Ilankai Tamil Sangam

28th Year on the Web

Association of Tamils of Sri Lanka in the USA

Tamils Languishing in Sri Lankan Death Camps

by Richard Dixon, The Independent Minds blog, June 12, 2009

This war was almost like carpet bombing the whole of Belfast and killing and wounding thousands of people, starving them to death, denying food to them, just to capture and kill a few hundred IRA rebels who were begging for a ceasefire.

Just imagine one third of the people in Belfast are dead, and those who did manage to escape are now forced into concentrations camps, and women and children are held in horrific conditions. No government on this earth would do something like this unless the parties to the war have other, hidden motives...

If they are only after the rebels, why is that mothers, children and old people are forced to live in such horrific conditions?..

All these people who are now locked up in these camps had witnessed many war crimes. They saw cluster bombs and phosphorous bombs falling on civilians. Almost all of them lived inside the bunkers in order to protect themselves from bombs and shells...

Anyhow, Singh was right that Sri Lanka has deeper issues and the most obvious problem is that the Sinhala Buddhist leaders are trying to establish a Sinhala Buddhist Sri Lanka by wiping out the Tamil minorities.

"The time has come for the whole Sinhala race which has existed for 2,500 years, jealously safeguarding their language and religion, to fight without giving any quarter to save their birthright. I will lead the campaign."

 Former Sri Lankan President J R Jayawardene

"I strongly believe that this country belongs to the Sinhalese”

General Sarath Fonseka, Commander of the Sri Lanka Army

Knowingly or unknowingly, we have all been witnessing one of the darkest chapters in humanity, now being written by the blood of innocent civilians in a land that was once known as Pearl of the Indian Ocean. The ugliest part of this chapter is not what is happening to the innocents, but the response from the civilised world that has so far failed miserably to save lives, although it has the power to act.

Sri Lankan authorities have recently claimed that thirty years of civil war was over and Sri Lanka had defeated Terrorism in this island.

In reality, the so called "War on Terror" is over, deceptive Humanitarian and rescue operations are over, but "War on the Innocent Minority Tamils" that started almost two thousands years ago is still continuing and it has now taken a new dangerous turn.

Many of us studied in our history lessons about concentration camps and extermination camps that were operating in Europe during World War Two. We were shocked, when we heard about how innocent Jewish people were killed by the Nazis in gas chambers.

Some of us have even written research papers and spent years studying about these notorious Death Camps. We have the systems and procedures in place to stop something like this being repeated in the future. International Humanitarian Organisations have genocide alert mechanisms in place for rapid action.

World leaders very often visit the Auschwitz extermination camps in Poland and make statements like "We will not allow something like this to happen in the future" or “Never again”.

Jewish children behind Barbed wires 1945

Sadly, Genocide is taking place silently in a faraway land, but many have so far failed to acknowledge it. We have now become a selfish generation that is good at making regret speeches and looking for scapegoats once the tragedy is over, instead of doing something constructive to save lives when it is the right time to act.

We don't even like to use the word Genocide when it is happening but we would write hundreds of books after it has happened.

It is happening again

While the Sinhala Buddhist extremists in Sri Lanka are celebrating their victory with flags and firecrackers, while the leaders of this country are dining in five star hotels, while the Sinhala youth in the capital city are singing and dancing in the nightclubs, while the holy ones of the land are throwing flowers and perfumes at the feet of the Buddha statues, three hundred thousand Tamils are persecuted inside controversial Nazi-style barbed wired concentration camps , that are operating just 150 miles away from the capital of Sri Lanka.

Tamil children behind barbed wires 2009

The people in these camps once lived in their own homes. Farmers, fishermen, priests, doctors, nurses, engineers, lawyers, principals, teachers, civil officers and people from all walks life, who once lived happily, are now are left to suffer in the torture chambers of Sri Lanka.

Seeing innocents with hunger and sickness brings us back the memories of starving people in Ethiopia, but the difference in Sri Lanka is that these people are not confronted with a natural disaster. They have been forced into starvation, sickness and death deliberately so that the Sri Lankan masters can fulfil their racist agendas and hide the war crimes that were committed in the recent war against the Tamil rebels.

