Need for Safe Haven for Civilians in Active Conflict Zones –Reply to Ivan Pedropillai.

by Charles.S.Perera

(September 25, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) On the 23 September,2008 through the Sri Lanka Guardian Mr.Ivan Pedropillai, has made a delayed appearance to plead for the worthy cause of the displaced Tamil Persons involved in the on going conflict. It is extremely sad that the humanitarians like him were playing hide and seek all this while and appear just now to defend the poor Tamil Civil population who had been made to suffer for the dream of a man who wants territorial separation to set up a homeland for the Tamils.

Before we get down to understand the present plight of the innocent displaced Tamil persons, let us see , without throwing aspersions at the government, who are responsible to have put these innocent Tamil persons in to this most inhuman situation.

The Sri Lanka Government of the President Mahinda Rajapkse, even before he was elected promised to meet the terrorist leader Prabhakaran personally, if he were to be elected, to find a solution to the problem of the Tamil people. Thereafter, when he was elected to the high office, the President, true to his promise , sent emissaries- the SLMM, inviting Prabhakaran the terrorist leader to meet him personally. Prabhakaran's answer to the President was in his so called annual address in November, 2005, in which he said that he would renew his armed struggle.

Subsequently with the intervention of the Norwegian Mission, Prabhakaran agreed to send a delegation to attend a meeting with the representative of the Government in Geneva, Switzerland to negotiate for a peace settlement on the 22-23 of February, 2006. Latter the terrorists attacked the Sri Lanka army, and asked the government to postpone the scheduled peace talk for the 24-25 April,2006.

On the 20 April,2006 Prabhakaran officially pulled out of the negotiations indefinitely.

Again with the intervention of the Sri Lanka Government and the Norwegian Government it was agreed to commence peace negotiations, this time in Oslo, Norway on 8-9 June,2006.

In the meantime the LTTE cancelled the scheduled peace talks, and on the 15, June,2006, exploded a Claymore bomb in Kebithigollawa killing 64 civilians including men, women, and many children.

On the 21 July,2006 the terrorists closed the Sluice Gates at Mavil Aru depriving water to 15 000 villagers, and on the 2 August, 2006 attacked the army camp at Muttur. It was only then that the Government forces retaliated. That was the beginning of the armed conflict in which the Government Forces militarily challenged the terrorists. Please see : for details.

Now, Mr.Ivan Pedropillai, you see the sequence of events that lead the Government Forces to intervene militarily, to say no to Prabhakaran and his terrorist forces who understand only the "language of the gun". That sequence of events given above shows why the Government of Mr.Mahinda Rajapakse was forced to intervene militarily, to stop further continuation of Prabhakaran's , pretentious, unpredictable , dishonest manoeuvres to dupe the government of Sri Lanka, the International Community represented by Norway, and the people, to attain his dream of an Eelm State at what ever cost to the civil population.

To-day in Kilinochchi, Prabhakaran is holding the Civilian population prisoners, to make of them a human shield to save his skin. The government has not left the civil population in Kilinochchi without resources, they have been provided with food and medicine, despite both commodities are being pilfered by the terrorists to feed their cadres. The life for the civilian population is certainly unbearably difficult, the government has also made arrangements to receive them, if they can break away from the terrorist hold, into non-military areas.

The culprit who is primarily responsible for this sad situation is Prabhakaran, though Mr.Pedropillai does not seem to admit that fact. It is he who has inflicted this suffering to the civil population in Killinochchi, and not the Government. There are many factors at play in this terrorists issue. There is a very interesting article in the LankaWeb, by Kithsiri Athulathmudali, titled "Who Wants to Win the Hearts and Minds of Tamil Nadu Tamils: Narayana? ", which makes us think that terrorism in Sri Lanka, is used as a pawn on a larger political game of chess.

One begins to question why the International Community, including USA, along with UN System, Karen Parker, Human Rights Watch, the Catholic Church, and the AI , are opposing with vehemence the Sri Lanka Government's war against terrorism, while at the same time making the terrorist issue in Sri Lanka different, from the terrorism America and the IC have vowed to fight where ever it is found.

However, the question one raises now Mr. Ivan Pedropillai, is what you and your Writers Guild had been doing all this time. If you were genuinely interested about the suffering of the civil population why did n't you intervene when Prabhakaran withdrew from the scheduled peace talks in Geneva and Oslo, to insist on him the necessity to meet the government for peace talks to avoid considerable difficulties for the civil population.

