Tag Archives: Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka Murdered Civilians!

There is no question the bitter long civil war in Sri Lanka which witnessed the government fighting the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE) produced terror, brutality and murder on both sides of the conflict. However, according to the International Crisis Group, during last stages of the conflict when the LTTE was surrounded and 300,000 civilians were trapped in the middle of the final battle, the Sri Lanka army deliberately fired hundreds of shells into the civilian population including targeting hospitals, schools and humanitarian groups in order to end the war. During this bloody attack, thousands of innocent civilians died since the LTTE was determined to fight on and on. In fact, says the Crisis Group, there is evidence the LTTE deliberately killed fleeing civilians in order to create an international outcry they thought might end the attack.

The United States once had a Civil War in which over 600,000 men died on both sides. As the conflict drew to a conclusion, General Grant told the defeated Confederate General Robert E. Lee, that his men could take their horses and head home and none would be imprisoned or hurt. The bloodiest war in American history ended in peace and forgiveness, a message that might well be copied by other nations which have endured a civil war.

Down And Out In Sri Lanka

General Sarath Fonseka, was a renowned officer in the army of Sri Lanka and proclaimed as a hero because he led the victorious army against rebels. But, once war ended, the general set his sight on the office of president of the nation, and suddenly, without warning, the hero became a villain. According to Gotabaya Rajapaksa, brother of President Rajapaksa, there is no question that the general was responsible for the deaths of several journalists. “We know there was no other person” involved in their deaths.;;He was definitely responsible for five or six cases(of disappearance).” The severity of these charges is very high, and the general who led the war which killed thousands might even wind up in jail for five years for playing a role in the murder of several people.

This alleged murderer would now be home sitting in comfort if he had not gotten the idea of running against the president. If he had been a nice quiet boy, the general could have murdered with impunity and be in his bed tonight at home.

Sri Lanka Civil War Outcome-Crackdown On Press!

After over three decades of nonstop fighting the civil war in Sri Lanka finally came to a peaceful conclusion with the defeat of rebels. One would imagine that a nation which has endured such violence would seek peace and freedom for its citizens. But, alas, that is not th e policy of the victorious Sri Lanka government. After winning a supposedly “free election” which raised many questions about its honesty, the government has retaliated against members of the media who suggest things are not as good as claimed. A Colombo newspaper editor was arrested, and a Swiss reporter was told to leave the country. Karin Wenger told the media, “I think I am being expelled for asking inconvenient questions during a government press conference.”

The International Federation of Journalists has repeatedly expressed concern about the safety of reporters. Last January, the editor of “The Sunday Leader,” was assassinated on his way to work. If a government arrests reporters after an election it only leaves one question in the mind of the media-something is rotten in the state of Sri Lanka.

What Happened In Sri Lanka Election?

Any election held in a nation which is governed by a strong man who has been in power for years runs the risk of simply being some sort of illegal affirmation that he should remain in power. President Mahinda Rajapaksa had presided over a large segment of the nation’s civil war and was regarded as an architect of the final victory last year. However, he was challenged for the presidency by General Fonseka who actually was in charge of the military campaign and was also regarded as a key figure in the victory. Most polls suggested it would be a close race, but when the totals came in the president won easily. At his first media conference, the president was shocked by aggressive questioning not only about the election but the large number of people who are fleeing Sri Lanka for the safety of Australia.

“Am I in the dock” he responded. Of course, many in the media wondered why General Fonseka has been holed up in a hotel and has challenged the vote totals. Yes, Mr. President, you are in the dock until the election results are confirmed by independent sources.

Price Of Military Victory-Jail?

General Sarath Fonseka, led the victorious army of Sri Lanka during its long and brutal fight against Tamil Tiger insurgents. He was hailed by the government for his leadership and showered with acclaim and honor. But, the general then made a serious tactical mistake, he decided since there was now peace, he would run for the presidency of the nation. Ironically many of the defeated Tamils regarded the general as more of a friend than President Mahinda Rajapaksa whose failure to respect human rights in last stages of the war made him into an evil person.

Fears the government would intervene in the election became evident when soldiers stood at regular positions on roads around Colombo’s Cinnamon Lakeside Hotel where General Fonseka and his supporters congregated. The election is tight and if the government loses it might resort to arresting the victorious general and sending him far away. The vote result will be announced some time today.