Many of these people owned farms and lands, they had savings, they still have many relatives living in other parts of the country and overseas, who are willing and able to help. Sri Lankan authorities are not allowing anybody to rescue these people from these torture camps; instead they are coming up with all kind of excuses to stop any help reaching the needy, so that they can continue with their hidden agendas.

Deaths in Camps

Sky News has recently reported that they saw dead bodies of Tamils lying outside the tents.

On average ten to fifteen people are dying of preventable diseases and untreated wounds every day. Hospital mortuaries are unable to cope with the rising number of deaths.

Many young people are taken out for questioning and some of them are killed and their bodies are thrown on the streets. People are forced to go through painful and slow death. Urgent medical treatments are either denied or delayed deliberately to cause death to the innocents.

Many in these camps think that they would have been better off, if they were killed in Vanni by bombs. It is very heartbreaking to see women, children and old people suffering from painful diseases in unhygienic conditions. They are let to die because the Sri Lankan government sees this as part of their genocidal plan in this country.

Torture, Rape and Murder

Torture, Rape and Murder are used against the Tamils all over the country. But these incidents are now widely reported in these notorious camps. Recent visits by some international reporters confirm that many mothers cry uncontrollably because their daughters are being raped by the Sri Lankan security forces when they are taken for questioning.

Most parents with teenagers never sleep at night because they are worried that their sons and daughters will be abducted. The names of young people are often called out and they have to go and meet the security forces. Some of them come back, others do not.

UN has recently reported that thirteen thousands Tamils are already missing from these camps. 

Food, Water and Sanitation

The conditions that these people live in are much worse than some of the worst prisons in the world. Cooked food is given in some of these camps, but the detainees are given only one meal a day. Men, women and children have to wait for hours in long queues under extreme temperatures, to get these packed meals that are prepared in unhygienic conditions. Some women and children faint and fall before they get their meals.

These faces tell us the real stories. They have lost all that they had, and they are now left to languish behind barbed wires

Thousands of wounded and maimed crawl on the dirt and mud, looking for drops of water to cool their tongues.

Drinking water is not readily available. People carry empty plastic bottles and cans and wait in long queues for hours to quench their thirsts. Water is sometimes pumped from lakes and given to the detainees for consumption before purification. Many diseases in the camps are caused by unclean water. People very often die of diarrhoea and typhoid.

Hundreds of people wait for hours to use the toilets in the camps, and by the time they reach to the facilities, the toilets are sometime blocked. Women particularly go through immense hardships because many of them don't even have change of cloths.

Law of the land doesn't protect them

 The former chief justice who was the highest judicial officer of the sovereign nation of Sri Lanka has recently said that the internally displaced people are outside the legal jurisdiction of Sri Lanka. Which means the laws of the land don't protect them.

They are not protected by the laws of the land (Lambs ready for slaughter)

Rapes, torture, murders and all the atrocities that are taking place inside these horror camps can't be reported to the police or to anybody who is responsible for security. These people are simply left in the hands of God because man has given up on them.

Concentration camps and extermination camps

An Extermination camp is a type of concentration camp and this is not used to punish the criminals, but to kill the occupants in a systematic way. Hitler used poison gas to kill millions of Jewish people in extermination camps.

Sinhala Buddhist extremists, who consider themselves a pure Aryan race, have been killing Tamils for the simple reason that they see Tamils as infidels and they want to establish a Sinhala Buddhist state in Sri Lanka. This is very similar to the way Hitler killed the Jewish people because he saw them as impure.

They wait for hours in long queues at boiling temperatures to get drinking water

Instead of using poison gas to kill all the Tamils in seconds, the Sri Lankan government is withdrawing food, medicine and clean water and making the people live in horrific conditions, so that the Genocide can be carried out slowly behind closed doors. 

Where did the camp people come from?

Many of us have recently heard about the war in Sri Lanka. This war was very ugly because many war crimes were committed and more than fifty thousand civilians died, though the official figures keep on changing. Men, women and children were forced to live inside bunkers for months. Food and medicine were denied to them.

Although the Sri Lankan government claimed that they were fighting the war against the Tamil rebels, the war was in fact orchestrated by India and the arms were supplied by China and Pakistan for these countries to secure their strategic interests in the region.

Sinhala Buddhist extremists obviously have benefited a lot from this war because oppressing, persecuting and killing Tamils are always their main goals.

