War against terrorism and Tamil Diaspora

“Full page advertisements calling foreign intervention, spending vast sum of money, are already appearing in Australian printed media. All sorts of made-up slogans such as ”genocide of Eelam Tamils”, “Sinhala military aggression on Tamil homeland”, “Tamils’ struggle for self determination”, “oppression by the permanent and hostile Sinhala chauvinist state”, “brutality of a murderous regime in Colombo”, etc are flying high in all most all publications and websites as never seen before.”

by S. Akurugoda

(September 23, Melbourne, Sri Lanka Guardian) In an interview with the media, Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa expressed his confidence of victory and that the progress made had been a little faster than originally planned. To fight the war correctly, it is necessary to get an analysis (of the situation confronting the forces and the battle plan) from the service commanders, the Secretary explained.

While the security forces are marching forward and destroying the armed terrorists, unarmed separatists are apparently active as never before. Majority of the unarmed separatists who are active in and outside the country have gone wild and intensified their propaganda campaign against the government and the security forces since they are fully aware that the only way-out to save their Eelam dream is to mislead the entire world by making use of the government stance on the relocation of so-called humanitarian aid agencies and by exaggerating the figures of internally displace personnel (IDP).

Question of relocation of INGOs and IDP.

The security of the INGO staff, as well as that of civilians, is the responsibility of the government and that the government could not be expected to change its military plans to satisfy the wimps and fancies of the UN or INGOs.

When the government closed Muhamalai, as the Defence Secretary identified, the same very people supported by the paid peaceniks in Colombo alleged that people will die of hunger and there were persistent demands that this entry point be opened. But the whole country knew that the LTTE needed Muhamalai open for trafficking in arms and bombs to and from the North.
Fortunately, the government did not permit that despite pressure to open the said entry point on the so-called humanitarian grounds and continued to provide the goods and services that the people of the north needed. No one died of hunger.

As one of the recent editorial of a daily newspaper quite correctly identified, ‘those who are expressing concern about the security of civilians in the Wanni have stopped short of calling for action against the LTTE, which is using people as a shield in Kilinochchi and Mulaitivu. The government has made arrangements to accommodate civilians to be evicted from the theatre of war, as it successfully did in the Eastern Province. If the LTTE lets go of civilians, the question of their security won’t arise. Therefore, it may be argued that anyone who laments about the plight of civilians without faulting the LTTE or pressuring it to release people in its clutches is, either wittingly or unwittingly, helping further the LTTE’s cause’.

Tamil Diaspora and its activities

There is a sizable Tamil Diaspora worldwide, almost equivalent to one-quarter of Sri Lanka’s Tamil population. Nearly half of these people reside in Canada and the United Kingdom. Other Western countries with a significant Sri Lankan Tamil Diaspora include Germany, Switzerland, France and Australia.

Many of these people or their relatives were fortunate enough to claim refugee status and to get easy access to the lucrative life style in the West by selling the war and end of war to them means not ‘peace’ but ‘cease’ of opportunities. These so-called refugees have got free housing, health care, education and other free things just by deception and misleading the world. These are the people who live in a dream world of Eelam of their own and not the ordinary Tamils who live with the majority community in Sri Lanka. The expectation of the majority of the 54% of the Tamil population now living outside the Northern and Eastern provinces without any record of incidences of communal violence for decades, despite numerous provocations by the LTTE, is none other than the continuation of peaceful co-existence with the majority community.

As identified by the Human Rights Watch in their report “Funding the Final War, LTTE Intimidation and Extortion in the Tamil Diaspora” when the so-called ‘refugees’ settled abroad, particularly in areas with high concentrations of their own community they established a range of institutions and organizations, including businesses, media, religious temples and churches, and cultural, political, and service organizations, including agencies that help new arrivals to find housing or employment. To ensure both political and financial support, the LTTE sought—and gained—influence or control over many of these institutions.

This Tamil Diaspora has been an important source of financial and political support for the LTTE. It is estimated that 90 percent of the LTTE’s military budget come from overseas sources, including both Diaspora contributions and income from international investments and businesses. Probably as a good gesture, many members of the Diaspora willingly give financial contributions to the LTTE and actively support terrorism although there are some who are subjected to intimidation and harassment, and are told that if they do not support, they may not be able to return to Sri Lanka to visit their families.

