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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2526

‘Apologists!’ Your hands are tainted with blood!

By Palitha Senanayake

Carnivorous animals kill when they are hungry: because they know of no other food other than flesh and blood. Yet it is said that even those carnivores, when they hunt for food, spare the very young and the pregnant by premonition. Now we have this human version of the ‘Tigers’ whose killings are propelled, not by their pangs of hunger, but by their sadist delight to see spattered blood and mutilated bodies. Even barbarians don’t kill more than what they could consume! Any language would be lost for words to describe the type of murder and mayhem that was enacted during the past few days in public places in this country since it would be an insult to describe these either as a tiger hunt or plain barbarism.

11 explosions within a space of 9 days, aimed indiscriminately at, women, children, infirm, and the infants, killing108 of them and injuring more than 800. Who is responsible for this carnage and how did this country manage such depths of absolute despondency! What could possibly be the reason for this?

The Sinhala apologists may say that it is the ‘56 language issue, the letter ‘Sri’ or the ’83 riots. But haven’t all these been rectified now? Tamil has been made a national language in 1978 and it is now an official language. The letter ‘Sri’ has been done away in 1991 by President Premadasa. Today the percentage of Tamils who have settled themselves down in Colombo far exceeds the percentage of Tamils that were there in 1983. Yet these asinine apologists continue to echo the propaganda of the Tamil Diaspora and the Christian/ Catholic Church as if their brains are programmed in their effort to justify heinous crimes.

Chandika Kumaratunge came to power ridiculing the efforts of the security forces and ‘white washing’ Prabhakaran as a ‘Freedom fighter whose violence’ she said, ‘was a reaction to the historical grievances perpetrated on the Tamils by the Sinhalese’. She often maintained that ’If you eliminate Prabhakaran, more Prabhkarans would be borne!’ She was trying to build up a school of thought that the more a race or a community is subjected to grievances the more violent the repercussions would be on those who perpetrate those grievances. Her knowledge of local history never stretched beyond July 83. Her thinking was quite in contrast to that of her own mother who called the Tamils in Sri Lanka as “one of the most privileged communities anywhere in the world”.

However if this logic of the former Sri Lankan President is to contain a modicum of sense, those communities who have been subjected to ‘historical grievances’ even in other parts of the world should have spawned equally or more violent terror groups in response to the suppression they were subjected to, for years. It is almost common knowledge in world history that there had been ethnically cleansed communities in the world such as, the Red Indians in North America, the Mauries in New Zealand, the Aborigines in Australia and the Incas in South America. These communities have been marginalized throughout the years through suppression by the colonial powers to the point of extinction today. Then what about the history of Black slaves in the United States and the Blacks in ‘apartheid’ former South Africa. They have inherited the most violent of legacies for a human kind: and that too in the hands of the most ‘advanced and developed’ human civilizations in the world. But the paradox is that it is not any of those but we in Sri Lanka who have had to contend with the ‘most competent and ruthless terror outfit in the world’. How did we manage?

Of all the regimes that dealt with the LTTE it was CBK regime that was the most apologetic to LTTE and for that reason it is that regime again that could count the most number of conflict casualties 50, 989 (security forces, LTTE cadres, civilians etc.) during those 11 years. When the CBK Government offered the 2000 Constitutional amendments, with infamous Union of Regions, Prabhakaran was on record addressing his cadres, “Look what I have done to these Sinhalese leaders! When I have killed hundreds of Sinhalese they gave us District Councils (1982). When we kill thousands of them they gave us Provincial Councils (1987). Now we have killed tens of thousands of them and now they are offering us a Union of Regions. Our goal however is Elam and hence all what we have to do, to achieve that goal is to kill more and more of them”. I reckon Prabhakaran has been made to think by these apologists that he has to kill about 100,000 Sri Lankans to get his Eelam.

As responsible citizens of Sri Lanka it is the bounden duty of all of us to pause for a moment and think what really is happening to our country! We have left our fate on this crucial issue in the hands of ‘political theorists’ and ‘the international community’ for their experiments for far too long. It is not advisable for us to be passive spectators any longer for with such indiscriminate massacres no body is safe and next time it could be either you or me!

There is separatist’s terrorism in well over 100 countries of the 191 strong UN members: but none has it as badly as we Sri Lankan’ have Then the explanation as to why we in Sri Lanka have got in to this deadly hole should be quite plain. We have been handling separatist terrorism in just the opposite way all the other countries in the world have been handling. Just consider the following points,

* No other Government of a country in the world have negotiated with a set of terrorists (not even rebels) who have questioned that very country’s sovereignty and right to exist.. We have; and not once, twice, thrice, but four times in all.

