Sunday Leader blows the lid on eviction
drama following the President’s call for probe
Ministry ordered eviction of Tamils from city
eviction of Tamil civilians from lodges in the
Western Province were carried out on a directive
given by Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapakse,
it is revealed.
revelation comes in a circular issued by Senior
DIG of the North and East, Mahinda Balasuriya
dated May 31. The circular also reveals that the
relevant authorities were directed to establish
a rehabilitation camp in close proximity to
Vavuniya town by June 6.
eviction of Tamil civilians commenced in the
early hours of June 7.
of Tamil civilians living in the Western
Province were transported to Vavuniya by the
government on Thursday, June 7 in buses leading
to an international outcry and allegations of
ethnic cleansing prompting President Mahinda
Rajapakse to direct the IGP, Victor Perera to
initiate an inquiry to ascertain the basis for
that officials exceeded their authority in
implementing this initiative will be thoroughly
investigated and appropriate remedial action
taken, including disciplinary action against any
wrong doing on the part of any government
official," the president said in a
Supreme Court on Friday issued a stay order on
the eviction of Tamil civilians from the Western
Province following a fundamental rights
application filed by the Centre for Policy
initiated its own investigation into the
eviction of the Tamil civilians from the Western
Province in the public interest following the
President’s call for an inquiry and unearthed
that the elaborate plan for the eviction of the
Tamil civilians from the Western Province was
made at a top level meeting presided by Gotabaya
Rajapakse on May 31 at the Defence Ministry
where the IGP too was present.
details published below in the public interest, The
Sunday Leader hopes will help the inquiry
the President has called for.
directives issued by the Defence Ministry for
the transportation of Tamil civilians from the
Western Province to the ‘operational areas’
was put down in writing by Senior DIG Balasuriya
under his signature and circulated to all the
relevant police officers for action.
circular written in Sinhala and translated into
English below speaks for itself and details the
directives issued. Among those participating at
the May 31 meeting presided by the Defence
Secretary were IGP Victor Perera, Army Chief of
Staff Lawrence Fernando, Colombo DIG Rohan
Abeywardene and DIG, CID Prathapasinghe.
Balasuriya circular states in its heading in
bold lettering – Directives issued by State
Defence Secretary following the discussion on
10 of the circular states from June 1, 2007,
Tamil civilians who enter the Colombo city from
the North and East would be sent back to the
relevant operational areas in buses under police
protection once they have completed their work
should then be handed over to the relevant
police station by you. They should from there be
sent to their homes by the respective OIC of the
police station. Therefore the entrance and the
departure of Tamil civilians to the Western
Province should be done by the police and
security should be provided. This would prevent
innocent Tamil civilians from being arrested
several times once in Colombo. Youth who have
been found guilty would have to be sent to the
rehabilitation camps in Boossa and Vavuniya.
Plans are under to set up a similar
rehabilitation camp in Senapura, Welikanda in
the Eastern Province., the circular states.
should be understood that the intention of these
directives is to identify the Tamil youth living
in the Western Province and to send innocent
civilians back to their homes by the government.
However, youth who are engaged in illegal
activities will still be taken into custody.
Inform the relevant officers in-charge of the
new action plan", the circular also states
revealing the planned action.
is the full text of the Senior DIG Balasuriya’s
circular which blows the lid on the entire
issued by State Defence Ministry Secretary
following the discussion on 31.05.2007
May 31, 2007, Defence Secretary held a special
discussion with the Army Chief of Staff, IGP,
senior police personnel and the OICs of the
Western Province. I too attended it and the
following directives are to be enforced in areas
under your purview.
All road blocks in the north and east are to be
operational. This would ease the threat on the
All vigilant committees should be functional.
Six main road blocks would be operational at the
borders of the operational areas. Everyone
entering and leaving should be registered at the
Maha Oya checkpoint. The six checkpoints would
be provided with digital cameras and they should
Human resources should be well utilized. DIGs
and SSPs should do this after a close study.
Unwanted road blocks should be abandoned and
about 20 personnel should be deployed to operate
the main checkpoints.
Effort should be made to ensure that unwanted
people do not leave the operational areas. That
would reduce the threat on the Western Province.
A list of details should be prepared of the
residents in the area.
