OPINION

Stephen Harper's Government Has Let Down the Tamils

February 27, 2009
Uyrin Vali

Tamil Canadians have and continue to observe that Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government has been rather slow to take notice of Sri Lanka’s on-going conflict. Not only that, but the Tamil Canadians are watching with such agony as their loved ones are slowly being eliminated by the Sri Lankan government and the Canadian government is oblivious to it. The Sri Lankan government has rejected the call for a ceasefire even after UN and EU have made such request.

Just in the past weeks, three hospitals that were deemed to have been safe were bombed by the Sri Lankan government, and the Defence Minister Gotabhaya in an interview for SkyNews has stated that hospitals are “legitimate military targets”.

Bombing hospitals is a war crime under Geneva Convention in which Sri Lanka is a signatory. Over and over, the Sri Lankan government has taken part in what is known as closed door killings. They take random people and bury them under unmarked graves after ruthlessly killing them. Such killings are taking place in the Vanni Region in the past few weeks. This is evident in the fact that many of the displaced individuals do not seem to know the whereabouts of some of their loved ones.

The Sri Lankan government is not allowing journalists and other media personnel entering war zones and reporting from there, thus making it very hard for the international community to know about what is actually happening on the war fields. Independent monitors are not allowed in the war zone to observe human rights violations and to enforce the safety of the Tamil people.

The headquarters of ICRC in Sri Lanka was attacked by a mob in Colombo, capital city of Sri Lanka. This also raises a valid question of how credible the Sri Lankan government is in protecting the international aid organizations that are known for their unbiased stance in situations like these. The welfare villages initiated by the Sri Lankan government are nothing but mere 'concentration camps' under disguise that is holding over 30,000 Tamil people without freedom of movement.

Going back in history, the welfare villages in disguise are a direct analogy to Hitler’s concentration camps for the Jews. Moreover, the Sri Lankan government allocated safe zones in which the Tamil civilians were encouraged to move into in order to avoid the bombs and artillery shelling. What is more brutal is the use of cluster bombs by the Sri Lankan army. These bombs are currently prohibited from use, but are being heavily used by the Sri Lankan army. As a result, tens and hundreds of Tamil civilians are being killed on a daily basis in these safety zones.

Why is it that the Canadian government is not taking a speedy action to all this atrocity? After having seen the emergency debate, there was little hope that something will be done to save the lives of those innocent Tamil people in Sri Lanka. However, seeing that nothing has been done to urge the Sri Lankan government to lay down their arms, I want to know if the Canadian government has given up on this cause.

It is of the opinion of many of the Tamil Canadians that the Canadian government is not taking into consideration that many of our loved ones are in danger. Canada is not taking the necessary action to assure its citizens of its reputation as a peace keeping country. The announcement to send $3 million to the displaced Tamil people in Sri Lanka looked positive. However, many analysts believe that $3 million aid money is to calm the angry Tamil Canadians and a ploy to silence them from telling the world about the truth (i.e. the genocide of the Tamils of Sri Lanka).

In Canada, the Canadian citizens with Tamil origins are constantly faced with repression and intimidation by Canadian security agencies and the Sri Lankan government. In a country where freedom of speech is greatly emphasized, it is astonishing to note that these citizens are not allowed to speak out for their loved ones from Sri Lanka. Canadian security agencies have a way of bringing down fear upon these individuals and silence them. During the many peaceful events that are attended by thousands of citizens of Tamil origin, the Canadian security agencies do not forget to make their mark there.

They are seen everywhere photographing these individuals and treating them like some wanted criminals. In the recent past, the Canadian police raided a Tamil cultural centre that is prominent for promoting the Tamil language and culture to young children. The raid took place while these young children were present at the centre. It is very hard to imagine the trauma that these young children must have gone through. It is very sad to note that many individuals of Tamil origin who have no connection whatsoever to terrorism are targeted by Canadian security agencies for supporting exactly that.

