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Slobodan of Sri Lanka

By Roy Ratnavel

(July 18, Toronto, Sri Lanka Guardian) On May 17, 2009, a singular, notorious act by Sri Lanka made its premiere in Vanni – traditional Tamil land in northern part of Sri Lanka. Entitled by Sri Lanka as “Rescuing Tamil hostages” or as Tamils have come to know as “Bloodbath on the beach” which resulted in over 20,000 deaths and mortally wounded many more thousands of Tamils in few days. In addition to Sri Lankan deviants, it featured many foreign elements like Indian military, Chinese weapons, and Western indifference and cunningness. It appears that Killing and oppression of Tamils is now outsourced. But the behaviour of Sri Lanka before, during and after the war – in particular, based on available evidence reveals inhumane – or worse, former Serbian style ethnic cleansing and ideology.

This act was, and still is performed by many denigrates in the Sri Lankan terror apparatus under the instruction of President Mahinda Rajapaksa – a Slobodan Milošević reincarnate. His evil actions against Tamils, the subsequent deception to the world and derided speeches to maniac masses and monks in Sri Lanka is insulting to humanity, revealing his hate and racial feelings against Tamils and just generally presenting the view of a sick mind. This revolting display has since become a major reference point for anyone – especially Tamils around the globe, requiring a handy example of Sri Lanka’s institutionalized intolerance at its most absurd and most dangerous.

I confess the events unfolded in Sri Lanka this year brought both darkness and enlightenment into my life. Growing up as a Tamil in Sri Lanka I’ve known all kinds of people – corrupt politicians, state terrorists, the victims, the war criminals. Hence I can relate. I can also compare. War criminals come in all sizes and shapes. But they have one thing in common – they are the lowest form of human life. There is an uncanny link between former Serbian President Milošević and the current Sri Lankan President, that is, in dysfunctional countries, if the political culture forbids respectable decent politicians to solve certain national ethnic issues; the country will eventually turn to unrespectable, thuggish ones with sick mind.

After the end of contentious war, Sri Lanka couldn’t even be magnanimous in victory. Singhalese were celebrating with fireworks and parties like they won a cricket championship – further alienating the Tamils and proving victory is not a chance for accommodation in Sri Lanka. As a Singhalese Buddhist political extremist, Sri Lankan President will keep Tamils there in a constant state of fear and vassalage and move the country towards a fascist state. For Tamil survivors of ethnic cleansing, it seems there can be no closure, no dignity, and no respect – at least for now. Regardless of age and sex, they are currently languishing in Sri Lankan concentration camps cut off from the outside world and subjected to institutionalized torture, rape and starvation on a daily basis.

It was to be expected in Sri Lanka, of course, where denial and geopolitics diverted attention from the well-documented involvement of Sri Lankan government and the military in the ethnic cleansing of Tamils. To be consistent with human history, as usual hereto are deniers of atrocities and this one is no exception. They came in droves and from all corners of the world. The surprising one in all this is Secretary-General of the UN Ban Ki-Moon and the perverse cult run by his Chief of Staff Vijay Nambiar. They have single handedly failed the Tamils and turned a blind eye. Under the guise of examining the situation – an earnest quest turned ridiculous, when they released many statements of blatant denials that Tamils were ever subjected to such horror. It makes rest of us wonder about their real agenda.

Why, top diplomats are in denial in what has happened in Vanni? My guess is they dare not travel down that road of justice. The deniers have no case whatsoever, as all the evidence makes incontrovertibly clear. The massively documented stories reveal horrifying tales of killings, torture and abuse; of innocent Tamils imprisoned solely because they are Tamils. Even if it were ever to be proved that Tamils started this war — which has never been true — the fact of ethnic cleansing of Tamils and subsequent incarceration, militarization and colonization by current President is indisputable.

Tamils don't need outsiders to speak for them: I offer to introduce Mr. Ban Ki-Moon to survivors and victims of past and present Sri Lankan brutality as he can bear to listen to, right here in Canada, who will tell their own stories of the eight or 20 or 30 family members they lost to the evil designs Sri Lanka. He can then tell those Tamils to their face that there were no crimes committed against their loved ones who are now either dead or dying in the hands of Sri Lankan thugs. He can conclude by explaining why Sri Lanka is still not allowing humanitarian organizations to enter the North and to offer assistance to the living Tamil victims despite its illusive victory? Ban should know that simple rule of thumb in conflicts is when you're not let in, it’s a sign that there’s something they want to hide – a painful lesson learned by the world only after Milošević’s reign.

The parallels between the past Serbian ethnic cleansing and the present cleansing of the Tamils in Sri Lanka are far greater than the differences. In both cases, the evidence abundantly demonstrates that a small clique of extremists planned and organized the bureaucratized elimination of a group planned at various meetings and based on a well-developed, pseudo-ethnic ideology. In Sri Lanka it is a Sinhala-Buddhist ideology.

