Ilankai Tamil Sangam

Association of Tamils of Sri Lanka in the USA

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Sri Lanka Continues to Mislead the World

With malicious distortion of facts and mischaracterization of its criminal wrongdoings

by A. Rajendra

Dhanapala told the audience that the LTTE had a terrorist craving to kill civilians. Unlike the GoSL, the LTTE does not have Kfir jets, nor does it employ foreign pilots to bomb the Sinhalese masses. The LTTE attacks the armed force in retaliation for the harming of Tamil civilians. Take, for instance, the Katunayake assault. For decades, the Sri Lankan Air Force has been using its air power in bombing the innocent civilians of the Northeast. The LTTE destroyed the very aircraft that were used to kill the Tamils and, in the process, not a single civilian at the international airport or, for that matter, military official, was killed.

The Tamils of Sri Lanka have been clamoring for their rights as citizens for the over fifty years since independence in 1948.  Neither parliamentary representation nor alternative peaceful agitation provided them any redress. The Sinhalese-dominated majority government, with the help of its army, navy, air force and the police, have used the repressive tactics of a brutal genocide by unscrupulously bombing, shooting, destroying property, injuring, raping and killing to subjugate the Tamils. 

These abuses led the Tamil youth to fight back against this state terrorism and oppression, for survival.  Thus sprang the Tamil resistance movement at a time when there was nothing else to defend the people.  The war declared on the Tamils was asymmetric, in that the Sri Lankan Government (GoSL) have a very powerful arsenal of multi-barrel rockets, helicopter gun ships, and Kfir jets, piloted by Pakistanis, Ukraniansand Israelis, capable of delivering lethal bombs which indiscriminately kill innocent civilians. The resistance fighters, who did not have such powerful weaponry, have braved the onslaught and retorted through improvised anti-personal devices targeting the repressive army on foot, or by suicide attacks on specific targets. 

Over 80,000 Tamil men, women and children have been mercilessly killed to date by the GoSL in its genocidal campaign. 

The GoSL has always taken a disingenuous approach of perpetrating deliberate misrepresentation of facts to convince the world that its military campaign is in retaliation to acts of violence instigated by the Tamils, labeling them as terrorists.

The government has effectively imposed restrictions on the local media in order to prevent the truth from reaching the outside world.  The foreign media has been kept out of the Northeastern Province on the false pretext that the lives of the journalists would be at risk if they went there. The government resorted to this same tactic when it prevented the UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan and President Clinton from visiting the Northeast to take a firsthand look at the colossal destruction caused by the Tsunami in December 2004.

The Government has at all times exaggerated the resistance of the Tamils by demonizing such resistance as acts of terrorism.  Peter Ustinov, the celebrated actor of yester-year, is quoted as saying, "Terrorism is the war of the poor, and war is the terrorism of the rich."

The introduction of the draconian Prevention of Terrorism Act in 1972 spelt disaster for the Tamil community.  Virtually every Tamil is now suspected to be a terrorist by the government.  The government, by its campaign against the community, has driven all the Tamils into the fold of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) so much so that the Sinhalese nation was haunted in seeing a Tiger under every stone. 

Only news fabricated by the government is doled out to the foreign correspondents, who were housed in luxury suites in expensive hotels in Colombo.  They were kept away from areas affected by the war where they could make their own assessment.  The Government also successfully bought over news editors in major publishing houses in South India, who in turn published biased news leads in favor of the Sri Lankan government, totally ignoring the ethics of journalism, and, more importantly, demonizing the LTTE as a murderous group.

The Government of Sri Lanka, by spreading false propaganda, misinformation, and lies to win sympathies, for the most part has been very successful in securing massive financial aid from foreign governments to fight the Tamil resistance.  A well-orchestrated international propaganda campaign waslaunched by Sri Lanka to convince the international community that the Tamilstruggle is nothing more than naked terrorism.  Playing on thesensibilities and anxieties of western nations about global terrorism,Sri Lanka has been propagating a view that she too is a victim of asimilar phenomenon.

