Sri Lanka Foreign Minister: Engage Tamils not linked or banned as LTTE terrorist fronts
Posted on June 13th, 2015

Shenali D Waduge

 Fools rush in where angels fear to tread aptly describes the current predicament. On 18th May 2009 LTTE was comprehensively defeated and its leader and key ground leaders were militarily eliminated having refused to lay down arms and surrender despite 3 appeals made by the then Sri Lankan President. Over 11,000 LTTE cadres surrendered including 594 child soldiers and close to 300,000 Tamils were rescued by the military by 15th May 2009. A homegrown rehabilitation process was designed for the surrendered LTTE cadres to be rehabilitated and reintegrated to society while the majority of the IDPs are now resettled following demining. 16 LTTE fronts and close to 500 individuals linked to LTTE terror were banned in April 2014 under UN Security Council Resolution 1373. If the new GOSL wants to engage with Sri Lankan citizens living abroad it must be citizens who have had no links to LTTE. Thus, engagement must be with Tamils & Tamil organizations overseas who are not banned as LTTE fronts and must also include the Sinhala organizations/individuals as well.

It is important to establish that the common enemy of LTTE terrorism included Sinhalese, Muslims Foreigners and Tamils.

Overseas Tamils were divided into those that supported LTTE and those that became victims of LTTE extortion and intimidation.

The Human Rights Watch report of 2006 gives ample examples of how Tamils suffered because of the LTTE fronts that are now banned. These organizations forcefully collected money from Tamils on a monthly basis and had computerized systems on where Tamils lived, what their professions were and under what category they would have to pay a monthly sum. Those that did not pay regularly had to pay dearly and some with death or lifetime injury.

It is rather silly that post-conflict the Tamils that suffered from LTTE fronts are ignored and the diplomats are engaging with people who collected money and material to support LTTE terrorists and had been intimidating these Tamils. What does it look like to now have LTTE fronts posing as terrorists in suits carry on the same intimidation and extortion because they do not wish to give up a lucrative business of making money without doing any work!

Some examples from the HRW report:

In November 2005, a German Tamil named Vaithiyanathan Loganathan was attacked and severely beaten after he and several other German Tamils organized a memorial event in Dusseldorf for the former principal of CentralCollege, a large and prominent school in Jaffna. The principal, Kanakapathy Rajadurai, known to oppose the LTTE’s recruitment of children, was shot and killed at his school on October 12, 2005. The organizers of the German memorial event were all former students at the college. Loganathan had also taught there from 1979 to 1982”…. Loganathan was assaulted when he went to pick up his wife from her shop in nearby Essen. He was attacked from behind by two men who pushed him to the ground and beat his head repeatedly with glass bottles. A third man beat his right leg with an iron bar. The attackers made no effort to take his money or other valuables. They ran away after patrons of a restaurant next door shouted and called the police.

Loganathan suffered two fractures in his right leg, lost several teeth, and required thirteen stitches on his head. He was hospitalized for three days, required extensive physical therapy, and two months after the attack still had not returned to work. He told Human Rights Watch, “I believe that if the people in the neighborhood hadn’t seen the attack and called for help, I probably would have died that day.”

Diaspora journalists have learned that publishing or broadcasting information that is critical of the LTTE can carry a heavy price. In the mid-1990s, prominent Tamil journalist DBS Jeyaraj published Muncharie, an independent Tamil weekly in Toronto that carried news and features related to events in Sri Lanka and the Tamil community in the West. As the Sri Lankan army began to make advances against the LTTE in Sri Lanka, the paper reported the LTTE’s defeats, while other Tamil newspapers portrayed LTTE operations in a more favorable light. As a result of his coverage, Jeyaraj began to receive systematic, threatening phone calls on a daily basis. In November 1995 he received thirty-seven abusive calls in a single day.”

Likewise, many Tamils throughout the EU, UK, Canada, US and Australia had been subject to victimization by LTTE fronts even death.

It is these Tamils that must have a voice now. They were silenced during 30 years of LTTE rule and they should not be silenced by LTTE fronts post-LTTE militancy. Moreover, it was from these victimized Tamils that LTTE picked its cadres and they were all low caste/class Tamils who remain out of scope even for TNA and the Northern Provincial Council.

The hundreds of submissions sent by Tamils to the UNHRC investigators will give in detail that these people were never looked after by the LTTE or the LTTE fronts that made USD30million annual profits.

Even the Canadian Parliamentary delegation raised the question of where the funds collected from Canada went to because when asked the people of the North had said they had not received anything.

Member of the Conservative Party Marlene Gallyot visited Sri Lanka in January 2012 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jxlQ01IbSf0

Interestingly, enough with over 3000 NGOs operating mostly in the North and East throughout the war, when the Sri Lankan military entered areas of the North that were once forbidden to them but was shared with NGOs/INGOs and the LTTE there was no trace of development except for plush offices for LTTE and houses for their families. Most other Tamils were living in makeshift huts and this was one reason why many of them preferred to remain in the welfare camps receiving 3 meals a day plus many other handouts which they had never received in decades!

If the present Minister can be excused for being out of touch about LTTE fronts and their links to LTTE terrorism, the Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry diplomats cannot be excused for not standing their ground and clearly informing the Sri Lankan Government that LTTE fronts are not the voice of legitimate diaspora and that the Ministry is doing greater damage by omitting the real victims of LTTE fronts by engaging and having discussions with the very organizations who are not only banned but who were responsible for intimidating and injuring the Tamils living abroad.

Moreover, the Sinhala expats being a large community themselves and numbering far more than the Tamils who live outside Sri Lanka must also have a say and should not be omitted from any discussion.

The Sri Lankan Government cannot afford to make matters worse by taking actions without taking stock of the ground realities first.

What the public of Sri Lanka are most concerned about is that terrorism does not spring again and when LTTE fronts want to have LTTE hard core terrorists released as well as lifting the bans upon their organizations we should not be naïve to wonder what the gameplan is about!

 Shenali D Waduge

 

4 Responses to “Sri Lanka Foreign Minister: Engage Tamils not linked or banned as LTTE terrorist fronts”

  1. Lorenzo Says:

    Maru-Sira-Run-nil is a LTTE govt.

    They will do what the LTTE tells it to do. Will LTTE ever tell it to engage with anti-LTTE Tamils? NO.

  2. Ancient Sinhalaya Says:

    Twenty five years since the brutal massacre of over 600 policemen in the east by ltte
    terrorists after alugusu lk premadasa’s orders to surrender. That’s how these scum fought the war. After MR
    eliminated the terroists, bring peace and prosperity to the country, these scums rubbished all his achivements.
    That’s what these traitor scum good at. Not an inch of motorway in 50 years. While enjoying all those facilities, say corruption, corruption.
    Any comments you gb ranil, gb avamangalaya etc traitor scum? Any comments from the Sinhalese donkeys
    still supporting these traitor scum party thinking it is fashionable to be unpatriotic party (UNP) supporters?

    Tamil national question? While enjoying more benefits than the natives? It is always more and more. If they had been the
    natives of Sri Lanka, they would have given preferential treatment to the Sinhalese? No chance in hell we sure.

  3. stanley perera Says:

    It should be only after completely disband the Racist Terrorist Organisation and make a public apology from all the Sri Lankans.

  4. Chancy Says:

    Shenali is right. The Minister does not have any idea about diplomacy. He takes all these foreign trips to have secret meetings with terrorist groups in lambs clothes! How can diplomats do anything ? I hear there are roughly about forty embassies without diplomats! Those who were recalled have not been replaced. This is Yahapalanaya!

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