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Part 3: Sri Lankan Conflict Thread
(Link to Part 2) (Link to Part 1) (Link to Orginal that began the debate on Sri Lanka on Rabble)
Cost of policing protests raises concerns
Tamil demonstrators block streets
Tamils block streets outside Westminster
Parliament streets blocked as thousands join Tamil protests
Thousands flee Sri Lanka war zone
'Thousands flee' Sri Lanka combat '
Eye witnesses describe how army treat the fleeing civilians
Casualties cross 1000 in SLA's attempt to capture civilians
Sri Lankan Tamils protest at Houses of Parliament
Civilians flee as Sri Lankan government closes in on Tamil Tigers
Tamils escalate London protest as hunger striker's condition worsens
Australian hunger strike:
Only Hours To Prevent Sri Lanka Bloodbath -Human Rights Watch
ANC calls for ceasefire, supports independent Tamil homeland
Foreign Policy: Day of Reckoning in Sri Lanka
"There are disturbing signs that a new generation of young Tamils in the United States, Canada, Britain, Europe, and India are being radicalized. That process has the potential to produce new forms of terrorism and violence. While the Tigers' targets have so far been contained to Sri Lanka, they might soon find new venues. If the Tiger's leadership is removed or killed in a government assault, it's easy to imagine one of the newly energized generation stepping in to fill the void. The dream of an independent Tamil homeland in Sri Lanka resonates powerfully across the diaspora and will certainly live on even after the defeat of the LTTE as a conventional military force. The deaths of tens of thousands of innocent Tamil civilians -- while their family members watch from afar -- is a recipe for another, possibly more explosive, generation of terrorism."
Civilian killings in Sri Lanka discussed in UN, leaked documents and double standards
On Sri Lanka, France Requests UN Briefing, Nambiar's Slow Return, Ban's Tilt http://www.innercitypress.com/bansri4lanka042009.html
Scores arrested in Paris Tamil protest on Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka rebels ignore deadline to surrenderhttp://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/Lanka+rebels+ignore+deadline+surrender/1518222/story.html
Tamils expect thousands at protesthttp://www.ottawasun.com/News/OttawaAndRegion/2009/04/21/9183306-sun.html
Tamil protesters urge Ottawa to help stop warhttp://www.thestar.com/News/Canada/article/621736
Tamil demonstrators to furl flag at protesthttp://www.ottawacitizen.com/Travel/Tamil+demonstrators+furl+flag+protest/1516471/story.html
What to expect from Tuesday's protest:http://www.ottawacitizen.com/News/What+expect+from+Tuesday+protest/1516889/story.html
SRI LANKA: CAUGHT IN THE CROSSFIRE - Part 1 of 6
SRI LANKA: CAUGHT IN THE CROSSFIRE - Part 2 of 6
SRI LANKA: CAUGHT IN THE CROSSFIRE - Part 3 of 6
SRI LANKA: CAUGHT IN THE CROSSFIRE - Part 4 of 6
SRI LANKA: CAUGHT IN THE CROSSFIRE - Part 5 of 6
SRI LANKA: CAUGHT IN THE CROSSFIRE - Part 6 of 6
Tough search for Sri Lanka truths
I was driving down Wellington St on Monday, and there were lots of protesters. I honked to show my support.
Media: If you are not covering Sri Lanka right now, why not?
Tamils: Drop that flag
30,000 Tamil protesters pack Parliament Hill
Sri Lankan 'civilians dying'
Speech at United Nations Rally
Countdown in Sri Lanka
Brutality of the few And Silence Of The Many In Sri Lanka
At Risk in Sri Lanka's War
'Hundreds of civilians' killed or hurt as Sri Lankan army encircles Tamil Tigers
Sri Lanka: 'Civilians are dying, and the hospital is paralysed'
thanks for the public record here, thirusuj.
it's disgusting to see the Sri Lankan army shell the hospital with cluster bombs, kill staff, as well as hundreds, possibly even thousands of civilians, and still lie and say that it's not using heavy artillery.
this is the government which, it seems, powerful countries of the world want to run the island.
the situation is so completely sick that there are really no words which do justice.
i feel so completely useless in not being able to make a difference in the situation.
watching slaughter and carnage. and not one single finger lifted by any government leaders in any country.
yes, its happened before. but really depressing to see it happen now.
of course it's not the end of the story. how could it be?
the ramifications cannot be avoided by Sri Lanka.
nor can ramifications be avoided by other world leaders, or us.
spun massacre will always still be massacre.
its good there's a record.
somehow we have to roll back 'army as solution'
Tamils end two-week encampmenthttp://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/Tamils+week+encampment/1522210/story.html
This Time We Can't Say "We Didn't Know": The Deadly Cost of International Inaction in Sri Lankahttp://www.huffingtonpost.com/nimmi-gowrinathan/this-time-we-cant-say-we_b_190152.html#comments
Sri Lanka pleads for foreign aidhttp://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090423.wsrilanka0423/BNStory/International/home
SRI LANKAN CIVIL WAR AT ANOTHER TURNING POINThttp://sites.google.com/site/sastudycentre/sri-lanka
What now for Sri Lanka's displacedhttp://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/8011862.stm
Parameshwaran on his 17th day hunger strike. More than 10000 supporters with aroused spirit gatheredhttp://lankasrinews.com/view.php?2bIOoMe0d3lYK0ecLB4U3a455AS4d3cYd3cc2AmT2d434OX2a030Mm2e
Can you belong to more than one nation?http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090422.wcowent23/BNStory/specialComment/?query=lanka
Sorry for the long article again....I received this by email.
