September 4, 2009
New Delhi, 19 May 2009. - The Army Ceylonese today released the first images of the body of the chief 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, leader of the most barbaric psycho terrorist organization in the world, 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 guerrilla leader, arranged in uniform rebel on a stretcher and attacked by flies, his face swollen and apparent gunshot wounds to the head.
The finding was made by the Army in the vicinity of Lake Nanthikadal, where troops rejected on Monday a last attempt by guerrillas to escape the siege they suffered, which caused, according to the official, 352 killed 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 appealed to the international community to rebuild the country's north, ravaged by war, but refused to "import" a political solution to provide autonomy to the minority Tamils, the main victims of the conflict.
"We have no time to experiment with the solutions suggested by other countries," said Rajapaksa, after providing for the 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 innocent Tamil civilians our soldiers sacrificed their lives, "said Rajapaksa, who declared a holiday tomorrow in commemoration of the" defeat of terrorism ".
During his speech, Rajapaksa was silent on Prabhakaran, fueling speculation for a few hours of his death, further reinforced because a senior in exile guerrillas refused their leader's death.
"The Government of Sri Lanka makes unverified claims. Only I can say that our national leader is alive and safe, "he said in an interview for the portal Tamilnet-akin to the guerrillas, the head of international relations of the LTTE, S. Pathmanathan.
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 guerrillas stood for weeks surrounded by the army in a small strip in the northeast where it is also crammed tens of thousands of civilian victims of bombing troops and repression rebel should try to escape.
After the final match on Monday, the Army published a list of 18 names of rebel leaders killed in that he was not Prabhakaran, although his closest associates and his eldest son, Charles Anthony, head of technology.
Today, Pathmanathan accused the troops of having committed a "crime against humanity" by the "murder" of the political leader of the LTTE, B. Nadesan, and the head of the secretariat of peace (LTTEPS), S. Puleedevan, who tried to negotiate with the troops unarmed and carrying white flags.
"What happened on Monday was well planned slaughter of several unarmed civil officers of the LTTE with the aim of annihilating its political structure," the Tamilnet website, which pointed to a "high figure of Defense" as responsible.
The LTTE launched an armed uprising against Sri Lanka in 1983 demand for a separate 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 already focused attention on the fate of civilians confined to government camps, awaiting Friday's visit to the island of the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon.
September 4, 2009
New Delhi, 18 May 2009. - The Sri Lanka Army today took terminating the nearly 26 years of war in the country after finishing with the dome and the last fighters of the "tigers" Tamils, in an offensive of 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 the chief information officer of the Government, Anusha throbs.
Soon after, the chief of staff Ceylonese, Sarath Fonseka said in a statement released by the Ministry of Defense that troops were "defeated militarily" the LTTE and "freed the nation from three decades of terror."
The guerrilla was surrounded for weeks in a small coastal strip of northeastern Sri Lanka, which also crammed tens of thousands of civilians who have been victims of heavy bombing and shooting military rebels if they tried to flee.
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 party leadership.
"Trying to escape was his only chance. Now everyone is dead and there is no survivor in the area, "said Efe military spokesman Udaya Nanayakkara, who announced that the military now control" throughout the country ".
During this last battle, the troops took the lives of about 250 guerrillas, according to the spokesman, who was assumed that among the dead are both supreme guerrilla leader, Vellupillai Prabhakaran, as his number two, Pottu Amman.
The guerrilla leader, 54, tried to leave the combat zone near Amman and navy chief guerrilla Soosai in a convoy consisting 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 well-known leaders of this long-lived and bloody guerrilla group fighting for independence Tamils in the island.
Among them were the most responsible for political affairs, B. Nadesan, the head of the Peace Secretariat (LTTEPS), S. Puleedevan, and the police chief rebel, Ilango.
"This is the first time that a terrorist group has been completely wiped out by a democratic government," he told Efe by telephone Ceylonese Foreign Secretary, Palitha Kohona, who undermined the credibility of the allegations of civilian deaths.
In a statement published today in Tamilnet-a portal akin to LTTE, the guerrillas denounced the Army has undertaken a "slaughter decided" against the last stronghold Tamil, which were just "1,000 wounded guerrillas, officials and civilians".