Disinformation to deflect the guilt of bad governance

The GoSL has been continuously putting the blame on the LTTE, for all its own ills and for acts of violence against the Tamils. The overt mischaracterization of the LTTE has helped the GoSL to deflect the guilt of bad governance. Colombo's attempt to explain all military acts as "defensive" and "retaliatory" acts in response to violence "instigated" by the Tigers has resulted in the co-chairs putting the blame of aggression on the LTTE and turning a blind eye even when atrocities are directed on the civilian population. Colombo has found this strategy very convenient and successful to launch offensives into LTTE territory. As recent as the 8th of October, 2006, the GoSL tried to cover it up a clash as between the Tigers and a paramilitary group, but when LTTE neutralized the Sri Lankan offensive, captured a soldier alive inside their territory, and let him talk to the SLMM before handing over the dead bodies of 11 Sri Lankan troopers, including the major who was responsible for the operation, Colombo was exposed as the violator of the truce. Only the SLMM is capable of defining and passing a judgment on who is engaging in aggression, and for this to happen, the Government should show transparency and allow the SLMM access to the forward defense lines (FDL). The Government of Sri Lanka has recently blocked the SLMM monitors from visiting places of military clashes, thus preventing them from determining who is instigating the clashes. By the same token, it prevented the SLMM visiting the crime scenes in Muthur and Batticaloa where the GoSL had created untold mayhem both for life and property, and for displacement of Tamils.

The GoSL has also made use of the adversity resulting from the following long list of events to carry out its campaign in bringing disrepute to the LTTE and d

The assassination of Amirthalingam and Yogeswaran

Amirthalingam was a founder member of Ilankai Thamil Arasu Katchi (ITAK) in 1949. He was closely associated with Chelvanayakam in the Gandhian style of peaceful agitation, to win the rights of the Tamils. The Tamil members in parliament felt the need to unite their efforts and the result was the formation of the Tamil United Liberation Front which included the ITAK, Congress and other Tamil parties. Yogeswaran as a young Lawyer joined the ranks of the TULF and was elected to parliament from the Jaffna constituency. Both Amirthalingam and Yogeswaran vociferously condemned the Government attack on the Tamils and the burning of the Jaffna library, much to the dislike of the government. 

The naked truth is that, while they were living, both Amirthalingam and Yogeswaran worked against the elements, irrespective of ethnicity, who hated Eelam Tamil nationalism and who spew anti-LTTE venom in abandon. That was why the handlers, then working at the Indian agencies of deception, the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) scripted their plot to assassinate Amirthalingam and Yogeswaran and lay the blame for the deed on the LTTE. The GoSL has made use of this tragedy to its advantage to discredit the LTTE. (Courtesy:'Selected Writings by Sachi Sri Kantha,' accessed October, 2006).

The assassination of Rajiv Gandhi

The Indian Government has spuriously blamed Prabaharan for the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi, by conducting the trial inside a prison, depriving the suspects of their rights to be represented by lawyers, and violating all norms of human rights, to pass the verdict of guilt on the LTTE. Evidence about Rajiv's assassin, a female, is sketchy. Because the assassin did not survive, the attention was focused on the person with "secrets," on one "Sivarajan", whose real name has been traced by one journalist as Packiyachandran. According to the Indian police, he committed suicide on Aug 20, 1991. "Sivarajan", who had been identified as the member of TELO till 1986, would have had contacts with the Indian intelligence agencies. Whatever ill was spoken about the LTTE, the group was steadfast in maintaining its integrity, by being honest in its approach to defend the Tamils, and the cadre was very disciplined that none of them smoked, consumed liquor, practiced sexual exploits, or misbehaved in society to the extent that they remained unmarried until they reached seniority in rank or left the outfit. Sivarajan on the other hand was a hardened alcohol addict and could have never been permitted into the ranks of the LTTE.  Here again, Indian intelligence has implicated him in the assassination to target the LTTE. The Indian press and the investigating agencies (CBI, SIT and RAW) have alleged the LTTE's involvement. However, "the politicians, bureaucrats, academics and semi-official journalists who represent India's political status quo" (according to Steve Coll, in the International Herald Tribune of June 15, 1991) believe that "CIA agents probably organized the plot to kill the former prime minister."

The Indian press has given the female assassin a name, "Dhanu." The Dec 15 1991 issue of the India Today reported that the Special Investigation Team (SIT) had located 'letter leads' which ' would prove that the assassination was ordered by Pirabhakaran." According to this news report, which was later unashamedly republished by the Tamil Times, "Dhanu, wrote to Pirabhakaran on May 10, 1991, from the LTTE's Kodungaiyur hide-out, thanking Pirabhakaran for entrusting her with the important task."

