guerrillas snatched his penultimate bastion.
"The LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) is in no position to ask or demand anything. Intend to declare a ceasefire when they have long bowed the knee, "he told Efe by telephone from Colombo's Ceylonese Foreign Secretary Palitha Kohona.
The guerrillas had announced in a statement minutes before a unilateral cease-fire and an end to their offensive in northeastern Sri Lanka, where he is surrounded by the army in a small coastal strip along with tens of thousands of civilian operations.
"In view of the unprecedented humanitarian crisis and in response to calls made by the UN, the European Union, the Governments of the United States, India and others, the LTTE announced a unilateral cease-fire. All offensive operations will cease with immediate effect, "said the guerrilla in the note.
On Saturday, the LTTE had reported a situation of "starvation" to "165,000" people in the areas under their control, but the UN estimates that there are actually about 50,000 and are Ceylonese government estimates that between 15,000 and 20,000.
And today, the guerrillas warned that "starvation deaths" are imminent, accusing the government of deliberately blocking food supplies and medicines and continually attacking civilians trapped in rebel territory.
Complaints, however, that were described by Kohona as a "cynical effort" aimed at UN Undersecretary for Humanitarian Affairs, John Holmes, who came to the island last night to check the situation of civilians affected by the conflict.
Holmes today called for "urgent" the LTTE to abandon weapons and enable the output of civilians, and urged the Government to limit the use of heavy weapons in its offensive against the guerrillas.
"We need a new humanitarian pause to get help and aid workers in the combat zone," said the officer released by the Ada Derana television channel declarations.
The army launched an offensive on Monday that resulted in bloody step to government areas about 110,000 civilians housed in camps by the Government for these purposes in the north of the country under very precarious conditions.
"They have been arrested and are in concentration camps where they are subjected to torture in violation of all international conventions. Do not let that population back home. Some are used as human shields, "the LTTE.
Holmes, who defended today a "pause" in the conflict and access to areas of humanitarian personnel, plans to travel to Vavuniya (north) to check "in situ" the situation of civilians, the spokesman told Efe UN in the country, Gordon Weiss.
In recent days they have grown diplomatic pressure and international concern for the fate of people caught in the fighting, but the Ceylonese Government seems determined to end militarily with the LTTE, which is fighting for more than 25 years to get a independent state for minority Tamils.
A few hours before the announcement of the guerrillas, the military said in fact making the penultimate town in rebel hands, Valayarmadam and capture 23 suspected guerrillas, the "rescue" of about 700 civilians and killed 12 rebels in a naval battle.
"They have about 500 guerrillas, who also dressed as civilians to not distinguish. Just get them 6 square kilometers, "said Efe by telephone military spokesman Udaya Nanayakkara.
Convinced of his victory, the Government also today rejected a request from the United States, European Union, Japan and Norway-called "Tokyo Quartet" - offering an amnesty to the guerrillas, who asked to surrender a third party.
"There will be no amnesty for LTTE. They will have to surrender or face removal by the Sri Lankan forces, "he said as quoted by various means, the Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa.
In a very different side, the combat strategy is seen by analysts as one of the keys of the crushing victory won today the United Alliance ruling by the People's Freedom (UPFA) in the regional elections of the West, including the capital, Colombo.
March 6, 2009
New Delhi, February 4, 2009 -. The UN today reported the death of 52 civilians in heavy fighting that occur in northern Sri Lanka, a country that celebrates its independence today embarked on a violent military offensive against Tamil rebels weakened.
"At least 52 civilians have died in last night at the registered sector Suranthapuram attacks. We are awaiting more details, "he told Efe by telephone UN spokesman in Sri Lanka, Gordon Weiss.
Weiss also denounced an attack using cluster bombs against Puthukudiyirippu hospital, which has been bombed since last Sunday and is close to several areas of combat between the army and the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam).
Currently it is unknown whether there have been casualties in this last attack, while in registered until last Monday, according to the Red Cross, at least twelve civilians were killed and 30 others were injured and the bombs have damaged kitchens, church, women's and children's ward and operating room.
"We believe that civilians have started to leave the center in search of a safe place. We are waiting to know if there are more deaths in this latest attack, "he told Efe by telephone spokeswoman for the Red Cross, Sarasi Wijeratne.