Is a post Eelam Sri Lanka inevitable?
by Ilaya Seran Senguttuvan.
More than one Lankan academic of note dared envision in recent years the more than distinct possibility of a Sri Lanka after the coming of the much contested Eelam - in the North Eastern part of the island where Tamil-speaking people live today under conditions described as "horrible and sub-human" inviting unanimous condemnation of the world community. Tamils have been living in these areas as the majority community for thousands of years - a reality supported by history and archeology.
In the nature of the sharp dispute between the Sinhalese and Tamils that gathered momentum in recent times, even this is disputed for reasons that can only be described as mischievous. While the State of Eelam is yet to emerge formally chances are sooner than later this is inevitable - largely due to the obstinacy and suspect political manouverings of Sinhala politicians. Indiscriminate attacks from the air and sea where thousands of civilians have perished and vital infra-structure including schools, hospitals, places of worship were targeted have hardened the Tamil resolve to secede. The callous rapes of young women, killing of youth suspected to be militants and other genocidal acts continue in gay abandon to the point Tamils want to be left alone. The call for restraint by the international community in the matter was ignored by the armed forces - often believed to be out of the control of the political hierarchy. Gross sub-human treatment of Tamils in the conflict zone subjecting them to de-housing, starvation, shortage of essential medicine, destruction of their sources of livelihood have all contributed to this cumulative demand to go separate ways. Tamils see through a conspiracy to reduce their influence in numbers in the North is now clearly evident where the Eastern political leadership is made a mockery with the Chief Minister claiming "he does not even have the power to appoint a peon". This after loud assurances from the highest levels he will be given almost everything to build the District. The much-heralded transformation of Batticoloa for her people to enjoy the fruits of democracy is clearly a sham - which the Tamil people have not failed to take notice of.
The situation has reached the stage of no-return since Sinhala political rulers at different times and in various ways worked up the Sinhala mind homing on them this was, is and will be the Land of the Sinhalese majority. They rubbed it in by adding "minorities can live only on our magnanimity and pleasure. That too only if they behave" - a refrain eloquently expressed loud and clear by the Army's I-give-a-dam-to-anyone Sarath Fonseka joined by the Defernce Secretary Gothabhaya Rajapakse " to boot the President" brother.
Different political groupings among the majority and the head of the now politically and numerically powerful army have made clear what is in store for Tamils and the minorities in the future. There is no reason to believe this has not registered in the minds of the targeted audience.. The outside world has found it somewhat puzzling why the virtual Sinhala-only armed forces - now around 300,000; ultra-modern and equipped with sophisticated gear; required such a vast number to battle a rag-tag, shoeless army of LTTE cadres numbering less than 2,000 (Government figures) generally equipped with small firearms. It is curious why even today within the claimed single square mile a militant strength of less than 2,000 has not been hounded out - after weeks of assurances to the people. The bulk of the meager resources of the country that could have gone into useful development projects is deliberately squandered in the purchase of expensive equipment for the (note, not by the) forces - many of which & nbssp; reported to be at highly inflated prices. Much of it predictably siphoned off overseas. That this insensitive claim of Sinhala hegemony was not effectively contested by competing Sinhala political forces in the South is an indication of its unanimous acceptability among the wider Sinhala population.
However, more for cosmetic reasons than objective, the UNP - the Sinhala right-wing party that has been in power several times - lets off a grunt or two in feeble but lackluster opposition to this preposterous claim in what is referred to in the Constitution as a multi-racial, multi-ethnic secular society centered on equality before the law. The Army chief or the Defence Secretary and their fellow-thinkers do not necessarily concur with what the 1978 Constitution lays down. It is now a Buddhist theocratic society run by a Buddhist clergy-lead political grouping that holds more effective power and influence than what the country's ineffective Parliament does. At any rate, the average attendance in Parliament is no more than 15% we are told, with Ministers hardly in their seats to answer questions from the Opposition of which due notice is given several days earlier. That is the plight of governance in Sri Lanka today and for some years now.
The demand of the Tamil people for their rights for language, State employment and for safeguards in higher education for their children that gathered momentum in 1956 were greeted with contempt bordering on mockery. Their sad lot was decades of disappointment and step-motherly treatment. State players and resources, meanwhile, were utilized to weaken the Tamils and their traditional homeland in the North-East Province. Open and surreptitious State-aided colonization in Tamil majority areas in the Eastern Province continued unabated despite strong opposition from the Tamils. Whereas there was already significant land hunger on the part of the Tamil and - to a lesser extent, the Muslim people of the area; Sinhala colonists, mainly from the deep South, many of them hard-core criminals, were settled here with the State lavishly using resources meant for the use of all communities. This calculated move was engineered from the time of the late D.S. Senanayake in the 1950s to rapidly alter the demographic pattern of the district against the Tamils in the area. The population statistics of the area from the 1950s todate will reveal the real story.
