Five that Came in a Tag

I shouted out loud, “Adoh, Suddo...” and I get answered by the black variety. Kalusudda tags me in Five that Came in a Tag.

The rules are quite simple really.

As stipulated by the inventor of the game – the drummer in a high place:

  • You write five words to describe how you feel about recent events in Sri Lanka.
  • You tag five bloggers.
  • You sit back and relax (and hope they’d keep it going)
Recent events in five words:

  1. Success
  2. Relief
  3. Pain
  4. Camaraderie
  5. Hope
And I hereby tag:
  1. Jerry Berry – the favourite, but not so edible fruit
  2. Makuluwo – the Spiderwoman in the making
  3. Chavie – the one that’s on the run
  4. Lady D – oh, the divine one
  5. Santhoshi – the temporarily superstitious one
Good luck people!

Adoh Suddo...

I wish the bloody idiots understood Sinhala, so that I could give them a bit of my mind. But then again, that would be a tad too much to ask for.

Finally, the Human Rights pundits lost it at the big seat.

The world accepts that the government acted in the best interest of its civilians, whom it has promised to take care of. We knew it all along, and, now they know.

Miliband and his band of bandits failed to bully the tiny island that is Sri Lanka. Once again.

My tiny island scores a huge diplomatic victory at the United Nations.

And... comes the famous American Question: Now what?

Human Rights Watchdogs have one less issue to talk about, one less means of income. No more island holiday for the Brits, Italians, Canadians, Germans et al who were planning on riding their brand new Nissan Safari’s or Toyota Land Cruisers, pretending to be “saving the humanity” while being sloshed in night clubs and beach-side joints in Colombo.

Less cappuccinos and green tea to be served at watering holes in the city.

Pro-terrorist Tamil Diaspora would be looking for new angles to incriminate the Sri Lankan government, working along with their kith-and-kin in high places. Kumaraswamy’s, Pillay’s and Lata’s and the rest. Looking for a road to Hauge, perhaps?

A few thousand “refugee visas” not getting extended in Europe, Canada and Australia. No wonder they are on the street – who wants to leave the luxuries and go back to Vanni?

Opportunities missed – for the NGO’s. Amnesty International cannot open an office in Colombo. Sheesh. Norwegians cannot arm the LTTE, MSF cannot wire reports that feed the pro-terrorist propaganda. Brits cannot spy on the Indians, HRW cannot come-up with numbers that are made-up by some university students sitting under a tree in Sydney.

We have seen what the NGO’s have (not) done in the ex-LTTE held territory. Billions of Euros spent on sign-boards. Signboards alone, announcing the project – but not a brick in place. They should never be allowed in to the country again; they should be held accountable for what they did (not) in the North and East during the reign of the LTTE terrorism. If anyone deserves to be brought to justice, those NGO officials would be a good start.

We already have the UN, ICRC and a few other “respectable” organisations, already with sufficient access to the internally displaced persons, operating inside the refugee welfare centres. If anybody is genuinely interested in Human Rights in Sri Lanka, they should first resolve the nearly 50,000 cases of missing persons from the ’88-’90 era.

The West sells weapons – they get richer, we get poorer. The NGO’s thrive on conflict – they get funds to keep their jobs, work in exotic places and live life holiday-style.

The Tamil “fighters” get to live abroad, capitalising on their “refugee” status. Escape the law, make better money, live in better conditions, doing what the rest of the Sri Lankans can only dream of. Ex-terrorist killers run mobs, they could get in trouble if they ever return to the island.

Now that the war is over, the LTTE mob in France alone is at the risk of losing 20 million Euros every year. They run their funding activities including narcotics and drugs in 44 countries and the West that supported the bill are safe havens for these thugs and assassins. The money collected is sure to keep their fight alive, since these governments are encouraging terror activities in their own soil.

The media has new subject matter everyday to keep their ratings high and journalists find new angles to speed-up their way up the corporate ladder. They can run a circus out of our misery.

The funding agencies could keep tightening their nooze on our neck, we are the lab-rats for every single new resolution. Ban smoking globally? Let’s start with Sri Lanka!

Now what? We have more bad news to be expected. NGO’s and the Tamil Diaspora have to find a way to keep their “cause” alive; that’s the only way to keep the funds pouring in. They will be supported and funded by the Indian Tamils, who failed to establish a Tamil homeland in the place where it should be: Tamil Nadu.

