Monday, November 30, 2009

'Resettled' by forced labour, without food or freedom to move

The few thousands who have been resettled in selected divisions of Mullaiththeevu and Ki'linochchi districts, are reportedly affected by the lack of food supply, news reports reaching Vavuniyaa said. The 'resettled' are actually kept in schools in those areas and are extracted of forced labour to clear the locations of resettlement. Their freedom of movement is restricted. The whole operation doesn't look like resettlement of 'citizens' but of slaves, said a Tamil official on conditions of anonymity.

6,037 IDPs were 'resettled' in Thu'nukkaay division of Mullaiththevu district up to 18 November and 2,821 were resettled up to 17 November in Jeyapuram, Akkaraayanku'lam, Muzhangkaavil and Naaachchikkudaa of the Ki'linochchi district. Some more are now being 'resettled' in Valaippaadu and Kiraangchi villages of Ki'linochchi district. These areas are located west of A-9 highway and are not part of the core regions of Mullaiththeevu and Ki'linochchi districts.

Even though dry rations are supplied by the World Food Program through government operated co-operative societies, these are inadequate, and the concerned people have been deprived of wholesome food for more than a year now.

The 'resettled' live under severe restrictions for travel and free movement.

Abductions and disappearances of Tamil youth

Systematic extra-judicial abductions and disappearances of Tamil youth, who survived the genocidal war in Vanni and interned in the camps is a regular feature since May, ridiculing the widely trumpeted concern of the International Community and media for Tamil youth under LTTE control before May, said a humanitarian worker in Vavuniyaa.

In July this year, UK based Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers, in a report accused Sri Lanka Army and paramilitary groups for the abductions aimed at ‘recruitment’.

SLA’s involvement in systematic elimination, ransom, forced labour and sexual abuse of the abducted Tamil youth is widely alleged by a number of humanitarian workers and organisations.

Last week, humanitarian workers, who have authentic evidences for crimes such as rape committed by the SLA on Tamil youth including minors in the camps, challenged the IC whether it can prove its credentials by taking action if evidences are provided to it.

Several Tamil boys and girls including teenagers interned in the camps are called by name through announcing system by the Sri Lanka Army intelligence officers and are taken to unknown destinations, reports reaching from Vavuniyaa camps said. At least 10 young men and boys were thus ‘abducted’ on 21 November and around 30 youth, including girls, were taken on 27 November from Zone-0 IDP internment camp in Cheddiku’lam alone last week. They were taken in SLA vehicles and their family members lost all contacts with them since then

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Sri Lanka is a Gulag Island

Unlawful imprisonment of 300 000 innocent Tamil civilians in the concentration camps is one of the reasons, why i think that Sri Lanka is a Gulag island
The concept of the gulag ever since Alexander Solzhenitsyn used it in his book “Gulag Archipelago” (1918 – 1956), has come to mean a particular system of repression imposed within a whole country which has some definite characteristics. These characteristics may be described thus:

1.The loss of the meaning of legality within a particular country.
2.A predominant position played by a security apparatus which can virtually do whatever function relating to life and liberty of citizens without being bound by any rules.
3.The emergence of a propaganda apparatus which is not bound by any rules relating to truth or falsehood; in fact, the meaning of any distinction between truth and falsehood disappears.
4.The emergence of a superman controller who manipulates all the three elements mentioned above in any way that he wishes.
5.A doomed citizenry who keep on believing that nothing has really changed while, in fact, everything has changed and who are unable to control their own destinies in any significant manner. One particular section of citizens may by suffering the worst at a particular time, but, in fact, the entire population of the country is affected more or less with the same degree of intensity but at different times.
The position on which this article is based is that Sri Lanka is now such a gulag. All the above mentioned characteristics are now quite prominently visible within Sri Lanka. However, a phantom limb complex still continues to exist. The people wish to believe that the old legal system and the social system are still intact despite of some unhappy new aspects that cannot be denied.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Mother Day Massacre

The advancing Sri Lanka Army massacred civilians by paving their bunkers with tanks, by throwing explosives inside the bunkers and by shooting the injured, says a medical worker who came out of Mu’l’li-vaaykkaal during the last days of the war, became incarcerated in a camp and now escaped the island. “Around a hundred thousand captured civilians herded to Mullaiththeevu were kept in rows within barbed wires, most of the time without water or food under the hot sun.