This war was almost like carpet bombing the whole of Belfast and killing and wounding thousands of people, starving them to death, denying food to them just to capture and kill a few hundreds of IRA rebels who were begging for a ceasefire.

Just imagine one third of the people in Belfast are dead and those who did mange to escape are now forced into concentrations camps and women and children are treated in horrific conditions. No government on this earth would do something like this unless the parties of the war have other hidden motives.

But, this is what exactly happened in Sri Lanka. An area twice the size of Singapore was carpet bombed for months and thousands of civilians were killed in one of the dirtiest wars in the history.

Those who did manage to survive the war have now been sent to these controversial camps.

How do the Sri Lankan authorities justify these camps?

Sri Lankan government claims that it needs more time to weed out Terrorists from the people. They are even talking about keeping Tamils for more than three years in these death camps.

They also argue that they need more time to clear landmines from the areas where the war was fought.

Justifications for the existence of these camps are not valid

Rebels, who were able to escape the war zone, have now surrendered to the government forces. They have also openly declared that they are willing to join mainstream politics. But the government has rejected their offer and is refusing to give them amnesty.

Tamil rebels were running a civil administration in their de facto state. Most of these people lived and worked with the rebels, therefore weeding out rebels and their sympathisers from the people doesn't make any sense, because every single soul in this community would have had some contacts with the rebels.

Thousands of orphans of war are left in the hands of God

If they are only after the rebels, why is that mothers, children and old people are forced to live in such horrific conditions? Many of them have relatives living in other parts of the country who are willing to accommodate them. But the Sri Lankan government is not letting anybody go, but expects pregnant mothers, babies and old people to suffer inside these horror camps.

Though the government claims that the entire Vanni area is full of landmines, reliable sources indicate that most of the areas are safe for civilians. This again shows that the Sri Lankan government is deliberately keeping the people inside these torture camps.

These camps violate basic human rights

As the former chief justice of Sri Lanka has indicated, the people in these notorious camps are not protected by the laws of the land. This gives total freedom for the criminals to commit crimes without being caught.

People are locked up in horrific conditions against their will. Hundreds and hundreds of human rights violations are taking place and these camps are completely illegal according to international laws.

Sri Lanka is not at all interested in the welfare of the Tamils

Sri Lankan government’s actions in recent weeks clearly indicate that they have many hidden agendas and they are not at all interested in looking after the welfare of the Tamil detainees.

Many international aid agencies are still waiting for permission from the authorities to go and help the people in the camps. Relatives and friends who live in other parts of the country are willing to take care of their loved ones who are illegally locked up and persecuted. Many Tamils who live overseas are capable and willing to provide for their loved ones. But Sri Lankan authorities are not letting anybody feed these innocent people.

Most shockingly, a ship that went to Sri Lanka with 800 metric tons of food, clothing and medicines has now been turned back. These were donated by the Diaspora Tamils.

Western leaders who are very keen in dealing with the humanitarian crisis in Sri Lanka are either denied visas to Sri Lanka or deported back from the Colombo airport. Sri Lanka has recently denied entry to Bob Rae, a prominent Canadian politician outspoken in his criticism of Colombo’s military campaign against the Tamil rebels. They also denied entry to the Swedish foreign minister who had planned to take part in a EU humanitarian mission to the country.

Sri Lankan authorities are deliberately letting the Tamils die without enough food and medicine. They are not interested in receiving help either from international aid agencies or the Tamil Diaspora

What are their hidden agendas?

These controversial camps are wrong because the Sri Lankan government has many hidden agendas. They want to hide their crimes and also they want to continue implementing their genocidal plans.

I have heard stories that murderers sometimes try their best to prevent people from getting to the crime scenes. There are also situations in which a murderer deliberately wounds someone and then denies any medical help for the victim. He would call the ambulance when it is too late to save the dying.

All these people who are now locked up in these camps had witnessed many war crimes. They saw cluster bombs and phosphorous bombs falling on civilians. Almost all of them lived inside the bunkers in order to protect themselves from bombs and shells.

They saw their loved ones dying when the hospitals and schools were bombed. Some of them had even witnessed surrendered rebels with white flags being shot and killed by the Sri Lankan armed forces.

They are now witnessing killings, rape and torture at the hands of the security forces in these notorious camps. Sri Lankan authorities are preventing aid workers and journalists to the camps so that they can silence the witnesses of the war and the world wouldn't know what had happened in the killing fields.