All, at our expense.

The end of the war is just bad news for all of the above.

But, it’s just bloody good news for us.

As a Sri Lankan – even if we have to grow bathala (sweet-potato) in our back yard for the next ten years to come – I’d would vote for Mahinda again – he has restored our dignity, most of all, above all.

The Lebanese and the Sri Lankans

Bleow are 20 quick reasons why I posted the three ads from the Lebanese General Elections. The Lebanese are just like us!
  1. We still look up to our former colonists. They have the French, and we have the Brits.
  2. Speaking the colonial lingo is a status symbol. French over there, English over here.
  3. We faced a civil war instigated by the big-bully neighbours. They watched as we killed each other, and then they sent their military to “keep the Peace.” Syria poking the finger in their business and India, in ours.
  4. We had a political leader in the recent past who built the country, and built a stadium in his name; only to be killed by a bomb while on the road not very far from the stadium. Hariri vs Premadasa.
  5. The tallest statue in the country is a religious symbol.
  6. They were the centre of the Middle East. We were the Pearl of the Indian Ocean.
  7. We both love to party, and we love to drink.
  8. Our national drink is Arak. And Arrack.
  9. We embraced modernism long before our neighbours.
  10. Our infrastructure was so bad, we had to introduce mobile phones in order to catch-up with the rest of the world. Today, a mobile phone is must, and it’s a menace.
  11. We have an amazing capability to forget the bullets, blood and the bodies in less than 24-hours; we are used to asking “how many?” after hearing a bomb go off in the vicinity. And get-on with watching the silly soap-opera or the match unfolding on the silver screen.
  12. We are better educated than our neighbours in the region.
  13. We think a European car is better than a Japanese.
  14. Everyone we know has someone of their family living overseas.
  15. Our politicians are corrupted and the government sector runs on bribery. And there is always a way to get things done.
  16. We boast about our ancient civilisation, while we fail to be civil to each other.
  17. We brag about the beautiful beaches, cold mountains and ancient cities.
  18. We drive like crazy; and think of road rules only if there’s a cop around the corner.
  19. Our women are gorgeous.
  20. Last but not least, we are just nice people. It must be the sea..!


Soon, in every home. The Third Republic.

Lebanese General Election is near. Their election videos from the campaign are very different from ours – from concept to execution. Here are some that are currently running.

In Lebanon, you are either with the Hizbullah, or against them!

The House-guest

The Bonfire

The Fireworks

Title 1: Soon, in every home.
Title 2: The Third Republic.


Finally, a sigh of Relief...

Many a thousand miles away from home, my mobile is ringing non-stop. SMS’s keep pouring in. The good news is here: The Sri Lankan Military has defeated terrorism, and every inch of Sri Lankan soil is under its sovereign rule, after a little more than a quarter century.

My eyes are filled with tears. My heart is filled with gratitude and joy. This is one moment that I wish I were home – to witness the history in the making. I wish I could get out – on to the streets, eat kiribath and light fire-crackers; and celebrate this memorable moment with fellow islanders who have seen more than their fair share of blood, death and the suffering. No human deserves to undergo what we have been through, and no living being deserves the agony and pain this nation has been subjected to.

I’m overcome with emotion. It would be a few days before the euphoria subsides.

Finally, I see a purpose in all the lives sacrificed, and lost, in a meaningless power-struggle. None of those who laid their lives in defending this nation died in vain – their sacrifices have a new-found meaning now. Every note I begin to write gets nowhere, I cannot forget the faces of friends in uniform, and I cannot forget the lighter moments we have shared on-board battleships and inside various military compounds across the country. We have been dreaming of this day, but there wasn’t even a glimmer of hope, then.

I still remember the fear that was written on the faces of people up-North. LTTE is just the last to terrorise these people. When I first crossed beyond Vavuniya, it was TELO that ruled the “no-man’s” land. The hand that holds the gun changed many a times, from one extermist group to another, but there was always a gun pointed at the civilian.

For over 25 years, the victim in the power-struggle has always been the civilian population. They are the ones who endured agony of terror inflicted upon them by various Tamil groups, until the gun-culture came to an end just a few days ago.

