Pro-Sri Lankan Groups Must Make Submissions to the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission
Posted on June 22nd, 2010

Dilrook Kannangara

The Commission has been appointed and is functional now. It accepts written submissions. It is the duty of all pro-Sri Lankan groups around the world to make factual submissions to the Commission to identify real root causes of violence, war and destruction relating the period under review.

As per the warrant, the Commission shall report on the following matters that may have taken place during the period between 21st February 2002 and 19th May 2009, namely;

i. the facts and circumstances which led to the failure of the ceasefire agreement operationalized on 21st February 2002 and the sequence of events that followed thereafter up to the 19th of May 2009;

ii. whether any person, group, or institution directly or indirectly bear responsibility in this regard;

iii. the lessons we would learn from those events and their attendant concerns, in order to ensure that there will be no recurrence;

iv. the methodology whereby restitution to any person affected by those events or their dependents or to heirs, can be effected;

v. the institutional administrative and legislative measures which need to be taken in order to prevent any recurrence of such concerns in the future, and to promote further national unity and reconciliation among all communities, and to make any such other recommendations with reference to any of the matters that have been inquired into under the terms of this Warrant

This is a golden opportunity to bring to the world attention, real reasons and root causes of violence that engulfed our nation. Truth will expose bogus allegations made by defeated terror elements around the world that are waiting for another chance to relaunch their terrorist campaign.

Blame the Real Root Causes, Not the LTTE

The need to put the blame on real root causes of war and violence and not the LTTE has been highlighted by many writers. There is enough evidence of LTTE’s barbarity. More than 32 nations around the world have banned the LTTE as a terrorist organisation knowing fully well what it it. By classifying the LTTE as a terrorist organisation, these nations have made it clear that LTTE is no more than a group of terrorists just like it’s cousin terrorists groups around the world. Therefore, it is futile blaming the LTTE now. Further, LTTE terrorists have been wiped out from the face of the earth and tens f thousands of LTTE cadres now in rehabilitation have abandoned the terror outfit. There is no point in stabbing the dead LTTE carcass.

However, LTTE’s share of blame must be brought to the attention of the Commission and it will be done with ease. What pro-Sri Lankan groups around the world should do is something that goes beyond that. They must take the blame to where it belongs. Former LTTE cadres can be rehabilitated but the grandfathers of terror cannot be rehabilitated. Their racist campaigns still dominate politics of Tamils in the North and the East. Exposing their racism, narrow-mindedness, complete disregard for other communities, racist demands, lack of co-operation and extremism is the task at hand.

As political leaders of the Tamil people, they not only failed to lead them away from supporting the LTTE, but also actively promoted racism. Had the TNA acted responsibly by convincing Tamil people not to support aggression during the CFA, violence could have been avoided. Bringing out these acts of supporting violence is what is required.

Continued presence of racist political parties basing their political views on race and racism pose a grave threat to ethnic harmony. These include among others, Tamil National Alliance (TNA), Ilankei Tamil Arasu Kadchi (ITAK), All Ceylon Tamil Congress (ACTC), Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF), Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC), Sihala Urumaya (SU), Tamil Elam Liberation Organisation (TELO) and Tamil Elam Makkal Viduthala Pulikkal (TMVP). These race-based parties must be banned and racial haggling must also be banned for peace. Any grievance or aspiration of the people must be taken up without regard to their race.

A new breed of racist organisations spins up around the world. These include the Global Tamil Forum and Transnational Government of Tamil Elam. Like racist political parties, these too have racist political views. Their interference in Sri Lanka must be totally banned. Otherwise their racism and hate mongering campaigns will take a big toll.

