Propagating the war victory is an easy task for the victor in a historically conflict ridden country that has deep rooted hatred and animosity between the communities. In the fast progressing world order, defending a heartless war is not an easy task. Almost three years since the defeat of the LTTE, the government of Sri Lanka is engaged in a pathetic and negative campaign to muddy the truth of the war, whilst the very truth is slowly and steadily seeping through the repressive mechanisms of the government.
The effort of the government is such that it is now undermining the core issues dealt by the international community and is coming out with absurd and irrational arguments in a heavy-handed manner to procrastinate, prevaricate and frustrate the efforts of the international community on the war crimes issue.
The former BBC foreign correspondent based in Sri Lanka, Frances Harrison in an article titled ‘War crimes in Sri Lanka’ analysed the scorched -earth policy of the government to vanquish the LTTE that resulted in the deaths of thousands of Tamil civilians. War crimes in Sri Lanka.
Unfortunately, some of the rebuttals provided by the officials of the government to undermine the claim has been countered by compelling evidence and this has damaged the credibility and the reputation of the government.
In the catalogue of efforts to undermine the war crimes claims, the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development headed by the President’s brother Gothabaya Rajapakse came out with its latest documentary ‘Ruthless-LTTE-Terrorist-Final-Crimes-Against-Humanity’.
It is not a hidden fact that it is a Defence Lanka News Bulletin and the presenter is Minoli Ratnayake. The aim of the documentary was to assert only the war crimes committed by the LTTE, whilst crimes of the state forces are flatly denied elsewhere by the government. It must be said the Defence Ministry went out of the way to present the case without responsibly responding to the accusations of war crimes committed by both the warring parties.
The report of the Lesson Learnt and Reconciliation Commission was officially released on the 16 December 2011, after nearly one and half years of investigations with sittings in the north and east of Sri Lanka. The evidence presented in the ‘Ruthless’ documentary should have been presented to the LLRC in the first place and even freehand given to the commission to reach the army victims with the extended mandate to carry-out a thorough war crimes inquiry.
The government approach has been very rogue. The smokescreen of the government to cover up its misdeeds in its war effort against the LTTE in 2009, will not stand up, as it is clearly a desperate act of the government that cannot and will not understand honesty, transparency and good conduct in its dealings.
In the ‘Ruthless’ documentary, the government attempted to achieve some credibility by interviewing Fr James Pathinathar of St James Church in the final war front. The harrowing experience of the Father and those came in the documentary cannot be discounted and for the perpetrator of war crimes (Defence Ministry) to sit in judgement to produce this documentary clearly speaks of the desperation of the government.
The concluding part comes heavily on the Tamil Diaspora and accuse several Tamil organisations as LTTE international network that are collecting funds and campaigning against Sri Lanka. Individuals are named and the organisations they represent are identified and ridiculed. It gives an illustration as follows:
V Rudrakumaran, USA – TGTE
Suren Surendran , UK – BTF
Fr (sic) Emanual , UK – TGTE
Nediyavan, Norway –TEPA
Vinayagam, France – Intelligence.
Of the five mentioned, three are functioning openly acceding to the democratic freedom accorded to them in their host countries. Whereas, Nediyavan has gone underground and he is not to be seen anywhere. Whether Nediyavan and Vinayagam will have any wider influence on the post war Tamil Diaspora is questionable.
It must be admitted, the trio Rudrakumaran, Suren Surendran and Fr Emanual are in a position to influence the post war Tamil Diaspora community. The tasks they have undertaken is unparallel to the campaign work of the financially resourceful Tigers in the past and these efforts are being increasingly supported by the Tamil Diaspora. Even the Tamil groups opposed to the LTTE are realising the valuable work done by these trio and many others in the climate of arrogance and unrelenting campaign of the government against the Tamils.
What most surprising is, these forerunners in the Diaspora are coming under undue criticism of the government, when they have publicly called for war crimes inquiry that covers both the government forces and the LTTE. The GTF has publicly supported President appointed LLRC report subject to wider war crimes inquiry and ridiculing these organisations as causing trouble for the government proves that the government is frustrated and its thinking going into irredeemable coma – struggling to cover up its own misdeeds.
With regard to fund raising by the LTTE fronts, the post war Tamil Diaspora has not experienced any fund raising campaign. If the organisations raise their funds within their parameters what problems does it cause to anyone. They are not publicly raising funds like the Api Venuvan Api of the Sri Lanka government.
The history of Sri Lanka has been always finding faults with the Tamils. If the government allowed the peaceful demonstrations of the Tamils in the 1950’s in the Gall Face Green, the LTTE would not have come to being. If the government did not pass it’s no confidence motion against Tamil opposition leader Appapillai Amirthalingam in the late 1970’s things would not have reached this far.
Now, it has turned on the democratic Tamil Diaspora and its agenda takes its full force to suppress the free thinking of the Tamils, passionately thinking of their roots in Sri Lanka.
But unfortunately, the anti-Tamil paranoia of the government will not change, unless sustainable pressures are put on it to change. The anti-Tamil coma of the government is a decease that needs special treatment. A treatment that transforms the body functions and the thinking and the attitude of the state is the only difficult option. This must happen sooner or later.