The humor in the "letter lead" is that, the SIT and other Indian sleuths have yet to identify who this "Dhanu" is. When was she born? Where was she born? Where did she live? Who are her kith and kin? Was she unmarried, married, divorced, separated? Nothing is known yet. She is not in the police files of Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka. Without knowing answers to all these vital questions, how did the SIT identify the purported letter the assassin has written as really an authentic one? To prove the veracity of this letter, they should first have in their hands other written documents which pre-date this purported May 10 letter. The SIT has not revealed how and where they obtained these authenticating documents, without identifying the person. If they truly succeeded in doing this, certainly the Indian sleuths can even bring Rajiv Gandhi back to life (Courtesy:'Selected Writings by Sachi Sri Kantha,' accessed October, 2006).

Rajiv Gandhi was involved in the Bofors scandal. The Indian Ambassador to Sweden at the time, B.M. Oja, has corroborated the charge that Rajiv was personally involved on the $ 1.3 Billion scandal and that the manufacturers paid $40 Million as kickback to top Government officials in India. Criminal elements or political elements involved in criminal activity might thus have had their own motives for assassinating Gandhi.

The Jain Commission revealed that on December 26, 1989, in response to a fresh threat perception from the Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW) pertaining to the targeting of Rajiv Gandhi by Sikh terrorists, (Annexure S- 27) Joint Director, Intelligence Bureau, K.N. Thakur put up a note (Annexure S- 28) to the Director IB seeking approval to prepare Security Rules for Rajiv Gandhi. The R&AW perceived that: "The threat to the security of Rajiv Gandhi from the Sikh extremist organizations would continue to be very high despite his leaving office following the elections." The Jain Commission further documented that "In Oct.'89 Gurmez Singh Gill of Babbar Khalsa, UK threatened that Shri Rajiv Gandhi would not be spared even if he was defeated in the General Elections. Recently, a talk has been reported among the Sikhs in UK that Sikh extremists have freshly targeted Rajiv Gandhi."

The Sikh threat as summarized in the Jain Commission on Rajiv was real. The ‘in Prison trial’ implicating the LTTE lacks credibility because it took into custody an arbitrary suspect who does not fit the profile of an LTTE cadre, although his TELO affiliation was on record, there was an absence of  proper evidence, and legal representation was disallowed for a fair hearing of the suspects.

Despite these circumstances and without any impending verdict, the GoSL had carried out a massive diplomatic campaign to put the blame on the LTTE.  The GoSL maneuvered its strategy to destroy the LTTE and got it proscribed in India and other countries.

The assassination of the Sri Lankan Foreign Minister

Under the active campaign of a Machiavellian Tamil Minister, the late Laxman Kathirgamar, Sri Lankan diplomatic missions abroad tried to transpose an internal inter-racial conflict into a global terror campaign. The Sri Lankan Government made use of Kadirgamar's assassination to impress the international community that Foreign Minister Kathirgamar was assassinated by the LTTE, persuading those governments to ban the LTTE as a terrorist organization. There are reliable pointers, however, that the actual culprits were in the Government itself. In a highly revealing statement within hours of the murder, President Kumaratunga blamed the killing not on the LTTE but on “political foes opposed to the peaceful transformation of conflict.”  Kumaratunga was pressured two days later to make an about face, but she never explained her initial remarks.  The failure of the Government to investigate the assassination of Kathirgamar even after two years shows its total disregard to bring justice to the very person whom the Government was using in its campaign to demonize the LTTE.  The Government refused foreign help to solve the crime as long as it had the LTTE as a scapegoat on which to put the blame. Besides, the Government is well aware that any attempt to solve the assassination mystery will backfire on it. All of the publicly available evidence just as readily fits a murder organized by a military faction using Tamil militia. The international community is grossly ignorant of this fact, and it is time it understood the reality on the ground and acted with responsibility.