In both cases, the mission of the extremists was to eliminate in its entirety a minority and their cultural identity, based not on anything they had done but on who they were. In the case of former Serbian President came diabolically close to total success. After his defeat, the world said “never again!”

But here again! Tamils hope for a fair and balanced assessment of Sri Lanka is an important exercise after such carnage; and hope the new International Criminal Court can learn from the experiences of the past war-crime tribunal in The Hague that charged Slobodan – now deceased former Serbian leader, will use the same yardstick on Sri Lanka’s living Slobodan. Crime boss of Colombo should be held to account for his contribution to this untold human misery.

If Sri Lankan President shouldn’t be hanged by the neck until dead, as the current pronouncements would have it, then he – and the Sri Lankan military – nevertheless must be called to account for what they have collectively done to Tamils in Sri Lanka. If that doesn’t happen, then the world is responsible – if not for what happened to Tamils, at least for what is yet to come. If the world doesn’t come to terms with what happened, there’s little chance of reversing Sri Lanka’s ethnic cleansing tendencies.

We told the world, contrary to claims; safe zones are anything but safe. We told the world, contrary to claims, that Sri Lanka had no constitution to protect Tamils. We told the world, contrary to claims, that Sri Lanka is a murderous, scurrilous state. We told the world, contrary to claims, that the Sri Lankan invasion of Tamils’ homeland would not be the beginning of the end of war, but merely the beginning of end of Tamils in Sri Lanka.

Sri Lankan state, its proxy killers and apologists cannot explain away Sri Lankan atrocities. Everywhere we turn; there are reminders of the demons that have been unleashed by Sri Lanka in the name of fighting terrorism. The world may deny justice to Tamils and move on. But the Tamils can’t move on. The vibrant, dedicated, resourceful and capable Tamil Diaspora will never forget or forgive that Sri Lanka has killed many thousands of our children, and most of them died before they even knew that they were Tamils.
-Sri Lanka Guardian


kahagalle said...

Mr. Ratnavel must be joking in his writings to accuse Sri Lanka President this way. It is unfair to blame anyone in the current government for the events happening in Sri Lanka at this time when we are trying to come out of the misery of LTTE. Quite eloquently he has not blamed LTTE for anything happened in Sri Lanka. Killing over 80,000 people in Sri Lanka, and executing both Tamil and Sinhalese politicians at will what right LTTE had to find immunity.
Writer is trying to fathom that he is quite literate about Sri Lanka. I wonder what part of Sri Lanka he is talking about. When LTTE was unleashing its lethal conduct the majority of the citizens lived in fear. They started to feel the winds of freedom only after 18th of May when the real murderer was put to sleep.
You may be hiding in an affluent country away from the ethnic Tamils in Sri Lanka. With your writing I guess that you are an affluent person living in the west. You cannot do better because you are supported by LTTE funds, and you have to write to satisfy your masters.
It is only 2 months since we have come to feel freedom which we have lost for 30 years. It will take another few years before we could establish proper freedoms in a land devastated by LTTE.
What ever Mr. Ratnavel say, how you account for the cache of weapons and other war material found in Wanni? Surely LTTE was not aiming for peace in Sri Lanka.

nadesan said...

Roy Ratti is a well known paid agent of the LTTE who presumably lives in the west coast of Canada and goes Moose hunting in other parts of Canada when he is not working to further the cause of Tamil racism. He says that the "killing of Tamils has been outsourced". I am a Tamil and I know that the Diaspora in Canada had taken the contract for killings Tamils in Sri Lanka. The agent of the Diaspora was the LTTE. The government managed to get rid of this noxious organization. It is interesting to see who the next agent of the Diaspora is going to be.

People like Roy Rattie may claim that it is even unsafe for Tamils to visit Sri Lanka, the land where "Tamils are being killed at the rate of thousands a week, and Tamil women are gang-raped regularly".

I live in Mt. Lavinia, and any Tamil can visit Mt Lavinia, Dehiwela or Wellavatta, or any other part of most of Sri Lanka and see that we are doing well - in fact better than sometime ago
when we could get blown up by an LTTE bomb or arrested by the police on suspicion simply because we were Tamils. Already there is less of that suspicion.

So I ask people like Roy Rattie who have left the country to JUST LEAVE US ALONE, as we have to forge a life together with the Muslims and Sinhalese who live in this country. There may be problems, but we can handle them if you don't meddle. Just stick to your moose hunting in Saskachewan.

jan said...

The comments are unworthy of a reply.I am not surprised he lives in canada. The tamil diaspora that financed the LTTE to use child soidiers to fight there war only deserves condemnation for there immorality.

Ranjan said...

Well, Should I have to comment on this article? Yeh, another well paid Journalist. Well Done Diaspora. Money well spent...

punitham said...