While all eyes point to the military as responsible, a military spokesman denied Efe that the attacks on the hospital have been the work of the Ceylonese aviation, in line with the official government version, it says not to act against civilian targets.
"We have never used or have cluster bombs. We know that violates international standards Efe said Udaya Nanayakkara spokesman. Regarding Suranthapuram, no fighting against the guerrillas. In any case, the dead guerrillas would be dressed as civilians. "
This Sunday expired within 48 hours fixed by the Government for the civilians who remain in LTTE areas entering a security zone as the "only way" to be safe during fights facing the Army with the guerrillas.
Since late 2007, the Army has embarked on a powerful offense that has allowed him to snatch your main guerrilla strongholds and the bulk of its territory, to surround a forest area of about 200 square kilometers in the northeast.
Of that achievement the Ceylonese President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who attended the military parade held today in Colombo to mark the anniversary of the independence of the country, obtained in 1948 from the hands of the British Empire welcomed.
"I am confident that in a few days to decisively defeat the terrorist force that many said was invincible," Rajapaksa said in his address to those attending the parade, including the main military leaders.
"We have managed to almost completely defeat the forces of terror cowards afraid that kept our nation. (...) Our heroic Armed Forces have given us the opportunity to celebrate the anniversary of independence free from the shadow of terrorism," he added.
Executive, however, is facing growing international pressure to spare the civilian population trapped in the war zone, Sri Lanka estimated at 120,000 compared to 250,000 calculated by international organizations.
Since the start in 1983 of open war against the Tamil guerrilla State have died on the island nearly 100,000 Indian victims of ethnic conflict, and hundreds of thousands displaced.
Given the precarious situation of the Tamil Tigers, the U.S., the EU, Japan and Norway Union yesterday urged the rebels to lay down their arms and negotiate with the government to civil war, to avoid further bloodshed.
The LTTE remains under control of the small towns and Puthukudiyirippu Visuamadu, in January after losing the strategic Elephant Pass, the town of Kilinochchi, the capital of factors, and the town of Mullaitivu, which was his last major bastion.
"Tigers" Tamil struggle proclaim an independent state in the north and east of the island, where ethnicity is more prevalent compared to the Sinhalese, the majority in the country.
February 13, 2009
The historical poem "Mahavamsa", an account of eight centuries the kings of Sri Lanka, collect legendary fighting the Sinhalese King Dutugamunu argued against a usurping Tamil king Elara, who had seized the north after invading the island from India with his troops. In the heat of battle, Dutugamunu stood before his enemy and the two fought on the backs of elephants, Sinhalese until mortally wounded with a dart at Elara, older and less agile.
"The tank water was dyed red with the blood of the dead," cries the poem about the battle. That story has been over 2,100 years, but Dutugamunu is today one of the most beloved by nationalist elements of the Sinhalese majority, which dominates the state on the island of the Indian characters. In Sri Lanka still running blood. And it's no secret that its president, Mahinda Rajapaksa, dreams of emulating the legendary Dutugamunu, in view of the military offensive that has kneeled in the north to the Tamil guerrillas.
"If there were civilians there, would soon destroy even a day," replies the other end of the line military spokesman in Sri Lanka, Udaya Nanayakkara. In the last year and a half, the troops have conquered more territory Sevilla-about 14,800 square kilometers, and have cornered the Tamil Tigers (LTTE) in a jungle in the northeast corner of Sri Lanka.
But their successful offensive, supported overwhelmingly superior firepower and 15 times larger than the guerrilla-Army now faces barrier humanitarian aid organizations and various powers remind the Government: UN says that in the last guerrilla strongholds there are about 250,000 trapped and helpless before the bombing of civilian government aircraft, the continued fighting and alleged pressure-and fire-guerrilla to not flee from the last areas under their control.
"We can not give us a deadline, because we need to minimize the harm to civilians," said Nanayakkara. That is also the official version of the Ceylon Government, but so far the civilian factor has not stopped earlier gains. And the standalone versions are very unkind: the UN spokesman in the country, Gordon Weiss, accused the Army last slaughter of 52 civilians dead week. Reason I ask Government falcons evacuation of foreign aid: the witnesses are at risk because they pose a risk.