Who Helps Asylum Seekers?

There are an estimated 200 million migrants living in a country other than the one of their birth, and the exodus from one society to another continues even in the face of a world wide economic crisis. The situation in Asia is impacted by the war in Afghanistan which has sent thousands fleeing to distant lands such as Indonesia or Australia. The recently concluded civil war in Sri Lanka led thousands of defeated Tamils to lose hope for a peaceful integration within their nation and to head for Australia. During the past decades as war raged in Sri Lanka, many Tamils left their homeland and went to Australia in search of work and peace. Now their defeated relatives are heading toward a southern clime which offers more opportunities for economic and social success.

Indonesia is upset that while the majority of refugees seek asylum in Australia, the Australian government insists that Indonesia should intercept the ships and intern the refugees in their nation. The general feeling of Indonesians is, “we can’t bear the responsibility alone.”

Sail Away From Sri Lanka To New Worlds

The government of Sri Lanka has finally crushed a long civil war, but the war to regain the support of those who lost in the war will go on for decades. Thousands of Tamils believe there is no future in Sri Lanka since they will always be regarded as traitors and must accept whatever work those in power will sanction. Thousands of Tamils are gathering on the sea coasts of Sri Lanka seeking boats that will take them to new homes, particularly in nations like Australia which already have many people of Tamil heritage. One human rights activist noted: “There’s a sense that a flight is on, especially among Tamil youth… A lot of young people have gone missing from here.”

Of course, many never make it to the promised land of Australia and succumb to the oceans and meet their death in some far off place in the Indian or Pacific oceans. Such is the aftermath of war.

Surveillance Cameras Capture “Criminals?”

In the modern world if a camera says you are guilty of something chances are you, at least, are guilty of something and must defend self against the all-seeing camera which claims never to be wrong. Surveillance cameras at Colombo airport in Sri Lanka are paid for by the government of Australia in its efforts to capture Tamil agents. At least 29 people have been detained in the past month by cameras designed to identify Tamils who might be working with the now crushed Tamil rebel forces. One can only wonder if it is legal under Australian law to place cameras in another country, take photographs and use that data as the basis for legal action.

Tamils are now confronted with the problem of using the Colombo airport and exposing themselves to being arrested and spirited away to some unknown destination. Even if a person eventually is deemed innocent, they must still endure the process of being detained, questioned, threatened and then released. Certainly, this is not the way to treat innocent people. But, then again, the camera never lies– just people do!

Freedom Of Press Is Not Fee In Sri Lanka

The people of Sri Lanka have endured nearly three decades of civil war, violence and destruction of many aspects of their daily lives. A government triumph over rebels led to hopes of restoration of basic rights of freedom of expression, but a recent wave of abductions, beatings of journalists and jailing of those who print the truth casts doubts over the existence of freedom of the press in that troubled land. Chandana Sirimalwatte, a newspaper editor, has been charged with “arousing the general public against the government” for a story dealing with tension between government officials and military leaders. A few months ago, Poddala Jayuantha, another newspaper editor was kidnapped and beaten so severely that two of his legs were broken.

According to Sirimalwatte, noted: “the people have a right to know what powerful people are doing. They want to know about this crisis in government.” Three of his reporters were arrested last month for reporting the news. The aftermath of any civil war is fraught with fears and anxieties. Hopefully, the government of Sri Lanka will accept criticism as it confronts tremendous challenges in rebuilding its society.

Sri Lankan War Refugees In No Man’s Land

The long civil war in Sri Lanka is over, the rebels have been crushed, but the heritage of so much bloodshed and hatred lingers in the minds of the triumphant government as well as those who either supported the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam(LTTE) or were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Over 300,000 innocent Sri Lankans are still in refugee camps while the government offers excuses why they must be kept in camp. Sugarthini Manikan’s husband came from an LTTE stronghold so authorities do not wish to allow his return home.

Outside investigators have found horrific conditions in refugee camps. As one described the situation, “people are scared to tell anyone of the problems we are facing. But it is a prison here. There are no enough health facilities for the problems.

If the Sri Lanka government was wise it might adopt the post war plans of Abraham Lincoln in which 500,000 died. Those who lost were allowed to return home and no one was killed.