Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for November 17th, 2007

Wake up call!

Need for a wake up call is imminent before the alarm bell sounds.

While the military machine marches forward regaining lost Sri Lanka, heart and mind operation must commence to satisfy the Tamil speaking people by attending to their prime grievances. It’s a shame this has been neglected for so long when such aspirations can be assuaged; instead of permitting it to remain unattended due to the apathetic attitude of the political leaders of the majority community while the leaders of the minority communities have concentrated in making political demands that are of a fissiparous nature.

Nobody seems to be concerned of the core problematic issues of the Tamil speaking people which are of a more immediate concern to them, instead of being permanently cocooned disputing on an idealist framework of a future constitution -which ultimately matters only to the political elite to walk to office on the corridors of power. Meteorologically, they are chasing a rainbow without focusing on the eye of the swirling cyclone and permitting tropical depressions grow into category five hurricanes.

It is a forgotten chapter that Muslims have been comprehensively cleansed ethnically from the North and parts of the East by the LTTE. Did we hear any reverberations from the human rights tourists and their local vocal teachers and students of human rights-except for a few curt and crappy statements? A terrorist group engaged in an arms struggle alleging minority discrimination, terrorised a still smaller helpless minority community and drove them away from their homes to take shelter in refugee camps. Why did the human rights angels not take LTTE to task on an issue on which chapters have been written in their text books and allowed it to be conveniently forgotten? Possibly in their curriculum, LTTE is placed in an exempted schedule! Are Muslim grievances distinct and different that neither Sinhalese nor Tamils have taken issue, while there are Muslim parties prepared to eulogize the perpetrators of the crime in death and pay homage to those alive for effective ethnic laundering of their tribe.

The All Party Representatives Committee (ARPC) report is permanently round the corner like the permanent revolution of the past with a champion socialist of that era at the helm acting as a Tsar. In fairness, expectations placed on it were too high, when it is a mere reflecting silhouette of Parliament -converting an aimless talk shop into a useless work shop. It dented its credibility when UNP decided to stay away and the JVP left it in disgust- in the absence of the TNA- with three major parties constituting nearly 100 parliamentarians out of the reckoning it lost the required momentum; the remainder are the virtual government representatives sitting away from Parliament in a smaller chamber lost in its own confused maze. Whatever it does, for sure, it cannot cross the threshold of a referendum. It will always be a closed chapter with a report indexed in the shelves of the archives.

Meanwhile international pressure is being exerted to pronounce that minorities are being discriminated and subject to human rights violations and treated unfairly by the governing Sinhala majority. It is on this basis foreign interference and intervention is being mounted. Irrespective of the shortcomings of these human rights expeditions, they cannot be ignored, as Sri Lanka is answerable in international forums; though most of the strictures have been made not on a balanced equilibrium considering the limitations within the confines of a democratic framework and the rule of law that a State has to function meeting the onslaught of a terrorist outfit.

Our record is respectable if compared with the slate of those offenders who are petted and patted by western powers and handled gently by human rights interventionists. This is not to whitewash our few infirmities, which with proper guidance and management can be eliminated. Today the determination of ‘who is a terrorist’ or ‘what is terrorism’ is the province of the powerful western agencies who define it according to a flexible agenda that suits their interest.

A telling answer is within our grasp. There is one area of a common denominator reached by the so called Experts Committee as both the Majority and Minority Reports arrived at a consensus on the identification of the prime areas of minority grievances. So the public has the grievances identified and tabulated before them which can be listed –

1. Failure to implement the language provisions enshrined in the law meaningfully.

2. Security concerns including abductions

3. Acquisition of lands for security concerns

4. Rehabilitation of the Internally Displaced Persons

5.Child recruitment

6.Lack of development in the North and East

7 Multi ethnic defense forces/Police

8 Discrimination in recruitment for employment

9.Inadequete infrastructural benefits 10 Irregular manner of land alienation especially Mahaweli lands

The majority report revealed a framework which requires an overhaul of the constitution with a federal complexion with the merger of the North and East while the minority report suggested curative treatment within the present constitution with ordinary legislation and by administrative regulations in addition to a decommissioning of arms exercise. Let the alleged grievances be tested independently and relief granted expeditiously and equitably without permitting it to fester, not necessarily based on the recommendations of the Reports.

Importance is not on the formulation of the suggested rectifications but the common identification of legitimate minority grievances which can be attended to forthright within the present constitutional framework. It can be fulfilled with simple majorities, setting of genuinely independent permanent commissions with powers of speedy implementation, departmental efficiency and due administration.

