Stop the bloodbath
Posted on May 15th, 2009

G. de Silva

Hi Luis,
Thank you for taking time to read my letter. 

What you say in response sounds great but unfortunately lacks pragmatism and to me it is nothing but just a bunch of glorified empty words normally heard at coffee lounges in Western countries. 

You say you do not condone the atrocities committed by the LTTE (or the Sri Lanka Government) but tell me Luis, of one instance where you have taken action to condemn any of attacks carried out by the LTTE against the innocent Sri Lankans? Where were you during the past 30 years? Where were your angelic cousins at HRW and AI during these times? Did you guys ever called upon the Western governments to block financing and fundraising for the LTTE? Did you ever take the opportunity to expose the LTTE frontline organizations raising millions of dollars at your door step? You cry of a “ƒ”¹…”bloodbath’ but tell me, the blood of innocent Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims in Sri Lanka which flowed for three decades due to LTTE attacks were not that important for you to move your proverbial back side for action, wasn’t it?

And please do not give me the crap (pardon me for my French) about war crimes against the humanity committed by the army leaders in Sri Lanka. Again, you seem to be totally ignorant about what is going on in Western countries or you are more than happy to ignore them. It was only a few weeks ago that US killed hundreds of Afghani civilians but no one talks about war crimes committed by your cousins, Hilary Clinton or Barrack Obama or the most powerful US Generals, do they? Are you taking action to bring them to the Hague for a committal? The US will tell you guys where to go in no uncertain terms if you ever dreamt of doing that sort of a thing. As I said, you guys do not have the guts to speak up against these activities – either you are simply too scared to speak up or you are paid to keep quiet about such events. Did you also campaign against the poor Brazilian chap who was shot point blank in London just because he had a darker colour skin complexion? Did you ever call that a crime committed by the Bush’s lackey, Tony Blair? Why were you guys silent then?

 You state that AVAAZ has repeatedly condemned grave violations of human rights and humanitarian laws across the world. But you only state the “ƒ”¹…”poor ghetto countries’ of the world who can hardly feed and look after its populations but still are required to adhere to much higher standards compared to the Western countries when it comes human rights and laws. You probably cannot remember, but let me remind you how the great “ƒ”¹…”Coalition of the Willing’ treated the alleged terrorist in Guantanamo Bay and in Iraqi prisons. You know Luis, these actions were committed by the Governments of the wealthiest, advanced, democratic, highly advanced countries in the world who have the most sophisticated weapons to fight a war. Did you ever think about the humanitarian issues then? Even the few who made some noises about those atrocities were made silent by passing a simple punishment (don’t you do that again naughty boys and girls!) of couple of young soldiers and the big criminals simply continued their war enterprises. Just compare how the war has been conducted in Sri Lanka, Luis – perhaps your enlightened Western countries may want to take down a few notes on how the Sri Lankan forces have tried to pin down the enemy with least amount of “ƒ”¹…”co-lateral damage’ (to use your Uncle Sam’s lexicon). By the way, Luis, it is still not too late to put out a petition to bring George W, Rumsfeld, Tony Blair to the Hague, what do you think?

 I was quite amused at your statement that AVAAZ are simply demanding “Tamil rebels to release the remaining civilians, stop the government bombing and bring sustainable peace to Sri Lanka, and we demand “that the parties to the conflict protect all civilians from harm, regardless of whether they remain trapped or have fled from the conflict zone”. This sounds terrific, Luis, even would make any ordinary fool sound very intelligent and noble. But did you ever consider the pragmatism of this statement given what has happened over the last few months or years. Perhaps, you do not know that the LTTE was given so many opportunities to release the people and during these periods and only a handful were able to escape LTTE’s clutches. If you are faced with a situation where your loved one or a relation is held hostage by a criminal what would you do, Luis? Would you just walk away and give in to every demand of the criminal? Isn’t this what you are asking the Sri Lankan Government to do? I guess, the Government should let the LTTE keep the people, keep over 2/3 of the landmass which they are claiming (and might as well give away the rest)? What a great idea? I wonder why no one else thought about it earlier……

 It appears all your opinions are based on so-called “ƒ”¹…”facts’ put out by the UN, NGO staff (on the ground, as you say) but it appears you are least interested in hearing the other side of the story. At times of war stories will be fabricated by both sides and Luis, the indications are that your sources are proving to be more and more unreliable. Just look at what the Sri Lankan forces have discovered about the so-call development projects in the war torn area. Did it ever occurred to you strange how most of the heavy machinery imported to Sri Lanka under the guise of “ƒ”¹…”development projects’ ended up in LTTE hands? Did you know that one of great peace loving nations involved in the peace process, Norway, imported sophisticated communications gear through its embassy in Sri Lanka for the benefit of the LTTE? List is endless Luis and as I mentioned in my first email, I just can’t wait for the day when the Sri Lanka government publishes it findings about the so-called development aid projects undertaken by the NGOs. Luis, you are basing your entire opinion on the information provided by these shady organizations and nations. As for the information coming from the UN, I just would like you to go through the various statements given by various UN officials and subsequent retractions or re-wordings made by this organization.