There is room to believe governing sources in the Sinhala south coming from the two major political parties found convergence in this policy as they incorrectly figured, and indeed advised their followers, unless Tamils are rendered unto minority status in the Eastern Province, local Tamils will link with adjoining Tamilnadu in South India and eventually swamp the Sinhalese. This is a falsehood upon which platform many pro-Sinhala nationalist parties have come to power. Though this fear is unthinkable in the modern world, the vast mass of Sinhalese believed or "wanted to be believe" such a theory. It is possible much of the hatred and prejudice against Tamils is based on this delusionary fear.
However, in the final analysis, the coming into two of a hitherto singular political unit (from British times) along language lines - that was right along avoidable - does not necessarily mean the end of the world for both sides.
The writer argues both States can still function within a modified Sri Lanka with necessary political and structural arrangements to follow. There is absolutely no need for a blood-bath reminiscent of that.ignominy that took millions of lives when the Indian sub-continent split into two during 1947/48. Looking at history in sober terms what is being discussed is, in fact, the restoration of the Status Quo that was altered with the coming of the Portugese early in the 17th century - the first colonial power to set foot in the island. The separate Tamil, Kandyan kingdoms and Low Country political reality were unified by the British for reasons of "administrative convenience" when they held sway in the Island.
Tamils in the North-East and Sinhalese in the South were the pre-dominant races until that time which also had a minority of Muslims. Later Tamils of recent origin, who arrived early in the 19th century brought in as workers in the Plantations. They are settled mainly in the Central Hills of the Sinhala South. A rupture of this nature is not new to the region considering Singapore engineered a bloodless divorce from Malaya in 1965. The separation did not see the shedding of blood on a wide scale, loss of assets or properties of the Malays in Singapore or Chinese in Malaysia. In retrospective, it would appear both Singapore and Malaya would have mutually destroyed each other's capacities and future if they allowed their own rocky marriage to continue with the bitter relationship they endured. Today thanks to the resolve, industry and commitment of both Malaysians and Singaporeans both countries have reached NIC level with Singapore in the first world league. The powerful and liquid Tamil diaspora believes though they do not have the right and capacity to get GoSL and her hardline Sinhala leadership to change course at this late hour, they may be in a position to help their Tamil brethren to begin their shattered lives afresh. They have pledged to invest billions of dollars in the new entity purely to enable it to get on its feet. Even amounts of US$10,000 to 50,000 per person per year in the half of a diaspora close to 800,000 this appears sufficient to build a viable new State.
Then there is the possibility of at least 4 successful Tamil billionaires in Malaysia, USA and the UK who have the influences to build valuable infra-structure in the nascent State. Understandably, there will be some hiccups in the initial stages of the estrangement but this will work out gradually. Now that the Buddhist-priest led Sinhala State made the relationship unworkable one hopes the Sinhala side will gain the resolve and the muscle of its own indigenous and diaspora strength to rebuild her own shattered economy. There is no reason at all they cannot. Singapore gets its life-giving water from Malaysia and both countries did not interfere with the free movement of either people to and fro. Both operate on the basis of mutual survival - a philosophy ideal for Sri Lanka and the new State. In the nature of the lawless situation where much of the law and order machinery has been hijacked by criminal and lawless elements here - many of them under State protection - the rupture might not be as smooth as in the Malacca Straits. This is where the international community should step in and ensure a smooth transition.
The convergence of views of Tamilnadu's feuding Karunanidhi and Jayalalitha where both have now openly declared their support for Tamil Eelam coincides with the publication of these views. India and the international community will very likely go along with this option that can put a stop to the long blood-letting and enable GoSL to start afresh - now that they were unwilling or unable to prevent the haemorrage for over 50 years.
The war is clearly over and the tamil Tigers have been crushed. Its time to read the writing on the wall and surrender. What's the point of fighting on when there is no hope whatsoever. All it does is cost more lives. I'm not here to debate the merits of the Tamil cause. I'm just saying that there comes a time when the only recourse is surrender. At the end of WW2, something like 500,000 people died in the battle for Berlin. What was that all about. Didn't the Germans realize that if they were fighting Russian troops right in Berlin the war was OVER. Instead they wasted another half a million lives.
The people they are fighting for will not be treated with dignity as the allies have done in WW2. Instead they will be treated as expected by Nazi Germany. If the International community steps in and takes responsibility for the Tamil people, you don't even have to ask the LTTE to surrender; they will all bite their cyanide capsule happily knowing that the Tamil people are in better hands then the racist Sri Lankan government.
As a person part of the International community and a person who cares so much for the lives of Tamil people are you up for that task?