Jayantha Dhanapala’s lies at the Sri Lanka Caucus' Congressional briefing

On the international scene, Ambassador Bernard Goonatilake, Permanent Representative for Sri Lanka to the UN, and Ambassador Jayantha Dhanapala, Sri Lanka’s failed candidate for the UN Secretary General, used the forum at the US Congress' Sri Lanka Caucus briefing 'The Sri Lanka Peace Process : Role of the International Community' on Sept. 8. 2005 to cover up the criminal wrongdoings of the Sri Lankan State, by malicious distortion of facts, blatant fabrication, misrepresentation, and false allegations aimed at misleading the world with lies, solely to demonize the LTTE.

Ambassador Goonatilake leveled the accusation that it was the LTTE which commenced its armed struggle against the Sri Lankan state, whereas the ground reality puts to blame on the Sri Lankan Government’s own state terrorism for initiating the tragedy.

The LTTE and groups like the ENDLF, EPDP, PLOTE, EPRLF, were the creation of the Sri Lankan Government. With the passage of time, all Tamil groups except for the LTTE were bought over by the Sri Lankan Government. Not only has the GoSL rained down terror on the Tamils, it has got round major world powers like the US to endorse the killing of the Tamils.

The US should be aware that it was Douglas Devananda, now holding a prominent portfolio in the Government, who was responsible for taking hostage an American engineer and his wife, the newly wed Allens from Ohio, from their residence in 1984.

The US must also take cognizance of the fact that the Sri Lankan State was more involved in international terrorism when the State Task Force and Muslim cohorts in Batticaloa gunned down an American Missionary Priest on his motorbike, when he went to rescue the victims of the racial riots. 

Both Goonatilake and Dhanapala used the Caucus hearing to swim against the tide of history when the GoSL has been openly responsible for international terrorism in targeting US citizens. They should admit the criminality of these colossal wrongdoings before dispensing any remedy in calling the international community to fight terrorism in Sri Lanka by placing a terrorist label on the LTTE.

Dhanapala told the audience that the LTTE had a terrorist craving to kill civilians. Unlike the GoSL, the LTTE does not have Kfir jets nor does it employ foreign pilots to bomb the Sinhalese masses. The LTTE attacks the armed force in retaliation for the harming of Tamil civilians. Take, for instance, the Katunayake assault. For decades, the Sri Lankan Air Force had been using its air power in bombing the innocent civilians of the Northeast. The LTTE destroyed the very aircraft that were used to kill the Tamils and, in the process, not a single civilian at the international airport or, for that matter, military official was killed. This military feat was echoed round the world, and media reports like ‘LTTE killed the Sri Lankan Air Force without killing a single person” was a common news caption in the foreign media.

The Tamils accepted the LTTE as their savior and rallied round it. Only those Tamils entrapped in the Government controlled areas fear persecution.  Dhanapala’s statement that the LTTE is forcefully enslaving the Tamils is shown to be untrue by examining the numerous photos posted on the websites of rallies and meetings all over Eelam, endorsing support and appreciation of the LTTE as the Tamil savior.               

Dhanapala had the audacity to boast about religious freedom when he vilifies that the LTTE curtails religious freedom. He should be well aware, as a senior government official dealing with the conflict, that the LTTE has from the very inception declared ceasefires every year during Buddhist holidays such as Wesak, and during Christmas. On the contrary, the Tamils in the Northeast who deserved similar reciprocity from the GoSL have been strafed by the air force while attending religious functions in temples. Dhanapala should also know that appointing a Christian, who has a track record for killings and taking hostages, to the position of Minister for Hindu Religious Affairs in the Sri Lankan Government is like appointing a criminal Muslim or Hindu as the Pope in Rome.  This is blasphemous and the Tamils are devastated forthe insult to the Hindu religion.  This, in short, is what Dhanapala knows of religious freedom. 

It was a travesty of an event in the name of a congressional hearing that the Sri Lanka Caucus deliberation took place without representation of the Tamils. Tamil representation should have been included because Tamils were the focus of the deliberation and have been the victims of Government terror. The statistics Dhanapala gave in defending the Government of Sri Lanka were fictional, and were as clear as what the world saw concerning the government blockade of lifesaving help, especially from Americans, for the Tsunami victims in the NorthEast. If the government of Sri Lanka can stoop to such inhumane treatment towards fellow human beings in the NorthEast who are suffering the consequences of a natural calamity, one can imagine to what extent Tamils have suffered the horrors of tyranny at normal times. In reality, the Government made a fool of all visiting foreign dignitaries from the UN Secretary General downwards,  by duping them with conducted tours and accompanying fanfare to the lesser affected Southern shores, without permitting them see the real damage in the East where the devastation was catastrophic.