Broadly, Tamil Racist Political Parties Committed the Following Acts   

  1. Continued spread of racism, racist demands among the people. TNA, etc., never talked about the problems facing other people. These race-based political parties only bothered about Tamil racist demands. Their conduct of race-based hate mongering is the main root cause of the conflict.
  2. Supporting LTTE’s communal struggle and publicly helping it. Tamil political parties renewed their support for the Vadukoddai resolution which resolved to create a Tamil Only nation in Sri Lanka. This conduct was a grave security threat to the nation.
  3. Surrendering parliamentarians’ decision making right to the “ƒ”¹…”political wing’ of the LTTE. LTTE political wing was made up of gun carrying terrorists with no political mandate from the people.
  4. Justified LTTE violence without condemning it. LTTE killings became a weekly occurrence during the CFA. TNA and other Tamil race based political parties being closest to the LTTE could have influenced the LTTE to deescalate violence. But they wilfully neglected doing so.
  5. Refused to give up racist homeland demands and other highly racist demands (e.g. Tamil nationhood, Tamil sovereignty, Tamil right of self-determination). These acts led to deterioration of inter-ethnic harmony.
  6. LTTE’s call to boycott elections was amplified by the TNA and other race based political parties. As a result, Tamil voters could not freely exercise their franchise. This prevented them from electing a President of their choice.
  7. TNA’s ultra racist conduct aroused disgust, dislike and fear in other communities. In response, they empowered hardliners to meet the TNA’s hardline challenge in 2004. JVP and JHU combined won 48 seats at the 2004 general election. Had Tamil politicians acted with responsibility without making racist demands, this would not have happened.
  8. TNA along with the LTTE undermined Sri Lankan national interests locally and internationally. Towards the latter part of the CFA, they viciously discredited Sri Lanka.
  9. Not updating the number of parliamentary seats in the island resulted in unfairly advantaging voters of Jaffna, Vanni and Batticaloa districts while unfairly disadvantaging voters from other districts. TNA managed to win a very large number of seats with it vote share because of outdated district seat numbers. These must be updated based on present actual population. For instance in 2004, TNA won over 10% of seats (23) by winning just 4% of the total vote. 

10.  Ultra racist manifestation of violence, hatred and ethnic intolerance through “ƒ”¹…”Pongu Thamil’ events and Tamil politicians’ participation in these events distanced communities. These should never have been allowed.

11.  Although the CFA was supposed to bring peace, no Sinhala or Muslim person could go and live in the North. Living in any part of the country is a fundamental right of every Sri Lankan. If it is not allowed, there is no peace. CFA at most achieved a stalemate, certainly not peace. Even today there are racist elements that protest Sinhalas living in Jaffna, Vanni, Batticaloa, Trincomalee and Ampara districts. These elements must be proscribed to allow people to coexist peacefully throughout the nation.

International Interferers Abetted LTTE Violence

  1. Ceasefire monitoring mission was perceived to be highly partial towards the LTTE by the people. Ceasefire monitors did nothing when LTTE blocked waterways in Mavil aru in 2006, which act was a war crime. It triggered a military response as a matter of necessity.
  2. The international community’s interference in Lankan internal affairs made it impossible for Lankans to deal with situations effectively. Thus, matters escalated into violence.
  3. The international community followed a policy of apartheid against Sinhalas and Muslims. Acts of violence that affected them were not adequately condemned or redressed by the international community as much as the IC was bothered about Tamils. This emboldened the LTTE to do more violence against Sinhala and Muslim civilians.
  4. NGO distributed aid material was found in LTTE camps clearly suggesting NGOs misused aid that ended up strengthening the LTTE.
  5. The CFA agreement was secretly signed without an open public debate and public participation. As a result fear and suspicion grew. People of Sri Lanka are used to democracy since 1931 and they demand strict following of all democratic procedures before taking such important action.
  6. LTTE, a proscribed terrorist organisation, was given parity of status with the democratically elected government of Sri Lanka. Sections of the international community are guilty of this crime. They should never have done this, which emboldened the LTTE.
  7. Eminent persons in the international arena such as Chris Pattern, met the terrorist LTTE leader who was an INTERPOL wanted criminal by then. This type of inconsiderate behaviour insulted LTTE victims, their relatives and the entire peace loving population of Sri Lanka. Mistrust of interferers grew rapidly.   
  8. Most nations do not talk to terrorists. However, they compelled Sri Lanka to talk peace with terrorists. Such hypocritical and stupid conduct by the interferers of the international community further motivated the LTTE to tread its path of violence.

Bringing these and other similar matters in detail with references to the attention of the Commission is the duty of all Sri Lankan organisations. Countering the international apartheid policy towards Sri Lanka, the Sinhalese and Muslims is another aim. Thirdly, it will make out a case to investigate real criminals who instigated racial violence. Investigating their crimes is more important than pressurising Sri Lanka to accept international investigations into bogus war crimes claims.

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