Colombo particularly targeted hospitals and makeshift hospitals. When people moved away from Ki’linochchi, its hospital started functioning in the school building at Udaiyaar-kaddu. More than two thousand shells were fired on this building by the SLA.

Ki’linochchi to Tharmapuram, Vaddakkachchi, Visuvamadu, Udaiyaar-kaddu, Puthukkudiyiruppu – until reaching Mu’l’li-vaaykkaal, at an average 50 civilians were killed every day in Sri Lankan attacks. 8000 were already killed before herded into Mu’l’li-vaaykkaal.

Medical work decimated and workers were shaken at the death of patients, nurses and workers. When there were more than 300,000 people, Colombo sent food for only 30,000. Important medicines such as anesthetic drugs were not sent. Life-saving surgery without anesthesia was a cursing ordeal for the patients as well as doctors.

Mothers and children standing in queue to receive infant milk food were targeted in the SL shell attacks. Without seeing no one could visualize the sorrow of the child that lost the mother and the mother who lost the child.

SLA shell attacks, guided by spy craft were targeted on queues for gruel also. Despite casualties the queue would form again. While even gruel was scarce to people, lands they cultivated were harvested by the SLA.

At one stage, the LTTE leadership ordered food meant for combatants to be shared with civilians. The fighters fought only with gruel food and to the last LTTE served gruel to people.

Around 1000 waterholes were dug and several hundreds of toilets were made for civilians at the initiative of the LTTE. Water often mixed with sand was collected in shell-halves and was filtered by cloth.

There were no epidemics. Pregnant mothers and infants bearing shell fragments came to makeshift hospitals. These hospitals functioned 24 hours and wailing was always heard around them. Many dead bodies couldn’t be buried in certain situations of SL attacks and hungry dogs dragged them.

Every time moving patents to ICRC vessel there will be targeted shelling from the SLA. A few hundreds taken for ICRC treatment died. How that happened was not known and whom to ask.

Even in emaciated conditions people donated blood for treatment and some of them later died of their own injuries. More than a thousand people were killed on the day when the SLA entered into Maaththa’lan and Pokka’nai (20th April).

On May 15th and 16th the SLA entered and rampaged the pocket of land crowded with nearly a hundred thousand people. I had to pass through at least around 300 bodies when I came out. Some were alive but couldn’t walk. I helped a few who could walk. Some held my feet when I tried to go away. What could I do?

There is a long list of people who were eliminated and disappeared after capture by the SLA. The army-controlled area was a place where murders took place in front of one’s eyes.

In Mullaiththeevu, a hundred thousand people made to stand in rows would all of a sudden be ordered to squat by the SL army. The soldiers would make sadistic laugh at seeing the melee of people falling on each other in the exercise.

Long poles were used to beat the people and to threaten them. Old and young stood under hot sun for a long time, immensely suffering from thirst. Mullaiththeevu to Vavuniyaa was scenery of disaster.
There were 20 to 25 people in a tent in the internment camp at Cheddiku’lam. Food was sometimes thrown from a vehicle.

Everyday in the internment camp around 30 people died. It was a place of epidemics.
Thousands suffered of Chicken Pox, hundreds had brain fever, many elders died and some committed suicide.
The bribe to SL army for a person to come out was several hundred thousands of rupees.

In the last days of the war over 18,000 killed, more than 5,000 lost limbs, more than 7,000 seriously injured and several thousands suffered minor injuries. Several thousands suffer mental illnesses. More than a hundred medical workers- doctors, nurses and volunteers perished.

Knowledge and exercise of precaution reduced casualty. No one died of any epidemic under LTTE control. Several thousands of Sinhala youth of the SLA, from poor families, regrettably laid down their life in the war.