Also if I were you I would hold on to the Tamil Tigers being crushed. They been in worst situation before only to come back more powerful, more determined and with hell lot of support. You should read up on the Indian intervention where they were locked up in pitch battle with the Indian Army in the jungles and in frustration the Indian army took it out on the civilians specially the women. LTTE lost so much fighters and many well known commanders only to produce a new generation that would take the LTTE to a new level.
If I had a nickel for every time someone said a cause was hopeless and should just surrender..... And yet how many "hopeless causes" have won regardless? Most of the countries in the world had no hope of achieving independence, yet they did it anyway.
I just want to minimize loss of life. There has to come a time when you put a white hankerchief up the flagpole and hope for the best.
Sri Lanka appeals for aid as UN urges Tamil Tigers to lay down arms
the articles posted at a) #2 and b) #7 above were illuminating:
a)- the army assaults and rapes civilians who leave the 'no fire' zone. [meanwhile Canadian media repeat Sri Lankan state lies that it's 'rescuing' civilians, yet the Sri Lankan president continues to block international media from that zone. ]
b)- a member of the ANC compares the Tamil struggle to the struggle of black South Africans;
"the LTTE’s role in the prospect of peace is a vital element that the world fails to understand. The Sri Lankan Government continues to use the label of terrorism as a guise to place a lid on an organisation (LTTE) that articulates the aspirations of a people who undeniably have their rights denied. The LTTE should be allowed to stand in front of global community and express themselves, we are mature and intelligent enough to make our decision. When the ANC faced similar bans by the apartheid Government in South Africa, we took our message to the world, and as a result, our struggle swelled from mere tens, to thousands, to millions. We were given the chance to voice our message to international figures, and until the LTTE are given this opportunity, peace remains a distant reality."
on a), now the Tamil news sites are reporting that refugees are trying to flee by boat to India so that they are not captured by Sri Lankan soldiers or put in the internment camps where they're assaulted and starved. That's how much Tamil civilians feel they're being 'rescued' by the Sri Lankan army. They're running from complete annhiliation. It is a racist genocide as thousands die in Sri Lankan shelling of their mythically named 'no fire' zone. If the world cannot stop this bunch, this 'politico-military junta' on a massacring rampage...
YOu hear similar stories about how at the end of the Second World War there were mass suicides in towns in eastern Germany where Germans thought it was better to die than live under Russian occupation. I think living is always better than dying.
Stockholm, Tamils aren't committing mass suicides, they're running for their lives.
those that are still able to run, that is.
tamilnational.com has a story this morning of more army shelling in the conflict zone, and civilians who can are fleeing, but the elderly are left who cannot run, starving and disabled. no food anywhere, no medicine, just anguish and death. terror and horror 24/7, brought to you by the Sri Lankan state.
I completely agree with the writer in #23 above who says that a Tamil state is inevitable.
This article from #22 was also good, with a clear description of what the Sri Lankan junta actually is - a couple of murderous corrupt brothers whom NO ONE IN THE WORLD IS RESISTING EXCEPT THE TAMIL TIGERS.
It's pathetic that leaders of the US, China, India, Russia, France, the UK, Canada, and every other country, are so wrapped in the $ $ strings of geopolitical interests that they cannot break free and do the right thing. show some humanity. GO THERE AND STOP THE MASSACRE. Use immediate sanctions. Declare the Rajapakse brothers War Criminals. Try them in the ICC.
THIS CONTINUES TO BE A COMPLETE OUTRAGE FOR ALL OF HUMANITY.
Does anyone else have any suggestions about what concerned people can do here? I am completely at a loss.
I've written leaders in Canada and at the UN Security Council who have duties in upholding the Geneva Conventions, and got a response from the NDP, posted at this thread Part 2, and a note from the US UN 'mission' - which was several weeks old, and they kept sending me the same obviously dated form letter every time i wrote back and complained. Nothing from the other Security Council members, or other Canadian parliamentary 'leaders'.
The US, Canadian, and other leaders are USEless. Worse than useless, complicit in the massacre, standing on the side of those committing Crimes Against Humanity, what the compilation of atrocities is showing as racist genocide, while mouthing empty statements and repeating the lies of the murderous Sri Lankan regime.
Didn't we call for those complicit in the war crimes in Iraq to be called as such? But Bush is let off the hook by Obama, and Bush goes on promotional speaking tours [including to Canada in a few weeks].
Another article by email
Assuming the worst for both Tamil and Sinhala innocents
by Kusal Perera
Over 100,000 Tamil civilians have crossed over to be in the "safety" of the SL government, says official sources. The 20 sq km "no fire zone" was bifurcated the day before and another 12 sq km had been taken over by the military, according to latest reports. The SL war against the Tamil Tigers will be concluded within 48 hours from now (23 April night) according to government propaganda. The State media hypes the influx of civilians in to government controlled land as the "biggest ever humanitarian evacuation" as proudly announced by President Rajapaksa himself.
Within that hype, the 01% Nation Building Tax (NBT) that was imposed last year was increased to 03% without much notice among the public. The Opposition was only bothered it would further increase prices. Beneath all of that there is also city talk of the top few leaders of the LTTE having slipped out of the country, a few weeks ago. Some diplomatic types were eager to have the talks making rounds, confirmed either positively or negatively.
