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Archive for November 22nd, 2007

The support presently extended by Tamil Nadu and its Leaders to solve the ethnic problem is counter productive and will not in any way lead to finding a reasonable solution. Hence I make a strong plea that all concerned parties in Tamil Nadu should forget their differences and work unitedly towards finding a reasonable solution within a United Sri Lanka. All political parties and individuals in Tamil Nadu should not only forget about a separate state of Tamil Eelam but also stop giving encouragement to separation. The International Community is totally opposed to separation and India in particular had repeatedly said that it is committed to the Unity, Sovereignty and Territorial Integrity of Sri Lanka. Continuing to fight for separation will mean wastage of time, loss of life and destruction of property. Every Indian should be convinced of this fact.

As a Tamil Senior citizen in politics for over fifty years and also as an Ex-Parliamentarian, I am very well aware of the ethnic problem and also know what the solution should be. I represented the Kilinochchi Electorate in Parliament for fourteen years and was responsible for creating the Kilinochchi District where the LTTE have their Head-Quarters, about 200 yards away from my house. Views expressed by me in this appeal could be taken as true and authoritative and any one could challenge any part of what is contained in this appeal. The concerns of 60 Million people of Tamil Nadu for the people of the same ethnic group just 20 miles across the Palk-Strait in Sri Lanka, is understandable. That is why I request Tamil Nadu to act with care and caution in its dealings with the Sri Lankan Ethnic Problem and not to get swayed by emotional and inflammatory speeches that could incite the people. If Tamil Nadu is honestly interested in seeing a reasonable solution, it should first of all understand the ground situation.

THAMILCHELVAN’S DEATH.

Mr.S.P.Thamilchelvan was not assassinated like Mahathma Gandhi or Martin Luther King, for Tamil Nadu to react hotly. One should not fail to realize that the LTTE is at war with the Sri Lankan Government and Mr. Thamilchelvan died in action. Both sides had been going all out to score over the other. Even recently the LTTE made several attempts to assassinate important personalities, only to glorify themselves. They targeted the Defense Secretary Mr. Gothabaya Rajapakse who narrowly escaped death but several security persons and the suicide bomber died on the spot. A similar attempt was made to kill the Commander of the Army, Lieutenant General Sarath Fonseka who was very seriously injured and recovered after a long stay in the hospital but many security officers and the suicide bomber died on the spot. The two suicide bombers were Tamils forcibly separated from their parents, brain washed thoroughly and sacrificed by the LTTE. Is Thamilchelvan not responsible for the killing of these two suicide bombers? is a question everyone should ask. How can anyone blame the army for targeting Mr. Thamilchelvan? In fact Mr. Thamilchelvan should have been charged for the murder of the suicide bombers, atleast for aiding and abetting. Holding demonstrations and public meetings protesting against the death of a person, second in command of an organization once respected by a section of the Tamil people ass but later lost their credibility due to their atrocious   activities, has no meaning. Further more it is not a matter for the International Community to bother about, when the Sri Lankan Tamils themselves did not bother much about it. Lack of proper understanding of the ground situation and the LTTE’s false propaganda had created so much of excitement and exaggerated sympathy in Tamil Nadu for a person who should have been properly dealt with by the court of law for aiding and abetting suicides of innocent and brain washed persons who have lost their thinking capacity. Thissts and demonstrations for an unjustifiable cause will only give encouragement to the LTTE to prolong the war that can never be won.  freedom fighter type of prote

Much had been said by various people from all parts of the world condemning Mr. Thamilchelvan’s killing. Some said that the Peace process had come to an end. Some others said that the “Peace Dove” had been slain. The unfortunate situation isse living just 20 miles across the Palk-Strait do not know the real ground situation. For reasons not known a large section of the Tamil media all over the world do not publish news about the real situation prevailing in Tamil areass have to know of the prevailing situation is for an all party team to visit the North and the East including areas under the control of the LTTE.   that even tho under the control of the LTTE. The only option the Indian

A CRUEL EPISODE.

