| by L.Annadoure
(March 19, 2012, Chennai, Sri Lanka Guardian) The Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu Selvi Jayaram Jayalalithaa who although initially has been maintaining and justifying her stand that it is natural death to ensue in the casualties of war, has chosen to bring about a resolution in the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly which would purport to urge the Central Government to take up the issue of war crimes and crimes against humanity and she has urged the central Government to impose economic embargo against Sri Lanka and subsequently she has chosen to write letters dated 29.2.12 and 6.3.12 through which she has conveyed the perceptions of Tamils in Tamil Nadu over the issue of accountability for the death of Sri Lankan Tamils.
As the proposed voting in the Human rights council in respect of the resolution to be moved specifically against Sri Lanka at the behest United States of America is nearing its appointed day, what India proposes to do there remains a secret. The External Affairs Minister who in his usual way, while on his way to Singapore, has answered during the press interview that the demands of the Tamil Nadu Government would be taken into consideration. Perhaps he has not been let known of the intentions on the part of the Government at the time of interview and therefore there is a lingering uncertainty, doubt and suspicion as to which side India will take during voting.
The External affairs Minister S.M.Krishna has failed to see the deceptiveness on the part of the Sri Lankan Government, for he would state during press interviews that the President of Sri Lanka has assured the External Affairs Minister as regard implementation of the 13th Amendment brought to the Sri Lankan Constitution and as soon as the External affairs Minister has left Sri Lanka for India, then the President of Sri Lanka and his coterie would start speaking quite disparagingly and variously as regard the implementation. For Instance, the president would self contradict by saying he would go beyond 13th amendment and he would not consider 13th Amendment because when he happened to go North or East he would be arrested. Other Ministers would say there is no necessity for 13th Amendment and that 13th amendment in itself needs amendment.
When the External Minister has reached Sri Lanka late in the evening on Pongal festival, the President of Sri Lanka would make him believe that he has been sincerely waiting for him and that he would celebrate the Pongal Festival only upon the arrival of the External Affairs Minister and in fact Pongal festival has been celebrated only late in the evening and by doing so he has intended to show the Tamils in Sri Lanka and in Tamil Nadu that he is tolerant of all religions and that he is mindful of anything to do with Tamils. Celebration of Pongal festivity is part of their culture and it ought to be celebrated as soon as the sun is first seen in the sky and here Pongal has been celebrated when the Sun has been setting on the west. Tamils celebrate Pongal festival as a mark of veneration to Sun, the giver of life and for the bounty in crops. Having celebrated it late in the evening only indicates slighting anything that has got to do with the Tamils and such a late evening celebration of Pongal is against their Culture and it is purely an act of deception. The External Affairs Minister would not have minded much of the belittling of such a solemn festive occasion and again there is nothing surprising in that, for the Honourable Minister S.M. Krishna would read the address of his Portuguese counterpart in the United Nations Security Council and therefore some official has to come for his rescue and the External Affairs Minister would justify his act by saying there is nothing wrong in having read it and when it comes to answering the questions in Parliament his junior Minister would have to help him in answering the questions.
During his last visit over Sri Lanka, a function has been arranged and the schedule is the External Affairs minister has to lift the curtains draped over the inscribed stone and Mr.Basil Rajapakshe, Economic Development Minister has to cut the ribbon so as to declare open a shed which has been in existence there all along and in order to hood wink the world that Sri Lankan Government is bent on doing some developmental and welfare measures to the Tamils the shed came to be repainted and asbestos sheet put over it and their act is nothing but an act of deception and another instance of deception is this that India has undertaken to be built 50,000 houses for the Sri Lankan Tamils at a cost of 290 Million American Dollars. A set of 48 tiled houses are said to have been built and the Sri Lankan Government has proposed allotting the said houses to the beneficiaries in the presence of the External Minister. Even in those 48 tiled Houses which are said to have been built include the houses which have been proposed to be built under other schemes of the Government and it has been said that some 13 houses amongst the 48 houses have been ear marked towards other schemes. It has taken the Sri Lankan Government two and half years to build 48 houses and one has to see how many long years it would take to construct the remaining 49,052 titled house and these 48 tiled houses could be built within days and the same sorry state of affairs prevailed in constructing houses meant for other Sri Lankans and the question as regard the propriety of construction of houses has been raised in Sri Lankan Parliament.