* No other country in this world has negotiated with a terrorist group while they are still holding on to their arms. Negotiations have taken place in cases like Ache rebels, the IRA, Moist guerillas, etc., but every time it is on the condition that the terrorists hand over the arms first. We have negotiated while recognizing their right to hold arms: and that too, four times.

* No other country in the world has been foolish enough to endeavor to co-exist with terrorism by granting the terrorists a separate area of control, administration, conventional army, etc. without even a ‘promissory note’ for good behavior. We have: with our CFA in 2002.

* No country in the world has allowed so much external influence on a problem that is domestic to the country. It is still worst when this external interference is sought from countries which have a colonial mindset, who granted independence to us so grudgingly and who never considered the state of Sri Lanka to be equal, deserving mutual respect.

* No other Government of a country in the world has justified ruthless terrorism as a manifestation of one community’s ‘perceived grievance’ over the other communities in the country. We have done this, especially since 1994 spending Government money.

* No other country considered ‘negotiations to be the only solution’ as was Sri Lanka during the past11 years. In Nepal, Indonesia and England the rebels were initially militarily marginalized before they were brought to negotiate.

* No other country has journalists writing to national news papers insidiously nit picking the Government and other communities on instances where civilians have been targeted by terrorist, in a subtle attempt to white wash the terrorist. Basque guerillas and IRA lost the public sympathy after they started attacking civilian targets. But here in Sri Lanka, the more civilians the terrorists kill, the more ominous their causes are made to appear by these so called ‘national newspapers’. For them freedom of the press is synonymous with freedom to kill the innocent and unarmed.

* No other country in the world has held out a promise of Regional autonomy, or devolved state to terrorists when those terrorist are engaged in fighting Government’s security forces thereby undermining the resolve of the legitimate security forces to restore law and order.

* The Federal states in the world have been formed during the history when a set of quasi nations wanted to form themselves in to a state for economic and security reasons. Sri Lanka is the only country in the world that has seriously considered fragmenting a unitary state to form a federal state disregarding security and economic reasons.

* No other country in the world has ever considered the option of weakening the control at the center when that country appears vulnerable to separatist wars. India is a good example. There have been numerous, more than 50, separatists wars in the post independent India but non of them were solved by devolving any more power to the periphery. India has a strong army and no rebels will dare to challenge the Indian security forces.

This conflict really started with Mrs. Gandhi deciding to ‘teach a lesson to JR’ for de franchising Mrs. Bandaranaike and establishing links with the capitalist block of countries in the world. She started training Tamil rebels in Dehradune in the north of India in 1978. This gave hope to the Tamil leaders in the country who expected India to perform another Bangladesh (1971).

Judging by the different ideological phases this conflict underwent, it however could be broadly classified in to three periods as under, with the casualties identified with each period.

SL forces

LTTE

Civilian

Total

Casualties

From '78 to '87

Forces battling to eliminate the terrorists

1,286

1,124

-

1,751

-

From '88 to '94

Pramadasa's populist solution and India's R2 P

1,452

2,844

1,215

7,655

11,166

From '95 to '2004

Chandrika's apologist period

18,672

15,182

-

16,135

-

(Sources : SL Forces, Tamil net and Pafferel reports).

From these statistics it should be clear that the most number of deaths occurred when the Government is most apologetic. Therefore more than fighting the LTTE, it is yielding and being apologetic to the LTTE terror that has caused more deaths.

This apologetic mentality of the people in the south was deliberately cultivated by certain unscrupulous forces to help make the south more palatable to the LTTE. This mentality is nevertheless present in the south in different degrees depending on people’s perception and their exposure to LTTE sympathetic propaganda. Some people are apologetic because they think that the majority of the people are that and therefore they also should fall in line. Some people contribute to this thinking because they are made to believe that such thinking can bring peace to the country.

They would say, “What if we can have peace in the rest of the Island and who wants to go there to the north anyway?” More passion than reason! Some people are motivated by their religious and class vested interests to denigrate the average Sri Lankan. They glorify the colonial white man’s era. Then you have these journalists, who are paid, either by the LTTE or by Christian NGO’s to subtly justify the LTTE killings. They are singing for their supper. Finally you have the NGO’s themselves who pontificates as peace or human rights activists but their modus operndi is to promote the war and justify their existence.

Whatever the reasons for this apologetic mindset it should be clear that it is these forces of apologia that is facilitating the LTTE killings. It is often said that Prabhakaran has his military brigades in the north and his propaganda brigade in the south. Wherever it is, the blood spilled has to be shared between the LTTE in the north and their apologists propagandists in the south.

- Asian Tribune -

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