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Chronology of Major Events 2009 - Page 9

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Chronology of Major Events 2009
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Sri Lanka

5 February: Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake told the Parliament that the government offered an amnesty to LTTE if they surrender, but rejected international appeals for ceasefire talks and vowed to crush those who fight on.

12 February: Sri Lanka rejected Britain’s ‘unilateral’ appointment of a special envoy ‘to address the deteriorating humanitarian situation and help resolve the ethnic conflict’ as it was tantamount to ‘an intrusion into Sri Lanka’s internal affairs and was disrespectful to the country’s statehood.’

13 April: Sri Lanka stripped Norway of its role as the peace broker after the 12 April incident in which Sri Lankan diplomatic mission in Oslo was ransacked by suspected LTTE sympathisers. The decision came as Sri Lankan forces were poised to crush the LTTE and perceived that it is no longer feasible for Norway to act as the facilitator.

26 April: Sri Lankan government rejected the unilateral ceasefire declared by the LTTE with Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa insisting that the rebels must surrender.

28 April: Brigadier Udaya Nanayakara disclosed that India and Pakistan, separately but consistently, trained and equipped the Sri Lanka Army to prepare and fight its enemy, the LTTE.

16 May: Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa declared that his country ‘militarily’ defeated the LTTE and promised the minority community with a ‘homegrown’ political solution in the country’s north.

18 May: The 33-month-long Elam War IV ended when the Sri Lankan military decimated the military capabilities of LTTE, resulting in the death of at least 18 top leaders, including the LTTE chief V. Prabhakaran.

19 May: India’s Minister of External Affairs Pranab Mukherjee said that New Delhi offered a package of `500 crores to provide relief to those affected by the conflict in Sri Lanka and to rapidly rehabilitate the displaced persons.

21 May:Sri Lankan Defence Minister Gotabaya Rajapaksa revealed that 6,261 members of the security forces died since military operations began in August 2006, while 29,551 were injured.

29 June: Sri Lanka and China signed an agreement on the second and third stages of the $891 million Norochcholai Coal Power 600 mw Project. The 300 mw first stage was commenced in 2006.

15 July:The Sri Lankan Chief of Defence Staff, Gen Sarath Fonseka, said that the island nation had cancelled the import of ammunition valued at $200 million from China and Pakistan following the end of Eelam War IV. He also added that India would send 500 personnel to clear mines in the north.

3 August: India handed over bank drafts worth Sri Lankan Rs.117 million to Sri Lanka for Palaly military-cum-civilian runway rehabilitation project in the Jaffna peninsula. Palaly houses the main base of the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF).

6 August: The new LTTE chief Selvarasa Pathmanathan known as ‘KP’ was arrested in Malaysia and brought to Colombo for questioning.

13 August:Sri Lanka signed two key developmental projects worth $350 million with the Exim Bank of China. The agreement is for the construction of the Colombo-Katunayake Expressway and Hambantota Bunkering project.

18 August: High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka Alok Prasad handed over the 600- tonne consignment of relief goods valued at over $3 million to the UN Resident Representative, Neil Buhne.

6 October:Indian and Sri Lankan navies commenced a joint military training, code named Cadex-2009, in the western seas of the island nation. A group of 140 Indian Navy and Coast Guard cadets from Kochi-based First Training Squadron on board INS Shardul, INS Krishna and Coast Guard Ship Varuna would train along with Sri Lankan Navy Officer Cadets on board Sayura and Samudra.

18 October: Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram said that the Indian government would give another `500 crore to the Sri Lankan government towards rehabilitating Tamils displaced by the civil war.

5 November: Colonel Karuna Amman, the former LTTE commander said that the LTTE procured most of their arms from Ukraine as well as China. They also obtained arms from Asia and Africa but the main source was Ukraine.

16 November:Air Force Chief Roshan Gunathilleke was named as the Chief of Defence Staff after the resignation of General Sarath Fonseka.

10 December: A three-member Sri Lankan delegation consisting of Senior Adviser to the President Basil Rajapaksa, Secretary to President Lalith Weeratunga and Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa assured India that it would resettle all internally displaced persons of Tamil origin by the end of January 2010. It also agreed on establishing an institutional mechanism to resolve issues relating to fishermen.

Bhutan

18 June:During interaction with a visiting delegation from the Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC), Bhutan’s Prime Minister Jigmi Thinley pledged to provide an additional 11,000 MW of power to India in the next 12 years to help meet the country’s growing energy demand.

22 December: During Bhutanese King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuk’s five-day visit to India (21-26 December), India and Bhutan inked 12 pacts, including in hydro-power, health, IT and aviation.

Maldives

3 February:India’s Defence Minister A.K. Antony and Ameen Faisal, Minister of Defence and National Security of Maldives, during the latter’s visit to India, agreed on working together to meet the threat of sea borne terrorism in the light of the Mumbai terror attacks and other such threats from the seas.

20 August: During Defence Minister A.K. Antony’s visit to Maldives,India pledged two military helicopters and 26 costal radars to be set up in all of Maldives’ 26 atolls, regular Dornier sorties over the island nation, and setting up a 25 bed military hospital in Male.

17 October: The Maldivian cabinet held the world’s first underwater meeting to highlight the danger posed to low-lying nations by global warming.

22 November: On a five day visit to India (21-25 November), Maldivian President Mohammed Nasheed in a conference on “Climate Change: Technology Development and Transfer” made an appeal to India to help Maldives survive the rising sea level due to global warming.



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