Friday, December 12, 2008

Sri Lanka: "What have Tamil Nadu done to save innocent Tamils from the LTTE torture camps?"

Photo: A mass execution of villagers by the LTTE in late 80s

By V. Anandasangaree, President - TULF (warning, the link to the article contains graphic images that readers may find disturbing)

As Mahatma Gandhi had said, India and Ceylon can't afford to quarrel each other. It is more true in respect of Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka. My humble request to everybody on either side of the Palk Strait is to help to solve the problem by good-will and persuasion and not by confrontation. It is necessary for everyone on both sides to be cautious in all what they say and do. The good gesture of the "Q" Branch of the Tamil Nadu Police and the Indian Navy in detecting several tons of material used for the manufacture of bombs is highly appreciable and demands co-ordination between both Sri Lanka and Tamil Nadu.

Sri Lankan Tamils are so unfortunate that Tamil Nadu, confused and infuriated by the false propaganda of the powerful pro-LTTE forces, shirked its responsibility of safeguarding them and had gone a long way to the point of no return. All the recent agitations and various actions taken by Tamil Nadu had only helped the LTTE, to the detriment of the Sri Lankan Tamils. The grave blunder of Tamil Nadu is, acting without sending a Fact Finding Mission to Sri Lanka during this hard period or inviting a delegation from Sri Lanka to know from them of the ground situation. If Tamil Nadu refuses to see reason and continue to be adamant in inviting trouble, nothing can be done.

Unfortunately, although there are many who want to protest, no one is prepared to come forward to prevent the handful of local and Sri Lankan personalities from misleading the entire Tamil Nadu exposing it to grave risk to life and property. Everybody in Tamil Nadu is unmindful of how fast this risk is spreading into the other States in India. Perhaps the bitter memories of Hon. Rajiv Gandhi's assassination is gradually fading away in their minds. Tamil Nadu cannot easily forget how his remains were recovered in pulp. So were Sri Lankan President R. Premadasa's and the Presidential candidate Hon. Gamini Disanayake's and several others with him, some of whom were ministers. In a number of clay-more mine attacks and bomb-blasts, thousands of bodies were recovered in parts, that includes those of ministers, service personnel and thousands of innocent civilians, Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims.

The Central Bank bomb blast in Colombo some years back took many lives, almost similar to the Mumbai disaster but with less deaths and more injured. A clay-more mine targeting a bus, from a remote village carrying a full load of school children, patients and officers, going for work to the town, left about 65 dead and a similar number injured. A suicide bomber took the life of two bus load of Navy personnel numbering more than hundred. The Defence Secretary, the Army Chief, some top ranking service personnel and many others had narrow escapes. I hope that no one in Tamil Nadu will ever want these incidents to take place in Tamil Nadu. These are a selected few of the very many such incidents.

Not the children of LTTE Leaders, only children of poor parents, compulsorily recruited by the LTTE, had been used as suicide bombers. Even pregnant women had been used for this purpose. More than 20, 000 Tamil youths boys and girls, compulsorily recruited children of poor parents had been sacrificed at the battlefront till last year. It should be much more today. Every day the LTTE is sacrificing at the battlefront young boys and girls newly recruited and with hardly any training. Their methods of torture of civilians who defy them or object to the recruitment of their children by force or the escapees from their training camps are unheard of in any civilized society. What have Tamil Nadu done to save these innocent Tamils from the LTTE torture camps? The people of Tamil Nadu can't forget the detection of 5000 or more hand-cuffs in Coimbuttur, ready for supply to the LTTE, many years back. We Sri Lankans are grateful to the Tamil Nadu Police and the Indian Navy for the recent detection of several tons of material used for the manufacture of bombs, meant to be transported illegally to the LTTE in Vanni. I need not point out as to what type of danger Tamil Nadu will have to face, by promoting an organization like the LTTE.

A lot had been said and written by me about the atrocities of the LTTE and how the LTTE had been treating the people in areas under their control. If the people of Tamil Nadu still believe that they are freedom fighters, only God can save Tamil Nadu. But what the people of Sri Lanka want today is liberation from those so called liberators and to save Tamil Nadu from this wretched terrorist group, to redeem whom desperate efforts are taken by some interested parties. The irony is that Tamil Nadu as a whole is prepared to trust a handful of local personalities and 22 Members of Parliament from Sri Lanka fraudulently elected with the fire power, threat and intimidation of the LTTE, only to act as their proxies and not as representatives of the Tamil people. This can be verified from the reports of the four Election Monitoring Teams, two of which are from the EU and the Commonwealth. This will prove that the TNA has no right to represent or talk on behalf of the Tamil people of Sri Lanka.

The tragedy is they do not trust me. I love not only my country and its people but also consider India as my mother country. I have very high respect for India's patriots and freedom fighters like Mahatma Gandhi, Nehruji, Indiraji and many such others. I love and respect Tamil Nadu Leaders like Rajaji, Karmaveerar Kamaraj, Periyar, Anna, M.G.R and many others. Special mention should be made of the great Martyr Rajiv Gandhi, a magnificent personality, blown to pieces by a group of ungrateful lot, the leader of which is now acclaimed by some as a great valiant Tamil, when in fact he should have been declared as the world's notorious coward for using women and other's children as his sacrificial animals.