The decision by the Canadian government to add the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to its “terror list” has left the Tamil community in Canada with a bad reputation. Although this decision was made by the Canadian government, it was fully backed up by the Sri Lankan government. It is a very interesting fact that Canada had banned the LTTE during the peace talk period back in year 2006. It was the banning of the LTTE that has brought all Tamil people to this dire situation. By banning the LTTE, Canada had indirectly given the go ahead message to the Sri Lankan government for further killings. This shows that Canada has played a destructive role in trying to initiate peace within Sri Lanka than a constructive role.

Today Tamil Canadians are helpless and look to the Canadian government to see how many lives will be taken away before it takes an active role in protecting their loved ones back in Sri Lanka.

Uyrin Vali has been closely following the conflict in Sri Lanka and actively speaks out for the rights of Tamil people residing in that country. Uyrin Vali currently resides in Canada.
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Stephen Harper's Government Has Let Down the Tamils

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Author: Uyrin Vali

 

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#1
Sam Sena,,,,
URL
February 27, 2009
02:17 AM

You can read the security research articles at:
http://www.mackenzieinstitute.com/2009/genocide-talk020609.htm [fake genocide claims by LTTE members in Canada]

Also there are NO proof that SL Government attack the hospitals OR used cluster bombs. It is an outright lie fabricated by pro-LTTE terrorists living in Canada. Why don't these LTTE terrorists living in Canada talk about the 300 Buddhist monks that LTTE decapitated in 1987?

http://www.fbi.gov/page2/jan08/tamil_tigers011008.html

Oh ya... also let's not forgot that LTTE terrorists invented the suicide vest and suicide belt and attacked several Buddhist temples. Let's not forget how LTTE specifically targeted Buddhist monks. Let's not forget how LTTE change it story several times in the world history.

Here the general timeline,
-in 1974 Indian criminals and Sri Lankan criminals had a meeting in New York City. This is where the blue print for LTTE terrorists were created

-in 1983, as a plan to get the Government of Sri Lanka in to the war, LTTE members killed 15 Sri Lankan Army members. This triggered the Black July. Now the LTTE terrorists have a reason for a war, they try to find an ideology for the war. Well... why not pick Buddhists as a scapegoat? So...

-in 1983-1996, LTTE called ALL Sri Lankan Buddhists are terrorists; LTTE used this story to get refugee visas to enter countries like Canada, UK, US, Australia, etc. LTTE specifically targeted Buddhist temples, Muslim temples, etc and specifically killed Buddhist monks. (Info: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aranthalawa_Massacre )
Eg. Aranthalawa Massacre

-in 1996 the West realized that called "Buddhists terrorists" do not exist,
Eg. USA Government listed LTTE as a terrorist group.

-in 1996 LTTE terrorists change their official story from "Buddhists terrorists" to "Sinhalese terrorists"; again, LTTE used this story to get refugee visas to enter countries like Canada, UK, US, Australia, etc.
Eg. Read any news papers and online news on LTTE terrorist during this period.

-in 2001 the West learned that Sinhalese terrorist story is not true either,
Eg. US and EU decided to support Government of Sri Lanka

-in 2002 as a response to that LTTE terrorists change their official story, "Sinhalese terrorists" to "Sri Lankan Government terrorists",

WOW... what a story. How far pro-LTTE terrorists think that they can fool Westerners...uh?

#2
Thamizhan TE
February 27, 2009
06:59 AM

INDICTMENT AGAINST SRI LANKA: WAR CRIMES, GENOCIDE

http://www.tamilnation.org/indictment/index.htm

#3
James
February 27, 2009
07:03 AM

Hey Uyrin,

Pass on the message to Prabha. He can end the suffering by SURRENDERING, not shooting civilians trying to escape and recruiting 14 year olds.

Killing Rajiv Ghandi and so many others by suicide-murders characterized the LTTE. Coupled with Prabha's arrogance and extreme viciousness (among his own people too), the LTTE deserves to lose...and lose it will.

It is over, and rightly so.

James (an African with no biases)

#4
Thamizhan
February 27, 2009
07:14 AM

"...the international community will wait till Tamil resistance is sufficiently weakened or annihilated before it attempts to intervene 'on humanitarian grounds' and in seeming response to 'world wide Tamil appeals'. Meanwhile the IC will even welcome such world wide appeals by Tamils as that will pave the way (and establish useful contact points amongst the Tamil diaspora) for IC's eventual intervention with 'development aid' with the mantra of not conflict resolution but 'conflict transformation'.

