War crime in the massacre of LTTE officials

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 19 May 2009, 01:52 GMT]
While rejecting Colombo's claim of the killing of LTTE leader V. Pirapaharan and assuring his safety and well-being, LTTE's International Relations Head S. Pathmanathan Tuesday accused Colombo of treachery in the killing of the political wing leaders B. Nadesan and S. Puleedevan. Mr. Pathmanathan said it is a crime against humanity that needs to be investigated. Meanwhile, informed sources told TamilNet that what happened in the early hours of Monday was a well-planned massacre of several unarmed civil officers of the LTTE with the aim of annihilating its political structure. At the orders of a 'top defence figure,' an international arrangement involving ICRC, European diplomats and a Colombo government diplomat to arrange safe exit to the civil officers was defied, the sources said.

Political observers compared Monday's massacre with the prison massacre of Tamil liberation fighters in 1983 and events leading to the collective death of 12 senior leaders and cadres of the LTTE in 1987.

Tamil circles also commented that any surrender of the LTTE as pressed by the International Community would have seen a similar fate to its cadres, had it been heeded.

The clarifications from Mr. Pathmanathan follow:

Statement 1:

I wish to inform the Global Tamil community distressed witnessing the final events of the war that our beloved leader Velupillai Pirapaharan is alive and safe. He will continue to lead the quest for dignity and freedom for the Tamil people.

The President and the Government of Sri Lanka needing to carry on and gloat in the planned Victory Celebrations on Tuesday, had their military establishment deliberately come up with the story detailing the demise of the leader of the LTTE. We categorically reject this and wish to inform the Tamil community to be vigilant and to exercise maximum restraint whilst grieving for the loss of Tamil civilian lives in the barbaric conduct of the final chapters of this battle.

The Tamil freedom struggle is a just cause and will not be quashed by the events of the last 24 hours. Truth and justice will always prevail.

Statement 2:

We wish to bring to the notice of the International Community the events of the last 24 hours in the so called safety zone in the war in Sri Lanka.

Subsequent to our announcement that the LTTE had decided to "silence the guns" in view of the unbearable civilian carnage at the hands of the Sri Lankan military and the heavy weaponry donated to it by third parties, we were informed by some member states of the International Community that arrangements had been made with the Sri Lankan military for discussions on an orderly end to the war.

We were instructed to make contact with the 58th Division of the Sri Lankan forces in the war zone, un-armed and carrying white flags. Head of our Political Wing, Mr. B. Nadesan and Mr. Puleedevan then proceeded to do so. They were un-armed and carrying white flags and were called on by the Officers of the 58th Division to come forward for discussions. When they complied they were both shot and killed. We vehemently condemn this action. The International Community needs to take this into account in its deliberations about charges of "Crimes against Humanity" against the members of the Sri Lanka Government and its military establishment. This act is even more unpalatable when one takes into account that the LTTE released as an act of goodwill, seven Sri Lankan Prisoners of War the day before totally unharmed.

We appeal to the International Community to act now to ensure the safety and basic needs of the displaced people who are suffering in the prison camps of the Sri Lankan military. The onus is now on the International Community to see that further war crimes and crimes against humanity are not committed on Tamils by the Sri Lankan state and to force the Sri Lankan state to yield in to the political aspirations of the Tamil people.

 

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