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Home > Tamils - a Nation without a State> Struggle for Tamil Eelam > Sri Lanka's state terror: the local and international dimensions


Sri Lanka's state terror: the local and international dimensions

E.T. Agnosticus, 17 January 2006

The last few weeks have seen a vicious terror campaign by the Sri Lankan state in Jaffna. Almost every day, innocent Tamil people are being abducted, raped, tortured, and killed by Sri Lanka's intelligence operatives.

The international community's silence and reluctance to pressure the Sri Lankan state in the face of such vicious terror is deafening. Immoral and unjust though it is, the silence is not surprising, for such immorality and injustice permeate international relations across the globe.

Despite comical protestations of innocence by the country's armed forces and the president, let there be no doubt that this terror has been unleashed with the full knowledge of the Sri Lankan government, with the President and the military commander fully complicit in the terror.

The recent expose by the Sunday Leader of the naked intimidation of the paper's editor by the country's President, Mahinda Rajapakse comes as no surprise to Tamils. We have always known that the seat of power in Sri Lanka has been occupied by thuggish leaders who unleash terror against innocent civilians while clothed in the robes of compassionate Buddhism.

The former President, Chandrika Kumaratunga, was exposed by the Sunday Leader as having known about her family's connections to the murder of Tamil leader and Human Rights Lawyer Mr. Kumar Ponnambalam. Little surprise, given that her father, Mr. S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike, the Prime Minister in the 1950's used his thugs to attack Tamil MPs protesting outside parliament peacefully against denial of Tamil rights in Colombo, and when they walked into parliament, his words were, "honorable wounds of war."

Yet she remained the darling of the international community. Take the Hindu editorial page, for instance. Displaying the immorality and the turpitude of its editors, the paper continued to extol the virtues of Ms. Kumaratunga, totally ignoring her complicity in the murder or the brutal terror unleashed by the State in the North and East and the cries of the Tamil people faced with such implacable state terror. The paper's continued silence, in the face of the current butchering of innocent Tamils by Sri Lanka's bestial soldiers, makes it inevitable that Tamils will show their revulsion at this paper and its editors. Reasoning Tamils the world over should attack and expose the viciousness of the Hindu and its editors in every legal way possible and at every opportunity. I take my hats off to Sachi Srikantha for exposing Mr. Ram as the blind goat, but I want our people to do more to expose this whorehouse of Mount Road.

The fact is that the Sri Lana government has no credibility, starting right at the top, with the executive president himself. So how can foreign diplomats naively accept such a thuggish president's denials about the state's terror, while pressuring the Liberation Tigers and saying the latter lacks credibility? Is the international community suggesting, with sheer disconnect from reality, that the inexorable terror of such a thuggish state can be faced by sitting and meditating like the Dalai Lama?

It is true that the LTTE has indulged in excesses, in particular in its harsh treatment of its critics. Privately, I have myself been somewhat critical of the movement at times for various reasons. But every time I begin to question the actions of the LTTE, the state's terror apparatus comes out to show the true nature of the inexorable terror the Tamil people face. Shortly after I started tentatively to question the LTTE's actions in the Jayadevan affair, Sri Lanka intelligence operatives murdered TamilNet editor Taraki (D. Sivaram) in Colombo.

Let me make one thing clear: for Tamils interested in their people's welfare, the apparatus of the state terror in Sri Lanka is so vicious, so inexorable that we can never seriously question the LTTE . There are times Tamils will need to question the LTTE for the sake of the people. But now is not the time for questions like that, when our people are faced with the unrelenting terror of the state.

What is needed now is the total dismantling of the state's terror apparatus. The international community has shown that it doesn't have the will, despite having the capacity, to help the suffering Tamil people in dismantling this terror apparatus of the state. Indeed, the U.S. ambassador in Sri Lanka, Mr. Jeffrey Lunstead, suggests in his speech that his country is more intent on strengthening the terror apparatus of the state than seeking justice and protection for the long-suffering Tamil people.

Sri Lanka is a terror state; no matter how 'democratically' its thuggish leaders are elected, a terror state is a terror state; there is no escaping this fact.

Mr. Raveen Satkurunathan of Canada says on Asiantribune.com that Sri Lanka may well descend into a Rwanda. That is a distinct possibility that the U.S. and UN should consider. So should Canada--after all Canada's own Lt.-Gen. (Ret.) Roméo Dallaire was force commander of the United Nations protection force in Rwanda and has recently published the book, "Shake Hands With the Devil - The Failure of Humanity in Rwanda." Acclaimed as a hero in Canada, Gen. Dallaire has been harshly critical of the failure of the US to stop the genocide of the Tutsis by the government of the Hutus. US policy makers would do well to listen to Gen. Dallaire and think of the consequences of arming and aiding the genocidal state of Sri Lanka.

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