None could confirm, at least positively. Therefore, the only possible way was to logically eliminate the "impossibilities". When the LTTE decided to roll up their 06 year old mini State from Mannar in the West through Killinochchi to Mullaitivu in the East, they would have definitely worked out a fall back option, is a strong argument. Could it have been fleeing the country though ? Wouldn't the LTTE have thought they could slip into the Mullaitivu forests and occupy South Alampil and the Eastern Province once again as a guerilla out fit ? Yet the manner in which they gave up Killinochchi without a shot fired and the town completely deserted, it was more like they were abandoning the fight all together. Then the question is, why did they have the civilians move with them in such large numbers, if that was the case ?
First is that most of the civilians would have expected the LTTE to hold the government security stay put at some areas West and South-West of Kilinochchi and thus decided they could move to areas East of Kilinochchi up to Mullaitivu. There is no doubt, those Tamil people have very much less trust on the wholly Sinhala dominated military, they know of only as a very ruthless opposing military and nothing else. Its therefore obvious, their first choice what ever difficulties they would have to face, is to be in their own Wanni and out of government control.
When the LTTE started moving out of Kilinochchi too and retreating into Mullaitivu, they probably had no option but to follow the orders of the LTTE. As for the LTTE, it had two very sound reasons to have the civilians with them. One, the SL security forces were held at bay and delayed their forward push giving the LTTE time to rearrange their fall back options and two, the damages, co-lateral or not, gave them a humanitarian platform to campaign on, in the West and lobby international agencies.
The LTTE leadership nevertheless would have known such international campaigns would not guarantee security of their lives in Mullaitivu. Totally empty Wanni does not allow any possibility of survival even as an underground group. With sea lanes almost lost with Indian satellite intelligence strengthening the SL Navy patrolling, would cut their supply routes almost completely. That deprives the LTTE leadership of going under ground in the forests and in Eastern province. In EP they have a military supported para military group waiting to pounce on them and for the leadership it would be suicidal to enter East.
That line of argument leaves two options for the Tiger leaders. Fight to a definite decimation and then commit suicide. Or get the cadres to put up stiff resistance and gain an exit to slip out of the country. But go where ?
No part of India is safe soil. Not even the heated Tamil Nadu, unless the RAW for some reason wants the Tiger leaders to continue the fight at a low profile, for India to continue with its interests in the island nation through the conflict. For now, that does not seem the case. None of the Western countries would have them either, with the LTTE listed as a terrorist organization and with the international community as a bloc holding the Tiger leaders equally responsible as the SL government for the human tragedy in the Wanni. Most would suggest the retreat to be South Africa. That had been soft towards the LTTE and the large Indian origin population makes it conducive too. There is also Malaysia and Indonesia with far less spoken Fiji on the list, according to some who wish to guess.
Yet the question is, what could they do from a foreign location ? Yes, they wouldn't have much visibility for some time in SL. Not if this government makes a very nasty turn around to devolve power to the peripheries in an adequate manner to install some Tamil leaders. At least to be seen as more effective that Pilleyan. All chances and any sane guess would say 'no' not this government. Here is a government that's trying to marginalize even the Muslim leadership in Colombo. Even those in their own political party. A fate that had befallen the Fowzies at this Western Province elections. Colombo hereafter would be led by a Sinhala political leadership. Such a political leadership would not provide any space for devolution of power.
Political space and the call for rallying would be thus available. But there would be no supportive social links for armed activities for some time more to come. It would therefore remain a "Diasporic" movement. The strongest Diasporic movement that any oppressed minority in a country had ever stirred to aggressive life. In London it mobilized over a hundred thousand and continues to press the British government in to action. In Canada the Parliament Hill it was reported had over 30,000 demanding the Canadian government to intervene. Berlin had a huge rally they never see in modern Germany. The crowds were as large as those of Hilter's Brown Shirt rallies, according to some. This Diaspora now shows a difference to what was seen a few years ago. It is now more youthful, having drawn the second generation too into political activity. Its "M.I.A" generation now that shows up in rallies and are very agitated. They are also very much more educated and tech savvy than their parents. It's a new educated generation of Tamils that have come together as the dynamo of the Tamil Diaspora.
They clearly mean that the LTTE and Prabhakaran had done their historical role in planting the Tamil cause on the world map. It's the turn of the next generation now to take the baton. But how would they wield it ? It's a tough guess. So let's wait for the first signs to emerge.
But meanwhile let's remember, a very well educated generation on the offensive could be far more dangerous than a dumb and brute leadership. It may leave all, Sinhala and Tamil innocents on Sri Lankan soil as victims of circumstances.
