Sequel to the liberation:
Northerners receive new lease of life
The United States has said that the financial network of the LTTE and
its front organisations had continued to operate throughout last year
and there were multiple reports of increased LTTE involvement in human
smuggling out of camps of displaced persons.
The blast site where C V Gooneratne was killed
|Some of the
bhikkhus and civilians who died at Aranthalawa
"The LTTE used its international contacts and the large Tamil
diaspora in North America, Europe, and Asia to procure weapons,
communications, funding, and other needed supplies. The group employed
charities as fronts to collect and divert funds for their activities,"
the US Country Reports on Terrorism 2012 released by the US State
The report added that counterterrorism cooperation and training with
the United States in 2012 was limited.
If that is the case, the countries in the West should have thrown
their full weight behind Sri Lanka and helped us to eliminate the LTTE
financial network and front organisations operated by the Tiger cohorts
and a section of the Tamil diaspora.
Instead of doing that, the US brought two successive resolutions
against Sri Lanka at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in
2012 and 2013, much to the delight of LTTE cohorts, who have made every
effort to woo international sympathy and exert pressure on Sri Lanka.
Resolutions at the UNHRC
The two US-led Resolutions at the UNHRC would not help in any way
either to strengthen the battle against terrorism or to improve living
standards of the people in the North and the East. Whatever the
intensions were in bringing those Resolutions against Sri Lanka to the
UN's human rights wing, it has only given fresh hopes to Tiger cohorts.
If the West is sincerely interested in the well-being of the people
in the North and the East, they should make a tangible contribution to
the Government's development efforts in those areas. Digging old wounds
and talking about the human rights of the LTTE terrorists killed in
action would neither assure a secured future to the Northerners nor
strengthen national reconciliation.
The West always goes that extra mile to vanquish terrorists, even
kill unarmed people who they think are terrorists, in the guise of
national security. But they little realise that Sri Lanka, as a
sovereign state, has an equal right.
As President Mahinda Rajapaksa told the UN General Assembly, a few
years ago, there are no good terrorists and bad terrorists.
Terrorism in the West and that in this part of the world should have
the same definition and should be eradicated in similar fashion. Just as
the US Government has a legitimate right to protect its people from the
Al Qaeda, the democratically elected leaders of Sri Lanka too have a
right to protect their countrymen from the LTTE.
Those who indulge in terror acts in the West are called terrorists
but the West identifies the same people in this part of the world as
freedom fighters or rebels. This is typical Western hypocrisy to suite
their agendas, and to intimidate the countries which do not dance to
They use human rights as an effective tool to intimidate countries
which do not sing hosannas to the West. While the Western allies could
do anything in the guise of their national security, even ignoring human
rights, they demand countries much as Sri Lanka to respect the human
rights of terrorists.
It is a pity that none of these Western countries ever make any
serious mention of the LTTE atrocities in the past in any of their
security or country reports. But over 20 million Sri Lankans have not
forgotten how the entire nation was at the receiving end of LTTE
Let's have another close look at the LTTE terrorist attacks during
early June in the past years until the terror outfit was militarily
crushed by Sri Lanka's valiant Security Forces in May, 2009.
Though the West makes a big hue and cry over an isolated bomb attack
or shooting, they had been totally blind to those massive LTTE bomb
explosions which had killed thousands of people in Sri Lanka.
We recall only a few LTTE terror attacks during the corresponding
period of the year though the Tigers had done much more devastations and
claimed a countless number of human lives.
A group of LTTE terrorists armed with guns, swords, and knives
stormed civilian houses at 3rd Mile Post, Trincomalee and butchered 10
civilians, including women and children, to death on June 2, 1986.
The barbaric mentality of the blood-thirsty Tigers was very evident
at the most indiscriminate attack on a group of Buddhist monks in the
Ampara district on June 2, 1987. The Tiger terrorists shot dead 30
Buddhist monks and four Sinhalese civilians at Arantalawa. Among them
was the Chief Incumbent of Vidyananda Maha Pirivena, Ven. Hegoda Sri
The LTTE is notorious for mass-scale killings, especially massive
bomb explosions in trains and buses targeting innocent civilians.
On June 2, 1992, a group of LTTE terrorists stopped a private bus,
plying from Akkaraipattu to Pottuvil and opened fire, killing 15
passengers and injuring several others.
Over 100 LTTE terrorists armed with sharp weapons butchered 15
villagers of Dehiwatta in the Polonnaruwa district on their sleeping
mats on June 4, 1985. Majority of the victims were women and children.
LTTE black Tigers launched their first ever suicide attack on June 5,
1987, when a small truck laden with explosives was driven into Nelliady
army camp in the Jaffna peninsula killing over 50 soldiers and injuring
The LTTE terrorists were successful in exploding two bombs in
passenger buses in two separate incidents in Kandy and Colombo on June
6, 2008, killing 23 people and injuring over 70 civilians.
First, the LTTE terrorists exploded a bomb targeting a crowded public
transport bus close to the Shailabimbaramaya Buddhist temple at
Katubedda, Moratuwa. 21 people including 13 males and 8 females were
killed and over 50 were injured.
On the same day, the Tigers carried out a cowardly bomb attack inside
another public bus, this time in Pollgolla, Kandy. The bus was plying
from Waththegama to Kandy and the explosion occurred near the Teachers'
Training School in Polgolla. Two people were killed and 20 were injured.
Over the years, the LTTE had killed many politicians, social and
religious leaders, including former President Ranasinghe Premadasa and
ex-Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Ghandhi. Among the Ministers who had
become unfortunate victims of the LTTE terror was Minister C.V.