On that count the ball is in the government court and why does it allow it to be hanging in mid air without smashing it with an ace? Pure ignorance, lack of initiative and more likely neither reports have been scanned by those who matter? The rule is to appoint a commission or committee and go to sleep.

It is time that the majority patriotic forces make a unique gesture in pressing the government to initiate a course of action to attend to the grievances of the minorities while pressing for a unitary state. It will give them more stature and make the term patriotic more meaningful in their ventures as it is more inclusive with all the communities. It will send a strong message to the international community and the foreign interventionists and help to become a caring majority. It is the patriotic forces that can push the State to give relief to the established minority grievances more effectively than the secessionist columns.

Time is running out as the bondage of the forces that brought the President to power stand together only one premise – on the national issue supportive of the forces – which is indeed a prime issue. The government holds the support of divergent elements (SLFP, CWC, SLMC and varying shades of Muslim representation, JHU, UNP rebels) with carrots, oatmeal and poonac. The JVP has come out more strongly and strenuously on the national issue than any other but yet avoid to spell out a solution for political expediency. However in a period where the JVP is attempting to hold out as a national party, minority interest should be attractive to a party that stands for universality. The JVP support is essential to win over the remaining Sinhala majority as it is emerging as a convincing bulwark of national interest. In future neither this nor another government may be able to gather such broad spectrum support on the national issue

Of course the UNP will oppose for the sake of opposing but within the UNP support grops are still the faithful nationalists with the interest of the country at heart but sidelined and remain tongue tied. Rethreading, Recycling, Rebranding Ranil Wickremasinghe will not make him a Reincarnated Nationalist. In fairness, true to himself he does not desire that image as his vision is beyond the local territorial limits seeking global sovereignty. He may pass in economics and hygiene but fare poorly in other subjects. UNP has discredited itself by its leaders that it is not taken as objective on the national issue except by the Colombo few. TNA is captive to the LTTE.

We can overcome but time is precious to the President as election year draws closer, more will look to the departure gate.

(http://www.defence.lk)

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

The U.S. Department of the Treasury today targeted the support network of the designated terrorist group Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) by designating a charitable organization that acts as a front to facilitate fundraising and procurement for the LTTE. Tamils Rehabilitation Organisation (TRO) was designated today under Executive Order 13224, which is aimed at financially isolating terrorist groups and their support networks.

“TRO passed off its operations as charitable, when in fact it was raising money for a designated terrorist group responsible for heinous acts of terrorism,” said Adam J. Szubin, Director of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).

The LTTE is a terrorist group that has waged a violent secessionist campaign for over two decades to secure a separate state for Tamil-majority regions in Sri Lanka’s North and East. The conflict between the LTTE and Sri Lankan military forces has claimed over 60,000 lives and displaced hundreds of thousands of Sri Lankan citizens.

In the United States, TRO has raised funds on behalf of the LTTE through a network of individual representatives. According to sources within the organization, TRO is the preferred conduit of funds from the United States to the LTTE in Sri Lanka.

TRO also has facilitated LTTE procurement operations in the United States. Those operations included the purchase of munitions, equipment, communication devices, and other technology for the LTTE.

TRO’s efforts worldwide reportedly have allowed the LTTE to use humanitarian aid, which TRO collected from the international community after the December 2004 tsunami, to launch new campaigns to strengthen LTTE military capacity.

According to its website, TRO maintains a headquarters office in Kilinochchi, Sri Lanka and operates branch offices throughout Sri Lanka and in seventeen countries worldwide, including the United States, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Malaysia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.

The LTTE oversees the activities of TRO and other LTTE-linked non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Sri Lanka and abroad. Directives issued by the LTTE suggest that LTTE-affiliated branch representatives are expected to coordinate their efforts with the respective TRO representatives in their locations and report all activity to the LTTE.

Recent information indicates that the LTTE has ordered international NGOs operating in its territory to provide all project funding through local NGOs, which are managed collectively by TRO. This arrangement allows TRO to withdraw money from the local NGO accounts and to provide a portion of the relief funds to the LTTE. The LTTE has reportedly exerted pressure to comply on a few international NGOs that have resisted these arrangements.

The U.S. Department of State designated the LTTE a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) on October 8, 1997, in accordance with Section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, as amended. On November 2, 2001, the U.S. Department of State named the LTTE a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) under E.O. 13224. Additionally, the LTTE is listed as a terrorist organization by the European Union and Canada.

The Treasury Department is taking this action today pursuant to Executive Order 13224, which freezes any assets the designees may have under U.S. jurisdiction and prohibits U.S. persons from transacting with the designees.

