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August, a Memorable Month for Tamils for All Wrong Reasons!Nadarajah Balasubramaniam Salem-News.com
The counter propaganda campaign by the government of Sri lanka was a complete fabrication created to justify a war of aggression.
(LONDON) - The month of August of the year 2006 is a very significant and a memorable month for the Tamils in general and Eelam Tamils in particular, for all wrong reasons.
Sencholai massacre of August 14th 2006 and just 16 days later on Thursday, 31st of August 2006, President Rajapakse, clad in a light blue bush shirt and white sarong, meeting with Britain's then Prime Minister, Tony Blair, though on vacation, at his country residence Chequers in Buckinghamshire and finalising the RSG (or Ready Steady Go!) for the annihilation of LTTE, the Tamil rebels, are the two nasty and the most foul events, the Tamils will never forget for generations.
On 14 August 2006 around 7.30 am, Sri Lankan Air Force K fir jets. carried out extensive bombing and managed to kill 52 students, mostly orphans, and two staff. Another 130 students were seriously injured. Many more received minor injuries. Three of the injured girls lost one leg and another girl lost an eye.
In the Senchcholai complex in Vallipunam in the Mullaithivu district hundreds of female students in the age group of 17-20 were gathered on 10 August 2006 for a week-long training in leadership and first-aid which was intended for preparing the students for influencing and guidance in their school and community during the impending war. The aim was survival. Already daily indiscriminate aerial bombardment of the Vanni area was a common occurance during those days.
The war as schemed by India, was simply based on the flawed hypothesis; International community's decisions and actions were based on the wrong belief that the Sri Lankan Government could be trusted but the Tamil freedom fighters, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), could not be trusted. The International Community believed that the LTTE could not be trusted to respect the 2002 ceasefire agreement; that sooner or later it would break it and re-start the war. The Sri Lankan government, on the other hand, could be trusted to honour its pledge that it would not restart the war and seek a military solution.
The flawed nature of this belief became evident as events unfolded in 2006. It was the LTTE that was eager to keep the ceasefire alive and it was the Sri Lankan Government that would not end its aerial bombings and other offensives in spite of repeated requests from the international community.
The counter propaganda campaign by the government of Sri lanka was a complete fabrication created to justify a war of aggression.
The aerial bombing in Vanni was widespread and at random. Civilians including school children and elderly were dying of bleeding caused by shrapnel from the bombs. The LTTE did everything to save the lives of the innocent ones and they studied the problem. The shrapnel and pellets entering the human bodies are, as if sterilised and there are people carrying these for the rest of their life or until removed by a surgeon. The death is normally caused by bleeding and not due to the common infection and festering of wounds. Hence , the importance of first-aid was greatly realised by the gallant community. The bleeding has to be stopped immediately for any chance of survival of the poor innocent victims.
But, when Raj Chengappa of India Today (On August 28, 2006- 8.00 GMT) raised the question,
“What about the incident in which children of an orphanage were reportedly killed in an attack carried out by your army recently?”. President Rajapakse said, “Instead of listening to propaganda and rumours, people must study the facts. Everybody knows it was a training camp for child soldiers and women cadres opened by the LTTE. Photographs showed the bodies were clad in black trousers, shirts and headbands.
In Sri Lanka, most Hindu and Tamil girls never wear clothes like that. We had identified the camp in the jungle in 2004. We had to take action when attacked. I will never order an attack on an orphanage or on children. It was sad. We are family people. I have given clear instructions to the forces that there should not be any human rights violations”.
The then, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan was described by a spokesman as “profoundly concerned at the rising death toll including reports of dozens of students killed in a school as a result of air strikes in the northeast.” However, the air strike on the schoolgirls did not draw condemnation from the Co-Chairs of the peace process - US, UK, EU and Norway. India?...Oh! No!
Now let's see the report, that appeared on the Sunday Times of Colombo in the political column under the caption, “ Mahinda-Chinthanaya London Giya”, on 3rd September 2006. (http://sundaytimes.lk/060903/
Sajin Vaas Gunawardena, the Presidential Ambassador at large, playing cloak and dagger was already in London The behind the scene diplomatic efforts had been going on for two months, both in Colombo and in London, but the news arrived only on Tuesday, just a day before the historical meeting between the heads of two commonwealth states. The prime master-schemer who was behind all these concealed, conspirational disguised covert operations leading to the Mullivaikhal genocide of Tamils, is India, not the India we all know but the nasty, Sonia Congress government of New Delhi.
The then Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera, Presidential Secretary Lalith Weeratunga, Additional Secretary Gamini Senarath and Peace Secretariat Chief Palitha Kohona all joined in a rush.
