Feature Article

US should think of ‘gunboat diplomacy’

[TamilNet, Thursday, 07 May 2009, 03:31 GMT]
It is the last chance for US to strike a political balance in the island, if it is really keen in seeing meaningful ‘post-conflict’ process, said TamilNet’s political commentator in Colombo. Neither the present Indian Establishment, which by its role played as a war partner irredeemably lost its positive leverage on the affairs of the island, nor the UN bogged down with Security Council deliberations may able to act swiftly to respond to the emergency, he said. Colombo is on one hand aiming at creating a political and military vacuum for Tamils and on the other hand is aiming at the incarceration of all Tamils either in internment camps or in open prisons. The balance disturbed by US has to be set right by US itself by a timely action such as sending the fleet without waiting for political changes in India, the commentator said.

A time bomb is ticking not only for the entire region but also for the international credibility and future interests of the US in the region unless the US exercises its might with the Colombo regime to create an atmosphere of balance for a political engagement of the LTTE and Colombo, the commentator further said.

Meanwhile, speaking from Vanni, Mr. Kanagalingam, the president of the Vanni People Welfare Organization (VPWO) said on Wednesday that the people would be the happiest if the US intervenes.

“The US is the foremost power today. In the past it had made some basic moves resulting in the present situation. Therefore it has an important role to play. It can now play a positive role. Tamils have a good image about Obama. He can do something good. The desire of the Tamil people is that the US should act. The civilians will be the happiest if US could bring us food”, Mr. Kanagalingam said.

According to Mr. Kanagalingam there are more than 175,000 civilians in the so-called no-fire zone. Food is the foremost crisis, deliberately created by the Colombo government.

P. Kanagalingam
P. Kanagalingam
“When the government fails the UN should step in. Otherwise who is responsible? Do they want us to die”, asked Kanagalingam.

Many have died due to starvation and starvation related problems. Mr. Kanagalingam puts the number at around 500.

Recounting an example he witnessed, he said a woman died in sleep. But it was found out later that she didn’t have anything to eat the previous day.

The UN humanitarian chief himself acknowledged last week that the 30 MT food sent last was enough for 50, 000 people only for a day.

“The regular food ship didn’t come. The last supply was sent only through the ICRC vessel that was transporting the injured”, Kanagalingam said, adding that the supply of 1000 kg sugar that came in the vessel was enough to make just a cup of tea for 50, 000.

According to Kanagalingam, airdropping food is possible, but it may have to be done everyday, considering the number of people.

As an average, around 80 people or more are killed every day and 150 to 200 are injured. Twice a week ICRC ship evacuates the injured, he said.


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