February 5, 2009

It is a systematic genocide under the garb of war on terror in Sri Lanka!

In our previous issue of The Sunday Indian, after my editorial, we had carried a special feature by Mr. Lasantha Wickrematunge, the late Editor of the Sri Lankan newspaper, The Sunday Leader. We carried this as a special feature just because Mr.Lasantha almost knew that he was going to be assassinated, before he actually was! He also knew that his assassinator was already known very well to none other than his long time ‘friend’ and the current President of Sri Lanka, Mahinda Rajapaksa, who strangely (or perhaps, not so strangely, given his clear complicity) refused to take any action.

In fact, the civil war in Sri Lanka between LTTE and government forces is reaching its culmination with a decisive victory for the Sri Lankan army. While the defeat of LTTE, one of the world’s deadliest terror organizations and the one which pioneered the concept of suicide bombings, is no doubt great news (all the greater, because of the fact that it was this LTTE that has been responsible for the assassination of one of India’s most dynamic Prime Ministers, Rajiv Gandhi), on the other hand, under the guise of war, the current government has been creating a humanitarian crisis of a gargantuan proportion by systematically cleansing the Tamil ethnicity. In other words, it’s a clear genocide of Tamils! Even if one accepts the fact that a substantial majority of Lankan Tamils have now settled in either the southern part of the country or have become expatriates in Europe and other parts of the world, and that many nowadays prefer to distance themselves from the activities of the LTTE, and though the incumbent Lankan government has been slimly ‘pledging’ equal rights for the Tamils there, it’s a known fact that a large number of Tamils (almost 250,000) have been caught in the crossfire between the army and the LTTE. Thousands of innocents have been forced to part with their lives simply because the current government evidently doesn’t want to distinguish between the LTTE and those who have been inhabitants of towns like Mullaitivu, the erstwhile stronghold of the LTTE. Moreover, the means the government has adopted to shutout any voice of dissent in the mainstream media against government action through jailing as well as systematically killing journalists – as in Lasantha’s case – is completely unacceptable. Under the current regime, the state of affairs has deteriorated to such an extent that Sri Lanka has now globally become one of the most dangerous place for journalists and media organizations. In fact, in the latest released reports, The International Federation for Journalists has put the nation as the second most dangerous for journalists after Iraq. Along with Mr. Lasantha, other respectable journalists have been either put behind bars or have disappeared completely. The government has itself admitted to the fact that since January 2006, almost nine journalists have been killed.

For a country like India, terrorism has not been a new thing and our own past experience in terms of dealing with this menace indicates that any attempt to systematically persecute a community for the atrocities by a select few is not only inhuman but always backfires. The literal genocide of the Sikhs in Delhi, after the assassination of Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards, is an ideal case in point, when thousands of innocent Sikhs had to sacrifice their lives. It is ironic that they were from the same Sikh community which valiantly fought back against terrorism and made sure that Punjab remains a most secure part of India. This was rather possible because the Indian government was successful in restoring confidence in the minds of the common Sikhs and trusted them with weapons to fight back the terror menace, whose ill effects did not spare the Sikhs either.

Though it is a fact that Sri Lanka wouldn’t have been able to have such a decisive victory without the use of air power, it is also a fact that the collateral damage associated with such aerial assaults in terms of civilian casualties has been far higher than its real effectiveness. Worst is the fact that in the name of war on terror, hospitals and schools have been targeted! Whether or not this ongoing genocide of innocent Tamils is serving any purpose of the current government, it is definite that this onslaught is definitely alienating the Tamil community far more from the mainstream. After this chapter, it would be impossible for the current or the future governments to bridge this alienation and it would invariably support the cause of violent terror organizations to justify their future wars.

The conventional war against LTTE might mostly be over; but perhaps it’s time for the short battles to start. And the Sri Lankan government knows it very well that it’s only a matter of time before the LTTE hits back with renewed vengeance with an array of suicide attacks and guerilla ambush encounters (if not a full scale war), tactics it has mastered perfectly over the years. If the Sri Lankan government continues its suppression and fails to fulfill its promise of giving all the rights to Tamils and continues with its discrimination and systematic genocide, it would only be a matter of time before another Prabhakaran and another LTTE are born, even if the incumbent ones are dead by now.




What choice did Sri Lanka have?

Very few, militarily. The island nation saw it being bifurcated and being run under two separate law. LTTE was created - it backfired on its masters.

However, today it was its own master, and maybe it is time, the top bosses came to India and we use their services up on our western borders.