Though Rajapaksa's visit was termed private, and the news spread in Colombo that he was going to see his son Namal enter a university, the groundwork for talks between the two leaders was carefully slotted in. Also, that the President was keen that Sri Lanka should forge a closer relationship with Britain for a number of reasons, main among them was the fact that Britain and the United States were spearheading the war on terror and such a close ally was most useful to Sri Lanka.
The meeting with Tony Blair, the very first with a European leader for Rajapaksa, raised high expectations among those who accompanied him. At first Rajapaksa and Blair had a one-on-one discussion for 40 minutes. Thereafter the rest of the entourage joined in.
Somewhat different news was reported in Colombo for local consumption and the unsuspecting international communities that Rajapaksa had not failed to impress upon Blair, how he was trying to reach out to all political parties to formulate the basis for a negotiated settlement with the LTTE. and that he also insisted that the security forces were engaged on a "defensive" role after the guerrillas launched attacks on them.
According to that Sunday Times report it was on Thursday (August 24) that Rajapaksa wrote to UNP Deputy Leader Karu Jayasuriya inviting the party to join his Government in "facing the challenge of protecting our motherland." UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe was away from Sri Lanka. Rajapaksa said "It is needless to stress that a great responsibility devolves upon you and your representatives at this crucial moment. In facing the challenge under the motto "country before every other thing," my government and I need the full co-operation of you all so that I could achieve the desired objective." Rajapakse got very encouraging and enthusiastic affirmative replies from the UNP stalwarts.
At the same time as President Rajapaksa was taking off for Britain, his brother and senior Advisor Basil Rajapaksa was headed for New Delhi on a mission that then remained a closely guarded secret. Basil's first meeting was with the then Indian Foreign Secretary, Shyam Saran. The latter had just returned after a Scandinavian tour that included Norway. There he had met with Norway's Minister of International Development, Erik Solheim, Special Envoy Jon Hanssen Bauer and Norway's Ambassador to Sri Lanka Hans Brattskar for talks.
Saran had a lengthy discussion with Basil and was to convey to him that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh considered President Rajapaksa as India's closest friend in Sri Lanka. They discussed a variety of issues including the peace process and the militarist’s "defensive" role in the wake of LTTE attacks.
He later met M.K. Narayanan, National Security Advisor to the Indian Prime Minister. Several security and related issues were discussed. Narayanan had explained to Basil the developments in Tamil Nadu and the concerns for the Central Government with regard to some issues. Basil assured that prompt action would be taken in consultation with President Rajapaksa on the issues raised. (Ref. Sunday Times of Colombo, 3rd Sep. 2006)
Genocide is not a wild beast or a natural disaster. It is mass murder deliberately planned and carried out by individuals, all of whom are responsible whether they made the plan, gave the order or carried out the killings. In that respect let us review the personality and the social psychology of these politicians, bureaucrats and diplomats or the so called President Mahinda's Henchman who are the architects of the destruction of Vanni in particular and the Tamil homeland of East and North of Sri Lanka.
The foremost among the cohorts or accomplice is the just thirty nine years businessman cum politician, Sajin de Vass Gunawardena, MP. He was the former CEO (Chief Executive Officer) of Mihin Lanka, government sponsored budget airlines. He is known as a doer, with a 'nothing is impossible attitude'. Sajin de Vass Gunawardena popularly known as Sajin has an alternative viewpoint, which enables him to venture where others fear.
Prior to entering parliament in 2010 he was a member of the southern provincial council.
An old boy of the Royal College Colombo, Sajin Vaas Gunawardene's good English and computer literacy impressed Mahinda and he made him his coordinating secretary when he was the opposition leader. His ability to communicate and persuade others is a great asset that impressed President Mahinda. Now it seems that President Rajapakse's blue eyed boy is Sajin. He is often used as a special emissary of the President himself to oversee and spy on the proceedings and the government players.
It is no wonder that Sajin is the Monitoring MP for the ministry of external affairs..
He is also a member and Secretary of the committee that was appointed by the Government, to speak to all parties in terms of arriving at a proper devolution process.
The next in line is Dr. Palitha Kohona. He was the Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka from 2006 to 2009. As of present he is the Sri Lankan Permanent Representative to the UN in New York. Previously he was the Secretary-General of the Government Peace Secretariat (2006) during which time he participated in two rounds of peace negotiations with the LTTE in Geneva and led the delegation to a round organised in Oslo.
Palitha Kohona is an Australian citizen. He was the international face of the Sri Lankan government's war with separatist militants, the Tamil Tigers, and played an important role in the surrender of Tamil Tiger soldiers following their defeat in May 2009.He has been accused of complicity in the murders of three surrendering Tamil Tigers in an application to the International Criminal Court in the Netherlands.
