Ms Pillay what about civilians murdered by LTTE in non-combat areas during ceasefires?

terrorist   By Shenali D Waduge

What or who gave the right to terrorists and their movements to plan, execute and eliminate people? What or who gave terrorists rights when they are not signatory or bound by the international laws that prevail? Who gave terrorists any right to declare war on nations and with what right have some even entertained these notions that have obliterated situations beyond repair? What or who gave terrorists right to be placed on par with legitimate and elected governments when they are outlawed and proscribed? The fact remains that throughout 3 decades the LTTE specifically planned to kill and murder ordinary people getting about their lives, people unprepared for the surprise attacks that came their way, people living in their villages, traveling in buses and people who were unarmed. These killings are nothing but cold blooded murder and they need to be now punished. In any court of law the person committing the murder is just as guilty as those planning it or those aware of it. As accessories in murder all of the LTTE front organizations now promoting themselves as peace charlatans and in particular the political party calling themselves the Tamil National Alliance must stand on trial for all these civilian murders that have taken place since early 1980s.

LTTE claimed to be fighting for a separate land mass to rule their own people � this was defined as ONLY those people who functioned to LTTE dictates. Those that didn’t are now feet underground and they number over 250 Tamils of standing while we are clueless about the number of ordinary Tamils who suffered the same fate and this includes scores of LTTE cadres as well.

What is important and an issue that the Sri Lankan Government officials have not raised and should raise with Ms. Navi Pillay is that the civilians killed over 3 decades were nowhere near combat zones/areas. They did not die because of some missiles accidentally hitting where they lived. They were not caught between LTTE terrorists or the army to claim collateral damage and they were not killed because of targeted killings such as drones that the US takes part in.

The Sri Lankan civilians who died deserve far more attention than the examples that are used to demand accountability during the final stages of the war because UN officials, Darusman Report have all acknowledged that the LTTE were using civilians as combatants and this does not give these Tamil civilians protection under human rights law if they are indulging in any terrorist activity (whether by force or voluntarily) � how is a soldier to identify this given that most often LTTE fired in civil clothes. How precarious for us to imagine a soldier taking time to ascertain whether the person in civil was in the LTTE or not before shooting and would the soldier have been alive to tell us that he was not an LTTEr. But these are the bizarre rulings issued from officials sitting in air conditioned rooms across the seas.

The issue here was that every government, every UN official and every international law maker have purposely ignored that LTTE were planning and murdering people and they had a virtual carte blanche to do so. Moreover, they improvised human beings to act as bombs making identification all the more difficult. Were the dead, non-combatants? Were they in a combat zone? All laws of war are generally applicable to armed conflicts (international or otherwise) and while terrorists have yet to be defined we have some countries banning terrorist groups as they see fit � omissions or inclusions have created confusions world over given that countries like the UK where LTTE was banned since 2001 and its Government declaring that the LTTE was second only to the Al Qaeda, finds it acceptable to allow LTTE to openly have its international office function in London, LTTE front organizations to hold fundraising events in UK where the most amusing factor was to see UK parliamentarians even attend and sit behind a backdrop of a towering cut out of Prabakaran and then continue to allow the nurse who trained little children to kill and then to kill themselves by committing suicide taking a cyanide capsule to live happily ever after in UK. So when Governments say one thing and do the total opposite can this world be ever rid of terrorism or put an end to the loss of life?

In adopting Geneva Conventions it is emphasized again that while humane treatment for captured legal combatants are given great prominence what about the rules of law for people snuffed out just because it serves the terrorist agenda? How can the Red Cross or UN respond to this? International bodies must stop picking and choosing who to term terrorist and whose label they hope to dangle simply to get Governments to tow the line according to their agendas? In simply allowing LTTE to kill thousands of people and putting more emphasis on peace talks and ceasefires that the West knew were times used to regroup and rearm because the West manufactures virtually all the weapons used in conflicts � what is the game these nations are playing with ordinary people? Ideally what should happen if any peace is to prevail in this world is to declare Manufacture and Sale of Arms as a War Crime. If there are no arms and no nuclear arsenal around would there be any wars and more importantly loss of life!!!!

While the international referees are ever ready to dangle the red card to Third World governments in how they should treat terrorists according to the text books of international laws drawn up by them the civilized world they pay scant regard to the manner terrorists like LTTE have been operating in cohorts with their alliances and alias’s the world over.

If the answer to all ills can be resolved through negotiations that means no group has any right to be brandishing guns to get their way. When they use the guns on innocent people who have nothing to do with their grievances or unsuccessful aspirations then they need to be punished and not given VIP treatment as LTTE has been given. In doing so the international players have completely delayed justice for the scores of people who were simply pawns in a larger game.

How would LTTE have got their Eelam/Self-Determination by killing innocent unarmed civilians?

The below list of civilian deaths by LTTE since 1980s excludes the killings on unarmed civilians by Indian Peace Keeping Force as well as the civilians who died in India when LTTE assassinated the son of the Indian prime minister who first started training, arming and financially supporting Sri Lankan Tamil militants in India for which the world and India keeps mum about. If this was not state sponsorship of terror what is?

The list will reveal how LTTE attacked Sinhala and Muslim villages in the North so as to kill or chase them from the North in a bid to claim the area as being inhabited ONLY by Tamils to which the Tamil National Alliance were also accessory as were the LTTE front organizations and others. This is a criminal offence.

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