On Sri Lanka in UN Basement, Rice of US Speaks, Libya Offers Money, and China Supporthttp://www.innercitypress.com/bansri9lanka042209.html
On Sri Lanka at UN, Mere "Remarks to the Press," UK Says IMF Loan Not Relevanthttp://www.innercitypress.com/sc1srilanka042209.html
On Sri Lanka at UN, Nambiar Said to Back Down to UK, Bloodbath Briefingshttp://www.innercitypress.com/bansri8lanka042209.html
When Sri Lanka Ordered Doctors Out of Conflict Zone, UN Said Nothinghttp://www.innercitypress.com/sc2srilanka042309.html
Whose Responsibility is it to protect? (Letter from Jagmohan Singh to Charles Anthony)http://www.worldsikhnews.com/22%20April%202009/Whose%20Responsibility%20is%20it%20to%20protect.htm
UN says 6,500 Tamil civilians killed in Sri Lankahttp://www.thestar.com/News/World/article/623786
India demands cease-fire in Sri Lankahttp://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090424.wsrilanka0424/BNStory/International/home
India presses for Sri Lanka truce as casualties rise http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/COL318519.htm
Sri Lanka: Severely Injured Patients Stream into Vavuniya Hospitalhttp://doctorswithoutborders.org/news/article.cfm?id=3551&cat=field-news&ref=home-center
Sri Lankans flee war zone with horrific injuries http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/LN532572.htm
Crisis situation in Vannihttp://lankasrinews.com/view.php?2bIOoMe0ddlYK0ecLB4o3a455Ao4d3cYd3cc2AmT3d434OX2a030Mm2e
it seems pretty clear that India is posturing, as one article said above, arming and training Sri Lankan forces to the teeth while presenting a soft face. Chemical weapons, phosphorus, cluster bombs, conventional weapons are coming from where else in the supply chain?
the UN is sending a humanitarian team, but Rajapaksa won't let them or other observers into the conflict zone to witness its Crimes Against Humanity, only to wipe up in the camps after their slaughter. disgusting.
it seems clear that the Sri Lankan regime is moving to massacre every last Tamil body left on Tamil ground.
They will then report to the world that they have conquered the 'terrorists' and 'rescued civilians'. This will be heralded by the Globe and other junk mainstream news as a victory, and they'll tell everyone to go home and relax.
The problem is that an incredible injustice will have been perpetrated. Crimes Against Humanity, aided and abetted by our leaders and media.
As under Stalin, under Hitler, these Crimes cannot be swept under a rug. Justice has a way of surfacing.
It often is, as the writer above at #33 says, through survivors and the diaspora. It may take time, and in the process many millions of other concerned peoples around the world will participate with them in the finding of justice.
Sri Lanka camps struggle to cope
Tamil hunger strike in third week
War Journey by Maveeran Captain Malaravan,1990E-Book - English Translation by N Malathy, 2007
"197 civilians were killed and another 228 were injured in today's intensified artillery attack on civilian areas in Valaignarmadam. SLA fired artillery shells and cluster bombs in to civilian areas in Valaignarmadam...
Meantime, ICRC ship that came to take the next set of injured civilian also faced difficulties due the SLNavy attack, delaying the shifting of people.
The ICRC staff came in Green Ocean ship to Valaignarmadam beach area by morning 7 AM. Sri Lanka Navy boats surrounded the ship and didn't allow it to go to shore. After many hours of negotiation they allowed to put anchor by 10.45 AM.
511 injured and their relatives were taken by the ICRC ship today (Friday), a young girl with both leg amputated died after boarding the ship."
Tigers And Jackals
Sri Lanka must end its civilians' ordeal
'Mentally and physically tortured' by war
25 April 2009 http://www.tamilnational.com/world-news/asia/774-report-from-the-safe-zo...
"REPORT from the ‘Safe Zone’
The current situation in the so called ‘safe zone’/’no fire zone’ is dire. A humanitarian catastrophe of unprecedented proportions is taking place and the international community, especially the UN, have delayed, procrastinated, made weak ineffectual statements and have accepted the Sri Lanka Government’s reports as ‘fact’. Of particular concern is the silence of Sri Lanka Civil Society and the international NGOs with a presence in Sri Lanka. Are they silent because they want to ‘cash in’ on the ‘post-conflict’ development and reconstruction?The so-called ‘safe zone’ now consists of their main villages: Mullivaikal, Valiaganmadam, Vattuvahal. There are approximately 125,000 - 140,000 civilians in the area.
The GoSL attack on the Puttumattalan area on 20 April 2009 damaged the Mattalan temporary hospital and forced the medical staff to relocate to Mulliaikal where it is now functioning with only the bare minimum of facilities. The GoSL has not allowed medicine into the area for over one month and there is no anesthetic, no antibiotics, IV drips, or other essential medicines and medical supplies. There is also a shortage of blood due to the fact that, due to the embargo on food transportation to the area, all potential blood donors are too malnourished to donate blood.
The GoSL has continued to use heavy weapons to shell the so-called ‘safe zone’ everyday and 350 - 500 civilians are being injured by the shelling & shooting and over 100 are being killed or dying as a result of inadequate facilities to treat their injuries.
Numerous deaths are also occurring due to starvation and the people have not received any food for the past two (2) days. If there is not an emergency shipment of food by the ICRC in the next few days thousands will starve to death.
