|Liberators hiding behind women and children|
|Wednesday, 17 September 2008|
The LTTE launched its armed struggle over two decades ago vowing to protect civilians. But, today it has come to such a pass that it is shamelessly taking cover behind people. When Prabhakaran promised a final solution through war in his heroes` day speech of 2005, a few days after the induction of the present President Mahinda Rajapaksa, one may have thought he was equal to the task. Then, he threw down the gauntlet at Mavil Aru and dragged a wavering government into war. The rest is history.
What has happened to the roaring Tigers? Is this how Prabhakaran so portentously promised to fight the final battle?
Unable to face the on-going military onslaught, the LTTE has begun recycling its old ruses in a desperate bid to mislead the international community. A pro-LTTE website has claimed that a UN pullout from Kilinochchi will pave the way for a catastrophe similar to the Rwandan genocide of 1994. Unfortunately for the LTTE, the world is better informed and au fait with it tricks.
As any tyke is aware, there is a world of difference between the situation in Rwanda in 1994 and that in Sri Lanka at present. Who is going to believe the LTTE`s claim that the armed forces have taken so much of trouble to go all the way to Kilinochchi to commit genocide?
It is not being claimed that the armed forces and police have a spotless track record. There have been excesses on their part and their human rights record should improve. But, never have they been accused of genocide or even an attempt at that. They have cleared the Eastern Province, helped rekindle democracy there and marched through many Tamil villages in the Wanni up to Kilinochchi but there has been no allegation of genocidal violence against them. There are about 35,000 troops stationed in the Jaffna Peninsula with a large Tamil population but in that part of the country, too, there has been no such allegation.
Instead, it is the LTTE that has resorted to low intensity genocide during the past two and a half decades. It has committed over 200 massacres in various parts of the country and ethnically cleansed the North of the Muslims and the Sinhalese. It is deliberately targeting civilian buses and trains.
What the LTTE sought to achieve through such violence was a backlash of the magnitude of 1983 pogrom against Tamils. But, its repeated attempts at triggering communal violence came a cropper and it was denied an opportunity to gain a turbo boost for its terror project both locally and internationally. The end result has been that it is left with neither volunteers nor international support.
The LTTE has manifestly failed to pull the wool over the eyes of the ordinary people, who have chosen to flee to the government controlled areas. The LTTE has had to block their movement so that it will have enough people to use as a human shield for the final battle for Kilinochchi. Why doesn’t the LTTE allow civilians to decide whether to escape or stay back? That is the only way it can prove its claim that people are with it.
The UN has reportedly assured the government that it will withdraw from Kilinochchi in spite of speculation in some quarters that it will act in defiance of the Defence Ministry order. The UN is without an alternative to a pullout, as there lingers the danger of the LTTE using foreign aid workers, too, as a human shield. It is incumbent upon the international community to pressure the LTTE to let go of civilians in its clutches. If the LTTE is given a choice between releasing civilians in Kilinochchi and having its activists deported from the western countries, Prabhakaran will have to fall in line.
Now that the INGOs and the UN agencies have been allowed to congregate in cleared areas among the people fleeing the LTTE, they can provide a better service without their funds and assets being seized by terrorists. Their operations will also be transparent and there will be less criticism against them. Most of all, the taxpayers of foreign countries funding their projects will know exactly where their money goes. They will be relieved to know that they are not sponsoring terrorism indirectly any longer.Prabhakaran should be ashamed of hiding behind helpless men, women and children. Having plunged the country back into war like a hero, he should prove that he is man enough to take on the military on his own.
(Courtesy : Lanka News Papers )
|Last Updated ( Monday, 09 March 2009 )|
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