The sadistic lust of Mahinda Rajapaksa is very astonishing - inflicting pain on ordinary civilians in every possible way, and then projecting that as forms of his soothing operation to the outside world.

The world may forget, but Tamils will never forget the true face of the civilization of 21st century, the world has shown to them, writes the medical worker in his notes.

ACF Massacre

Sri Lanka government commission investigating the massacre of 17 NGO workers (Muttur massacre) has, without sufficient basis, ruled out the involvement of the Sri Lankan armed forces.

It unfairly and dangerously denounced local human rights organizations participating in the commission.

And government authorities improperly pressured the families of the murdered aid workers to demand that France obtain for them greater compensation from Action Contre La Faim (ACF).

The Sri Lankan government's gross mishandling of the investigation into the execution-style slaying of 17 aid workers in the northeastern town of Mutur three years ago demonstrates the need for an international commission of inquiry.

Government actions in the case - for which no one has been convicted - raised further concerns about an already deeply troubling investigation, Human Rights Watch said.

"For three years since the ACF massacre, the Rajapaksa government has put on an elaborate song and dance to bedazzle the international community into believing justice is being done," said James Ross, legal and policy director at Human Rights Watch.

Instead, the government used the atrocity to threaten local rights groups, intimidate the victims' families, and score political points against the French government."

Sri Lanka Army Atrocities

Channel 4 broadcasts a graphic footage, showed by a Sri Lankan soldier on a mobile phone, shows a naked Tamil minority man sitting blindfolded and bound in the dirt. A Sri Lankan soldier from the Sinhalese majority kicks the Tamil man before he is shot in the back of the head.

Channel 4 correspondent Jonathan Miller, who presented the video, said the material was obtained from the press freedom group Journalist for Democracy in Sri Lankan (JDS).

These scenes, captured on video, allegedly show extra-judicial killings of Tamils by Sri Lankan troops earlier this year in the bitter and bloody endgame of the country’s civil war.

The man is young, naked, bound and blindfolded; a corpse lying across his legs. A soldier approaches him in what appears to be Sri Lankan army uniform and shoots him at point-blank range, apparently amused at the death. “It’s like he jumped,” he says. After the murder the video, taken in daylight, pans out to show eight bound corpses, all shot in the head and all but one naked. Voices in the background speak Sinhalese; as the footage concludes, viewers see a ninth bound victim.

The significance of this footage – particularly shocking for the seemingly casual way in which the killings were carried out – is even greater given the way that journalists and independent observers were prevented by the government from reaching the war zone.

According to Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka (JDS), a multiethnic exile organization, the video was taken by a soldier with a cell phone in January 2009 at Kilinochchi. Sri Lankan soldier took this footage, which was then smuggled out of the country by (JDS) activists. It may constitute the first hard evidence for those who believe war crimes were committed by Sri Lanka in the effort to crush the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

The summary execution of prisoners is a violation of Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and a war crime. This apparent atrocity makes nonsense of Sri Lanka President Mahinda claims of a clean war against the Tamil Tigers,” said Steve Crawshaw, UN director at Human Rights Watch. “An international inquiry needs to get to the bottom of this and other war crimes committed during the past years fighting. Human Rights Watch has long criticized the government’s failure to carry out impartial investigations and prosecutions of those responsible for the numerous human rights abuses committed by both sides during the conflict.

There have been serious ongoing violations of human rights, and the backlog of cases of enforced disappearances and unlawful killings runs to the tens of thousands. Only a small number of cases have ended in prosecutions. Past efforts to address violations through the establishment of ad hoc mechanisms in Sri Lanka, such as presidential commissions of inquiry, have produced little information and few prosecutions.

In interview with Time magazine, Sri Lanka president Mahinda said that during the war, “there was no violation of human rights. There were no civilian casualties.”

Human Rights Watch said “International Community (IC) should stop relying on the president’s promises of domestic action and make it clear that an international commission is needed if the victims of Sri Lanka’s bloody war are to find justice.”

