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Human Rights Watch hails LTTE's magnamnimous offer o lay down arms

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  • Dev
    Has anybody got Selvarasa Pathmanathan. alias KP s e mail address please. I really would like to send him a note thanking him for his Magnanimous offer of a
    Message 1 of 1 , May 17 6:43 AM
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      Has anybody got Selvarasa Pathmanathan. alias KP's e mail address please. I really would like to send him a note thanking him  for his Magnanimous offer of a Ceasefire.
       
      Srilankan army must be utterly relived and ever so grateful for  this humanitarian gesture made from strength by LTTE.    After all our  Army was on the verge of being annihilated   when LTTE decided to call it a day.  (Who said these gentlemen were barbarians)
       
       
       It couldnt have been easier for these brave jungle boys to  lay down arms and stop fighting when the greatest victory and Eelam kingdom was only round the corner. 
       
      Our  President should make a positive response to this very kind offer  .Perhaps His Excellency could invite Prabakaran and. Nadeshan and the rest of peace loving LTTE leaders for a round of talks in a five start hotel tomorrow just like Premadasa and Ranil did .
       
      What ???????????Praba and Nade  cant come because they have gone somewhere else suddenly.???
       
       Oh what a shame .KP. I guess you would have to come and see our Army commander alone because you seems to be  the only one left
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
      SKY NEWS
       

      The Tamil Tigers have given up their fight against the Sri Lankan army, according to a statement carried by the pro-rebel Tamilnet website.

      Sri Lankan civilians stream across lagoon

      Sri Lankan civilians stream across a lagoon in this army-released photograph

      "This battle has reached its bitter end," said the statement from the rebels' chief of international relations, Selvarasa Pathmanathan.

      "We remain with one last choice - to remove the last weak excuse of the enemy for killing our people.

      "We have decided to silence our guns. Our only regrets are for the lives lost and that we could not hold out for longer."

      Earlier, Sri Lankan troops said they had rescued all civilians held by the Tamil Tiger rebels.

      "More than 50,000 people have come out of that area in the past three days and with that we have rescued all the civilians held as a human shield by the Tigers," military spokesman Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara said.

      However, he added that the Tigers still controlled a "small patch of jungle" and that government forces were still fighting with pockets of rebel resistance.

       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       

      From: Dev
      Sent: Sunday, May 17, 2009 10:42 AM
      To: lankaviththi ; sinhalacentre ; 'Chand Wije' ; geethaw ; 'ben silva' ; 'embassy london' ; 'embassy sri lanka' ; 'anura.s' ; jc@... ; 'Gamini Amarasekara' ; 'Ivan Amarasinghe' ; 'Asiri Bandara' ; 'Shiranthinie Batuwanthudawa' ; 'Mahinda Beddevithana' ; 'Athula Bulath' ; 'Bandula Chandrasekera' ; kumard ; 'gune ediri' ; gomin@... ; 'Dimunge Gunasekera' ; 'Dulara Gunathilake' ; 'Narendra Gunatillake' ; 'Jayantha Herath' ; Ananda Jayasinghe ; 'sarath kumara' ; 'Channa Lokuliyange' ; ."tissa madawela ; 'Dhammika Mawella' ; 'jhu media' ; 'Ira Mediwaka' ; 'Priyantha Pathirane' ; 'Mahinda Perera' ; 'Gallage Punyawardana' ; kamalrajapakse ; arjuna2000 ; 'Hon Champika Ranawaka MP' ; 'Akalanka Ranundeniya' ; 'Malinda Seneviratne' ; 'Ajith Silva' ; kumudinikula ; 'Dhammika Siripala' ; 'ranjith soysa' ; 'Jathika Hela Urumaya' ; 'Sapumal Wattearachchige' ; 'Nuwan Wijethilake' ; wijeyesinghe ; 'R A Wimalasekera'
      Cc: 'Susantha Goonatilake' ; Victor Gunasekara ; sinhalacentre ; 'Ajith Silva' ; Ananda Jayasinghe ; kumudinikula ; 'anura.s' ; 'Bandula Chandrasekera' ; 'Channa Lokuliyange' ; 'Dhammika Mawella' ; 'Dhammika Siripala' ; 'Dimunge Gunasekera' ; 'Dulara Gunathilake' ; 'Gamini Amarasekara' ; mgunasekera@... ; i_samaranayake@... ; 'Jathika Hela Urumaya' ; jc@... ; kumard ; 'Mahinda Beddevithana' ; 'Mahinda Perera' ; 'Malinda Seneviratne' ; 'Narendra Gunatillake' ; herath@... ; 'R A Wimalasekera' ; 'Sapumal Wattearachchige' ; 'Shiranthinie Batuwanthudawa' ; indraniweer@... ; udayanthi@... ; dee.desilva@... ; dayagun@... ; anomaakmeemana@... ; cfba.ramani@... ; raneegunawardene@... ; 'ranjith soysa' ; relankananda@... ; kamalrajapakse ; edward.perera@... ; 'Chand Wije' ; arjuna2000 ; cecilpy2k@... ; csa1@... ; RENU MARLEY ; Renuka Ranasinghe ; petercasiechitty@... ; dwickramaratne ; 'Dhammika Mawalle' ; 'Dhammika Siripala' ; Deeptha Susiri ; ruhunuvoice@yahoogroups.com ; ruhunuvoice44 ; Udaya Gammanpila ; udaya.k@... ; Lumbini Vithana
      Subject: Today UK Sunday Times..... Mary Colvin eat your heart out..we have beaten your friend Prabakaran

