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Terror in Tamil land: an extension of the notion of “humanitarian operation”

AP file photo
(January 10, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) It would be recalled, that pregnant with deep and bitter sarcasm, President Rajapkse in a recent passing out parade of the air force cadets implored the forces and State institutions (implied there in), either mischievously or otherwise, to continue the “good” work of the humanitarian operation towards the Tamils for their further “liberation” as done during the final stages of the war against the LTTE in which nearly 40,000 innocent Tamil civilian non combatants nothing to do with Tamil militancy were massacred and thousands maimed with Chinese and Pakistani assistance with Indian duplicity. In justifying the massacres, Rajapakse had called this an humanitarian operation where he claimed that not a single bullet was fired.

This term undoubtedly also applied to the plight of the hundreds of thousands of IDPs running for their lives to be eventually caught up within the razor wires to pay a very heavy price for seriously accepting the promise of their liberation, in their utter desperation. These refugees, had to flee from cluster bombs and attempts at wholesale massacres. Their livelihood has not improved one bit and are still waiting for the promised dwelling houses, de mined with electricity and water supply. We are not denying that many had to escape from being held hostages by the LTTE.

This latest signal by Rajapakse to the State apparatuses, the Sinhala Buddhist chauvinist elements and the state sponsored Tamil para-military elements for the continuation of the humanitarian operation “against” the Tamils has been taken in the true spirit of what was intended and executed. Disappearances, murders in broad daylight, abductions with absolute impunity are further evidence of the planned programme of the systematic destruction of a national ethnic group the deliberate commission of planned atrocities against a civilian population. If before, the defeat of the Tamil militancy on whose doors the blame for all crimes in the north and the east were laid, now the government is either busy looking out for scapegoats or is in a state of denial.

The absurd argument put forward by the military commander of the police state of the north in their defence against the blatant murder of the senior official of the department of education consequent to the statement the official made regarding the language in which the national anthem should be sung that in the complete absence of the LTTE in the north it was difficult to conclude as to who committed the murder thus implying that all murders in the north had to be committed by the LTTE. In other words, if there is no LTTE, there should be no killing. In addition to these in the last fortnight alone there have been several abductions, more wanton killings and disappearances.

Even the minister Devananda, a man of many parts besides his other distinguished qualities: the Head of a corrupt and ruthless paramilitary organisation, the virtual political leader in the north, a common criminal at large, racketeer and entrepreneur had in parliament sanctimoniously called for a debate on the “fear psychosis” that the people in the terrorised north face, evidently to absolve himself of the responsibilities for the crimes and to camouflage the stark reality of the problem.

Another unusual feature is that the Government Agent of Jaffna, the meanest and the most mediocre of all GAs, having managed to bring the office down to the lowest level ever, given to flirting with the Sri Lankan army hitherto an apologist for the terrorist State acting against the Tamil people whose welfare she should actually look after, while not being able to any longer defend the blatant atrocities in the north as she did giving evidence before the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) previously, chooses in this instance to sidetrack the issue by putting the blame only on the police as opposed to the army. Unfortunately, we cannot, however, vouch that any one of the calibre worse than that of hers would ever hold this office in the future. God forbid.

Mahinda Rajapakse, being a leader, it appears, is incapable of rising above petty considerations of revenge against the Tamil people holding them collectively responsible for the recent actions of the Diaspora in London for which they believed to be legitimate, and take a sociological approach towards the Tamils who are also part of the Sri Lankan nation. He is only making the claim for separation increasingly justifiable.

These crimes in the northern police State are obviously directed against the Tamil speaking people because they belong to a particular ethnic and religious group. Besides the strong element of genocide in these acts being directed against a civilian population, they are also a part of widespread and or systematic attacks against a civilian population pursuant to or in furtherance of State policy to commit such attacks. It is time for the international community to take cognizance of these and act immediately before the Tamil nation is destroyed beyond recognition.

( The Writer, editor of the Eelam Nation)

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