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Srilankan Tamils Woes and Indian leaders ignorance

January 28, 2009

        I know enough has been said by the people on how the Tamils are being killed by their own government in Srilanka. And also there is no second voice or thoughts on the point of Tamils being treated as second grade citizens. What is the most disheartening fact is that Tamil Nadu government to save its government was playing foul’s play in this issue. They like to portray themselves as good to their allies Congress to keep their government running in state and they also like to show to the people of Tamilnadu that they are taking steps to prevent killings of Tamil in Srilanka.

        Last Friday Tamilnadu CM Mr.M.Karunanidhi once again came out with rage and warned the central government to take some steps to end the war in Srilanka and to safeguarding the rights of the Tamil in that region. But the laughable thing is this is the third time he has given such a statement. I think he has fixed some time limits to send out the warnings. By the time he was sending out the 6th or 7th warning there will not be any Tamils living in the Srilankan territory.

         He is resisting to send out some strong messages to centre because his government doesn’t have enough MLAs to form the government and Congress is their only ally in the state. Even though the government in the Centre needs the support of 33 MPs of DMK to run their government at the centre, they won’t be worried much as the election is nearing. Also the fact that DMKs liking to be in the central government makes them reluctant to force the central government to pressurize the government of Srilanka. If they are not able to do some good to the people, what is the point in ruling them? We also must think about how he has got the ministries he wanted by threatening to move out of the government. Why the same thirst and speed was not there when it comes to safeguarding the people? Where his do or die attitude has gone?

 

        When there are lots of problems are creeping up here, he was attending all literary meetings and basking under the praises showered on him for making the day of Pongal festival as the Tamil New year. I don’t know what big change it has made to the lives of Tamil people. Even though if it was a good move, a true leader was the one who moves on and continuing to do some more to the people until he/she is the office. He also has to find some time to solve his family disputes and to write the poems to hit out some of his allies and the opposition parties. So we could understand that he has very little time to think about the people.

 

24012009-cni-mn-07_img2-large1

         

     The above picture depicts, one of the Srilankan soldier was trying to hit Rajiv Gandhi using his rifle.

 

          The only reason Congress were taking a hard stand against the Srilankan Tamils is the fact that former Prime Minister Mr. Rajiv Gandhi was believed to be killed by LTTE. If he had died by the above hit from Srilankan soldier means what they would have done? Destroying the whole Srilanka. I don’t know how they would have behaved if somebody other than Mrs. Sonia Gandhi was at the helm of the party. A Sikh has killed Mrs. Indira Gandhi so are they not supporting the Sikhs? I think if the Srilankan Tamils have some vote’s means they will extend their hand to help them.

 

         The central government has promised that they will send External Affairs minister Mr. Pranab Mukerjee to Srilanka to talk with the Srilankan government to stop the genocide killing in Srilanka, a 2 months before. But they are not able to find some hours to go there in the last 2 months. They have sent Mr. Shiv Shankar Menon and the statement he has made was ‘Indian government will provide all kind of relief to affected Tamil people’ which must have been ‘You have to stop killing Tamil people.’ This kind of statements has making us to think that whether our central government was supporting the action of Srilankan government.

 

         With the election were nearing for the parliament, I don’t think that the parties will focus on the Srilankan Tamils as they are not even bothered about addressing the needs of their own people. I fear that by the time the elections end here, the Tamil community maybe destroyed by the ruling Pro-Sinhalese government.

 

      My friend Raj has already written about how the Srilankan government was torturing the Tamils and about the genocide killing being carried out there in a detailed manner.

 

Here are the links for the related topics:

  • You can read about Killing of Independent journalist Lasantha Wickramatunge in Srilanka – here.
  • You can read about genocidal killing of Srilankan Tamils – here and here.
  • You can read about the ignorance of Tamilnadu CM and overwhelming support from the people of Tamilnadu against the genocidal killing – here.
  • You can read about the No. of people died due to this state unleashed terror – here.
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95 Comments leave one →
  1. January 28, 2009 6:52 am

    Me the first..

    well I have few differences of opinion…will write about it sooner…

  2. January 28, 2009 7:01 am

    ok this is the soonest follow up I ever wrote…my points are ver simple..

    1) I accept that INNOCENT Tamils should not be killed in Sri Lanka (note the stress is on the word innocent)…

    2) Irrespective of which party he belonged to, he was a former PM of India- means a leader- forget about him think about those 14 others who were killed along with him – are they not humans (here we should not see how many Tamils died or how many hindi walas died-its human life we are talking about…

    3) Think about the INNOCENT Singhalese died in Sri Lanka when LTTE carried out suicide bomb attacks on innocent people rather than attacking the army…

    4) Think about the number of Tamils killed by LTTE who failed to serve them or donate them money…

    5) Think about the number of Tamil Ellam leaders who were killed by LTTE as they did not want any other tamil leaders other than Prabakaran…

    6) Last but not least- its the same what the Pakistan Terrorists wants KASHMIR for them- why not we stop fighting against them and give our Kashmir to them???

    According to me LTTE is just another Terrorist groups like Lashkar E Doiba or any other Terrorist organisation and using their name so many of the leaders in TN is running their vote banks…lets think with open mind and decide what is right and what is not…

  3. January 28, 2009 8:32 am

    Kanagu, a terrorist is a terrorist and should be treated like one. Old man Karunanidhi has no business defending LTTE now or ever.I am sure he has no love for Sri lankan Tamils.This is a political gimmick aimed at vote bank politics.Managing foreign affairs is a serious business and he should know that, before making statements about citizens of other countries, Srilankan or Malaysian.

    kanagu: What I am concerned about here is the loss of the civilian lives and also the ignorance of India to stop it. Why they are not raising their voices against this atrocity? There are lot of people of Tamilnadu, especially fishermen were being suffered by the Srilankan Coast guards 😦 and our government is helping those flithy people.. shame on them

  4. January 28, 2009 10:01 am

    @lancelot
    I think you have got my concerns WRONG my friend. What I have said is about Srilankan Tamils and I never mentioned LTTE except for the single occasion of Mr. Rajiv Gandhi killing. There too what I liked to mention is why letting the whole community to suffer just for few peoples mistake. I like to clear a point. Not all Srilankan people are members of LTTE There are common man like us who has nothing do with war. A thing needs to be understood is Tamil people are not only killing members of LTTE but also the innocent Tamil people who have never played role with LTTE. If the thing being done by the Srilankan is correct means why they are allowing international news agencies there to cover the news? why the independent journalists are being killed or arrested? Please read the links I have provided. You will understand the whole story.

  5. January 28, 2009 10:47 am

    @ Kanagu : The matter of fact is that this is a foreign country. There are Tamils everywhere in the world including in Malaysia and Srilanka. However they are foreign citizens not Tamils. We can not go around protecting Indian ethnic groups in lands all and sundry. I think if indeed there is a problem with the Tamils there they can approach the UN. However the matter would be entirely different if the Sri Lankan government was specifically targeting Indian citizens in which case India has every right to defend their people. If we intervene for Tamils tomorrow Pakistan has every right to come and protect ‘Muslims’ in Kashmir. So as far as I am concerned this is a matter between Sri Lankan citizens and their government. As for the LTTE they deserve to perish, good riddance.

    kanagu: We can’t compare Srilankan Tamils with Muslims in India. We are not killing them and also they are having full rights in our country.. but the same cannot be said when it comes to Srilanka. They are treating them like animals.. and torture in which the Tamil people going under are can’t be explained in words. What I am expecting from India is a strong voice against those killings and taking measures to stop it. If Indian leaders were able to raise their concerns about Israel’s attack on Gaza, why they can’t do that against the Srilankan Government?

    • gary in permalink
      May 25, 2009 1:35 pm

      Hi,
      It is immature and a display of a lack of understanding in saying tamils in Sri Lanka are different from tamils in tamil nadu. Tamils all around the world are one and the same. They are people who left India (tamilnadu), due to various reasons, starting from the time of the Cholans. The tamil race is an ancient and peace loving saivite race of people. While muslims in Pakistan speak urdu, muslims in keelakarai[tamilnadu] speak tamil! so they are different people, bound only by religion. Tamils on the other hand speak the same language world over.

      The Genocide of tamils in sri lanka, is a fact. it is a shame that we tamils in tamilnadu are being misled by our policiticians, who are more keen on staying
      in power with ministerial berths for their multiple wives children. there is no voice for tamils around the world. in 6 months time , the GoSL will ‘rehabilitate’ all tamils in the concentration camps, and sterilise all women and men. And yes, sell children into sex tourism, one of the primary businesses in the tourist paradise. i think this is the end of the tamils in SL.

      The indian tamils havent helped eelam tamils, maybe, a mass conversion to Islam should help the race survive.

  6. January 28, 2009 12:34 pm

    Kanagu, My opinion on Sri Lankan Tamils and their struggle is totally opposed to yours. So I will refrain from commenting.

    Just wanted to add one thing, we have enough problems in our country. Let us first aim at those and not fall prey into this vote banking politics.

    kanagu: Its not about vote bank politics.. it about a community which is being destroyed there.. I know we have our own problems.. then why providing the arms to Srilanka to kill the people of Indian origin.. I am not thinking this is right..

  7. Chirag permalink
    January 28, 2009 1:44 pm

    Kanagu, my knowledge is limited so I will clarify it here, isn’t LTTE a home grown monster gone rouge, please let me know.

    kanagu: Chirag, you have got the reply from the best person.. Even I don’t know much about LTTE.. Maybe I will have my thoughts after some weeks…

  8. January 28, 2009 5:09 pm

    Kanagu, I’m not surprised at all to see the reactions on this page, my friend. It might come as a surprise or even a shock to you, but not to me. Why do you think the “Indian media” acts the way it does? For people who have been brainwashed so much that they have lost the ability to even think if the truth is given to them on a platter, these reactions are certainly to be expected.

    It’s a pity that Indians are so stupid. That’s why we have the kind of politicians that we have. Afterall, politicians are a reflection of society.

    The stupid old man Pranab had gone to have dinner with the Rajapaksa criminal, it seems. He’s acting as a postman of the war criminal, nothing more. Shame on him! The idiot Pranab should have told him to allow reporters, humanitarian workers and relief workers into the genocide zone first.

    kanagu: Even I have noticed that Indian newspapers which have covered the Israel-Gaza conflict in a wonderful manner, hasn’t given a detailed report on Srilankan issue.. what they have to say is the Srilankan governments comments.. and they are behaving like agents of Srilankan government and not giving the real thing happening there.. Where is that word ‘INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM’ has gone?

  9. January 28, 2009 6:03 pm

    Chirag, the LTTE is not exactly a home (Indian) grown monster.

    Ever since SL’s independence, the Sinhala chauvinist pigs have tried to control everything in Sri Lanka. One must understand the typical Sinhala chauvinist pig’s mind over here. The Sinhalese Buddhist religious order are the Buddhist equivalent of the Taliban – an extremist, fascist, narrow-minded bunch of hate spewing scoundrels. According to them, Sri Lanka is a pure Sinhala Buddhist land and everyone else is an outsider who needs to be either driven out or wiped out. It is not just a lie but also strange, since a minority of Sinhalese are Christians.

    The Sinhalese want an ethnically pure Sinhala Buddhist land and they have been doing everything in their power to annihilate everyone else. They have a long term plan of ethnically cleansing everyone else – either by killing them or driving them out of the island. The Tamils could not just stand by and wait to be murdered. They just wanted a reasonable federal constitution and dignity and equality as citizens of Sri Lanka. At first, they tried to reason with the Sinhalese by means of political negotitations – they were cheated. Then they tried to agitate peacefully by means of Satyagraha. The protestors were just shot dead and their bodies were thrown into lakes. The Tamils realised that the Sinhala chauvinists would never let them live with dignity and passed a democratic resolution called the Vadukoaddai resolution – demanding a free Tamil Eelam in their traditional homelands and this was overwhelmingly endorsed in subsequent elections.

    The Sinhala thugs would have none of it. They began a calculated attempt to wipe out the Tamils. It was at this point that militant groups were formed to fight for their rights – there were several of them – TULF, PLOTE, LTTE, EPDP, EROS, etc.

    In July 1983, called “Black July”, there was a government sponsored pogrom in Colombo and elsewhere. Thousands were butchered, women were raped, properties looted and set on fire. There have been several more pogroms like these. Even the Jaffna public library that contained priceless old manuscripts was completely burned by Sinhala police and thugs. It was after this that India (Indira Gandhi government) decided to arm and train the militant groups and the LTTE was just one of them.

    These groups were regarded as freedom fighters from oppressive Sinhala rule. The LTTE was the most ruthless and determined among these groups.

  10. January 28, 2009 6:10 pm

    Kanagu, Karunanidhi is continuing to play the fool with the lives of Sri Lankan Tamils. The people can see right through his game. He has admitted himself to a hospital for one week for “back pain” when the fact is that he wants to play a delaying game.

  11. January 28, 2009 6:18 pm

    Thanks for publishing this photo, man. I’ve heard of this, but this is the first time, I’m seeing it. Actually, the soldier wanted to kill him but there were no bullets in the rifles in “the guard of honour”. That’s why he tried to beat him to death. Of course, he was subdued quickly and Rajiv Gandhi escaped with a few minor injuries.

  12. January 28, 2009 6:42 pm

    Odzer,

    Tamils in Sri Lanka are Sri Lankans, all right. And it’s an ethnic conflict cum genocidal war. Nobody is asking India to step in. India must keep its hands off and provide moral and diplomatic support to find a peaceful solution, that’s all!

    Please answer the following:-

    1) Why does India provide tanks to the Sinhala army?

    2) Why does it train Sinhala soldiers in India?

    3) Why does it provide radars to the Sinhala air force?

    4) Why does it send radar technicians to train and work with the Sinhala air force? Do you know that three Indian radar operators were injured when the LTTE bombed the Kattunayake air force base of the Sinhala air force? Mind you, Sri Lanka is the only place where Indian and Pakistani soldiers are colleagues! Sinhala pilots are taught to fly and bomb civilians by the Pakistani air force while Indians train their ground radar operators! What a shame!

    5) Why does India side with the genocidal Sinhalese in this ethnic conflict? Why does it not keep its hands off Sri Lanka? WHY?

    6) Why does India express concern for the victims and condemn the Israeli pogrom in Gaza while shamelessly supporting a worse pogrom in Sri Lanka? WHY?

    7) Sikhs in France are French citizens, not Indians. Why does Manmohan Singh fight for their rights to wear a turban in schools and offices? WHY?

    8) Why did the Indian foreign office condemn the use of aerial bombing by the Pakistanis in Balochistan against Balochis while with whom it has nothing to do – no land or sea border, no ethnic links, nothing at all. Yet supports the aerial bombing of Tamils in Sri Lanka? WHY?

    9) Why did India militarily intervene to create Bangladesh when the East Bengalis were being annihilated by the Pakistan armed forces? Why did it not mind its own business? Yet it does the exact opposite by supporting a genocide against Tamils in Sri Lanka now? WHY?

  13. January 28, 2009 6:50 pm

    Please pick your award 🙂

    kanagu: Thanks Nimmy.. I am happy to receive them.. 🙂

  14. January 28, 2009 6:52 pm

    Oops, a small factual correction. It was the Anuradhapura air force base, not Kattunayake.

  15. January 28, 2009 7:08 pm

    For all those who think that Prabhakaran can be caught alive or dead, think again. The LTTE chief, of course, has a cyanide capsule around his neck, like all LTTE members and carries an automatic with him at all times. But what many do not know is the fact that he has a small band of trusted fighters with him. And some of them carry fuel cans with them all the time. Incase Prabhakaran bites the cyanide capsule or shoots himself, they would pour the fuel on him immediately and completely cremate him. This is to ensure that no one can catch him either alive or dead. No one can even get his dead body, that is how it works!