"We have about 20 workers in the field, but I can not pinpoint where they are. Some are with patients, others have been displaced. We are concerned about hygiene, shelter, medicines. Since late January has not been possible to bring humanitarian aid to areas of war, "says the spokesman for the Red Cross, Sarasi Wijeratne. His is the only organization authorized to operate by the contestants.
La antipatía de ambos bandos por las versiones independientes cristaliza en las difíciles condiciones de trabajo que afronta la Cruz Roja en sus tareas de asistencia a los civiles o la prohibición de que los reporteros accedan a los campos de batalla. The environment also weigh the threats and murder against journalists, as the famous case of editor Lasantha Wickramatunga. Critical of the government and aware of the danger, Wickramatunga, shot way to work on January 8, left ready for a devastating article which was published after his death:
Others walked-he wrote in reference to President Mahinda Rajapakasa-in the shadow of death that your Presidency has meant for the freedom they once fought hard. Nunca podrás olvidar que mi muerte sucedió ante tus ojos. Tan angustiado como sé que estarás, también sé que no tendrás más elección que la de perdonar a mis asesinos”.
“No es más que otro asesinato”, dijo luego a la BBC el secretario de Defensa, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa (hermano de sangre del presidente). Él mismo, considerado uno de los más duros defensores de la solución final contra la guerrilla, fue objeto de un intento de asesinato por parte del LTTE. Como también lo fue el actual jefe del Estado mayor ceilanés, Sarath Fonseka, que dirige las operaciones del Ejército.
La ofensiva de Fonseka y el clan Rajapaksa ha tenido hasta ahora un éxito indiscutible: el LTTE ha pasado de controlar amplias franjas costeras del este y el norte –donde los tamiles tienen mayor presencia- a quedar arrinconado en un espacio de 140 kilómetros cuadrados en las áreas selváticas de Mullaitivu, el feudo histórico al que siempre se ha replegado cuando las cosas contra el Ejército se ponían feas.
Pero la situación pinta mal para la guerrilla, peor que otras veces: según el Ejército, el LTTE apenas cuenta con 600 guerrilleros “en disposición de lucha directa”, que se encuentran rodeados por unos 50.000 soldados que cubren todos los flancos. Hasta se especula con la posible huida vía marítima de su líder supremo, Velupillai Prabhakaran, mientras sus antiguos escondites caen uno tras otro en manos de las tropas.
The Tamil Tigers are aware of their obvious military inferiority, so his strategy so far has been based as much as possible to resist the advance and retreat of the troops taking with civilians when their positions were untenable. Siguiendo esta técnica –limitando sus bajas, dicen-, han perdido hasta ahora sus feudos principales: su capital de facto, Kilinochchi, el estratégico Paso del Elefante y la ciudad de Mullaitivu.
La estrategia cuenta con el apoyo de una de sus alas más experimentadas: la división de propaganda, experta en comunicación y contra-información desde portales como Tamilnet, en inglés, o Puthinam, en tamil, con los que intenta atraer la atención de la diáspora y de la comunidad internacional para lograr un alto el fuego o una mediación. Estos días, los medios tamiles se recrean en ataques contra hospitales, disparos contra civiles y, en resumen, la palabra “genocidio”.
En esta hermosa isla que cuelga de la India en los mapas y en los despachos, la acusación levanta viejos fantasmas en la memoria de la comunidad tamil. Make up 18 percent of the population, ie, about two million people (there are no reliable census) but have seen since independence the state was built by the Sinhalese majority following exclusionary and even discriminatory. Un ejemplo muy citado es la declaración del cingalés como única lengua oficial.
So the guerrilla underpins posts with references to discrimination, genocide. Y sin embargo, aparte de que no existe comprobación independiente de sus reivindicaciones, una posible mediación de la comunidad internacional o un alto el fuego se antojan difíciles. Principalmente porque el Gobierno de Sri Lanka siente demasiado cercana la victoria militar como para aceptar una zanahoria diferente, pero también porque la India, la principal potencia regional, se frota las manos con la posibilidad de obtener la cabeza de Prabhakaran, el responsable del asesinato del ex primer ministro Rajiv Gandhi.