The United States continues to support a just, negotiated political settlement to the conflict in Sri Lanka that meets the aspirations of all communities, including Sri Lanka’s Tamils. The U.S. will continue to vigorously support efforts to stop human rights violations against Tamils, including abductions and threats against Tamil journalists.

Identifier information for Tamils Rehabilitation Organisation, including AKAs and address information for its branches worldwide, can be found below.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

LTTE terrorists detonated a claymore mine killing two Civil Defence Force’ personnel, formally known as Homeguards at Kambiliweva in Padaviya on November 9 , defence sources said. The explosion that took place around 7.a.m targeted the two Homeguards while they had been walking on a byroad close to the Padaviya 1st Mile post, sources further added.

Read Full Post »

The Black Tiger suicide squad that attacked the Anuradhapura Airbase was using some startlingly sophisticated weapons, some of which are almost never sold to guerilla movements. Many weapons, including Rocket propelled Grenade-Launchers had US made EOtech HOLOsight holographic Target Acquisition Systems valued around USD 500-1000. Some guns were equipped with Chinese Night Vision Monocular. The RPG-7s carried by the LTTE Black Tigers also has HOLOsight, which is unusual to a guerrilla arsenal. All weapons, except for the EOtech HOLOsight are Chinese. These include the Type 69-1 Chinese RPG-7 with EOtech, RPG Type 61, Type 85 silenced with Tokarev 7.65x25mm ammunition magazines, Type 82 SMG 9mm, and the QBZ-97 SMG. The most startling observation is the acquisition of the QBZ-97/95 by the LTTE. QBZ-95 in the hands of the LTTE would be controversial because 5.6mm ammunition used for the weapon is only used and produced in China. QBZ-95 cannot exist outside of China except in Cambodia and Burma where it is widely used. We can therefore assume that one or both of those two countries or private suppliers in those countries is a supplier of weapons to the LTTE.

(http://defencewire.blogspot.com/)

Read Full Post »

A small unit of the Sri Lanka Army’s elite Special Forces were infiltrating LTTE controlled Madu sector on information obtained from credible sources last Tuesday. Their mission was to eliminate the LTTE’s special commander ‘Col.’ Jeyam who was placed in charge of Mannar to reorganize LTTE defenses against Army attacks in recent months. Jeyam was touring the area along with the Mannar Sea Tiger Leader Lakshman when the Special Forces unit from the 1st Special Forces Regiment infiltrated the area. A powerful roadside bomb was placed to greet Jeyam and Lakshman. The Claymore Mine, similar to an IED than a normal 15kg Claymore, was carefully concealed. The team waited patiently for several hours when a Defender four-wheel-drive jeep was observed darting along the road. The SF unit jumped into action. The bomb was detonated with a deafening noise and the Defender jeep reeled to a halt. The aluminum body of the vehicle was ripped apart and five bodies were observed. It later became evident that it was the LTTE’s Artillery Wing Leader for Madu Puleiwar Annan alias Thuyyawan that was killed. Jeyam and Lakshman had made a split-second decision not to travel on that road, which may very well have saved their lives for the Special Forces don’t usually miss.

Four other LTTE cadres were also killed alongside Thuyyawan. The Madu Artillery Wing Leader was a shrewd and skilled operator who took part in a surprise attack on the Army’s artillery positions several months ago destroying valuable military hardware. He was also responsible for placing artillery guns in close proximity to the sacred Madu Church. The Special Forces team that eliminated Thuyyawan was not the Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol (LRRP) team from 3SF. They were all members of 1SF, part of the overall assault team assembled against the LTTE in Madu.

Meanwhile the Sri Lanka Air Force carried out an aerial attack on an LTTE Fibre Glass Boat Manufacturing Yard south of Kilinochchi in the general area Murukandi. The boatyard was originally situated along the Mulaithivu coast but was later brought further in towards Kokavil and reestablished at Murukandi. Murukandi is famous for an ancient Kovil of Lord Ganesha, a Hindu Deity much venerated by both the Hindus and Buddhists prior to the Tamil uprising.

In another development in the political situation, the JVP has pledged support for the government’s Budget, on condition that the government withdrew from the Cease-Fire Agreement singed in 2002 with the LTTE. President Mahinda Rajapakse has sought a meeting with top-ranking JVPers to discuss the issue further.

(http://defencewire.blogspot.com)

Read Full Post »

International Human Rights Day falls on the 10th of December. This article which highlights the violation of the rights of women & children and exploitation of women could be used as a runup to mark this important day.

Mani Ratnam is a popular Tamil and Hindi film director, who also directed ‘Bombay’, a film which went on to become a box office hit.