Finally, there is no fear anymore. The suffering will end too, hopefully soon.

Sri TV – the only Sri Lankan international television – keeps playing music and video footage that makes me feel so proud to be Sri Lankan. We have proven to the world that terrorism can be defeated.

A tiny nation in the middle of the Indian Ocean has proven it’s might to the World.

The war was outside the country as much as it was inside. The so-called “protectors of democracy” who are waging a war against global terrorism wanted to halt the military progress. They sent their foreign ministers preaching us to protect the civilians in the jungle, while they failed to protect our embassies in their well-policed metropolitan capitals of England, Canada, Norway, Holland, Germany and France; some repeatedly!

The threat from the outside is much greater the threat from the inside.

The West started blackmailing the country, threatened that there would be economic repercussions. And “dire consequences” to face if the rescue-operations continued. They even said that our leadership would be taken to Hague for war crimes.

Right now, Miliband tops my list of clowns that also include Kouchner, Yolanda Foster, Charu Lata Hogg and the like. We do know is that pro-terrorist media is fabricating fairy tales; and I’m quite shocked that people of professional capacity and this calibre, falling prey to terrorist propaganda, echoing similar sentiments. In their capacity, these people represent nations and organisations – their personal opinions should not cloud good judgement.

We have rescued over 145,000 people in just four weeks alone, with very little harm to the civilians. Pro-terrorist propaganda, as well as certain international television networks such as BBC and Al Jazeera, predicted that there would be a “bloodbath” – a comment also shared by Gordon Weiss, a UN spokesman.

In the end, there was no bloodbath. Instead, there was a bullet in Prabhakaran’s skull, and no cyanide capsule in his mouth. The mighty military has rescued each and every one of the civilians, at the risk of their own life.

Hypothetically speaking, if there were 5,000 civilians deaths occurred in the rescue mission, that would be a mere 0.03 deaths per 100 rescued. Even if we double the figure to 10,000 deaths, it would still be a mere 0.06 per 100 civilians rescued. The actual civilian death-toll is far less than these numbers, and the bullet or the shrapnel that killed the innocent civilian had the LTTE initials.

No army in the world has managed such a success rate fighting any enemy. The US, with all the sophisticated military hardware and satellite views of every backyard, have caused more civilian deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) – part of the the world’s 4th largest army – performed miserably against the LTTE in the early 90’s, when the LTTE was a much smaller ragtag outfit, with almost no battle experience, fighting barefoot and in their blue-chequered sarongs.

Given the fact that LTTE was the most brutal, and best-equipped terrorist group in the world until a few days ago, this is a remarkable achievement for a our military. Minimum civilian casualty and a mission accomplished. None of the “greater” (?) nations in Iraq, Afganistan, Pakistan or anywhere else managed such a feat.

Like they say, it’s not the machine, but the man behind the machine that matters. “The King of the Village” led the men of steel to accomplish something that the world believed impossible. And he succeeded. Like the Sri Lankans expats advertised on Sri TV, “Now we too have a King.”

It just feels great.

Obama gave the Americans, hope. President Mahinda Rajapakse has given every Sri Lankan much more than hope.

“At this victorious moment, it is necessary for us to state with great responsibility, that we do not accept a military solution as the final solution. Similarly, when we see the sad faces of the people who have been fleeing from the Puthumathalan area, we can realize that a document offered on a tray as a political solution could also not be the final solution. Therefore, the responsibility that we accept after freeing the Tamil people from the LTTE is a responsibility that no government in the history of Sri Lanka has accepted.
– President Mahinda Rajapaksa, on 19th May, 2009.
Yes, no government so far had the balls to accept the responsibility to look after its civilians.

While the pro-LTTE Tamil Diaspora continues to support terrorism in Washington, London, Sydney and Paris, there is us – the true Sri Lankans – to take care of our own. Like the President of Sri Lanka says in his speech at the ceremonial opening of the Parliament, no longer are the Tamils, Muslims, Burghers, Malays and any other ethnic groups minorities in the country; they are part of the majority. A majority that loves this land they are born to.

The rest, is the minority. They are the ones who question, as to whose victory this is...



“... All men have wandering impulses,
fits and starts of generosity. But when you have
resolved to be great, abide by yourself, and do not
try to reconcile yourself with the world.