Valiaganmadam has been designated as the landing place for the ICRC ship. This is the only route available to bring food and medicine and to evacuate the 300 (capacity of boat) most severely injured. Due to heavy shelling of the area by the SLA and SL Navy (SLN) it has been impossible for the ship to land food and medicine or evacuate the injured. The SLN is activley engaged in a blockade of the so-called ‘safe zone’.
All of the civilian tents and the temporary hospital are in clear view of the SLA, which is approximately 500 meters away. As a result the people are unable to move about freely due to SLA sniper fire that targets any movement of civilians.
We appeal to the United Nations, the ICRC and the international community to immediately send food and medicine to the area and to pressure the GoSL to immediately enter into a cease fire that the LTTE has repeatedly called for,. The patient transportation facilities also need to be increased so that more of the injured patients can be evacuated.
The Sri Lanka Army (SLA) military offensive into the so-called ‘safe zone’ on 20 April 2009 began when the SLA fired artillery shells that released a ‘white gas’ that knocked the civilians unconscious. When they awoke they were being herded towards the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) forward defense lines.
The GOSL states that over 80,000 civilians moved into the GoSL controlled areas at that time. We have received reports from camp management and local government authorities in Vavuniya and Jaffna that no where near this amount of civilians have arrived at their camps some 4 days later. Where are these civilians?
After the 20th April incident the GoSL set up the Arunachalam Camp in Vavuniya District for 6,000 people. In Jaffna District, Kodikamam Camp and the Sarawathi School Camp received approximately 20,000 persons. Where are these 54,000 other persons?
Reports are being received that:• Civilians being ‘disappeared’;• Girls and boys being raped for days on end in the army camps and then being killed and disposed of;• people are being held in secret detention and tortured or forced to do ‘slave labour’ on the front lines and in military camps.
We request the international community to investigate these reports and urge the international media to go beyond the ‘guided tour’ reporting that the GoSL conducts. There needs to be independent reporting, neutral translators, and free and unfettered access to the whole of the country."
"Mr Robert Wood, [US] Acting Department of State Spokesman said yesterday...that US fully support the UN Secretary General’s decision to send a UN humanitarian team to the no-fire zone, as the Secretary General’s envoy Vijay Nambiar and President Rajapakse discussed and agreed to last week."
so the murderous Rajapaksa, according to US Acting Department of State Wood, had agreed to allow a UN humanitarian team into the fire-all zone. then Rajapakse refused, while shelling thousands more civilians. Rajapaksa needs a UNGA trial for Crimes Against Humanity.
The report posted above from the Tamil Rehabilitation Organization is full of the horror and reality which people in other times and places have experienced under dictators.
What it says is that the dictators in charge will not stop with obliterating the armed resistance. They will try to continue, given the impunity the international 'community' has provided, until they have wiped out every last speck of dissidence, have completely eliminated and/or forcibly removed Tamil civilians from the land which the Sri Lankan junta and its political-economic allies want to control, and have squashed any remnant language or cultural expression of the oppressed peoples which might inspire self-determination.
none of this will work. the Tamil people have already suffered too much, the Tamil diaspora and millions around the world already know too much, and justice will be found.
Rajapakse should do the sensible thing and back off. His orange jumpsuit is ready and waiting.
Sri Lanka intensifies bombardment, 'safe zone' bombed 22 times Saturday
[Sat, 25 Apr 2009, 09:21 GMT]
Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) unloaded bombs twice around 4:15 p.m. and another 4 times at 2:15 p.m., bringing to total 22, the number of times the SLAF hit targets inside the "Safe Zone" on Saturday, as the SLAF intensified air attacks where tens of thousands of civilians have sought refuge. SLAF fighter jets have hit several locations inside the 12 square kilometres zone at least 4 times around 10:15 a.m. and 12 times in the afternoon around 12:15 p.m., according to latest reports from Vanni. The attacks intensified a day after Indian diplomats visited Colombo and discussed the war with the Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
"As a result the people are unable to move about freely due to SLA sniper fire that targets any movement of civilians."
-from the Tamil Rehabilitation Organization report posted at #40 here.
Given their blatant lies on other subjects, and the hiding of their actual behaviour from international media, it seems quite possible that the Sri Lankan Army snipers targetted civilians leaving the 'no fire/conflict' zones, and blamed those killings on the Tigers.
It has been this blaming of the Tigers, supposedly 'using human shields' and shooting civilians who wanted to leave, that has been used as an excuse in Canadian and international media to 'justify' continued assault by the Sri Lankan army (as if anything could justify the genocidal assault).
The reality increasingly looks like an entirely one-sided operation carried out by the Sri Lankan state to vilify and erase the Tamil people and their resistance.