Sridhar said...

Sir, I totally agree with what you have said but the sad part is in this battle between the Lankan Government and LTTE the innocent Tamil civilaians in Lanka are the ones bearing all the brunt and if this bloody battle continues it may end up leading to the extinction of an entire race...


In other words, it’s a clear genocide of Tamils!
Dear Arindham
Good to see this article from a person who is from the eastern part of India and as a Tamil Guy iam replying you on this blog.
Will u allow me to takeover your house after staying for 20 days and claim that i need half of your house this is what the Tamils there are doing and they tried that in Malaysia also where they are beaten up
For last 25 years they had everything seperate and because caring for these people Tamilnadu lost a great PM in their land and we dont anymore want these people to come in TN and kill others
We welcome the Genoicde happening there

vijay Business Man said...

Recently only i saw your blog all the statements are fine and good . I also regularly follow your magazines.

Great work

Pranav said...


I agree with you,it is the same system of operation it was done by Pakistanis in East Bengal(Bangladesh)I am really more than happy inspite of the hectic schedule you are able to understand these plights-Regards Pranav Guha Thakurta C.E.O. Indiaretailvacancies.com

SeRiOuS said...

What should be India's stance??
Your blog was really interesting. In-fact many few people in India have realized the seriousness of situation in our neighbourhood. But I would like to know what role should India play now?? As India is too behind the plight of Tamils in Sri Lanka, for e.g.

When LTTE was born after massacre by Solomon Bhandarnaike Govt. Tamils in India too started protesting, this gave rise to many regional parties in Tamil Nadu lead by film-stars. Tamil Nadu was a bastion of Congress. So PM Indira Gandhi to gain tamil support in the region started helping LTTE through RAW. That strategy paid off. Huge cache of arms were sent from TN to SL, even ships containing arms imported from east asia were allowed to harbour safely on the coast of Tamil Nadu. Tamils were not wrong, as they were fighting for justice, but I guess their way of operation was inhuman. This went on for several years with the help of RAW.
After few years Rajiv Gandhi came to power tried to change the scenario, got killed. It was sad that an Indian PM assassinated due to neibhour's internal ruckus. Regional parties in Tamil Nadu are still openly supporting LTTE.
What I want to say is that Indian Politics is always an influential factor in SriLanka's internal war. But in present scenario the Indian Govt isn't doing enough to save the Tamils (who are originally Indians migrated there 100-200 years back) or end the war, govt is just a mum spectator. Does the most powerful country in SAARC nations is shying away??
I would like to ask you what should be Indian Govt's stance?? Support the terrorist LTTE, or the SL Govt(who in disguise is as dangerous as terrorist) ??

-Salil, student, Mumbai

paul said...

Sir, Most of the people do know the history behind this conflict.As claimed by some media and Srilankan history ( which is a pure lie),Tamils are not recent migrants to the island nation.History tells that, tamils were spread all over the region throughout tamil nadu and srilanka and have been inhabitants there for centuries.Tamil kings had different kingdoms all over tamilnadu and srilanka.There were trade relations between the two lands. you can find so many tamil names for the places in srilanka like vanni,mullaithivu etc.Tamils are inhabitants of that land as long as the singalese are.Infact,the northern and southern srilanka were two different kingdoms,which were united by the britishers and the political power was handed over to the singalese. Recent migrants are the ones who went their as labourer during british era. But the rich business class ( the yalpanam or elam tamils)have been inhabitants of that land for centuries. Tamils are not migrants, they have been living in that land as long as the singhalese have been. The world is unaware of this fact and looking at the srilankan conflict in a different view.Tamils and singhalese have equal rights over the land, as hindus,muslims,christians,sikhs,buddhists or any religion having equal rights in India. LTTE is a terror organisation alright, then what about the srilankan army which is targeting innocent people. This same army which was a mere spectator during the genocide of tamils in 1983 which was openly supported by many singalese politicians. Being the Government's army doesn't mean that it would always do the right thing and the crime commited by it is pardonable. Recently a news was released where the srilankan army commander announced to its troops that from now onwards all the tamil women in srilanka are your's and the Indian ocean should be filled with tamil men's blood. Is only LTTE a terrorist organisation? What about Srilankan Army? People of India should think over it.

PRAKASH said...

The killing of Mr. Lasantha Wickrematunge was very sad with his story covered by your magazine was very painful. Loss of Rajiv Gandhi was a big tragedy for India. But the question is How & Why did this terrorist (LTTE) organisation come into being? Who is responcible for it?


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