The Sri Lankan Government and Indian Government should not deceive the Tamil people and the Sri Lankan Government and Indian Government should not hood wink the world. The Sri Lankan Government must answer sincerely as to what happened to that 290 Million dollars? The Sri Lankan Tamils do not want these non existent 50,000 houses. They want their household and their land retrieved from the Sri Lankan Military, given to them and allowed to live peaceably there.
There is yet another act of deception on the part of the Sri Lankan Government, for it would to say that internally displaced people have been settled and 6769 people alone are to be settled yet and wide publicity is being given in order to make the World believe that the internally displaced people have been settled but in reality the Militarily has already dispossessed the people of their lands and their houses and encircled the lands and house holds with barbed fence.
The Honorable Prime Minister of India who on his part broke his silence for the first time over the issue of supporting the resolution which is moved by USA by replying to the letter written by the DMK Chief that the purported resolution should in no way pave way for creating dissension and ill will amongst the peoples in Sri Lanka. There may not be sincerity and solemnity in these words of the Prime Minister, for it is India which had a complicity in killing the innocent civilians under the pretext of exterminating LTTE.
The Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu has now rightly understood the prevailing situation in Sri Lanka but such an understanding is highly belatedly on her part and in fact she ought to have raised the issue when genocide was perpetrated by Sri Lanka and its allies in war against the Tamils and in reality she has acquiesced in such a perpetration of the crime and crime against humanity.
The Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu has now said in categorical terms that the internally displaced persons should be resettled and rehabilitated in their land. At present the Sri Lankan Army, Navy are re-confiscating the lands of the Tamils as has been said above and the people who are said to have been settled are being driven away from their lands and evacuated forcibly from their homesteads and the Nations which have supported Sri Lanka for one reason or another or the Nations which have vested and self serving interest in Sri Lanka knowingly refuse to see and realize the real situation.
The Prime Minister of India does not respect the sentiments of the Tamils and he poses an attitude of indifference and the words spoken by the Honourable Prime Minister of India are quite irrelevant to the issue, for the question is whether India is going to cast its vote in supporting the resolution.
The entire world is conversant of the fact of United States of America’s complicity in having fought the war through its proxy, India which have had actively collaborated with Sri Lanka in supplying all sorts of military armaments and that is perhaps why the Rajapakshe triumvirates have been openly saying that they fought only India’s war against the Tamils and therefore it could be said that India had fought a direct war against the Tamils and other nations made use of that opportune moment to dump their proscribed arsenal on and over head of the Tamils. The Tamils are questioning why India turned a traitor to the cause of Tamils and they accuse the DMK chief being a betrayer of cause of Tamils and had he sincerely intervened, used his good offices and had wielded influence with the central Government then the genocidal annihilation of the precious lives of innocent Tamils could have been averted. The DMK Chief by way of reparation for drama which he has played at that time of annihilation of Tamils, for acquiescing in the genocide perpetrated against Tamils must see that India supports the resolution and if necessitated the DMK should withdraw its support given to the Central Government.