"Colombo has decided not to allow any opportunity to negotiate and annihilate the LTTE leadership" kept the guerrillas, with connections outside the country.
This Sunday, the Tamil Tigers have already declared that the battle had reached its "bitter end" and announced a unilateral cease fighting to prevent more bloodshed among civilians.
It was the answer to the Government's announcement about the "rescue" of the 50,000 civilians who remained in the latest guerrilla areas and have been transferred to the 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 to camps. He has won the war, but it raises an obvious question: what now, "he told Efe UN spokesman in the country, Gordon Weiss.
Violent fighting has left since beginning of year killed more than 6,500 civilians, according to UN estimates, failing to add the data of recent weeks, and with the guerrillas surrounded by thousands of people who used to wear.
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 fought to gain independence Tamil marks the end of an era in this ancient Asian conflict Asia and was greeted with celebrations in Colombo today by the Sinhalese majority.
September 4, 2009
New Delhi, 18 May 2009. - The elusive leader Vellupillai Prabhakaran, died today at the hands of Sri Lanka Army after 26 years of struggle has been the face of the Tamil Tigers, a body bloodthirsty came to have an aviation itself and patented suicide attacks as a weapon of combat.
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 only need to confirm officially the identification of the body.
Hero to his followers and terrorist for the Government Sri Lankan, Prabhakaran led with an iron fist a guerrilla well trained and disciplined buzzed for decades the Army today claimed to have wiped out what remained 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 in 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 brothers, your life can be summed up in a vicious race to achieve independence for the Tamils of the island after decades of discrimination by the Sinhalese majority.
Although during his command has given very few interviews, Prabhakaran is said that he was a shy student who, angered by the abuse suffered by the Tamils, signed up for martial arts and began his activism in independence movements.
In 1975, he was bluntly accused of murdering 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.
Already renowned, LTTE guerrillas waged a campaign of low-level violence that had a substantial popular support and resulted in 1983 in an open war against the Government of Sri Lanka that has caused more than 70,000 deaths (nearly 6,500 of them this year , according to UN estimates).
Prabhakaran built a totalitarian type organization prepared to carry out terrorist attacks and strokes bold effect, but also to manage a state of fact, hospitals, police and even own customs service.
Undisputed leader of the LTTE, Prabhakaran was adamant against dissent in the armed movement, which has led from their bunkers and networks of tunnels dug into the jungle areas now conquered by the army.
"Prabhakaran is not the type of man who lives on the surface. I'm sure you're 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 basics: the Tamil homeland, Tamil nationality and the right to self-determination of the Tamils. Those are the fundamental demands of the Tamil people, "he said at a packed press conference and exceptional in 2002, when the LTTE reached a ceasefire with the government.
Object of constant rumors and speculation, it is said that 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 Erambu Mathivathani was married with 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 largest 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 terrorist conspiracy.
September 4, 2009
New Delhi, 11 May 2009. - The latest fighting in the stronghold of the Tamil Tigers in the northeast of Sri Lanka have caused this weekend a "bath of blood", as the UN reported today, which amounted to 380 civilians dead , hundreds of them children.
"We take for good data doctors of the Government 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 "not attributed" the responsibility for the massacre, in which government and the guerrillas accused each other, but recalled that the organization and "had warned that there would be a bloodbath" because civilians are among the fighting.
The Sri Lanka Army launched a few weeks ago their 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 the UN, although the government says are between 15,000 and 20,000.
One aid worker in Sri Lanka told Efe that it is "impossible" to know what is going on 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 Government Ceylonese ordered the army to limit their operations, and end the use of heavy weapons and aerial bombardment, even though he had previously repeatedly denied using such weapons.
Despite the order, the fighting continued and escalated this weekend 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 portal akin to guerrilla Tamilnet published photographs allegedly taken this weekend with victims of bombing and burning buildings.
The allegations of the guerrillas have been denied by the Ceylonese Ministry of Defence, which said today that it is the LTTE which 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 Sri Lankan forces. 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 targeted, "he added.
In recent weeks there has been growing concern about the state of trapped civilians who, Efe said Red Cross spokeswoman in Sri Lanka, Sarasi Wijeratne, face an acute shortage of water, medicine or medical personnel who attend .
