Answering the Lies
Posted on June 15th, 2011
This was a letter sent to theÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Guardian NewspaperÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â in the UKÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â by a Sri Lankan Tamil Activist living in London, to protest an article being produced in the newspaper regarding Sri Lanka and the end of the war in 2009
I am writing to express my disappointment and disgust with the article on Comment is Free, published 13/06/2011 entitled ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€¦Ã¢â‚¬Å“Lifting the lid on Sri LankaÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢s war crimesÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â.ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â As a Sri Lankan Tamil living in the UK, I totally oppose the assertions being made in the article.ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Having visited Sri Lanka at least four times after the end of war in 2009, ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â I have had many opportunities to interact with and speak to hundreds of war victims whose story bears no resemblance to ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â the ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â imaginative article found in the Guardian.ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â These Tamils who have managed to escape the war are still praising the Sri Lankan army for their courage and dedication during the war despite the loss of at least 6000 soldiers.ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â The real story is that these Tamils were held as hostages by the LTTE.
I would like to challenge the figures being quoted of ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€¦Ã¢â‚¬Å“40,000ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Tamil casualties which interestingly are ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â the same figures being reported by the BTF (British Tamil Forum ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œtheÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â LTTEÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢s UK Branch). If you were to actually do some investigations into the reports on missing people from the conflict being listed during 2009, ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â you would have got a more accurate figure.ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â When I spoke to people on the ground especially the war victims about the figures quoted by the BTF (and subsequently by you), they simply laughed it off and said it was LTTE propaganda in order to get the international attention to save them from the defeat.
Now you may see this as the thoughts of a single man, but if you were to read theÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â interviewÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â given by a former Tamil National Parliamentarian, who was trapped inside the war zone during this period, on the 18thÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â of April 2011 to the Asian Tribune , you will see that he also exposes the failed political agenda of the LTTE and the vested interests of the West.ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â This former Member of Parliament said that ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€¹Ã…â€œhe has seen the horrors of the war and seen people ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œ innocent Tamils, who were treated as stray dogs, shot and killed mercilessly by the LTTE gunmenÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€¹Ã…â€œ.ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Despite being charged by the Sri Lanka Government for refusing its orders to leave the LTTE controlled areas and staying in the region during the height of the war, the MP said that the United Nations and Western Countries wereÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â not privy to any firsthand information about the horrors, killings, destructions and the human tragedies that occurred during the final days of the battle.ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â He rubbished the UN Experts PanelÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢s report and said the UN document was based on third or fourth personÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢s reports and on biased materials prepared by the rump LTTE campaigners and vested interest groups. He challenged whether those three UN Experts could authenticate any of those allegations they have raised and included in their so called report?ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â He clarified that even those people who were in the Vanni in the last days of the combat between the Government Forces and the LTTE were not privy to any firsthand reports, as they were never allowed to stray out of their bunkers and places where they were confined by the LTTE gunmen.
It is a known fact that during the heavy fighting LTTE also moved its heavy artillery positions near the safe zones which were declared by the Sri Lankan forces to beÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â no fire zones. The LTTE not only moved its artillery within these no fire zones but also positioned it within the hospital compounds. The Tamils who objected to this move were brutally shot dead. These have been corroborated by the war victims and even former LTTE cadres and can be viewed for yourselves onÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â You Tube
I was in the Vanni last month and many Tamils have also confirmed the above claim. The LTTE not only killed innocent Tamils but also robbed them of their wealth and savings during the last battle.
As a Tamil, it would have made sense to support the LTTE, but you have to understand that as Sri Lankan Tamils, we have borne the brunt of the atrocities by the LTTE.
