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Sunday, 9 February 2014

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Two-faced schemers?

Sri Lanka accomplished the near impossible almost five years ago, what even the most sophisticated armies in the world with superior fire power could not achieve - crushing the most ruthless terrorist organisation in the world!

When the US-led NATO forces failed in their attempt to crush the Al-Qaeda terror outfit in Iraq and Afghanistan, suffering heavy losses, Sri Lanka's valiant Security Forces proved that fire power and military strength alone could not combat terrorism.

Nevertheless, some of the so-called big countries were reluctant to acknowledge this fact for quaint reasons. Rather than hailing the splendid achievements of the Security Forces, these countries conspired to undermine those feats to cover up their own failure in combatting terrorism.

The LTTE rump and Tiger sympathisers in the Tamil Diaspora exploited this to the hilt. Moreover, they even intimidated some Western politicians through the significant Tamil vote base in those countries. On the other hand, the Tiger cohorts even went to the extent of funding the election campaigns of some of these Western politicians who are obliged to support the LTTE rump.

Thanks to the well-orchestrated anti-Sri Lanka LTTE rump campaign, a section of the international community voiced strongly against Sri Lanka and levelled war crimes allegations. This resulted in two back-to-back Resolutions against Sri Lanka to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC). The third US-led Resolution against Sri Lanka is likely to be brought up at the UNHRC Sessions next month.

In this scenario, the LTTE rump has intensified its worldwide campaign against Sri Lanka again, so that it could exploit the UNHRC Sessions to foster its separatist agenda. Perhaps, even those countries which had voted and plan to vote against Sri Lanka are doing so in good faith in the belief that there had been so-called grave human rights violations during the final phase of the battle against terrorism.

The LTTE rump has astutely misled the international community so that it could woo sympathy for its campaign against Sri Lanka. Even the bodies of LTTE terrorists had been effectively projected as the bodies of hapless civilians killed by the Security Forces.

The LTTE had planned its campaign strategically throughout its confrontation against the Security Forces. Some Tiger cadres who were sent on suicide missions to attack the Forward Defence Lines were clad in civilian attire. Hence, no sooner they died, their weapons were taken away by fellow Tiger cadres and these bodies had been projected as those of civilians killed by the Security Forces.

This is precisely why the Tiger sympathisers are now alleging that a large number of civilians had been killed by the Security Forces during the final phase of the battle against terrorism. There is no dispute that a large number of LTTE terrorists were killed during the last stages of the relentless battle against LTTE terror before the Security Forces vanquished the LTTE leadership in the Nandikadal lagoon on May 18, 2009. The LTTE rump is now 'marketing' the dead bodies of its own cadres sans uniforms as those of civilians killed by the Security Forces.

The infamous Tami Net, the unofficial website and global propaganda organ of the LTTE, campaigned vigorously for the terror outfit. It not only reported each and every incident and blew them out of proportion, but also carried concocted stories to the advantage of the LTTE. Umpteen stories were highlighted to mislead the international community till the terror outfit was defeated militarily.

The Tamil Net, at no stage, reported the large number of civilian casualties or so-called indiscriminate bombings by the Security Forces as the LTTE rump and a section of the international community now claim. The extremist website which carried loads of cooked up stories against the Security Forces level such large-scale allegations which the LTTE rump and certain Western countries are now levelling against Sri Lanka.

The current trend has been masterminded to suit the agenda of certain Western countries under the patronage of the LTTE rump which is spearheading its separatist agenda with a different face. The Tiger sympathisers have given a human face to their campaign by effectively invoking human rights as a tool to intimidate Sri Lanka. Regrettably, several Western countries, either wittingly or unwittingly, adopted a stance against Sri Lanka.

If these countries and the UNHRC are sincerely interested in protecting human rights, they must take a closer look at the circumstances under which the Government was constrained to launch its battle against terrorism as a human rescue mission. It must be borne in mind that the Government's action protected the human rights of 21 million people who had been subjected to brutal LTTE terror attacks.

In this context, the Government's achievements should be hailed rather than being accused of human rights violations. The conduct of the UNHRC and its head Navi Pillay is highly controversial, to say the least, and do not by any means reflect that the UN human rights watchdog is following its ideals and principles. Even at this late stage, the UN could still show its commitment and transparency by haling Sri Lanka for protecting the human rights of 21 million people.

The US should ponder seriously before it presents the third Resolution against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC Sessions. Even if they were to bring such a resolution again and pamper the LTTE rump, the US cannot expect the same support it commanded on the last occasion.

It was only last week that the Australian government categorically said that it would not back an independent international investigation on alleged war crimes. Russia too has pledged that it would fully support Sri Lanka against any international action. Although the UK and Canada have already called for an international inquiry, claiming that Sri Lanka had failed to heed two previous UN resolutions - to launch its own judicial inquiry and prosecutions, Australia is not willing to join the bandwagon. The Australian decision has been greatly influenced after its leaders toured Sri Lanka last year and gained first-hand information on the true ground situation in the country.

This is exactly why President Mahinda Rajapaksa has repeatedly called upon the international community to visit Sri Lanka. Some countries which show an extraordinary concern for Sri Lanka's human rights record are doing so as they are either ill-informed or have been misled by the false campaign disseminated by LTTE cohorts. Hence, it behoves the leaders of these countries to visit Sri Lanka and get a true and accurate picture rather than swallow the bait of LTTE cohorts.

Surprisingly, some Western countries are determined not to change their mindset despite the stark facts. It is deplorable that some politicians of these countries are beholden to the vote of the adopted Tamils in their countries. As long as they are under obligation to the vote base of the Tamil Diaspora, these Western politicians would continue to dance to their tune.

President Rajapaksa, in his Independence Day address to the nation on Tuesday, made an impassioned plea to all countries to join hands on the path to democracy, development, national freedom and human rights.

Countries such as the UK, which now pontificate to us on human rights, pose as if they are saints with an unblemished record. It is astonishing that the UK is preaching to the same country which it invaded centuries ago and killed thousands of civilians. Before pointing an accusing finger at us on human rights and accountability, it must first and foremost set an example. Only after Britain proves its transparency and accounts for human rights violations when its forces invaded Sri Lanka could it wax eloquent on human rights in Sri Lanka.

Moreover, it was Sri Lanka's Army which fought against the world's most merciless terrorist outfit whereas the British forces illegally invaded the country and gained territory. If it has an iota of self-respect, it should desist from levelling baseless allegations against Sri Lanka.Canada's problem is understandable as it has a huge Tamil vote base; all adopted Sri Lankans. However, in the case of the US, it is an open secret that it wants a leadership that could be remote-controlled. Since Sri Lanka has a strong and fearless leadership, which is only answerable to the people here, certain Western countries are exerting pressure for a regime change.

The unswerving support of the masses has helped President Rajapaksa and the Government to face all overwhelming odds to protect the country's hard-earned peace.

 

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