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  • What John Kerry, Pillay and HRW et al have now proven beyond doubt is that a ‘human shield’ is a great weapon for terrorists

    Posted on March 26th, 2009 No comments

    Ramanie de Zoysa

    26 March 2009
    According to those ‘civilians’, of whom the world is so ‘gravely concerned’ about, that have run away from the clutches of the Tiger terrorist to the care of the Sri Lankan Government Forces, the terrorist leaders are freely moving around in the ‘no fire zones’ declared by the Sri Lankan Government. The purpose of declaring the no fire zones was so that the ‘civilians’ would be able to seek safety in the area. Then again, what’s good for the civilian is even better for the terrorists. The racist killer from Velvettithurai now residing in the Wanni jungles- Prabhakaran and the ex-common cop from Kirullapone- Nadesan know for certain that the Sri Lankan Government will not directly fire into the zone for fear of harming civilians. When Prabhakaran and Nadesan moved the ‘civilians’ from their villages into the jungle they were just a group of people held hostage; the group was collectively turned into a ‘human shield’ by the international ‘humanitarian industry’ which started braying like donkeys demanding that the Sri Lankan Government ceases military action on account of the presence of these people. Cornered, toothless and exposed, the LTTE was quick indeed to realise that the ‘people’ were the most effective body armour that now guaranteed their safety. In fact they are the most impregnable shield they could have ever wished for. 

     The Wanni ‘civilians’ are obviously a mixed bunch of people trapped in a situation mostly beyond their control due to various reasons. Some are family members of the ex- cadres who have been anointed as ‘Maveerar’ families; some of these families may have parted with precious family members to a ‘cause’ they were taught was going to bring them the Dravidastan that the Cholas of yesteryear lost. Some may have had their family members taken by force and have nothing much else left except to be around the tombstones that still remind them they once had loved ones. Then there are others who have family members presently fighting for the LTTE. Some others are cooks, seamstresses, builders, carpenters, barbers and menial labourers or provide some sort of services for the LTTE. Then there are those who remain only due to fear who will escape at the first opportunity. Those with the guns have most likely been told to shoot even their families if they had any ideas about escaping. According to the people who have now escaped Tiger clutches, there were instances where some cadres were crying and shooting at the same time at people who were running away. According to other reports from the escapees the Tigers are grabbing the free food and medicines sent to these areas for the civilians by the Sri Lankan Government and are re-selling them at black market prices- a kilo of black pepper is said to be going for Rs 4,000 in the jungle.  

     The thing is, it was a ‘human catastrophe’ all this time- for 25 long years- not only when the Sri Lankan Government Forces have come this close to eliminating the terrorist. Simple villagers living a subsistence life were brainwashed by a group of rabid radicals whose tendency to violence was on par with their racist ideology. Then the villagers had their children, fathers and brothers given arms training and deployed in the most gruesome acts of violence. Then it was the women’s’ turn. Young women were enlisted and taught to kill instead of nurturing. Family lives were shattered. There were now orphans and widows by the thousands and there were people with severe mental illness. Some orphaned girls ended up being raped and turned into suicide cadres or ended up as sex slaves for the fighters. Food production in the area became a thing of the past as the Tiger terrorists claimed every able bodied person to fight. Food supplies became even more limited as the terrorists started charging prohibitive ‘kappang’ they called taxes on goods that were being transported to the area. Slowly but surely Tigers themselves were running the shops selling the basic goods at black market prices. Malnutrition was now rife. Then there were NGOs/ INGOs coming into help. Some NGO/ INGOs converted non-Christians into Christianity for the promise of a plate of free food or for getting a family member out of ‘trouble’ with the terrorists. Others provided people with sanitary buckets with green lids and other useless paraphernalia but not a single school, clinic, road or a house was built for the people. People continued to live in crowded mud huts with no spiritual or material development.  Without fail all the NGO/ INGO workers who were non-foreigners were Tamils, mostly from the area. Among them were LTTE cadres and spies operating in the guise of NGO/ INGO workers. Any civilian disobeying were tortured or murdered- most of the spies being the ‘humanitarian workers’ working for NGOs/ INGOs. Gruesome torture chambers were built in the villages where those who were suspected of being ‘traitors’ were tortured in the most inhumane ways. Children stopped going to school- some for fear of being enlisted. It was only the free electricity, water and medical facilities that continued to be provided by the Sri Lankan Government to the LTTE captive areas that sustained the villagers’ lives even to the present pitiful standard.