       

      Remember Marie Colvin, The woman who spent nearly two weeks with LTTE and  then got shot at by Army when she tried to sneak back in to Government area at night 10 years ago. She lost one eye fom shrapnel but Soldiers took her to Kandy hospital and saved her life . Instead of showing us gratitude she came back to UK and wrote several critical articles in the paper  attacking Srilanka and called our army "barbarians" while white washing her friend Prabakaran.   She called Sinhalese Bigots

      Two months ago she was the darling of London Tamil Diaspora and addresses several of their meetings / in one she said she was stripped and assaulted by our army when she got caught that night. It was a total fabrication when in fact Army saved her life
       
      Now today she has written two page article in the paper giving us insight in to Nadeshan's last few hours yesterday in Wanni.  It is an interesting article  (She still repeats that so called "health officials' claims that we bombed hospitals.)
       
       Anyway from the tone of her article I can see she too is trying to get round to Srilanka government.
       

      Please pass this message to any official or a Minister you know in Srilanka

      This venomous women should not be trusted. Srilankan government should never give her or Jeremy page of London Times to visit the country after the war

       
      Devsiri Hewavidana
      Uk

       

      SUNDAY TIMES UK     17 May 09

      by  Marie Colvin

      Fears of mass suicide as Tamil Tigers face final defeat

      Rebel leaders make historic offer to disarm as Sri Lankan troops close in to end 25 years of civil war and threaten more slaughter on the battlefield

      Some of the more than 100,000 that fled the area held by the Tigers stand in a line to receive food and water
      Marie Colvin

      THE satellite call came in the early hours of yesterday. The Tamil Tiger leader was desperate. For the first time in their decades-long struggle against the Sri Lankan government, the rebels were offering to lay down their weapons in return for a guarantee of safety.

      “Don’t say surrender,” insisted the leader, speaking calmly, despite the obvious desperation of the few survivors of the once ferocious Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), now cornered in an area roughly the size of Hyde Park with tens of thousands of civilians.

      It was the sound of defeat. After more than 25 years, the civil war in Sri Lanka was over. The only question was whether it would end in an ordered fashion or a bloodbath.

      The Colombo government was already triumphant. Just hours later the Sri Lankan president, Mahinda Rajapaksa, was claiming outright victory.

      “I will be going back to a country that has been totally freed from the barbaric acts of the rebels,” he announced. “My government with the total commitment of our armed forces has finally defeated the rebels militarily.” Despite his claims, shelling continued last night.

      So desperate have the Tamils become that they have threatened a mass suicide. Each fighter carries a cyanide pill for such circumstances. They also have a network of underground cells throughout the government-controlled parts of the country which they threatened to activate if their leadership is wiped out.

      Yesterday, I was given a vivid insight of what may be the final hours of the rebel leadership as they desperately tried to get a message to Washington and London.

      Heavy shelling in the area, which the Sri Lankan government designated as a no-fire zone, continued yesterday according to doctors and independent witnesses. The government in Colombo denied shelling the area.

      A doctor in the enclave said yesterday that between 2,000 and 3,000 bodies were lying unburied there, including 100 killed yesterday morning. He said a “stench of death” hung over the area.

      “We need a pause from the continued cannon and mortar fire to treat the wounded,” he said. “The seriously wounded are being allowed to die without medical attention.”

      The doctor and others fleeing the zone said families had been trapped in bunkers for all of last week, unable to get food or water. “All the people are in bunkers and there are bodies lying in the streets,” said another witness reached by satellite telephone. “The wounded are lying without care.”