A cruel incident that took place only ten days before the killing of Thamilchelvan need to be mentioned here for which Mr. Thamilchelvan should be held solely responsible. His Leader Mr. Prabaharan after posing for photographs with the twenty one to-be victims vanished in-to his bunker, leaving the dirty job in the hands of Mr. Thamilchelvan. Twenty one young boys and girls compulsorily recruited to the LTTE cadre, like thousands of others, were thoroughly brain washed and given the thrill of having had their last supper with their leader and also posed for a photograph with him and sent to Anuradhapura Airport alive, only to return dead. According to the ICRC no one requested them to take charge of the dead bodies of the 21 young boys and girls who lost their lives for no valid reason. Can the society pardon this so called “Peace Dove” for cruelly murdering or foolishly sacrificing these 21 boys and girls, all of whom are brave and talented and could have been put to better use for developing the country.

Will any parent be in Sri Lanka, India or in any other part of the world, or anyone of the 22 TNA Members of Parliament who act as proxies of the LTTE or any Political Leader or anyone contributing to the LTTE’s fund and championing the cause of the LTTE, undertake to hand over one of his or her sons or daughters to the LTTE’s suicide cadre to be sent on a suicide mission, in which case I will be prepared to hail the LTTE as real heros. But unfortunately the information we have is that the children of the LTTE Leaders including those of Mr. Thamilchelvan are educated in foreign countries, while children of poor parents are conscripted and sent to the battle front after three months training. Most of them do not return alive from the battle front and the dead are honoured posthumously with titles to suit their age and seniority. Parents who refuse to hand over their children to the LTTE are severely assaulted and those failed to save their children from conscription had even committed suicide. I hope any one in future will think several times before they decide to take part in any pro-LTTE demonstration.

Properly speaking Mr. Thamilchelvan and Mr. Prabaharan should have been charged for the murder of the 21 boys and girls because they were sent to Anuradhapura Airport under compulsion with full knowledge that they will not return alive. But the innocent people of Tamil Nadu are misled to the extent of hailing the LTTE as heros. I am sure not one single person will take part in any demonstration in the future to glorify the LTTE. There is enough evidence to prove that prior to going on the suicide mission they had taken a group photograph with Mr. Prabaharan and therefore he should tell the world the circumstances under which these 21 young boys and girls died at the Anuradhapura Airport. This is the first time in the history of the LTTE’s atrocities that some concrete evidence is available to prove their guilt. The photographs taken by Mr. Prabaharan with the 21 boys and girl who died in the Anuradhapura operation appeared in the local papers and in the LTTE’s web site the very next day. This is enough proof that all these 21 victims were last seen alive with Mr. Prabaharan. It is a matter for the International Community to pressurize the Sri Lankan Government to take action against the LTTE for such a serious violation of Human Rights. In all seriousness I ask everyone who had taken part in the demonstrations and public meetings organized to condemn the killing of Mr. Thamilchelvan whether they will dare to give over their children as recruits to the LTTE’s suicide cadre. If not what moral right one has to glorify the LTTE at the expense of the death of the children of poor parents who do not have the guts to speak out. Even the Government of Sri Lanka and the United Nations are not prepared to come to their rescuer. This is a matter the International Community should take up at the United Nations level.

THE PLIGHT OF THE MUSLIMS AND THE TAMILS IN THE NORTH.

I will be failing in my duty if I do not bring to the notice of the people of Tamil Nadu of the cruel treatment meted out to the Muslim People of the Northern Province for whom Tamil is the mother tongue. All the Muslims irrespective of sex or age were asked to leave behind all their possessions and quit the Northern Province in 24 hours. Even the ear studs of small children were not spared. During the last 17 years they are languishing in over 160 refugee camps in the South with the Sinhalese. They are living under very pathetic conditions hoping to return to their homes one day in the future, without LTTE’s interference.