Pero la presión sobre el Gobierno aumenta. India, which provides a quiet supply weapons to the island, can not afford to support Rajapaksa too openly because this the fury of his own Tamil population, 66 million people who share culture and customs with their "brothers" of the north win Sri Lanka. Y Estados Unidos, la Unión Europea Japón y Noruega han pedido una tregua momentánea para permitir la huida de los civiles atrapados. Rajapaksa recibió incluso una llamada del secretario general de la ONU, Ban Ki Moon, quien le pidió parar los combates unas horas. “Gracias por su interés, señor, pero no es posible”, respondió Rajapaksa.
En el cálculo gubernamental, los ataúdes de soldados que llegan cada mes a Colombo, la crisis humanitaria o la posible regañina internacional son un precio que vale la pena pagar: por primera vez en varias décadas, Rajapaksa ha conseguido convencer a la población de que es posible barrer militarmente a la guerrilla, que a sus 25 años de existencia es una de las organizaciones más sangrientas del mundo y ha mantenido al país partido en dos con su violento desafío.
Desde el inicio de la guerra en 1983 han muerto casi 100.000 personas, según contaba por teléfono el ministro de Minorías, Dev Gunasekara, entre brotes esporádicos de violencia étnica, en acciones militares o en atentados de la división de suicidas de la guerrilla, los Tigres Negros, que se fotografían con su líder supremo antes de acudir a la muerte cierta y arrastrar con ellos a quien se ponga por delante.
Los guerrilleros tamiles gustan de cultivar la mística de la revolución: su símbolo es un tigre rugiente y van uniformados como si ellos mismos lo fueran. Con el uniforme, reciben una pastilla de cianuro que deben ingerir en caso de ser capturados.Cuentan -o contaban- con una fuerza aérea (un par de avionetas de fabricación checa) y una Armada.Hasta esta ofensiva del Ejército, habían montado un mini estado de facto con hospitales, policía, tribunales y aduanas propias.
Y a la vez, mantenían la disciplina entre sus filas con mano de hierro y alimentaban la fidelidad con una llamativa atención por la mercadotecnia (hasta venden canciones patrióticas por internet), gracias en parte a los fondos reunidos con aportaciones de la poderosa diáspora tamil en el extranjero, donde desarrollaron una poderosa red clientelar con conexiones que van desde París a Toronto y que fue golpeada con fuerza a partir del 11-S en Nueva York.
El propio Prabhakaran ha mostrado desde siempre un desprecio ofensivo contra los derechos humanos. Militante desde el origen de la guerrilla, ha cometido él mismo varios asesinatos, ha ordenado otros, como el mencionado de Rajiv Gandhi- y es buscado por la Interpol por múltiples cargos. De su sequedad da idea la orden de expulsión de 80.000 musulmanes residentes en las áreas tamiles, a quienes dio un plazo (cumplido) de 24 horas. Se marcharon con lo puesto.
In his ruthless race for the independence of the Tamil minority and erected in only voice of ethnicity in Sri Lanka, Prabhakaran has not hesitated to eliminate political opponents-close or distant-use child soldiers, and to resort to the attacks suicide or shot in the neck to end dissent or threat.
So Capturing the Tamil leader would bring the best headline to crown Rajapaksa's military offensive. It would be a final blow, the total and symbolic defeat a violent strikes Dutugamunu a Elara stripped of his former righteousness. Pero cuando el rey cingalés le clave el dardo final a la guerrilla, llegará el verdadero desafío: hacer que los tamiles se sientan cómodos en Sri Lanka.
And it's not easy. Para el día después, el Gobierno prepara ya varios campos de detención para acoger a los refugiados tamiles, similares a otros en los que languidecen los musulmanes. En el ámbito tamil, el LTTE ha dominado la vida política hasta tal punto que su desarticulación militar dejará probablemente un vacío peligroso para la comunidad, que quedará desorganizada. Para los tamiles, el desafío estribará en construir un movimiento político alejado de la violencia.
Dicho de otro modo: dependerán de su propia capacidad para adaptarse al día después, pero también de las hasta ahora inexistentes compasión y la magnanimidad de Rajapaksa, cuando deje de correr la sangre.
What if the president was missing will, the story offers clues: despite its defeat, the invading King Elara passed into history as a righteous king and respected, who managed to ensure coexistence among his subjects regardless of their ethnicity. Tras vencerlo en el campo de batalla, el propio Dutugamunu se arrepintió de su acción y ordenó cremar al rey caído con honores. The penalty was such that ordered building a mound. "I never knew the joy, remembering the destruction of both their enemies and their own soldiers," says the "Mahavamsa". Let's see.
