THE MINISTRY OF DEFENCE in cooperation with the Central Bank of Sri Lanka is building 50,000 housing units for armed forces personnel. The project is phased over five years, with 10,000 houses to be completed each year. Already 1620 housing units are being built in Ipolagama, Anuradhapura and are expected to be completed within six months. Stage two is expected to begin in Horowpathana. Each housing project also includes schools, shopping complexes, gymnasiums, and other facilities. These, along with new roads and other services will ensure that the surrounding region will also benefit from significant infrastructure development.
“No one, may be with the exception of Gothabaya Rajapaksa, but he’s the only person I can mention who thought a military victory was possible. I was very hard to say very close to Indian intelligence and an enormous amount of time throughout this process and never, ever did any Indian official hint that a military victory was possible until mid 2008. Then they started, I observed the change in Mr.M.K.Narayanan and others and gradually shift into the position that may be, state may be the government can wipe out the tigers military victory.”Norwegian peace envoy Erik Solheim said last week
“Sri Lankans try to manipulate every single day for whole this 10 years, for their business interest part of that they tried to manipulate all. We may be fool but no so foolish that we understand that they tried to manipulate.” Minster of the Environment and international Development Erik Solheim further said.
Sri Lankans try to manipulate every single day for whole this 10 years, for their business interest part of that they tried to manipulate all. We may be fool but no so foolish that we understand that they tried to manipulate.
Eric Solheim made this remarks last week in Oslo seminar followed by the launch of the evaluation report of the Norwegian Peace effort in Sri Lanka. The evaluation has been performed by CMI in Bergen and the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London, and deals with the Norwegian peace effort in Sri Lanka between 1997 and 2009.
While denying reports that the Sri Lankan Navy had fired on Indian fishermen, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said that he instructed the Navy to carry out a detailed investigation into the incident, the Hindu reported today.
Talking over breakfast to foreign correspondents at his Temple Trees residence in Colombo this morning, he said that the Sri Lankan Navy was not involved in the incident.
Asked if Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had spoken to him about the incident, he said that the Prime Minister had not. Asked if the Sri Lankan government would take action in the event of the firing being committed by its security forces, he said that despite the preliminary investigation – which established that the Navy was not involved — he had asked the Navy Commander to conduct a detailed investigation.
The Sri Lankan Navy’s chief of operations, said that the incident occurred well within the Indian waters. “The sea is very shallow in these areas and the position of all our ships’ locations are monitored by land-based and other equipment. This is in the open and anyone can check,” he told The Hindu, denying that the Sri Lankan Navy had anything to do with the incident.
A senior military official said there had been no transactions with North Korea.
Sri Lanka says the country never purchased any arms, ammunition and equipment from North Korea during the war against the LTTE.
A senior official involved in procurement of arms on Thursday (Dec. 9) told The Island that there hadn t been any transactions with NK for a long time.
He was responding to information in diplomatic cables leaked by Wikileaks of US diplomatic protests about North Korea s alleged sale of rocket-propelled launchers to Sri Lanka in early 2009.
The official pointed out that the international media may have wrongly reported that Sri Lanka was acquiring arms from NK, whereas the actual beneficiary of such arms sales could have been the LTTE.
Alleging possible NK support for the JVP-led 1971 insurgency, Sri Lanka broke-off diplomatic ties with that country.
Military sources say that Sri Lanka hadn t purchased any major items even from South Korea except some Fast Attack Craft (FACs) acquired in the 80s during the JRJ administration.
Authoritative sources told The Island that the leaked US cables, which had been the basis for media speculation on Sri Lanka receiving NK arms, could have dealt with the LTTE procuring arms from China and transferring them overland through NK to be loaded into LTTE ships.
The fallen war heroes of Army, Navy, Air Force and Police, who sacrificed their noble lives to save their motherland from the ruthless LTTE terrorists for the past 3 decades were commemorated by presenting the “Uththama Pooja Prenama medal” to their beloved parents and wives was held at the Air Force base premises-Hingurakgoda today (03rd Dec). Defence Secretary Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa participated to the event as the Chief Guest.
The welcome speech was presented by the president of Ranviru Seva Authority Mrs. Padma Wettawa. The gazette extra ordinary published by HE the President Mahinda Rajapaksa on 16th July 2010 was read out by the Director of Ranaviru Seva Authority Mr. Shirya Danansooriya which include the style and designation, description, ribbon, eligibility, awarding of the medal, forfeiture and restoration of the medal.
Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa speaking at the occasion stated that the medal is righteously presented to the kit and kin of those brave men and women of the armed services as tribute to their noble sacrifices made. Though there are a number of welfare schemes and projects underway for war heroes and their families the ‘Uttana Pooja’ medal was decided as an honour and appreciation of the direct contribution of the ‘ranaviru families’ in the humanitarian bid for permanent peace, he said.
