– by Shenali D Waduge –
What happens when people like Adele Balasingham, Beate Arnestad and Niromi de Soyza glorify terrorism and make martyrs out of female terrorists? People like Samantha Lewthwaite emerges and killings like the Kenyan Mall slaughter resulting in over 100 innocent people being gunned down mercilessly takes place. Public killings have been a hallmark of the LTTE nothing that the ‘international community’ chose to do anything about. Adele Balasingham pioneered and trained female terrorists and turned children into child soldiers but she’s happily living in the UK with no remorse. Should the world continue to allow terrorists to be promoted as ‘martyrs’ and as ‘freedom fighters’ for in doing so more people like Samantha Lewthwaite the ‘White Widow’ will emerge.
Samantha Lewthwaite has an Interpol red notice issued for her arrest. Adele Balasingham who trained children as young as 10 years to kill and handed each child a cyanide capsule with the strict instruction to bite and commit suicide is happily living in the UK where the Government has given her refuge. For decades the world and UN knew and had compiled reports after reports about the LTTE child soldier recruitment and even appointed a Tamil as the special rapporteur but other than accepting international awards for those compilations nothing was done and LTTE child soldier recruitment became a taboo subject except to be used against the GOSL. Adele Balasingham continues to escape war crimes for ordering over 10,000 females to take their lives and this ‘Aunty’ even boasts of her capabilities in a book she titles ‘Will to Freedom’. The children she trained to kill and ordered to commit suicide were ‘freedom birds’.
Norwegian film maker Beate Arnestad too attempted to create a proud notion of being a terrorist. ‘My daughter the terrorist’ was the title given to her film documentary. One wonders whether Samantha Lewthwaite’s soldier father would also claim with pride the exploits of her daughter killing so many innocent people in Kenya yet Adele Balasinghams parents when interviewed many years ago had both claimed they were ‘proud’ of their daughter!
In fact EROS Eelam Revolutionary Organization (EROS)issued a statement not to screen the film ‘This kind of media propaganda will have a devastating effect and will entice would-be suicide bombers to join terrorist linked organizations such as Al-Queda and other groups. There is clear evidence of the LTTE’s links in terrorist organizations linked to Al-Queda and the technology used in developing suicide bomb jackets etc is often shared between these terrorist organizations for their own mutual benefits.’ The White Widow – Samantha Lewthwaite in fact is a key member of the Al Qaeda affiliate Al-Shabab and she is also the widow of Germaine Lindsay who blew himself up in a London underground train causing the 7/7 of UK that killed 52 people. Samantha Lewthwaite known now as ‘White widow’ has now become a British fugitive. She is also wanted in connection with plotting attacks on hotels and restaurants in 2011.
Beate Arnestad had breached Sri Lankan immigration laws by entering the country under a false name (Ms Smith) to make the film and funding for the film came from the Norwegian Government which next questions why a Government should fund a film that glorifies suicide terrorism and Norway should know what reasons compelled Anders Behring Breivik to kill 77 people.
Then there is pseudonym author Niromi de Soysa in her book ‘Tamil tigress’ claiming to be a former child soldier. Her lies are too many – proceeds of her book was supposed to go to her alma mater but it emerged that this alma mater she referred everyone to was St. Josephs’ College, Jaffna. Now Niromi being a female could not have attended an only boys school! She refers to a discretion of a cemetery in Kopay but hides the fact that LTTE built two large “maaveerar thuyilum illam” (great warriors’ sleeping place) in 2003 (during ceasefire) on state land (illegally). To the UK Telegraph, Niromi says her mother was a ‘teacher’ but in her memoirs she says her mother worked for the Dept of Telecommunications. Lankan writers Arun Ambalavanar (http://www.srilankaguardian.
Most recently Gordon Weiss, Francis Harrison and the like are attempting to tap into the realm of fiction claiming to be facts simply to widen their purses and using the pressures by the agenda-clad West as a perfect opportunity to tag along with their tales.
Be that as it may the fact that the most recent killings in Kenya that spread horror across the world and gave bonus prime time coverage to the mainstream media to sensationalize the ‘White widow’ killer goes to show double standards and hypocrisies. When LTTE carried out 300 or more attacks including suicide missions on innocent civilians the quick reaction was to emphasize that the killings were always ‘allegedly’ done by the LTTE and never did any foreign leader or media wish to lay the blame on the LTTE and give publicity to the atrocities of the LTTE that would have got their Governments to do something to stop the fundraising taking place from overseas. LTTE was always project and promoted as freedom fighters and never did their attacks on the Sri Lankan public receive the sympathy it should have got.
Yet, in making out and ignoring the horrors of terrorism, female suicide and the martyrdom and glorification that had been encouraged the world is producing more people like Samantha Lewthwaite who is even taking her young children along with her to witness her crimes. What type of message is this giving to little children and Sri Lanka should know given that the LTTE ran many orphanages from which they plucked out children to be trained as child soldiers completely destroying their youth and making them misfits in society and no matter how rehabilitated and reintegrated these children are how can they erase from their minds the years in which they were trained to murder?
The world leaders who refer to themselves as the ‘international community’ have much to account for. It is therefore no better a time that world leaders coming to Sri Lanka to attend the CHOGM are likely to not praise Sri Lanka for its post-conflict development though that is what our leaders expect them to do but will like Navi Pillay enjoy our hospitality and then out of malice pull out various terms for which targeted nations have no defence. It is therefore important that the GOSL stop listening to or continuing to be mesmerized by the ‘unwinnable war’ promoters and start asking the correct questions back from those pointing fingers instead of going begging behind the very nations tarnishing Sri Lanka and first on that list of question is what these foreign leaders are doing about providing safe haven to people like Adele Balasingham, Rudrakumaran and a host of LTTE front organizations who are mere agents of a bigger plan. Those that glorified terrorists and terrorism have created unnecessary pain for so many and continue to do so still.