    I learnt a lot of facts about the the entire conflict, right from the historical roots of this conflict in a link. The story is really, really long and takes a lot of time to read, but it gives a neutral, detailed account of the entire conflict. I’ll post the link here shortly.

  16. January 28, 2009 7:12 pm

    For those who want to know the story behind this conflict, please read the following links. It can take hours, but it presents the detailed facts:

    http://www.sangam.org/ANALYSIS/AsiaTimes.htm

  17. January 28, 2009 7:34 pm

    Kanagu, my blood began to boil on seeing Mr. Karunanidhi at that literary function when his partymen and other fools were heaping praise on him as having done so much for Tamils.

    Here we have a power hungry fellow who, by means of the political drama that he has been playing, has been a silent spectator and has been playing an indirect hand in the genocide on Sri Lankan Tamils and he has the cheek to sit and listen to all that self-praise. All those students, lawyers, doctors and actors around Tamil Nadu who are striking and expressing solidarity with the Sri Lankan Tamils and there was the CM, listening to accolades from his partymen as a leader of Tamils! The Chengalpattu students who were on a fast undo death have been admitted to the hospital. So many others are joining them. This must snowball into something really, really big and make bring these idiots to their senses before it’s too late.

  18. January 28, 2009 7:35 pm

    Sorry for converting this post into my own Kanagu, but I could not help it.

  19. January 28, 2009 7:48 pm

    Civilians who have been caught by the Sri Lanka Army recently in Vadamaraadchi East in Jaffna and from Murasumoaddai in Ki’linochchi district, who are confined to the ‘detention camps’ run by the Sri Lankan military, have complained to their relatives that the Sri Lankan soldiers have taken several women into their custody and were sexually abusing them, said Jaffna district parliamentarian S. Gajendran on Wednesday. Those who continue to justify and abet the on going war against Tamils and those who directly or indirectly advocate surrender of Tamil civilians to their adversaries are a party to war crimes, he further said.

    TNA Jaffna MP Mr. Selvarajah Gajendran
    Stating that the relatives of victims in Sri Lankan custody in Jaffna, Vavuniyaa and Mannaar have come with shocking stories of sexual violence meted out to their relatives and family members, the parliamentarian said there is a volume of allegations and a long history of sexual abuse by the Sri Lankan military, which consists of 99% ethnic Sinhalese.

    Due to the long culture of impunity enjoyed by the Sinhala dominated military, the families being held under a continuous threat to their lives and honour in the Sri Lankan custody are unable to come out and complain the most inhumane crime of war that is taking place silently, charged the Jaffna district parliamentarian of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA).

    It is an inherent culture in the Sinhala army to use the weapon of rape that is very sensitive to Tamil mind, in the long history of the ethnic war to subjugate Tamils.

    It is not only rape, but the open exhibition of Sinhala chauvinism’s insatiable desire to see Tamils naked, whether man, woman, dead or alive that needs attention of the civilized world, the MP commented.

    A leading Muslim industrialist of a South Asian country, after seeing evidence of vulgarity committed by Sri Lankan soldiers remarked that had that happened in an Arab country, the repercussions would have been terrible.

    No wonder then, the LTTE, for all their ruthlessness in eliminating other moderate Tamils and recruiting child soldiers and using suicide bombers, are regarded as freedom fighters by many Sri Lankan Tamils. The truth is, without the LTTE to protect them, the Sri Lankan Tamils would be butchered by the Sinhala fascist pigs 😡

  20. January 28, 2009 7:56 pm

    An article by Dr. Brian Seneviratne, one of the moderate Sinhalese who has the courage and ethics to speak out against the atrocities on his fellow citizens by the Sinhala fascist scum:

    There is a humanitarian crisis in Sri Lanka, where the Tamil minority in the island’s north and east are facing annihilation at the hands of the Sinhalese-dominated government.

    This article will deal with the current crisis, with the more fundamental problem of the legacy left by colonial British rule (1796-1948) dealt with in later articles. These colonial administrative structures will need to be reversed of there is ever to be peace or prosperity in Sri Lanka.

    I am a Sinhalese, from the majority community, not from the brutalised Tamil minority. I quit Sri Lanka in 1976.

    Who runs that country is of no concern to me, as long as it is run without serious violations of human rights. Sri Lanka was tossed out of the UN Human Rights Council in May last year due to its human rights record, and the drift of a democracy to a fascist politico-military dictatorship, none of which have been publicised internationally.

    Current problem

    The ethno-religious mix of Sri Lanka, with 20 million people, consists of ethnic Sinhalese (74%), Tamils (18%) in two groups (ethnic Tamils, 12.5%, and the plantation, or Indian, Tamils, 5.5%) and Moors (6.5%).

    The ethnic Sinhalese and the ethnic Tamils have been in the country for at least 2500 years — the Tamils for probably much longer, given the proximity of Sri Lanka to south India from where the ethnic Tamils came.

    The plantation Tamils are descendants of indentured labourers brought to the country by the British in the mid-1850s to work in the tea plantations in the central hills. The Moors are descendants of Arab traders from the 13th-15th century.

    The ethnic conflict is between the Sinhalese-dominated government and the ethnic Tamils. The Sinhalese speak an Indoaryan language, Sinhalese, while the Tamils a Dravidian language, Tamil. The Moors are mainly Tamil-speaking but many are bilingual.

    To add a religious dimension to an already existing ethno-linguistic one, the Sinhalese are Buddhist (70%) and the Tamils are Hindus. About 7% of each group have been converted to Christianity by Westerners. The Moors are mostly Muslims.

    Sri Lanka is a multi-ethnic, multireligious, multilingual and multicultural country. Despite this, the Sinhala-Buddhist majority claim that Sri Lanka is a Sinhala-Buddhist country.

    The main proponents of this ethno-religious chauvinism are, firstly, the Buddhist monks who claim that Buddha on his death bed nominated Sri Lanka to be the custodian of his teaching, and secondly Sinhalese politicians across the entire political spectrum who have done so to gain the political support of the Sinhalese Buddhist majority to get into or remain in power.

    The major Sinhalese political parties have competed with each other to discriminate against the Tamils in language, education and employment with the clear intention of getting the Sinhalese vote.

    A third proponent is the Sinhalese-dominated Sri Lankan Armed Forces (99% Sinhalese). The head of the SLA stated in an interview in September last year: “I strongly believe that this country belongs to the Sinhalese …”

    The real danger is that while the ethno-religious bigots among the Buddhist clergy and the Sinhalese political opportunists are not in a position to deliver an exclusively Sinhala-Buddhist nation, the SLA — equipped and supported by countries such as the US, China, India, Pakistan, Britain and Israel, for their own geopolitical/economic gains — do have that capacity.

    If this means committing genocide against the Tamil people, the politico-military junta, which has the temerity to call itself the “Government of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri lanka”, is more than willing to do so.

    Problem of ethnic cleansing

    There are four options to achieve an exclusively Sinaha-Buddhist Sri Lanka.

    1. Drive them out of the country. Although 1.3 million have already been driven out, there are still 2 million left.

    2. Make them “non-people”, ie: internal refugees. Currently, there are 500,000 Tamil civilians living in refugee camps in the Tamil north and east or have fled into the jungles in the north to escape SLA bombing. There are also 200,000 Tamil refugees in south India.

    On November 19, Amnesty International USA, in a publication titled Sri Lanka government must act now to protect 300,000 displaced persons, stated: “In September 2008, the Sri Lankan government ordered the United Nations (UN) and non-government aid-workers to leave the region (the Tamil North). The government then assumed total responsibility for ensuring the needs of the civilian population affected by the hostilities are met.”

    On December 23, the US-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) came out with a detailed 49-page report entitled Besieged, Displaced, and Detained. The Plight of Civilians in Sri Lanka’s Vanni Region of the Sri Lankan government’s responsibility for the plight of 230,000 to 300,000 displaced people in the Vanni (northern) conflict zone.

    It documents that thousands of Tamils fleeing the fighting in the north are trapped by the government and are being denied basic provisions.

    Brad Adams, HRW Asia Director, one of the people who wrote this report, said: “To add insult to injury, people who manage to flee the fighting end up being held indefinitely in army-run prison camps.”

    He went on to make the situation abundantly clear: “The government’s ’welfare centers’ for civilians fleeing the Wanni are just badly disguised prisons.”

    3. Make them “disappear”. Today, Sri Lanka leads the world in “involuntary disappearances”.

    On November 24, HRW published report entitled Sri Lanka: Human Rights Situation Deteriorating in the East in which Adams stated: “The Sri Lankan government says that the ‘liberated’ East is an example of democracy in action and a model for areas recaptured from the LTTE. But killings and abductions are rife, and there is total impunity for horrific acts.”

    4. Kill them — i.e. commit genocide. “Genocide” is defined by the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide as “an act committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group”.

    Genocide has nothing to do with numbers killed, it is the intention and the act(s) to achieve this intention that defines it.

    Bombing, shelling and shooting are not the only ways to kill. One could starve them, withhold essential medicines, prevent survival activity (e.g. fishing and agriculture), destroy businesses, markets, homes, hospitals and schools. Once the intention is there, the ways to achieve genocide are endless.

    There are also different types of genocide. I have called these, “educational genocide”, “cultural genocide”, “economic genocide” and “religious genocide” — defined as the intention, backed by the act, of destroying in whole or part the education, culture or economy and religion of an ethnic group.

    The Sri Lankan government is guilty of all of these.

  21. January 28, 2009 8:01 pm

    In a scene of carnage of untold proportion on civilian targets hit by hundreds of Sri Lanka Army fired artillery shells, more than 300 people have died and several hundreds are bleeding to death within the last 24 hours, amidst pouring rain inside the ‘saftey zone’ declared by the Colombo government. Houses and vehicles burn for a stretch of three km between Va’l’lipunam Kaa’li temple and Moongkilaa’ru towards Paranthan road, reports from Vanni said on Monday. Unattended bodies and injured people unable to move are lying around everywhere, while a remaining doctor fled and helpless ICRC officials virtually cried at the scene from their bunkers, TamilNet correspondent said.

  22. January 28, 2009 8:04 pm

    the ICRC says hundreds of patients are in need of emergency treatment and evacuation to Vavuniya Hospital in the government-controlled area and has urged that humanitarian assistance be unhampered in the Vanni region.

    “When the dust settles, we may see countless victims and a terrible humanitarian situation, unless civilians are protected and international humanitarian law is respected in all circumstances,” Maio said.

    “It’s high time to take decisive action and stop further bloodshed because time is running out.”

    Meanwhile, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has also called for the safety of civilians as humanitarian groups try to provide aid to people trapped in the region.

    “The secretary-general is deeply concerned about the safety and well-being of civilians caught in intensified fighting in the Vanni region of Sri Lanka,” a spokesman for Ban said in a statement Monday.

  23. January 28, 2009 8:06 pm

    Only a few of the wounded have survived injuries caused by the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) artillery shelling on ‘safety zone’, according to the civilian volunteers in Udaiyaarkaddu, who have been helping people to bury their dead. Only a few dared to send the remains to hospital mortuary. Very few of the wounded have survived, TamilNet correspondent said Wednesday.

    Only 10% of the dead bodies of 300 civilians were brought to hospital on Monday. 90% of the killed were buried where they were killed.

    Medical staff told TamilNet correspondent that they were only able to verify that 21 more civilians were killed on Tuesday. The makeshift hospital at Udaiyaarkaddu, which had gone empty for much of the needed medicines and was even struggling to bandage the wounds, attended only 20 wounded on Tuesday.

    There has been no sign of external medical teams or assistance to the hospital, despite the repeated calls by the offices of the Regional Directors of Health Services.

    Reports also said not only the ICRC staff, but also medical staff had to flee their posts following the indiscriminate attack on the ‘saftey zone’.

    TamilNet correspondent witnessed that 4 vehicles, that were hit by the SLA-fired shells 1 km away from Chuthanthirapuram junction within the ‘saftey zone’ were on fire as civilians inside were struggling to escape. The victims had succumbed to fire and smoke inhalation.

  24. January 28, 2009 8:11 pm

    Hard to achieve peace when ‘they just want the Tamils … wiped out’

    Sri Lanka’s National Peace Council has long had two goals: first, a negotiated end to the country’s 25-year-old civil war, and second, a political solution based on federalism.

    “I suppose the first goal is gone,” Jehan Perera, the council chair, remarked with a bit of dry despair a few days ago.

    President Rajapaksa has promised Tamils their “peace and freedom” will follow the end of the LTTE, a pledge met with considerable skepticism by international observers here. “This government says all the right things but they speak with forked tongues,” said a Western diplomat who is not authorized to speak on the record. “They just want the Tamils crushed and wiped out.”

    The diplomat suggested that traditionally Tamil areas would likely continue to be under heavy military occupation, while a few showpiece development initiatives are undertaken.

  25. January 28, 2009 8:13 pm

    Dozens of U.N. workers and their relatives trapped in the northern war zone came under artillery and machine gun fire from what they said were Sri Lankan troops as they sought refuge inside a so-called safe zone, the local United Nations office in Colombo said.

    The plight of the 95 local workers and their relatives was detailed in a private memo sent by the office to U.N. headquarters in New York. The memo was obtained Wednesday by The Associated Press.

    Nine people seeking shelter near the U.N. staff but who were not affiliated with the United Nations were killed in one of the attacks, the memo said.

  26. January 28, 2009 8:21 pm

    In Sri Lanka hope is a four letter word

    By Qadri Ismail

    Bulldozed from the land, bombarded from the air and sea, brutalised in general, one would think the Palestinian people would make a sensible calculation, put their hands up and surrender. They don’t.

    Most of the world is with them, but that doesn’t really matter because the dominant global power, the United States, is against. Indeed, the U.S. refuses to prevent, or even condemn, the merciless assault of the Israeli state.

    Thus encouraging, abetting it. Barack Obama’s silence is particularly repugnant.

    One would think that Palestinians would get the message. They don’t.

    Their cause seems so hopeless some might even think they should capitulate. Clearly, however, they won’t.

    Like Palestine, in Sri Lanka today hope is a four letter word.

    In the three years since the Rajapakses captured the presidency, our citizens continue to be denied equality, our rights have been stolen systematically, our lives are increasingly terrorised.

    The press, a threat

    The constitution is treated, at best, as an inconvenience. The press, a threat. Human rights activists are accused of aiding terrorism. One of our leading lawyers, J. C. Weliamuna, had his home grenaded. Lasantha Wickrematunge was murdered — for opposing, as everyone including its apologists is aware, the government and its warmongers.

    The Tamils, of course, are the primary target of this policy of systematic slaughter. Since Don Shelton Senanayake, they have been less than equal citizens. Since Junius Richard Jayewardene, they have been brutalised. Today the powers that be are inspired by the worst examples of both.

    Under the pretext of a war on terror, Tamils are routinely murdered, maimed, displaced, dispossessed in Sri Lanka today. Never before in our postcolonial history have they felt more politically insignificant. Never before has their every step been monitored, scrutinised. They are even denied the right to move freely across the country. More than a thousand are arbitrarily detained in northern camps — including some fleeing the LTTE. The number incarcerated in the south is unknown.

    Politically irrelevant

    In Sri Lanka today, the Muslims, too, are being made politically irrelevant. In the east, under the pretext of saving the environment, hundreds of acres of their land have been alienated. At some future stage, no doubt, this property will be transferred to Sinhala settlers. Soon it may be next to impossible for Muslims to elect representatives from any but the most densely populated parts of the east (like Kaththankudy).

    In such a context, it is infuriatingly ironic to find Rajapakse, not to mention the JVP, express sympathy for the Palestinian people. The same Rajapakse who unabashedly buys guns and gunships from Israel. Similar weapons, no doubt, to those directed, as you read this, at Palestinian lives. If not Palestinian life itself.

