Feature Article

Silence of IC indelible for Tamil memory - Fr. Emmanuel

[TamilNet, Thursday, 04 September 2008, 13:15 GMT]
"The roles played by the major powers in overlooking the state terrorism and human rights violations of the Sri Lankan state, will stay permanent in the Tamil memory for ever," said Rev. Prof. Dr. S.J. Emmanuel, the former Vicar General of Vanni region, in an open letter from Germany, reacting to the silence of the International Community to the unfolding catastrophe of civilian sufferings in the districts of Mullaiththeevu and Ki'linochchi, overcrowded with IDPs seeking protection from the atrocities of the Sri Lankan forces. His statement comes as Sri Lanka Army's artillery shells reached Ki'iinochchi in the early hours of Thursday.

The statement from Rev. Fr. Immanuel, who witnessed the mass evacuation of Ki'linochchi in July 1996 during SLA launched Operation, also comes in the wake of the Tamil Rehabilitation Organistion (TRO), the main local agency operating in Vanni, urged the international actors to pressure the warring parties to declare "safe havens," in LTTE controlled districts that have been overcrowded with IDPs.

The TRO, in the report released on 01 September pointed out that nearly 50% of the residents of Vanni are currently internally displaced.

Rev. Fr. S. J. Emmanuel
Rev. Fr. S. J. Emmanuel
Rev. Fr. Emmanuel, who was also a witness to the historic exodus of half a million people from Jaffna in October 1995, in his statement charged that the Sri Lankan government has forfeited Tamils as its citizens. "Its attitude and actions are that of an invading country in an enemy's territory."

"What has to be understood by every one concerned in no ambiguous terms is that even if the whole world takes side against them, the Eelam Tamils can't afford to give up their just struggle for their righteous aspirations. They have suffered that much over a long period," the former Vicar General said, shedding his perspective.

Full text of his statement follows:

"The latest reports of civilian sufferings, coming from Sri Lanka foretell the impending human crisis of the first magnitude in the island.

"Kilinochchi and Mullaiththeevu districts are surrounded on all fronts by the Sri Lankan Military and pounded by frequent barrages of artillery fire.

"The Government of Sri Lanka doesn't allow international media personnel into the war zone. All communication and supplies are cut off. Even the officials of the administration of the Sri Lankan government are being withdrawn. The already ill-equipped districts are now overcrowded with internally displaced people from other parts of Vanni who seek protection from the atrocities of the Sri Lankan forces.

"Sri Lanka government has forfeited Tamils as its citizens. Its attitude and actions are that of an invading country in an enemy's territory.

"The hope it gives to the Sinhala constituency in the South is that the war will be over within a couple of months and the Tamil demands for basic human rights in Sri Lanka will be silenced for ever, allowing the majority Sinhalese to be the true citizens of the island.

"What observers find repulsively amazing is the silence of the International Community, which as an irony chooses to make a big fuss over Georgia, only to reveal its helplessness. Unfortunately the Tamils tortured and killed by the majority Sinhalese, couldn't still find a Russia to help them.

"The International Community, including the regional power India and every other power in this world, cannot shed their prime responsibility to the plight faced by the Tamils for so many decades and now pushed and isolated to suffer the slow genocide as in the gas-chambers.

"The roles played by the major powers in overlooking the state terrorism and human rights violations of the Sri Lankan state and helping the state only to strengthen its war-machines exhibit the hypocrisy and double standards pervading the international community. This will be indelible in the Tamil memory for ever.

"It is also a good example how the misguided agenda of one or two powers can be manipulated by a failed state like Sri Lanka to carry on undisturbed and unchecked with its agenda of genocide.

"What has to be understood by every one concerned in no ambiguous terms is that even if the whole world takes side against them, the Eelam Tamils can't afford to give up their just struggle for their righteous aspirations. They have suffered that much over a long period."

 

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