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  • » 05/19/2009, 00.00

    SRI LANKA

    Rajapaksa declares the end of the war. Doubts surround the death of the Tiger’s leader



    Official address to parliament broadcast live on TV. The leader speaks in Sinhalese and Tamil and affirms the “protection of all people, including Tamils, this is my commitment and my responsibility”. Ban Ki Moon expected on the island on May 22nd.

    Colombo (AsiaNews/Agencies) - “Victory in the war against the LTTE has been reached”.  The President of Sri Lanka Mahinda Rajapaksa has officially declared the end of the war and in a parliamentary address early this morning. 

    Rajapaksa read his discourse to the nation, which was broadcast to the nation, in Sinhalese and pronunced few words in Tamil.  The President affirmed that he had “exercised powers vested in me on the mandate given by the people in 2005 to free this nation and today every inch of this land is under the legal framework of the constitution”. 

    In his discourse to Sri Lanka he remembered the soldiers killed in the line of battle and invited everyone to contribute to the reconstruction of the nation and resolve the problem of the tens of thousands of refugees. Rajapaksa said “there are only two sections. One who loves the country and a small minority that do not love the country”.

    Meanwhile doubts surround the death of Tiger leader, Velupillai Prabhakaran. Selvarasa Pathmanathan, LTTE spokesman, has claimed that the supreme leader “is safe and well”.  His body was not found among those of 18 rebels killed yesterday by the Sri Lankan army and identified by the military.

    In the interim, the government is negotiating with UN representatives to coordinate a response to the humanitarian emergency of the 220 thousand refugees in the government camps.  On May 22nd UN secretary general Ban Ki Moon is expected to arrive on the island.

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    See also

    08/01/2010 SRI LANKA
    The United Nations: "The video is of tamil executions is authentic"
    Philip Alston, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, has made a thorough survey to assess the tape aired in England, showing the Sri Lankan army killing the rebels. Colombo: "unfounded allegations, violated diplomacy."

    14/04/2009 SRI LANKA
    Bishops of Sri Lanka: Prayers to the risen Christ for peace and unity in the country
    Christian leaders are calling for an end to the conflict and suffering for the civil Tamil population. Today the rebel militias have asked for a lasting ceasefire, and the resumption of peace talks. The government says that any negotiations depend on the rebels laying down their weapons.

    20/05/2009 INDIA - SRI LANKA
    Indian Tamils do not believe Tiger leader dead
    In Tamil Nadu police have been deployed to counter possible attacks by the Tamil minority. The Indian Minister for defence also deploys the Navy to patrol the waters of the Palk straight which divides the two nations: the arrival of boats carrying rebels is feared.

    23/04/2009 INDIA - SRI LANKA
    Bishop of Chennai: nothing can justify the massacre underway in Sri Lanka
    Archbishop Chinnappa denounces the resignation of the international community. The Church of India prays for peace, and calls for a political solution to the conflict. "We are with the Tamils living in Sri Lanka, and those dispersed all over the world."

    16/05/2008 SRI LANKA
    The state must also protect the lives and rights of the minorities
    A powerful appeal from the National Peace Council to the authorities, that they safeguard the Tamil minority as well, against violence on the part of unknown groups, but also against abuses by the police. For the important Buddhist feast of Vesak, a call for compassion and respect.



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