Dhanapala deliberately avoided mentioning the colossal damage and destruction committed by the State on property and life of the Tamils. He wanted the UN to impose sanctions on the LTTE and this seemed to be a very opportune moment for him to canvass support by piling blame on the LTTE as an active terrorist organization. He used the caucus briefing as a launchpad for lies. How could Dhanapala, a person of such low morality, be given the responsible position of UN Secretary General?  It would have spelt disaster if he had been given the reins to administer the world body. The world body certainly had sufficient wisdom to judge Danapala’s credentials and to reject him.

The Tamils have reason to doubt the credibility of the Government, and its defenders, Goonatilake and Dhanapala, during this deliberation, when they recall the Bindunuwewa massacre of innocent children. The GoSL had shamelessly used the pretext of rehabilitating child soldiers merely to get foreign funds to fill its coffers. The children met brutal death in October of 2000, when they were murdered in cold blood. The police and the army stood by as spectators without taking appropriate action. The fact that the report of the Presidential Commission has not seen the light of day is a pointer that these children were not child soldiers. They were innocent Tamil children rounded up by the security force during illegal house searches or passersby on the streets in the Northeast. They were branded child soldiers for political gain, so as to show the outside world that the GoSL is taking control of the situation in arresting child soldiers and rehabilitating them. To crown it all, the suspects in this heinous crime have all been set free.

Dhanapala made the caucus believe that the Government was striving to reactivate the talks after nearly two and a half years of the LTTE dragging its feet and said that the Government was all too sincere to adhere to the Cease Fire Agreement (CFA). The reason why the LTTE walked out of the talks was because the Government did not adhere to the CFA. The world knows that the Government of Sri Lanka caused colossal destruction to life and property in the Northeast to the extent that Chavakacheri was completely wiped off the face of the earth.  The people were driven out of the North by the hundreds of thousands. Many of them sought refuge in foreign lands. The army moved into their dwellings, schools, churches and temples, and its presence there today is in the ratio of 1 gun trotting military personnel to 10 civilians in the Northeast (Ratio of 10:1).  A good part of the ‘10’ in the foregoing ratio left behind, are the aged, the sick and the maimed, and (orphaned) children. That leaves a very micro-microscopic number of adults in the ratio, able to work and make a living. To crown it all, there are no industries to look for employment, no fields to till and make a livelihood. It is this type of a scenario into which our knowledgeable Dhanapala delves in his analysis “with the all promising growth in economy, with a GDP of 12.6% (sic) in the North and 10.2% (sic) in the East.” The agricultural sector, he said, was strong (we certainly know it is overgrown with land mines), with the field of industry very strong (with absolutely 0 industries, and the closest competitor will be a dilapidated, bullet ridden bicycle repair shop). He said further ‘Rice production achieved its highest levels ever with contracts signed to export rice to India’ (when the army refuses to allow the people to till the lands and the people are starving to death). His rosy picture of the Northeast will be incomplete without revealing the unemployment rate, which he said was the lowest in the country, 5.6% compared to the national average of 8.9%. What is more, he duped all the members of the caucus to believe that the government, which prevented badly needed lifesaving tsunami aid reaching the Northeast, “was looking for investment strategies to improve the investment climate in the northeast, and was currently investigating how best to do this.” He said that he strongly believed the “Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) facility to promote investment in the North and the East, ( MIGA is the political risk insurance arm of the World Bank, which promotes foreign direct investment in developing countries by insuring against political risk and by providing technical assistance), was providing technical assistance.”

This, in short, is the resume of our diplomat who was aspiring to be the UN Secretary General.

The Rajapakse era

The pace of state terrorism,in a lull during the first three years after the Cease Fire Agreement (CFA), has gathered momentum again with Mahindha Rajapakse taking over as President of Sri Lanka in November, 2005. Since assuming office he has been playing a double game of talking peace and waging a brutal war against the Tamils.

Rajapakse’s hands are soaked in blood with the murder of a senior Tamil parliamentarian; Joseph Pararajasingham was assassinated during the midnight Christmas service in 2005, in the regional Catholic cathedral - a clear case of state terrorism. Although full information on the military assailant and paramilitary accomplices were submitted to Rajapakse, to date no action has been taken to apprehend them.