Ratnavel doesn't know what has been going on in the whole of Northeast that has been cut off from the rest of the country for more than three years. He knows only what is happening behind the barbed wire in Vavuniya in the last four months because some reporters(Channel 4 and Al Jazeera) have gone undercover there.
A few fact-finding missions also have been bringing out some news:

LIVING LETTERS TEAM TO SRI LANKA(AUGUST 2007) is part of the initiative, Decade Overcoming Violence(DOV), of the World Council of Churches in its report:
''We came away from Sri Lanka with mixed feelings – inspired by the commitments of the churches and of human rights activists to work for peace and reconciliation and to be a voice of courage in a very difficult context; saddened by the many signs of suffering and violence we saw around us; and disheartened by the lack of political will to find real solutions to the 25 year old war. Please call on the churches all over the world to pray for us, was a message the Living Letters Team heard over and over again.''

punitham said...

Sri Lanka should be a peaceful place for ALL:

Justice in retreat: A report on the independence of the legal profession and the rule of law in Sri Lanka, International Bar Association Human Rights Institute, 26 May 2009:
'' The IBAHRI’s decision to visit Sri Lanka was prompted by concerns regarding the status of the rule of law, the independence of the judiciary and the ability of the legal profession to exercise its professional duties freely. Many of the problems identified in the 2001 IBAHRI Report continue to affect the independence of the legal profession and the rule of law in Sri Lanka and in some respects the situation has deteriorated significantly. ....
This deficiency in the provision of legal aid means that some members of Sri Lankan society, particularly those of Tamil ethnicity, are unprotected within the criminal justice system.''

nakkeeran said...

The Sinhalese chauvinists have only one answer when their racism is exposed. To call their critics paid agents of the LTTE. This is repeated ad nauseam! The LTTE is a by product of Sinhala racism. This is not what I say, but it is what ex-president Chandrika Kumaratunga said. The Tamil from Mt.Lavinia says Tamils are safe to go around in " Mt Lavinia, Dehiwela or Wellavatta, or any other part of most of Sri Lanka and see that we are doing." If this is the case why are Tamils picked up everyday by the police all over Ceylon? Why are Tamils locked up in Boosa camp, Welikada and other prisons around Ceylon for ages without charges or trial? Out of 34 journalists killed during the tenure of the present government (April 2004 - March 2009) “three were Sinhala journalists, one Muslim and 30 were from the Tamil community. In addition, 10 journalists and media workers were abducted. Journalist Jeyaprakash Tissainayagam, his printer Vetrivel Jesiharan and Jesiharan’s wife Vadivel Valarmathi remain in custody since their arrest over a year ago." These killings and abductions not only clearly demonstrate the culture of impunity that prevails in Sri Lanka, but also the fact that Tamils are the main target. What is the message the government is trying to send through these killings to the Tamils? The GoSL defence web site clearly says those journalists who criticize the armed forces are traitors! Now lawyers who appeared for the S/Leader’s former editor Lasantha Wickrematunge are also dubbed as traitors!
The fact of the matter is Tamils living in the Northeast are under military occupation. Both the Governors of North and East are Sinhalese ex-army generals. The Committee appointed for the development of North, cynically called in Tamil as Vadakkin Vasantham (The Spring in the North) consists of 18 Sinhalese and one Muslim. Even a Quisling like Douglas Devananda was not qualified enough to be included in the Committee. So to say that the Tamils have been "liberated" from the clutches of the LTTE is a BIG joke! This is what Roy Ratnavel tried to drive home in his article. The Sinhalese have to shed their complex and grow up without remaining as frogs in the well.

Roy said...

My thanks to Kahagalle, Ranjan, jan, nadesan (SR?) for reading my column, and for your respective untrue, unsubstantiated, overdramatic, pedestrian comments.

As the old Tamil saying goes “You can wake-up someone who is sleeping but you cannot wake up someone who is pretending to be asleep.”

And, I am sure all of you know which category you belong to.

Thank you,

Roy Ratnavel

kana said...

Dear editor,
We, the Tamils all over the world will never, never let loose these Sri Lankan Kitlers Mahindha and his chemical Ali's. For how long they can hide behind the curtain.Very soon these barbarians will be end up in the international prison.

Save Tamils, Recognize Tamileelam. said...

To all the comments, if you can't even share the pain and suffer of your fellow 300k humans who are imprisoned in internment camps, then how it is possible you guys going to shre the rights to live as humans?

My best regards to Roy for writting such a wonderful, nutral piece of writting.

Shivakumar said...

Great article!
The minute you see people try to divert the Genocide of tamils by saying things like 'LTTE committed atrocities' or 'LTTE agents are lying'
you can be sure these individuals are supporting the genocide. LTTE has become a convenient scapegoat.
Whatever wrong the LTTE committed, the genocide against Tamils cannot be denied.
It started before the rising of the LTTE and seems set to continue after LTTE falling.
And please dont say ridiculous things like: 'There is no genocide of tamils in Sri Lanka because Murali plays for the cricket team'
This Genocide is engineered to occur over a long stretch of time. It has to, only that way do they stand a chance of pulling it off without getting caught.
But thanks to trigger happy Rajapakse, an unusually large number of tamils were murdered in one go and thus the world suddenly woke up to it.
We must all play our role in exposing the racism.

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