    The Iranian government of that anti-Semitic anti-imperialist, Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, may think it proper to subsidise the present regime — despite their repression of Sri Lankan Muslims. Despite the fact that Iranian money ends up subsidising the Israeli arms industry. Despite the government’s own admission on Wednesday that the Sri Lankan and Israeli navies exchange ideas on tactics.

    The Israeli military says it targets only the resistance. And yet, most of its casualties are civilians. The same is true of the rhetoric and victims of the Sri Lankan military.

    The Israeli government often stages military actions around elections. This government, ditto.

    Palestinian politicians

    The Israeli government only accepts Palestinian politicians it can puppet, like Mahmoud Abbas. The Rajapakses pull the strings of Douglas Devananda, “Karuna” Muralitharan and “Pillayan” Chandrakanthan.

    Israeli leaders are routinely accused of corruption. This government appears to revel in it.

    Parallels are not restricted to the present, but extend historically.

    The Israeli state has systematically settled Jews in Palestinian territory. Perhaps they learned this from the Sinhala state, which has pursued such a policy since Senanayake.

    And Israelis Jews believe themselves to be a chosen people. That God himself bequeathed Palestine to them as their exclusive homeland. Likewise, Sinhala Buddhists believe Buddha himself blessed this country as their sole possession.

    If you believe in absurdities, said Voltaire, you will commit atrocities.

    Atrocious acts

    Unfortunately, in both Palestine and Sri Lanka, atrocious acts are not limited to one party. The Palestinian resistance has targeted, killed and injured Israeli civilians. Just as much as the LTTE, once upon a time at the urging of the Indian state, has constantly targeted and murdered Sinhala civilians.

    Such practice is ethically unacceptable. It cannot be whitewashed by any alibi. Murder, even to counter state-sanctioned murder, remains murder.

    Such practice is also politically counter-productive. Like the Palestinians, I unequivocally endorse the Tamil demand to resolve their future. The government instead, would resolve it for them.

    The Tamil cause

    But the actions of the LTTE have weakened the Tamil cause and their case. Indeed, the LTTE’s authoritarian methods have significantly alienated the Tamil people themselves: the drafting at gun-point of children for its army, the killing of dissenting Tamils like K. Padmanabha and Rajini Thiranagama and hundreds of others, the forced evacuation of the Jaffna population in 1995. The list is long. Despite this government’s brutality, due mostly to its own actions, the LTTE no longer enjoys the popular support it did in the 1980s and ’90s.

    It does not follow, however, that most Tamils who diverge from the LTTE support this racist regime. They don’t.

    It does not follow that the Tamils believe, despite Rajapakse’s bombast, that this is a government of all the people. They don’t. Even Devananda, Muralitharan and Chandrakanthan don’t believe that.

    Or that the Tamil people, however terrorised they might be today, will surrender their struggle for peace with equality, with justice, with honor.

    Like the Palestinians, hell no, they won’t.

  27. January 28, 2009 8:25 pm

    Does IC know no human dignity of civilians, asks a doctor in Vanni

    “The world is silently witnessing one of the worst massacres of helpless civilians in contemporary times. These civilians know no crime other than not knowing where to go. While the genocidal military of the Colombo government is on the killing spree, India and the international community sadistically expect the civilians to come running out into the hands of their killers. Either way they expect them to perish,” a doctor, while attending casualties at the Udaiyaarkaddu hospital, said on Monday.

    “The excuse of LTTE using civilians a human shield is a farce,” the doctor said.

    “The current phase of war is not for the LTTE since the SL government already claimed 95 percent victory. It is now only a collective punishment meted out to civilians for showing faith all these days to their fighters.”

    “Those of the international community who shed crocodile tears for civilians could very well reach out to the suffering civilians. They are not going to be prevented by anyone other than Colombo’s marauding army,” he further said urging the ICRC and other medical organisations such as Doctors Without Borders to urgently reach out the civilians to help them.

    “We need urgent help to transport the wounded. Blood is a top priority. We need medicines, we need doctors,” the doctor who did not wish to be named told TamilNet.

  28. January 28, 2009 8:27 pm

    Human Catastrophe & Medical Emergency in the Vanni

    Heavy fighting and continuous multi-barrel artillery shelling has resulted in more
    than 300 internally displaced persons being killed and over 1000 hundred injured
    in Suthanthirapuram, Udaiyaarkaddu, and Vallipuram in the Mullaitivu District.
    We are making an URGENT APPEAL to the Government of Sri Lanka, ICRC, the UN,
    and the international community for medical supplies and medical teams to be sent to
    the District to assist our staff. We currently only have 9 MMBS Doctors.
    The nature of the injuries and the number of the injuries is such that if these medical
    supplies do not arrive in the next 24 hours many of the injured will die.

    Signed:
    Dr.T.Varatharajah,
    RDHS,
    Mullaitivu
    (A government worker)

  29. January 28, 2009 9:21 pm

    More than 400 persons including Jaffna Bishop, Rt. Rev. Thomas Saundaranayagam, former Bishop of Church of South India, Catholic priests and nuns took part Wednesday morning in a protest fast, urging Sri Lanka government to stop the artillery barrage and aerial bombardment on Vanni civilians and to bring an end to their continuing displacements, sources in Jaffna said. The protest held in front of St. Mary’s Church in Jaffna began around 9:00 a.m. Meanwhile, a Sri Lanka Army (SLA) commander, who unexpectedly came and sat for about 15 minutes along with the protestors, told that Buddhist Sinhala Chauvinists are the primary cause of the current problem before leaving, the sources added.

  30. January 28, 2009 10:21 pm

    Hi Raj,

    Thanks for providing these information which will help everybody to understand what is the real problem in Srilanka.. but I need sometime to read all the comments and reply to them and I will do that soon….
    And No need for sorry and all.. This is your space and your comments are welcome here my friend 🙂

  31. January 28, 2009 10:37 pm

    Thanks, Kanagu. No need to reply to my comments, mate. They are just facts that I have presented which many people are simply unaware of. Their eyes have been blinded by the non-sense dished out by Rajapakse’s goons and the Rajapaksas’ ass-licking Indian (and to a lesser extent international) media that any amount of reasoning will have little to no effect.

  32. January 28, 2009 10:51 pm

    Kanagu, this ethnic conflict may never end. Or it could end in the following ways:

    1) A free Tamil Eelam and a Sinhala Lanka existing side-by-side on the island of Ceylon,

    2) A true federal, multi-ethnic, multi-lingual, multi-religious constitution that guarantees every human on the island his/her equality and dignity,

    3) Complete genocide of Sri Lankan Tamils (If this is allowed to happen, it will be followed by the genocide of “Indian” Tamils or “up-country” Tamils in Sri Lanka, followed by the genocide of Muslims, followed by the genocide of Christian Sinhalese). Because the Sinhala fascist pseudo-Buddhist thugs will never accept others in the pure Sinhala Buddhist Sri Lanka that they want to create 😡

  33. January 28, 2009 11:31 pm

    Kanagu, to put it in a nutshell, the cause of this conflict is Sinhala Buddhist fascism based upon the pseudo-Buddhist myths contained in the Mahavamsa and other such mythical literature. The LTTE is not the cause of the conflict.

    This conflict has been taking place ever since 1948 (the roots go back a bit further). The LTTE is just a symptom, one of the reactions to Sinhala Buddhist fascism on the island. The LTTE was born only in the late 70s/early 80s, but this conflict has been taking place since 1948.

    First, the Tamils depended on Federal Party politics. They were cheated and betrayed by the Sinhala extremists. Then they protested peacefully. They were shot dead, terrorised and thrown into lakes. This made them realise that Sinhala fascist criminals would never let them live in dignity and that the thugs had complete genocide on their minds. This made them declare their rights for a Free Tamil Eelam in their traditional homelands by means of the Vadukkottai Resolution in 1978 and subsequently endorsed in overwhelmingly in elections. This was followed by violence and intimidation and atrocities perpetrated on them by Sinhala goons, thugs and death squads. This made them take up arms to fight for their cause and to defend themselves from the brutal Sinhala regimes. All of them were regarded as freedom fighters, including the LTTE. It’s a pity that the LTTE destroyed other groups in fratricidal fights and killed many moderate Tamil politicians. But despite all this, the Tamils on the island prefer the LTTE to the Sinhala forces.

    One, the LTTE allows them to live with dignity and freedom. Two, whatever the LTTE is guilty of doing, they do not tolerate corruption and rape. Even the most extremist Sinhala will tell you that the LTTE has never raped a single woman throughout their history. The Sinhala army, on the other hand, is notorious for using rape, abductions, torture and “disappearances” on innocent civilians as a part of its war strategy. They were recently thrown out of a UN peacekeeping force in Haiti for raping women there. (That’s why many Sri Lankan Tamils look upon the LTTE as their protectors and freedom fighters). They would prefer the LTTE to the notorious Sinhala army anyday.

    LTTE or no LTTE, the Tamils have a just cause. If not the LTTE, then someone else will take up their cause. No bloody swine on earth can suppress a people who are fighting for a just cause!

  34. January 28, 2009 11:41 pm

    Sri Lanka Army has launched another brutal attack on civilians inside the ’safety zone,’ killing 23 civilians since Wednesday noon within not less than 12 hours after giving assurance to the visiting Indian Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee. At least 121 civilians have been wounded in the artillery barrage, according to medical sources.

    The dead included a child residing in an orphanage in Paarathi puram and one of the wounded is the Chuthanthirapuram parish priest of the Church of South India (American Mission). The artillery barrage continues to the time of this reporting.

    The orphanage, which has come under artillery attack of th Sri Lanka Army is Chentha’lir (Senthalir) Illam, where more than seventy children perished during the December 2004 tsunami. It is run by the Centre for Women’s Development and Rehabilitation (CWDR).

    The artillery attack continues to target civilian population in Moongki’laa’ru, Redd Barna settlement, Udaiyaarkaddu, Chuthanthirapuram, Theavipuram and Va’l’lipunam.

  35. January 29, 2009 1:00 am

    UN: staff came under fire in Sri Lanka ‘safe zone’

    COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Dozens of U.N. workers and their relatives spent a terrifying night huddling in hastily built bunkers as artillery fire pounded a civilian “safe zone” in Sri Lanka’s war-wracked north, according to an internal U.N. memo.

    The memo, obtained Wednesday by The Associated Press, said the artillery shells killed nine civilians in a nearby bunker and were apparently fired by government forces.

    The U.N. staff, which had already given their coordinates to the military, called senior military officials and Cabinet ministers to complain, the memo said. But another barrage a few hours later landed just 30 feet (10 meters) from staff members huddled in the bunkers.

    That attack hit a nearby bunker filled with civilians, killing nine and wounding more than 20 others, the memo said.

    “Fortunately, because of good preparation, all staff and dependents were in hastily built bunkers and only one staff member was injured in the leg,” the memo said. “But all around them was the carnage from casualties from people who may have thought they would be safer being near the UN. Sadly, they were wrong that night.”

    The area came under attack again early Monday from heavy machine gun fire, with shells landing 150 to 350 feet (50 to 100 meters ) away, the memo said. In that instance, the government appeared to be laying down covering fire for incoming troops, it said.

  36. January 29, 2009 2:16 am

    27-01-2009 News release 09/22

    Sri Lanka: Major humanitarian crisis unfolding

    Colombo / Geneva (ICRC) – Hundreds of people have been killed and scores of wounded are overwhelming understaffed and ill-equipped medical facilities in Sri Lanka’s northern Vanni region, following intensified fighting between the Sri Lanka Security Forces and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)

    “People are being caught in the crossfire, hospitals and ambulances have been hit by shelling and several aid workers have been injured while evacuating the wounded. The violence is preventing the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) from operating in the region,” said Jacques de Maio, ICRC head of operations for South Asia in Geneva.

    The terrified population is in need of protection, medical care and basic assistance, according to the ICRC.

    An estimated 250,000 people are trapped in a 250 square-kilometre area which has come under intense fighting. They have no safe area to take shelter and are unable to flee.

    “When the dust settles, we may see countless victims and a terrible humanitarian situation, unless civilians are protected and international humanitarian law is respected in all circumstances,” said Mr de Maio. “It’s high time to take decisive action and stop further bloodshed because time is running out.”

    The ICRC urgently appeals to both sides to allow and facilitate the safe and voluntary movement of civilians out of the combat zone.

    The ICRC is determined to stay as long as possible in the Vanni, but the parties must respect its presence and its work. Humanitarian assistance must be allowed to enter the Vanni and aid workers and their premises must be protected from shelling and looting, as required by international humanitarian law.

    Both sides are strongly urged to spare the lives of those not, or no longer, taking direct part in the fighting. Hundreds of patients need emergency treatment and evacuation to Vavuniya Hospital in the government-controlled area.

    The ICRC, which is the only international aid agency to have remained permanently in the Vanni over the past four months with the agreement of both sides, continues to work alongside the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society helping those in need.

  37. January 29, 2009 10:19 am

    @ Kanagu : Why? India has not said a word about the Burmese government killing off its own people? About the Tibetans being finished off in China. So by the same standards it is silent on Tamils in Sri Lanka. The policy of the government is consistent it has skeletons to hide in its own closet so it will not speak on such things abroad. In fact on Tibet some people in the government have quite directly said that we do not want to interfere in China’s affairs because we are afraid then they might say such and such thing about us in Kashmir. So basically you can only cast a stone if you are honest in the first place.

    I think after the war is over in Sri Lanka, the standard of life for Tamils will improve anyway. In any case they were no better off with the LTTE ruling those parts either. Being recruited as child soldiers etc. Do tell me when was the last time you did a blog post on the violations of human rights of Tamils by the Tamil LTTE? Basically I do not want to write more on this but I just want to say that I do not mind the government of India’s mind your own business policy.

    kanagu: Odzer, I haven’t written about LTTE because I don’t know what is their ideology clearly.. And also I never supported LTTE.. even in this article I vented my anger against Indian leaders and not mentioned about LTTE. I have to learn a lot before writing about them.. I am just asking why there are no clear cut word from TN leaders and what is the need giving arms to Srilanka?

  38. January 29, 2009 10:51 am

    Odzer,

    If the government of India followed a “mind your own business policy”, there would have been no problem. The fact is that they are playing a role in the genocide and that cannot be denied. The life of Tamils is not going to improve under the military occupation of the Sinhala regime. It will become several times worse. Despite the human rights violations of Tamils by the LTTE, the fact is the people prefer the LTTE to the filthy Sinhala regime and that cannot be denied by anyone.

  39. January 29, 2009 12:56 pm

    The unspeakable Truth:

    http://www.pagegangster.com/p/2Lweq/

  40. January 29, 2009 1:00 pm

    We are hearing anti war sentiments from Colombo after the murder of Lasantha Wikrematunga by government agents. Asserting that Mahinda Rajapakse regime is “the darkest, the most brutal and the most ruthless,” that has ruled Sri Lanka, Mangala Samaraweera, the convenor SLFP (M) and ex foreign minister of Sri Lanka – a Sinhalese by ethnicity, in an interview published in this weekend Sunday Leader, said

    The SLAF has used more bombs than in Vietnam just in a few months. Even if Pirapaharan is captured and killed as some people like to speculate, we will only be committing another generation to the war perhaps to fight a far more ruthless LTTE than today.

    Apologizing to the Sri Lankan people for “bringing this dark and evil regime into power“, he further said

    The evolving situation is such that key journalists are fleeing the country. More than a dozen have already left and others are on the verge of leaving.

    If Sri Lanka truly wants to win the war, it has to come up with a solution that is acceptable to the Tamils and that may prove more powerful than all the bombs and weapons they have been using against the LTTE. Only then will they find durable peace in the region.

  41. Chirag permalink
    January 29, 2009 2:18 pm

    @An alien Earthling: Thanks Now I know. Let me read some more.