The heroic cannot be common,
nor the common heroic.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson


Of Mixing and Matching... People.

So there we were. An Armenian, a Lebanese, a Palestinian-Canadian and yours truly, having lunch at a Chinese Restaurant, in a Middle Eastern country. Add the Bengali steward, Philipino cashier and the Chinese chef, it was kinda U.N. assembly, but in a much smaller scale.

The Armenian hates the Turks, naturally because of the Armenian genocide. Born to a refugee family that migrated to Lebanon, he is married to a Philipino girl and they have a little daughter who’s just about 18 months.

The mini-U.N. conversation leads from genocide to refugees and how the communities get mingled and the mixed-race marriages take place all over the world. Kids born to mixed-race families are supposedly genetically stronger, smarter and prettier than the pure-breds, and there is an increasing number of these wonderful creatures overtaking the world.

I mean, creatures like Adriana Lima overtaking the world. How wonderful it would be!

Few generations down the line, there would be Mr Meatloaf Contests instead of Miss Universe, me thinks, thinking along the lines of conversation.

My Lebanese friend wants to know if the kid looks like a Philipino and if she’s got chinky eyes. “Nope, she’s a pretty little Armenian girl” comes the answer, with some proprietary air. Perhaps the genetic-cocktail didn’t mix well in this instance.

“Everyone is going to look like either Chinese or Indian, sooner or later...” quips my Canadian friend, with a cheeky grin on his face. POP goes my Brazilian, Victoria’s Secret thought bubble.


The Stupidest Thomian Ever!

The were two students in my O’ Level class who didn’t know how to write their names – even after completing 10 years in school. These two were fortunate enough to attend the best school in the country, even though they were born in the poor shanty town behind St Michael’s Road, Colpetty. The college had to accept the kids residing within the two-mile-radius by default. Since there was no “failing” system in the school, it was auto-pilot until grade 10 for the bright and the dim alike.

Whether they were studious or not, even the stupidest Royalist I know has some common sense. The only exception alive is RW, who continues to make a mockery of himself and the green party he represents.

And finally, our arch rival St Thomas’ College has produced a finest example of stupidity personified, and this one beats RW by a good mile. I was sympathetic to this idiot from STC and little did I know that he was a delusional low-life. The guy is so stupid, that he went and posted “ChiliChocolate” blog under his own name “Branding Blog by NB” and was waging a war with himself.

And the cheap, spineless bastard that he is, picks on two innocent, helpless female bloggers – Mayanthi and Indiyana and black-mails them, forcing them to quit blogging.


My sincere apologies people, for (once upon a time) I too believed that his voice also should be heard in the blogsphere.


Nor Miliband or Megaband could stop the IMF Loan

There’s wide spread speculation that IMF could withhold the US$1.9 billion loan to Sri Lanka, after the British Foreign Minister David Miliband hinted at such to punish the Sri Lankan government. Along with his chaperone Bernard Kouchner, the twosome called for a ceasefire which would have enabled the foreign forces to “airlift” the LTTE leadership out of the last remaining couple of miles of their dreamland. Miliband also met with Hillary Clinton, but there would not be any substantial support from the US on this private agenda.

The reason is simple: IMF has no option but to proceed with the loan to Sri Lanka.

Why? For two good reasons, amongst many other.

The UN Security Council has very clearly demonstrated its position against Sri Lanka. All 15 members unanimously agree that they are not in a job of penalising Sri Lankan government and that they want to help the government of Sri Lanka address the problem. Russia and China have very clearly stated that the problems in Sri Lanka are not a global threat and that there is no need for the UN to interfere since there is no mass genocide or bloodbath. US cannot afford to utter a word – with ghosts of Abu Ghraib and such coming out of their closet these days. Recent occurrences in the Swat Valley where 500,000 civilians are rendered homeless doesn’t work in their favour either.

Secondly, but most importantly, the West is afraid of the “friends” Mahinda Rajapakse has made in the hour of our need. Cuba, China, Russia, Iran, Pakistan... all the top-rankers of the “friendly” nations in the eyes of the West. If the IMF refuses the loan, China would be glad to extend their helping hand, with a big smile on its face. Iran and Russia also would pitch in, they are in need of “friends” around the world. China has vested interests in exploring oil in Sri Lankan offshore, they are already in Hambantota. Surely but slowly, China is expanding its global presence: Sub-Saharan Africa is a good example of the Chinese dominance in areas where the West thought was “too insignificant” for them to bother. Besides, Mahinda Rajapakse did not clear the Western Coast for nothing – what lies beneath the “humanitarian mission” are also means to our economic advantage.

