Tamil detainees freed in Sri Lanka and nowhere to go
Posted on December 5th, 2009

Asoka Weerasinghe Kings Grove Crescent . Gloucester . Ontario.Canada

December 5, 2009

The Editor (Letters)
THE OTTAWA CITIZEN

Sir:

The cruel and insane side of international Human Rights activism was revealed in the very words that you had quoted (Dec.5), “ƒ”¹…”Tens of thousands of Tamil detainees freed in Sri Lanka, many have nowhere to turn.’  I am not surprised.

After 27 years of an intense and ugly Tamil separatist war where almost every house was destroyed in the North of Sri Lanka, and the government had provided temporary shelter in welfare camps  for the 288,000 rescued Tamil people until the North was demined from over a million landmines, infrastructures, hospitals, health clinics and schools were rehabilitated, and the destroyed houses were repaired or rebuilt to accommodate them, and yet the human rights organizations and western countries pressured the Sri Lankan government to release these people immediately.  This was insane. It was  stupid. It was cruel.

Foreigners have taken issue that the camps were surrounded by barbed wire.   What was wrong about these enclosing barriers? If one would visit any house in a village in Sri Lanka, one would see that the houses were guarded either by barbed wired fences or parapet walls where the upper surfaces were either mounted with iron spikes or broken glass with shards spiking up.  Why?  To keep away thieving visitors, marauding wild animals, et cetera.

These camps had to be guarded from Tamil Tiger suicide bombers who had already killed refugees who were lining up to be registered in camps.  There had to be some order to this madness as the country’s security was at stake as the thousands of hardcore Tamil Tiger terrorists had to be sieved out from the rest of the civilians.  They we not dealing with a 100 but with 288,000 displaced people who were herded from the west to the east during the 30 month retreat by the Tamil Tigers.

Of the 9,143 refugees who were given the freedom to go out of the welfare camps on December 1st, 5,020 of them returned the same day searching for security, food and comfort.   They too will be sent to their villages before the end of January once their homes have been rebuilt and the terrain has been de-mined.  The Sri Lankan Government has already performed miracles having sent over half of the 288,000 refugees to their de-mined villages and rebuilt homes during the past six months, and such miracles will continue until the camps will be closed for good by the end of January 2010.

 Human Rights aficionados cannot have it both ways.

Asoka Weerasinghe

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