What is my credibility to advice Tamil Nadu? An innocent Tamil from Tamil Nadu, who had taken part in all demonstrations, human chain protests, hunger strikes, sitdown strikes, public meetings etc, on the belief that he has contributed his best for the Tamil cause, will want to ask. My short and simple answer is that I am a sincere follower of Gandhiji and one as far as possible lives up to his ideals and strictly committed to non violence. The founder leader of the TULF the late Hon. S.J.V. Chelvanayagam Q.C. was committed to non violence. But those who claimed themselves as his disciples have deserted his ideals and now defend a terrorist organization. The war clouds have now moved into Kilinochchi an Electorate I represented for several years in Parliament and a district created on my initiative. I had been fighting for the liberation of the people of Vanni for the last few years. Kilinochchi had to be liberated from the so called liberators who had deprived our people of almost all their fundamental and human rights. They had been deprived of all their democratic rights as well. Years back I informed the Secretary General of the United Nations, that the people of Kilinochchi are ready to give full co-operation to any friendly army that will liberate them without causing loss of lives and damage to property. I was the winner of the UNESCO's Madanjeet Singh award for the promotion of Tolerance and Non Violence in 2006. I hope Tamil Nadu will be satisfied with my credibility.

The atrocious activities of the LTTE are far beyond the imaginations of a Tamil living across the sea. Most of the Tamil media all over the world, for mysterious reasons, only glorified the LTTE and never pointed out their faults. It is the same in Sri Lanka and Tamil Nadu is no exception. There are at least 15 letters, statements, appeals to Tamil Nadu People and Leaders released by me off and on for the benefit of the people of Tamil Nadu. Hardly one paper or any electronic media gave full publicity for them. No one realized the risk I face in this society for expressing my views frankly about the LTTE which has branded me as a traitor, a title with which the LTTE honours those who oppose them.

We Sri Lankans had been living with this agony for more than quarter of a century and live in constant fear and tension. Do the People of Tamil Nadu, living peacefully now want incidents of this nature happen in their own land? Had not the Mumbai disaster atleast, taught a lesson to Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka, that terrorism is not a thing that should be retained by public demand? How many ardent supporters of the LTTE, who claim the LTTE Leader as a Valiant Tamil hero, be they Sri Lankans or Indians or any Tamil from any part of the world had sent or will be prepared to send his or her son or a daughter to Prabaharan's fold to fight the war of separation? I ask the students of Tamil Nadu, under-graduates included, who had joined the various protests recently in Tamil Nadu, whether any one of them will be prepared to join Prabaharan? I also ask the film stars producers, directors and technicians whether they will join Prabaharan or give one of their sons or daughters to join him? If they can't do it, I plead with them to reconsider their stand.

We have a problem in our country no doubt, a very big problem, dragging on for nearly half a century and had cost over one hundred thousand lives and very many billions worth of property destroyed. Many of our intellectuals and top ranking Tamil Government servants, Heads of schools and many such others had been killed by the LTTE and not by any Sinhalese at any time. But in the warfront many young men and girls are killed by the army, or rather sacrificed by the LTTE in vain. We want it solved. Do anything in your power to persuade your Central Government to give pressure to the Sri Lankan Government to come out with a solution. Let the solution be acceptable to the minorities. The powers devolved on Tamil Nadu and other States in India can be a good starting point. If Tamil Nadu wants to see the Sri Lankan Tamils live in peace and harmony, this is the only option Tamil Nadu has. We Tamils are prepared to accept a solution within a United Sri Lanka. The Tamils are opposed to separation which is not acceptable to any country, India inclusive.

The charge of annihilation of Tamils by the Government is a fabrication of the LTTE endorsed by the TNA Parliamentarians who are trying to find an International market to sell it. Because of the LTTE's atrocities many Tamil people had fled the country. Many Tamils from their traditional places of residence had fled from their homes and are now living in peace and harmony with the Sinhalese and the Muslims. Over fifty percent of the Tamils in Sri Lanka now live with them. Not one Muslim in Tamil Nadu has any moral right to support the LTTE till all the Muslims driven out of the North with only Rs. 500 and all their properties confiscated, are resettled in their former places.

I am not a stooge of any body nor do I act as an agent of any body. I have a duty to defend the rights of the people and liberate them. There are a lot of human rights violations in the country, with the identity of the culprits not known. It is not that easy to track down the culprits because people are reluctant to come out to give evidence due to fear. Unless and until the problem is solved people will continue to live in fear and tension. There is no point in accusing one person or a specific organization because there are many involved. The greatest contribution Tamil Nadu can make is to tell the LTTE, with one voice, that they should declare their willingness to give up their demand for separation and agree to a solution that Tamil Nadu Government recommends as a reasonable one.

The war that started about 200 miles away from Pottuvil in the Eastern Province has now reached a point from where the end is only about 10 to 15 miles from Kilinochchi in the Northern Province. More than 90 % of the area under the control of the LTTE is already liberated. The people who lived under the subjugation of the LTTE for many years are now free and very happy. If Tamil Nadu has any sympathy for over three hundred thousand people trapped in the area still under the control of the LTTE, it should pressurize the LTTE to release them without using them as a human shield, for their own protection. With that the war comes to an end and lives of several thousand young boys and girls of the LTTE who are in the war front also can be saved. The LTTE can then sit and talk with the Government along with other representatives of Tamils and Muslims. There are about 20 TNA Parliamentarian now in Tamil Nadu. Let any one of them challenge any part of this statement.

Source: Ministry of Defence, Public Security, Law & Order - Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka
Published by Mike Hitchen, Mike Hitchen Consulting
Putting principles before profits
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