"Since last February the area have carried 2,350 tons of food. That amount is insufficient to meet even the basic needs of the people trapped, "said the source.
According to the spokesman, the Red Cross has taken in the area from February to 13,769 civilians injured or sick in 31 naval evacuation operations, which sometimes have been hampered by constant fighting.
The Government of Sri Lanka has so far rejected all international demands to halt its offensive against Tamil rebels, fighting for more than 25 years for an independent state in the east and north of the island.
Both the LTTE and the government maintained an active propaganda to gain support in the conflict, but most lack independent verification claims because it is banned from the battle fronts.
The organization Human Rights Watch has called on the Security Council as an investigation to find out whether they are producing "war crimes" in Sri Lanka, end on which 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 stronghold guerrilla Tamil, after a week of international pressure for the deaths of some 2,000 civilians in their crackdown guerrillas.
"The Government of Sri Lanka has decided that combat operations have reached their conclusion," said Executive Ceylonese in a statement.
"Our security forces have been ordered to end the use of heavy caliber guns, combat aircraft and aerial weapons which could cause civilian casualties," said the executive, who for the first time admitted that has been used in their offense.
The Sri Lanka Army launched a week ago 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 25 years of war.
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 says 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 today's announcement, the 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 in 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 source of Defense denied that the government announcement means a ceasefire by international pressure, and clarified that 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 coastal strip, although the LTTE puts the figure at 165,000 and warns that "imminent" death from starvation because the government blocking food supplies earlier this month.
A representative of the "Tigers", S. Puleedevan, accused the Ceylonese government of trying to "fool" the international community, as the bombing continued in the area after the government announcement, reported the website sympathetic to the guerrillas, Tamilnet.
The guerrillas also accused the troops Ceylonese to cause further deaths of civilians in an attack this morning-rated by Nanayakkara as "rescue operations" - and then said that there were two bombs over civilian targets after the announcement that they would cease.
Harassed by the Army, the LTTE said yesterday, Sunday, a "unilateral ceasefire" with immediate effect citing poor humanitarian situation in the area, but the government considered it a mere attempt guerrillas gain time 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 to "pause" humanitarian.
Holmes, who is scheduled to leave this evening, met with Minister of Foreign Affairs Ceylonese, Rohitha Bogollagama, and visited Vavuniya (north) to check the condition of 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 today is allowed to send a message to the international community taking advantage of the massive victory this weekend won his party in regional elections.
"The Western Province have sent a decisive message to the international community. He has stated categorically that no power has the right or moral justification to bail the brutal terrorism when writing the last lines of his final chapter, "said Rajapaksa.
September 4, 2009
New Delhi, April 26, 2009. - The Government of Sri Lanka did not take today even half an hour in rejecting an ad ceasefire the Tamil Tigers, which is produced in full visit by a UN envoy and hours after the Ceylonese Army guerrillas snatched at his penultimate bastion.
"The LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) is not in a position to ask or demand anything. Intend to declare a cease-fire when it's time to have bowed the knee, "said Efe by telephone from Colombo Secretary Ceylonese Foreign Palitha Kohona.
The guerrillas had announced in a statement minutes before a ceasefire unilaterally to offensive operations in northeastern Sri Lanka, where he is surrounded by the army in a small coastal strip along with tens of thousands of civilians.
"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 has announced a unilateral ceasefire. All offensive operations will cease with immediate effect, "said the guerrillas 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 the Government Ceylonese estimated to be 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 "urgently" to LTTE to abandon weapons and output enable 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 official was quoted by the television channel Ada Derana.
The Army on Monday launched a bloody offensive that resulted in the passage area of about 110,000 civilian government, hosted by the Government for these purposes camps 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 has defended 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, told Efe UN spokesman in the country, Gordon Weiss.
In recent days have grown diplomatic pressure and international concern about the fate of people caught in the combat zone, but the government seems determined to wipe Ceylonese militarily with the LTTE, which is fighting for more than 25 years to get a independent state for the Tamil minority.
