Sunday, July 24, 2011


Tamils are better off without LTTE

  • Sunday, July 24, 2011
  • Arunthathi Kanagaratnam
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  • The connotations for happy will provide mixed results. In a Tamil population of just 2.4 million with one million already domiciled (legally or illegally) overseas, it is easy to fathom who are likely to be unhappy and happy. In determining who is happier without the LTTE, we need to place the feelings of the Northern and Eastern Tamils far ahead of the others. It is they who suffered the bulk of the LTTE terror and it is their lives that were brought to a standstill throughout three decades of LTTE terror.

    Some former LTTE cadre have even been given in marriage at a wedding ceremony organised by the Sri Lankan military.

    Whatever most Tamils may say today, those living in foreign climes and those living outside the North and the East must feel guilty for letting their own people down. With the elimination of the LTTE, those who travelled to the North and the East would have seen the manner in which the people had been living. Despite provisions sent even during the height of the war against terrorism, the LTTE had denied food for their own people.

    The suffering that these people had to endure is what should be aired across the world and will shame Channel Four, some members of the Tamil diaspora and all others who have been, for years, using them as scapegoats to allow the LTTE to prevail. This is one reason why most Tamil leaders partial to the LTTE are reluctant to conduct a census...the truth will soon emerge about the reality of Tamils actually living in the North and will also perhaps make us open our eyes to the possibility of where the additional “Tamils” would have emerged from.

    The truth is very simple. The Tamil Diaspora may suddenly claim to be interested in the welfare of the Tamil people, but the truth is that they never cared for them through the decades they were helping the LTTE prevail. All those who paid even a dollar to the LTTE kitty stands guilty of this crime.

    Over the years that they helped bankroll LTTE terror, not a single dollar did they send to uplift the lives of their own people in the North or East. Had they been helping while also providing for the LTTE kitty there would be evidence, but there isn’t!

    They could have made hospitals with all the dollars that went towards sophisticated weaponry and ammunition; they could have made schools; they could have done so much....but the Tamil diaspora didn’t and they can never escape this home truth.

    No weapons

    Tamils in Sri Lanka should not feel scared to point fingers. The Tamil diaspora functioned out of choice, there were no weapons pointing at them to force them to side with the LTTE. They did so with their own selfish motives.

    Having the LTTE around meant a lot of lucrative opportunities for many which had nothing to do with Tamil or Sinhalese issues. LTTE terror meant Sri Lanka was listed as a dangerous country and Tamils could easily use the discrimination tag to apply for refugee status. Thus the propaganda spread globally to enable Tamils to take flight to foreign shores.

    This is how one million Tamils found their way out of Sri Lanka and while most of them may have not had time to gain permanent residency status, the present agitations are meant to signal to these foreign governments that it is dangerous for them to return.

    Why would we want people who do not love our country? Instead of creating lies and falsehoods it is best that they remain in these foreign countries.

    The Tamils who are today living in Sri Lanka must finally be true to their conscience and acknowledge truthfully that without the LTTE they are finally free to live in peace. Freedom of living is something the Tamils in the North and the East in particular lacked far more than others.

    That feeling of relief is nothing that foreign nations, their leaders or paid representatives of international organisations will ever be able to understand.

    They cannot understand simply because they are being paid not to understand, they are being paid to vocalise statements that are part and parcel of the policy that is crafted to attack or engage Sri Lanka for their own vested interests that are geographical, political or economical.

    There is no point in actually finding fault with any of these personalities because most of them are reading from prepared documents which, they might not personally agree with.

    These are all hypocrisies in politics. That is why it is important that the public at least become honest and the Tamil public certainly needs to go down memory lane and see how much they have lost as a result of the LTTE, some members of the Tamil diaspora and all others who supported the LTTE including some of the Tamil leaders who stood mum and watched the LTTE systematically ruin generations of Tamils from developing socially and economically. Only a selected number of Tamils were allowed to prosper while the majority suffered. Today everyone has been brought on an equal footing.