Overall this is an opportunity to show our gratitude as a nation that never forgets its brave men and women. An example well set for our future generations to follow, Secretary Defence further asserted. 1736 family members of fallen war heroes received medals at the ceremony including 1170, 397, 169 respectively from Polonnaruwa, Trincomalle and Batticaloa districts.
Chairperson of the Ranaviru Seva Authority Mrs. Padma Wetthewa, Director Ranaviru Seva Authority Mr. Shriya Dananasooriya, Additional Secretary Ministry of Defence Mr. RMS Rathnayake, GA Polonnaruwa district Nimal Abesiri, Director Welfare Sri Lanka Air Force Air Vice Marshal Anura Silva, Commanding Officer SLAF Hingurakgoda Group Captain H.M.S.K.B Kotakadeniya were also present at the occasion.
Sri Lanka has firmly ruled out any defence cooperation pact with Pakistan although they maintained very strong military ties during the height of the ethnic war in the country.
Gotabhaya Rajapakse, the powerful defence secretary, said the government did not discuss the possibility of a Defence Cooperation Agreement (DCA) during the recent four-day visit by Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari.
`President Mahinda Rajapakse hadn`t discussed any defence-related proposal with his Pakistani counterpart,` the privately-run Island newspaper today quoted the Defence Secretary, who is also the president`s younger brother.
The Island said the defence secretary dismissed what he called unsubstantiated media reports on a post-war DCA between Sri Lanka and Pakistan.
However, a joint statement issued by Pakistan and Sri Lanka at the end of Zardari`s visit last month said they had agreed to promote a dialogue on, among other things, defence and security issues.
Zardari, who held closed-door talks with President Rajapakse, discussed increasing trade and defence cooperation, the president`s office said on November 28.
It gave no details of the defence cooperation, but Pakistan was a main supplier of arms and ammunition when government forces were locked in combat with Tamil Tiger rebels.
Pakistan provided heavy weapons that were used to crush the Tamil Tigers in May last year which brought an end to their 37-year violent struggle for a Tamil homeland in Sri Lanka.
Gotabhatya told the Sri Lankan daily that his brother`s government had not entered into any DCA during the fighting with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), though the country acquired arms, ammunition and equipment from several countries, including Pakistan.
Mumbai’s Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) is questioning a key member of Dawood Ibrahim gang for alleged links with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to supply arms for terror activities in India.
Sri Lanka Navy is celebrating Diamond Jubilee (completion of 60 years) today. On December 09, 1950 the Navy Act was enacted to form Royal Ceylon Navy. In 1972, with the introduction of new constitution Royal Ceylon Navy was renamed as the Sri Lanka Navy.
Representatives from 21 countries including 06 Naval Chiefs from around the world are participating in the celebrations. Ships from Bangladesh, China, India, Iran, Pakistan, Russia and Thailand Navies are participating in the Presidential Fleet Review and International Sail Past at the port of Colombo.
India is represented by Admiral Nirmal Verma, Chief of Naval Staff along with INS Mysore and INS Tarangini.
Jaffna Government Agent, Imelda Sukumar who was the Mullaitivu GA during the war, yesterday vehemently denied claims that those who crossed over from LTTE controlled areas to Government controlled areas carrying white flags were fired at by the army during the height of the war.
Mrs. Sukumar said this while responding to a question posed to her by the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) Chairman, C.R de Silva, on the issue, during a LLRC session held yesterday.
Ms. Sukumar maintained that reports of alleged atrocities by the Sri Lankan Army were false. No one was shot by the army when they crossed over carrying white flags. If it had happened I would have known about it. Not a single case of this nature was reported to me,” Sukumar said, adding that two of her drivers escaped the LTTE controlled zone carrying white flags and that they informed her of their safe return.
She said that civilians had been used by the LTTE as human shields to serve their own ends. “These civilians wanted to escape but were unable to do so. The LTTE could not have sustained themselves without these civilians. They were necessary for their survival. Although civilians wanted to get away from their grip they were caught in the middle with no way out,” she said.
Mrs. Sukumar said that she had been in Mullaitivu till January 22 during which time there had been around 350,000 civilians in the Pudukudiyiruppu area in Mullaitivu. She said that majority of them fled the area and that their lives were saved due to the support they got from the Army. She said that the then Vavuniya Commander, General Jagath Jayasuriya ensured that food and medicine was provided for the civilians. “80% of the food and other goods sent to the civilians were transported to them but I’m not sure about the other 20%. It is likely that those goods went to the LTTE,” she said.