Ilankai Tamil Sangam

24th Year on the Web

Association of Tamils of Sri Lanka in the USA

Are You a Civilian in Sri Lanka?

by N.G.

Take a map of the island. Take a paint brush and paint all the areas where Sri Lanka has bombed and launched artillery attacks during these past several years. When you have finished, the painted area that you see - that is Tamil Eelam. -- Kittu, 1990

Well, that depends on who you are!

Are you a Tamil living in Vanni – Killinochi, Mullaithivu, A’ampil?

Do you live in Batticaloa or Trincomalee?

Are you trying to eke out a meager living farming or fishing (when you are allowed to fish)?

Sorry, your home, school, hospitals, orphanages are crawling with (imaginary) LTTE cadres. No No No, you cannot be a civilian. I am sending the Kfirs!

Bomb, kill, maim, bomb, kill, maim …..

Amnesty International says you are a civilian? Oh well what do they know?

Now wait a minute –

Are you Sinhalese, live in Anuradhapura, close to the airbase?

Ah, there you go. Of course you are a civilian.

Sir, Sir, you have real LTTE fighters in your neighbourhood breaking into the air force base.

But I cannot fire at the LTTE fighters. It might hit a civilian household next to the base!

But Sir, the LTTE is going to overrun the base.

Sorry, I cannot fire, it might kill or maim my civilians!

Sir, all your planes worth close to Five hundred million dollars are being destroyed!

Was I a good boy or not? I did not fire and my civilians are safe!

***

The above short skit was based on the article titled “Sri Lanka Air Force Jets pound LTTE airstrip” that appeared on the October 23, 2007 online edition of The Hindu, after the attack by the LTTE on the Anuradhapura airbase.

Here is an excerpt from the article:  

"Mr. Keheliya [Rambukwella] said the ground forces at Anuradhapura could not take on the LTTE aircraft as they were engaged in a fierce battle with a 21-member Tiger suicide group which had split into two groups and was firing at them.

“Further, we could not afford to open indiscriminate fire as the Tiger suicide squad was outside the airbase. Just outside the base are civilian settlements and indiscretion on the part of the forces could have led to civilian casualties,” the Minister said. "

 

Note what Minister Keheliya is saying about not wanting civilian casualties - THIS IS ANURADHAPURA, a predominantly Sinhalese town and, therefor, the civilians are Sinhalese.

This same government has bombed and continues to bomb Tamil areas on a daily basis with no regard to civilian casualties and claiming that the bombed sites are LTTE operational areas.

So now you know where you stand – Civilian or Not.