For example, I have listed below a small portion of unarmed innocent Tamil Politicians, Government Servants and other VIPÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢S that have been brutally killed by the LTTE
- A T Duraiyappah SLFP Mayor for Jaffna
- A Thiagarajah Ex ACTC MP for Vadokoddai
- K T Pulendran UNP Organiser for Vavunia
- A J Rajasooriar UNP Organiser in Jaffna
- Mala Ramachandran UNP MMC for Baticaloa
- Gnanachandiram Ex District Judge, Point Pedro and Government Agent, Mullativu C E
- Anandarajah Principal, St Jones College, Jaffna
- B K Thambipillai President, Citizens Cimmittee
- P Kirubakaran Primary Court Judge Kathiramalai
- Sarvodaya Leader Vignarajah Assistant Government Agent,
- MR.Samanturai Anthonimuttu Government Agent, Baticaloa
- S S Jeganathan Assistant Government Agent, Baticaloa
- Sinnadurai Assistant Government Agent, Trincomalee
- M E Kandasamy Principal, Palugamam Maha Vidyalaya
- Kanapathy Rajadurai Principal, Jaffna Central College
- S Siththamparanathan Principal, Vigneswara Vidyalaya, Trincomalee
- S Wijayanadan Distric Secretary, Ceylon Communist Party
- Velmurugu Master TULF Organiser and Citizens Committee Member, Kalmunai
- Rev. Father Chandra Fernando President, Citizens Committee, Batticaloa
- Rajjshankar President, Citizens Committee, Tennamarachchi
- S Sambandamoorthy Ex TULF Chairman, District Development Council, Batticaloa
- V M Panchalingam Government Agent, Jaffna
- K Pulendran Assistant Government Agent, Kopay
- A Amirthalingam TULF Leader and National List
- MP V Yogeshwaran Ex TULF MP for Jaffna
- T. Kailainathan Director of Vocational Qualification
- Dr (Mrs) Rajini Thiranagama Lecturer in Anatomy at the Jaffna University
- Ganeshalingam Ex EPRLF Provincial Minister for North and East
- Sam Thambimuttu EPRLF MP
- Mrs Thambimuttu Wife of EPRLF
- MP V Yogasangari EPRLF MP in Madras
- P. Ganeshalingam EPRLF provincial minister
- P. Kirubakaran Former EPRLF Finance Minister, North Eastern Province
- A Thangadurai TULF MP for Trincomalee
- Mrs Sarojini Yogeshwaran TULF Mayoress for Jaffna
- Thomas Anton Deputy Mayor of Batticaloa
- Pon Sivapalan TULF Mayor of Jaffna
- Pon Mathimukarajah TULF General Secretary, Jaffna Branch
- S.T. Tharmalingam SLFP Organiser, Jaffna District
- Canagasabai Rajathurai EPDF Member for Jaffna
- Veerahaththy Gunaratnam Member of the Pachchilaipalli Pradheshiya Sabha (PS) in Jaffna
- Dr Neelan Thiruchelvam Leader of TULF (29 July 1999)
- N. Manickathasan Vice President of Tamil Political party working with the Sri Lankan Government
- Vadivelu Vijeyaratnam Point Pedro Urban Council Chairman (14 Jan 2000)
- Anton Sivalingam EPDPÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢s Municipal Council members in Jaffna (1 March 2000)
- Kanapathipillai Navaratnarajah TELO member of Arayampathi, Batticaloa ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œ on 7 June 2000
- Rajan Sathiyamoorthy Tamil National Alliance
- Kethishwaran Loganathan (54) Deputy Secretary General of Sri Lanka Peace Secratariat, SCOPE
- Lakshman Kadirgamar Foreign Minister and SLFP MP (National List)
- T. Kailainathan Director of Vocational Qualification
- Markandu Eswaram Chief Engineer
- I.Shanmugalingam STAFF REPORTER, Eelanaadu & EELAMURASU newspaper, Jaffna
- Venerable Sivashri Kungaraja Kurukkal.
The above numbers do not mention the Sinhalese and Muslim politicans, intellectuals and academics that have also been assassinated by the LTTE and are also just a drop in the ocean as they have killed thousands of innocent Tamil, Sinhala, Muslim and others in Sri Lanka and abroad.
The LTTE had so many opportunities to follow the path of peace and come to a political settlement vis-a-vis the ethnic issue.ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â However they shut the door for peace on many occasions, always opting instead for conflict. This left the Sri Lankan government with no option but to finish off the LTTE. Yes this war against LTTE was a horrible and brutal war but it would have been worse if the LTTE had remained in existence today. The Sri Lankan Government has already started an inquiry into all the human right issues with regards its conduct and I am confident that accountability will be taken soon.
I am so happy to see the Tamils in Sri Lanka are now living peacefully with the other communities.
The peace and future reconciliation of the country remains a threat by the publication of such inflammatory and faulty articles.
Please do not open up the old wounds and disrupt the ongoing healing process among the communities in Sri Lanka.