The rate at which Tamils are disappearing and dying in these camps, half the population would be wiped out in three years time. The rest will be made mentally ill, and it will be a perfect opportunity for the Sri Lankan government to colonise two Tamil districts with Sinhala Buddhist settlers. This has always been the agenda of the Sinhala governments.

A few years ago, one of the politicians from an extremist party in the south of Sri Lanka suggested to the government that carpet bombing the Tamil cities and killing half the Tamils in the country would be one of the ways to suppress the Tamil rebellion.

Tamils getting killed in Sri Lanka pleases the Sinhala Buddhist extremists. If they had any care for the thousands of civilians killed in the war and the ones dying in the extermination camps, they wouldn't have celebrated their war victory against the rebels with sweets and chocolates.

Why do the Sinhalesse hate the Tamils so much?

Sinhalese hate the Tamils because they are taught to hate the Tamils. They are taught in the schools and they are taught in the Buddhist temples. When the children are born to different races in Sri Lanka they are born pure and innocent.

As they grow, they start to look into the eyes of their mothers and rest in the arms of their fathers and they feel secure and confident no matter whether they were born to Sinhala, Tamil, Muslim or Burgher parents.

When they get into the schools, they are taught that the land belongs only to the Sinhala Buddhists and the rest were invaders and aliens.

If my parents had taught me that my next door neighbour was born to a monkey and he was an invader in our family land, I would have grown up hating this poor neighbour. Thankfully, my parents never did that.

Buddhist Sinhala extremists in Sri Lanka are very much like the Nazi regime that preached hatred against the Jewish people, and the rulers of Sri Lanka are like reincarnations of Hitler because they are doing exactly what Hitler did sixty five years ago.

Are all the Sinhalease racists?

Not all the Germans were Nazis. A few leaders with sick heads can destroy a whole country or even start a world war. Hitler was a perfect example for it.

There are many Sinhala politicians, academics, lawyers, human rights activists, professionals and people from all walks of life, who understand that Tamils are oppressed because of ignorance, foolishness, hatred and greed of some Nazi-style leaders who are not only wiping out Tamils but are destroying the whole country.

Many Sinhala people are supporting the Tamils in their struggle against oppression.

Why do they persecute the Tamils in Sri Lanka?

Persecution of Tamils in Sri Lanka has more to do with an attempt by the Sinhala Buddhists leaders to fulfil the myths and fantasies written in an ancient book called the Mahavamsa.

The Mahavamsa was originally written in the Pali language because the Sinhala language was not well developed at that time.

The Mahavamsa is considered as a kind of Bible by the Sinhala Buddhists in Sri Lanka. Although this book has historical records, there are many fabricated stories, myths and fantasies that make this book completely unreliable.

It talks about a pure Sinhala race that descended from a lion, which is obviously a four leg animal. No wonder the minorities find the Sri Lankan lion flag very offensive!

In recent days, great importance is being given to flying the Sri Lankan lion flags in Tamil concentration camps , than feeding the hungry or treating the wounded. Even the Nazi regime in Germany was very serious about displaying swastika flags in the Jewish concentration camps.

The Mahavamsa also preaches hatred against the minority Tamils.

Sinhala Buddhist politicians and military leaders of Sri Lanka believe every word in this book and they are on a mission to fulfil the desires of the kings and queens that are portrayed in this book.

This is a sample text from the Mahavamsa which was written in the 6th Century. This verse talks about the desire of a Sinhala queen who wanted to drink water, mixed with the blood of a Tamil warrior.

Then she longed to drink the water that had served to cleanse the sword with which the head of the first warrior among Tamil king Elära's warriors had been struck off, and she longed to drink it standing on this very head, and moreover she longed to adorn herself with garlands of unfaded lotus-blossoms brought from the lotus marshes of Anuradhapura.”

No wonder the extremists act the way they act, when they meditate on such verses. The words of many racist politicians and military leaders in Sri Lanka are spoken straight out this book. Even some of the well known former presidents of Sri Lanka are not the exceptions.

They want to make Sri Lanka a Sinhala Buddhist nation by wiping out the minority Tamils.

So who are the original inhabitants of Sri Lanka?