A few hours before the announcement of the guerrillas, the army announced in fact making the penultimate town in rebel hands, Valayarmadam, and the capture of 23 suspected guerrillas, the "rescue" of some 700 civilians and killed 12 rebels in a naval battle.
"They have about 500 guerrillas, who also dress up as civilians to not distinguish. Just 6 square kilometers are left, "said Efe by telephone military spokesman Udaya Nanayakkara.
Convinced of his victory, the Government today also rejected a request from the United States, European Union, Japan and Norway-the so-called "Tokyo Quartet" - to offer an amnesty to the guerrillas, who asked to surrender to a third party.
"There will be no amnesty for LTTE. They will have to surrender or face removal by the Sri Lankan forces, "he was quoted by different means the defense 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 ruling Alianza Popular United for Freedom (UPFA) in the regional elections in the West-including capital Colombo.
March 6, 2009
New Delhi, February 4, 2009. - The UN denounced the killing 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 been killed in attacks recorded last night at Suranthapuram sector. 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).
At the moment it is unknown whether any victims in this latest attack, while in the 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, the church, the women and child 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 the latter 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 refused to Efe that the attacks against the hospital have been the work of aviation Ceylonese, in line with the official version of government, which says not to act against civilian targets.
"We have never used or have cluster bombs. We know that violates international standards, told Efe spokesman Udaya Nanayakkara. Regarding Suranthapuram, no fighting against the guerrillas. In any case, the dead would be guerrillas dressed as civilians. "
This Sunday expired within 48 hours set by the government for 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 guerrilla strongholds top and the bulk of its territory, to surround a forest area of about 200 square kilometers in the northeast.
That achievement Ceylon welcomed President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who attended today the military parade held in Colombo to mark the anniversary of the country's independence, obtained in 1948 from the hands of the British Empire.
"I am confident that in a few days defeat decisively to terrorist force that many said he was invincible," said Rajapaksa in his address to those attending the parade, including key leaders military.
"We managed to defeat almost entirely to the cowardly forces of terror that kept terrorized our nation. (...) Our heroic Armed Forces have given us the opportunity to celebrate the anniversary of Independence free of the shadow of terrorism," he added.
Your Executive is facing, however, a growing international pressure to respect civilians caught in the war zone, Sri Lanka estimated that 120,000 people compared to 250,000 calculated by international organizations.
Since inception in 1983 the open war against the state Tamil guerrillas have been killed in the Indian Ocean island nearly 100,000 victims of ethnic conflict, and hundreds of thousands are displaced.
Given the precarious situation of the Tamil Tigers, United States, European Union, Japan and Norway yesterday urged the rebels to lay down their arms and negotiate with the government to civil war, to avoid further bloodshed.
The LTTE kept under control small towns of Visuamadu and Puthukudiyirippu, after losing in January 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 to proclaim an independent state in the north and east of the island, where ethnicity has a major presence in front of the Sinhalese, the majority in the country.
February 13, 2009
The historical poem "Mahavamsa", a count of eight centuries of 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 their elephants, until the Sinhalese mortally wounded with a dart at Elara, older and less agile.
"The tank water is dyed red with the blood of the dead," cries the poem about the battle. From that history has been more than 2100 years, but Dutugamunu is today one of the most beloved by nationalist elements of the Sinhalese majority, which dominates the state in the Indian Ocean island. 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 brought to its knees in the north to the Tamil Tigers.
"If there were no civilians there, it would not take even a day to destroy it," 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 a territory larger than the province of Seville-about 14,800 square kilometers and has cornered the Tamil Tigers (LTTE) in a corner jungle in northeastern Sri Lanka.
But their successful offensive, supported an overwhelming superiority in weapons and an army 15 times more numerous than the guerrillas, now faces the barrier humanitarian aid organizations and various powers remind the Government: UN says that in the last bastions guerrillas There are some 250,000 civilians trapped and helpless before the bombing of government aircraft, the fighting incessant and alleged pressure-and shooting-of guerrillas to not run away from the last areas under their control.
"We can not give a deadline, because we need to minimize the harm to civilians," said Nanayakkara. That is also the Ceylonese government's official version, but so far the civilian factor earlier stopped progress. And standalone versions are very unkind: UN spokesman in the country, Gordon Weiss, last week accused the army of slaughter 52 civilians dead. Reason for hawks Government calling for the evacuation of foreign aid workers: the witnesses are at risk because they are unsafe.