  42. January 29, 2009 2:40 pm

    You’re welcome, Chirag! The Asia Times link contains the entire history of the conflict, but it can take hours to read.

    Hundreds Dead As Sri Lankan Military Creates Humanitarian Disaster

    By Sarath Kumara & K. Ratnayake

    The Sri Lankan military offensive aimed at destroying the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) has produced a humanitarian crisis for hundreds of thousands of people trapped by the fighting. While journalists are barred from the front lines, reports are filtering out of hundreds of civilian deaths, with many more injured and in need of urgent medical help.

    After the capture of the last LTTE stronghold of Mullaithivu on Sunday, the army has been tightening its noose around LTTE fighters, who are now confined to an area—some 25 kilometres by 10 kilometres—to the north of the town. As has been the case in the previous 30 months of fighting, the military is resorting to the indiscriminate use of artillery and aerial bombardment to weaken the LTTE and terrorise the local population.

    The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) stated yesterday that hundreds of civilians have been killed in recent days. The estimate was based on body counts by ICRC staff at local hospitals. Access for aid workers is very limited and the toll could be far higher. The ICRC reported that the military had refused permission to evacuate 200 critically wounded people yesterday and warned that without urgent treatment they would die.

    ICRC head of operations for South Asia, Jacques de Maio, told the media: “People are being caught in the crossfire, hospitals and ambulances have been hit by shelling, and several aid workers have been injured while evacuating the wounded. When the dust settles, we may see countless victims and a terrible humanitarian situation.”

    Speaking of the trapped civilians, de Maio said: “They find themselves simply under fire and highly vulnerable. Access to medical care is almost non-existent at this point. They are in need of food, they are in need of shelter and most of all they are in need of security.” Much of the fighting had been “intrinsically incompatible with full respect of the basic rules of the law of war,” he said.

    Kanagu, it seems one can rather trust several Sinhalese journalists to report the truth, even though they risk their lives in doing so rather than the Rajapaksas’ ass-licking clowns in the Indian media.

  43. January 29, 2009 10:00 pm

    Wow… Congrats on a hit post bro’! 🙂

    Having read all that, I can see some of what I wanted to say have already been expressed! 😆

    Anyway, it is a shame… When will we learn!

    Keep rollin’!

    Peace.

    kanagu: I don’t want this to be a hit post. But a post that will make ourselves knowledgable to happenings around us..

    Thanks Kartz.

  44. January 30, 2009 2:00 am

    @ An Alien Earthling : The government of Sri Lanka has every right to preserve the integrity of their country. Its a right that every sovereign nation has. There is no history of there being an independent Tamil nation in Sri Lanka and as such they can not separate or split that country. LTTE is classified as a terrorist organisation and is a non-state actor as such when our country is urging other countries to clamp down on non-state actors and threatening to wage war to take them out we can not support any foreign policy that goes completely opposite of that in a third country and that too a close neighbour. In any case these “Tamils” are not even Indians. So none of our problem. Sri Lanka or the UN can take care of it.

  45. January 30, 2009 3:56 am

    @ An Alien Earthling : Without any malice towards you or the Tamils in general. I am not sure if you are Lankan or Indian but if you are Indian you should understand that we derive our foreign policy in this country based on what a democratically elected government’s priorities. If we scamper around making statements to suit everyone be warned there are several such issues affecting India. Naga’s are present on both side of the Indo-Burmese border. Punjabi’s are present in both India and Pakistan etc etc. We can not have multiple standards on this one. The government of Sri Lanka is a recognized and democratically elected government as well which is accepted by the rest of the world and as such it is not a ‘regime’.

    Sri Lanka is not an East Pakistan. In any case India’s past misadventures there have only taught us that if we intervene ins such matters the results can be still unfriendly countries at the borders. It is better to keep a hands off policy. In fact if I ran the government in Delhi, I would make sure we took in no refugees on the mainland. Instead redirecting them to off shore camps. In case such a situation arises. I hope someone sensible does do that.

  46. January 30, 2009 4:52 pm

    Odzer,

    What makes you even think I’m a Sri Lankan 😕

    You’ve got your history wrong, friend. Do check out the history of the Jaffna Tamil kingdom. It’s the Sinhalese Buddhist clergy that want a Sinhala Buddhist state on the entire island of Sri Lanka based upon sheer myths in contained in the Mahavamsa.

    You (just like so many others) have got something fundamentally wrong. And that is the sovereign rights of governments to do whatever they like. Human rights are the only one that is acknowledged universally and not the rights of governments, whether they are “democratic” or dictatorships. If that was the case, India had NO right to become independent as the Imperial British government had every right to preserve the territorial integrity of Britain! And the colonial powers had every right to preserve their “territorial integrity” by holding on to their colonies against the will of the people! There can be no double standards on this issue, you are right!

    Its funny how the world that cried foul against imperialism are now the imperialists and colonists themselves. And they keep dishing bullshit like “territorial integrity” as if its something sacrosanct. It is not!

    Sure, Hitler was elected democratically as well. So the Nazis were not a “regime”.

    The government’s foreign policy should be based on democratic norms – the will of the people, and not a handful of old idiotic bureaucrats sitting in a small room.

    Going by your internal issue logic, Pakistan can as well claim that terrorists are an “internal issue” of Pakistan and that its India’s duty to protect its borders. So they have every right to fend off international pressure.

    You say hands off. If it was a hands off policy, it would have been good. But it is not. The Indian government is supplying arms and training to the Sinhalese and you cannot deny that and yet you claim its a hands off policy???

    By the way, I wonder if you would have said the same thing about refugees from Pakistan after partition? Why did we take them in? We could have as well directed them to off-shore camps! Afterall, they were Pakistanis, weren’t they?

    What people who are not sensible will never understand is humanitarian law and the principle of humanity. And that is to provide a home to refugees from conflict zones. That is an international law as well. People who don’t regard the humanitarian aspect don’t deserve to be humans! Like the idiotic Thai officers who tied the hands of refugees from Myanmar and put them in boats in the ocean.

    In any case, the idiots running the government in Delhi cannot decide what to do with refugees. Afterall, there are sensible people in this world who recognise the rights of humans.

  47. January 30, 2009 5:04 pm

    @ An Alien Earthling : The Royal Thai Government did what they thought was right in the interests of their own country. We are not supplying weapons but we are selling them. There is no such rule that prohibits the sale of weapons to states unless an international embargo has been placed. The people who came in to India were as a result of partition of India and they had Indian nationality.

    As for humanity, it is secondary to our own self interests. Charity begins at home. As I have been saying Sri Lankan internal matters are not our problem. There is no need for any sort of intervention there. We do not have anything to feel guilty about. Sri Lanka is a Buddhist majority nation and will continue to remain so based on its demographics. If someone has said that there is nothing wrong about it.

    The reason I mentioned off shore camps was that these people may contain elements of LTTE and they should never be processed on mainland. Our security is paramount and it comes before any humanitarian relief is provided. As for the India and the British. India was a part of the British Empire and not a part of Britain itself. It got its independence based on a mandate passed in the parliament in the UK. If the Sri Lankan parliament was to pass a similar law there is nothing between these people and a new country. Armed conflicts against governments can no longer be tolerated by non-governmental groups. We need a stable, happy and prosperous Sri Lanka at our borders and at this stage all we should do is let their army finish its job. I am sure they will take care of their own citizens whether Tamil or Sri Lankan and are quite capable of looking after their best interests. They do not need another country to tell them what to do.

  48. January 30, 2009 5:16 pm

    This is not something that can be linked with Kashmiri or Naga or Punjab (Sikh) separatism.

    Each of these issues are different. But you’ve forgotten that it’s a civil war and ethnic conflict based upon the denial of equality and dignity and not a mere “separatist” issue.

    If the Lankan Tamils lived in a federal Sri Lanka or atleast a country that guaranteed their rights in their traditional homelands, there would have been no conflict at all. If they lived in a country with a structure like India, they would have been proud to live with the Sinhalese as their brothers and sisters.

    Despite all the problems that the Sikhs, Nagas, Manipuris and Kashmiris have with India, you cannot deny that India is a federal country. The Kashmiris and Nagas even have extra powers that other normal states of India don’t have. Inspite of this, if there are problems, its all because of a few idiots who have been running the government in Delhi who have absolutely no idea of the situation on the ground is and those fools are determined to crush the peaceful demands of those people and continue to alienate them. I hope someone sensible would be able to sit down and talk with the Kashmiris and North-Eastern groups to bring about peace, end the conflict, and end their alienation that was caused by the harmful policies of a few idiots in successive governments.

    The Lankan situation is completely different. Despite the calls from a minority of sensible Sinhalese to achieve lasting peace by recognising the rights of the Tamils and Muslims in a multi-ethnic, multi-lingual and multi-religious Sri Lanka, the majority of Sinhalese continue to be guided by the notorious “Buddhist Taliban” extremists who want complete genocide of the minorities in Sri Lanka achieved by any means. It’s unfortunate that the genocidal regime has the support of clowns in different governments.

  49. January 30, 2009 5:25 pm

    Part of the British empire or Britain, it’s a mere technicality. The fact was that India was a part of the empire and Indians were subjects of the Queen. So the very principle of India’s independence goes against your so-called right of a government to maintain its “territorial integrity”. Where are you from, man (or lady)?

    It’s obvious that you don’t know what’s going on with regards to the refugees in Tamil Nadu. You have no idea of the screening process that goes on and the facilities where the refugees stay, the so-called camps.

    The people from Pakistan became Indians only after they were granted Indian citizenship by the clauses in India’s citizenship laws. Till that they were refugees from Pakistan. Can you claim that all Hindus and Sikhs who chose to stay back in Pakistan will be given citizenship if they cross over now?

    NObody is denying that Lanka is Buddhist majority, not even the Tamils. If India is Hindu majority, can a genocide against Muslims, Christians and Sikhs be justified?

  50. January 30, 2009 5:43 pm

    We are not selling the weapons, actually. Were a supplying them free of cost to a bankrupt genocidal regime. Can you tell me the price paid by the Sinhalese for the weapons or for the training that they receive? And why the hell should India send its radar operators and other people to a government that’s fighting a civil war in another country? You still call it a hands off policy??? Tell me, does the Indian government even admit it? Of course, it does not. Now if someone is killed, who have they died for? Defending India’s borders? Of course, not! They are mere pawns who were sacrificed or injured because of a few idiots who decide what the government must do. Shame on them!

    You obviously cannot differentiate between civilians and combatants. Funny, can you say the same thing with respect to the Nazi concentration camps? Let the SS “finish its job”? Or about the Pakistani army “finishing its job” in East Bengal?
    It’s the right of every government to protect civilians that it claims as its citizens. If it doesn’t, then it has to told what to do by international agencies and governments to observe international rules regarding civilian casualties and other treaties that it signed. Just because a few clowns in international governments support their genocidal actions does not mean that others should remain silent. I hope humanity is not dead because of a few brainwashed individuals who are fed nonsense by an equally brainwashed media.

    As for the Thai idiots who pushed the hapless Myanmarese refugees out to sea, they are trying to deny it now. If someone did something right, why should they try to deny it when their vile actions came to international notice?

  51. January 30, 2009 7:54 pm

    Oscar and Grammy award nominee, Eezham born music phenom, Maya Arulpragasam, in the PBS interview on Tavis Smiley show Thursday told the U.S. listeners and fans worldwide that “there’s been a systematic genocide which has quiet thing because no one knows where Sri Lanka is. And now it’s just escalated to the point there’s 350,000 people who are stuck in a battle zone and can’t get out, and aid’s banned and humanitarian organizations are banned, journalists are banned from telling the story.”

    Maya’s “Paper Planes” single, featured on the Slumdog Millionaire soundtrack, is nominated for a Grammy, and she received a best song Oscar nod for ‘O Saya.” She also has her own fashion line and a music label, N.E.E.T. A few excerpts:

    And there’s a genocide going on, and it’s kind of — it’s ironic that I am the only Tamil, and I’ve turned into the only voice for the Tamil people, the 20 percent minority in my country. And yeah, it’s weird that I’m being given the opportunity.

    Sri Lanka is an island off the coast of India. There’s two ethnicities there; one the Sinhalese, which is the majority and the government, and the minority, who are the Tamils. That’s where I’m from. And my lifetime sort of began there, I spent 10 years, and I was there during when the war started and fled as a refugee to England.

    And basically since I fled till now, it’s — there’s been a systematic genocide which has quiet thing because no one knows where Sri Lanka is. And now it’s just escalated to the point there’s 350,000 people who are stuck in a battle zone and can’t get out, and aid’s banned and humanitarian organizations are banned, journalists are banned from telling the story.

    You don’t know more about it because due to the propaganda — when you think Tamil, you automatically thing tiger, and that is completely disproportionate. So human beings around the world have to be taught to go Tamil equals Tamil civilians first, and the Tamil Tiger is a separate thing. And both of those groups are different. It’s like a square and a circle.

    And the thing is there’s only 4,000 Tamil Tiger soldiers in Sri Lanka, and if you want, you could just sneeze and wipe them out in a day. They’re not that sophisticated with their weaponry and stuff like that — the Sri Lankan government, which is a million soldiers big, can handle that.

    But using those people, we’re managing to wipe out the whole Tamil population, the civilians, and that is why you don’t hear about it, because the propaganda in the media, because if you’re a terrorist organization, you don’t have the right to speak, that is passed on to the Tamil civilians. The Tamil civilians don’t have the right to speak or right to live, they don’t have any liberties.

    So that’s been the key thing, that when you think al Qaeda, you’re not thinking Afghanistan. That if you want to go and fight and kill al Qaeda, then you can, but you can’t wipe out Afghanistan. And that’s what’s happening in Sri Lanka, and I think it’s really important for America to understand that, because they set the precedent on how you fight terrorism around the world.

    And it’s really important that just that sort of throwaway comment, “Oh, Tamil, she must be a Tamil Tiger,” actually, the repercussions of that is killing people back home.

  52. January 30, 2009 7:58 pm

    For those people who cannot differentiate between Tamil Tiger combatants and civilians trapped in a war zone, please listen to Mathangi “Maya” Arulpragasam’s interview on PBS. The Indian public has even less access to information than the average American does. That’s why they cannot differentiate between a so-called “war on terror” and a genocide:

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/video/flv/generic.html?s=tavi08s1ddeq6f6

  53. January 30, 2009 8:40 pm

    Kanagu, I just noticed your reply to one of the comments above where you mentioned that Sri Lankan Tamils are of Indian origin.

    Well, actually there are two groups of Tamils in Sri Lanka. One is the Tamils from the North and East of Sri Lanka, the traditional Tamil homelands, the people who have been living in the parts of the country that were a roughly a part of the Jaffna Tamil kingdom before the European colonisers colonised the entire island. (The Jaffna Tamil kingdom, the Sinhalese kingdom of Kandy and the Southern Sinhalese kingdom).

    Even the Sinhalese acknowledge the history of the Jaffna Tamil kingdom, though they try to cover it up by claiming that the whole of SL is a “Sinhala Buddhist” land, based on the sheer myths contained in the Mahavamsa. The mythical Mahavamsa literature claims that Buddha visited Ceylon thrice! The fact is that Buddhism went to SL after Ashoka converted to Buddhism and sent his envoys to spread Buddhism to other kingdoms.

    Well, the Tamils of North-Eastern SL are called by various names like Sri Lankan Tamils, Eelam Tamils and so on and SL is their home as much as the Sinhalese can claim that SL is their home.

    There is another group of Tamils called “Indian Tamils” or “upcountry Tamils”. They are the descendants of those who went to Ceylon from India to work in the plantations and in other capacities under the British rule. They generally live in the hilly plantation areas, hence the name “upcountry Tamils”.

