Sunday Observer Online


Sunday, 2 June 2013





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Government Gazette

Sequel to the liberation:

Northerners receive new lease of life

The United States has said that the financial network of the LTTE and its front organisations had continued to operate throughout last year and there were multiple reports of increased LTTE involvement in human smuggling out of camps of displaced persons.

The blast site where C V Gooneratne was killed
Some of the bhikkhus and civilians who died at Aranthalawa

"The LTTE used its international contacts and the large Tamil diaspora in North America, Europe, and Asia to procure weapons, communications, funding, and other needed supplies. The group employed charities as fronts to collect and divert funds for their activities," the US Country Reports on Terrorism 2012 released by the US State Department said.

The report added that counterterrorism cooperation and training with the United States in 2012 was limited.

If that is the case, the countries in the West should have thrown their full weight behind Sri Lanka and helped us to eliminate the LTTE financial network and front organisations operated by the Tiger cohorts and a section of the Tamil diaspora.

Instead of doing that, the US brought two successive resolutions against Sri Lanka at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in 2012 and 2013, much to the delight of LTTE cohorts, who have made every effort to woo international sympathy and exert pressure on Sri Lanka.

Resolutions at the UNHRC

The two US-led Resolutions at the UNHRC would not help in any way either to strengthen the battle against terrorism or to improve living standards of the people in the North and the East. Whatever the intensions were in bringing those Resolutions against Sri Lanka to the UN's human rights wing, it has only given fresh hopes to Tiger cohorts.

If the West is sincerely interested in the well-being of the people in the North and the East, they should make a tangible contribution to the Government's development efforts in those areas. Digging old wounds and talking about the human rights of the LTTE terrorists killed in action would neither assure a secured future to the Northerners nor strengthen national reconciliation.

The West always goes that extra mile to vanquish terrorists, even kill unarmed people who they think are terrorists, in the guise of national security. But they little realise that Sri Lanka, as a sovereign state, has an equal right.

As President Mahinda Rajapaksa told the UN General Assembly, a few years ago, there are no good terrorists and bad terrorists.

Terrorism in the West and that in this part of the world should have the same definition and should be eradicated in similar fashion. Just as the US Government has a legitimate right to protect its people from the Al Qaeda, the democratically elected leaders of Sri Lanka too have a right to protect their countrymen from the LTTE.

Western hypocrisy

Those who indulge in terror acts in the West are called terrorists but the West identifies the same people in this part of the world as freedom fighters or rebels. This is typical Western hypocrisy to suite their agendas, and to intimidate the countries which do not dance to their melody.

They use human rights as an effective tool to intimidate countries which do not sing hosannas to the West. While the Western allies could do anything in the guise of their national security, even ignoring human rights, they demand countries much as Sri Lanka to respect the human rights of terrorists.

It is a pity that none of these Western countries ever make any serious mention of the LTTE atrocities in the past in any of their security or country reports. But over 20 million Sri Lankans have not forgotten how the entire nation was at the receiving end of LTTE terrorists.

Let's have another close look at the LTTE terrorist attacks during early June in the past years until the terror outfit was militarily crushed by Sri Lanka's valiant Security Forces in May, 2009.

Though the West makes a big hue and cry over an isolated bomb attack or shooting, they had been totally blind to those massive LTTE bomb explosions which had killed thousands of people in Sri Lanka.

Barbaric mentality

We recall only a few LTTE terror attacks during the corresponding period of the year though the Tigers had done much more devastations and claimed a countless number of human lives.

A group of LTTE terrorists armed with guns, swords, and knives stormed civilian houses at 3rd Mile Post, Trincomalee and butchered 10 civilians, including women and children, to death on June 2, 1986.

The barbaric mentality of the blood-thirsty Tigers was very evident at the most indiscriminate attack on a group of Buddhist monks in the Ampara district on June 2, 1987. The Tiger terrorists shot dead 30 Buddhist monks and four Sinhalese civilians at Arantalawa. Among them was the Chief Incumbent of Vidyananda Maha Pirivena, Ven. Hegoda Sri Indrasara.

The LTTE is notorious for mass-scale killings, especially massive bomb explosions in trains and buses targeting innocent civilians.

On June 2, 1992, a group of LTTE terrorists stopped a private bus, plying from Akkaraipattu to Pottuvil and opened fire, killing 15 passengers and injuring several others.

Over 100 LTTE terrorists armed with sharp weapons butchered 15 villagers of Dehiwatta in the Polonnaruwa district on their sleeping mats on June 4, 1985. Majority of the victims were women and children.

LTTE black Tigers launched their first ever suicide attack on June 5, 1987, when a small truck laden with explosives was driven into Nelliady army camp in the Jaffna peninsula killing over 50 soldiers and injuring many others.

The LTTE terrorists were successful in exploding two bombs in passenger buses in two separate incidents in Kandy and Colombo on June 6, 2008, killing 23 people and injuring over 70 civilians.

First, the LTTE terrorists exploded a bomb targeting a crowded public transport bus close to the Shailabimbaramaya Buddhist temple at Katubedda, Moratuwa. 21 people including 13 males and 8 females were killed and over 50 were injured.

On the same day, the Tigers carried out a cowardly bomb attack inside another public bus, this time in Pollgolla, Kandy. The bus was plying from Waththegama to Kandy and the explosion occurred near the Teachers' Training School in Polgolla. Two people were killed and 20 were injured.