"We have about 20 employees 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 war zones, "says the Red Cross spokeswoman, Sarasi Wijeratne. Your organization is the only one authorized by the contestants to operate.
The antipathy on both sides by independent versions crystallizes in difficult working conditions faced by the Red Cross in its relief efforts for civilians or banning reporters from accessing the battlefields. In the environment outweigh the threats and murder against journalists, such 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 a devastating article that was published on 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. You can never forget that my death took place before your eyes. As anguished as I know you'll also know that you will have no choice but to forgive my murderers ".
"It's just another murder", he later told the BBC the defense secretary, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa (blood brother of the president). He himself, considered one of the toughest defenders in the final solution against the guerrillas, was the subject of an assassination attempt by the LTTE. As was the current chief of staff Ceylonese, Sarath Fonseka, who heads Army operations.
The offensive Fonseka and Rajapaksa clan has so far had an undoubted success: the LTTE control has passed extensive coastlines east and north, where the Tamils have a greater presence-to be cornered in an area of 140 square kilometers in the Mullaitivu jungle areas, the historic feud which has always retreated when things against the Army got ugly.
But the situation looks bad for the guerrillas, worse than other times, according to the Army, the LTTE only has 600 fighters "ready to direct fight," which are surrounded by about 50,000 soldiers covering all sides. He even speculates possible seaborne escape its supreme leader, Velupillai Prabhakaran, his old hideouts fall one after another in the hands of the troops.
The Tamil Tigers are aware of their obvious military inferiority, so his strategy so far has been based on resisting as possible to advance and withdraw troops civilians taking with them when their positions were untenable. Using this technique, limiting their losses, they say, have so far lost their fiefdoms main their de facto capital, Kilinochchi, the strategic Elephant Pass and the town of Mullaitivu.
The strategy has the support of one of its most experienced wings: the division of advertising, communications expert and counter-information from sites like Tamilnet English or Puthinam, in Tamil, with trying to attract the attention of the diaspora and the international community to achieve a ceasefire or mediation. These days, the media Tamils recreate attacks on hospitals, shooting of civilians and, in short, the word "genocide".
In this beautiful island of India hanging on maps and in the offices, the indictment raises old ghosts in the memory of the Tamil community. Make up 18 percent of the population, ie, about two million people (no reliable census) but have seen since independence the state was built by the Sinhalese majority following exclusionary criteria and even discriminatory. A widely cited example is the declaration of Sinhala as the only official language.
So the guerrillas underpins their messages with references to discrimination, genocide. And yet, apart from that there is no independent verification of their claims, a possible mediation of the international community or a ceasefire difficult craved. Mainly because the Government of Sri Lanka feels too close military victory as a carrot to accept different, but also because India, the main regional power, rubs his hands with the possibility of head Prabhakaran responsible for the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.
But the pressure on the government increases. India, which provides a quiet supply weapons to the island, you can not afford to support too openly Rajapaksa because this would earn the wrath of his own Tamil population, 66 million people who share culture and customs with their "brothers" North Sri Lanka. And the United States, European Union Japan and Norway have asked for a momentary truce to allow the escape of trapped civilians. Rajapaksa received even a call from the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon, who asked him to stop the fighting few hours. "Thanks for your interest, sir, but it's not possible," said Rajapaksa.
In the government estimate, the coffins of soldiers who arrive every month to Colombo, the humanitarian crisis or possible international scolding are a price worth paying: for the first time in decades, Rajapaksa has managed to convince the population that is possible to sweep the guerrillas militarily, who at 25 years of existence is one of the world's bloodiest organizations and has kept the country split in two with his violent challenge.
Since the beginning of the war in 1983 have died nearly 100,000 people, as told by phone the Minister for Minorities, Dev Gunasekara, between sporadic ethnic violence, military actions or attacks Division suicide guerrilla Tigers Black, who was photographed with its supreme leader before going to certain death, and drag with them who was put forward.