He recently came out with a Tamil production depicting the life of a young mother who enrolled in the Tiger ranks. It was aptly named ‘Kannaththil Muththamittal’ (A kiss on the cheek) and was filmed on location in Jaffna.

The story opens with a young widow joining the ranks of the Tigers after her husband also an LTTE fighter was shot dead by the army. They had a little child who was given by her for adoption to a young couple in Tamil Nadu. The child grows up and attends school. She learns that her real mother was in Jaffna. She keeps on asking for her mother and finally the adopted parents decide to visit Jaffna in their search for the mother.

They have a Sinhalese doctor friend in Colombo and he offers to help them. After clearing several hurdles the little girl comes face to face with her biological mother. Emotions swell within the mother and she yearns to hold her daughter and hug her. She is waging a battle within her. She could deny that she is the mother of the girl but her emotions and her facial expressions tend to betray her. The mother in her military fatigues cries that she cannot leave the organization. She forces herself to tell her daughter to go with her adopted parents and disappears into the thick jungle and mingles with the shadows of the trees. The dreams of the child who is drawn to her mother are shattered and the mother, for her part, sheds silent tears for disowning her child.

This story is not peculiar to only one mother and her child. This is the sad story of hundreds of mothers who joined the ranks of the LTTE. Even though the story is depicted in the cinema the incident portrayed manifests the tearful stories of the separation of mother and child in their hundreds in the Wanni. Mothers have lost their lives for an endless war that is being fought over the past thirty years, sacrificing an entire generation of children who are cruelly deprived of enjoying the warmth of a mother’s embrace and guidance. This is Wanni, the heartland without a heart.

Children need a loving atmosphere, where they can grow up playing and attending school. There are organizations dedicated to protecting the rights of children, calling a halt to child recruitment, but seldom have we heard a cry of concern for these young mothers. It is strange that no statements are issued by international organizations against victimization of women who are forced to shed blood when it is in their nature to nurture their offspring with blood transformed into mother’s milk.

The LTTE continues to use innocent women, to play the most cruel role of suicide bombers and to swell its ranks of fighters.

There is currently a concerted campaign carried out worldwide to promote breast feeding so that children can be given a good start in life. The mother is everything for a child and she occupies a place alongside God. We can assume that even Prabhakaran learnt the stanzas that there is no temple holier than the mother in his young days. There can not be greater violation of human rights as serious and more eroding than preventing a child enjoying the embrace and affection of its mother, wherever they may be. It has been proved that a child that is deprived of a mother’s affection fails to show any compassion when it grows up, spreading hatred all around.

The LTTE is using the poverty and innocence as well as a feeling of frustration among young women to transform them into human bombs and reject their very own children. On the other hand, they use these abandoned children as cannon fodder while the hierarchy enjoys a serene atmosphere in their heavily guarded abodes ,bring up their children overseas including attending top drawer schools..

The lives lost in 2007 alone
* Bodies of female LTTE cadres were found after the LTTE carried out at an attack on the Janakapura colony in Polonnaruwa on 25th January 2007.

* Several bodies of female Tiger cadres were recovered after the LTTE fought a sea battle with the Navy in the Pulmodai sea on February 12th.

* Female Tigers were killed during an LTTE attack at Kokkuthuduwai in Mullaitivu on March the 10th.

*Again on March 27th, at Sittandy in Chenkaladi, bodies of Tiger women cadres were found when the LTTE launched a mortar attack.

* A female Tiger was shot dead when she attempted to infiltrate the Air Force camp in Batticaloa on Mah 27th.

*On June the 10th the LTTE launched a mortar attack at Bandari Puliyankulam in Vavuniya killing three soldiers. A subsequent search found the bodies of Tiger female cadres.

*Then again on June 22nd an LTTE boat was surrounded in the Nilaveli sea in Trincomalee by the Navy. The boats exploded and the body of a female suicide cadre was found wearing a suicide kit.

*On June 30th, after the LTTE launched a mortar attack at Anaiyaru in Vavuniya, the troops found a body of a female Tiger cadre.

*On September the 19th, after a confrontation Marudamadu in Vavuniya, the troops found the bodies of 03 LTTE women cadres.

* Most recently, the bodies of 10 female Tiger cadres were found after a confrontation with the troops at Mullikulam and the bodies of three women cadres after the attack on the Anuradhapura Air base.

These are just a few examples which serve to highlight how women, who nurture the future generations of the nation, had been forced to carry arms and become demons in stark contrast to their loving nature over the past thirty years.