     This human catastrophe was not noticed or reported on to the world at large by the NGOs/ INGOs that operated in these areas. In fact some of the oppressors worked for the NGO/ INGO themselves because the cover of NGO/ INGO status lavished on them the freedom of movement and logistical capability that the LTTE needed to operate its terror network. Ban ki Moon or his melancholy predecessor Kofi Annan never had any ‘concern’ expressed for either the destruction of civilian livelihoods or the lives; nor did they express  any ‘concern’ on the complete absence of ‘development’ in these areas where so many ‘humanitarian’ groups worked so ‘tirelessly’ for such little output. UNHC for Human Rights did not know about these people then; nor did John Kerry, Hilary Clinton, Rev Desmond Tutu, Gordon Brown, Gareth Evans or Keith Vaz.

     These ‘civilians’ had other VIP guests too. The Colombo based foreign Ambassadors and Foreign Ministers of some countries came in and out of these areas. The Americans, Norwegians, Germans, Japanese, Indians and Europeans came in and out of these areas for many a ‘peace manoeuvre’; but, none had a single bad word about the plight of the civilians then.

     So, what then is different now? The ‘civilians’ are in exactly the same position. They have now had to leave their mud huts but they are the same tired, confused, grief stricken, bereaved, mentally ill, angry, hungry, destitute people they were for over a quarter of a century. The only thing that has now changed are the fortunes of the LTTE. The LTTE was ‘king’ before the battle of Mahaveli Oya (Mavil Aru) began. The LTTE supposedly ‘controlled’ ‘swathes’ of land and resources and ran a ‘de facto state’ then. Arms and ammunitions, air craft, sub marines were coming in ship loads and being delivered at the LTTE doors in Killinochchi with the compliments of the Tamil Diaspora. LTTE was dictating terms to the Sri Lankan Government through Sri Lanka’s foreign ambassadors or the Nordic Monitors while Anton Balasingham was making vile threats against the Sri Lankan Nation openly while living in England.

     The international chorus of ‘concern for the civilians’ and the ‘impending human catastrophe’ started with the fall of Killinochchi and Mullaitivu. By then it was not the status of the civilians that had deteriorated markedly but that of the LTTE. May be I have a suspicious mind but I think that these howls are coming from interested parties to save the Tigers from elimination rather than to sane the ‘civilians’. It is these very same howls that have condemned these civilians to the status of a ‘human shield’; something that works well for the LTTE’s survival by ensuring that as long as the ‘civilians’ are there the Sri Lankan Government would not be able to fire at the LTTE. Had the international community stood by Sri Lanka in her battle against the LTTE may be the same number of ‘civilians’ as now could have died but Sri Lanka could have been cleared of terrorist occupation and well on the way to recovery weeks ago.

     ‘Civilian casualties’ is also known as ‘collateral damage’, when it suits those in Western societies. It was the US that first coined the now fashionable phrase “collateral damage” in relation to a situation of war- in specific, the then US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, when quizzed by international media if the deaths of 500,000 Iraqi children due to US sanctions could possibly be justified, referred to those lives as “collateral damage”. She answered “I think this is a very hard choice, but the price – we think the price is worth it.” This is the same league of people who are worried sick about civilian casualties in the North of Sri Lanka today. For a small country that has suffered the agony of terrorism in its most ruthless form for 26 years which has claimed 70,000 lives under most brutish circumstances already, such collateral damage would have also been a very hard choice- but the price would have been worth it.

     No one thought of human shields in Iraq- in fact nobody had the time to think of human shields in Iraq when aerial bombs fell invoking ‘shock and awe’ killing hundreds and thousands of civilians. Opinion Research Business (ORB) poll conducted in August 12-19, 2007 estimated 1,033,000 violent deaths due to the Iraq War where 9% of that figure (or 92,970) were due to aerial bombardment. There were no calls for ceasefires then; no reconciliatory discussions, no envoys to mediate between the “warring parties” and no political solutions.

     Even if you ignore what this embarrassing duplicity of the world’s most important power brokers has done to little Sri Lanka, what will come home to roost one day would be the very clear message that has been given to the international terror industry at large by the world powers. The message is that even when all is lost and it is crystal clear that one has lost the war it pays to hang on to as large a human shield as possible for survival rather than put down arms and surrender.

    http://www.lankaweb.com/news/items09/260309-12.html

  • Response to the IMF regarding HRW letter

    Posted on March 26th, 2009 1 comment

    Wick Gankanda
    Senior software engineer Los Angeles, California, USA

    March 24, 2009

    To: Mr. Dominique Strauss-Kahn
    Managing Director
    International Monetary Fund
    700 19th Street NW
    Washington, DC 20431

    Dear Mr. Dominique Strauss-Kahn,

    I am writing regarding the letter by Mr. Brad Adams, the Executive Director of Human Right Watch pertaining to emergency support loan request by Sri Lanka.

