By Philip Fernando in Los Angeles
(March 25, Los Angeles, Sri Lanka Guardian) It must be recorded that LTTE’s recent deceptive media blitz which tried its utmost to stick a genocide label on Sri Lanka failed miserably as the disciplined Sri Lankan armed forces stood firm in their commitment to civilian safety. No genocide ever took place as international observers took stock of the situation in Wanni. All this provided a strange backdrop to what may be termed U N’s reluctance to brand LTTE as ruthless terrorists as done by the United States FBI last year.
It is strange and inexplicable how U N insiders felt it necessary to tarnish the sovereign state of Sri Lanka with the same brush as the terrorist bandits. Their hesitancy to recognize the heroic fight of our soldiers who waged a war, considered unwinnable by many an expert was a travesty of the UN mandate. That valiant fight against LTTE terror received scant respect during the final and crucial stages of the war as LTTE held thousands civilians hostage. UN almost succumbed to the disinformation campaigned leveled against Sri Lanka disregarding the facts on the ground.
It was obvious that the LTTE with its shrunken territorial hold were hoping for a miraculous lifeline to rescue them even at this belated hour. Unlike the fast dwindling numbers of their cadres the UN seemed oblivious to what was needed. As a member state of the august body since the mid fifties, Sri Lanka expected most favored nation treatment or at least a fair assessment of her terror-fighting record from the UN observers. It is a shame that during Sri Lankan’s hour of need United Nations almost let them down as her laudable effort to work out a safety no fire zone went unnoticed for too long. UN dilly dallied and never castigated the LTTE for their multiplicity of atrocities against innocent civilians.
The so called genocide cry of the terror-driven LTTE moguls and their hired guns failed to attract any support even when pro-LTTE websites and ad hoc news tubs were broadcasting away their misinformation campaign with a vengeance. The false depictions of gruesome and heart-breaking photos of dead Tiger siblings and youngsters, purported to be those of the civilians and children in the `Sri Lanka’s genuine attempt to protect the civilians through a No Fire Zone was turned into a vicious propaganda vehicle by the terrorists.
The question is being asked among international observers now whether United Nations was bluffed by the LTTE proxies and demonstrations in foreign capitals by mercenaries masquerading as supporters urging everyone to rise up and collectively condemn the Sri Lanka government. It sure did look like a mass hysteria by the LTTE mouth pieces inciting respective foreign governmental authorities and the general public to resort to cries of genocide against a government that was doing its utmost to avoid civilian casualties. Sri Lanka had handled with great dexterity the tsunami tragedy when a million refugees were on their soil. The Wanni situation was well within their capacity and it was executed with admirable speed and accomplishment.
International observers are now aware of the mythical stories of dying refugees not served even with a single aspirin. The trapped civilians were captives of the LTTE and not the armed forces. Blocked food supplies were the acts of treachery by the LTTE with the intent of stalling the advancing troops coming at them to finish off a terrorist war. The LTTE Diaspora mocked the international community with impunity with their harangue and tales of woe. Thanks to the effort of the government embassies and thousands of Sri Lankan activists the well-concerted the LTTE misinformation campaign and disguised cries on behalf of the civilians failed to halt the emerging truth that Sri Lanka was protecting the civilians as no one else could.
Finally, as A9 opened new vistas of opportunity, the final chapter in the long war against terror came to be written with gusto. A-9 facilitated more and more food convoys into the north. ICRC officials are able to take adequate stocks on chartered vessels and unloaded essentials, needed for civilians. Even now the Tigers are still stealing some part of those food supplies to feed their cadres-thanks to a benevolent government.
International observers are now convinced that the final nail in the coffin of the long-entrenched Tigers is hammered down. The so-called civilians in danger were now seeking safety in the government controlled areas in thousands. Tiger desertions are growing as we write. The mythical civilian atrocities by the government of Sri Lanka were a hoax that ultimately turned the opinion in the international quarters against the Tigers.
Many observers now believe that the civilian factor within a span of several weeks unexpectedly turned disastrous and challenging for retreating Tigers as civilians began to escape, en masse into cleared areas at the risk of their own precious lives. It was reported that their influx into cleared areas exceeded the 50,000 figure. The harrowing tales of horror perpetrated by the Tigers on fleeing civilians would make human rights watch dogs tremble. It is a noticeable change for those used to accusing the government of wrong doing.
The fake cries of civilian danger cooked up only for the purpose of gaining breathing space by besieged LTTE cadres failed as the civilians, caught up in Puthukudiyirippu area also turned to government for help. The humanitarian crisis anticipated and announced with delirious acumen by some human rights watchers turned into a fiasco. We have to live without those screaming warnings of genocide and starving civilians from now on. The NGOs also have departed amidst all the LTTE soothsayer predictions of doom that never materialized. UN observers will live to tell tales of impending gloom that seemed to have disappeared so sooner they were predicted. -Sri Lanka Guardian
By Philip Fernando in Los Angeles