      He said the Sri Lankan army had begun shelling at 4.30am yesterday, Sri Lankan time, and fierce bombardment continued throughout the day. Families were trapped in makeshift bunkers, little more than trenches scraped into the sand. “Please, we are saying to the world, please help us.”

      Military officials in Sri Lanka also appeared to be anticipating a victory. “They [the LTTE] are slowly giving up. They are blowing up whatever arms and ammunition they have,” said Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara, a military spokesman.

      What appears to be an imminent defeat is unlikely to bring peace to Sri Lanka. The Tamil Tigers have sleeper cells throughout the country, and are likely to return to suicide bombings and guerrilla hit-and-run tactics that they have used to devastating effect in the past.

      As the day went on, and evidence of a decisive government victory became clearer, the calls from Tamil leaders grew more and more desperate. In an apparently final message late yesterday, there was a sense of panic.

      Balasingham Nadesan, the head of the Tigers’ political wing, spoke on one of the few satellite phones left to the crushed rebel army. “We are ready to lay down our arms if the Americans or British can guarantee our safety,” he said. “There will be a tragedy if no one helps us.”

      Until earlier this year, the Tigers ran what was essentially a mini-state in the north of the country, with its own arsenal of tanks, small planes, ships and a civilian police force.

      “They said to me if they don’t have an answer within 24 hours then they will not be able to go on fighting,” said Selvarasa Pathmanathan, who is based outside Sri Lanka and was given authority by the Tamil Tigers’ leader, Velupillai Prabhakaran, to negotiate because of the difficulty of sending messages from the island.

      “Then they have only one way - they will take cyanide pills. They will not surrender to torture by the Sri Lankan army. That is 10,000 people - the fighters, their wives and children. Please, ask the Americans and British, please try to stop this.”

      Most of that weaponry, which once made the LTTE one of the most feared and disciplined insurgent groups in the world, is now gone, destroyed in the months since the breakdown of a ceasefire in January 2008.

      Since then the Sri Lankan army has relentlessly pursued a massive offensive that has pushed the Tamil Tigers to their tiny last redoubt and, according to United Nations figures, killed 7,000 civilians and wounded 16,700.

      In a pincer movement early yesterday, the 58th and 59th divisions of the Sri Lankan army battled their way from the north and south to meet at the village of Vellamullivaikkal on a beach of white sand, cutting off the Tamil Tigers from their last escape route across the Indian Ocean. It was the first time in decades - almost since the Tamil revolt began in 1983 - that the entire coast of the island, a former British colony, had been controlled by its government.

      Nadesan offered clear terms for an end to the fighting, acknowledging that the Tigers were coming from a position of weakness, but he insisted to me his proposals would lead to a negotiated end to this carnage-filled phase of the war and would avoid a bloodbath.

      The LTTE was offering to lay down its arms to a third party, possibly the United Nations, and wanted a guarantee from the Americans or British that its fighters would not be harmed. They wanted protection from the Sri Lankan army where they were, rather than seeking safe passage to another country.

      Tamil sources said the LTTE wanted the guarantee to cover about 50 of its leaders and about 1,000 lower level cadres who were the last foot soldiers of the once feared Tigers.

      Rumours flew yesterday that Prabhakaran had died or fled the country, but LTTE sources denied that, saying he was sheltering in a reinforced bunker. Later none of the top leadership could be reached, even by senior LTTE members outside the conflict zone.

      In that final call, there was still a message of defiance. “Any agreement must be attached to a commitment to a political process that will guarantee the human and political rights of the Tamil people,” Nadesan said.

      He was holed up in a bunker in the tiny corner of Mullaitivu, in the northeast of the Vanni, the LTTE’s last toehold. With the Tigers’ leaders and fighters were tens of thousands of trapped civilians - nobody yesterday knew the number, although the UN estimated civilians in the enclave numbered between 30,000 and 80,000.

      The Sri Lankan army said the rebels were holding the civilians as human shields, which the LTTE denied. It was impossible to verify the situation on the battlefield because journalists and international observers have been banned from the conflict zone by the Sri Lankan army.

      The offer to disarm was passed on to both the United States and Britain. But it may already have been too late. Vijay Nambiar, the chief of staff of the United Nations secretary-general, was in India yesterday en route to Colombo to try to stop the fighting. “My understanding is that there has already been large-scale carnage,” Nambiar said by telephone.

      He said he had gone to try to get access for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to the trapped civilians, but he did not hold out much hope. “I think there is an unwillingness of the Sri Lankan government to accept a surrender,” Nambiar said.

      “My sense is that they want to push all the way to the end. I feel persuading them to accept terms of surrender will be an uphill battle.”