Outrageous response of UN to humanitarian crisis: Diaspora scientist
[TamilNet, Saturday, 25 April 2009, 14:33 GMT] Children as young as 12 are forcefully recruited and given with guns to fight on the front line alongside LTTE, Guardian.co.uk reported Saturday, 9.49 GMT, citing Gordon Weiss, UN spokesman in Sri Lanka. “Whom are they guarding”, Tamil circles asked. “It is outrageous that the UN which has no means to stop Colombo’s genocide or immediately take responsibility of the captured and even reluctant to talk about the high casualty but only ‘leaks out’ figures, to raise this matter at this juncture in an imbalanced way, when Colombo is bombarding the remaining civilians in the so-called safety zone”, said Thomas Aloysius, senior scientist in Bergan, Norway. “If what the UN official says is true, it is deplorable, but aren’t they too responsible for the tragedy by their inaction in prevailing upon Colombo to stop the war. The LTTE always ask for ceasefire”, he asked.
I checked out the guardian article in question, and the UN person in Sri Lanka who told the story sounded like he was trying to find an excuse for his 16-yr old joining up with the Tigers. Interestingly, the recruit from his family is back home now, safe and sound.
next, the guardian will run a story of the 16-year old crying that the Tigers throw babies from incubators.
Ulster Death Toll Reaches 5,000; British Army Blocks Aid To 100,000 Starving Irish http://transmontanus.blogspot.com/2009/04/ulster-death-toll-reaches-5000-british.html
Sri Lanka's war is not an 'internal matter' http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/Lanka+internal+matter/1531647/story.html
Tamils caught on sinking shiphttp://www.torontosun.com/comment/2009/04/24/9225931-sun.html
The agony in Sri Lanka
Obama White House urges halt to Sri Lanka fighting
America unnecessarily interfering into Sri Lankan issues - Methananda Thero
Tamil Tigers leader Prabhakaran 'will fight till death'
Tamil hunger striker 'could die in a week'
Tamil rebels say civilians face starvation
LTTE Announces Unilateral Ceasefire
Media Release Political Head Quarters,Liberation Tigers of TamilEelam.26.04.2009.
LTTE Announcement of Unilateral Ceasefire
In the face of an unprecedented humanitarian crisis and in response to the calls made by the UN, EU, the governments of the USA, India and others, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam has announced an unilateral ceasefire. All of LTTE’s offensive military operations will cease with immediate effect.
The suffering inflicted on our people by the Sri Lankan armed forces in violation of all international humanitarian laws has now reached its peak. Over 165,000 people living within the coastal area under our control in Mullaitivu are being subject to continuous attacks by Sri Lankan Navy, Air Force and Infantry. Death and destruction continues unabated. This has been made worse by the deliberate withholding of food and medicine over many months. Deaths due to starvation is imminent.
Those who were moved out of the war zone have been detained and are held in concentration camps where they are subjected to torture in violation of all international conventions. These IDP population are not permitted to return to their homes. Instead, some are being used as human shields by the Sri Lankan forces.
We welcome the attempts by the UN and its agencies to assist the civilian population and are ready to engage and cooperate with them to address the humanitarian needs of the population. We have taken into account the recent declarations by the G8 nations, the Whitehouse, Indian Ministers and the EU and other members of international community. We are in full agreement that the humanitarian crisis can only be overcome by declaration of an immediate ceasefire. As the first step we have now announced this unilateral ceasefire and call upon the international community to pressure the Sri Lankan Government to reciprocate it.
We are of the view that only such a ceasefire can end the humanitarian crisis and help avert the long term impact of this crisis on the region and on the peoples of the island.
Political leader in India, Jeyalalitha, on her current assessment of the situation;
"Jeyalalitha says her reaction comes after watching a chilling account of civilian plight shot by Art of Living guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar from the war zone in Sri Lanka.
'The video shows the Lankan army coercing the Tamils in to the makeshift camps erected in terrains having no facilities...
When Ravishankar met them and extended some relief materials, their only plea was to allow them to return to their houses. “Who gave Lankan premier Rajapaksa the right to treat the Tamils like prisoners? When Ravi Shankar pleaded with him to allow the Tamils in the camps to leave to their homes, he refused saying that landmines were erected around the camps and it would take four years to remove them,' she said.
'Till now we thought there is a war going on. After seeing the DVD I came to know that it is different. Concentration camps are meant to traumatise Tamils. Sinhalese will never give rights to these people; they will treat Tamils as slaves. Comparing the atrocities against the Tamils in Sri Lanka with that of Hitler’s concentration camp, she said the only solution for the Lankan issue is a separate Eelam for Tamils...' "
Colombo steps up air strikes, safe zone targeted 39 times Sunday
[TamilNet, Sunday, 26 April 2009, 06:11 GMT] Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) fighter jets bombed Sunday the so-called safety zone where tens of thousands of civilians have sought refuge at least 39 times in six sorties so far on Sunday. The indiscriminate bombardment by the Sri Lankan state has been intensified despite the call from the White House on Saturday to stop attacking the 'safety zone' and to stop the fighting immediately. Exact casualty details were not available at the moment. Heavy bombardment by SLAF bombers has caused panic and tension among the civilians, who are facing imminent starvation as Colombo has blocked the shipment of humanitarian supplies facilitated by the ICRC.
Washington Times tries to inflame more massacre. SHAME !!!