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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 828

UNHRC, USA, UK and the European Union, Lest you forget - Tamil Terror: Blood flows at a Buddhist Shrine [Time magazine, May 27, 1985]

By Raj Gonsalkorale

Babies.jpgSri Lanka seemed gripped by madness last week as a series of violent attacks resulted in the slaughter of more than 200 people. The killings began when separatist guerrillas belonging to the country’s predominantly Hindu Tamil minority hijacked a bus and headed for Anuradhapura, a city largely inhabited by Buddhist Sinhalese.

As the guerrillas drove into the city’s crowded main bus station, they opened fire with automatic weapons, killing about 100 men, women and children. Then they drove to the Sri Maha Bodhiya, a sacred Buddhist site, and fired indiscriminately into a crowd that included nuns and monks. The rebels continued on to Sri Lanka’s northwest coast, attacking a police station and a game sanctuary on the way, and may have escaped by boat to India, where the Tamil Nadu state is home to 50 million Tamils. The macabre ride resulted in the massacre of 146 people.

By attacking the Sri Maha Bodhiya, the site of a sacred 2,200-year old bo tree said to have grown from a sapling of the tree under which Buddha found enlightenment, the guerrillas seemed almost eager to provoke retaliation. The week’s death list was evidence of the growing struggle between the island’s 2.6 million Tamils and its 11 million Sinhalese. Over the past two years Tamil guerrillas have stepped up their attacks on troops in an effort to force the government into granting them an independent homeland.

While the western world screams about possible war crimes committed by the Sri Lankan Armed Forces, and Channel 4 airs another uncorroborated video to fuel the fire eagerly lit by some western nations, the world has forgotten the enemy that Sri Lanka had to fight for over 30 years.

The Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_attacks_attributed_to_the_LTTE) gives a chronological list of known and verified list of massacres committed by terrorists since 1972. Some of the most deadliest attacks carried out by the LTTE are listed below to refresh the memories of those who have forgotten what Sri Lanka had to endure in the hands of this vicious terrorist group.

Attack

Date

Location

Death toll

1990 massacre of Sri Lankan Police officers

June 11, 1990

Eastern Province

600-774

Kattankudy mosque massacre

August 3, 1990

Kattankudy, Batticaloa District

147

Anuradhapura massacre

May 14, 1985

Anuradhapura, Anuradhapura District

146

Habarana bus massacre

April 17, 1987

Habarana, Anuradhapura District

127

October 1995 Eastern Sri Lanka massacres

October 16, 1995

Eastern Province

120

Palliyagodella massacre

October 15, 1991

Palliyagodella, Polonnaruwa District

109

2006 Digampathana bombing

October 16, 2006

Digampathaha, Matale District

92–103

Central Bank bombing

January 31, 1996

Colombo, Colombo District

91

Kebithigollewa massacre

June 15, 2006

Kebithigollewa, Anuradhapura District

66

Dehiwala train bombing (1996)

July 24, 1996

Dehiwala, Colombo District

64

Kent and Dollar Farm massacres

November 30, 1984

Mullaitivu District

62

Lionair Flight 602

September 29, 1998

off the cost of Mannar District

55

Gonagala massacre

September 18, 1999

Gonagala, Ampara District

54

Kallarawa massacre

May 25, 1995

Kallarawa, Trincomalee District

42

Aranthalawa Massacre

July 2, 1987

Aranthalawa, Ampara District

35

Air Lanka Flight 512

May 3, 1986

Bandaranaike International Airport, Gampaha District

21

Kokilai massacre

December 1, 1984

Kokilai, Mullaitivu District

11

Gomarankadawala massacre

April 23, 2006

Gomarankadawala, Trincomalee District

6

2009 suicide air raid on Colombo

February 20, 2009

Colombo, Colombo District

2

While the western nations are calling for accountability from Sri Lankan authorities, Sri Lankans are asking who will account for the massacres carried out by the LTTE, and why those nations that have banned the LTTE, have done nothing else to apprehend and prosecute murderers who are living amongst them.

LTTE front organizations still raise funds to finance the very lobbying efforts that have resulted in the UNHRC taking a one sided stand against Sri Lanka, and the anti Sri Lankan stand taken by numerous Western countries including the USA, UK and the European Union.

