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Sunday, 24 April 2011

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Moon's stand unbecoming

LTTE sympathisers in some countries, various international organisations and a section of the Tamil diaspora made several subtle attempts to project a gloomy picture about Sri Lanka during its 2006-2009 battle against terrorism. These organisations and sympathisers are again banding together to 'punish' Sri Lanka solely for the 'sin' it had committed by becoming the first country to eradicate terrorism.

The so-called human rights violations seem to be the most effective 'tool' that these extremist elements are using against Sri Lanka. They made many attempts from 2006 to 2009 to constrain Sri Lanka to cease its battle against terror prematurely.

It is an open secret how some countries in the West, which project themselves as godfathers of democracy and human rights' champions, pressurised the Government to abandon the battle against terror midway so that LTTE leaders could go scot free. These worldwide campaigns continued till the conclusion of the battle as some countries and international organisations made desperate attempts to pump the last drop of oxygen to the moribund Tigers.

These countries and international organisations did not have an iota of self-respect and displayed bias towards the LTTE. Moreover, they attempted to rescue the Tiger leadership. These countries and international organisations adduced all the arguments they possibly could to exert the utmost pressure on the Government in the guise of human rights and democracy.

Nevertheless, the Government, led by President Mahinda Rajapaksa, did not fall prey to international pressure. This was chiefly due to the fact that the President knew exactly that what he was doing was right and this was the wish of the majority of people in Sri Lanka. On the other hand, the President was acutely aware that the country's Security Forces were on a rescue mission maintaining a zero civilian casualty rate.

The President had the foresight to see through the hidden agenda of a section of the international community which exerted pressure merely to save the Tiger leadership rather than having a genuine concern for the civilians.

Even during the final stages of the battle near the Nandikadaal lagoon, these sinister elements worked overtime to take terrorist leader Velupillai Prabhakaran and his top goons out of the island on the pretext of portraying a gloomy picture on alleged human rights violations.

Strangely enough they kept mum on the untold number of human rights violations committed by the LTTE which forcibly kept over half a million people as a human shield. As a responsible leader who is accountable only to his country and its people, President Rajapaksa took the bold decision to rescue those hapless civilians who had been subjected to untold privations during the LTTE's terror rule.

Apart from the friendly countries which came to the rescue of the motherland, others in the international community were extraordinarily sympathetic towards the world's most ruthless terror outfit.

The country and international bodies which turned a Nelsonian eye towards the human rights violations of millions of people who were subjected to untold misery due to LTTE terrorist activities are now weeping buckets of crocodile tears.

Although two years have elapsed after the LTTE leadership was vanquished and terrorism wiped out from Sri Lankan soil, these shameless officials in some international organisations are still levelling war crime charges against Sri Lanka and attempting to meddle in the internal affairs of a sovereign state. It is needless to state that when the country's territorial integrity was threatened due to terrorist acts, Sri Lanka, as a sovereign state, had an inalienable right to take appropriate action.

Sri Lanka, as a member of the United Nations (UN) and the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) has every right to defend the country's sovereignty and territorial integrity. Moreover, President Rajapaksa and the Government have a mandate and an obligation to protect the people and the country against terror acts. The President and the Government, in doing so, only fulfilled that obligation by exercising its power to save the country from terrorism. Do some officials in the UN or the international community for that matter have any right to question that sacred right of Sri Lanka?

Laughably these godfathers of democracy and human rights are riding rough shod in Afghanistan and Iraq. These international elements are trying to take Sri Lanka to task on fabricated human rights violations. These UN officials who acted like toothless tigers against the civilian casualties due to the US-led Forces in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya, are now portraying themselves as ferocious lions when it comes to Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka from the very inception protested against the appointment of the UN Expert Panel by its Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon in September last year to advise him on accountability issues over incidents alleged to have occurred during the final stages of the humanitarian operation which annihilated the LTTE and wiped out terrorism in May 2009. However, the UN does not have a legitimate right to appoint a controversial panel of this nature. The Government rejected the appointment of the panel in toto as it was made outside the mandate of the world body. It had repeatedly called upon the UN, to assist Sri Lanka in its difficult post-conflict affairs.

However, the UN had only demonstrated and proved that its actions against Sri Lanka, inspired by a handful of officials in the organisation, were certainly not with the best of intentions.

If the UN is sincerely interested in the well-being of the people in the North and the East who had suffered immeasurably due to LTTE terror, it would have been far better had it diverted all its strength to help Sri Lanka in the reconciliation process and development drive in the North.

Instead, some officials in the UN are only attempting to sing their old melodies. Moon should first and foremost appoint separate panels to investigate human rights violations by the foreign forces in Kuwait, Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. It would be good, perhaps, if he could co-opt a few Sri Lankans in those committees based on their wide expertise. It is only after such an investigation and having punished the culprits that the UN should even consider appointing a panel against Sri Lanka. Is there any transparency in Moon's action as it smacks of an ignominious attempt to appease the West?

It was indeed heartening to witness several UNP Parliamentarians showing their displeasure over Moon's high-handed action. All peace-loving and patriotic Sri Lankans, irrespective of their ethnic and political affiliations, must in no uncertain terms strongly condemn and protest against the UN's arbitrary action and one-sided report which attempts to take Sri Lanka to task. All Sri Lankans, in one united voice, should show their strength and rally under the Lion flag to protest against Moon's capricious stand.

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