Thursday, September 3, 2009


A source close to the President of Sri Lanka said that the release of 300,000 innocence civilians have been postponed indefinitely with the government focusing on a plan to resettle them along with the new Sinhala and military settlement that are to be set up in the north. The source further noted that the plan is to resettle people in areas in Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu, below Mannar and above Vavuniya, where there are currently no people. The plan is said to remove all the old Tamil villages that existed in the respective areas. Although thousands of displaced persons currently living in camps even after completing the security checks, Sri Lanka government said. Half of the government's stipulated period of 180 days to resettle the displaced persons has lapsed. The government had proposed the above mentioned plan while the others who are supportive of power devolution have objected to it. Meanwhile, Disaster Management and Human Rights Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe told parliament on the 19th May that the displaced would be resettled by 31st December

Sri Lanka State of Terror

The entry of ethno-nationalism and the religion as the platform for mass mobilization of racism majority Sinhalese have evolved now into an ethno extremist and religious fundamentalism power base of the current racist Sri Lanka Government. Sri Lanka, a failed state now spreads the culture of violence beyond the borders and thrives on the state sanctioned kidnappings, assassinations and a war mongering agenda against the minority Hindu Tamils. A paradise island home of serendipity is today a State of Terror which actively practicing ethnic cleansing on Hindu Tamil. International Community(IC) and Human Rights (HR) activists still pondering over the technicalities are yet to realize recognize and define a new kind of genocide. The Human Rights Watch has accused the Sri Lanka Army of shelling densely populated civilian areas in the final offensive against the rebels in May, has condemned the Sri Lanka President Malinda’s failure to investigate attacks on journalists and other civil society activists, and has said that 300,000 Tamil civilians have been interned indefinitely in what are, in effect, Guantanamo-like concentration camps.


We are all united in our sadness of the situation of the 300 Hindu Tamils' though I would not call it upset. We should avoid being upset in order to be helpful. Scope of action depends on where we are and what actions are within our means and how effective we can be. Dependence on foreign government and IC (International Community) is useless except making use of contradictions among them because they are all pro establishment and pro status quo. We have to do what we can to mobilize the support of the peoples of the world, particularly the oppressed peoples, oppressed Nationalities against oppression and the support of the world Tamils against genocide on the positive side. On the negative side of hurting the GOSL while using it as a means of educating the people, Boycott of Sri Lanka should be promoted to the maximum. Oppression in any form anywhere should be resisted as this will weaken the oppressors including GOSL who are united, as this would weaken the chain of the enemy. No doubt we should promote the struggles against GOSL for higher wages and the like. These are all political campaigns and in order to do effectively, our political understanding/perspectives should be clear and realistic. Democracy and fairness are often misused as we do not relate them to the context. Equally the other concept of Equitability is misused. To start with we should recognize, nature is diverse and society is diverse and there are identifiable groups, the most fundamental and naturally evolved one being Nations. Equitability between Nations is equally important as equitability within Nations. While democracy is a good tool to achieve fairness and equitability WITHIN NATION, it is the worst tool for fairness or equitability BETWEEN NATIONS and in this case RECOGNIZING THE RIGHT OF SELF DETERMINATIONS IS THE ONLY TOOL. In other words, Nations should be allowed to choose their future democratically ON THE BASIS OF SELF DETERMINATION, no Nation should be allowed to overlord other Nations. I do not care about countries as their maps were determined by imperialism and to hell with their sovereignty. AS RECOGNIZING THE RIGHT OF SELF DETERMINATION all what can or should be done is to recognize the right of (both) Nations. Self Determination and the let them democratically choose their future, separate, united, etc.