February 3, 2009
Nueva Delhi, 25 jul 2008.- Los tamiles de todo el mundo conmemoran estos días con obras de teatro, exposiciones y vigilias los 25 años desde las peores matanzas étnicas registradas en Sri Lanka, semilla de la actual guerra que sufre la isla del Índico.
“Los 25 años merecían un repaso de las historias de lo que ocurrió luego. Hay fotografías de desplazados, de mujeres que lo perdieron todo”, cuenta a Efe por teléfono la fotógrafa Anoma Rajakaruna, que presentó en Colombo la muestra “Vida tras 25 años”.
La poderosa diáspora tamil del mundo puede asistir estos días a obras de teatro en Toronto (Canadá), presentaciones de libros en Australia y la India o vigilias y manifestaciones en los Estados Unidos, con el objetivo común de conmemorar las matanzas de 1983.
“Algunos se preguntan por qué estos eventos son recordados ritualmente año tras año cada julio. Yo creo que la única razón es asegurarnos de que algo así no vuelva a suceder”, dice a Efe por teléfono el ministro de Integración Nacional, Dew Gunasekara.
Cingaleses (mayoritarios) y tamiles se habían enzarzado en choques étnicos esporádicos desde la década de 1970, pero la violencia estalló definitivamente en julio de 1983, el “Julio Negro”, con la llegada a Colombo de los cadáveres de 15 soldados emboscados por la guerrilla tamil (LTTE).
“Los soldados fueron traídos a la vez y la gente reaccionó con ira en el entierro. Además, el Gobierno tardó seis días en pedir calma; ese silencio animó a los violentos”, comenta desde Colombo Gunasekara.
La noche del 24 de julio de 1983, poco después del sepelio, hordas de cingaleses enfurecidos asaltaron, violaron y asesinaron a cuantos tamiles encontraron a su paso en la capital ceilanesa.
“Todavía recuerdo cómo pararon el automóvil. Dentro había cuatro: una niña, un niño y sus padres. Unas preguntas con alegría, para no cometer errores. Y entonces pasaron a la acción. Rociar con gasolina y todo eso”, escribe el poeta cingalés Basil Fernando.
Según los cronistas, las turbas preguntaban a los motoristas por su etnia, y los mataban si estos resultaban ser tamiles; ardieron autobuses cargados de pasajeros y una muchedumbre entró en un penal capitalino y acuchilló a 53 presos políticos de esa etnia.
“Amaneció un día de 1983 que cambió el paisaje y la rutina familiar. Ardió cada edificio tamil de la ciudad, incluida la farmacia del tío Joe. Pasaron días, semanas, meses: él desapareció sin dejar rastro”, recuerda la fotógrafa Rajakaruna.
Los pogromos de Colombo se extendieron más tarde por todo el país con un balance escalofriante: murieron más de 1.000 tamiles y se calcula que se quedaron sin vivienda 700.000 personas, de las cuales 400.000 dejaron Sri Lanka y se repartieron por todo el mundo.
Pese al silencio gubernamental, el “Julio Negro” también dio pie a frecuentes actos de hermandad entre miembros de ambas comunidades, y está documentada la ayuda que muchos cingaleses prestaron durante los pogromos a los tamiles.
Pero la violencia ahogó la cooperación entre los dos grupos étnicos y dio preeminencia al grupo extremista Tigres para la Liberación de la Patria Tamil (LTTE), que se financió con dinero de la diáspora y se hizo con el poder en el tercio norte de la isla.
La guerra, según Gunasekara, marcó la división de facto de Sri Lanka y ha causado desde entonces la muerte de casi 100.000 personas, con daños “incalculables” para la confianza mutua entre los budistas cingaleses y los tamiles, de religión hindú.
El LTTE lucha todavía por la independencia del “Tamil Eelam”, las áreas con más presencia tamil -el norte y el este- y donde se concentran los frentes de batalla, aunque en los últimos meses el Ejército ha logrado avances significativos.