DIG Wanni District: A rehabilitation camp should
be immediately set up surrounding the Vavuniya
town. A suitable location should be identified
soon and after discussing it with the relevant
authorities inform me of the details by June 6,
2007. The report has to be submitted to the
Defence Secretary. Consider it as top priority.
Civil security personnel should be given special
training under platoons. Begin immediate
coordination on the matter with the Civil
Protection Department. These personnel will be
used in limited operations in the future. Report
on the progress. June 8, 2007.
UK says there is a growing case
for int’l monitors to SL
tells MR war is unwinnable
Prime Minister Tony Blair has informed President
Mahinda Rajapakse in writing the war is
unwinnable and that the government must ensure
the protection of human rights of all the people
in terms of accepted international practices.
letter came in the backdrop of growing
international pressure for UN intervention in
Sri Lanka due to the deteriorating human rights
situation in the country.
British Premier has also said in his letter that
it was vital to have a credible constitutional
framework to resolve the ethnic conflict as was
the need to win the hearts and minds campaign.
British Government has through diplomatic
channels further informed the government its
deep concern over military action to defeat the
LTTE which it says has resulted in immense human
suffering and damaged Sri Lanka’s
earlier withheld 50 per cent of the post tsunami
assistance totaling approximately Rs. 46 billion
after the government failed to respond
positively to a written query by Minister for
International Development Hilary Benn that it
would not instigate hostilities and increase
in a special briefing note dated June 4 to the
British members represented in the European
Parliament, the British Government has said,
"An international attempt to push for an UN
led mission seems likely."
briefing note sent on the eve of the public
hearing at the European Parliament on the human
rights situation in Sri Lanka also said,
"With on going human rights violations, and
an ineffectual Commission of Inquiry and Sri
Lanka Monitoring Mission, there is a growing
case for introducing international human rights
monitors to Sri Lanka."
The Sunday Leader learns a tough
resolution is expected to be adopted by the
European Parliament on Sri Lanka this month.
considers fuel rationing
government is considering a proposal to ration
fuel in order to minimise fuel consumption in
the country due to the escalating fuel bill.
cabinet proposed the idea of rationing fuel to
consumers at the special cabinet meeting held to
discuss the fuel crisis as well as the rising
cost of living chaired by President Mahinda
Rajapakse on Monday (4).
a final decision on the matter is to be taken
following the submission of the report by the
special committee appointed by the President to
study the matter. The report is to be presented
to the cabinet in two weeks.
the meeting, Petroleum Minister A. H. M. Fowzie
observed that if the petroleum prices were not
increased the losses incurred by the CPC would
to move no faith motion on Keheliya
and UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday
said that the UNP would move a no confidence
motion in parliament against Defence
Spokesperson and Minister Keheliya Rambukwella
for misleading Members of Parliament.
leaders of the UNP’s estate worker’s union
in Nuwara Eliya yesterday, Wickremesinghe
charged that Rambukwella had misled members of
Parliament by saying the Tamils who were evicted
from lodges in Colombo were suspects, when in
reality they were innocent civilians.
Opposition Leader who faulted the minister for
doing so said the UNP would move a no confidence
motion against Rambukwella in parliament.
had further said that the actions of the
government were further isolating Sri Lanka
among the international community.
return to the city
100 Tamil civilians who were evicted from
Colombo on June 7 returned to the city yesterday
after traveling 360 km within 60 hours following
Friday’s Supreme Court order.
after arriving in the capital their ordeal was
not over as they had to wait for hours at the
Wellawatte and Bambalapitiya police stations for
formal registration. Around 180 persons arrived
in Colombo yesterday in five buses from Vavuniya.
were among the group of 376 who were evicted
from Colombo on June 7 and sent to Vavuniya.