The Sri Lankan government's failure to deliver justice for serious human rights violations over the past sixty years has trapped the country in a vicious cycle of abuse and impunity. The failure of successive Sri Lankan governments to provide accountability for serious human rights violations, including enforced disappearances, killings, torture and rape. The Sri Lankan government should initiate internal reforms and seek international assistance to prevent ongoing violations and ensure real accountability for past abuses. 300,000 Tamil civilians remain interned without trial in so called "welfare centers" that are concentration camps in all but name. Contrary to international law there is no freedom of movements of the displayed and there is not enough water, food and sanitation. There have been reports saying that more than 1400 people are dying in the camps every week. As it is almost impossible for independent organizations or international press to enter the comps we do not know what is really happening there. The Sri Lankan government bears the entire responsibility for the atrocious situation in the camps. According to the Sri Lankan government the Tamil Tigers were completely defeated in the war and no longer exist. However the government's violence against the Tamil people continues. I believe that as long as the Sri Lankan government rejects the calls for access and fair treatment of the Tamils interned in the concentration camps, economic sanctions and arms embargo should be imposed against Sri Lanka. The extensive and systematic human rights abuses have to stop.
SL Tamils right for self-determination, territorial integrity and its security is more important for producing positive political results. The future course of the liberation struggle should concentrate on ingenuously posing democratic challenges, locally and internationally, convincing the inevitability of conceding liberation to Sri Lanka Tamils.
The national conflict in the Sri Lanka island is historical and the militant phase is only a part of it. But certain irreversible realities have emerged through the historical process of the last few decades, underlining the need to recognize and accommodate the divide of nations in any future political processes of the island.
The validity of the national cause of Eezham Tamils doesn’t get nullified either by projecting it only as an agenda of militancy or by Sri Lankan state and the IC creating military situations of subjugation.
The Sri Lankan state for chauvinistic reasons, India and the other powers for geopolitical reasons and multinational corporations for economic reasons, have demonstrated in recent times militarily and diplomatically, their intention to keep the geographic entity of the island as a single political entity.
But chauvinism, geopolitics and outside economic interests cannot make the criteria for forging a common national identity to the island. This game on the island is continuing from colonial times and the world is yet to spell out solutions.
If common national identity has not evolved spontaneously in more than a century, the wise decision for the benefit of all concerned is to recognise the divide and to come out with appropriate alternative statecraft.
All the terms as well as concepts such as nation state, independence, sovereignty, right to self-determination etc., are said to be meaningless or are redefined in some parts of the contemporary world, but they have become more meaningful than ever to Eezham Tamils to rehabilitate themselves, to reconcile with the Sinhala nation and to fit themselves into the global process.
Any political formula that doesn’t address the fundamental aspirations of Eezham Tamil nation and is enforced after militarily weakening it, will not resolve the conflict. Any such formula of any powers, even when routed through Tamil proxies, will be seen only as a continuum of the proxy war waged by them.
Open recognition of the nation of Eezham Tamils, its territorial integrity, security, international interaction and its absolute right to self-determination, including the right to secession, can only be the basis at this juncture to consider agreeing upon the unity of the island, if that is what people want.
As world progresses and as regional or global entities take shape, even the Sri Lankan state may not exist tomorrow in the way it exists today. In any such future developments the Eezham Tamils must be able to fit in without losing their identity.
The powers of the international community, especially India, recognising the nation of Eezham Tamils, spelling out its right to self-determination and immediately stepping in guaranteeing its security and territorial integrity are more important for producing positive political results than mooting proxy draft solutions.
A neither secession nor unitary model will take a long time to evolve details and to put them into genuine practice. Some of them are going to be trial and error.
Considering the given attitude of the Sri Lankan state, the magnitude of its militarization and the internationally enacted military subjugation of Tamils, it is futile to expect smooth political experiments to take place in the island unless political fundamentals long aspired by Tamils are conceded in no uncertain terms and there is international presence and guarantee in implementation.
If the international community could forge a singular companionship in abetting Sri Lankan state against Tamils, it should also be able to conceive and implement a unique political solution to the conflict, if it is not expecting another war in the island.
As far as Tamil political groups are concerned there is no guarantee at all in the given set up that just by sacrificing righteous demands they would get anything. The ball is in the court of the aggressors and their abetters to take bold decisions in offering acceptable and long-lasting solutions if they want peace for ‘development’.
Tamil groups should not engage in demoralising the future course of the liberation struggle by playing in the hands of those who are all out to erase the nationalism of Eezham Tamils. Instead, they should concentrate on ingenuously posing democratic challenges, locally and internationally, convincing the inevitability of conceding liberation to Tamils.