Due to fear of compulsory recruitment by the LTTE more than 300 Tamil children are living in the custody of the Human Right Commission, strangely enough in the areas under the control of the Government. This is the plight of the TamilsJaffna which is under the control of the Government. More than half of the Tamil population live in the south among the Sinhalese and Muslims. Therefore the charge of annihilation of the Tamils by the Sinhalese is a mere fabrication of the LTTE. What the Tamils need today is liberation from the so called LTTE liberators. It is very important that a team of leaders from Tamil Nadu to visit the North including the areas under the control of the LTTE, to see for themselves as to what is happening and how Tamils suffer under the LTTE.      living in

WHAT THE SRI LANKAN TAMILS EXPECT FROM TAMIL NADU

I am not one who rejoices at one’s death. I do not want death to come even to my worst enemy. All my regret is that Mr. Prabaharan knowing fully well that his mission is only a wild goose chase and never achievable, continues to sacrifice our youths in their thousands. I believe he has already sacrificed more than 20 thousand Tamil boys and girls most of whom had been recruited forcibly much against the protests of the parents. Every day a good number of boys and girls are sent to the battlefront not to return alive. Apart from this more than 10 thousand Tamils from other Tamil groups also had been killed by them. On the whole over 70 thousand lives, Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims had been lost, several thousand had become disabled and more than 30 thousand widowed and orphaned. Above all several billions worth of property had been destroyed because of the LTTE’s foolish war with the Government.

I strongly urge the Leaders and the People of Tamil Nadu to take into serious consideration the several matters brought out in this urgent appeal and to demonstrate against Mr. Prabaharan demanding him to cry halt to his meaningless war and to come to terms with the Government of Sri Lanka, giving up his demand for separation and to agree for a Federal Solution or as an alternative to agree for an Indian Model for which very wide support among the Sri Lankans can be obtained.  Let Tamil Nadu not make a historical blunder by supporting the LTTE. Instead every one must get together, forgetting all their political differences and give all co-operation to those who are involved in the peace process.

V. Anandasangaree,

President – TULF.

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Sri Lanka, the Sinhalese and Tamils lived in harmony for many centuries. They shared customs, cultures and traditionss lifestyle in our country. which helped to maintain a harmoniou

In Buddhist temples there was always a place of worship for Hindu devotees. The Buddhists even believe that the God Vishnu is the protector of Buddhism in Sri Lanka. God Subramanium or Skandha who is upposed to have resided in Kataragama is respected by most Sri Lankan Buddhists.

In fact all Sri Lankan Buddhists, when they perform any religious service, transfer merit to these deities.

During King Mahanama’s reign in Anuradhapura some monks who belonged to the Abhayagiri Vihara were exiled as they accepted the Vaitulya Vada tradition. The monks who lived in Danakataka Vihara in Southern India were supported by Tamil Buddhists. It is also stated that during the Anuradhapura period, Sinhalese monks have lived in Danakataka Vihara. Ven. Buddhagosa the well known Buddhist commentator who composed, The Path of Purification/ (Visuddhimagga) may have been a Tamil from South India.

Ven. Anuruddha, another Buddhist scholar who wrote “Manual of Abhidhamma” was a Tamil monk too.

In recent years Professor Ananda Coomaraswamy, a distinguished Sri Lankan Buddhist Tamil scholar, taught Buddhism at Harvard University. He can be introduced as one of the pioneer Buddhist propagators in the U.S.A. It must be mentioned, that a few of the Sinhala Buddhist monks, who turned out to be world renown scholars learned English in Colombo and Jaffna from Tamil scholars.

Some notable facts that I wish to state here, are my own. Before 1983 the majority of students in the Colombo and Peradeniye Medical College and the Engineering Faculty were Tamil. In Sri Lanka, there were numerous Tamil doctors, engineers, and civil servants. We had a beautiful rapport with everyone, Sinhalese, Tamil, Muslim and Burghers.

So why is it different now?

