| by Shenali Waduge
(October 25, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) It has become a tedious effort ever since the fall of the LTTE to continuously embarrass Sri Lanka internationally by front organizations of the LTTE living abroad who have through the power of the money they possess the ability to purchase foreign parliamentarians & representatives of international bodies to point fingers at the Sri Lankan Government on allegations of war crimes. Farcical as this call is when the LTTE is declared a banned terrorist organization it is the LTTE that should have been investigated by international bodies ever since it first started its crusade of suicide killings which would have put an end to 30 years of LTTE terror. That the world kept silent never initiating crimes against humanity by the LTTE, makes good grounds for the families of all those who lost their lives to LTTE to demand why the world kept silent? This practice of humiliating a nation that has been the only country to have defeated terrorism needs to stop forthwith. If accountability has been of concern it is for these nations to wonder what they did to stop the LTTE from killing year in & year out for 3 decades when the entire world went after the Al Qaeda for just one targeted killing.
The President of Sri Lanka is in Australia attending the Commonwealth of Heads Summit where a war crimes indictment has been lodged against President Rajapakse. The Australian Government is unlikely to embarrass the President however these & similar propaganda that is taking place to tarnish Sri Lanka globally is uncalled for & totally unjust & unfair. In this instance we remind the powerful nations of the world that all these nations allowed the LTTE to prevail by turning a blind eye to all the atrocities committed by the LTTE & now when the LTTE has been militarily defeated these nations are allowing calls for war crimes against Sri Lanka blocking the momentum in Sri Lanka where a nation is learning to live without the shadow of the LTTE & fears of bombs going off every time people walk out of their homes.
Let us all view things rationally. We know India’s role in creating, supporting, training & assisting the LTTE over the years. We also know that it was this same terror group that assassinated Rajiv Gandhi & that it was nothing but a contract killing & we also know that India continued to support the LTTE inspite of Rajiv’s killing until the last stage of the war when India realized that the LTTE was now a spent force & India would do better without it. We also know that countries like Norway, UK provided bases for the LTTE even allowing their countries to function as international offices & even providing technical assistance to carry out terror strikes. There are enough of examples that will cover why Sri Lanka had to weather 30 years of terror & warfare. If people think that the LTTE was terrorizing Sri Lanka in a movement that was anti-Sinhala they are sadly mistaken. A closer look at LTTE’s string of killings & assassinations will reveal that practically all of the respected Tamil leaders over the years were brutally wiped out by the LTTE including Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadiragamar & A. Amirthalingam who even called the LTTE “our boys”. Now, if the LTTE is supposedly a party claiming self-determination for the Tamil people why did they kill Tamils? Why did the LTTE target the Tamil social strata which castigated the low caste Tamils? Moreover, anyone going to the North would realize how intertwined with LTTE terrorism has been the movement to Christianize Sri Lanka where practically all of the NGOs operating in the North while LTTE was ruling the North were carrying out a campaign to convert innocent Tamils to Christianity/Catholism. This is evident by the increase in Churches & the rise in the number of converts!
Speaking to most Tamils in the North who belong to the upper class & caste now openly denounce the LTTE & it was out of fear that they had to remain silent proponents of LTTE terrorism. LTTE was no messiah to the Tamils & that is a fact & that is something that Tamils themselves need to be largehearted enough to accept. Appreciating LTTE terrorism so that some Tamils could apply as refugees & live abroad is no reason to support the LTTE now.
Ridding the country of a movement that had blessings of the West & India & support by illicit entities functioning globally has meant that the challenge to wipe out terrorism in an exercise that began with the liberation of the East was no small victory.
As everyone will acknowledge the diplomatic war that the President singlehandedly took was far more complicated & serious than the ground & air attacks carried out by the armed forces. If we look back the President was inundated with foreign delegations & calls to allow the LTTE to prevail. All these nations that attempted to push for a further ceasefire are guilty of being party to terror for none of these nations cared to stop any of the LTTE atrocities that took place over the years. These were no innocent self-determination bids – these were all calculated killings targeting mostly innocent civilians & children.
What did the world do when children were butchered while asleep? What did the world do when women & men in villages were cut to pieces? What did the world do when Buddhist priests were butchered one after another & places of worship were attacked? What did the world do when suicide bombers began to target civilians, dressed up as ordinary citizens with suicide jackets that eventually tore innocent people to bits & pieces? These incidents number over 200 over 30 years. If the world went after the Al Qaeda just for killing 3000 or so Americans in a single incident in 2001 why did the world keep silent about the LTTE when they have killed much more in more brutal manner? What good has been to just ban the LTTE & call it a terrorist organization while allowing it to prevail giving safe haven in western countries where world leaders were well aware of the fact that the LTTE acquired USD300m annually? How has the LTTE thanked these nations? They have indulged in nefarious activities in these vary nations? Is not the LTTE guilty of thefts, credit card scams, gang violence, human smuggling, narcotics etc which are taking place in these very nations? Allowing the LTTE has led to one’s own citizens becoming victims of LTTE scams? Foreign parliamentarians have become prey to being purchased for money triggering an ugly practice in politics where just to come into power for the promise of votes politicians are openly siding with terrorist organizations! Keeping silent over LTTE atrocities in Sri Lanka is one thing but allowing one’s citizens to be fleeced is something UK, Australian & EU citizens must demand from their governments! Fleecing foreign citizens is certainly not punishing Sri Lanka & that’s for sure!
Moreoever, LTTE is an organization that is today able to carry out contract killings & when their notoriety needs a prop they will not hesitate to carry out contract killings as they did to Rajiv Gandhi. With the West’s actions building strings of Islamic enemies all over the world & with their links to the LTTE & since LTTE has a safe haven in these western nations it is only time that will show the true stripes of the LTTE. The Western countries may think they have tight inland security measures in place however, penetrating these is nothing new to the LTTE. If we recall the LTTE had even attempted to bribe the FBI to remove it from the US terror list!
Sri Lankan’s no doubt care little of how LTTE wishes to function overseas. All countries that have played poodle with the LTTE can continue to allow LTTE to prevail. As far as Sri Lankan’s are concerned the LTTE is now militarily defeated, it is a movement that the Tamils that suffered from the LTTE are happy to be rid of & Sri Lanka is slowly picking up the pieces to start life afresh in peace. Of course the remnants of the LTTE seen through the Tamil political parties whose leaders like to think keeping alive the LTTE will sustain their party forever will soon find themselves in disarray when younger Tamil politicians begin to emerge with time articulating the real needs of the populace without any racial & ethnic bias. This will certainly be a new beginning the country will look forward to.
However, it is now time that the West put an end to the campaign to tarnish the image of Sri Lanka. As far as Sri Lankans are concerned the LTTE can carry out whatever tarnishing campaigns they like & spend the money they have illicitly gained but it is morally incorrect & ethically wrong for foreign governments to continue to partner with these campaigns when they know the truth about LTTE atrocities over 30 years which is why it is not too late for these nations to dissociate themselves from the LTTE & begin to build better relations with Sri Lanka & help the nation to recover from 30 years of biased western policy. The LTTE as far as Sri Lankans are concerned is a terror movement now dead & buried & we are not interested nor care little for the futile cries & calls that it is making from overseas. What we are concerned about is when foreign nations that did little when the LTTE was carrying out terror strikes is seen now calling for war crimes against an elected government which is unethical & unjust & it is a good time to stop this improper practice – starting with Australia.