“¿Qué significó el 'Julio negro'? El comienzo de la era de las pistolas, las desapariciones, los niños soldado, la destrucción de la democracia. Y el conflicto todavía continúa”, concluye el ministro.
Pese a la dramática situación bélica del país y el sufrimiento de cientos de miles de habitantes, durante la exposición de Rajakaruna ha habido un pequeño motivo de alegría: la vuelta del tío Joe, veinticinco años después de su desaparición.
El tío Joe de la farmacia, ya con 77 años, contó a Rajakaruna que alguien le habló de la exposición y entonces pidió que le llevaran a verla; que lo perdió todo pero salió adelante; que su hijo tamil se casó, felizmente, con una chica cingalesa.
February 3, 2009
Nueva Delhi, 4 feb 2008.- Sri Lanka celebró hoy con desfiles, discursos y estrictas medidas de seguridad sus 60 años de independencia, marcados por las operaciones militares de las tropas gubernamentales en el norte del país contra la guerrilla tamil.
In view of possible terrorist attacks, the authorities cut the main road arteries of Colombo and mobile operators announced the suspension of courier services for six hours.
“Hemos incrementado las medidas de seguridad para beneficio de los ciudadanos de este país”, dijo a Efe una fuente del Ministerio ceilanés de Defensa.
The President of Sri Lanka, Mahinda Rajapaksa, came to the capital's seafront Galle Face Green, where he attended a military parade and listened up the national anthem at a ceremony boycotted by the main opposition parties.
“Hay ante nosotros dos desafíos principales -dijo el presidente en su mensaje a la nación-. Uno es el desafío de erradicar el terrorismo y el otro es el desafío de erradicar la pobreza. Respecto al primero, es un motivo de satisfacción que la Provincia del Este haya sido liberada”.
El Ejército terminó 2007 con la moral en alza tras una ofensiva exitosa que confinó a la guerrilla del LTTE (Tigres para la Liberación de la Patria Tamil) en sus bastiones del norte del país.
The LTTE has a dubious record on human rights and is considered a terrorist organization by 32 countries, but also manages a small de facto state in its territory, with an independent judiciary, health services and police, and authority customs.
The guerrilla struggle more than two decades for an independent state in the east and north of the country, where Tamils are in the majority, and yet resists the attacks of Army bunkers lines that make up the front.
Aunque ya sólo existía sobre el papel, el alto el fuego suscrito en el año 2002 por ambos bandos quedó anulado el 16 de enero por el Gobierno, con vistas a iniciar una nueva ofensiva en el norte con, según dijo hoy Rajapaksa, “buenas expectativas de éxito”.
Desde entonces, el Ejército informa diariamente de la muerte de decenas de combatientes rebeldes, aunque no existe una comprobación independiente porque los reporteros no tienen acceso al frente de batalla.
“Nuestro objetivo por el momento no es conquistar nuevos territorios, sino debilitar al enemigo lo máximo posible, destruyendo búnkers y matando rebeldes. But we are in the right place at the right time, "he told Efe military spokesman Udaya Nanayakkara, contacted by telephone.
Pese a que las tropas anunciaron a comienzos de enero un avance en el distrito norteño de Mannar, Nanayakkara reconoció que todas las líneas del frente se mantienen estables, y no quiso hacer declaraciones respecto a una ofensiva inminente.
El LTTE ha respondido al recrudecimiento de los combates con un incremento de los ataques terroristas, como el que este domingo acabó con la vida de once civiles y causó heridas a 92, obra de una mujer suicida que hizo estallar la carga explosiva que portaba en una estación de trenes de Colombo.
And today the city suffered the explosion of another engine with an electric transformer, without causing any injuries.
With some education and health indices that are the envy of the subcontinent, Indian Island is nonetheless a victim of decades conflict between Tamils and Sinhalese ago that has left more than 65,000 dead.
Today, President Rajapaksa said that these problems will only be "temporary", the short-term difficulties will bring a brighter future and that Sri Lanka has the confidence of the international community.
However, while the Government collected in a statement it had "a jubilant celebrations across the country," the situation in the de facto capital of rebels, Kilinochchi, got well demonstrated the existence of two Sri Lankans.
“Aquí todo está hoy normal. People have gone to work like any other day. No special celebration. This is Tamil homeland, "he told Efe responsible of a local NGO who requested anonymity.