Shouldn’t the UN & World give priority to the VICTIMS of LTTE killings FIRST?
We are a little puzzled at the manner the UN & the so called international community are handling post-LTTE defeat Sri Lanka. Whatever LTTE is now being presented as, what no one can ignore is the fact that the men, women & children that comprised the LTTE were nothing but cold-blooded murderers. No one forced them to take a gun, no one forced them to kill, no one forced them to end innocent people’s lives but that is exactly what they did since 1970s. Where were all these international players when LTTE attacked villages, when innocent civilians were being cut to death & when bombs & suicide missions were taking place throughout the island? Yet, suddenly after the LTTE defeat, a string of international parties & individuals are holding placards about how the war should have been fought & accusing the National Army of committing war crimes totally ignoring that the Armed Forces would not have been called to eliminate the LTTE if the LTTE did not go about murdering innocent people. Justice should be given to the victims of LTTE first. In order to do that the LTTE war crimes have to be investigated & charged first.
While we are concerned about why LTTE began killing people, who funded & trained them & who supported them over the years as well as who championed their propaganda machinery, what cannot be ignored is that the LTTE was the common enemy of not only Sinhalese, Muslims & foreigners but Tamils too. Everyone who went against the LTTE became victims in some way or the other.
So the question that needs to be answered is who supported the LTTE over the years. Whether they are foreigners, foreign governments, foreign intelligence, politicians, businessmen, academics, artists or even civilians – we need to know who were indirectly or directly supporting LTTE. Nothing happened to these people because of their support to the LTTE.
It is only those that went against the LTTE that ended up in their graves prematurely.
As far as these numbers are concerned they far exceed those that are being quoted by LTTE sources as being killed by the Armed Forces and requoted by members of the international community some of whom have direct links to the LTTE fronts operating from foreign shores.
These links completely nullify any credibility to make allegations when none of the allegations are supported by evidence.
If 40,000 are claimed to have been killed the least anyone making the allegations should do is to present the names & details of the dead which has not been forthcoming and we are into the 9th year of this baseless allegation. So where are the names of this 40000 supposed to be killed people which is the basis on which the National Army is being charged of war crimes. If there are no names of the dead, no dead bodies or even their skeletons how can any soldier be accused of murder? It is such a silly allegation and it is surprising that learned experts are actually not asking themselves this basic question.
Even the Presidential Commission on Missing Persons covering period of 1983 to 2009 has had just over 18,000 logged names of which 5000 are of Missing In Action Armed forces personnel.
Sri Lanka’s conflict is treated as a Non-International Armed Conflict where LTTE an internationally proscribed terrorist movement committed many crimes that violate international laws. The fact that LTTE has been proscribed internationally and that the LTTE ban is annually renewed by every country that banned LTTE since 1997 & 2001 with statements by the US authorities that the LTTE ideology, LTTE fund raising & LTTE support networks remain alive still goes to show that the threat of LTTE remains very much alive.
LTTE cadres escaped to foreign shores & recent arrests & charges against LTTE for killings abroad confirms that the threat of the LTTE continues to persist. All that the LTTE today lacks is a leader of the caliber of Prabakaran – all other apparatus is intact. In such a scenario why are the armed forces being unfairly accused in the UN & what is the logic or ulterior motive behind these allegations?
The National Army is called in by the Government in power to defend the nation & its people. This is exactly what the Armed Forces were called in to do when after failed peace talks, negotiations, even foreign-brokered peace deals failed & the lives of the citizens were more important than giving breathing space for a terrorist movement.
It is not that the LTTE were not given chances to lay down their arms & surrender. Twice the President of the country called upon the LTTE to surrender which LTTE refused. If LTTE refused & declared it would fight to its last man, it was the choice of the LTTE & the Armed Forces cannot be held responsible. No armed conflict exchanges roses. Just as soldiers ended up dead so did LTTE cadres.
