By Heike Winnig
Unceasing Suffering of Tamils in Sri Lanka
It’s been established that Sri Lanka is not safe for Tamils; as a matter of fact, it hasn’t been safe for a great number of years. Abductions and murders have been rampant for a long time, though they may be covert these days, of those bravely criticizing the Sri Lankan regime. For reporters and journalists, it still is one of the most dangerous places in the world.One only has to read UnitingWorld Rev. John Barr’s personal account, “Tamils in Sri Lanka seeking asylum: A need no more?”, describing his visit to Sri Lanka, including several of the IDP camps, this past June, a year after the war ended, to know that thousands of Tamils are still detained in IDP camps, and NGOs are limited in the aid they are permitted to provide. Many of the Tamils returning to their home villages are being driven off their lands, which they’ve occupied since 2nd century BC, in order for the government to build military housing, military bases and industrial complexes. Where are these desperate people to go? They are homeless and jobless, receiving little aid from NGOs.
Approximately 15,000 Tamil children who are able to be schooled are receiving their education outside beneath a bunch of trees while armed security forces are planted firmly behind them. Instead of providing schools and healthy environments for the future generations of Sri Lanka, this government obviously has more important projects in mind. However, most Sinhala children are not denied nor neglected in receiving their education in secure and wholesome environments. It is a fact that in the name of “national security”, Sri Lanka’s citizens, be they Tamils, Sinhala or Muslim, were evicted within their cities and/or villages even during the war. The Rajapaksa regime’s witch hunt for alleged LTTE supporters reemphasizes their demand to “secure” the country. Being Tamil in the eyes of this regime is undesirable and unwelcome at best. However, at worst Tamils are labeled as LTTE supporters guilty by association. To this day, no one has had contact with the alleged 11,000 LTTE cadres who have been completely hidden from the world since the end of the war. Only the government assures that they are being rehabilitated to reenter Sri Lankan society, allowing no outside interference. No one is certain if the detained are in fact all LTTE cadres. The regime has refused the ICRC’s participation in the rehabilitation process, which is standard international procedure. The ICRC objectively partakes and assists in massive rehabilitation such as these to assure transparency of the process and the wellbeing of the participants. The Tamils demand justice for the war crimes committed by both the LTTE and the SL security forces, i.e. the attempted genocide in a “no fighting zone” of the Vanni, which was deliberate and calculated. Of course, Sri Lanka is always on the defensive about the accusations and passionately denies the allegations of war crimes, as a recent article on the SL Ministry of Defence website strongly asserts, “War crimes allegations based on lies - Attorney-at-law”.
It’s also becoming clear that the politics of nations are as complex as ever, and Sri Lanka’s vow to side with Israel against Palestine in its “war on terror” is far from comforting. Add to that the fact that President Obama has sworn that the U.S. will always back Israel in its hostile endeavors, there’s not much room left to the imagination, that those countries, who need the world’s support more than ever, will be left out in the cold to continue their suffering and death of the innocent. It is an endless domino effect that will not serve to achieve democracy and freedom for those who seek it and who are subjected to the iron control of totalitarian regimes. The fact is that Sri Lanka has become one of the most militarized nations in the world. Sri Lanka is a nation of oppression and domination. How can anyone question why the Tamils fought for an independent, sovereign state? Yet, the government won’t take credit for literally helping create the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam), courtesy their blindness and self-serving interests, and causing the war. They won’t admit that they covet the lands and valuable resources owned by the Tamils, and that this is the reason they’d rather carry out genocide against the Tamils than agree to a separate state. How can anyone question why the Tamils flee for their lives and seek sanctuary in other countries? For the most part, the international community and, most importantly, the United Nations are turning a blind eye on the past and current crisis of human rights abuses occurring in Sri Lanka, which have obviously become the standard. This regime’s complete disregard for the integrity of law and justice is frightening and only too evident, as outlined in a 177-page report, “Post-War Justice In Sri Lanka: Rule Of Law, The Criminal Justice System, And Commissions Of Inquiry”, composed and written by Kishali Pinto-Jayawardena, dated January 2010, through the International Commission of Jurists – The Rule of Law for Human Rights organization.
Ms. Heike Winnig is German, born in Bad Kreuznach, Rheinlandpfalz, Deutschland, and has lived in the United States since she was a child. Writing is her opportunity for expression on Human Rights, Freedom of Speech, world societies and cultures. She has written several op-eds, news- and historical articles on Helium, Digital Journal, Suite 101 and Examiner.com.
Sri Lanka: How This Police State Does Business
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