There are many militant organizations throughout the world, calling themselves nationalists and freedom fighters. May be some of them, like the Palestinians, are compelled to launch a protracted struggle to regain their lost country and the Taliban who fought the Soviet invasion; but, none of them had women who fought as regular soldiers in their ranks. .

Despite the claims by the LTTE that they are fighting for a Tamil homeland, up to 1980 all communities including the Tamils lived in the country in harmony scattered throughout the country, plying their trade and following their vocations. The reality is that the LTTE became the aggressor forcibly taking over territory administered by the state and the homes of the Tamil civilians. It is they who expelled the Muslim residents of the North, giving them 24 hours, leaving everything behind. These residents of the North are now compelled to live in refugee camps.This is ethnic cleansing in its worst form.

Now, the democratically elected government has rid the Eastern province of the LTTE and given the people a chance to rebuild their shattered lives. The aggressors have been removed. The government is now engaged in efforts, likewise, to rid the north of the LTTE as well so that the people will be able to lead a peaceful life and look forward to a secure future for their young ones. Strangely enough and in a manner never witnessed in any part of the world, the Sri Lanka government is funding all the services such as hospitals and schools, even in areas illegally occupied by the LTTE. It is paying the salaries of public sector employees, and supplying the residents with food items; of course, the road transport was disrupted when the LTTE attacked the crossing points along the main highway to the North and commandeered convoys of food lorries.

How could the LTTE usurp the people’s wealth and their places of residence against their wish? How could they hang the portrait of Prabhakaran instead of the President of the country? The LTTE is a group of plunderers who have forcibly taken over some areas of the country whereas the people whom they claim to represent are residing in large numbers outside those territories. It is a kind of robbery committed against the people and the government and deserves condemnation by all concerned. It is the duty of the government to punish robbers and save the people from their cruelty. By the same token, those who support the robbers are also guilty of an offence. Other militant groups of the world claim to fight to redeem their usurped land while, ironically, in Sri Lanka the security forces are engaged in efforts to rid the LTTE of parts of Sri Lanka itself. In this situation, it is an unpardonable sin for a rogue group to exploit women and children to advance their personal goals. , including sacrificing the lives of these women and children with out any remorse. Prabhakaran who cannot face either democratic election or survive in a democratic environment has look himself and thousands of innocent people into a set up controlled by the LTTE which is gradually and steadily destroying their lives.

Suicide squad
The Black Tiger suicide squad of the LTTE has so far carried out more than 75 suicide attacks. It is a sad and shocking fact that a third of these suicide cadres had been women.

Commencing from the assassination of former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, gullible women had been brainwashed to stalk their targets through walking as human bombs, causing much blood shed in Sri Lanka. Gamini Dissanayake and others were blown up while attending a meeting by a female suicide bomber. It was a female bomber who attempted to assassinate Army Commander Sarath Fonseka. Female suicide bombers were involved in the bomb explosion opposite the Air Force headquarters .

International Human Rights Day falls on the 12th of December. This article which highlights the violation of the rights of women & children and exploitation of women could be used as a run up to mark this important day.

Looking at the blood stained trail, it becomes strikingly clear that the safety of civilians had never been a concern of the LTTE. According to International Terrorism Expert, Rohan Gunaratne, the LTTE had been responsible for 2/3rd of the suicide bombings carried out worldwide.

All right thinking people should understand the cruelty of the LTTE leadership in sending innocent women to certain death. Mrs. Prabhakaran who enjoyed foreign hospitality until the CFA was signed, is not on record as having attended any event to ameliorate the condition of women, not even events marking the memory of Malathi whom the LTTE portrays as a great female fighter.

The principal negotiator for the LTTE, Dr. Anton Balasingham always enjoyed the cold climes and the company of his White wife without being a part of Sri Lankan life. LTTE leader V.Prabakharan is more concerned on leaving behind the Rs.80 billion rupee legacy to his son than serving the people with that money. None of the womenfolk of the LTTE leaders have set an example sacrificing their lives.

The LTTE is exploiting the orphaned and abandoned children as well as the poor women, giving them training in ghostly jungle hideouts. They are being exposed to macho films and blood letting. They also hold aloft the promise that their families will be rewarded for their sacrifices. They are also brainwashed creating within them a sense of reverence with annual celebrations remembering those who are dead.

The LTTE is also said to have engaged in another unforgivable act by letting loose its thugs to selectively rape women and then putting the blame on the troops. By doing so they are able to win more unsuspecting recruits to their ranks. May be they are following the dictum that All is Fair in Love and War.

Is it not the right time for the international community to focus its search light on the barbaric acts of the LTTE in sending women as human bombs to blow up other human beings?

(http://www.defence.lk)

Read Full Post »

Advertisements