C.V. Gooneratne

Over the years, the LTTE had killed many politicians, social and religious leaders, including former President Ranasinghe Premadasa and ex-Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Ghandhi. Among the Ministers who had become unfortunate victims of the LTTE terror was Minister C.V. Gooneratne.

A suicide bomber killed the then Minister of Industrial Development and his wife on June 7, 2000. Deputy Mayor Dehiwala-Mount Lavinia Anura de Silva and 23 others also died in the bomb attack that took place while the Minister was in a procession organised to mark 'war heroes' day at Golumadama Junction, Ratmalana.

In an eyewitness report, a monk from the Soysaramaya Ratmalana, Gonadeniye Sumanaratana had said that a youth wearing slippers crossed the road and went close to the Minister, moments before he heard a huge explosion.

Earlier in the day, Minister Gooneratne had attended the National War Heroes Day to honour Government troops at the Presidential Secretariat which was presided over by the then President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga.

C.V. Gooneratne was the younger son of the late L. V. Gooneratne who was the first Mayor of Dehiwala-Mount Lavinia. He received his education at Royal College, Colombo where his father taught generations of pupils.

He was an outstanding student being a prefect, captain of the college rugby team and a cadet. He represented CR & FC at rugger soon after leaving his alma mater.

We highlighted only a few of the many atrocities of the LTTE which was once considered the most ruthless terrorist outfit in the world. During its three decades of terror, the LTTE unleashed nothing but terror.

Pillay to visit Lanka

It was announced last week that the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay has undertaken a visit to Sri Lanka from August 25 on a formal invitation extended by the Government.

She is due to visit areas in the North that had been affected by the LTTE terror.

The Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka in Geneva and the Leader of the Sri Lanka Delegation, Ravinatha P. Aryasinha said that Sri Lanka considers this visit as part of its continued, transparent and proactive engagement with the High Commissioner and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

During the past couple of months, Sri Lanka invited the international community, including the UN human rights chief, to visit Sri Lanka and find out for themselves the achievements the country has made since the eradication of terrorism. But Navi Pillay, who is yet to prove her sincerity and commend feats achieved by Sri Lanka, has been reluctant to do so for reasons better known to her.

Nevertheless, it is heartening to see Navi Pallay finally conforming her long overdue visit. Without leveling allegations against Sri Lanka, leaders such as Pillay must visit Sri Lanka to gain first-hand experience on the efforts Sri Lanka has made since the country was liberated from the clutches of LTTE terror.

We strongly believe that Pillay's visit would formulate a constructive groundwork focusing favourable long term engagement between the Government and OHCHR.

Concocted stories

Instead of sullying concocted stories of LTTE cohorts and a section of the Tamil Diaspora, the international community must listen to what the people in the North say about the new lease of life they have got after their liberation. The story of the Tamils in the North is far from what the Tamil Diaspora assumes or LTTE cohorts' project.

Hence, it is good that all those international characters who level charges against Sri Lanka, come here to find for themselves without listening to cooked up stories of the third parties to comfort LTTE ghosts.

No world leader or foreigner could have greater interest of the Tamils in the North than the leaders of Sri Lanka. Be it Tamils, Muslims or Sinhalese, all are sons of this great country.

Those who shed crocodile tears for Tamils in the North did precious nothing when they had been at the receiving end. They did nothing when the Tigers held hapless civilians in the North as a human shield. It is the Government and the Security Forces did everything possible to liberate over a half a million civilians in the North and the East. Not only they were liberated from the jaws of death but have also been afforded a comfortable life with better living standards. Where were those god fathers of human rights when these civilians were subjected to untold misery under the LTTE terror rule?

Now that the country has been liberated and became the first nation to crush terrorism, there seems to be enough and more experts to preach us on human rights, media freedom, resettlement and reconciliation. But none of those who attempt to voluntarily preach to us on those subjects had been there when we were at the receiving end. It was only a few friendly countries, including China, Russia and Pakistan, stood by Sri Lanka during those difficult times.

Hence, we don't need international experts on reconciliation and human rights. Sri Lanka, just as it had its own formula to crush terrorism, has its own indigenous plan on national reconciliation. We have enough and more experience on how the Western peace agents have ruined Sri Lanka to put their personal agendas in place.

Fearless foreign policy

None could intimidate Sri Lanka or tell our leaders what action we should take. The democratically elected leaders of the country would do what is most appropriate for the country, protecting and safeguarding its sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The fearless foreign policy since President Rajapaksa took office has given Sri Lanka new friends in the world, while strengthening existing ties with several other countries.

President Rajapaksa's recent visit to China has helped to further strengthen bilateral relations between Sri Lanka and China. Chinese Vice President Li Yuanchao, at a meeting with President Rajapaksa, had said that the Sri Lanka-China relationship has been "elevated from one of friendship to one of strategic cooperation".

Vice President Yuanchao said that China will continue to strengthen relations with Sri Lanka and expand cooperation into new sectors as equal partners.

Countries such as China have been true friends who have sincerely helped Sri Lanka when it mattered the most. China, despite supporting us and granting much financial assistance, has always respected Sri Lanka's sovereignty and never attempted to meddle in Sri Lanka's internal affairs.

In contrast, certain Western countries which boast after spending a couple of thousand dollars, try to use those to intimidate us and tell Sri Lanka what it should do. We earnestly hope that the West would look at Sri Lanka more positively after making a careful evaluation on what the country has achieved since terrorism was eradicated.


LANKAPUVATH - National News Agency of Sri Lanka
Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka (TRCSL)
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