    The Sinhalese first act against the minorities was against the “upcountry Tamils”. Though they were Sri Lankans and their families were in Sri Lanka for six generations, the Sinhalese made them stateless by disenfranchising them upon independence. They were made non-citizens by a single stroke. India took in some of them, while others lived as non-citizens in their own country. Only belatedly were they given their basic rights and even to this day they remain a marginalised community. It is they who can be said to be of “Indian origin”, though the term is misleading. I had two school friends who were from families that settled in India after they were made stateless in their own country. The former CM of TN, MGR, was also one of those who came to India. He was born in Sri Lanka, but the Sinhalese made his family stateless and they came to India and settled in various parts of TN.

    kanagu: Thanks for those valuable information about the Srilankan Tamils origin Raj. I have sent a mail to you. Please check.

  54. January 30, 2009 8:56 pm

    The Colombo government at the height of its agenda for ‘structural genocide’ of Tamils, considered removing a chapter on the Kingdom of Jaffna in the history textbooks of the school children in Sri Lanka. However, to an opposing question by a JVP member in the Sri Lankan Parliament, the Minister of Education replied on Friday that they had dropped that plan. “The Colombo government has every justification to remove the Tamil Kingdom of Jaffna from the history of Sri Lanka if it wants to concede that Sri Lanka doesn’t include the Tamil regions,” commented Selvam Adaikkalanathan, the Tamil National Alliance parliamentarian of Vanni.

    Sri Lankan Education Minister Susil Permajayantha admitted in the Sri Lankan parliament Friday that there was a move to remove the chapter on the Kingdom of Jaffna from the history text book for grade eight, when JVP parliamentarian Bimal Ratanaike registered his opposition for the proposed removal by saying that the chapter would not be a block to the ‘Pooneryn victory’ and a ‘forward march by the Sri Lanka Army to reach Ki’linochchi.’

    The JVP parliamentarian said that Jaffna Kingdom has been accepted by historians as true fact and that the JVP was opposed to the removal of the chapter.

    “If the Kingdom of Jaffna had not been recorded by the Portuguese who conquered it in 1618, the Sinhala chauvinism wouldn’t have hesitated to completely wipe out the memory of it,” Mr. Adaikkalanathan further said.

    As you can see, the right-wing Sinhala “Buddhist Taliban” even want to rewrite the true facts of history by sheer myths in order to complete the genocide of minorities. They shall fail!!!

  55. January 30, 2009 9:52 pm

    @ Alien Earthling : First of all there is no genocide against Tamils in Sri Lanka. Second of all Indians were never the subjects of the Queen because Her Majesty was never the Empress of India, her father was the Emperor though. British Empire and Britain are completely different because Britain was a part of the British Empire just like India or Malaya or Hong Kong.

    Secondly Sri Lanka is a unitary state so there is no question of federation.

    Thirdly its not our problem. Its a problem of Sri Lanka and they are solving it well. As you said it is a civil war and we are not one of the belligerent parties so even by the rules of war we are not involved. The only way we can be involved is through a UN mandate. I am sure that after the IPKF fiasco we do not want to do anything in that country anymore.

    Sri Lanka has suffered enough at the hands of the LTTE, it good riddance and bye bye time. You are wrong about the nationality as well. Indians who were resident in Pakistan and crossed over before and during the partition remained Indian citizens. Even if there was an act of parliament that facilitated it it is still okay. Like I said parliament has a right to decide on this issue. As a citizen of India, I say we keep out. We have enough issues to deal with at home.

  56. January 30, 2009 10:13 pm

    Odzer,

    Indians have been subjects of the Queen, even after the revolt of 1857, the Queen of Britain proclaimed herself as the Empress of India. She became Empress not by being the wife of someone but because she was on the throne. In any case, the gender of the monarch matters little.

    The problem arises because of the Sinhalese want to have a pure Sinhala Buddhist state by annihilating the minorities. It’s a human problem, whether you like it or not! Genocide does not have to mean sudden mass killing like hat happened to the Jews or others. What’s happening in SL is slow but continuous genocide and that cannot be denied.

    What do you mean, the parliament decides and citizens keep out? The parliament did not come from heaven! Its composed of elected representatives of the people and that’s the meaning of democracy, for the citizens and by the citizens!

    We have enough issues to deal, you’re right! That’s why I say India should get back the radars and the technicians and other arms and people who are in SL. They would be of better use in trying to control terrorists from the western border. It’s outrageous that RAW is devoting a section of its resources to a genocidal civil war when they are not able to keep the terrorists out of Mumbai. Keep your hands off, if only that were true! No military assistance of any kind to SL. But humanitarian assistance of all kinds, and its not Delhi that sent it. It was the people of TN who collected relief!

  57. January 30, 2009 10:21 pm

    If SL has to get rid of the LTTE, then it has to find a political solution to the issue of minorities! It’s facing the LTTE only because the milder forces, at first constitutional, then peaceful non-violent, were treated with contempt and with violence.

    To hell with the unitary constitution of SL! That document is one piece of shit! The constitution itself is inhuman and unethical! Every attempt to peacefully get it changed by the minorities and moderate SInhalese was thrown out by the fanatic SInhalese, even after agreements were reached. It’s SInhala fascism and chauvinism that is the problem , not the LTTE. The LTTE was not even born until the middle of this conflict. If not the LTTE, something more ruthless or an even more determined and violent group will take its place if the SInhala fascist thugs have their way.

  58. January 30, 2009 10:31 pm

    You are deluding yourself if you think that the LTTE can be finished without finding a political solution. As long as the SInhala fascist thugs continue their slow genocide and use state sponsored terrorism and violence to achieve their means, it will be met with violence. If not an LTTE that uses guerrilla tactics, then by some other group. For the root cause is Sinhala fascism that denies the rights of their fellow citizens and as long as the moderate Sinhala voices that represent humanity and regard their fellow citizens as human beings get drowned out by those of the hate-spewing “Buddhist Taliban” scoundrels, there is not going to be any peace in Sri Lanka!

  59. January 30, 2009 10:44 pm

    SOUTH AFRICAN GOVERNMENT EXPRESSES CONCERN REGARDING THE SITUATION IN SRI LANKA

    Pretoria – The South African Government has today, Friday, 30 January 2009, expressed deep concern for the safety and well-being of the 250, 000 civilians, including humanitarian aid workers, reportedly caught up in the conflict between the military forces of the Government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in the North-East region of Sri-Lanka.

    This humanitarian crisis is of great concern to South Africa, who joins the Secretary-General of the United Nations and other esteemed leaders of the international community in urging both the Sri Lankan Government and the LTTE to, as a priority, respect existing safe zones and protect civilians, and further, to allow the delivery of relief supplies, including medicine, food, water and temporary shelters.

    South Africa is saddened by the loss of life and expresses its condolences to all those in mourning. Furthermore, South Africa will continue to support any efforts aimed at bringing about peace and reconciliation. We believe that a lasting and sustainable political solution will be best achieved through broad consultation and peaceful dialogue amongst all the people of Sri Lanka. We therefore urge both parties to return to the negotiating table as soon as possible. The announced ceasefire should be permanent and thus create conditions for parties to consult their respective constituencies freely and regularly.

    If a country that is in another continent can express these views, why the bloody hell does India not do so??? I’ll tell you why. Unlike India, where the pictures of Gandhi (today is Martyrs’ Day, remember that?) remain only on currency notes, SA has bitter experience of imperialism until recently. Unlike India, which simply claims to be the land of Gandhian values but actually tries to behave like an imperial power, SA tries to behave in a democratic way after the struggle of Nelson Mandela’s people. Unlike the Indian state, which behaves like a colonial hangover entity with respect to its own people, SA tried to implement the true spirit of democracy even if it faces worse problems than us.

  60. January 31, 2009 12:09 am

    @ An Alien Earthling : I meant HM Queen Elizabeth II, the present Queen! The constitution of Sri Lanka is there by virtue of it being accepted by the people of that country. Its neither your nor mine business. I am not going to discuss this any further because I am basically tired of reading your voluminous posts. You are basically complaining because things are not going how they should be going ‘according’ to your own view of the situation. Most of the world does not seem to agree with you though. There can be no two different standards on terrorists. Be them Tamil or Moslem they must be rooted out and any measure of force that is needed should be deployed against them. One state can not dictate a whole country’s foreign policy. I am sorry to say but hard cheese!

  61. January 31, 2009 12:51 am

    As long as there are people like you, there will be terrorists too. Its people like you who cannot see the facts of the matter. It’s my right to talk about the constitution of any country or any matter on Earth. That’s none of your business!

    The people of Tamil Eelam established their view by means of the Vaddukoaddai resolution in 1978 because of the policies of Sinhala fascist thugs supported by clowns in world establishments.

    Its all because of people who think that governments have all rights to do what they want defying all norms of humanity and civilisation but humans have no rights. I’m sorry to say that such views belong to the mediaeval age. A bunch of unelected scoundrels who are not accountable to anyone cannot decide the country’s policies either. To hell with such filth. Such idiots are responsible for the sorry state of affairs in the whole world, including our country. Its your view of the situation that is pathetic. And people with such views who think any “measure of force” should be used are responsible for breeding terrorists. Of course, terrorists have every right to use force against anyone who uses force. There can be no two standards against terror, of course. And that includes state terror and state terrorists who think like you. No wonder the world is an unsafe place. State terrorists deserve a taste of their own medicine and they will get it!!!

  62. January 31, 2009 1:01 am

    You need not reply to my posts, Odzer. They present the facts of the matter, as they are, as opposed to how you want them to be. If you find them difficult to digest because it goes against what the useless mainstream media has been dishing out to you, that’s not my problem. Those worthless clowns can keep their reporting to cricket and movies. They don’t even have a bit of knowledge about the facts of anything else, that’s why we have people like you, and there are plenty of people like you, one or two in my extended family as well. I don’t blame you people considering how useless the Indian media is. No wonder I prefer to read independent Sri Lankan media articles written by sensible Sinhalese journalists, though they do so at great risks to their lives.

  63. January 31, 2009 1:35 am

    The world is changing. That’s why we had Obama elected. As opposed to the scoundrel Bush who used the bullshit called the “war on terror” to commit crimes against humanity. But some people never change.

    That’s why we have problems in India and elsewhere. For short sighted people can see only the symptom of the disease but not the cause. And then they commit one blunder after another and another and it leads to hell for everyone in the world.

    It’s because of fools in the Indian establishment who knew nothing about the issues that they were dealing with and who were accountable to no one that India remains in the sorry state that it is. Its because of such short sighted idiots that we have violence in India. Kashmiri separatism, Sikh separatism, North-Eastern violence can all be attributed to such worthless bureaucrats and politicians, idiots deciding the policy from closed rooms.

    And now we have jehadi terror from across the border. And these clowns have proven their incompetence in dealing with it.

    Not to mention the Maoist rebellion. Something that would never have happened if the most downtrodden and neglected and abused sections of society were not exploited even further. Its growing by the day and may engulf the whole country one day. And yes, if people use “any measure of force” against it, it will only grow and grow and become more violent. If the people who were exploited the most had been given their rights, their dignity and education once India became independent, there would have been no Maoists. Instead we had the filthy “Ranvir Senas” that used violence to keep them oppressed. Now those very politicians and bureaucrats in the tribal and feudal belts are paying the price for it, getting killed by the Maoists everyday. They deserve it, for sure!!!

    No one can keep other humans oppressed using any kind of bullshit to justify it. Someday or the other, the oppressed shall arise!!! And their oppressors will have to pay the price for it!!!

  64. January 31, 2009 5:14 pm

    Jaffna Catholic community appeals to stop killing of Tamils in Vanni

    “We are deeply grieved of the silence of the International Community and the world humanitarian agencies disregarding the great human tragedy that continues in Vanni in Sri Lanka. Will this silence be broken only after the total annihilation of the Tamils in Vanni?”, said the memorandum sent by the Commission for Justice and Peace of the Catholic Diocese of Jaffna (CJPCD) at the end of the first day of the protest fast launched Wednesday morning in front of St. Mary’s Church, Jaffna led by Rt. Rev. Thomas Saundaranayagam, Jaffna Bishop, sources in Jaffna said.

    A copy of the memorandum sent to the UN Secretary General, the Foreign Ambassadors in Colombo as well as other International Humanitarian organizations was released Wednesday evening by CJPCD in Jaffna.

    The following is the gist of the memorandum released:

    ‘More than 400 innocent Tamils in Vanni have been killed and more than 1400 injured in the war against the Tamils in Vanni in the past 10 days.

    The above figures are the available registered details but the real figures are feared to be more.

    There is an acute shortage of medicine in Vanni for the injured while it is impossible to transport or carry the injured to the makeshift medical clinics, due to the unrelenting artillery fire and aerial bombings.

    Due to the attacks the dead are not given a decent burial nor is it possible to conduct the final rites to them.

    The people in Vanni spend their lives in temporary bunkers in terror of the continuing attacks on them.

  65. January 31, 2009 5:17 pm

    Stop killing Tamils in Vanni now – Jaffna Catholic community

    “Sri Lanka government’s attacks on the innocent Tamils in Vanni continue to kill hundreds while injuring many more according to the reports of ICRC, the only International humanitarian agency allowed to be present in Vanni,” said the report issued by Commission for Justice and Peace of the Catholic Diocese of Jaffna (CJPCD) Thursday, the second day of the protest fast against the killing of Tamils in the Vanni observed in Jaffna, sources in Jaffna said.

    Hundreds of persons including the Bishop of Jaffna, priests, nuns, members of religious and social organizations, NGO representatives and the Chief Priest of Nalloor, Srilasiri Somachariya Suvamikal participated in the continuing protest fast calling the attention of the International Community and World Humanitarian Organizations, to the human disaster unfolding in Vanni.

    More than 300 were killed and more than 1400 were injured on Tuesday, 46 were killed and 76 were injured on Wednesday according to ICRC, the report said.

    “The few makeshift medical centres in Vanni lack medicine and staff to treat the injured in Vanni while the volunteers trying to help the victims themselves have been injured.

    Nearly 250,000 internally displaced people crowded into a shrinking area are unable to seek safer places due to the continuing artillery fire on them.

  66. January 31, 2009 5:20 pm

    Civilian fears in Sri Lanka war

    The UN children’s fund has warned that children are increasingly bearing the brunt of the conflict in Sri Lanka after the military pinned Tamil Tiger rebels into a small area on the coast.

    The Sri Lankan army says the long-running conflict with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) could end within days after the separatists were cut off by land and sea.

    But there are still fears for the about 250,000 civilians trapped in the area as aid agencies report increased casualties from the fighting.

    “It is becoming increasingly clear that a growing number of children, some of them months old, have been caught in this conflict in the past 10 days,” James Elder, a Unicef spokesman, told Al Jazeera on Saturday.

    “A UN convoy was able to leave the frontline on Thursday and managed to take out 50 children injured from the conflict. [They had] shrapnel wounds, burn wounds. And they have been taken to a government hospital where they are getting support.

    “Obviously these children are at great risk: they are getting caught in the crossfire.”

    Lisabeth List, a medical co-ordinator of Medicins Sans Frontieres (MSF) in Sri Lanka, told Al Jazeera that she had seen women, children and elderly people whose limbs had been amputed as a result of injuries sustained in the fighting.

    “We saw a young boy with both arms amputated. We have seen malnourished children,” she said.

  67. January 31, 2009 8:27 pm

    Fate of journalists under the Rajapaksa goons’ fascist regime

    As for the future, more of the same will follow. Indeed they have. On 26 January 2009, two weeks after Lasantha was murdered, Upali Tennakoon, the Editor of the widely read Sinhalese newspaper Rivira, that had refused to toe the Government line, was stabbed in the face and assaulted by a gang of assailants on motor bikes, in an identical attack to that on Lasantha. Fortunately, he survived. He might not have, had his wife not wrapped her arms round him to protect him.

    Last year, Keith Noyahr, the Deputy Editor and defense analyst of The Nation, the English newspaper of the same company, was abducted and assaulted.