Funds were raised through a variety of means, such as collections at Hindu temples and public events, including annual Heroes’ Day celebrations that honour LTTE “martyrs.” In most countries with a significant Tamil Diaspora, The LTTE has established charitable organizations to raise funds for so-called ‘Tamil causes’. These included the World Tamil Movement, British Tamil Association, and the Tamil Rehabilitation Organization, among others. Although the charities solicited funds to assist civilians affected by the war, numerous inquiries, including investigations by various intelligence units, have found that a significant amount of the funds raised were channelled to the LTTE for its military operations.

The LTTE with the full backing of its Diaspora has made thousands of Tamil young men and women including children to sacrifice their lives to achieve this “Mythical Eelam” and to boost their ego. Thus the Diaspora who finances the outfit and provides the necessary political support is responsible for the misery brought to the Tamils in Sri Lanka while they live in luxury.

Intensified false propaganda

Full page advertisements calling foreign intervention, spending vast sum of money, are already appearing in Australian printed media. All sorts of made-up slogans such as ”genocide of Eelam Tamils”, “Sinhala military aggression on Tamil homeland”, “Tamils’ struggle for self determination”, “oppression by the permanent and hostile Sinhala chauvinist state”, “brutality of a murderous regime in Colombo”, etc are flying high in all most all publications and websites as never seen before.

Urgent appeals have been made via electronic mails to write to UN and related agencies such as UNHRC about the so-called ‘serious plights’ of Wanni people. A protest gathering, organised by another LTTE frontline organisation called Australasian Federation of Tamil Associations (AFTA), was held in Canberra, last week, urging the Australian and Indian Governments to intervene to save ‘Eelam Tamils’.

It is also reported that a section of Tamil Diaspora who attended a pro-LTTE meeting held in Middlesex on 15th September, addressed by the British Minister Lord Malloch-Brown, Minister for Africa, Asia and the UN in British Parliament and Garath Thomas MP, went berserk and the meeting ended abruptly. Tamils opposed to LTTE were not allowed to raise any questions and one Tamil activist Jayadevan was assaulted by some goons. Participating and addressing meetings organised by frontline organisations of the LTTE while the LTTE is a banned terrorist outfit in Britain is a clear example of the duplicity of our former colonial master who was partly or fully responsible for the creation of the problem we are facing today.

Another such meeting was held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia few weeks ago. One of the peacenik from a Colombo NGO who addressed the meeting had to admit later, for the first time, in one of his writing to PTI that the LTTE will not win the war and the struggle for Eelam will not be successful. This self appointed ‘intellectual’ was preaching a different theory to his followers, all these time, that the LTTE is unbeatable and hence the only solution left is to negotiate with them. According to this paid intellectual, more than 200,000 people have been rendered homeless due to the recent rounds of fighting, the same figure quoted in the publication of LTTE false propaganda machinery throughout the world.

As reported in pro-LTTE media, another such meeting of Tamil Diaspora is scheduled to be held in Germany.

Needs of the hour

Responding to a question that foreign intervention is being sought on the basis of the travails of the internally displaced, the Defence Secretary said that the media had a duty to correctly explain the situation instead of going along a path that suits the LTTE’s objectives. Unfortunately most of the printed and electronic media established in Colombo serve the political and business agendas of their masters disregarding the damage that may cause to the country at large when the false propaganda machinery of the Diaspora is operating at its peak. Although prominence is given to the peace lobby in their publications, probably to reach out to a wider audience including the so-called international community, we are blessed with at least one or two media groups to raise a voice against terrorism.

The activities of the Tamil Diaspora and their supporters should be watched as a part of the war strategies since financing the outfit and supplying weapons for its possible guerrilla type attacks may continue, even after the liberation of Wanni by the security forces, unless confronted properly. Countering the international propaganda to eliminate the supply of amenities to the interested parties who are looking for opportunities to interfere in the internal matters of troubled nations to exploit their valuable resources should also be considered as a priority. As long as the majority of citizens of a country are vigilant and has the determination to protect its territorial integrity and sovereignty and to establish peace for all communities under the right political and military leaderships, despite whatever hardships or obstacles that may come across, it will not be easy for outside forces (irrespective of their economic powers) to interfere in the internal affairs of that country to fulfil their hidden agendas.
- Sri Lanka Guardian