(23.08.2014 – Email)
As per a news item appeared in The Island, in a letter addressed to outgoing UNHRC Chief Navanethem Pillay, 33 members of the North and East Provincial Councils (PC) consisting of ITAK, TULF, TELO, PLOTE and EPRLF (all representing TNA) have urged the UNHRC to expand its ongoing inquiry to investigate atrocities committed by successive governments against Tamil speaking people since 1974.
The news item identifies former members of parliament Dharmalingham Sithadthan, Gnanamuththu Krishnapillai and M. Kanagalingam Shivajilingam and Northern Provincial Councillor Ananthi Sasitharan, wife of one-time hardcore LTTE cadre in charge of Trincomalee district Velayutham Sasitharan alias Elilan too, among the signatories to the said petition and three constituent parties of TNA as former Indian trained terrorist groups.
The group has sighted ‘setting up of Sinhala settlements in the northern region’ as one of the atrocities for investigation.
Claim of atrocities and settlement of Sinhala people
Laminations about “the plight of the Tamil Speaking people” are often heard. Organizations sympathetic to their plight and rights on humanitarian grounds, both within and outside Sri Lanka, are freely available.
The claims against alleged Sinhala settlement in Northern region of the country and alleged atrocities against ‘Tamil Speaking people’, while settling themselves in every other regions of the country, among Sinhala population, is a true indication of their racial ideologies. In fact, according to statistics, the Tamil speaking population settlement in Colombo is 73% (including Tamil speaking Muslims) while the Sinhala population has gone down to 25%.
With riots in 1977, 1978 1981 and 1983 most of the Sinhala population in Northern regions was permanently driven out by the separatist elements. The ethnic cleansing was completed on October 6, 1987, when the last Sinhalese were chased away. According to the available records, around 90,000 Sinhala people have been driven out of their homes in Northern and Eastern Provinces. It is not yet known how many of these displaced people have been allowed to go back to their homes. It was in 1990 that the LTTE forcibly expelled the Tamil speaking Muslim people from Northern Province as a part of their ethnic cleansing process.
Atrocities committed against Sinhala, Muslim (Tamil speaking) and Tamil communities since July 1975, the date of assassination of Alfred Duraiappah MP and Mayor of Jaffna, until May 2009 by the LTTE and the other terrorist groups fought under their separatist ideology are well known to the entire world. The LTTE and former separatist groups, while killing each other to establish supremacy over the other were responsible for the killing of thousands of innocent people including Tamil speaking people and destroying properties worth millions all over the country. Their killing fields were in operation in neighboring countries too. Former terrorist group PLOTE attempted to overthrow the government of Maldives in 1988 and the LTTE assassinated Rajiv Gandhi in India.
Lessons from World War 11
Immediately following the end of World War II, prior to handover the administration to Germans, the Allies (USA, UK, France and USSR) carried out a policy of eliminating the ideology of Nazism called ‘denazification’ to ensure that the Germany would never become a another threat to them. The process of ‘denazification’ took several years. There was no even a suggestion of reconsolidation with the Nazis or those who closely associated or supported the ideology of Nazism. War crimes trails held in many parts of the world either executed or imprisoned those who took up arms as well as those who closely associated and supported the ideology of Nazism.
No one raised the question of human rights violation and the crimes committed by deploying atomic bombing over the two Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of war immediately killing over 120,000 innocent people and tens of thousands more later due to radiation exposure citing the most cruel bombing ever happened on this planet.
Instead of advising the war affected country to adopt the very same method that they adopted after winning a war, the West started questioning Sri Lanka on ‘the political solution’ while playing their usual card of ‘humanitarian right issues’ in order to cover-up what is currently being done by them in rest of the world in addition to what they have had done throughout the history.
Unfortunately, there was no process initiated in Sri Lanka to eliminate the ideologies leading to racial demands of separatism at the end of the 30 year separatist war. Instead, Sri Lanka focused on rehabilitation of the cadres, their welfare, reconstruction of the war affected areas and conducting local and provincial council elections. It is possible that the government opted to take the above steps, expecting reconciliation by following the noble principle of forgive and forgets confined to our culture.
The above action of the TNA, comprising former terrorist groups, is a clear indication that the surviving pro-LTTE and former terrorist groups will never compromise their racial demands of separatism and their imaginary concept of ‘mono-ethnic northern region exclusively for Tamils’ even after their terrorist acts were completely eliminated on 18th May 2009. Their representations through the PC system have given them an additional leverage, this time, for claims of above nature under the separatist ideology.
Thus there is a need to rethink our strategies and to take necessary steps to eliminate the separatist ideologies, once and for all, to attain sustainable peace.
– S. Akurugoda