It is obvious the root cause is due to the ruthless, terrorist organization led by Velupillai Prabhakaran. The LTTE cadre forced the educated professional Tamils to flee the country. The terrorists did not leave the families of the immigrantsssed, ransoms demanded, jewelry and property taken by force. The children were kidnapped, forced into army training camps. It did not end there; the Tamils who remained were tortured by the LTTE. As a result, anyone who could afford migrated to Europe, Canada , U.S.A., Australia, New Zealand, etc. We are sad that over three million innocent people, left their motherland reluctantly due to the atrocities of the LTTE. alone. They were hara

The LTTE killed not only the Sinhala politicians such as President Premadasa, Gamini Dissanayaka, Lalith Athulathmudali, but also killed Amirthalingum, Kadiragama, Tiruchellum and many other distinguished, educated politicians. The LTTE killed the Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Ghandi, an international figure in May 1991. This resulted in a no faith attitude towards the Sri Lankan Tamils by the Indians. Moreover due to the LTTE terrorist activities the world has begun to shun not only Sri Lankan Tamils, but all Tamils.

Even though the Tamils are a religious and non-violent group of people who try to preserve their ancient traditions, yet the world has come to view them in a different light. Today, some Tamils who fear the LTTE have come to Colombo, the capital to live with the Sinhalese. In fact, now in Colombo the majority are Tamils.

The Tamils who live in the North and East of Sri Lanka are in an unfortunate situation. They cannot escape from the North to go anywhere. They are controlled by the LTTE, during the past 25 years most of the Tamil children were not allowed to study. They were trained to kill non-believers of the LTTE. They instilled anger, hatred and ill will in the children. The Tamils, were mostly Hindus and vegetarian, they were a non-violent group. Unfortunately the LTTE destroyed their culture. However, Prabakaran’s children are studying in the U.K. along with the children of the leading LTTE cadres.

For human beings, the most valuable period in life is their childhood. At this time they should be nourished, have parental care and love, be allowed to play and think freely without fear, and be given a good  education. None of the above was given to the children in the LTTE controlled areas.

As teenagers, they should have the freedom to socialize, in maturity they should be allowed to marry. The youth in these areas had none of these opportunities.

Why aren’t the Human Rights Organizations condemning the LTTE’s activities? Why do they blame those who try to liberate the innocent people?

In world history, we cannot find a single organization that has  destroyed a great Sri Lankan Tamil culture and civilization. Yet because of fear, the average Tamil is turning a deaf ear to the happenings.

In the past there would have been instances of wrong doings due to lack of spiritual understanding, due to the greediness of politicians and a lack of vision. However in Sri Lanka the situation is different now. This generation has mutual respect, problems can be solved by discussion and negotiations. Lives have been lost needlessly on both sides, due to a lack of communication and a lack of commitment to peaceably solve our  problems.

This is the time to close the chapters of the past and open new avenues. We must respect each other and strive to live in peace as one nation.

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The public living outside LTTE-dominated areas are warned to be wary of possible NGO-organized blood donation campaigns in the South for “civilian victims” of the fighting in the North.

The warning comes in the wake of reports of the dramatic rise in the casualty percentage of the Tigers following battles in the forward defence lines in the Wanni and Muhamali as well as SLAF bombing raids on LTTE camps. They are now organizing blood donation campaigns for their injured cadres.

It is understood that the Tiger leadership is also exploring the possibility of getting blood from donors outside LTTE-dominated areas via their sympathizers in the South. These are the ‘peaceniks’ whose way of building “bridges of friendship” between North and the South is to bend over backwards to appease the Tigers and urging the government to do the same.

It would also be important to note who will volunteer to donate blood in the event such a campaign is organized on the sly is organized in the South.

(http://www.sinhala.net)

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BBC Presenter: We will take a look at the situation in Sri Lanka and the continuing violence in the north of the country between government forces and Tamil Tiger rebels. It has been increasing in intensity with artillery fire, air and naval bombardment. Back in 2002 a cease fire was negotiated by Norway and it was agreed by the government and the LTTE; the Tamil Tiger rebel group. But by December 2005, that cease fire was in shreds although officially it remains in place. According to government figures over 5000 people have since died. Earlier this month the head of the Tamil Tigers’ political wing S.P. Thamilchelvan was killed in a government air force raid. He was the most senior Tamil leader to die in recent years. On the very same day colonel Karuna, leader of a breakaway faction was arrested in London and held in immigration detention. Human Rights groups accused him of crimes including torture and recruiting child soldiers. The Asian Human Rights Commission is now criticising both the government and rebel forces for what it calls the extrajudicial killing of civilians. They claim that in October alone 53 ordinary Sri Lankans died in this way. So is there a peace process left, is there any point in talking about peace? Joining me now is Dr. Rajiva Wijesinha, Secretary General for the Co-ordination for the Peace Process. So that’s the key question I must ask you – Is there any kind of credible peace process or process that might lead to peace, on the table, apart from war?

Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha: The most important thing is negotiation. Unfortunately, the LTTE Tigers have not been willing to negotiate, basically for 4 years, although there were brief talks last year. What the government has done is, it has thought that it should really discuss a future constitutional package with the non-LTTE Tamils plus other minorities. And there is an on-going process.

BBC Presenter: But the All Party process, I think, that you are referring to – Tamil National Alliance isn’t a part of it, the main opposition isn’t a part of it, what did you hope to gain by killing S.P.Thamilselvan? After all he was one of main public faces and one of the negotiators of the LTTE.

Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha: If he was committed to peace we should have actually had talks. I think the poor man was withdrawn from peace talks. In fairness let’s give him the benefit of the doubt. He had been in military fatigue during most of the last year, but even assuming that he really wanted to negotiate; as he is dead let us give him that benefit, the LTTE withdrew him twice. We still hope that perhaps even now they will return to the table.

BBC Presenter: But it is rather unlikely that you have taken out one of their chief negotiators on the very same day we saw colonel Karuna arrested here in London and the charge that’s put is that it was the Sri Lankan government that enabled him to travel – to get him out of the way – on a diplomatic passport.

Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha: That charge I have certainly read and it is conceivable but when I first saw he was in London I thought that this was a wonderful British way of removing a problem and agreeing to have him.

BBC Presenter: Not a wonderful Sri Lankan government way?

Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha: I thought it was conceivable that they were together, but certainly all indications are that British knew nothing about it – which is remarkable.

BBC Presenter: But indications are that the British government was quite upset with Sri Lanka for how that happened?

Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha: You have to recognise that in the murky world of people who have been militants or whatever in the past, perhaps trying to reform perhaps not doing so, there are agencies at work that perhaps would not be in an official government position, just as they might not be in an official British government position. But I think certainly the fact that Karuna is no longer in the East would help in reducing some of the tension. The problem in the north must be resolved through talks but if they are not happening with the LTTE, then we have to talk to whoever is willing. And that is what the government is trying to do, to produce a package that is serious devolution within the context of a united Sri Lanka.

BBC Presenter: Is there a way ahead in concrete terms apart from just talking the needs of negotiations?

Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha: I think it is pretty remarkable that the Trotskyite who heads the APRC has managed to bring together two sides that seemed at logger heads – one saying you need a merger of two provinces and other saying nothing larger than a district – into a consensus on the unit of the devolution, which of course we have discussed with India as well. And this is in terms of the 1987 peace accord which I think couldn’t be properly implemented as the LTTE started fighting with India. So in a sense we should implement that if possible with full devolution so that the minorities could have the political rights that in the 80’s they were pretty badly deprived of.

(http://www.lankaweb.com)

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NAVAL PATROL CRAFT rescued four Tamil youth at sea, who were fleeing from LTTE conscription, in Pallemunai, Mannar on the 21st November 2007 around 7 a.m.

     The group consisting of two males and two females were in the ages between 15 and 23. They had fled from Kilinochchi, Vedithaltivu and Punagar areas where the LTTE carries out forcible recruitment of youth and children to replenish their fast dwindling cadres. The youth had been swimming towards Pallemunai at great risks to their lives when they were spotted and rescued by the naval personnel.

     The highly exhausted youth, who were under fatigue from swimming for hours at sea, had revealed that they fled from the LTTE clutches due to the harassment, forcible recruitment and abductions carried out by the LTTE in their residential areas where the terror outfit tries to impose its dictates at gun point.

     The youth had further confessed that they were threatened with torture unless they surrendered themselves to undergo combat training in LTTE camps. The two male youth were aged 15 and 20 respectively while the females were 15 and 23 in age.