    As a Sri Lankan American living in the Los Angeles, California who has lived in Sri Lanka for over 20 years, I have studied the situation on the island for the last 26 years. My frequent travels to this beautiful island and my long running friendships with lifelong friends there have kept me informed about the realties on the ground. I also read the letter by HRW of New York to the IMF and found it to be very inaccurate and misleading. Therefore my objective today is to counter many allegations made by HRW and convince you to fully support the Sri Lankan government.

    Let me start by discussing a wider view of this nation: Sri Lanka is a thriving democracy with a very compassionate people and full of potential. Unfortunately, this nation has faced the full brunt of the world’s most brutal terrorist organization, the LTTE, for the last 25 years. While fighting this internationally funded terror group, Sri Lanka has done its best to develop as a progressive nation and care for all its citizens.

    I ask you to ignore the propaganda spread globally by the LTTE and look objectively at the facts. You will see that Sri Lanka has bent over backwards to take serious steps to safeguard the rights of internally displaced persons and ensure an effective humanitarian response. Every single day, we see reports of how civilians are fed, medically cared for and secured. The rights groups never acknowledge that.

    wbp1

     wbp2
    These images prove beyond any doubt the Sri Lankan government’s commitment to care for IDPs

    Please follow link for more information Security forces conduct medical clinic for Jaffna civilians

    Please follow link for more information

    http://www.defence.lk/new.asp?fname=20090228_10

    Read about how over one thousand Tamil civilians reached government controlled area seeking safety http://www.sinhala.net/LocalNews/SinhalaNet_Full_News.asp?ID=4727#NewsViewBM

    The LTTE is holding civilians as a human shield to slow the advancement of the army. Mr. John Thompson, the President of the Mackenzie Institute of Canada states: “… like Hitler or Saddam Hussein; Vellupillai Prabhakaran (the Tamil Hitler) is not above sacrificing anybody his followers can compel into service. As the last guerrilla forces retreated into their final sanctuary, they dragged in every Tamil civilian they could find as a human shield.”

    The Tamil Tiger Terrorists killed and burned innocent Tamil civilians fleeing the human shield. I quote: “Tigers make sure that those who try to escape into government declared safe zones are mercilessly killed, mostly burnt alive and the corpses are displayed as a deterrent to others who would try to escape. These photos were taken by a brave Tamil who managed to escape to a safe zone only last week.”

    I have included a couple of pictures here for you:

    wbp3

    wbp4
    (Civilians shot and burnt alive by Tamil Tiger Terrorists while trying to reach government areas)

    This link contains GRUESOME images of these atrocities committed by the LTTE:

    http://www.spur.asn.au/LTTE_killing_Tamil_Civilians_fleeing_LTTE_Human_Shield_December_2008.asp

    As you can see from above, the most obvious threat to civilians and their welfare is the LTTE. If you get rid of it, there will definitely be peace, economic prosperity and opportunities for all. Consider the Eastern Province. Once it was a stronghold of the Tiger Terrorists where the population was brutalized by the LTTE with no elections or democracy. The Sri Lankan government drove the LTTE out of this province and held elections. Next we see are economic opportunities for its residents, hand-in-hand with democratic rights. The LTTE is doing everything in its power to stop that in the North and extend the conflict. Therefore, they do not want the IMF to side with Sri Lanka.

    The accusation of the HRW that the government forces continued to fire artillery indiscriminately into areas they have declared to be safe zones is now proven false. We now know that it was the LTTE that fired artillery to make it look like the government forces and used the incidents to spread false propaganda through its global media machine. Even the BBC and United Nations High Commissioner on Human Rights, Navi Pillay got on the bandwagon by quoting the Tiger terror Web site Tamilnet. This LTTE front Tamilnet is well known to doctor images and invent absolutely non-existent civilian casualties all conveniently blamed on the Sri Lankan government. The so called “More than 2,800 civilians are believed to have been killed and another 7,000 wounded in the past two months alone” mentioned by HRW was generated by these LTTE sources in their terror-held areas and further spread by Tiger terror’s network of (mis)information outlets. HRW uses these terror outlets as sources thus clouding the group’s real mission of protecting human rights.

    Contrary to HRW, the Sri Lankan government has no intention of keeping “welfare centers” going forever since they are counterproductive to progress and security. Most supplies to those camps and centers are provided by the government and not by aid groups. Hospitals in the conflict zones, even the ones in the terror-held areas are mostly supplied by Sri Lankan government with taxpayer money. On top of that, the government is responsible for the safety of the civilians in these camps and does its best to prevent these internally displaced persons from been forcibly recruited by the LTTE if they venture outside of their perimeter. The reality on the ground is that the Tamil Tiger Terrorists have been loosing cadres fast and need to replenish their ranks. The IDPs living in the camps are their prime target. HRW conveniently left those facts out of their letter.

