The International community has time and time again come out with
their pet themes such as the need for the LTTE to put an end to its
militancy and stop recruiting child soldiers. We do not for a moment
condone the forced recruitment of child soldiers.
|" (Sri Lanka
Government's) hearts go out in sympathy of the Thamil
British Refugee Council, Sri Lanka Monitor Report, September 1995 -
"Hours after the Sri Lanka government imposed military
censorship on press reporting of its bitter and unpredictable war... on
21 September, aircraft bombed a Jaffna school yard crammed with 750
children on their lunch break, killing 34 and seriously injuring
over 150 others... Reports of the Nagarkoil bombing were heavily
censored under the new restrictions.. Like Navaly, whether Nagarkoil was
accidental or deliberate, air and artillery attacks on northern
civilians will continue... Civilians are unidentifiable from the air
- unless perhaps there are 750 of them all dressed in spotless white
Government runs out of other ammunition to demonise the LTTE
their hearts go out in sympathy of the Thamil youth. Hearing of
children being used in war does arouse the sentiments of many
The International community, however, is not above reproach. Most
of them have their own hidden agendas. We will deal with this in a
Let us first deal with the two issues. These must be viewed in their
There are many reasons for the Thamil youth joining the LTTE forces
at such a young age.
For many years every Thamil youth in the North and East has been
regarded a potential militant. Thamil youths had been arrested,
tortured and incarcerated without trial.
Many have disappeared.
Mass graves bear gruesome stories. The more fortunate of the
youth have gone to other countries
in search of
pastures. Some others have weathered the storms to reach
friendly and not so friendly shores
to exist as refugees. Many are compelled to remain at home. The
parents of such children prefer them to join the militants to fight
their cause rather than to be
arrested and tortured by the Sri Lankan army.
It is the ultimate choice that mothers make in dire desperation.
There are still others who see no future for them in Sri Lanka. Like
every other young normal human being they want to make themselves
useful and make a contribution, and in this instance to the Thamil
The International Community rarely talks about the Northern Alliance
in Afghanistan that recruits child soldiers.
Rarely do we hear of the hundreds of children being killed in Iraq
Recently an Israeli army Officer riddled fifteen bullets into a
thirteen year old Palestinian school girl on her way to school. This
is just one story that came out because it was told by his own
Isnít it worse to be
brutally killed unawares than to die knowingly for a cause?
Sinhalese dancing around a Tamil youth,
stripped naked, before pouring petrol and burning him to death,
Colombo, 23 July 1983
Now to the question of the Thamils giving up their militancy. For
more than forty years the Thamils had been asking for a federal
state through constitutional means. What had been the response?
The Thamils had to face bloody violence, murder,
and looting in
1983 engineered and sponsored by the governments in power. Is
ones rights an act of war? The fact, however brutal, it may seem
is that it is only after the Thamil youth in their frustration
took up arms
we have now talks of peace and at least an ostensible desire to
offer the Thamils their rights. It must be remembered that the
Thamils are not asking for concessions but for their due rights. The
moment the Thamil leadership drops its arms we will go back to
status quo ante as in 1983.
The International Community will not take responsibility for this.
Are members of the International Community prepared to
give up their arms and
pursue peaceful means to achieve their own goals? Was George
W. Bush prepared to have a peaceful dialogue with Sadam Hussein to
find out whether he actually had weapons of mass destruction?
The pre-emptive strike on Iraq was in itself an act of terrorism.
What about the destruction of innocent lives and property in the
military incursions into Palestinian territory, not to mention Iraq?
The Thamil territory has no attraction to offer but only their
just cause for a peaceful existence with justice, equality and
freedom. They are indeed suspicious of the
hidden agendas of most international advocates of peace.
It is only Norway that has studied the problems of the Thamils in
depth and understood the true spirit of the Thamil question. They
are therefore in a strong position to appreciate the aspirations of
It for this reason that the Sri Lankan government is jittery about
dealing with Norway for they know too much!