If Miliband thinks he can withhold the loan, he must be day-dreaming. In case, by any fluke chance if his dream comes true, he is going to wake up to a worse nightmare – in seeing the world’s first democracy to appoint a female head of the country, partying with the communists and rebels.

Would the West risk it? I don’t think so. So, collect some greenbacks - they are going to hit Rs 150 a piece, I was told.


Of Gazelles and What Swims the Arabian Sea

After a little over 7,000 kilometres and twenty days on the road, we find ourselves at the end of the journey in Dammam – the gateway to Bahrain on the East Coast of Saudi Arabia. The gora’s (the white skinned) look pink, they have peeled-off quite a few times. Yours truly, the tropical islander – “supposedly” well-seasoned in the sun, is also peeling. Sunburn has been quite harsh on anyone and everyone. Tito’s über cool shades covered most the face except the tip of the nose and the tanning process has worked wonderfully well, leaving him with a black nose. He looks hilarious.

We look horrendous. Ridiculously happy, nevertheless. Happy to have completed the mission and we decide to spend the last few hours around a good dinner table and go our separate ways at sunrise. Pity there are no night clubs or bars in town to raise a glass of toast, so it is going to be soup instead of champagne tonight. Crossing the bridge to Bahrain was a thought, but then, some of the crew had issues with re-entry visas.

Bahrain has to wait for another time, unfortunately.

A wonderful seafood dinner is on the cards, at a restaurant that “you will not forget” says ZeeZoo, the man-in-charge of sustenance. After his previous promises and delivery, we are quite sceptic about the promise, but then again, if you are not ready for adventure, you wouldn’t be here in the first place. He has been feeding us with road-side junk food, and the hospitable locals have been offering traditional Arabic rice and meat: Kharouf and Kabsa everywhere we went. With a slow – but definite – growth of a noticeable belly-pot, it is time to stay away from the local cuisine, however hospitable and generous they are.

Seafood sounds a welcome change, so seafood it shall be.

A shower and a quick peek at the inbox, and we are ready to discover what swims in the Arabian Gulf, and how they would taste on my dinner plate. A brief drive (yes, 35 km IS brief for those who just drove across the country) and we are at a restaurant that is pretty much occupied by men in crispy white thorbes and chequered head-gear. It’s not easy to find a table for a dozen, in a busy restaurant. Looks like we made a fatal error in not reserving a table beforehand.

However, the restaurant host doesn’t want to disappoint us. He is keen on entertaining us, and we are taken up the stairs, around a few nooks and corners, and shown in to a private dining room.

Suddenly, we find ourselves tele-ported in time. From a regular restaurant, we were ushered in to the Barouqe era, and there is a huge gap between the two sides of the door that separates them. Inside the door is a room that reminds me of Anastasia and the Russian Empire. Or it could be a page from the Arabian Nights with a touch of Morocco. I was too tired, and too hungry, to decide which it would be. Could be both, or neither – it looks like an interior experiment horribly gone wrong. The décor is far from my minimalist taste.

The room has two regal tables that sits possibly a dozen and a two. There are some lazy sofas on one side, furnished in velvet, and supplemented with cushions that are decorated with intricate handwork: lace, frills, fancies, mirror-work and the whole nine yards. In the middle is a hand-painted star-shaped coffee table that’s detachable, in case if you want to keep your coffee next to you.

The floor is carpeted, wall to wall. The ceiling has detailed patterns carved and coloured with soft yellows, blues and the pinks. Walls adorn various paintings, trophies, and memorabilia.

And, for a moment, I didn’t know whether to call it a dining room or a museum.

The wall right in front of us held the prize winner: a torso of a huge stuffed gazelle (or an Arabian Oryx, I have no idea). Big beady eyes and majestic look – he surely must have been a gorgeous creature roaming the earth before he came to the seafood restaurant.

