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Reparations: Sri Lanka’s War Victims are Not ONLY Tamils & certainly NOT Banned LTTE

The Sri Lankan Government has approved a proposal by a Tamil MP to pay reparations for war-affected & missing persons which include families of LTTE unlawful combatants. LTTE remains a banned terrorist organization, without first holding LTTE on trial for its war crimes against the State of Sri Lanka & its people what kind of lunacy is it to be giving reparations?

Some unanswered questions to everyone presenting these senseless proposals

Where is the justice for every man, woman & child that LTTE killed since 1980s?

What is the compensation paid to every victim of LTTE war crimes & should they not be entitled to compensation before terrorists?

Why has LTTE crimes not been put on trial?

Why have every individual, LTTE fronts, organization, political parties linked to & supporting LTTE over the years (covertly/overtly) not been investigated by appointment of a Presidential Commission? In particular the calls to investigate the TNA-LTTE links has fallen on deaf ears.

What has been the compensation given to all the members of the Armed Forces (dead, injured & living) other than their monthly salaries as it was they who became the first National Army to annihilate a terrorist movement (ground force & leaders)

Why is the present Government & the International Community, in particular the UN system & INGO/NGO network eternally presenting the view that ONLY Tamils are the victims of Sri Lanka conflict? Why have they all forgotten the Sinhalese & Muslim victims. None of the Sinhalese or Muslims have been helped to resettle, to return to their original lands/homes – why is this discrimination against the other communities in Sri Lanka. LTTE killed more Sinhalese & Muslims than they did Tamils, though LTTE killed more Tamils than the Tamils they accuse Sinhalese of killing.

When the LTTE remains banned, why should the Sri Lankan tax payer have to pay compensation to their families? If UN or foreign country insists let them pay from their pockets. Sri Lankan tax payers are taxed enough & to be forced to be taxed to maintain terrorist families is unfair & downright obnoxious.

What is all the more important which this government cannot ignore is that LTTE took to gun to create a separate state, that objective remains linked to the Tamil racist political parties/politicians that are pursuing the same objective as that of the LTTE though differently worded camouflaged in different themes. The 1976 Vaddukoddai Resolution is endorsed by the ITAK the main constituent party of the TNA in its 2008 amended resolution by a footnote. This automatically questions why any government should be naïve to ignore the quest for a separate state without taking the bull by the horns & demanding that the ITAK & all other Tamil parties annul the Vaddukoddai Resolution if they sincerely wish to peacefully coexist with the rest of the communities in Sri Lanka. We have a dormant 6th amendment Article 157 which clearly denies any individual or organization to violate the territorial integrity of Sri Lanka www.lawnet.gov.lk

LTTE combatants by virtue of their designation as a terrorist organization and reference to Sri Lanka’s conflict as a Non-International Armed Conflict are denied status of Prisoners of War or Combatants. So all LTTE members (rehabilitated or not) should be termed Unlawful Combatants only.

The term Enemy Combatant is used only in International Armed Conflicts.

The term War Widows too should not be used in reference to LTTE spouses. War widows are those whose soldier husbands have died in military operations on behalf of a Nation/State. The term is ONLY entitled to be used by the spouses of the Sri Lankan Military whose husband-soldier sacrificed their lives defending the territorial integrity/sovereignty of Sri Lanka. Spouses of terrorists are not entitled to use this term. War Widow title is reserved for ONLY the 27,000 soldiers who died on behalf of the Nation. Elsewhere they are termed Black Widows.

The next issue is the claims of the civilian dead & the LTTE dead or missing. While only wild guestimates prevail with no dead body or skeleton, the repeated question is who actually died & who are actually missing? We know the number of soldiers who died during the final phase, we also know that there are 5000 Missing Soldiers (no one is bothered to even search for their whereabouts) but even those that claim 40,000 or more dead civilians cannot even produce 100 names of the dead!

So anyone throwing wild allegations against the Sri Lankan Military must first provide numbers & details of

  • How many of the supposed dead (whatever numbers they allege) were really civilians as per international definition. That means how many did not take part in any form of hostilities to qualify to be termed ‘civilian’. Please note LTTE had its own trained & armed civilian force & these civilians do not qualify to be called civilians by virtue of their use of arms/ammunition. So how many among these 40,000 supposed civilians were members of the LTTE civilian armed force, for they do not qualify to be termed civilian? Who can answer?
  • How many unarmed civilians were killed by LTTE – from UN & foreign envoy statements it is confirmed that LTTE shot at Tamils who were fleeing to government controlled areas.
  • How many LTTE died in civilian clothing – they don’t qualify as civilians (also note all the 12,000 LTTErs that surrendered to the SL Army were in civilian clothing)
  • Everyone who is placing a figure of dead civilians have conveniently omitted to mention how many of them actually qualify to be referred to as civilians & how many LTTErs died in civilian clothing & how many LTTE killed. Without knowing any of these details everyone is crediting the blame on the Sri Lankan Army only & advocating war crimes tribunals. You can now understand how ridiculous this demand is.

The compensation to LTTE & their families is totally uncalled for & it is astounding that the Government that has yet to pay compensation to the families of disasters – Meethotamulla, Salawa, floods etc is happy to ignore all of them & channel the tax payers money to terrorists.

Shenali D Waduge

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