We have been very successful in building multi ethnic and multi religious communities with every colour race and religion who are enjoying equal rights in many countries. Therefore, it is completely inappropriate to argue who owns the lands and who were the original inhabitants.

Tamils and Sinhalease both have been there for more than two thousands years. They lived in two separate nations until they were brought together by the British during the 18th century.

But it is important to look at some historic facts about Sri Lanka so that we know it is wrong for the Sri Lankan authorities to claim Sri Lanka is a Sinhala Buddhist country by suppressing the Tamil minorities who are indeed the original inhabitants of this Nation.

Firstly, there were no Buddhists in Sri Lanka before 200 BC because Buddhism was brought to Sri Lanka in 200 BC. There was no Sinhala language before 300 BC, because Sinhala language was given birth at that time. Sinhala has around four thousands loan words from the Tamil language, although this language originated from Brahmi script and has features of Bengali, Pali and Sanskrit. It is quite obvious that Sinhala was developed by people from different races, including the Tamils.

Logically speaking, there was no such community called “Sinhala Buddhists” in Sri Lanka before 200BC. But there were Tamils in Sri Lanka before there were Sinhala Buddhists.

However, many Sinhalese have Dravidian and Aboriginal features and these people are either the inhabitants of the country who were speaking Tamil or aboriginal languages or people migrated from the South Indian states.

Some of the Sinhalese have ancestors from Bengal, Orissa and other North Indian states. Those Sinhalese with fair complexion either have north Indian roots or they have European ancestors.

Tamils in Sri Lanka can be grouped into three groups. Majority of them are the original inhabitants and some came to this country during the Chola invasions from India and the ones who work in the tea estates were brought in the 18th century.

Sri Lanka was connected to India by a land mass before the two were separated by water. It is highly likely that Dravidian Tamils and Aboriginal community lived in Sri Lanka for many thousands years.

Nasa picture: Land mass connecting India and Sri Lanka, confirms  the links between Aboriginal/Dravidian civilizations in both countries

In summary, Tamils, Sinhalese and Muslims who have Aboriginal and Dravidian roots are the original inhabitants of Sri Lanka. So this claim of making Sri Lanka a Sinhala Buddhist country by suppressing the minorities is completely illogical, because the Sinhala language and the Buddhist religion are relatively new to this country that has many thousands of years of history.

Sri Lanka has the responsibility to protect all its citizens, no matter whether they are Sinhalease, Tamils, Muslims, Moors or Burghers. When they discriminate against a race and carry out genocide they are not just failing in their duties, but they are losing their right to govern.

Oppressing the minorities to fulfil the myths and fantasies in a book that was written by a poet is complete madness and those leaders who are trying to do this should be seen as the Hitlers of Sri Lanka.

Buddhist Sinhala leaders are now busy performing their rituals while Tamils are dying in the concentration camps

While the Tamils are persecuted all over the country, while they are being tortured in these controversial camps, the President and his family are busy performing Buddhist rituals and carrying statues throughout the country.

Recently, the President's wife and his son made a secret visit to the north of the country to perform a Buddhist ritual in the Tamil city of Jaffna.

The President has also recently announced that he was going to build nine giant Buddha statues in nine districts of the country, including all the Tamil districts where people don’t practice Buddhism as their religion.

Millions are going to be spent on building statues in places where thousands of Tamils have recently perished in a dirty war. Instead of giving priority to help the victims, ignorant leaders are acting irresponsibly.

The Sri Lankan government has also started to implement Sinhala colonisations in Tamil areas. They are also changing names of streets and places from Tamil to Sinhala.

All the indications of a systematic genocide of a race is clearly seen in Sri Lanka. Tamils are dying at the hands of a Sinhala regime because of the ignorance and stupidity of the Sinhala Buddhist leaders.

What is the response from the International Community?

Many foreign diplomats still haven't understood the deeper issues. Some of them are even congratulating the Sri Lankan government just like someone who congratulates a bogus doctor who claims that he has healed Typhoid with aspirin tablets. The fever may be gone temporarily for few hours, but the root disease is still there.

Sadly, many haven’t grasped the fact that Sri Lankan leaders are deceiving the whole international community with lies and deceptions and this has been going on for years.

The Sri Lankan government very often takes foreign diplomats to some of these refugee camps that are well maintained for propaganda purposes. They see such camps and give reports to the media that they are happy with the facilities available in these camps.

