The Sri Lankan government is committed to fully implementing the 13th amendment to the constitution mooted in 1987 as a solution to the island’s ethnic conflict, a senior government spokesman said Thursday.
“The government is committed to the 13th amendment and the provincial councils,” the cabinet spokesman and Minister of Media and Information Anura Yapa told reporters. Yapa said some debates have begun with regard to conferring the councils with police and land powers.
“These issues can be sorted out through discussion,” Yapa stressed.
Fully implementing the provisions of the 13th amendment is currently being seen as the engine to offer some form of political power to the island’s Tamil minority.
Since the government’s comprehensive military success over the Liberation Tigers of Tamil last month the government has come up with calls to settle for power sharing with the Tamil minority.
Sri Lanka’s top rights panel said Thursday it has concluded investigations into the murder of 17 local employees of a French charity and six other high profile cases from the island’s civil war.
The head of the probe, however, refused to say who had been found responsible for the 2006 massacre of the aid workers, which international monitors and rights groups have blamed on Sri Lankan government forces.
“We have completed seven cases, including the ACF (French charity Action Against Hunger) case, and we have asked for a date to hand over the report to the president,” Nissanka Udalagama said.
“I can’t discuss our findings because it is up to the president to decide,” he added, saying his panel would ask the president to establish a more permanent body to keep up investigations.
Reports AFP, via Google News.
Reuters has a report. In summary,
- More than 6,200 soldiers killed and nearly 30,000 wounded (Source: Defence Secretary interview with ITN)
- More than 15,000 LTTE cardres killed according to the Military several months ago.
No final tally.
- Around 7,000 civilians killed since January according to unverified, unofficial U.N. estimates. Around 280,000 displaced according to aid agencies.
- Overall, according to the UN, the conflict has killed from about 80,000 -100,000 people.
Update (23/05/2009): According to Army Chief speaking to NDTV, a total of 22,000 LTTE cardres were killed by the Army alone. He also puts the casualty figures of the Sri Lanka troops lower.
Youtube has the speech given by President Mahinda Rajapakse declaring the victory in the war against the LTTE. The full speech is available in six parts.
Part 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
Posted in Links to Good Stuff, News, Sri Lanka
Tagged Colombo, King, LTTE, Mahinda Rajapakse, Parliament, speech, Sri Lanka, Tamil, Victory, Video
The state media broadcast the video of Sri Lankan armed forces recovering the body of LTTE chief Prabhakaran. His remains are shown here on display. The video is available on youtube. Viwer discretion is advised.
The video also shows Prabhakaran’s former comrades, Karuna and Daya Master identifying the body and commenting on what is a defining moment in Sri Lanka’s history.
A related video showing the jubilation of Army combatants is availble here.
Confirming earlier rumors, MoD website and state media confirms the death of LTTE cheif Prabhakarn’s death along with his confidants Soosai and Pottu Amman. from MoD,
The latest reports from battlefront reveal that LTTE leader V. Prabhakran, has been killed this morning (May 18). The sources further say that LTTE’s intelligence wing leader Pottu Amman and Sea Tiger wing leader Soosai were also killed.
As usual, fireworks going off in the streets everywhere in the country. State media is playing patriotic songs and profiling the three decades of terror perpetrated by the LTTE and it’s leadership. The entire Tiger leadership has now been eliminated.
First, the official statement by the Security Council President, Vitaly Churkin (Russian Federation). Video is below, UN has the full statement.
Miliband other European delegates from the UN Security Council made their own statements. The video for that too, is included below.
Posted in Links to Good Stuff, News, Opinions, Sri Lanka, Videos
Tagged Colombo, Conflict, David Miliband, Humanitarian, LTTE, Mahinda, Security Council, Sri Lanka, Statement, United Nations