Sunday Observer Online


Sunday, 6 May 2012





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Government Gazette

Why these crocodile tears of politicians in West?

Over the years, several countries in the West have shown undue concern for the rights of LTTE terrorists in Sri Lanka. They often talk about the human rights of LTTE terrorists who have been fighting with a legitimate Army of a sovereign State, completely ignoring the human rights of innocent civilians who have been at the receiving end of their violence.

Hooded and wired prisoners at Abu Ghraib

Certain politicians in the West often shed crocodile tears on the ‘human rights situation’ in Sri Lanka without practising the same in their countries. Some of the prominent politicians in Canada, UK and Norway often show much concern about the Tamils in Sri Lanka; concern which is even greater than that displayed by their own Tamil relatives living in Sri Lanka. Why do these Western politicians show such great concern for Tamils and LTTE terrorists in Sri Lanka?

As President Mahinda Rajapaksa has quite rightly pointed out on a previous occasion, no foreigner could have a greater pain and concern for the Tamil community here than the leaders of the Sri Lankan Government and their regional politicians.

Hence, the crocodile tears of certain politicians in the West are shed not because they are sincerely interested in the well-being of the people in Sri Lanka, or of the Tamil community for that matter, but because they get the support of the Tamil expatriates and LTTE supporters living abroad for their political survival. There are several politicians in the West, including David Miliband, who have been notorious for making statements or making strategic moves to support terrorism in Sri Lanka, either directly or indirectly.

LTTE games

The LTTE rump also played their ‘games’ at the recent election to pick the new Mayor of London. The two key candidates for the mayoralty of London made strong rival pitches for the support of the pro-LTTE organisations in the UK in their effort for election through the garnering of the Tamil vote.

The former Mayor and Labour Party candidate Ken Livingstone promised the historic Trafalgar Square or some other prestigious London venue, for the celebration of Tamil Day on May 18. This is the anniversary of the defeat of LTTE terrorism in Sri Lanka in 2009.

“I want to work with the British Tamil Forum and every year we can give Trafalgar Square to the Tamil community of London to organise an event like this,” he was quoted as telling a ‘Tamils for Labour’ meeting organised by front organisations of the now defunct LTTE in East Ham.

In his address to the Tamil National Remembrance Day gathering last November, Livingstone said, “I am with you in all you seek to do. I will be with you forever.”

Andrew Gilligan, in an article in The Telegraph recently said, “Ken Livingstone has told 85 different lies during his election campaign.”

His rival, the present Mayor and Conservative candidate Boris Johnson has also appealed to the Tamil vote through pro-LTTE groups. In his speech, Johnson said “London is home to tens of thousands of British Tamils who are an integral part of our community in London and around the country. Their contribution to life in the capital, particularly through business creation, food and music is greatly valued by all of us.”

Trafalgar square

Trafalgar Square that has been offered for Tamil Day celebrations by the Labour Party’s Ken Livingstone is a historic venue and major tourist attraction in central London. In 2009 pro-LTTE Tamils carried out prolonged sit-in protests against military operations to defeat LTTE terrorism in Sri Lanka. The 43-day long demonstrations outside the British Parliament by pro-LTTE supporters cost London’s Metropolitan Police a whopping eight million sterling pounds.

Despite all those losses, certain Western politicians who depend heavily on the votes of LTTE sympathisers continue to extend their support to terrorism in a ‘mutually beneficial association’. It was mainly through these politicians in the West that certain Tamil expatriates around the world conducted an extensive propaganda campaign targeting the Government over human rights issues.

The opportunistic politicians in the West as well as their counterparts in Sri Lanka must have a good look at those innumerable LTTE atrocities during their three decades of terror. On Tuesday, we mark the 26th anniversary of one of the most indiscriminate LTTE bomb explosions in the early part of their terrorist campaign.

It was on May 7, 1986 that the ruthless LTTE terrorists exploded a bomb inside the Central Telegraph Office (CTO) building in Colombo Fort. A few decades back, it was one of the most peaceful and quiet establishments in the Colombo Fort.

The Central Telegraph Office housed operators who connected local or international telephone calls on the requests of the public even during the previous century - when a subscriber wanted to obtain a ‘trunk’ call to an outstation telephone. Many considered the CTO building as the home of ‘hello girls’ most of them pretty young women whose pleasant voices were a delight to callers. Many foreign tourists sought help from the CTO to meet their communication needs in that era.

Landmark building in Colombo

The two-storey building put up during the British colonial rule was a strong and landmark building in Colombo city and sat in the hub of activity of Colombo’s Fort area facing the main Lower Chatham Street that joined the Olcott Mawatha. It had a staff of about 150 then and a number of people who had come there for various matters were also present on that fateful day when a deafening explosion rocked the building. The glass on the windows splintered and flew all over and shreds of wood and cement plaster, bricks and iron railings came down on the ground and first floor with the explosion. Some concrete slabs were broken and some of the debris fell on the people who were in the building. There were shrieks and yells calling for help as some of those who were under the debris were struggling to free themselves from the weight on them, but they were the luckier ones as 14 among them including female telephone operators were among the dead.

The terrorists had planted a time bomb inside the CTO building, but hardly anyone knew how they managed to perform their deadly mission. In addition to those who had perished, over 115 people were injured in this indiscriminate LTTE attack targeting civilians. The time bomb device set up by the LTTE terrorists brought untold misery for hundreds of families.

Apart from their various campaigns on foreign soil, the LTTE ghosts have often sought refuge in major countries in the West, starting that they are victimised. The situation is gradually changing due to various awareness programs carried out by the Sri Lankan Government. The Australian Immigration Minister Chris Bowen said that Sri Lankan asylum seekers who have returned to Sri Lanka from Australia are safe.

The LTTE ghosts are working round-the-clock and Sri Lanka cannot relax as the real battle with the LTTE international wing is still on.

They are attempting to capitalise on the recent UNHRC Resolution against Sri Lanka and exert even more pressure by the next session of the UN Human Rights arm scheduled for later this year. Hence, all Sri Lankans must stand as one and make a collective effort and beat all international conspiracies.


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