     The four youth were directed to the Mannar Police for further investigations.

(http://www.army.lk)

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Sri Lanka’s cabinet has banned a charitable organisation accused of raising funds for the Tamil Tiger rebel group, a step analysts saw as a move towards fully outlawing the rebels.

The Sri Lankan government’s decision on Wednesday to prohibit the Tamils Rehabilitation Organisation (TRO) came a week after the United States imposed sanctions against the charity.

“We have found this organisation is funding the LTTE, so now we have decided to proscribe TRO in Sri Lanka at yesterday’s cabinet meeting,” said cabinet spokesman and minister Anura Priyadarsana Yapa, refering to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.

The government will also investigate how TRO spent the money and other resources it received.

The U.S. Treasury, on November 15, designated the TRO organisation as a terrorist support group under an executive order that bans Americans from transactions with it and freezes any assets it may have under U.S. jurisdiction.

It said the TRO has raised funds in the United States for the LTTE through a network of individual representatives.

MARXISTS DEMAND LTTE BAN

Citing sources within the organisation, the U.S. Treasury said the charity group is the “preferred conduit of funds from the United States to the LTTE in Sri Lanka”.

The Tigers say they are fighting for an independent state for minority Tamils in Sri Lanka’s north and east. Washington first designated the group as a terrorist organisation in 1997.

Hardline Marxists in parliament want the LTTE banned, one of the demands they have made in exchange for supporting the government’s budget.

The Marxist Janatha Vimukthi Peremuna, which has 37 seats in parliament, on Monday voted against the 2008 budget. Although the government won by 16 votes, it would be forced to resign if other minority parties follow suit and withdraw support at the final budget vote on Dec. 14.

Analysts said banning TRO was part of the government’s effort to isolate the Tamil Tigers and its front organisations and win back Marxist support in parliament.

“This decision is in line with the government’s decision to isolate the LTTE which could culminate in the official ban (of the LTTE),” said Jehan Perera, Executive Director at National Peace Council, a nonpartisan activist group. “The government is continuously closing the doors to negotiations and it is continuously closing whatever opening there is for negotiations.”

The military has launched an offensive to drive out the rebels from their northern stronghold in Mannar after evicting them earlier this year from jungle terrain they controlled in the east.

Around 5,000 people have been killed in fighting between the military and LTTE fighters since early 2006. Nearly 70,000 people have been killed and hundreds of thousands displaced since the war erupted in 1983.

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The TNA in parliament yesterday said the government had not tabled any proposals to solve the ethnic problem and justify the war, which would cost the country over Rs. 166 billion next year according to budgetary estimates of the 2007 Appropriation Bill.Speaking on the first day of the committee stage debate of the Budget, TNA Leader R. Sampanthan said the Tamil people wanted the right to internal self determination in the areas of historical habitation of the Tamil speaking people in the North and East.
Mr. Sampanthan charged that President Mahinda Rajapaksa was not honest in his approach to prevent a political solution which satisfies the aspiration of Tamils for self governance. The MP said that in 1983 the Defence expenditure was Rs. 1.7 billion, and now it is Rs. 166 billion.
He stressed that even if the government military campaign destroys Prabhakaran and defeats the LTTE, the Tamil struggle would continue.
He said that the 1981 census showed that 73 percent of Tamils lived in the North and East of the country, while noting that it was ‘worrying’ that President Rajapaksa says that now 54 percent of Tamils live outside the North-East.
Mr. Sampanthan said that only one nine-hundredth (1/900) of the total budget estimates of Rs. 925 billion had been set aside as Capital Expenditure for Social Welfare Minister, Douglas Devananda.He added that only Rs. 2 billion had been set aside for resettlement and disaster relief services, in the Budget.
Mr. Sampanthan said that according to the country’s GDP Defence expenditure ratio, Sri Lanka had the highest relative Defence expenditure in the world, higher than Sudan, Sierra Leone and Myanmar.
He added that Sri Lanka was the most militarized state in South Asia with 8,000 forces personnel per 1 million civilians.

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