In terms of statistics, such propaganda camps are not the right samples and they don’t represent the population.

Human rights research groups and many independent organisations have confirmed war crimes and abuses in Sri Lanka on a massive scale and it is important that the world should be looking at the Sri Lankan leaders as suspected criminals and murderers.

It doesn't make any sense if world leaders shake hands with the killers and make joint statements about the defeat of terrorism in Sri Lanka, while the Sri Lankan State is still terrorising and abusing its minorities.

If the world leaders understood how much the Tamils are going through, in the hands of a Nazi-style regime in Sri Lanka, they would have done something to save the Tamils from these notorious camps.

International think tanks , diplomats and global strategists should understand the deeper issues in Sri Lanka before jumping into conclusions.

Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh has recently acknowledged that the Sri Lankan problem is bigger than the LTTE. It is not that he has discovered something new, but it is India's next attempt to deceive the international community that they have a better understanding of Sri Lankan issues than other countries.

Anyhow, Singh was right that Sri Lanka has deeper issues and the most obvious problem is that the Sinhala Buddhist leaders are trying to establish a Sinhala Buddhist Sri Lanka by wiping out the Tamil minorities.

Sri Lanka's ethnic conflict can be grouped into four areas. These are,

  • enmity between two races that existed for almost two thousands of years,
  • State terrorism against Tamils for the last 60 years,
  • Tamil armed rebellion against state oppression for 30 years and finally
  • the competition mainly between India and China in the Indian Ocean

India and China have acted as opportunists in Sri Lanka. They came onto the scene and provided help to the party they saw as strong and they have now secured their interests in Sri Lanka.

What we have recently seen in Sri Lanka is that the armed rebellion of the Tamils has now been crushed by the Sri Lankan government with the help of China and India, who obviously have their own strategic interests in the Indian Ocean.

International leaders should first understand that the armed Tamil rebellion from the Tamils was just a response to State terrorism in this country and crushing this rebellion is like dealing with a symptom, instead of the root cause.

Even after defeating the LTTE, the way the Tamils are treated in the barbed wired concentration camp, clearly indicates that the problems in Sri Lanka are more to do with hatred towards the Tamils and organised State terrorism.

Why do we have to intervene and save Tamils from Sri Lankan death camps?

We have all heard about a man called Josef Fritzl who kept his daughter in a dungeon for 24 years. He fed her and gave all that she needed, but he abused her day and night. He was found guilty and was sent to jail.

When we find out that someone is abusing a victim, we will do something to stop the abuse and bring the culprit to justice. We don’t just stand and clap our hands or make joint statements with the killer.

Sri Lankan leaders are acting exactly like this evil father. Tamils in Sri Lanka are abducted, abused, tortured, raped and killed everyday and the world has all the evidence.

We live in a global village. We hold our hands and sing our Olympic songs together. We have become very generous and righteous. We climb mountains and run races to save the children in Africa.

We have the technologies to see what is happening in every little tiny spot on this planet. A surgeon in California can operate on a child in India by manipulating a robot arm through the web interface.

We are the defenders of human rights. We talk about it in our dinner parties. We have huge departments in universities to do research on human rights and war crimes.

We enjoy each other and we need each other. We eat mangoes from India, oranges from Israel and Kiwis from New Zealand.

Here is the challenge for the civilised world. Three hundred thousands innocent civilians are persecuted in barbed wire concentration camps for the simple reason that the rulers of this country consider them infidels, just like how Hitler treated the Jewish people.

When the West fought with the Nazi regime in Germany, we didn't just fight with flesh and blood but we also fought with the evil that was in the hearts and minds of the Nazis. What is destroying Sri Lanka is not the Sinhalese, not the Tamils, not even the Sri Lankan military but the evil that rules the hearts and minds of the racist political and religious leaders who are foolish, arrogant and greedy.

Tamils are now dying in Nazi style death camps. The law of the land is not protecting them. A systematic genocide is being committed against this oppressed community.

We have already failed to save thousands of Tamils from indiscriminate bombings in the killing fields of Sri Lanka.

If, what we believe and what we profess in the lands of freedom are true,we would do something to save the dying Tamils from the Death Camps of Sri Lanka.


Printer-friendly version