If Sri Lankan Forces had committed any offences punishable under the Sri Lankan law, then they need to be punished. But who will apprehend and who will punish LTTE murderers and those who aided and abetted them? They are still at large, wined and dined by the leadership of some of these Western countries, and jetting around in world capitals attacking the Sri Lankan authorities about atrocities and possible war crimes. Is this a joke? No one is laughing, so it cannot be a joke.

Channel4 was nowhere around to show the atrocities committed by the LTTE, neither do they even refer to them in their videos, at least to give a balance to their accounts. When the 35 young samanera’s were massacred by the LTTE, did they lament and say“Thirty-one young bodies wrapped in bloodied yellow robes lie outside the ambushed bus, each body having at least five bullet holes through their heads and chests, shot by the ruthless Tamil Tigers, Prabhakaran’s men, and some have their brains jutting out of their skulls like ketchup covered spaghetti, after ruthless machete attacks…”

Has Channel 4 or those who are accusing Sri Lankan of atrocities even mention the LTTE and their heinous crimes in any of their publications, speeches and videos? Has Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and their Sri Lankan appendages condemned these atrocities? Did the Darusman report make any reference to these heinous crimes?

Has the Global Tamil Forum, British Tamil Forum, Canadian Tamil Congress, Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam and others who are hell bent on punishing Sri Lanka ever mentioned these atrocities committed by the LTTE? No they have not, as they are guilty as much as those LTTE cadres who carried out these atrocities, as they are the ones who aided and abetted them, and funded them to carry out these atrocities and wage war against Sri Lanka.

Their hands are as much or even more bloodied than those of the LTTE cadres whose hands and bodies carried out these atrocities.

Yet, it is diabolical that countries that are talking about human rights are courting these murderers who funded and aided those who committed the atrocities. It is as if those who died in the hands of the LTTE did not matter and they had no rights as human beings.

This is the injustice that Sri Lanka has to contend with, and this is why it is difficult to investigate anyone who may have acted extra judicially against a group of human beings who acted as anything but human.

Unlike the witch hunters, Sri Lanka wishes to move on. She does not think that identifying and punishing who did what since 1972 is going to move the country forward. Sri Lankans of all communities suffered in the hands of the LTTE. Some innocents Tamils also suffered in the hands of Sri Lankan Armed Forces.

What good will it do now to accuse each other just because both sides will have occasion to do so? No doubt Sri Lanka too can dig up their official archives since 1972 and produce several videos showing LTTE atrocities to the world. Channel4 may get paid by the LTTE rump and the Diaspora to rebut these and show more “alleged” atrocities committed by the Sri Lankan Forces.

Where will this leave those who are struggling to make a life for themselves after the final war? Those who were displaced, whose homes were destroyed, and who were made refugees in their own country now having to eke out a living in make shift shelters, needing financial and psychological support from anyone and everyone who is interested in giving them and the country another chance to rise from the ashes of discord, destruction and war.

The LTTE and their local and overseas supporters ruined their lives, and now those who supported the LTTE and still do, are still pushing the very same causes that gave rise to the suffering of these unfortunate people.

Retributive justice will not provide this opportunity. Restorative justice will. This is the appeal most Sri Lankans wish to make of all those nations and international bodies like the UNHRC that are after Sri Lanka’s blood.

Their message is “leave us alone, let us find a solution to our problem in our own way and in our own time. Let us first bring some normalcy to the lives of those who suffered most. Help us in this regard and do not push for witch hunts as we can also bring out shiploads of skeletons now languishing in cupboards to show who led the aggression and who supported them.

Economic upliftment is needed before political governance models can and should be discussed, as those who suffered most need food in their stomachs, a roof over their heads, schools for their children, decent health services for everyone and a means of livelihood that will ensure there is food on the table not just tomorrow, but in the days and months and years ahead.

For all those who are spending millions of dollars seeking a witch hunt, our message is, spend it on helping those who need help most, and come to Sri Lanka to do that without luxuriating in Geneva and other world capitals, while those who suffered most do not even have enough kerosene to light a single lamp in their makeshift shelters.”

- Asian Tribune -

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