Some among the group had left to stay with
relatives while another group had been sent to
remaining lot stayed the night at Gamini Maha
Vidyalaya in Vavuniya without proper sanitation
facilities. The ICRC provided food. Following
the stay order issued by the Supreme Court of
June 8 against the evictions, they were once
again directed to buses around 3 p.m. in the
afternoon for the 180 km return journey. Some
among the returnees said that they went without
food since late June 8 evening till their
arrival in Colombo.
the way the buses had stopped at police stations
in Dam Street, Kotahena, Pettah and finally
reached Wellawatte at around 8 a.m.
were herded into buses like cattle and even when
we were told we could go back to Colombo, we
were warned to finish our work there and go back
to our hometowns, without staying in
Colombo," 19-year-old Ramalingam from
had arrived in Colombo to obtain a passport and
a visa to work abroad. He was awaiting his visa
when police told him to leave Colombo on June 7
year old Sundralingam was in Colombo with his
daughter waiting to go to India for her marriage
when he got his eviction order. The daughter had
postponed her departure despite obtaining the
visa, as the bridegroom had not reached India
yet. She too had to take the round trip to
Vavuniya between June 7 and 9.
had arrived from Doha, Qatar to tie the knot and
was in Colombo when the June 7 eviction order
came. Police did not buy his story and sent him
packing to Vavuniya. He too returned yesterday.
Most of evictees awaiting visas were told by
Police to go back home last week and return to
collect the travel documents later. However, the
civilians said that sometimes it could take as
long as three months to make arrangements to
leave a location like Jaffna.
the stay order, human rights activists who were
at the police stations to talk with the
returnees said that last week’s mass eviction
programme had instilled a deep fear in the
didn’t have any answers to the question of
many of the people we spoke to. They asked us
whether we could guarantee that this will not
happen again. Some had heard about the court
order restraining the Police from carrying out
such evictions again, but this had not instilled
a sense of confidence that this will not happen
again," Rukshan Fernando from the Law and
Society Trust told The Sunday Leader.
the Defence Ministry yesterday said that the
police had taken the decision to move out
civilians from lodges following security
consideration after the twin claymore attacks in
Reclamation Road and Ratmalana and the discovery
of over 1,000 kg of explosives in Nikkaweratiya.
growing security concerns have compelled the
police to focus its attention on lodgers who are
having extended stay for no valid reason and
those who could not prove their identity,"
the Ministry said on its website.
of civilians have been changed on request)
for people wont be withheld for fault of leaders
calls for inquiry into eviction of Tamils
special envoy Yasushi Akashi on Friday called on
the government to bring the human rights
situation in the country under control and urged
President Mahinda Rajapakse to issue a statement
and initiate an inquiry into the forcible
eviction of the Tamil civilians from the Western
made this call during separate meetings with
Human Rights Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe and
Health Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva in
parliament on Friday.
had warned that Japan would be forced to fall in
line with other donors and stop aid to Sri Lanka
if immediate remedial action was not taken on
hours after his proposal, Minister Samarasinghe
telephoned Akashi who was in discussion with a
group of Muslim parliamentarians and
communicated President Rajapakse’s decision to
issue a statement as urged by the Japanese
Muslim members Akashi met were Hassan Ali,
Faiser Cassim, K. Bais and Abdul Majeed.
told the Muslim MPs he met Samarasinghe and de
Silva and asked as to who gave the order for the
eviction of the Tamil people.
envoy said the two ministers had pleaded
told the Ministers we can understand if the LTTE
did it because it is a terror group. But the
government cannot act like that. This has to be
conveyed to the donor countries. In this
situation Japan is not willing to give aid I
also told the Ministers," Akashi said.
had further said all the donor countries were
upset over the latest development and the image
of Sri Lanka was very bad, particularly after
the eviction of Tamils from the city.
however decided on Saturday not to withhold aid
at the present time following the President
accepting Akashi’s proposal and issuing a
statement calling for an inquiry into the
eviction of Tamils from the city.
addressing the media yesterday Akashi reasserted
that Japan’s policy was not to tie its aid to
Sri Lanka too closely to progress in the peace
should common people be punished for the
commissions or omissions of their leaders?"
yesterday also attributed the deteriorating
security situation in the country to the
political changes that have taken place in the
on the prospect of banning the LTTE in Japan and
freezing the organisation’s funds, Akashi
stated that the Japanese government has
"not identified any LTTE supporters or
assets" in their country despite the
presence of many Sri Lankans there. Therefore,
he claimed, a ban in Japan becomes a theoretical
question at most.