The Tamil guerrillas like to cultivate the mystique of revolution: its symbol is a tiger roaring and wear uniforms as if they themselves were. With the uniform, receive a cyanide pill to be swallowed should be capturados.Cuentan-or had-with Air Force (a pair of planes Czech-made) and a Armada.Hasta this military offensive, had set up a mini facto state hospitals, police, courts and customs of their own.
And at the same time, maintained discipline among its ranks with an iron hand and fed with striking fidelity marketing attention (to sell patriotic songs online), thanks in part to funds raised by contributions from the Tamil diaspora powerful abroad, where they developed a strong client network connections ranging from Paris to Toronto and was hit hard from 11-S in New York.
Prabhakaran himself has always shown a disregard human rights offensive. Militant from the origin of the guerrillas, has committed himself several murders, has ordered other, as mentioned Rajiv Gandhi, and is wanted by Interpol on multiple charges. From its dryness gives an idea the expulsion order of 80,000 Muslims in the Tamil areas, who set a deadline (completed) 24 hours. They left with nothing.
In his ruthless race for the independence of the Tamil minority and emerge as the single voice of the ethnic group in Sri Lanka, Prabhakaran has not hesitated to eliminate his political opponents-near or far-, using 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 holder to cap military offensive Rajapaksa. It would be a final blow, the total defeat and a violent symbolic strikes a Elara Dutugamunu stripped of his former righteousness. But when the Sinhalese king will key the dart end to the guerrillas, come the real challenge: make Tamils feel comfortable in Sri Lanka.
And it's not easy. For the day after, the government is preparing for several detention camps to house Tamil refugees, similar to others that languish Muslims. In the field Tamil LTTE has dominated political life to the point that its dismantling military will probably leave a dangerous vacuum for the community, which will be disorganized. To the Tamils, the challenge will be to build a political movement away from violence.
Put another way: depend on your own ability to adapt to the day after, but also of the hitherto non-existent compassion and magnanimity of Rajapaksa, when you stop the blood flow.
As if the president lacked will, the story offers clues: despite its defeat, the invader King Elara passed into history as a righteous king and respected, who managed to ensure consistency throughout his subjects regardless of their ethnicity. After defeat on the battlefield, the very Dutugamunu regretted his action and ordered cremate the fallen king with honors. The pain was so great that he ordered to build a mound. "I never knew joy, remembering the destruction of both their enemies and their own soldiers," the "Mahavamsa". Let's see.
February 3, 2009
New Delhi, July 25, 2008. - The Tamils worldwide commemorate these days with plays, exhibitions and vigils the 25 years since the worst ethnic killings registered in Sri Lanka, seeds of current war-ravaged Indian Island.
"The 25 years deserved a review of the stories of what happened then. There are photographs of displaced women who lost everything, "she tells the photographer Efe by telephone Anoma Rajakaruna, Colombo presented in the exhibition" Life after 25 years. "
The powerful Tamil diaspora in the world can attend these days plays in Toronto (Canada), book presentations in Australia and India or vigils and demonstrations in the United States, with the common goal of commemorating the massacres of 1983.
"Some wonder why these events are remembered ritually every year every July. I think the only reason is to make sure that something like this never happens again, "he told Efe by telephone the Minister of National Integration, Dew Gunasekara.
Sinhalese (majority) and Tamils had been locked in sporadic ethnic clashes since the 1970s, but definitely violence erupted in July 1983, the "Black July", with the arrival in Colombo of the bodies of 15 soldiers ambushed by the guerrillas Tamil (LTTE).
"The soldiers were brought at once and people reacted with anger at the funeral. Furthermore, the Government took six days to call for calm, the silence encouraged the violent "comments from Colombo Gunasekara.
On the night of July 24, 1983, shortly after the funeral, hordes of angry Sinhalese assaulted, raped and murdered a few Tamils found their way into the capital Ceylonese.
"I still remember how they stopped the car. Inside were four: a girl, a boy and his parents. A few questions with joy, not to make mistakes. And then took action. Sprinkle with gasoline and all that, "writes the poet Basil Fernando Sinhala.
According to the chroniclers, mobs asked to motorists because of their ethnicity, and kill them if they happened to be Tamils burned busloads of passengers and a crowd entered a criminal capital and stabbed 53 political prisoners of that ethnicity.