On the left wall, there was a stuffed lamb on a pedestal. Tiny thing, that would’ve found itself useful in Sri Lanka around Christmas. Then there was this angry looking dog-like thing – possibly some kind of a hyaena – frozen in time in another corner. Obviously his angry look or the ferocious bite that could’ve been, didn’t work in his favour either. Poor thing: all guts, no glory; I thought to myself. There were some stuffed birds as well, but you get the picture. Right?

I resorted to a culinary expedition I’m comfortable with: spicy seafood soup, baked lobster with cheese, followed by a platter of grilled seafood. They also had the best bread fresh from the oven, the food was just amazing.

All in all, it was a fitting finalé to the road trip.

And Zeezoo was finally right – I won’t forget the place. For two reasons: the great food and shocking décor.


Academy for Begging in Foreign Languages

Yes, you read it right. This ingenious idea comes from across the Palk Straight. New Delhi’s Rohini’s Lal Quarter, an area where over 1,200 beggar families reside, is gearing up for the Commonwealth Games scheduled to be held in 2010. Looking at the possible tourist influx, they have set up an informal academy that coaches shanty town kids begging in foreign languages.

“More than 100,000 foreigners will be in the city during the period,” Vijay Babli, reported by Hindustan Times as the leader of the community, told the paper. “Even if one beggar earns Rs150-200 per day, you can understand the turnover for us,” he added.

“Bright children are taught how to say phrases like, I am an orphan, I have not eaten for days, I am ill, have no money for medicine, please help me in the name of God,” Raju Sansi, reported as a head tutor at the school, told Hindustan Times.

Patni, an eight year-old girl who had never been to school, could speak English, French and Spanish, thanks to the makeshift school, the paper said.

Real foreign currency notes were shown to the children so they can recognise them, Patlu, who trains some of the children in Katputli Colony in west Delhi’s Patel Nagar, told the paper.

Source: Khaleej Times


Sri Lankans vs Tamil Diaspora: the Difference

This is the Tamil Diaspora, in Sydney, protesting on the 1st of May, 2009; “LTTE is our Only Hope.”

These are students of the country’s biggest Sinhala, Buddhist school. Collecting essential items for the displaced Tamils in the island.

This is what LTTE does to Tamils: aftermath of a suicide attack on the very Tamils they are “supposedly” protecting.

Images from: ©tamilmelbournedotcom/flickr and www.defence.lk

BBC: The British Comedy Central

Remember I switched my loyalty from BBC to CNN last year? Oh, they are going to change the name to BCC, the British Comedy Central. The is is just one snapshot from their website that explains why:

The BBC’s Colombo Correspondent Anbarasan Ethirajan sings the usual tune “Independent journalists are not allowed to enter the war zone” while, on the same page, at the top, it reads “Close-up View: The BBC’s Charles Haviland on the frontline of the Sri Lankan War.

So, being on the frontline is not enough? Do they want to pick up a gun too?

This appeared on the 1st of May, and I checked the calendar to see of the BBC has moved the April Fool’s Day by a month. Nope, they haven’t.

Then I realised, BBC aren’t independent, and they seem to publicly agree!


SL Military Bombs NFZ: The Truth & Satellite Pics

“Sri Lanka admits Bombing Safe Zone,” says Al Jazeera this morning. “Government admission shows need for UN inquiry” says Human Rights Watch.

There is chaos, Sri Lankans are worried – apparently, there is a UN report that shows some satellite pictures that could possibly incriminate the Sri Lankan Military.

“Fresh satellite images of the war zone in northeast Sri Lanka are available, but the UN agency charged with analysing them is not making them public. The images contain evidence of severe damage from heavy artillery and possibly air strikes, suggesting indiscriminate attacks in areas of high civilian concentration, which could be classed as war crimes carried out by the government of Sri Lanka.”...says Reuters, reporting the same incident.

So I looked at the so called “UN Report” and the satellite imagery that could “implicate” the Sri Lankan military, and here’s what I found:

First, there is no UN Report. The UN Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) operates satellites, and maps conflict areas of the world in order to provide support for humanitarian and relief efforts. The document in question is their latest release on Sri Lankan conflict zone. Please take a good look at the summarised map from the document below. Notice that there are only eight sites noted within the No Fire Zone (I’ve numbered them from 1 to 8 in black circles). All the other activity is outside the No Fire Zone, in designated battle-fronts.