You cannot wash your hands now Mr. Pedropillai, and put all the blame on the government of Sri Lanka for the sad plight of the civilian population in Kilinochchi to-day. Because you Mr.Pedropillai and your Writers Guild have not done any thing to force Prabhakran to come to a settlement with the government. You watched in silence, when he refused to attend the scheduled meetings to negotiate a peace settlement, and continued to fight the government Forces to the greater inconvenience of the Civil population.

That was because you also connived with Prabhakaran's pathological scheming for the partition of Sri Lanka for a Tamil Homeland. Therefore you and your Guild never cared a dime for the suffering of the civilians, who were to be the human sacrifice for the Tamil Homeland Prabhakaran was to set up. That is why Mr.Pedropillai, you and your writers' Guild stand condemned for having caused immense suffering to the Civil Population in Kilinochchi. You are responsible, as much as Prabhakaran for the sad plight of these innocent civilians in Kilinochchi today.

Mr.Ivan Pedropillai and his writers guild who have been watching the continuous sacrifice of brain washed Tamil Youth for a promised homeland, wake up now, when the Government Forces are on the verge of ending the blind terrorism that cost so many human lives and destroyed so much land and material; They have woken up now to plead the International Community to intervene to save the terrorist, still hoping that terrorism will make the Tamil Homeland a reality. If Prabhakaran and his wild dream is not ended now this massacres, murders and assassinations would continue for another 25 years. And the civilians who had suffered for the last 25 years will continue to go though the same suffering for another 25 years. Is that what Mr.Ivan Pedropillai and Writers Guild want ?

The Government of Sri Lanka as much as any other International government has to defend its people and protect its territory. In the present conflict with the terrorists, the government of Sri Lanka is not the aggressor, and it has a right to use its army to fight and eliminate terrorism. Terrorism is a scourge that all governments have agreed to fight without giving into it. In a war there are possible danger to the civil population, not only in the areas of conflict but also, in Sri Lanka where terrorism has evolved under Prabhakran, with a special suicide cadre, he can extend his spree of massacres, assassinations, and murders every where in Sri Lanka. They set up bombs in buses, trains in market places killing, and maiming innocent civilians.

Mr.Pedropillai cannot start blaming the Government Armed Forces for a war against terrorists causing untold suffering to civilians, without telling the world of the ruthless nature of the terrorists lead by Prabhakaran. They are terrorists and the Sri Lanka military forces are fighting against the Terrorists, doing all it could to help the civilian population. It is not true that the government has stopped supplying food and medicine to the combat areas. Even though the NGOs have been removed from the military zones, necessary assistance by way of food, and medicine for civilians continue to be supplied by the government.

The terrorists are not a group of freedom fighters. Because freedom has not been denied to the Tamil people of Sri Lanka. More than 50 per cent of the Tamil population is living in he South of Sri Lanka along with their Sinhla and Muslim compatriots. The Tamil people have no restriction for employment , purchase of land and property , and settle down in any part of the country. Therefore it is wrong to say that the terrorists are fighting for the freedom of the Tamil people. Tamil people are 13 percent of the total population of the country, while the Sinhala are 73 percent of the total population. But this difference has not given the Sinhala people any special rights over and above the Tamil and Muslim people.

Mr.Ivan Pedropillai is not pleading for the cause of the plight of the civilians in Kilinochchi. He is attempting to keep alive Prabhakaran the most ruthless terrorists of the present era. The Tamil diaspora wants his safety, to keep alive the concept of a homeland for the world Tamils. He had been a force to bring together the Tamil Nadu and all dispersed Tamil population together. The catholic Church is also behind you. They also want to keep Prabhakaran alive. They have there own agenda.

It is important to eliminate terrorism to Save Sri Lanka and keep together the Sinhala, Tamil, Muslim and other Communities united into a peaceful Nation. The sooner the terrorism is eliminated, sooner will be the end of the suffering and the end of the present plight of the Civil Population in Kilinochchi.

Therefore, do not call upon the International Community and the UN to interfere in to our affairs. They can only make things worse for us. We see it happening in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and else where, wherever they- the International Community intervened the civilian population suffered, and they can do nothing about it. On the other hand the government of Sri Lanka has a better understanding of our people of different communities, and can intervene successfully to ameliorate their conditions. We can very well settle our problems and build a peaceful, progressive Nation . We should have confidence. -
Sri Lanka Guardian