"It dawned one day in 1983 that changed the landscape and the family routine. Tamil burned every building in the city, including Pharmacy Uncle Joe. They spent days, weeks, months: he disappeared without a trace "recalls the photographer Rajakaruna.
The pogroms in Colombo later spread across the country with a balance chilling over 1,000 Tamils were killed and an estimated 700,000 were left homeless persons, of whom 400,000 left Sri Lanka and distributed worldwide.
Despite the silence government, the "Julio Black" also led to frequent acts of brotherhood among members of both communities, and documented the help that many Sinhalese paid during the pogroms to Tamils.
But violence drowned cooperation between the two ethnic groups and gave prominence to the militant group Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), which was financed with money from the diaspora and seized power in the northern third of the island .
The war, Gunasekara, marked the de facto division of Sri Lanka and has since caused the deaths of almost 100,000 people, with damage "incalculable" for mutual trust between the Buddhist Sinhalese and Tamils of Hindu religion.
The LTTE struggle for independence still "Tamil Eelam", areas with more presence tamil-north and east-and where are the front lines, although in recent months the Army has made significant progress.
"What did it mean the 'Julio black'? The start of the era of guns, disappearances, child soldiers, the destruction of democracy. And the conflict is still going on, "says the minister.
Despite the dramatic war situation in the country and the suffering of hundreds of thousands, during exposure of Rajakaruna has been a small reason to rejoice: the return of Uncle Joe, twenty five years after his disappearance.
Uncle Joe from the pharmacy, and with 77 years, told Rajakaruna someone told her about the exposure and then asked her to take to her, who lost everything but came forward, that his son tamil married, happily, with a Sinhala girl.
February 3, 2009
New Delhi, February 4, 2008. - Sri Lanka today celebrated with parades, speeches and tight security its 60 years of independence, marked by military operations of government troops in the north against the Tamil Tigers.
In view of possible terrorist attacks, the authorities cut the main road arteries of Colombo and mobile operators announced the suspension of messaging services for six hours.
"We have increased security measures for the benefit of the citizens of this country," a source told Efe Ceylonese Defence Ministry.
Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa attended 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.
"There are two major challenges before us said the President in his message to the nation. One is the challenge of eradicating terrorism and the other is the challenge of eradicating poverty. Regarding the former, is a matter of satisfaction that the Eastern Province was liberated. "
The Army ended 2007 with soaring morale after a successful offensive that confined LTTE guerrillas (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) in their strongholds in the north.
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 guerrillas fighting for more than two decades for an independent state in the east and north of the country, where Tamils are the majority, and yet resist the attacks of Army bunkers lines that make up the front.
Although it only existed on paper, a ceasefire signed in 2002 by both sides was canceled on 16 January by the Government, with a view to launching a new offensive in the north, he said today Rajapaksa, "good prospects of success. "
Since then, the Army reported daily to the deaths of dozens of rebel fighters, although there is no independent check because reporters do not have access to the battlefront.
"Our goal for the moment is not to conquer new territories, but weaken the enemy as possible, destroying bunkers and killing rebels. But we are in the right place at the right time, "he told Efe military spokesman Udaya Nanayakkara, reached by telephone.
Although troops early January announced a breakthrough in the northern district of Mannar, Nanayakkara recognized that all front lines are stable, and declined to comment about impending offensive.
The LTTE has responded to intensified fighting with increased terrorist attacks, like the one on Sunday killed eleven civilians and wounded 92, the work of a female suicide bomber detonated the explosive charge that carried a Railway Station Colombo.
And today the city suffered the explosion of another engine with an electric transformer, without causing any injuries.
With rates of education and health that are the envy of the subcontinent, the Indian Ocean island is nevertheless a victim of a conflict between decades to Tamils and Sinhalese and has left more than 65,000 dead.
Today, President Rajapaksa said these problems will be only "temporary", that short-term difficulties serve to 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 "celebrations jubilant over the country," the situation in the de facto capital of rebels, Kilinochchi, brought this out the existence of two Sri Lankans.
"Everything is standard today. People have gone to work like any other day. No special celebration. This is land tamil "he told Efe a manager of a local NGO, who requested anonymity.