It was the Buddha who said that suffering is a great teacher. The Tamil people are being taught on the hard anvil of death and suffering appropriately enough in Buddhist Sri Lanka that human rights and humanitarian laws are more often than not, political instruments - instruments which States use selectively so that they may intervene to advance their own perceived strategic interests. After all the simplest thing that the international actors could have done to protect the Tamil people would have been to remove the ban on the LTTE so that the capacity of the people of Tamil Eelam to resist the genocidal onslaught launched on them by Sinhala Sri Lanka may have been strengthened. The simple and humane thing that the international actors could have done was not to taunt the struggles against terrorism with the label terrorism but to adopt a principle centered approach which liberated political language and also helped to liberate a people who have taken up arms as a last resort in their struggle for freedom from oppressive alien Sinhala rule. .."

http://www.tamilnation.org/saty/090223task_force.htm

#5
Tamil
February 27, 2009
07:16 AM

The Sinhala owned Sri Lanka Sunday Times reported on 22 February that the donor Co-Chairs are working out a coalition humanitarian task force spearheaded by the United States, to evacuate civilians trapped in the fighting in the Vanni. It said -
"The purpose will be purely to facilitate the movement of civilians from the northeastern coast to a ship in the deep seas. This is for transfer to Internally Displaced Person (IDP) centres or hospitals outside the battle zones."

The proposed transfer to IDP centres will need to be understood in the context of the London Daily Telegraph report of 13 February 2009 -

"(Sri Lanka) Officials have confirmed they will establish several "welfare villages" to house the estimated 200,000 Tamils displaced from their homes by the Sri Lankan army's "final offensive" against the LTTE's stronghold on the north of the Island. Senior officials have however confirmed that those housed in the villages will have no choice on whether to stay in the camps.

It appears that what I wrote three weeks ago on 29 January 2009 in Sinhala Sri Lanka's Genocide of Eelam Tamils - a Crime Against Humanity, is now coming to pass -

"...the international community will wait till Tamil resistance is sufficiently weakened or annihilated before it attempts to intervene 'on humanitarian grounds' and in seeming response to 'world wide Tamil appeals'. Meanwhile the IC will even welcome such world wide appeals by Tamils as that will pave the way (and establish useful contact points amongst the Tamil diaspora) for IC's eventual intervention with 'development aid' with the mantra of not conflict resolution but 'conflict transformation'."

It was the Buddha who said said that suffering is a great teacher. The Tamil people are being taught on the hard anvil of death and suffering appropriately enough in Buddhist Sri Lanka that human rights and humanitarian laws are more often than not, political instruments - instruments which States use selectively so that they may intervene to advance their own perceived strategic interests.

#6
Eelam
February 27, 2009
07:19 AM

Having banned the LTTE which was the armed resistance of the people of Tamil Eelam and which could have protected the people of Tamil Eelam against the genocidal onslaught by Sinhala ethno nationalism;

- having called upon the LTTE to surrender to those same armed forces so that Tamils may be saved from genocide;

- having failed to condemn the Sinhala army's brutal genocidal attacks as genocide but on the contrary having armed and trained the Sinhala armed forces;

- having failed to condemn the shelling by Sri Lanka of self announced safety zones, which killed hundreds of Tamils and gravely injured many thousands more;

- having failed to prevent Sri Lanka's deliberate targeting of hospitals;

- having refused to recognise that Sri Lanka's resort to genocide was no accident but is directed to give Tamil civilians a clear message - 'get away from the LTTE controlled areas or die' and therefore a war crime;

- having failed to prevent Sri Lanka from ordering humanitarian organisations to leave the war-affected areas

- having failed to condemn Sri Lanka for preventing the media from entering these areas as deliberate actions directed to facilitate a genocidal war without witnesses;

- having refused to admit to the horrific truth that faced with the unity of a whole people in their struggle for freedom from alien Sinhala rule, Sri Lanka has resorted to the anti guerrilla strategy of the genocidal destruction of that people, in other words, the civilians, women and children;

- having suggested that Tamil civilians are 'trapped in the fighting in the Vanni' when in truth Tamil civilians are not 'trapped in the fighting' or in the crossfire but are being deliberately targeted and killed by Sri Lanka armed forces;

- having done all this -

the co-chairs now propose a 'humanitarian operation', assisted by the United States Pacific Command (US PACOM) to evacuate civilians 'trapped in the fighting' in the Vanni.