Likewise, the murder of five teenage Tamil students in Trincomalee who were shot behind their ears at close range on January 2, 2006, was also a clear example of state terrorism. The Government shoved the evidence under the carpet without a whimper of protest from the international community. But when Tamils hit back at state terrorism, when provoked by Government aggression, the international community does not lose a moment to condemn the leaders in the Tamil national struggle

The Tamils are horrified by the assassination of many other politicians, and the extra-judicial killing of journalists, innocent civilians and Tamil businessmen. Although Amnesty International reported several instances where the Government was engaging in terror, the international community is adamant in not taking note of this fact for its own geopolitical interests.

The saga of child soldiers is, in itself, a well-orchestrated propaganda exercise widely publicized by the GoSL to bring discredit to the LTTE with a backlash of world condemnation. A submission - 'The hue and cry about child soldiers' pinpoints the overtly exaggerated numbers of the violations blamed on the LTTE, a ploy adopted by the GoSL to demonize the LTTE.

Kebithigollewa massacre

For too long the Sri Lankan Government had been taking the international community for a ride, giving scornful lies and blatant denial of its atrocities, and blaming the LTTE, for all its sins. The international media, the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission, Amnesty International and the like recently began raising questions about the gory killings by the Army and their paramilitary groups in the Northeast. So did the European Union and Japan, who are major donors, in passing strictures on the Government to the extent of threatening to cut off aid. The extremist elements in the government had to do something and, that too quickly, to divert the focus of the European Union and Japan elsewhere. The result was the Kebethigollewa carnage. The stage was set by the Sinhalese Government for the first time, to create carnage amidst the Sinhalese on a large scale and to put the blame on the LTTE. This was the only way out for the Government to save face. On 15th June, 2006, only the security force knew of a large number of people that had gathered in Kebethigollewa to attend the funeral of a home guard from Kachchakodiya village, located a few miles from Kebethigollewa.  None other than the security force could have set up two devices within a short time frame of 45 minutes, knowing well that there were two buses destined to pass that way,. Anyone outside army intelligence would have been caught in action by the security force that were operating security posts all along the road at half mile distances from each other and very close to the site of the blast. Only the security force knew that there would be the two buses that would be plying that way and so set up two land mines. Providence saved the people in one of the buses, as it broke down no sooner it set out from Kepitigollawa.  As a result, only one of the buses got struck, leaving 64 Sinhalese civilians dead, including 12 children, and 75 injured.

The fact that the security forces ferried in the news media personnel from Colombo by helicopter within 15 minutes of the blast to cover the incident and  publicize it on TV shows how well prepared the security force was, to stage this event without having the obligations or the priority to rush in  first aid to the victims. The blame for the carnage was put on the LTTE as usual (Courtesy: Roger Gnanaindran, The Tamil Mirror, Canada, June, 2006). This event was good enough to overcome the international criticism. It is on the strength of these deflections that US Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher sent warning signals to the LTTE because he had decided that the LTTE had decided to restart the war instead of restarting the peace talks.

 Lessons from Israel

The GoSL was quick to put to use the lessons from the Israel’s asymmetric warfare on Lebanon, where the Israel destroyed the infrastructure in Lebanon and killed thousands of civilians with the silent approval of the US. In the absence of international condemnation, Sri Lanka has taken for granted that it too could launch similar tactics on the Tamils, having convinced the US and its allies that it is taking painstaking restraint with measured defensive action to thaw the LTTE assault.  Rajapakse is currently carrying out relentless air, land, and sea offensives without any provocations from the LTTE, targeting Tamil civilians and killing to date 996 innocent Tamils since he took office. The irony of the situation is that, while the Government has agreed to cease military action, it has - within hours of conveying its acceptance to negotiate - launched a full scale offensive on the Tamil forces.  The Colombo media is in resonance to the government propaganda and claims that the GoSL is taking punitive defensive action against LTTE attacks. Because the international community has its geo-political interests in the region, it is continuing to turn a blind eye to the atrocities.