The problem is confounded by the fact that civilians did die but LTTE confounded the situation because LTTE had its own CIVILIAN TRAINED ARMY. That means LTTE had a civilian force who were trained in combat operations. These Tamil civilians were trained to kill & fight the Sri Lankan Armed Forces. Can we identify such a dead person as a civilian or even a LTTE cadre – NO we cannot. So how can such a person be categorised as a civilian? This is an example of the blur of distinction and the Soldier cannot be faulted for the death. Every second the soldier takes to verify if the other person was a civilian or LTTE cadre means that he would become a dead soldier & no UN or international body would be weeping for him!
In addition to this, LTTE fought both in uniforms & civilian clothing. It is a fundamental rule of law that any civilian who is involved in hostilities loses their right to civilian status. So if any civilian died – what no one is answering is whether this civilian belonged to the LTTE civilian armed force or whether he/she was a LTTE fighting in civilian clothing. Without that being answered the death cannot be credited to the account of the Sri Lankan soldier.
The other forgotten factor is that the LTTE shot at Tamils fleeing to Army controlled areas – how many did LTTE shoot & kill. No one is answering this and these deaths too cannot be credited to the account of the Sri Lankan soldier.
Let us never forget that the Sri Lankan soldiers while engaged in combat with the LTTE, saved close to 300,000 people in addition to this the Sri Lankan soldiers also accepted close to 12000 LTTE cadres who were all in civilian clothing with over 500 child soldiers. If the Sri Lankan soldiers were murderers why would they save these 12,000 LTTE cadres?
The UN & the international community become a laughing stock if they are ignoring LTTE killings & concentrating only on a witch hunt of the Sri Lankan Armed Forces.
Who started killing first? The LTTE
Who did the LTTE kill first? Innocent men, women & children in villages, on buses, on trains, in public places etc.
Why would the UN & International Community wish to First investigate supposed killings (without evidence) by the Armed Forces & NOT the killings by the LTTE, FIRST?
By virtue of the LTTE being an internationally proscribed terrorist movement the onus is on the UN & foreign governments as well as the Sri Lankan Government to investigate & punish the LTTE FIRST.
- How many LTTE killed
- Who were killed by LTTE
- Foreign Governments to investigate every LTTE front (for material support) ORIGINALLY proscribed by UN Security Council Resolution 1373 in April 2014 as these are all operating from US, UK, EU countries, Canada, Australia, India, Malaysia – as LTTE remain banned in their countries every leader & member of these LTTE fronts have to be punished under the terror laws that govern their countries.
- Sri Lanka must also appoint a Commission of Inquiry to accept grievances against LTTE & every individual, local & internationally linked NGO etc that had links to the LTTE since 1970s.
- The Armed Forces must investigate any allegations forthcoming against any soldier that has violated Military Code of Conduct & through Sri Lanka’s military tribunals punish any soldier or officer.
Any trial has to be of use to the victims not to the international parties funding them or the people getting a handsome salary & perks for sitting & wasting years’ & time offering no justice to the victims.
We really do not need any foreigners to launch tribunals. The examples of the 6 tribunals held since the Tribunal against Yugoslavia & the expense & wastage of years with nothing forthcoming to the victims show the futility of these trials.
This is exactly the outcome of the UN tribunals/hybrid courts held against Yugoslavia, Rwanda, Cambodia, Lebanon, Sierra Leone, East Timor. Therefore, taking these as examples we have every valid reason to say NO THANK YOU TO FOREIGN TRIBUNALS.
If the world is wanting to serve justice – justice must be served to the VICTIMS not justice to the murderers. With no names of the supposed ‘civilians’ killed by the Sri Lankan Forces, there is no valid justification for any War Crimes Tribunal against the Sri Lanka soldiers, on the other hand the LTTE murdered many innocent people and if any justice should be served it should be against LTTE & their supporters for cutting short the lives of innocent civilians while there are thousands of people who remain injured for life (mentally & physically) by LTTE.
Don’t these people matter to the UN & the international community?
Shenali D Waduge