 I could not agree with you more when you say that “Universal principles of humanity and human dignity embodied in binding international law must guide all parties to a conflict” but ask you the question what do you do when one party is holding the very human beings is purported to represent, to ransom? What would you do when your own existence is threatened with violence and death? You may be one of those few noble people who will not compromise even at the expense your life – in which case I salute you. However, Luis, please do not expect 20 million or so ordinary, peace loving Sri Lankans, be they Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims and other ethnic groups, to say that they are happy for the LTTE to take everything it wants at any cost. And that is exactly what you and your organization is asking for – no country, whether rich or poor, highly developed or not developed at all, will want to cave into demands of a group of people who want to carve up a mono-ethnic, racist state. To expect that outcome is sheer stupidity irrespective of what high ideals you might want hold.

 Luis, you are hoping that I will join you in the future with other campaigns that may resonate with me better. Just let me tell you one thing before I close, if there was one thing that I learnt from the situation in Sri Lanka, is never to trust or at least be very suspicious of the so-called “ƒ”¹…”do-gooders’ in this world. Sri Lanka had so many of them and unfortunately, Sri Lanka trusted them all not realizing they were there to carry out their own agenda – be it for political, economical or religious reasons. Sri Lanka has woken up to this truth and so have I. Therefore, unfortunately, now I am more suspicious of the conduct of organizations such as yours, AVAAZ, HRW, AI and many others. I also realize, if the people who are running these organizations are genuine they will start helping their own first – remember the age old saying, “ƒ”¹…”charity begins at home’? I am sure you will agree that most of the highly developed Western countries have many ugly social cancers which need urgent help.

 Best wishes,

 G. de Silva

 From: Info Avaaz [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Thursday, May 14, 2009 10:06 PM
To: G. de Silva
Subject: Re: Stop the bloodbath

 Dear de Silva,

Thanks for sharing your views on this important humanitarian crisis. We take correspondence from our membership very seriously.

As you can see in the different texts of our campaigns on Sri Lanka, we do not condone the atrocities committed by the LTTE or the Sri Lankan government. On the contrary, we have demanded that both Tamil and army leaders responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity are held to account.

http://www.avaaz.org/en/sri_lanka_civilians/

Also our current campaign alert explicitly asks for responsible “international efforts to push the Tamil rebels to release the remaining civilians, stop the government bombing and bring sustainable peace to Sri Lanka”, and we demand “that the parties to the conflict protect all civilians from harm, regardless of whether they remain trapped or have fled from the conflict zone”

Since its birth in 2 years ago, Avaaz has repeatedly condemned grave violations of human rights and humanitarian law across the world, including Gaza, Democratic Republic of Congo, Darfur, Afghanistan and Iraq.

The imminent end of this brutal war must not overshadow the fact (widely reported by the media across the world, and by UN and NGO staff on the ground) that in addition to the plight of tens of thousands of civilians still trapped inside the tiny conflict, around 200,000 more remain kept in overcrowded and ill-equipped camps, and that the GoSL is refusing access to any international independent monitoring presence.

It is not only Avaaz members who are extremely worried about the situation in Sri Lanka. Yesterday, the UN Security Council expressed unanimously “grave concern” at the “worsening humanitarian crisis” in the northeast of the country. While urging the LTTE to “lay down its arms and allow the tens of the thousands of civilians to leave”, the statement also expressed “deep concern” over reports of continued heavy shelling by government forces in the conflict zone, leading to civilian casualties. Similar calls were issued by the US President Barack Obama who urged the army to stop “indiscriminate” shelling of civilians, give UN humanitarian teams access to civilians trapped between the warring sides, and allow the Red Cross and other relief workers to help displaced people.

See:

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2009-05/14/content_11369791.htm

http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/south_asia/8049261.stm

Universal principles of humanity and human dignity embodied in binding international law must guide all parties to a conflict, and Avaaz members will continue to call for their application in every instance. In the hope that that sustainable peace and development with human rights for all arrive soon to Sri Lanka, we thank you again for your message and look forward to continue to campaign with you on other issues that resonate with you better.