Wants to recruit 50,000
admits to severe financial crisis
Mahinda Rajapakse last week revealed that the
government was facing a severe financial crisis.
made this statement at last week’s cabinet
meeting on Wednesday (6).
the ministers, the President after explaining
the financial crisis faced by the government had
requested the ministers to immediately halt
granting jobs in their ministries as well as
President said the government plans to recruit
50,000 soldiers and unnecessary expenditure has
to be averted for that purpose.
were also warned to be careful when granting
promotions to public officers as special
attention needed to be paid to public fund
the Treasury has also been requested to keep a
close watch on fund management of ministries. It
is also learnt that the Treasury is to issue
necessary regulations for the purpose as well.
government’s financial crisis has been made
worse by the decision of several foreign
countries to freeze aid due to the country.
outsmarts Basil on port project
Hambantota Port Development project was launched
on Thursday, June 7 amidst controversy following
a clash between Presidential Advisor Basil
Rajapakse and the local agent for the Chinese
consortium Prabath Nanayakkara.
learns Basil Rajapakse had wanted the project
launched on May 31 when Nanayakkara was
overseas, a proposal the consortium had rejected
following representations by the local agent.
the local agent is reading for a degree at the
Harvard University in the US and was scheduled
to arrive in Sri Lanka on June 2 for the launch
of the project. Rajapakse however had insisted
that the launch take place on May 31, it is
project was finally launched on June 7 after the
return of Nanayakkara to the country.
Port Minister Mangala Samaraweera had earlier
alleged in writing to President Mahinda
Rajapakse that his brother Basil was interfering
in the port project and was pushing the case of
was subsequently sacked from the cabinet and the
portfolio given to elder brother Chamal
takes a beating in Toppigala says MCNS
fighting broke out in the Toppigala region in
the east with the army overrunning four Tiger
camps and killing 30 Tigers, according to the
Ministry said that the army was closing in on
Toppigala and Tiger camps at Ibbanvila,
Akkarathivu, Mawadi-ode, and Veppanveli had been
captured. Three Tigers had committed suicide
during the confrontation, the Media Center for
National Security (MCNS) said.
bodies of eight LTTE terrorists killed by troops
have been handed over to the ICRC," it
soldier was killed in the battles and 10 others
injured. "The army has so far recovered
heavy weapons including six medium purpose
machine guns and four rocket propelled grenade
launchers, 21 T-56 assault rifles and large
quantities of live ammunition of all varieties
including GPMG ammunition, anti-personnel mines,
explosive devices and military hardware,"
the MCNS said.
least 300 Tigers are believed to be holed up in
Toppigala under the command of Nagesh and Jeyam.
demands Rs. 400m from LH
representing former Chairman, Airport and
Aviation Services and Chairman, Standard
Newspapers, Tiran Alles have sent letters of
demand to the Associated Newspapers of Ceylon
letters sent by Paul Ratnayake Associates
claimed Rs. 200 million in damages for
defamatory articles in the Daily News and
Dinamina newspapers respectively. The
articles in question according to Alles’
lawyers contained a series of falsehoods, were
"written with express malice" and did
not offer "the courtesy of reference
total the two letters demanded Rs. 400 million
from Lake House within 14 days of the letters,
dated June 8, to avoid legal proceedings being
instituted against the company.
three articles in question, two appearing in the
Daily News on June 7 and June 8 and one
in Dinamina printed on June 7 referred to
Alles providing luxury vehicles to the LTTE in
collaboration with alleged LTTE operative Emil
Kanthan. The article referenced on June 7 in the
Daily News was titled "CID probing
massive transfer of funds, vehicles to LTTE."
stood by during abduction claims SLMM
stood by and did not make an attempt to
interfere when the two slain Sri Lanka Red Cross
volunteers were abducted from the Fort railway
station on June 1, the latest reports filed by
the SLMM said.
incident (abduction) happened in the presence of
many policemen, who did not interfere. On June
2nd, the following morning, the dead bodies of
the Red Cross workers were found in Kirielle in
Ratnapura area," the SLMM situation report
monitors also said one of the Muslim colleagues
of the victims had volunteered to accompany the
two with the abductors who claimed they were
from the CID. "They were abducted by men
who presented themselves as Criminal
Investigation Department (CID) policemen." (AP)
turns down DPL posting
Shakthi TV talk show host Sri Ranga has turned
down a diplomatic appointment from the
government and left overseas for training.
was reported earlier that the EPDP and CWC had
complained to President Mahinda Rajapakse on the
conduct of the Minnel programme by Sri