Feature Article

'One-man hunt excuse to nullify a national question'

[TamilNet, Friday, 01 May 2009, 08:04 GMT]
Contrary to what is said outside, the real focus of the UN Security Council deliberations is not on the plight of the Tamil civilians, but using their plight as a shield and by manipulating it, the thrust is actually for the hunt or deposition of LTTE leader V. Pirapaharan, in order to blunt the Tamil struggle, news reports hinted Thursday. Inner City Press quoted a senior advisor of Ban Ki-moon saying that the UN Secretariat’s hope was to arrange amnesty to the remaining LTTE cadres in the conflict zone, except Mr. Pirapaharan. When asked about his son, the advisor said, “That’s what negotiations are for”. While Colombo’s ambassador at UN said the matter is being considered, according to the UN advisor cited above, the Three Brothers have shown little interest as they feel they are about to win. Tamil circles smell Indian hand in such a line of deliberations.

“Dignity is the driving sprit of a liberation struggle that cannot be compromised. But this is what the enemies want to conquer”, Tamil circles said.

“The powers are not prepared to discuss the crux of the matter – the Tamil liberation question that has reached an inevitable stage of no practical option other than secession, thanks to the orientation of the Sri Lankan state. The powers know that well. But a particular power is panicked at this reality. The line of deliberations is a result of its frustration”, Tamil circles commented.

“It is very sensitive, the LTTE killed the leader of a neighbouring state”, Sri Lanka’s UN Ambassador HMGS Palihakkara told ICP on the question of ‘considering amnesty’ to the LTTE.

Meanwhile, the media in India, Sri Lanka and some personalities faced failure during IPKF times have become all of a sudden vocal on this issue, smirking orchestration. A Chennai-based newspaper well known for its bias, a few days ago published something like ‘affidavit’ on this matter from a deserted cadre of LTTE.

“India cannot forgive LTTE chief”, Priyanka Gandhi, daughter of Rajiv Gandhi was reported saying by Indo Asia News Service 21 April. Answering a question on her personal stand, she said, “humans cannot forgive each other.”

While personal animosities and proposals for one-man hunt reaching apex global body, marring justice for the killings of over a hundred thousand in the protracted war, in which the Tamil civilians were predominantly at the receiving end always, and distracting the national interests of Eezham Tamils, Sri Lanka and India, Thursday’s deliberations at UN didn’t seem to make any progress.

The chairperson, Mexico’s Claude Heller didn’t have anything new to tell the press at the end of the Security Council briefing other than what he said on previous occasions, ICP said.

As it has become routine with the UN, when it comes to Sri Lanka, even John Holmes’ document briefing the situation has to be ‘leaked’ to the press.

But, Mr. Holmes really made a case on the plight of the civilians in the so-called safety zone, especially on the food and medicine situation.

“The daily reality for the people trapped inside the conflict zone is beyond what any human being should have to bear”, he said adding, “While the overwhelming issue is the risk of death and injury from the fighting, there is also much suffering caused by the shortages of medical supplies, food and water. That is why we have repeatedly called for a halt to the fighting, at least for long enough to get adequate amounts of medicine and food into the conflict zone”

The supply of 30 metric tons that reached 28 April was enough only for a day for 60,000 people, he said.

He was disappointed on the refusal of the Colombo government for a UN team reaching the civilians, despite Colombo’s earlier pledges to UN’s Vijay Nambiar.

Holmes said that Colombo agreed for the UN access to ‘screening camps’ at Ki’linochchi and at Oamanthai, during the visit of the British and French foreign ministers.

However, the statement of the British-French foreign ministers on this issue, Thursday was not positive: “The Government wants to “screen” civilians escaping the fighting to ensure that LTTE fighters cannot get into the wider community to continue the struggle using terrorist means. But it is vital that this process is transparent - the Government must allow the UN and other international agencies proper access to all stages of the screening process”, they said.

Holmes also said that the NGOs are concerned about a new MoU Colombo wants them to sign.

Later when asked what was this memorandum, Holmes said it is about NGOs “sharing information” with the government, “in ways the NGOs can’t live with”.

The senior advisor cited above told ICP that in the given context possible leverage points are the pending IMF loan and the European Union's GSP Plus no tariff treatment of Sri Lankan textiles.

However, Britain’s envoy John Sawers at the end of the session told, “We’re not in the job of penalizing the government of Sri Lanka.”

The stand taken at the Council, not to penalize Sri Lanka was also confirmed by the chairperson Heller.

An often-repeated point, repeated again by British and French foreign ministers Thursday, and was echoed by Britain’s envoy to UN, Sawers, was that “Sri Lanka is a democratically elected government fighting a terrorist organization”.

They may never be able to make any headway in resolving the crisis in the island unless they acknowledge terrorism is ‘democratically elected’ in Sri Lanka, said Tamil diaspora circles in London.


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