Global Tamil Forum – The Church leading the defunct LTTE
Posted on February 28th, 2010

Dr.P.A.Samaraweera, Australia

The Global Tamil Forum (GTF) had its inaugural meeting last week. The GTF is the defunct LTTE resuscitated in a different format,’old wine in new bottles’ !.  It is the current LTTE network and their goal is to set up a separate state.
 
The British PM’s attendance and David Miliband, the Foreign Secretary’s speech had lent credibility to an organisation carved by former LTTE activists who were the fund-raisers of the West for a separate agenda. The British elections are to be held within the next few months and therefore, the involvement of the Labour Party is not unusual. Obviously, they depend on the Tamil diaspora votes and funds. Further, according to anti-terror experts the GTF is holding assets worth more than US$ 5 billion inherited from the LTTE.
 
The head of the GTF is Fr. S.J.Emmanuel, a Catholic priest. Previously, he had worked with late Balasingham and other LTTE leaders.
 
In the past, with regard to the role of the Church, perspective observers have publicly accused the Christian Church of being the invisible hand behind the LTTE’s violent campaign to destroy the unitary state of Sri Lanka and establish another sovereign state called “Eelam”.
 
It is a matter of public knowledge that Christian Clerics from western countries have come to Sri Lanka for short visits, to study the ground situation and then have written adverse reports heavily tilted in favour of the LTTE  and damaging the image of the country. Much of the blame in their reports  was on the alleged human rights abuses by the security forces with hardly any mention of the planned and pre-meditated acts  of inhumanity by the LTTE.
 
One such case was Sister Elizabeth Mackie from New Zealand who visited Sri Lanka in May 1986 and went around New Zealand holding meetings to raise funds for the LTTE. It was this policy of blatant one sidedness of pointing the finger only at the Sri Lankan army and painting the LTTE as “freedom fighters” that had eroded the credibility of the Christian Church as neutral bystanders of this conflict.
 
The position taken by the Church was confirmed by Mr.S.N.Dixit, the former High Commissioner for India, who stated in his book, (Assignment Colombo, P. 228) that, “…what was fascinating was that the Tamil Catholic Clergy kept arguing in favour of the LTTE throughout my tenure in Sri Lanka…”
 
During the elections in 1999, it was reported that the Catholic Bishop of Jaffna had requested all Tamil political parties to cease functioning so that the LTTE could act as the sole representative of the Tamil people.
 
Then in an article to the Asia Week of 21 Nov. 1997, the Roman Catholic Bishop of Jaffna had said, “…The Tamils have fought for the right to be equal citizens. And the LTTE has been in the forefront of this…”
 
The LTTE had never attacked the Christian Church but always targetted Buddhists and Buddhist institutions eg., Sri Maha Bodhiya, Dalada Maligawa and so on. The LTTE pinned the Buddhists to gain sympathy and support of the Church.
 
During the last three decades, whenever the LTTE hit with mass murders of civilians the Church never condemned them openly but was quick to show lapses of the army. The Church never supported the war against the terrorists and towards the end of the war, along with International organisations and the west backed for a cease fire. The Church very well knew that the cease-fires by the LTTE were bogus and hailed negotiations everytime the terrorists were nailed by the army.
 
Finally, with the west,  the  Church as well downplayed the victory of the government over the terrorists. So hindsight, it is no surprise that Fr. Emmanuel from the Catholic Church has taken over the defunct LTTE.

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