Meanwhile, India's acting Prime Minister Pranab Mukherjee told the Lok Sabha in New Delhi on Wednesday 18 February that his Government had formally offered assistance including logistic support to evacuate civilians caught up in the battle zone. He said the Sri Lanka Government had accepted the offer based on the fact that it was coming from a 'friendly country.' Mr. Mukherjee's concern for Tamil civilians would have been touching if not for his words in the Lok Sabha on 23 October 2008 -

"We have a very comprehensive relationship with Sri Lanka. In our anxiety to protect the civilians, we should not forget the strategic importance of this island to India's interests,... especially in view of attempts by countries like Pakistan and China to gain a strategic foothold in the island nation...Colombo had been told that India would "look after your security requirements, provided you do not look around". "We cannot have a playground of international players in our backyard." Indian External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, 23 October 2008

At that time in October 2008, when Tamil civilians were being targeted and killed by Sinhala Sri Lanka's armed forces which New Delhi had armed and trained, Mr.Mukherjee urged his Parliamentary colleagues that in their anxiety to protect Tamil civilians, they should not forget the strategic importance of Sri Lanka to India's interests.



Now that Tamil villages have been bombed and shelled and Tamil civilians have been driven from their homes into so called 'welfare villages' which they cannot leave, and Tamil armed resistance to Sinhala rule has been weakened, Mr.Mukherjee has formally offered assistance to 'friendly Sri Lanka' to evacuate Tamil civilians somehow 'caught up' in the battle zone!



And Sri Lanka has accepted the offer coming as it does from a 'friendly country' which had been told by India that ' we will look after your security concerns, if you do not look around.' After all what are good friends for if they cannot help each other in time of need.

Again predictably, the United Kingdom engaged in playing the soft spoken Jeff role has voiced its support for a call by Mexico for a briefing on the situation in Sri Lanka at the UN Security Council. The real politick nature of the whole exercise was exposed by Russia opposing the Mexico call. And one would imagine that Russia would not have acted without consultation with New Delhi. Given the changing dynamics of the US-India-China relations and an emerging bi polar world, it should not surprise if New Delhi had turned to its old friend Russia.

'Humanitarian intervention' to prevent the humanitarian tragedy that is taking place in the Tamil homeland, had it been early, would have been kind. But the belated attempts that are being made today expose not the humanitarian concerns of the international actors but the strategic interests that impel the international actors to act the way they do.

After all the simplest thing that the international actors could have done to protect the Tamil people would have been to remove the ban on the LTTE so that the capacity of the people of Tamil Eelam to resist the genocidal onslaught launched on them by Sinhala Sri Lanka may have been strengthened. The simple and humane thing that the international actors could have done was not to taunt the struggles against terrorism with the label terrorism but to adopt a principle centered approach which liberated political language and also helped to liberate a people who have taken up arms as a last resort in their struggle for freedom from oppressive alien Sinhala rule.

Now that Tamil resistance has been weakened, international actors who have armed and trained Sinhala Sri Lanka's genocidal armed forces believe that the time has come to respond to the 'humanitarian disaster' which they helped to create. They are concerned that more genocide will create thousands more martyrs. And they are right.

"...in martyrdom there is an incalculable spiritual magnetism which works miracles. A whole nation, a whole world catches the fire which burned in a few hearts; the soil which has drunk the blood of the martyr imbibes with it a sort of divine madness which it breathes into the heart of all its children, until there is but one overmastering idea, one imperishable resolution in the minds of all beside which all other hopes and interests fade into insignificance and until it is fulfilled, there can be no peace or rest for the land or its rulers." Sri Aurobindo on the Strength of an Idea, 1907

"..But imagine it happens: Killinochchi is flattened, Mr P is dead, LTTE dissolved. Will the Tamil dream of a Tamil Eelam die? Of course not. It will be revived, and new cycles of violence will occur..." Conflict Resolution in Tamil Eelam - Sri Lanka: the Norwegian Initiative- Professor Johan Galtung, February 2007