    The message is very clear, “Support the Government, or perish”.

    Other Sinhalese journalists such as Victor Ivan, the outstanding Editor of Ravaya, await assassination.

    We do not need to worry about Tamil journalists, they have already been eliminated or silenced in jail on spurious charges.

    Options to deal with Journalists

    In several of the dvds I have recorded and released internationally, I have said that there are 4 things the Sri Lankan (read Sinhala) government can do to the Tamils. 1) Drive them out of the country. 1.3 million have been, but there are some left. 2) Make them ‘non-people’ ie silent refugees. 3) Make them ‘disappear’. Sri Lanka now leads the world in ‘involuntary disappearances’. 4) Kill them ie commit Genocide.

    The same options are available to ‘deal with’ journalists.

    1) Drive them out of the country. RSF reports that more than 20 journalists have left the country because of death threats. After Lasantha’s murder, 4 journalists have decided (wisely) to leave the country – the political columnist of Lankadeepa newspaper Upul Joseph Fernando, Lankadeepa defence columnist, Rathnapala Gamage, Sunday Times defence columnist Iqbal Athas, and Anuruddha Lokuhappuarachchi, Reuters photojournalist. 4 others have fled the country since then.

    2) Make them ‘silent’ by locking them up eg the Tamil journalist, J.S.Tissainayagam. The result will be, what Rex de Silva, the former Managing Editor and Editor in Chief of the Sun and Weekend newspaper (who first hired Lasantha as a journalist in 1980) calls, “The Beginning of the sound of silence”.. The country will become the Silent Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka.

    3). Make them ‘disappear’ as so many have done.

    4). Kill them, as happened to Lasantha and many others. RSF reports that at least 14 media workers have been killed in Sri Lanka since the beginning of 2006. Sri Lanka was ranked 165th out of 173 countries in the 2008 Press Freedom Index of RSF, the lowest of any democratic country. Today it is one of the three most dangerous countries in the world for independent reporters (behind Iraq and Somalia).

    There is not the slightest doubt that the politico-military junta masquerading as the “Government of Sri Lanka” is establishing a fascist dictatorship, which might not be reversible. This is, of course, well known to the numerous countries that support this monstrous regime. They do so for their own geopolitical or commercial gains. Our problem is to get this across to the people, the voters, in these countries, who are completely unaware of what is going on in the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, because of the highly successful disinformation campaign launched by a succession of Sri Lankan governments. This is a problem for us, in the international community to see that this disinformation is addressed, which is why I recorded and released the dvds.

    I will, in two articles to follow, point out that Sri Lanka is a fascist dictatorship, and that the priority in a dictatorship, is to silence the media. Every dictator (Mussolini, Hitler, Tito, Idi Amin, Gadaffi, Pinochet, Sukarno, Suharto, Mugabe, Zia-ul-Haq, etc) has targeted the free press, demanding that news be reported in a manner that supports the group that seeks dominance. Sri Lanka is no exception. This is what has to be resisted. Resist we must, and will.

  68. January 31, 2009 8:33 pm

    One of the slain Lasantha Wickrematunge’s fearless editorials:

    “ Winning the war? Then there must be elections around the corner. It is no secret that the war has become Mahinda Rajapakse’s recipe for electoral success; but what surprises many is that he is able, time and time again, to persuade the Sri Lankan people – or at least his Sinhala-Buddhist constituency – that victory is but a gunshot away.

    No one doubts that with an investment of nearly Rs. 200 billion per year, and the willingness to expend a few thousand lives and limbs, the government can in the course of 2009 credibly claim to have won not just Killinochchi, but all of the north. The Rs. 200 billion we plan to spend on bombing the life out of the LTTE’s remaining 4,000 cadres, after all, should do the job. As for the lives, there’s still plenty of space left on those stone tablets on the doormat of parliament for them. And as for limbs, where would Jaipur be if not for the steady stream of feet shipped to help keep the armed forces on the hop?

    Granted that after ‘winning’ the war, just as is the case in the east, the north too, will be converted into an occupied territory. A matrix of army camps will dot the landscape, helping to keep errant Tamils from getting any funny ideas, and the Lion Ensign will flutter briskly in the katchan winds of the Wanni. It will not be the meek, but Douglas Devananda, who will inherit the earth. The meek, after all, will be arranged in neat little rows in their respective refugee camps, eating their lunch from the tinsel packs dispensed by the World Food Programme.

    What is perhaps most offensive about Rajapakse’s attempts to manipulate the electorate in the face of an election is how much he takes for granted the fickleness of his Sinhala-Buddhist following. Nothing could better personify the “Sinhalaya modaya” stereotype than the President’s disdain for his own people (‘Modaya’ is the Sinhalese for ‘Fool”). And they love him for it. So long as a steady stream of Tamils are exterminated, there is little to impede Rajapakse’s cruise to yet another victory.

    Granted, the problem stems in large measure from the ineptitude and apathy of an opposition that has grown fat and lazy. ……Sadly for both Ranil Wickremesinghe and Karu Jayasuriya, they have failed to convey effectively to the country their concerns about the issues of our time. As a party, the UNP (United national Party – the main Sinhalese party opposing Rajapakse’s Sinhalese SLFP- Sri Lanka Freedom Party), is yet to decide whether or not it supports the war and if so, whether it subscribes, for example, to the present practice of aerially bombarding Tamil villages labelled as LTTE hideouts in the north.

    To say it opposes the war but nevertheless congratulate the army on capturing Paranthan or Killinochchi, however, is morally and intellectually dishonest. After all, the government would not dare bombing LTTE hideouts in the south – let us say in Wellawatte – for fear of collateral damage. Yet, in the remote townships of the Wanni, such bombardment has now become routine, with enormous cost to the civilian population.

    While the UNP has cleverly promised to support any political solution mutually acceptable to the government and the Tamil parties, it does not seem any longer to entertain a vision of its own. As provocative as it may seem, the Greens (UNP) would do well to articulate what they feel is a fair solution, if for no other reason, to check on public opinion. Even if the Rajapakses, swollen as they are with the pride of bloodthirsty euphoria, are unable to think beyond the destruction of the LTTE and its leadership, it behoves us to think of the day after tomorrow now. Should we fail meaningfully to address the aspirations of the Tamil people that survive this holocaust, we can be sure as night follows day that history will repeat itself, even though it may take a generation from now. All the bloodshed and all the sacrifice made to bring the war to a conclusion will have been in vain.

    Who then survives to provide the public with a contrarian view? Much of the media has been bought, or cajoled and bullied into silence. Dozens of journalists are dead and others have been incarcerated without trial for months. The electronic media operate under the continuing threat of having their licenses revoked unless they toe the government’s line. After all, it has happened that they have been summarily shut down. New licenses, in turn, are issued only to that section of the business community subscribing to the government’s communal thinking…

    For its part, the Rajapakse administration lies content in the knowledge that the Sinhalaya is indeed a modaya – so long as people vote like idiots, they have to live with the government they elect. There is no gainsaying that despite all the hardships the people face as a result of the maladministration and corruption the Rajapakse regime has ushered into government, so long as the bombardment of the north continues, the Sinhala-Buddhist majority will readily provide the President with the mandate he needs.

    If further evidence were needed for the President’s contempt for the mindset of his people, it is that under much public pressure he reduced the Rs 100,000 housing allowance given to his hundred-odd ministers to Rs 50,000. What might have been meaningful is the reduction of the number of ministers, most of whom are simply bloodsucking parasites on the public purse. Rajapakse went so far as to cut a measly 15% off his own Rs. 7 billion allocation, without mentioning for a moment that he at the outset voted himself a 500% increase on where Chandrika Kumaratunga left off in 2005. His extravagant globetrotting with entourages numbering in the hundreds has contributed in no small measure to this excess of Presidential ego, and it shows no sign of diminishing.

    Thus it is that a President who has got his finger on the pulse of his people like none of his predecessors ever did has hit upon the one ingredient that wins to victory: the fact that his people are, apparently in his opinion, a bunch of dimwits. Truth be told, we sometimes wonder that out ourselves”.

  69. January 31, 2009 8:39 pm

    War crimes of the fascist Rajapaksa dictatorship

    GroundViews, a Sri Lankan citizen journalism initiative in its issue of Dec12, 2008 laments “We violated the rights of the Tamil people from 1956 onwards. Abductions, Kidnappings and Extra-judicial killings- the so-called white van syndrome has engulfed us. Terrorist suspects have no Human rights. The militarily organized practice of torture, the sexual abuse, and all other abuses of Men and women. Clandestine incarcerations and forced disappearances, are perhaps new in our history. When are the people and their representatives going to wake up and realize that the country is governed by war criminals who are hell bent on ushering in a police state?”.

    In their annual report for 2007 released last year, Amnesty International concluded that “enforced disappearances, unlawful killings, arbitrary arrests and torture continued to be a feature of the ongoing and escalating conflict between the Government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE. As hostilities intensified the space for dissent was increasingly restricted, and journalists, particularly those associated with the Tamil media, were attacked, abducted and killed. Despite compelling evidence, the authorities failed to effectively investigate or prosecute those responsible for unlawful killings.” Sadly, these conclusions still remain valid, perhaps to an even greater extent.

  70. January 31, 2009 8:40 pm

    Fascist scoundrel Rajapaksa’s goons killed editor Lasantha

    I will not repeat what Vimukthi Yapa set out in the Sunday Leader 25 November 2007, of attacks on Lasantha, his family, and the Leader. I will only refer to President Rajapakse’s telephone call to Lasantha on 11 January 2006, using epithets more in keeping with those used in the Pettah fish market where the President will have an audience more familiar with his language.

    Epithets aside, what did he say? “I will finish you”, “I treated you well all this while. Now I will destroy you”. “You watch what I will do to you”. “I will rest only once I have destroyed you”.

    From a purely medical point of view (which is my expertise), you cannot “watch what I will do to you” , if you are dead. As for his comment “I will rest only once I have destroyed you “, he now can, and also rest assured that others will get the message.

    As Reporters Sans Frontières (RSF) correctly stated, “President Mahinda Rajapaksa, his associates and the government media are directly to blame because they incited hatred against him (Lasantha Wickrematunga) and allowed an outrageous level of impunity to develop as regards violence against the press”.

  71. January 31, 2009 8:45 pm

    What’s happening in Lanka IS genocide

    What, after all, is genocide? The definition provided by the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide is hopelessly inadequate. It says “inflicting on a group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part”. That could include almost any atrocity. Gérard Prunier, a historian of Rwanda and Darfur killings, prefers a stricter standard. “a deliberate attempt to destroy a racial, religious or political group in its entirety”. Ms Albright and Mr Cohen sidestep this muddle by using the word “genocide” colloquially, as shorthand for the deliberate mass-murder of civilians.

    World opinion is that what occurred in the past and what is happening today in Sri-Lanka is genocide. Bishop Desmond Tutu, in Guardian UK of May 15, 2008 states “ With a terrible record of torture and disappearances, Sri Lanka doesn’t deserve a seat on the UN Human Rights Council. It should be voted out. The systematic abuses by Sri Lankan government Forces are among the most serious imaginable”.

    Another popular figure, Dr Brian Senewiratne, an expatriate Sinhalese is a consultant cardiologist and a member of the Socialist Alliance in Brisbane. In Greenleft.org of 23 January 2009 in an article titled “Sri Lanka: Genocide of the Tamil minority” while categorising genocide into four types, namely, “educational genocide”, “cultural genocide”, “economic genocide” and “religious genocide” defined genocide as the intention, backed by the act, of destroying in whole or part the education, culture or economy and religion of an ethnic group. He concluded that Sri Lankan government is guilty of all of these.

    Dr. Nimalka Fernando – Human Rights Lawyer and Supporter of Tamil Rights in an Interview with Lankanewspapers.com of Sunday, 14 December 2008 said “The Military Commander and Defence Secretary are interfering with the humanitarian assistance process, violating all the international norms including Geneva Conventions related to the situation of an armed struggle”.

    The military siege of the Tamil Homeland (TH) under the pretension of ‘war on Terror‘ which is ongoing in 2009, is collective punishment of the Tamils, according to International Law. The year and a half long siege caused severe food and fuel shortages, intermittent drinking water and electricity supply, disruption to sewage treatment plants and shortages of medicine and essential medical equipment, affecting the lives of 1.5 million people—a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention and Rome Statute.

  72. January 31, 2009 8:46 pm

    A clear case of genocide

    Bruce Fein, former U.S. Deputy Associate Attorney General and currently counsel for the US-based self-help-group ‘Tamils Against Genocide‘, addressing a gathering of media persons and intellectuals organized by the Max Foundation in Chennai Friday 23 January, said “There can be no difference of opinion over the fact that what is happening to Tamils in Sri Lanka is a clear-cut case of genocide,” he said. He labelled the Government of Sri Lanka’s genocidal program as the “crime of crimes.” Such as atrocities including the massacre of women and children.

    Fein like many writers here, referred to the history of this genocide which was slow death of the Tamils of the North and East of Sri-lanka over a long period. “The important point to remember is that the rights of the Tamils have been dishonoured for the past sixty years. The Tamil people are being subjected to oppression, and they are made to live in fear every moment of their lives”.

    Qadri Ismail writing in the Morning Leader of Wednesday January 24th 2009 under the title, ‘In Sri Lanka hope is a four letter word’, traces the history of GSL HR violations and genocide. “The Tamils, of course, are the primary target of this policy of systematic slaughter. Since Don Shelton Senanayake, they have been less than equal citizens. Since Junius Richard Jayewardene, they have been brutalised. Today the powers that be are inspired by the worst examples of both. Under the pretext of a war on terror, Tamils are routinely murdered, maimed, displaced, dispossessed in Sri Lanka today. Never before in our postcolonial history have they felt more politically insignificant. Never before has their every step been monitored, scrutinised. They are even denied the right to move freely across the country. More than a thousand are arbitrarily detained in northern camps — including some fleeing the LTTE. The number incarcerated in the south is unknown”.

    Tony Iltis, Greenleft.org.au, in an article on 17 January 2009 states “The SLA’s war against the Tamil population has involved some of the world’s worst war crimes. Civilians have been targeted: orphanages and hospitals have been regularly bombed. Starvation sieges have been imposed, including after the December 26, 2004 tsunami. Torture, rape and random killings have been committed by the military and pro-government paramilitaries”.

    Kavitha Muralidharan, a journalist from Chennai, in the Week of January 25 2009 states under the title “vanishing men“ for the Tamils in Sri Lanka, a white van is terror on four wheels. White vans have been used to abduct people and that government police took no action on most of the complaints of abductions. Some of the abductees were kept in government military camp at Boosa and ransom was demanded for their release.

  73. January 31, 2009 11:20 pm

    A really insightful comments section!

    kanagu: I like to thank odzer, chirag, Lancelot, Solio and especially Raj for that 🙂

  74. February 1, 2009 3:06 pm

    Tamil refugees shelled as army closes in

    Sri Lanka’s civil war is nearing its endgame, says the reporter blinded in one eye by an army grenade on the island in 2001

    Marie Colvin

    MORE than 250,000 terrified Tamil men, women and children were trapped between rebel Tamil forces and the army in no man’s land in northern Sri Lanka last night as the 25-year civil war appeared to be nearing a violent conclusion.

    A 48-hour ceasefire was due to end after the government promised to eliminate terrorism once and for all. Mahinda Rajapaksa, the Sri Lankan president, vowed that there would be no let-up in the army’s offensive.

    The International Committee of the Red Cross said a humanitarian crisis was unfolding and described horrific conditions in the conflict zone, sealed off by the government to aid agencies, diplomats and journalists. It said medical supplies, food and shelter were almost nonexistent and families were living in makeshift tents and ditches in the jungle.

    Hundreds have been killed by heavy artillery bombardment.