He is the fabricator of ‘winner takes all’ (Kohona) policy, it rapaciously snatches away from the Tamils their homeland, assets, homes, land, livelihood and even human dignity (including the modesty of women) under the Sinhala supremacist’s military occupation.
Lalith Weeratunga, the next accomplice is a clever tactician and a diplomat who has the ears of the President on international and national issues. His handling of the Indian diplomats is very impressive. He is certain that if indeed there was a genuine investigation into the war crime in Sri Lanka the investigators might end up in New Delhi. This gives him all the confidence to counter any challenge from say, New Delhi.
Lalith handles Colombo's boastful National Action Plan (NAP) implementing all the inconsequential in the LLRC’s proposals but omits the crucial political element.
The NAP is a diversion to tire out the international community away from efforts to hold Lanka accountable for its grave crimes against humanity. Once the NAP fails to provide the space to effectively deal with the crucial political component that led to the war in which Sri Lanka committed the crimes, all the hog wash in LLRC and NAP to bring about long-term reconciliation and lasting peace in Lanka is no different from what the Sinhala regimes promised and never delivered for over the past six decades and allowed the oppression of the Eelam Tamils to continue without any redress.
Gamini Senarath who is supposed to be in charge of depositing monies of the President and family in Swiss bank accounts, comes next. He also advices the President on carrying out massive projects with international cooperation and allocating such tenders. Gamini Senarath is also a close relative of the President and first he served as an ordinary public officer. He is living in a house worth Rs. 150 million built on Gregory’s Road by him. Apart from this house , he also owns several luxury houses in the country. He also maintains a large scale printing press and all text books required for state schools are being printed there.
Last not the least is Mangala Samaraweera who served as the Cabinet Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2005 to 2007. He created a stir in Sri Lankan politics when he was sacked as a minister by President Mahinda Rajapakse in 2007, after which he formed a new political party called the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (Mahajana) Wing which merged into the UNP in 2010.
Mangala Samaraweera who was a former SLFP Foreign Minister, and senior minister of President Chandrika Bandaranayake Kumaratunge, criticized Prime Minister, Ranil Wickramasinghe for not signing the Rome Statute. Strangely, Mangala Samaraweera who is now with UNP was boasting how Ranil Wickramasinghe and his advisers had saved the Sri Lankan War Criminals from international prosecution.
The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (often referred to as the International Criminal Court Statute or the Rome Statute) is the treaty that established the Internatioanal Criminal Court (ICC). It was adopted at a diplomatic conference in Rome on 17 July 1998 and it entered into force on 1 July 2002. As of 1 February 2012, 121 states are party to the statute. Among other things, the statute establishes the court's functions, jurisdiction and structure.[From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia]
When it came to the GOSL signing the Rome Statute which would have facilitated the ICC to have jurisdiction over Sri Lankan aleged war criminals be prosecuted, Ranil Wickremasinghe refused to place his signature and support the initiative. It is believed that he was advised by US citizens Milinda Moragoda and Devinda Subasinghehe ( Sri Lankan Ambassador to the United States in 2002-2005) among others.This is also one of the reasons for the LTTE not to trust the UNP.
Thus the Rajapakse regime has been ducking and diving for too long and as a result lost all credibility before the world. The British government gave overt support to India in it’s role in terminating the Tamil liberation efforts by aiding and abetting Sri Lanka to commit genocide in Mullivaaikkal in 2009. It is also important to remember that, “ During the period 2006 – 2008 UK govt. sold 12 million pounds worth of arms to Sri Lanka”. (Socialist Worker, May12).
The lessons from Lanka’s war against Tamils is that lives of Tamils are at the Lankan mercy oncethe life saving umbrella that the LTTE provided was lost in May 2009.
By Nadarajah Balasubramaniam
(Chairman / President of People's Front of Liberation Tigers (PFLT-UK)
Nadarajah Balasubramaniam (Sept 4th 2012)
Based in London, Nadarajah 'Bala' Balasubramaniam is a Salem-News.com contributing writer who also serves as Chairman / Leader of People's Front of Liberation Tigers.
His life as a journalist begins with the Sri Lanka Tamil Diaspora. This event which began shortly after WWII and heated up violently in the 1970's and 80's, has caused a 20% decline in the population of the Tamil Sri Lanka culture in the last 30 years alone. Born in Jaffna, Bala also spent part of his life working in Colombo, but like so many, he lost his house and escaped from the 1983 pogrom, the year remembered for a murderous event against Tamils known as 'Black July' which left thousands dead.
When Mr. Balasubramaniam left Sri Lanka with his wife and three sons and went to work in the Middle-east, where he worked as a telecom engineer. In 1989 he moved to the UK mainly because of his children's education. Nadarajah Balasubramaniam has been associated with the liberation struggle of Tamil Eelam since 1972.
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