A suicide bomber killed the then Minister of Industrial Development
and his wife on June 7, 2000. Deputy Mayor Dehiwala-Mount Lavinia Anura
de Silva and 23 others also died in the bomb attack that took place
while the Minister was in a procession organised to mark 'war heroes'
day at Golumadama Junction, Ratmalana.
In an eyewitness report, a monk from the Soysaramaya Ratmalana,
Gonadeniye Sumanaratana had said that a youth wearing slippers crossed
the road and went close to the Minister, moments before he heard a huge
Earlier in the day, Minister Gooneratne had attended the National War
Heroes Day to honour Government troops at the Presidential Secretariat
which was presided over by the then President Chandrika Bandaranaike
C.V. Gooneratne was the younger son of the late L. V. Gooneratne who
was the first Mayor of Dehiwala-Mount Lavinia. He received his education
at Royal College, Colombo where his father taught generations of pupils.
He was an outstanding student being a prefect, captain of the college
rugby team and a cadet. He represented CR & FC at rugger soon after
leaving his alma mater.
We highlighted only a few of the many atrocities of the LTTE which
was once considered the most ruthless terrorist outfit in the world.
During its three decades of terror, the LTTE unleashed nothing but
Pillay to visit Lanka
It was announced last week that the United Nations High Commissioner
for Human Rights Navi Pillay has undertaken a visit to Sri Lanka from
August 25 on a formal invitation extended by the Government.
She is due to visit areas in the North that had been affected by the
The Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka in Geneva and the Leader of
the Sri Lanka Delegation, Ravinatha P. Aryasinha said that Sri Lanka
considers this visit as part of its continued, transparent and proactive
engagement with the High Commissioner and the Office of the United
Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).
During the past couple of months, Sri Lanka invited the international
community, including the UN human rights chief, to visit Sri Lanka and
find out for themselves the achievements the country has made since the
eradication of terrorism. But Navi Pillay, who is yet to prove her
sincerity and commend feats achieved by Sri Lanka, has been reluctant to
do so for reasons better known to her.
Nevertheless, it is heartening to see Navi Pallay finally conforming
her long overdue visit. Without leveling allegations against Sri Lanka,
leaders such as Pillay must visit Sri Lanka to gain first-hand
experience on the efforts Sri Lanka has made since the country was
liberated from the clutches of LTTE terror.
We strongly believe that Pillay's visit would formulate a
constructive groundwork focusing favourable long term engagement between
the Government and OHCHR.
Instead of sullying concocted stories of LTTE cohorts and a section
of the Tamil Diaspora, the international community must listen to what
the people in the North say about the new lease of life they have got
after their liberation. The story of the Tamils in the North is far from
what the Tamil Diaspora assumes or LTTE cohorts' project.
Hence, it is good that all those international characters who level
charges against Sri Lanka, come here to find for themselves without
listening to cooked up stories of the third parties to comfort LTTE
No world leader or foreigner could have greater interest of the
Tamils in the North than the leaders of Sri Lanka. Be it Tamils, Muslims
or Sinhalese, all are sons of this great country.
Those who shed crocodile tears for Tamils in the North did precious
nothing when they had been at the receiving end. They did nothing when
the Tigers held hapless civilians in the North as a human shield. It is
the Government and the Security Forces did everything possible to
liberate over a half a million civilians in the North and the East. Not
only they were liberated from the jaws of death but have also been
afforded a comfortable life with better living standards. Where were
those god fathers of human rights when these civilians were subjected to
untold misery under the LTTE terror rule?
Now that the country has been liberated and became the first nation
to crush terrorism, there seems to be enough and more experts to preach
us on human rights, media freedom, resettlement and reconciliation. But
none of those who attempt to voluntarily preach to us on those subjects
had been there when we were at the receiving end. It was only a few
friendly countries, including China, Russia and Pakistan, stood by Sri
Lanka during those difficult times.
Hence, we don't need international experts on reconciliation and
human rights. Sri Lanka, just as it had its own formula to crush
terrorism, has its own indigenous plan on national reconciliation. We
have enough and more experience on how the Western peace agents have
ruined Sri Lanka to put their personal agendas in place.
Fearless foreign policy
None could intimidate Sri Lanka or tell our leaders what action we
should take. The democratically elected leaders of the country would do
what is most appropriate for the country, protecting and safeguarding
its sovereignty and territorial integrity.
The fearless foreign policy since President Rajapaksa took office has
given Sri Lanka new friends in the world, while strengthening existing
ties with several other countries.
President Rajapaksa's recent visit to China has helped to further
strengthen bilateral relations between Sri Lanka and China. Chinese Vice
President Li Yuanchao, at a meeting with President Rajapaksa, had said
that the Sri Lanka-China relationship has been "elevated from one of
friendship to one of strategic cooperation".
Vice President Yuanchao said that China will continue to strengthen
relations with Sri Lanka and expand cooperation into new sectors as
Countries such as China have been true friends who have sincerely
helped Sri Lanka when it mattered the most. China, despite supporting us
and granting much financial assistance, has always respected Sri Lanka's
sovereignty and never attempted to meddle in Sri Lanka's internal
In contrast, certain Western countries which boast after spending a
couple of thousand dollars, try to use those to intimidate us and tell
Sri Lanka what it should do. We earnestly hope that the West would look
at Sri Lanka more positively after making a careful evaluation on what
the country has achieved since terrorism was eradicated.