What had taken place within the confines of a small stretch of land is a calculated decimation of Tamils, a genocide on Tamils. The Nations which had a hand in one way or another in the genocidal war are directly or vicariously are accountable and answerable for the deliberate killings of more than 2 lakhs of people and there were ‘4,50,000 people in small the stretch land during the last days of the war’ said an opposition member of Sri Lankan Parliament and the report of the commission of LLRC would say that amongst the seven thousand and odd dead persons a majority were LTTE cadres and the minority killed were civilians and the military denied ever having any account of the those civilians killed on and over the stretch of land and to rebut such a baseless allegations there was no body before the Commission and there is no knowing as to what the real finding of the LLRC commission in respect of actual number of the civilians killed there and the majority of those killed on and over the stretch of land were LTTE cadres. Since the arbitrary assertion of the commission being such then how to determinedly decide the actual number of the civilians killed ? The statement of Sri Lankan Government is that there were no causalities in death and what Sri Lankan Military did was purely humanitarian work. While things being such, the institution of an enquiry by the Military on the orders of President Rajapakshe to probe into the allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity is quite farcical and such a deceitful attempt is meant only to tide over the exigencies of present situation and to prolong the matter so as to enable it to complete the structural genocide in the North and East. It is quite strange that an accused person should himself investigate into the offence and crimes which he did! And such a recourse is meant to deceive the world in order to avert passing of the resolution. It is an act of deception on the part of Sri Lankan Government and everybody knows the purpose for which it has been set up and the shoddy nature with which it has been instituted. Deceptiveness is in the every act and deed on the part of Sri Lanka. When once the Military had stated before Commission that it had not committed any crimes of whatsoever nature and denied ever having any account of those persons killed in the land where is the question of investigation by itself into the accusations leveled against it? The whole Military hierarchy is accountable for the genocide and were the Sri Lankan state to have been bono fide and sincere in its attempt at enquiry into the accusations and allegations then at least it would have instituted a Magisterial enquiry under Criminal procedure code to locate the unmarked mass graves, exhume the skeletal remains so as take stock of the actual number of persons killed. Soon after the war, twice such mass graves were found and Magisterial enquiry has been conducted but such an effort has been abandoned abruptly for the reasons best known to the Rajapakshe regime and therefore the work has to be resumed in the interest of justice.
SL Prez Mahinda Rajapaksa and S.M. Krishna
watch dancers perform during Pongal festival
After the defeat of Hitler Regime in Germany, the pits where the Jews were dumped en masse into and covered were exhumed later by the subsequent Government; the skeletal remains were taken out; then they were given a decent burial; further the next of the kin of those killed were given sumptuous compensation and the process of paying compensation is still going on to this day and therefore as a first step towards a sincere and well meaning conciliatory effort on the part of Sri Lanka or rather an act of making amends for the crime committed , the Nations which have had directly or indirectly collaborated, assisted and acted actively with the Sri Lanka in committing genocide against Tamils must pay sumptuous compensation to the next of the kin of the those killed. Secondly the Nations which have had supplied proscribed weapons like cluster bombs, chemical bombs, carpet bombs must be proceeded against for having breached the provisions of the Convention which prohibits the use of proscribed weapons and therefore these actions could possibly be performed only by an International body to be constituted and appointed for the specific purpose.
A cursory glance at the draft resolution would indicate that it is mere calling on Sri Lankan state to implement the recommendations made by the commission but without going through the insipid clauses in the resolution the Sri Lankan Government should not have sponsored the various modes of opposition to the resolution. It is difficult to understand why the Sri Lankan Regime is inciting the people by leading them by their nose so as to oppose and rallying the people round on pain of punishment to oppose the resolution. The resolution as such is one made milder in its term. It states that the since police has failed to initiate criminal actions against abduction and killings the issue need be addressed in all sincerity; since the Military is in the occupation of entire North it should be withdrawn and sent back to the barracks; the political prisoners and others since languish in jail years together there must be re evaluation of detention policies and it requests the Sri Lankan Government to ensure people the availability of fundamental rights and freedoms enshrined in the constitution. The draft resolution is only an international request and nothing more and the resolution is not accusatory in any way but the Rajapakshe regime and its caucus are making hue and cry over it and moving heaven and earth to see that the resolution is flopped down in the end. In reality the resolution should have been accusatory in its nature. So for India is concerned it should redeem Sri Lanka at what ever cost lest Sri Lanka turn a traitor. Tamils have been struggling for their political rights for more than 60 years on end and the resolution is silent in respect of genocide committed against the Tamils and resolution speaks nothing about the occupation of Military and interference in civil administration in the East. When United States of America could espouse the cause of oppressed Baloch and recognize the right of self determination and when India could sympathize with the cause of Baloch people why there should be double standard on the part of India in so for the Tamils are concerned? The Baloch have kinship with Tamils.
Therefore India must support the resolution to be introduced in the Human Rights Council in order to make amends and as an act of contrition for the complicity in having fought the war against the Tamils which resulted in the killings of more than 2 lakhs of Tamils. India must give ear to the voice of the people in Tamil Nadu and the voice of Tamil political leaders and it is an opportune moment to be made use of unhesitatingly, for the resolution as such is only a gist of reiteration of the recommendatory aspects of the Report of the LLRC.