Here’s the detailed view: (No 1, which is ID: 230 does not appear in the report. My guess is there is nothing to write about). No 2, which is ID: 229 shows “3 permanent buildings destroyed between 29th March & 19th April. 3 additional buildings destroyed between 15-29 March.” At the bottom of the same image it says “Trench filled with water (W: 7m, L: 850m) constructed along road between 15-29 March.

“The images appear to show clear signs of air raids in the ‘no-fire zone’ near Mullaitivu [Unosat]” is the photo-caption given by Al Jazeera, in their website.

Now, take a good look at the buildings that are supposedly “destroyed” by air-strikes, as Al Jazeera, Reuters and Human Rights Watch claim. Any holes on the ground? Nope. Notice the walls of the buildings still intact? Notice the fact that LTTE is actively fortifying their defences by digging trenches, during the same period? Could it be LTTE removing the roofing of these buildings to shelter their bunkers - just like the thousands of buildings we have seen all over liberated areas? Now, that’s not rocket-science, is it Einstein?

On to No 3 – ID:257. There is no bombing activity here.

On to No 4 – ID: 250. “Permanent building destroyed between 29 March & 19 April” it says. Any arial bombing or heavy artillery fire? Nope. See above No 2 for explanation.

And below is what happens when heavy artillery or arial bombing takes place. Notice the craters, clearly visible from the sky? There were NONE of those above!

Al Jazeera, repeatedly telecast the above image and another from the OUTSIDE No Fire Zone; they also misquoted saying that the “government admits to shelling” in the NFZ. Read the caption of the above image, which clearly states “CREATERS OUTSIDE CSZ” and watch the Al Jazeera news clip here – you will see who is fabricating stories.

And as for the other “noted” sites within the No Fire Zone, this is the summary:

No 5 (ID:245) “Bridge/Road Obstacle

No 6 (ID:249) “Site of multiple likely shelling craters within CSZ.” This is the only site with any evidence of shelling. According to eye-witnesses and former LTTE seniors such as Daya Master and George, it was the LTTE terrorists using heavy artillery against the civilians inside the safe zone. See image below.

No 7 (PC12) “Linear formation of people along beach

No 8 (ID: 246) “Permanent building destroyed in close proximity to earlier suspected air strike damages.”

However, they also talked this morning to Robert Karniol, a military expert who presented his view on these images, which clearly shed some light and enlightened the viewers on the “credibility” and “interpretation” of the same. Shall add the link to his view once it appears online.

According to the detailed report backed by visual evidence, following is the summary of the total damage:

Damages Inside CSZ (Civilian Safe Zone):

1. Putumattalan: Three permanent buildings have been destroyed between 29 March and 19 April, bringing the total for the northern section of the CSZ to six destroyed since 15 March. There are potentially large amounts of moderate to severe damages to the remaining permanent buildings in this area.

2. Valayanmadam: 1 additional permanent building has been destroyed, and further south there is a cluster of likely impact craters within an area previously densely populated with IDP shelters.

Damages Outside CSZ:

3. Puthukkudiyiruppu (PTK): The major concentration of newly detected building destruction and hundreds of impact craters is located in the eastern sections of PTK especially centered on the main route leading east into the CSZ. This route is now nonfunctional because of a series of road blocks, impact craters and trenches erected along the main road.

4. Vadduvakallu: Building destruction continues in Vadduvakallu: 40 buildings destroyed between 29 March ‐19 April 2009 and a total of 148 building destroyed since 5 February 2009. A significant number of buildings were destroyed before 5 February 2009. A complete damage assessment is in progress by UNITAR/UNOSAT.

5. Mulattivu: Building destruction also continues in Mulattivu with a small number of new destruction between 29 March & 19 April. A complete damage assessment is in progress by UNITAR/UNOSAT.

6. West of Putumattalan: Bridge closed by multiple roadblocks and road damages (29 March ‐19 April) (TZ2) transport into CSZ impossible.

Bottom-line: Newsmakers sell stories, Some are just fairytales.

Image courtersy: UNOSAT. This report, even though password protected, is available to public online. Please visit http://unosat.web.cern.ch/unosat/asp/prod_free.asp?id=32 for details.