    Last week one of the few convoys allowed to leave the north, home to the Tamil ethnic minority, carried 50 critically injured children, some just a few months old. Thousands of Tamils have fled east in the face of an eight-month drive by the army to crush the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), known as the Tamil Tigers.

    The fighting has reached a frenzy in the past few weeks, with the Buddhist government in Colombo speaking of an “endgame” in the civil war that began in 1983.

    The rebels claim 800 have died in 10 days amid scenes of havoc in a “security zone” where the refugees are supposed to gather but where missiles have been falling. In a rebel video posted from the zone, Tamil nurses are shown at work in outdoor clinics, bandaging children. Bodies lie in rows under trees.

    Although the government has issued statements saying that it will not injure civilians, I know how hollow they sound to those caught up in the fighting because I have encountered the Sri Lankan army.

    Travelling to the north in 2001 to report on a humanitarian disaster that had engulfed 500,000 residents, I walked across a heavily fortified internal border that journalists had been forbidden to cross by the Colombo government.

    Trying to return to a government-controlled area later, I walked at night past army bases lit by spotlights and ringed with barbed wire, following a Tamil route through waist-deep water and along jungle trails. When we were spotted, soldiers fired at us and lit flares. When I shouted I was a journalist, I was hit by shrapnel from a rocket-propelled grenade.

    Although it is understandable that the soldiers that night were frightened that I might be a Tamil Tiger, they fired at me as I tried to stumble forward. When they saw me bloodied and barely able to stand, they beat me, stripped me and shoved me in and out of trucks despite the fact that I could barely breathe because of chest injuries from the blast and shrapnel in my head.

    I was saved because I had access to help from The Sunday Times and diplomats, but the assurances from the Sri Lankan government will mean little to people in the northern Vanni area, who have endured indiscriminate bombing. The attack I survived was a mere footnote.

    Yesterday the government said the Tamil Tigers were refusing to allow civilians to leave for safety, a claim the Tamil leadership denied. Tamil sources said a government offer that they should leave their homeland for areas under its control was unrealistic. “Not a single Tamil has slept in the last week,” said a Tamil source. “They do not want to seek refuge with their killers.”

    Civilians removed in an evacuation have been placed in camps outside Vavuniya, the closest town to the conflict zone, which is off-limits to journalists. Injured civilians have been put in guarded hospitals. Tamils speaking from inside the conflict zone sounded desperate. “Civilians are trapped in an area 24 miles by 12. The Sri Lankan army are firing artillery and mortars from three fronts and the sea is on the other side,” said a Tamil spokesman.

    “The army have asked people to go to specific areas and then they fire on them.”

    Footage supplied by the rebels from Mullaitivu district appeared to confirm the claim. It showed people passing a naked, badly injured baby onto a lorry and doctors and nurses bandaging casualties.

    “If the army overruns the forces of the LTTE, we will go back to guerrilla warfare. That will be on the head of the international community,” said a spokesman.

    There was little sympathy from Colombo. “We are determined not to have a ceasefire and we are determined to eradicate terrorism in Sri Lanka,” said Mahinda Samarasinghe, the minister for human rights and disaster management.

    Thurairajah Varatharajah, a senior health official in the Vanni district, said his hospital in Puthukudiyiruppu was overflowing with patients suffering shell blast injuries.

    Britain called for an end to the fighting. “Military advances by the Sri Lankan government against the LTTE have come at a severe humanitarian cost,” said David Miliband, the foreign secretary.

    Thousands of Tamils demonstrated in protest in central London yesterday.

  75. February 1, 2009 3:08 pm

    As you read this, around 250,000 civilians are trapped in 115 square miles of jungle in northeastern Sri Lanka, where government forces have pinned down the last remnants of the Tamil Tiger rebels.

    That’s a quarter of a million innocent men, women and children cowering in an area smaller than the New Forest as fighter jets, helicopter gunships and heavy artillery thunder all around them.

    Hundreds have already been killed and scores injured in the crossfire, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross. More will die if urgent action is not taken.

    Regardless of who is to blame – each side accuses the other and there is damning evidence against both – this is a humanitarian crisis that deserves as much international attention as that in Gaza.

  76. February 1, 2009 3:13 pm

    Tamils Gagged, Gunned
    And Bombed In Tamil Eelam

    By Dr C P Thiagarajah

    Tamilnet services reported on 26 Jan that 300 civilians among 250000 IDPs waiting for safety in the government declared safe zones or secure zone in Mullaitivu were killed when the Sri-Lankan armed forces bombed and shelled the area. Several hundreds were bleeding to death in the last 24 hours.

    This death toll was ten times more than the horrific death count for a day on the 22rd January military assault on Mullaitivu. The Associated Press reporting on 23 January, this Mullaitivu army assault on a village and a hospital in a safe zone enumerated the number of civilians killed on that day as 30 people. Scores were wounded.

    Those who were injured in the latest bombing and shelling were sure to die due to lack of medical and surgical care as the remaining two relocated temporary hospitals, which were functioning at Udaiyaarkaddu and Va’l’lipunam (Mullaiththeevu hospital), were defunct now. There was pouring rain when the attack started and houses and vehicles were burning for a stretch of three km between Va’l’lipunam Kaa’li temple and Moongkilaa’ru towards Paranthan road. Unattended bodies and injured people unable to move were lying around everywhere, while a remaining doctor in the hospital fled to safe himself from this wanton destruction. The Intensive Care Unit and Surgical Units were attacked on 21st Wednesday night.

    This is in direct contravention of Article 18 of the Fourth Geneva Convention which states that the civilian hospitals organized to give care to the wounded and sick, the infirm and maternity cases, may in no circumstances be the object of attack, but shall at all times be respected and protected by the Parties to the conflict. It is pertinent to note that Sri Lanka (Ceylon) is a signatory to the First, Second and Third Geneva Conventions and it ratified the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, by accession to it, on 23.02.1959.

    The official/legal representatives of the government the Government Agents of Mullaitivu and Kilinochchi have left the area and these areas are in anarchy. There were no veracious sources for news of the situation. AP also indicated that independent accounts of the fighting were not available because journalists were barred from the war zone by Gothabaya Rajapakse the Government of SriLanka (GSL) defence secretary and a US green Card holder. Press Gag indeed in order to keep this violation of Human Rights reaching the conscientious community of the world at large.

    Dr.T.Varatharajah, Regional Director of Health Services, Mullaitivu District had made an urgent appeal to the GSL, ICRC, the UN, and the international community for medical supplies and medical teams to be sent to the district to meet the needs of those affected in this catastrophe. Judging by past experience of aid delivery to the Tamil areas unless foreign governments intervene the government response to this request would be slow.

    It was an irony and cheek that the GSL opted to carry out this mass murder on the Holocaust Remembrance Day that falls on 27 January. The General Assembly designated 27 January, the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp, as the International Day in 2005. This collective punishment according to International Law is a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention and Rome Statute.

  77. February 1, 2009 3:24 pm

    As the traumatised people of Gaza mourn their dead and nurse their injured following Israel’s horrendous three-week massacre, another brutal genocide has unfolded in Sri Lanka.

    The Sri Lankan Army (SLA) has intensified its military offensive against the Tamil people in the north-east in the last months; unleashing a humanitarian crisis of immense proportions.

    As the death toll from its latest offensive began to rise, the Sri Lankan government explicitly instructed the UN and non-government aid workers to leave the area in September 2008, in order to avoid having international witnesses to its crimes.

    On January 27, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) warned that hundreds of civilians have already been killed. At least 250,000 civilians are trapped behind the front line unable to reach safety.

    “People are being caught in the crossfire, hospitals and ambulances have been hit by shelling, and several aid workers have been injured while evacuating the wounded, the ICRC South Asia operations head, Jacques de Maio.

    An ICRC appeal to evacuate 200 seriously injured civilians for lifesaving treatment was denied. Even Tamil hospitals in the government-declared safe zones were repeatedly shelled by the SLA.

    Officials from the UN and the World Food Program, in charge of the delivery of humanitarian supplies to the civilian population, have fled the SLA’s bombardment of the safe zones, raising fears of a humanitarian crisis.

  78. February 1, 2009 3:30 pm

    Catastrophic human disaster situation is making in Vanni, in north of Sri Lanka , over 300 killed and over 1000 badly wounded bled to their deaths in the government designated “Safe Zone”. U.N local office in Colombo said dozens of U.N. workers and their relatives too killed and badly injured as they sought refuge inside a so-called “Safe Zone”, a local activist told TNS.

    Even, hospitals with U.N and ICRC staff were indiscriminately shelled and injured by the Sri Lankan forces. Serious plight of these over 400,000 civilians multiplied to many folds to the worst human miseries. These hapless people are with no access to food, medicines, drinking water, and sanitary conditions. According to U.N, they are trying to reach to the hundreds of people including children, infants and pregnant women who are badly wounded in the recent government forces shelling, he added.

    So far within past one week alone 492 innocent civilians including many children were killed and over 1800 civilians including children, infants, and women were maimed in attacks by the SF on the “Safe Zone”, he said.

  79. February 1, 2009 3:51 pm

    Kanagu,

    Karunanidhi is still continuing to play the fool! By his inaction, he has lost every responsibility as a leader. He’s acting like a mere power hungry politician. Unable to face the ire of the people, he admitted himself to the hospital for supposed “back pain” for a week. And he keeps issuing some stupid statements every now and then. Now, as the protests intensify, led by students and others who are not involved in politics, colleges and hostels have been closed indefinitely until further notice. He knows the people are extremely angry with his continued drama, as witnessed by the attack on his party people as they tried to pay their respects to the unfortunate youth Muthukumar. His family has also rejected the CM’s solatium. When is Karunanidhi going to realise his folly?

    Karunanidhi flays attempts to politicise youth’s suicide

    Criticising attempts to “politicise” the death of K Muthukumaran, a local youth who committed suicide here to express solidarity with Sri Lankan Tamils, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi on Saturday said it could turn the Tamils issue into an instrument of “cheap publicity”.

    Drawing the attention towards the incident where mourners at Kolathur, where Muthukumaran’s body had been kept for public homage, had pelted stones at DMK MLA VS Babu, he said “the death of a person who had committed suicide for the Sri Lankan Tamils cause should not be politicised.”

    “Those who know me well know how disturbed I am after learning about the death of Muthukumaran,” he said in a release here, adding his party was against encouraging such incidents.

    On the state government solatium to Muthukumaran’s parents, “which was turned down by them as reported in a section of media,” and the attack on Babu, Karunanidhi said such “politicisation” of Muthukumaran’s “sacrifice” was against “our ethos,” and could turn the Sri Lankan issue into an instrument of “cheap publicity.”

    The state government yesterday announced an ex-gratia of Rs two lakh to the family of Muthukumaran, who set himself ablaze on January 29 “to express solidarity with the Sri Lanka Tamils”.

    kanagu: I am tired of talking about him Raj. He always involved in double speak. Would he don’t remember the 1965 anti-hindi agitation in which many students were lost their lives and DMK made use of it to come to power and the truth is set to death with that event. During his arrest SUN TV continously telecasted it, to get the sympathy of the people and in turn to get the votes. He was a hell of a man, Who knows the nook and corner of politics and being escaping from his misdeeds with his talent of playing with words.

    All the (x)DMKs government were like a hell and these guys make sick of me.. Condemn them 😡

  80. February 1, 2009 3:59 pm

    Sri Lanka: A war on Tamils

    Brian Senewiratne
    30 January 2009

    The “war” that is going on in Sri Lanka is a liberation struggle of the Tamil people for their right to self-determination, which would enable them to exist with equality, dignity and safety in the area of historical habitation of the Tamil people — the north and the east of Sri Lanka.

    This war could not continue without foreign aid going to the Sri Lankan government. Without this aid, Sri Lanka would be forced to the negotiating table. Imperialism today takes the form of foreign aid.

    Resistance

    No discussion of what is going on in Sri lanka is complete without a comment on the question of suicide bombings and child soldiers, issues used to demonise Tamil resistance to the Sri Lankan regime.

    Suicide bombings have been a hallmark of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in its decades-long armed struggle against the Sri Lankan state. The latter has used and promoted extreme violence in its attempt to enforce Sinhalese (the majority ethnic group) domination on the island.

    I will quote the Booker prize-winning Indian author Arundhati Roy in her book The Ordinary Persons Guide to Empire. Substitute Sri Lanka for Israel and Tamil for Palestinian.

    “Young Palestinians who cannot contain their anger turn themselves into human bombs and haunt Israel’s streets, blowing themselves up, killing ordinary people.

    “Suicide bombing is an act of individual despair, not a revolutionary tactic.

    “The world is called upon to condemn suicide bombers, but can we ignore the long road they have journeyed on before they arrived at their destination?”

    The psychology of the suicide bomber is: “You shot my father, raped and killed my mother, hanged my brother, tortured and killed my sister. I have nothing left. When I decide to leave this planet, I will take you with me.”

    Also, the LTTE has, for years, recruited children as fighters. What is new is that there are several recent reports that the Sri Lankan Army (SLA) is doing the same thing.

    Allan Rock is a Canadian diplomat working with the United Nations sent to Sri Lanka in 2006, who issued a report that confirmed that the LTTE was recruiting child soldiers.

    He also stated that Tamil paramilitary groups working with the SLA were doing the same thing, conscripting child soldiers in the eastern province.

    A December 2 report by the US-based Human Rights Watch stated that the leaders of the Tamil paramilitary groups working with the Sri Lankan regime, one of them recently appointed a member of parliament by President Mahinda Rajapaksa, “have been implicated in serious human rights abuses … The abuses included abducting large numbers of children and forcing them to serve as soldiers … Escapees often must go into hiding to prevent being abducted again. In some instances, their families have faced pressure to give a ’replacement’ child soldier to the group.”

    International interests

    Violations of human rights can no longer be considered an “internal affair” of that country. That is why the world got involved in the issue of apartheid in South Africa, (indisputably an “internal affair” of that country).

    Sri Lanka cannot say it is not our business. It is.

    These “internal affairs” cause refugees that seek safe havens in other countries such as Australia. Tamil civilians brutilised by the Sri Lankan regime contact “people smugglers”, are put into leaking boats that sink off the Australian coast, or arrive here to be locked up as criminals.

    Rather than creating inhumane ways of dealing with these people, the source of the problem, the human rights violations in Sri Lanka, must be addressed.

    What is more, all conflicts come to an end. The conflict in East Timor did come to an end, as has the conflict in Ireland and so many others. The Sri Lankan conflict will come to an end in five years, 10, or longer. It might do so with Sri Lanka reduced to a shell, as East Timor was.

    The rebuilding of Sri Lanka when the conflict is over will fall on the “international community” (as it did with East Timor). To prevent this catastrophe, action must be taken.

  81. February 1, 2009 4:00 pm

    What has to be done

    International human rights monitors must be admitted into Sri Lanka, now. Tomorrow might be too late for the Tamils.

    Sri Lankan disinformation that the problem is “Tamil terrorism” must be exposed. The problem is Sinhala-Buddhist ethno-religious chauvinism and state terrorism aimed at turning Sri Lanka into a Sinhala-Buddhist nation.

    I have DVDs that set this out in detail, which I have donated to the Socialist Alliance in Australia.

    Sri Lanka must be isolated, as was apartheid South Africa. Economic sanctions should be imposed.

    We should stop buying Sri Lankan goods. A boycott should target tourism and point to the blood-stained beaches of Sri Lanka. Trade union action to stop handling goods, to and from Sri Lanka, should be implemented.

    Public protests need to be organised internationally.

    We should pressure our governments to force Sri Lanka to the negotiating table and to make clear that a military “solution” to the Tamil question is not acceptable

  82. February 2, 2009 4:38 pm

    Packed Sri Lanka Hospital Shelled

    An overcrowded hospital in Sri Lanka’s battle zone – where many patients have been killed in the past day – has been shelled again, the United Nations tells Sky News.