Continued killing of innocent Tamils

The official accounts of the Navy rampage in Mannar in May 2006 were riddled with contradictions. Initially, the navy issued a flagrant statement, declaring its personnel had only opened fire after being attacked by grenades. Later, navy spokesman D.K.P. Dassanayake denied any involvement at all, stating that “at night we are confined to our camp on the islet.” Without offering any evidence, Defense spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella suggested that the LTTE was killing Tamil civilians to divert international condemnation from its role in a sea battle on May 11. President Mahinda Rajapakse has ordered an investigation into the killings. But the talk of an investigation is just an eye wash, one more in a growing list designed to deflect attention from the government and the military, and a cover up for the culprits. None of the official investigations have resulted in the arrest or charging of anyone in the armed forces or their allied paramilitaries.

Sencholai massacre

Indiscriminate bombing killed 51 children in Sencholai and injured over 100. The Sri Lankan Air Force dropped 16 bombs onto a school campus.The Sri Lankan government immediately denied that it bombed any school campus and instead claimed that it was a rebel training camp.  However, the head of the Norwegian-led SLMM, Ulf Henricsson, has already repudiated this claim.  Truce monitors did not find “any evidence of military installations or weapons,” according to the SLMM. 

French NGO killings in Muthur 

The Sri Lankan Monitoring Mission (SLMM) is on the record stating the Government of Sri Lanka is blocking the investigation on the killings of seventeen (17) members of the French NGO Action against Hunger massacred on the 6th of August 2006.   Rajapakse, who yielded to international pressure, gave assurance that international investigators will carry out the post mortem, but later refused to allow the Australian experts to perform an autopsy.

The Indian intelligence, RAW

The Indian intelligence RAW has taken root in Sri Lanka since the mid eighties. It has maneuvered the political climate in the country in its agenda to wipe out the LTTE. It has used other militant groups in carrying out assassinations of Tamil politicians, facilitating the GoSL to put the blame on the LTTE. India and Pakistan have had eternal disputes over the Kashmir border and other issues, and when the GoSL invited the Pakistani Military advisors to fight the LTTE, RAW found Sri Lanka an ideal field of play to settle scores by attempting the assassination of the Pakistani envoy, Bashri Wali Mohammed, in a bid to sour the burgeoning military and economic ties between Islamabad and Colombo.  Four Sri Lankan bodyguards of the diplomat among others were killed in the landmine attack on the 14th of August, 2006. The envoy escaped unhurt. The GoSL was quick to declare, even before the police had cleared the scene, that the LTTE was behind the attack on the envoy. Pakistani intelligence, however, pointed out the Indian involvement.

Assassination of Ketheeswaran Loganathan

The latest reports emerging from Colombo seem to confirm the allegation that the President’s security team and, especially, its inner junta, consisting of Basil and Gothabaya Rajapaksa, have had strong links with the assassins who recently murdered Dr. Ketheeswaran Loganathan, Deputy Head of the Colombo-based Peace Secretariat.

Ketheeswaren is said to have had inside information regarding the premeditated killings of the 17 NGO employees. In a heated argument, Ketheeswaren had threatened that he intended to make public his resignation as Deputy Head of the new Peace Secretariat, though Sri Lanka's hawkish President Mahinda Rajapakse had asked Ketheeswaran to delay this decision for a couple of days. President Rajapakse was visibly irritated by Ketheeswaran’s decision, as at that time he was facing intense pressure from international organizations and the world media over the killing of the French aid workers of Action Contre le Faim. It is said that immediately following this conversation, an unexpected visit was made by the government’s notorious intelligence unit to Ketheeswaran’s house. This happened minutes before the assassination took place. It’s now believed that the main aim of the assassination was to divert world media attention from the massacre of the NGO workers and to deliberately put the blame of Ketheeswaran’s death on the LTTE to discredit the latter.(Courtesy: Manalel Jeyaram Global Electro-Newsnet, September 5, 2006)

Despite the monumental evidence the truce monitors see in the Sri Lankan army having a hand in civilian killings, the world at large is not willing to condemn such acts of barbarism, but instead, backs the donor countries that have their own vested interest to promote the misinformation, and accuse the LTTE for the wrong doings of the State.  The disturbing pattern of incomplete or ineffective investigations by the government is shoved under the carpet, with the result that perpetrators of such violence generally operate with impunity.

In accordance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which Sri Lanka has ratified, the government must carry out independent, impartial and effective investigations into all killings, instead of putting the blame of all its sins on the LTTE.

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