    The United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Sir John Holmes toured the civilian shelters in February and said he was very satisfied with the way the Sri Lankan government is handling the humanitarian situation in the IDP centers, including the ones in Vavuniya. You can read the full details here http://www.colombopage.com/archive_09/February2272151RA.html

    This is the critical information the human rights groups don’t want you to see. The work of Sri Lanka might not be perfect, but as a developing nation, they are getting there fast.

    The many were Muslims forced to flee their homes to escape fighting in 1990 as mentioned by HRW is because of the LTTE Terrorists’ campaign of ethnic cleansing. These civilians have been forced out of their ancestral land by the Tamils to create the ‘Tamil homeland’. Once the LTTE is eliminated and their genocidal drive is extinguished, these Muslims can go back to the land they once inhabited. We have to wonder why the HRW letter left that out.

    What is most alarming about the allegations by the HRW is that thanks to its own actions, the Tamil Tiger Terrorists have violated human rights and commited atrocities by the thousands. Mr. Michael Radu of the Foreign Policy Research Institute says: “The latter (Western donors), as usual, are themselves “sensitive” to the enormously effective, and wealthy, pro-LTTE Tamil diaspora and the international “human rights” lobbies-such as AI and HRW. Each of those, over time and for its purposes, acted to prolong the conflict, protect the LTTE, and thus have more Sri Lankans killed…” You may access the entire report ‘How to Kill Civilians in the Name of “Human Rights”: Lessons from Sri Lanka’ here http://www.fpri.org/enotes/200902.radu.killcivilianshumanrightssrilanka.html

    Therefore, you cannot evaluate the situation based just on rights group’s inaccurate statements. Consider this: it is the LTTE Terrorists who will gain the most if you go only by what the HRW and other LTTE-supporting groups have to say because of the following:

    * Tamil Tiger Terrorists have been trying to destroy Sri Lanka including its infrastructure and terrorize the population for the last 25 years. Economic prosperity and the stability are unbearable for terrorists that gain from poverty, resentment for the lack of opportunities and instability.

    * The bogus arguments made by HRW are exactly what the Tiger Terrorists will make if they communicated with you.

    * A prolong conflict and instability in Sri Lanka is good business for human rights groups such as HRW, UN High Commissioner on Human Rights and the terrorists. Therefore any loans to rebuild the country will be opposed by them.

    Hope I have managed to convince you to see the real facts behind the situation, realize the full potential of this nation and work with the Sri Lankan government by granting this and future loans. If I can be of any assistance in this matter, please do not hesitate to contact me at the above phone number.

    Thank you.

    Best regards,

    Wick Gankanda
    Senior software engineer Los Angeles, California, USA

    CC:
    Mr. David Hawley, Senior Advisor, External Relations Department

    IMF Transcripts regarding this issue:

    Transcript of a Press Briefing by David Hawley, Senior Advisor, External Relations Department on Thursday, March 12, 2009
    Link to the transcript at IMF Web site

    QUESTION: I wanted to know what you can say about the conditions—the IMF may be considering on the loan to Sri Lanka, a nearly $2 billion loan and there’s some discussion of whether they could use it to support the rupee. I also wanted to know whether there’s any consideration by the IMF how funds are using given the current military conflict in the country.

    MR. HAWLEY: Thank you. Discussions are still ongoing with Sri Lanka and are expected to continue over the next few weeks. They’re focused on achieving the government’s—in order words, Sri Lanka’s policy goals which include rebuilding reserves, reducing the budget deficit and bringing about balance of payment sustainability.

    QUESTION: I guess maybe this is kind of a naïve question, but in countries that are involved in—at the U.N. where I usually report from they had a Security Council meeting about the conflict and humanitarian effects of it. What sort of follow through or restrictions are placed such that it isn’t—since money is fungible is not used for—or of support to military action?

    MR. HAWLEY: I’m sorry. I haven’t understood the question.

    QUESTION: Since the country is involved currently in a military offensive in the northern part of the country that’s given rise to at least one briefing at the U.N. Security Council, what provisions are in place to make sure that such a loan doesn’t indirectly simply support military action?

    MR. HAWLEY: Let me say—let me repeat what I just said. Our discussion are still ongoing with the Sri Lankan authorities on a possible program, so let us wait for the outcome of those discussions. Thank you very much—and because you were a late arrival, it’s 10:30. Thanks a lot.

    http://www.lankaweb.com/news/items09/260309-9.html