Genocide is not the path to secure stability in the Indian Ocean region - as the self immolation of Muthukumar, Ravichandran, Thamil Venthan, Sivaprakasam and Murukuthasan show. But it is not only stability that the international actors are concerned with. Each of the international actors are also concerned to use the humanitarian disaster facing the people of Tamil Eelam to embed their own influence more securely in the island of Sri Lanka - and so they jockey amongst themselves as to how best to intervene. Each is concerned that if one does not, the other would. And it is not everybody who will welcome an intervention spearheaded by the United States Pacific Command (US PACOM). Hence the efforts to assemble a 'coalition of the willing'. The US message to New Delhi was loud and clear: 'We lead, you follow'. I said it some two years ago in Black Pebbles & White Pebbles -

"...US and India may find common cause in 'weakening' the Tamil Eelam struggle for freedom (and the LTTE) - but weaken it in such a way that thereafter each of them may successfully jockey (against each other) for position and influence in the Indian Ocean region. The 'weakening' in this context means the isolation and annihilation of Velupillai Pirabakaran and securing an LTTE under a 'reformed' leadership."

The international actors may believe that a people who have been bombed, shelled, rendered homeless, starving and who have seen their near and dear die whilst they looked on helplessly, are also stupid - but the people of Tamil Eelam, whatever else they may be, are not stupid. Perhaps, some of the international actors may want to learn by taking time off to see Gillo Pontecorvo's film Queimada (Burn!) - a film seen by many Tamils, young and old, in the Vanni. It is a film which "portrays, quite brilliantly, the nature of a guerrilla uprising. Walker (the British mercenary) seems all too aware of the danger of a popular uprising, when he cautions the white rulers that ...in killing a hero of the people, the hero 'becomes a martyr, and the martyr becomes a myth.'"1

#7
temporal
URL
February 27, 2009
03:37 PM

to repeat what i wrote moments earlier, harper is a bush clone and cannot be expected to be sympathetic to the tamils...and michael ignatieff is no better...(recall he favoured rendition - torture - while at harvard and tried to back-pedal?)

perhaps there is hope in a minority liberal with push from the ndp

#8
SORRY-LANKA
February 27, 2009
07:20 PM

NO ONE cares about the Tamils in Sri Lanka.
(except ofcourse the Tamil Diaspora & Tamil Nadu)

- NONE of the countries, the UN or Human Rights groups and Aid groups care about the Tamils being slaughtered by Sinhala Sri Lankan Army.

- The Aid and Religious groups are waiting to flock to Sri Lanka, to make money out of the tragedy and spread Christianity and Islam to the vulnerable Tamils who escape from this alive.

- all the countries waiting to make money in SL after the 'END' of the 'WAR' which they think will be soon.

SRI-LANKA > has turned into > SORRY-LANKA


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"...the international community will wait till Tamil resistance is sufficiently weakened or annihilated before it attempts to intervene 'on humanitarian grounds' and in seeming response to 'world wide Tamil appeals'. Meanwhile the IC will even welcome such world wide appeals by Tamils as that will pave the way (and establish useful contact points amongst the Tamil diaspora) for IC's eventual intervention with 'development aid' with the mantra of not conflict resolution but 'conflict transformation'."


The Politics of Humanitarian Intervention

http://www.tamilnation.org/saty/090223task_force.htm

#9
Justice
February 28, 2009
04:16 PM

Why should any member of the LTTE surrender? Many research and analysis has proven that LTTE is not responsible for Rajiv Ghandi's death. There are other groups and people involved in his death. So it is kind of annoying that people keep bringing his death to outcast the LTTE and label them as terrorists. A terrorist is someone who inspires fear upon others. If that is so, I say the Sri Lankan government is more of a terrorist organization than anyone. They have let the Tamil people live with fear for the last 35 years or so. There was a time when the Tamil people faught for their rights without the use of weapons but that just made things worse for them. I don't think there is anything wrong with protecting oneself when there is danger... in this case the LTTE is protecting the Tamil people from the terrorizing Sri Lankan government.

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