    Aid agencies have condemned the attacks which in one case hit a paediatric unit in the last functioning medical facility in the war-torn area.

    Three artillery shells hit the hospital on Sunday, and at least two more hit the unit today.

    Staff working for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) who are in the hospital say at least nine people have been killed and many more wounded.

    The UN believes the figure to be much higher. The four-year-old daughter of one of their members of staff was among those hurt by the shelling.

    One text message from a United Nations worker in the hospital said: “Women and kids wards shelled. God, no words. Still counting the dead bodies.”

    The hospital was already full of 500 wounded patients with more injured continuing to arrive.

    The agencies declined to say which side had mounted the attack but the hospital is in Puthukkudiyiruppu in the Vanni area.

    The zone is still controlled by rebels but the Sri Lankan military is bombarding it to try and flush out the remaining Tamil Tigers.

    A state health official also in the area said the shells had come from behind Sri Lankan military lines.

  83. February 2, 2009 4:40 pm

    Sri Lankan official says army shelled hospital

    COLOMBO, Sri Lanka – A hospital in Sri Lanka’s chaotic war zone was hit twice by artillery attacks within hours Sunday, killing at least six civilians and wounding many others, the region’s top health official and the Red Cross said.

    Dr. Thurairajah Varatharajah said the shells in the later attack appeared to have been fired by the Sri Lankan army and killed five. He said they also caused extensive damage to the crowded Puthukkudiyiruppu hospital, one of the last functioning health institutions inside rebel-held territory. With beds full, many patients sleep in the corridor.

  84. February 2, 2009 4:43 pm

    2 days of shelling on Sri Lankan hospital kills 11

    COLOMBO, Sri Lanka – Artillery shells slammed into an overcrowded hospital for the second day in Sri Lanka’s northern war zone, bringing the death toll to at least 11 people, officials said Monday as the army claimed it found an abandoned luxury hide-out of the elusive rebel leader.

    The attacks on the hospital intensified concern for the fate of some 250,000 civilians trapped in the shrinking war zone where the Tamil Tigers have been boxed in. The Sri Lankan army believes it is on the verge of destroying the rebels and ending one of the longest running civil wars in the world.

    The fighting is taking place in Puthukkudiyiruppu area, where three artillery barrages slammed into the pediatrics and women’s wards of the Puthukkudiyiruppu hospital on Sunday, the Red Cross said.

    The shells, which also hit a kitchen and a chapel, killed nine patients Sunday and wounded 20, Red Cross spokeswoman Sarasi Wijeratne said Monday.

    Kandasamy Tharmakulasingham, a local health official, confirmed the attacks, and said more shells hit the hospital Monday morning, killing two more people and wounding six others.

    Sarasi and Tharmakulasingham couldn’t say who fired the shells.

    But Dr. Thurairajah Varatharajah, the top government health official in the area, said two of the attacks appeared to have come from the army.

    He said the shelling caused extensive damage to the overcrowded hospital, one of the last functioning health institutions inside rebel-held territory.

    The U.N. confirmed the hospital was struck Sunday by artillery shells throughout the day.

    “It seems to have struck the pediatric ward, a 30-bed ward filled to overflowing,” U.N. spokesman Gordon Weiss said. He did not cast blame on either side.

    Independent reports from the war zone are not available because journalists and aid groups are barred from the area.

    Aid groups say the fighting has spawned a humanitarian crisis, exacerbated by the strikes on the hospital.

    The Red Cross said more than 500 patients were in the hospital, and the wounded continued to arrive despite the afternoon attack on the facility.

    The hospital is so crowded that many patients were forced to sleep on mattresses in the corridor, it said.

  85. February 2, 2009 4:50 pm

    Puthukkudiyiruppu hospital shelled again: “We’re shocked that the hospital was hit” – ICRC

    “Puthukkudiyiruppu Hospital in the northern Vanni region of Sri Lanka was shelled this afternoon (01 02 2009), killing at least two people and injuring at least five others. The compound sustained two direct hits,” said International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

    “We’re shocked that the hospital was hit, and this for the second time in recent weeks,” said Paul Castella, head of the Colombo delegation of the ICRC. “Wounded and sick people, medical personnel and medical facilities are all protected by international humanitarian law. Under no circumstance may they be directly attacked.”

    ”The hospital currently has over 500 in-patients, some of them still waiting to be transferred to the government-controlled area for more adequate treatment. Despite today’s attack, people injured by the fighting continue to arrive at the facility,” ICRC stated in a news release.

    The ICRC has been supporting the hospital’s staff by setting up a makeshift structure for triage, receiving ambulances, and helping to clean the facility. It has also provided mattresses for patients who find themselves in the corridors because there is no longer any room in the wards.

    “The staff are under acute stress, surrounded as they are by the sound of the ongoing fighting and the influx of new patients,” said Morven Murchison-Lochrie, an ICRC medical coordinator, who is present in the hospital. “Ambulances are constantly arriving, but people are also being brought in by wagon, pick-up truck, tractor and even motor scooter.”

    Despite this, she said, the staff remained inventive and committed to caring for the injured and sick who had made the dangerous trip to the hospital.

  86. February 2, 2009 4:53 pm

    War criminal Gothabaya Rajapaksa threatens media, diplomats and humnaitarian workers with “dire consequences”

    Sri Lanka Threatens the German Ambassador with possible Expulsion

    Colombo: German Ambassador Mr. Jurgen Weerth has been threatened with expulsion by the Sri Lankan government for his remarks over the war with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) called to the foreign office in Sri Lanka by the foreign ministry and informed him the Sri Lankan displeasure on his remarks at the funeral service of the slain journalist of the Sunday Leader editor, Lasantha Wikramatunga.

    Sri Lanka’s Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa also singled out the television networks CNN, BBC and Al-Jazeera for what he called “bias in favour of the rebels”. Rajapaksa said certain foreign media reports were damaging the security forces just as they stood poised to end the nearly four-decade conflict with the separatists and added that foreigners who favoured the rebels would be chased from the country.

    German Ambassador Mr. Jurgen Weerth was summoned to the foreign ministry on early last month by the Foreign Secretary (Palitha Kohona) and he was censored by him for his remarks on Lasantha Wikramatunga’s assassination.

    The Ambassador said, we should have spoken about the media freedom and journalists in Sri Lanka but now it is too late.

    Another ambassador warned by the Sri Lanka was Switzerland ambassador also for his remarks on the war and civilians casualties.

    Meanwhilem Sri Lanka’s Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa also singled out the television networks CNN, BBC and Al-Jazeera for what he called bias in favour of the LTTE. Rajapaksa said certain foreign media reports were damaging the security forces just as they stood poised to end the nearly four-decade conflict with the separatists and added that foreigners who favoured the rebels would be chased from the country.

  87. February 2, 2009 5:04 pm

    Aid groups: Sri Lanka situation ‘nightmarish’

    (CNN) — International humanitarian aid agencies called Monday for increased access to the “nightmarish situation” in northern Sri Lanka, where government forces and Tamil rebels are locked in battle. Hundreds of thousands of civilians are thought to be trapped by the fighting.

    The plea came as artillery shells slammed into a hospital in the northern district of Mullaittivu, where civilians — including a growing number of children — are being treated.

    “We don’t know how many lives exactly, but there was a third strike on the hospital around about midnight,” said Gordon Weiss, a U.N. spokesman who talked to a member of the U.N. staff at the hospital early Monday.

    “Women and kids’ wards shelled … still counting the dead bodies,” he said.

    Sarah Crowe of UNICEF said aid from the United Nations is getting into the war zone only every few days.

    “We need open access,” she said. “These children and families need to be protected and they need to get out fast.”

    More than 200 civilians, including at least 30 children, had been injured in the past three days of fighting, a relief worker told CNN Sunday.

    “That is the absolute minimum [number of injured],” the relief worker said. The person did not want to be identified for fear of jeopardizing the work of relief organizations.

  88. February 2, 2009 5:07 pm

    400,000 Tamils trapped north of Sri Lanka, says main opposition party

    Sri Lanka’s main opposition political party the United National Party(UNP) yesterday alleged that around 400,000 minority Tamils are trapped in the LTTE controlled northern district of Mullaithivu and are unable to escape the fighting between government forces and LTTE.

    The party’s Assistant Secretary and Secretary General of Parliamentarians for Human Rights,Jayalath Jayawardena ,said that among the 400,000 civilians were 2000 pregnant women.

    He, said that with the army’s advance,civilians in the northern district of Kilinochchi, had moved to Mullaithivu,the last area that remains under LTTE control- resulting in the number of internally displaced people swelling to massive proportions.

    Expressing grave concern for the plight of the civilians,Jayawardena appealed to both the LTTE and Sri Lankan government not to act in any manner that would jeopardise innocent lives.

    “The LTTE and government are under a moral obligation to ensure the safety and well being of civilians caught up in the fighting. They should also jointly facilitate the transport of the injured to hospitals and ensure a steady supply of medicine and food.”

    He, said that a request made by him to the Defence Secretary on December 31,2008 to permit a UNP delegation to visit the Vanni and attend to the needs of the IDP’s, was turned down on security grounds.”Thereafter on January 16, I made a request in my capacity as Secretary General of Parliamentarians for Human Rights, for a delegation to visit the newly established government welfare centres in Mannar and Vavuniya. But this too was refused on the grounds of security concerns.”

    The government used “security”, as an excuse to prevent us from visiting Mullaithivu, but how on earth they could debar us from government welfare centres in army controlled areas is mind boggling,he said. “If the government can permit a handpicked group of journalists to visit northern areas under its command, how can it prevent the elected representatives of the people from touring the area? This proves our repeated accusations that democracy, freedom of movement and expression is under serious threat.”

  89. February 2, 2009 5:10 pm

    UN Should Charge Sri-Lankan War Criminals

    World opinion is that what occurred in the past and what is happening today in Sri-Lanka is genocide. Bishop Desmond Tutu, in Guardian UK of May 15, 2008 states “ With a terrible record of torture and disappearances, Sri Lanka doesn’t deserve a seat on the UN Human Rights Council. It should be voted out. The systematic abuses by Sri Lankan government Forces are among the most serious imaginable”.

    Another popular figure, Dr Brian Senewiratne, an expatriate Sinhalese is aggrieved that majority Sinhalese are determined to wipe out the Tamil minority, culturally, religiously, educationally and economically. Please see Greenleft.org of 23 January 2009. He has written profusely on this subject.

    Dr. Nimalka Fernando – Human Rights Lawyer and Supporter of Tamil Rights in an interview with Lankanewspapers.com of Sunday, 14 December 2008 said “The Military Commander and Defence Secretary are interfering with the humanitarian assistance process, violating all the international norms including Geneva Conventions related to the situation of an armed struggle”.

  90. February 2, 2009 5:11 pm

    Civilian casualties rise, SLA, SLAF attacks continue on safety zone

    Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) bombers attacked Moongkilaa’ru Sunday night around 10:00 p.m. casualty details are not known. Amid reports of Sri Lanka Army (SLA) using cluster munitions fitted to artillery shells in its indiscriminate barrage on civilian refuges, around 13 dead bodies of civilians were recovered Sunday morning in completely burned state, beyond identification, at Moongkilaa’ru in Udaiyaarkaddu within the ‘safety zone’ announced by the government of Sri Lanka. More than 30 children and elders were killed Saturday alone, reports said. Civilian casualties were mounting also on Sunday.

    Civilians in the vicinity of Moongkilaa’ru said rockets exploded causing immediate fire at the locality where newly arrived IDP families were setting up makeshift tents around 9:00 p.m. Saturday. The IDPs referred to the explosions as caused by Multi-Barrel Rocket Launcher (MBRL) warheads. There was no reports of inspection by experienced medical authorities to judge whether there was any chemical weapon deployed by the SLA in the attack.

    At least 7 civilians were killed Sunday noon near Chuthanthirapuram school. 13 civilians were rushed to hospital.

    Shells exploded near Udaiyaarkaddu hospital, causing panic among the medical staff and the patients at the hospital around 11:00 p.m. Sunday.

    Medical authorities were not able to provide an overview of deaths as civilians were not taking their dead to the makeshift hospitals, which were struggling to cope with the situation.

  91. February 2, 2009 5:13 pm

    Berlin unimpressed by Sri Lankan ‘threats’ to ambassador

    Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapakse said that there would be “dire consequences” for any foreign non-governmental organisation, diplomat or correspondent attempting to give “terrorists a second breath of life.”

    German ambassador censured by Sri Lankan government for remarks on local editor’s murder

    Berlin — Berlin made it clear on Sunday that it was unimpressed by “threats” from Sri Lanka’s top defence official to expel Germany’s ambassador and other foreigners seen as supportive of Tamil rebels.

    “Possible misunderstandings should be resolved through dialogue, not through threats,” a spokeswoman for the foreign ministry in Berlin said.

    Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapakse told the Sunday Island that there would be “dire consequences” for any foreign non-governmental organisation, diplomat or correspondent attempting to give “terrorists a second breath of life.”

  92. February 2, 2009 5:15 pm

    Sri Lankan government threatens to ‘chase out’ critics of war against Tamil Tigers

    Protesters angered by media restrictions gather in Colombo last week
    Jeremy Page, South Asia Correspondent

    Sri Lanka has warned Western ambassadors, aid groups and foreign journalists that they will be “chased” from the country if they show prejudice in favour of the Tamil Tigers.

  93. February 2, 2009 5:21 pm

    Muslims in Potthuvil to go on hunger strike

    Muslims in Poththuvil will go on a protest hunger strike Monday in front of Poththuvil Prethesa Sabai, demanding the immediate release of the 30 Muslim villagers arrested by Special Task Force (STF) six months ago when they went to collect firewood in the jungles in Poththuvil police division in Ampaa’rai district, M. P. Mallika Umma, leader of the committee of the affected people said.

    The arrested 30 Muslims are held in detention for more than six months without any trial or inquiry.

    The detainees are brought to the magistrate court and then again taken back to be detained, Mallika Umma said.

    Though this matter has been brought to the notice of the authorities concerned and local politicians nothing has happened while the families of the detainees suffer without the income from selling the firewood their men collect.

    The hunger strike will continue until the 30 Muslims are released, she added.

    STF commandos lying in ambush in the jungles of Poththuvil have shot and killed Muslims in earlier instances, Poththuvil residents said.

  94. February 2, 2009 5:24 pm

    Expressing concern is not enough, countries should intervene – CJPCD Jaffna

    “Mere expression of concern by the countries of the world is not enough; immediate intervention to urge Sri Lanka government to stop its killing and maiming of the innocent Tamils in Vanni is the need of the hour,” the Commission for Justice and Peace of Catholic Diocese (CJPCD) said in its message released at the end of the fifth day hunger strike in protest against the continuing Sri Lanka government’s artillery barrage and aerial strikes on the Tamils in Vanni, sources in Jaffna said.

    The hunger strike launched Wednesday by CJPCD was continued in Koiyaaththoadam Chirst Church premises Sunday in Jaffna.

    Rt. Rev. Thomas Saundaranayagam, Bishop of Jaffna, priests, nuns and members of various religious and social organizations took part in the hunger strike.

    “The 48 hour respite announced by the government has ended as an act of eye-wash while 80 innocent Tamil civilians have been killed and 230 have been injured in the said 48 hours and that too within the government declared ‘safety zone’ in Vanni.”

    The World Human Rights Watch has warned the International Community that an ethnic cleansing is being staged in Vanni, the message said.

    The message released by CJPCD Sunday evening was despatched to the Ambassadors of Foreign countries and the UN representative, in Colombo, as well as World Humanitarian Organizations, the organizers of the hunger strike said.

    The hunger strike which is held in different Catholic church premises in Jaffna peninsula in an alternative arrangement will be held in Paasaiyoor Monday, they said.

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