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Why Are the Tamil Tigers Exempted from War Crimes? An Open Letter to the Amnesty International

(Re-Publication)

A peace loving Canadian citizen had written to so called international NGO who working for peace, Amnesty International who generally worked for pro-LTTE Tamil terrorists  in the world posing a valid question to them   Why Are the Tamil Tigers Exempted from War Crimes?

The full text of the letter written to Amnesty International is as follows:

Mr. Irene Khan

The Secretary General

Amnesty International

International Secretariat

1 Easton Street

 London WC1X 0DW,

UK

I was pleased to read today on CNN.com about AI’s decision to accuse Hezbollah of war crimes in their recent conflict with Israel and applaud your constant attention paid to the plight to the civilians caught up in war.

However, I am perturbed by your lack of enthusiasm to express the same on the most vicious terrorist group on the planet, the Sri Lanka’s Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). It bothers me that in spite of their brutal history of violence which you have well documented over many years haven’t convinced you yet that the LTTE deserves the same attention as the Hezbollah.

You had noted since the signing of the ceasefire agreement with the participation of Nordic countries, the LTTE has continued to violate the agreement and the killing of non-combatants in Sri Lanka.

Allow me to quote your statements on some of the violent acts against non combatants:
“Since the signing of the Agreement there have been tens of killings, abductions and other human rights abuses against civilians in Sri Lanka. The majority of the victims have been members or ex-members of the Eelam People’s Democratic Party (EPDP) and the Eelam People’s Revolutionary Liberation Front – Varathar (EPRLF-V). Attacks have also occurred against members of the People’s Liberation Organization of Tamil Eelam (PLOTE), and the Tamil Eelam Liberation Organization (TELO).

There is substantial evidence that members of the LTTE are responsible for the majority of these attacks. The LTTE however have so far denied responsibility.”

“Amnesty International has documented 22 killings, 16 abductions and other human rights abuses, details of which have been submitted to the leadership of the LTTE. Below are three illustrative cases. Amnesty International believes they each demonstrate failures by the LTTE, the SLMM and the Sri Lankan police to safe guard the fundamental rights of citizens in Sri Lanka.”

Poobalapillai Alahathurai [m]
Pooniah Ramachandran [m]
Sivapunniam Rathirani Varatharajah [f]

You have also faulted the Government of Sri Lanka (Police) and the Nordic Sri Lanka monitoring Mission (SLMM) for not investigating your catalog of crimes satisfactorily. In particular with regards to the Sri Lankan Police the AI has commented that “Although Amnesty International recognizes that the police face difficulties due to the political situation, both at present and historically, in Sri Lanka.“ However, I have also noted that you were not so sympathetic about the conduct the Nordic SLMM and the following explains why:

“However, to date Amnesty International is unaware of the publication of any findings from such investigations, and calls on the SLMM to make such findings public at the earliest opportunity. Amnesty International is also concerned that investigation into some incidents may not be being initiated by the SLMM due to, what it claims, is a lack of evidence available at the initial stages of enquiries. Amnesty International urges the SLMM to react promptly and robustly, by conducting investigations into any incident involving the killing, abduction, torture or attack against any civilian by either of the parties to the Agreement. The SLMM should ensure it has enough resources and expertise to conduct such investigations thoroughly and promptly.”

“Reports of meetings between the SLMM and the LTTE indicate that the LTTE leadership has been unable or unwilling to thoroughly investigate these reports, giving vague commitments to investigate breaches of the Agreement. Amnesty International calls on the LTTE to abide by international humanitarian law, in particular Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions which gives protection to individuals not taking part in hostilities in armed conflicts. The LTTE should immediately stop the killing and abduction of all civilians, and give instructions to its members to abide fully with the human rights provisions in the Agreement. The LTTE must also cooperate fully with any investigations conducted by the SLMM.”

Following is a list of some of your own reports compiled in the recent times about the crimes of LTTE:

1) Sri Lanka: Tamil Tigers leaders should account for latest killings – Amnesty International
URL: http://web.amnesty.org/library/index/ENGASA370201997

2) Sri Lanka: Tamil Tigers beating up families to recruit child soldiers – Amnesty International
URL: http://web.amnesty.org/library/index/ENGASA370022004

3) Open letter to Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) and Sri Lankan Police concerning recent politically motivated killings and abductions in Sri Lanka. – Amnesty International

This open letter to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, the Sri Lankan Monitoring Mission and the Sri Lankan Police expresses concern over the numerous abductions, killings and other human right…

URL: http://web.amnesty.org/library/index/ENGASA370042003

4) India: A set back for human rights in Tamil Nadu – the new Prevention of Terrorism bill – Amnesty International
Amnesty International (AI) is a worldwide movement of people who campaign for internationally recognized human rights.

URL: http://web.amnesty.org/library/index/ENGASA200121998

5) Sri Lanka: Fear of Torture/”Disappearance”: Mahendrarajah Gajamukan – Amnesty International

A young Tamil man, Mahendrarajah Gajamukan, was taken from his home on 30 January by men believed to be members of an armed group allied to the Sri Lankan armed forces. Amnesty International is co…

URL: http://web.amnesty.org/library/index/ENGASA370052000

6) Sri Lanka: Amnesty International condemns killing of Neelan Thiruchelvam MP – Amnesty International
Amnesty International (AI) is a worldwide movement of people who campaign for internationally recognized human rights.

URL: http://web.amnesty.org/library/index/ENGASA370191999

7) Sri Lanka: “Disappearance”: Nadarajah Navakrishnan Murali – Amnesty International
URL: http://web.amnesty.org/library/index/ENGASA370022000

With such overwhelming evidence how is it possible for AI to remain silent over the extra judiciary killing that LTTE habitually commit? And I wonder what additional crimes by the LTTE have to be recorded before the AI considers LTTE to be included in the exclusive club with Hezbollah?

Would not the recent murder of Keetheshwaran Loganathan, Deputy Director of the Peace Secretariat and another Tamil peace activist a motivation for the AI to set off on a mission to report the LTTE on war crimes? How about the detonation of a landmine under a crowded civilian bus in Kebithigollewa recently by the LTTE to massacred 89 innocent civilians to incite racial riots in Sri Lanka?

If that those would not convince you, what about dispatching their inane suicide bombers against the Sinhalese, recruitment of child soldiers, committing civilian massacres in the Sinhala villages and political assassinations of both Sinhalese and Tamils? I am confident that should you search deep enough in your own archives that you will find a catalog of crimes against humanity by the LTTE and observers like myself need not provide further evidence to you to present my case to accuse the LTTE of war crimes.

May I remind you that just as Hezbollah is proscribed in the EU where you are based, the LTTE has joined that notorious club too. It is a very strong indication that both deserve the same treatment regardless of the nationality or geography or who sponsor their activities.

To paraphrase the AI’s vision, “a world in which every person enjoys all of the human rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international human rights standards,” surely there is room for Sri Lankans to live without fearing the brutal LTTE.

I strongly urge you NOT to single out Hezbollah and allow the LTTE to go scot free for the sake of humanity.

Thank you.
Yours truly,
Ravi Randeniya
Ottawa, Canada

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