Sincerely,

Luis Morago
AVAAZ.org
Campaign Director

On Wed, May 13, 2009 at 3:10 AM, G. de Silva <[email protected]> wrote:

Come off it Luis, when the US killed 100s of innocent Afghani civilians a week or so ago none of you guys had the guts to say even “ƒ”¹…”boo’ and life went on as if nothing unusual had happened. When the Tamil Tigers are cornered you have suddenly found your voice to protest against “ƒ”¹…”a modern day bloodbath’. Do you guys have any sense of integrity? I guess it matters little to AVAAZ and others like HRW and AI because you are being paid and well looked after by the CIA and MI5.

 It is high time that you reveal the true objectives of your so-called humanitarian concerns!

 Guess what…thanks to the Internet, half the world now knows the true agendas of organizations such as HRW, AI and AVAAZ and they know that these are front line organizations set up to protect the capitalist neo-colonial economies and that you don’t give a damn about protecting democracies struggling under terrorism or human suffering caused by terror activities. You want the terror activities to continue so that your masters can sell more arms and make sure the economies of your pay masters’ countries are humming along – especially when economic recession is almost here.

 Just give up your game guys! It may be better if you spent your time helping the poor and destitute in your own countries. 

G. de Silva

 PS – just wait till the Tamil Tigers are brought to justice and when the Sri Lanka Govt. publishes its findings about covert work undertaken by NGOs, INGOs and all the other “ƒ”¹…”humanitarians’ in the war torn parts of the country. We already know about how Anna Neistat (a self appointed guardian of the “ƒ”¹…”TRUTH’) of HRW travelled to Sri Lanka on forged travel documents.

 From: Luis Morago – Avaaz.org [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Wednesday, May 13, 2009 9:41 AM
To: [email protected]
Subject: Stop the bloodbath

 Dear friends,

A modern day bloodbath is unfolding on the small island of Sri Lanka and the key to stopping this humanitarian disaster lies with Sri Lanka’s largest donor and closest partner in the region — Japan. Let´s send a powerful message to the Japanese Foreign Minister asking for pressure to stop the killing.

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A modern day bloodbath is unfolding on the small island of Sri Lanka, where a thousand civilians were reported killed over the weekend and tens of thousands of innocent people are literally at risk of being killed this week, as government and rebel forces battle it out over the last small patch of rebel held territory.

Now that the US has begun to increase its pressure, the solution to stopping this humanitarian disaster lies with Sri Lanka’s key donor and closest partner in the region — Japan. It has powerful political and economic influence over the Sri Lankan government and a swing vote at the UN Security Council, which up until now has turned a blind eye to this mounting catastrophe.

Click here to send a message to the Japanese Foreign Minister, who is deciding his government’s next steps. Japan cares about its international reputation and a flood of messages from abroad would encourage them to act. If Japan moves then the Sri Lankan government will be forced to immediately respond to protect civilians:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/stop_the_bloodbath

As last weekend´s carnage testifies, every minute counts for the estimated 50,000 civilians still trapped inside the shrinking conflict zone and for those 200,000 more who are barely surviving in overcrowded camps. The International Committee of the Red Cross, which rarely makes public comment, called this conflict between the Sri Lankan government and the Tamil rebels, ‘nothing short of catastrophic’.

Until now, the divided UN Security Council has abdicated their responsibility to protect Sri Lankans from war crimes and other atrocities. But in this conflict Japan cannot be ignored – it’s powerful voice could tip the balance and influence the conflict dynamics, saving lives in the short-term and promoting peace and development in the long run.

Asia’s longest-running civil war is entering its final stage – the only question is how many will die before it ends. Let´s send a powerful message urging Foreign Minister Nakasone to act responsibly and lead international efforts to push the Tamil rebels to release the remaining civilians, stop the government bombing and bring sustainable peace to Sri Lanka. Japan’s political and economic weight means that they cannot be ignored:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/stop_the_bloodbath

As other donor nations increase the pressure behind the scenes this week, a truly global citizens’ outcry can further turn the heat on the Japanese government to use its leverage and push for a robust and concerted international action that stops the bloodshed and protect the Sri Lankan civilian population at risk. Thank you for sending your message today.

With hope

Luis, Brett, Alice, Graziela, Pascal, Ben, Ricken, Paula, Iain, Paul, Raj and the rest of the Avaaz Team

Doctor reports hundreds of bodies being brought to hospital as UN says feared bloodbath has become reality – 11 May 2009 –
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/may/11/sri-lanka-civilian-deaths

Four leading international organisations call on Japan to play a more active role in confronting the unfolding catastrophe in Sri Lanka. Press release:
http://www.crisisgroup.org/home/index.cfm?id=6097&l=1&m=1

Full text of the letter at:
http://www.crisisgroup.org/home/index.cfm?id=6096&l=1&m=1

The US accuses Sri Lanka of causing “untold suffering” among civilians, and calls on rebels to release civilians stuck in the conflict zone:
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/23/world/asia/23lanka.html

For information about the UN Security Council discussions on Sri Lanka:
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article5817983.ece

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