    LTTE terror

    It is good for Tamils to look back and see how backward their own people have become throughout the period of LTTE terror, how only a handful have prospered and whether those that prospered did anything to uplift the life of any ordinary Tamil family, whether they even chided the LTTE for recruiting Tamil children and turning them into child terrorists. How unfair have these Tamils been to their own people?

    International organisations set up to cover war situations need wars to function. Sri Lanka cannot allow its people to suffer so that international organisations can prevail. Throughout the conflict, over 3,000 NGOs/INGOs functioned throughout Sri Lanka. Post-war, we can but ask “What have they really done and what were they actually doing?”

    True, the country may have gained through the large amounts of foreign revenue they would have brought in, but collateral damage they would have done can be seen by the negative publicity campaigns that still prevail and how far governments themselves stoop to the level of accepting falsehoods that are paid to be created and published.

    Then again, we know that these politicians emerge as leaders as a result of the votes that are promised by ethnic groups domiciled in these countries.

    Returning to Sri Lanka, there is no denying that without the LTTE the country has seen a major change and all Sri Lankans will agree that we have been finally blessed to be rid of a terror group.

    That Sri Lanka is the only country to have defeated a terrorist organisation is undeniable. That Sri Lanka also rescued thousands of Tamil civilians kept as human shields by the LTTE is also an achievement no foreign military has achieved.

    That Sri Lanka has rehabilitated former LTTE cadre and reintroduced them to civil society is also an achievement that the world cannot deny. Some of these cadre have even been given in marriage at a wedding ceremony organised by the Sri Lankan military. Even hardcore LTTE terrorists are being put through rehabilitation and are engaged in development work which is also an achievement.

    Set against this remarkable list of achievements, some Western governments should certainly feel ashamed, of the conduct of their forces personnel.

    We do not have Guantanamos, we do not have terrorists who are inhumanely treated. The guilt of what these soldiers are shouldering can be seen in the amazingly high number of mentally disoriented soldiers, a scenario that has become a major issue in the US. Why have the BBC or C4 not used the numerous videos that have been taken by US and allied soldiers of the inhumane treatment meted out to Iraqi and Afghan soldiers and people that are freely circulating all over the web; there are some incidents to which these soldiers have accepted responsibility.

    Different tactics

    The Tamil diaspora, it is clear, is trying all sorts of tactics to show that despite the demise of Prabhakaran, it is still a key component in the Eelam equation. That must be firmly denied to them by the Tamil people themselves. Did they send any of their children to fight for the LTTE? Did they send a cent to uplift the lives of ordinary Tamils? All they did was to engage foreign leaders, governments and powerful illegal networks, indulge in nefarious illegal activities on a global scale, purchase weapons and ammunition and pocket some of the funds collected for their own luxurious living...a look at how they live in these foreign climes against how they could afford to live on their qualifications would easily reveal the truth.

    We cannot stop foreign leaders, governments and other powerful lobbies from continuing to vilify Sri Lanka. There are likely to be plenty more accusations coming our way. None of these countries are willing or ready to accept that Sri Lanka has defeated a terrorist organisation.

    The often said but denied truth that terrorist organisations have had the blessings of foreign governments and leaders has been put to rest by the US and some allies openly agreeing to even provide military support for Libyan “rebels” despite Libya being a UN member country! This nails the home truth why terrorism has been used to suppress countries into agreeing to the dictates of powerful nations.

    Therefore, the only way we can, as a nation, stand against the tides of accusations being thrown at us is to remain together.

    For the Tamils, it is important that they finally come out and fearlessly speak against the LTTE for there is no LTTE today...let them not fear these dubious elements in the Tamil Diaspora, they are only cardboard heroes hiding in foreign shores and trying to again send the Tamil people back to the jungles so they can become richer. Tamils should not fall prey once again.

    Reconciliation will certainly start when people become truthful and a good place to start is for Tamils to acknowledge that they lived in fear of the LTTE and that they are today free to live as citizens of Sri Lanka.


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