      Last week, the ICRC, the only international aid agency allowed access to the war zone by the Sri Lankan government, tried unsuccessfully on three successive days to land a ferry with relief supplies and evacuate the wounded. The fighting was too intense to risk staff and civilians, said a member of the group. One ICRC staff member was killed last Wednesday by shell fire.

      Like the Tamil Tiger leadership, most of the civilians remaining in the area were hunkered down in shallow bunkers dug by families in a desperate bid for protection. The only working medical facility in the area - a school converted to a clinic, where the few doctors and nurses remaining in the area had hung intravenous lines from tree branches - closed last week when it was shelled for a third time.

      Men, women and children, desperate to escape, floated on tyres and makeshift rafts across a lagoon to government lines. Men waded ashore in water-soaked sarongs, women clutched children in T-shirts and shorts, and few had been able to escape with more than a threadbare pillow case or plastic bag of belongings.

      They were taken to internment camps set up by the Sri Lankan government. Colombo faced international criticism about the camps because civilians were not allowed visitors or to leave, and often lived in squalid conditions.

      Few dared to cross yesterday as the fighting was too intense.

      The fate of the Tamil Tigers was sealed in the past week. Since January 2008 when the peace process broke down, the Sri Lankan government decided to go for an all-out military victory over the rebels. It was something that no government had achieved since the Tamil Tigers began their military insurrection in 1983, after years of persecution of the Tamil ethnic minority.

      When the Tigers were encircled yesterday, they controlled only about a half square mile inland, alongside a lagoon. They were surrounded by 50,000 troops.

      Helicopter gunships added to the weapons hurled against them. The LTTE responded with one of its own much feared weapons, suicide bombers, against the troops. But the outcome was in little doubt.

      International pressure for an end to the fighting has been mounting. “We have called repeatedly for the violence to cease,” said Gordon Brown yesterday. “We are backing UN efforts to secure an orderly end to the conflict. Sri Lanka must understand that there will be consequences for its actions.”

      President Barack Obama said the US was ready to work to end the conflict. “Now’s the time, I believe, to put aside some of the political issues that are involved and to put the lives of the men and women and children who are innocently caught in the crossfire, to put them first,” he said.

      Rajapaksa, the president, was scheduled to head back to Colombo today from Jordan, claiming victory on the eve of his departure.

      He said he was returning as “a leader of a nation that vanquished terrorism”. The president, whose brother is the defence minister who has spearheaded the offensive, said his army “had finally defeated the LTTE militarily”.

      Now that their military hopes are dashed, the fear in western capitals is that the Tamil Tigers will again turn to terrorism. If the Tamil leadership goes ahead with their threats of suicide will there be anyone left to negotiate with?


                Lakbima today 17 May 09

       

       

             

             

           

           

           

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       
      LONDON INDEPENDENT
       

      Sri Lankan army closes net on rebels

      As the coast is captured, the Tamil Tigers and tens of thousands of civilians are caught in a trap. Andrew Buncombe reports

      Sunday, 17 May 2009

        One of the world's longest-running civil wars appeared to be in its final, bloody phase last night after Sri Lankan troops took control of the island's entire coast, completely encircling rebel fighters in a space just 1.2 miles square and cutting off a possible escape by sea for their senior leaders. The country's President predicted that the fight would be over in a matter of hours.

        Armoured divisions moving towards each other along the island's north-eastern coastline linked up at the village of Vellamullivaikkal, giving the military control of the entire coastline for the first time in 25 years.

        While the defeat of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam is surely imminent, the fate of civilians trapped in a tiny patch of land with the rebels was unclear. International officials said they were extremely worried about what might play out in the next few hours. "We are gravely concerned for the safety of between 30,000 and 80,000 civilians still in the war zone," said Gordon Weiss, a UN spokesman in Colombo. The UN has estimated that 7,000 civilians have been killed and a further 16,700 wounded since the beginning of the year. "We are particularly concerned for the safety of two doctors – Varatharajah and Sathyamurthy – who courageously kept the medical services going throughout the months of the siege."

        Related articles

        Sri Lankan authorities have, since two pauses in the fighting last month to allow the evacuation of civilians, dismissed renewed international calls for a ceasefire. But officials were still working last night towards a negotiated end to the violence. The UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, sent his chief-of-staff, Vijay Nambiar, to Sri Lanka for a second time to try to bring the conflict to a peaceful conclusion. He was due to arrive yesterday evening for a series of meetings. Gordon Brown also repeated his call for a ceasefire.

        It would be remarkable if Mr Nambiar or his boss could do anything to stop the Sri Lankan military. After a brutal civil war in which the Tigers repeatedly used suicide bombs against civilians and military targets, President Mahinda Rajapaksa has made clear his intention to crush the remaining 1,000 rebel fighters as quickly as possible. Threatened by the US with the blocking of a $1.9bn loan from the International Monetary Fund, Mr Rajapaksa on Thursday evening predicted that the operation would be completed within 48 hours. As he prepared to come home yesterday from a trip to Jordan, he announced: "I will return to Sri Lanka as a leader of a nation that vanquished terrorism."

        The last fighters are surrounded by some 50,000 government troops. In recent days, thousands more civilians have fled the war zone amid claims that government forces have been using heavy artillery. The UN said around 20,000 people left in the last couple of days and as many as 4,500 may have escaped yesterday alone. Anywhere up to 200,000 civilians in total have been able to escape and are currently being interned in refugee camps surrounded by razor wire.

        In addition to the uncertainty hanging over the future of those civilians still trapped – reportedly being prevented from leaving by the Tigers – the fate of the rebels' reclusive leader, Velupillai Prabhakaran, and his top deputies, is also unknown. Troops have been scouring the war zone for Mr Prabhakaran, and officials say they believe he is still there, but some people speculate that he has already escaped. It has long been said that the rebels' leader wears a small canister of cyanide around his neck and has ordered his bodyguards to shoot him dead rather than allow him to be captured alive. On Friday evening, the Sri Lankan navy said it intercepted a boat off the north-eastern coast and arrested the wife, son and daughter of the rebels' sea wing leader. They were said to be among 11 people on board,

        Even at this late hour, the rebels have been repeating their calls for the government to enact a ceasefire, and restart talks that broke off last year. Selvarasa Pathmanathan, who heads the rebels' international relations department, told the Associated Press that the group welcomed President Barack Obama's call last week for a peaceful end to the war and said they would do "anything that is necessary" to spare civilians. He did not say whether the rebels were prepared to lay down their arms.

        Precisely what the conditions are for those still in the war zone is unclear. Even before the rebels were completely surrounded, the thousands of civilians were packed together under tarpaulin shelters, dug into the sand. Food, water and medicine were in short supply; sanitation has been abysmal. But the past week has apparently seen an escalation in shelling, despite the government's undertaking not to use heavy weaponry. Health officials claimed that up to 1,000 civilians were killed as government shells continued to fall, including strikes on the last clinic, set up in a school. Even that clinic is no longer operating as the few remaining medics were forced to escape. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said that it had been unable to land the ferry it has been using to take away the most badly wounded civilians to hospitals outside the war zone. It is understood that the three most senior doctors, Dr Thurairajah Varatharajah, Dr T Sathyamurthy and another physician, were being held by the Sri Lankan military yesterday in the town of Omanthai. The phones used by the doctors in recent weeks to provide journalists with an idea of the misery inside the war zone all rang dead.

        A few days ago, the ICRC said its handful of staff were witnessing an "unimaginable humanitarian catastrophe". Meanwhile, a report on the pro-Tamil website TamilNet – which cannot be confirmed because journalists and almost all aid workers have been blocked from reaching the area – claimed thousands of corpses now littered the war zone.

        "An uncounted number of dead bodies, between 2,000 and 3,000, are lying all over the place in civilian congested area and the civilians are all struck by a heavy stench of dead bodies," it said, quoting a volunteer doctor. "The army has destroyed all medical facilities by targeted attacks, and was continuing inhuman and indiscriminate attacks on civilians, providing only two options – death or surrender."

        The Tigers have been fighting for an autonomous homeland for Tamils, which it says are discriminated against by Sri Lanka's Sinhala Buddhist majority. Mr Rajapaksa, whose brother heads the powerful Defence Ministry, has said he is open to a political settlement that would help appease the Tamil community, but only after the rebels – who once controlled a large part of north and eastern Sri Lanka – have been militarily defeated. But analysts say that even if, as seems all but certain, the last rebel fighters are killed in this operation, sufficient numbers of Tigers have probably escaped to allow an on-going guerilla operation using hit-and-run tactics.

        Downing Street said yesterday that Mr Brown had made several calls to Mr Rajapaksa asking for an end to the fighting. The Prime Minister called on the Tigers to lay down their arms and added: "Sri Lanka stands on the brink. We have called repeatedly for the violence to cease. The humanitarian agencies must be granted access to civilians caught in the crossfire of a dreadful conflict. Sri Lanka must understand that there will be consequences for its actions.

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