– by Shenali D Waduge –
When propagandists can project a terrorist organization and a terrorist leader as martyrs and there are people who accept this version despite evidence showing the exact nature of their terror – there is cause for concern. No organization or leader who has turned the gun on people they claim to protect or worse to have formed their organization to represent them cannot by any definition qualify for that role. How can LTTE ever have been representative of the Tamils as the present TNA leaders and C V Wigneswaran and their Western friends claim? While history has tabulated the politicians, priests, academics, civil society leaders, Principals and other public officials numbering close to 200 such Tamil leaders gunned down in cold blood by the LTTE it has been impossible to ascertain the exact number of civilians including Tamils killed by the LTTE or the magnitude of the crimes these Tamils suffered taking Western human rights terminologies as benchmarks. LTTE’s over 200 suicide attacks and other terror tactics clearly reveal the exact nature of their brutality and explains why 32 foreign nations continue to list LTTE as a terrorist organization.
LTTE’s violations of Geneva Conventions
Forcible recruitment of Tamils
- Forcible recruitment of Tamil adults as ‘volunteers’
- Abducting Tamil children as young as 10 to be turned into child combatants
- LTTE policy of one per family recruitment drive (none of these forcibly recruited Tamil children were from high caste or high class Tamils – no children of any Tamil politician joined the LTTE by force or voluntarily)
- There are thousands of men who have deserted the army – but you would hardly find any to have deserted the LTTE because those that did were caught and killed or others were too scared to flee knowing the consequences.
- UN Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon has accused the LTTE of forcibly cutting hair of girls trying to flee the conflict to mislead the military into thinking there were LTTE. Those who have any doubts may like to read the report that confirms this – http://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/reports/ltte1208webwcover_1.pdf
LTTE orders Tamils to commit suicide
- Human Rights Watch declares suicide bombing a crime against humanity. HRW also declares that ‘political elites, commanders, and those that organize, facilitate, and encourage these suicide attacks are likewise guilty of conduct that offends against prevailing norms of international criminal law’. Thus, Kenneth Roth, the Executive Director of Human Rights Watch, “[t]he people who carry out suicide bombings are not martyrs, they’re war criminals, and so are the people who help to plan such attacks.”
- [Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, Article 28(b), U.N.Doc. no. A/CONF. 183/9 (17 July, 1998), 37 I.L.M. 999].
- If suicide terrorism is a crime – LTTE and in particular Adele Balasingham cannot escape from its role in mass murder, coercion towards death, destruction of life and intentional killing of others.
- Suicide terrorism has no legitimacy under international or local laws. There is no ‘just cause’ in homicide. Terrorist organizations like LTTE can use any argument to argue their existence but LTTE cannot claim legitimacy for suicide terrorism under any existing laws. Representatives of international bodies should desist from misusing their office to promote personal theories that whitewashes suicide terrorist crimes of LTTE. Suicide missions are all crimes against humanity. No suicide bomber or suicide commander/trainer can be more important than the life or lives they are intentionally planning to eliminate. Suicide attacks fall into the category of murder with a mens rea – willingness to kill and willingness to die.
Adele Balasingham’s Crimes against Humanity
- Recruitment of female cadres and children as child combatants began under the tutelage of an Australian nurse and wife of British passport holder Anton Balasingham – Adele.
- In 2002 TIME magazine was taken to one of these female LTTE tiger bases. Some of the foreign NGOs operating in the North held seminars at these training sites some of which went under the cover of LTTE run ‘orphanages’ – Sencholai being one example. None of these foreign representatives of agencies claiming to work on behalf of children and women ever wrote to their principles reporting LTTE violations.
- ‘Accountability’ must start with charging Adele Balasingham for turning men, women and children into killers, kidnapping them from parents, giving them training in arms, placing suicide vests on them, drugging and brainwashing them into killing others and taking their own lives – can a nurse be proud of adopting euthanasia into terrorism handing a piece of jewellery which is a cyanide capsule and asking her trainees to kill and die at the same time? Adele called them ‘Freedom Birds’ and even wrote a book on them! http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=aqbj8PHTtHY#!
- Adele’s trainee suicide killers could well have been talented individuals – they were not psychologically or mentally imbalanced but they were indoctrinated perhaps even drugged – 10,000 or more have died and for each death Adele and LTTE and their supporters stand accountable to not only to the world but to their parents. These parents of the dead girls should be helped to build up a case to seek legal action against Adele Balasingham from the UK Government for harboring a war criminal on UK soil.
- Proof of Adele Balasingham being a LTTE key member is given in the Norwegian Government website (SL) where she is a member of the LTTE delegation during the 2002 round the world peace talk sessions held in Thailand (3 sessions), Oslo, Germany and Japan. http://www.norway.lk/Embassy/Peace-Process/peace/
LTTE denies Tamils Freedom of Movement
- LTTE issued passes to Tamil people leaving Wanni. Passes were given only for medical reasons and the elderly. No Tamil could leave its main checkpoint without permission.
- LTTE forced Tamils to stay in LTTE controlled areas – Tamils desiring to leave the Wanni had to leave a family member as ‘guarantor’ that they would return – delays in returning meant ugly consequences to the guarantor! It must be noted that Jaffna under Sri Lankan military presence did not have to endure any of the difficulties that the rest of the Tamils living under direct LTTE hegemony suffered.
- Passes were issued by LTTE’s Transport Monitoring Division (TMD) – given during 2002 to 2006 during ceasefire agreement to every Tamil over the age of 10. This pass was known as LTTE Transport Admission Card (TAC). Restriction of movement is against international laws.
- Business operators had to make a payment to the LTTE for each shipment passing its checkpoint. We can recall that Rajiv Gandhi’s Indo-Lanka Agreement came with the assurance of paying LTTE a monthly amount from the Indian Government because LTTE’s taxing of Tamils came to a halt with the Agreement.
- TNA and Chief Minister Wigneswaran claim the North is only for Tamils thus denying Sinhalese the right to movement in the North – this again is a violation of international laws.
- LTTE has violated Article 14 of the UN Declaration of Human Rights.
- (1) Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.
- (2) This right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions genuinely arising from non-political crimes or from acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.
LTTE uses Tamils as Human Shields
- Would Tamil civilians ignore the Tamil announcements, leaflets appealing to Tamil civilians to escape to safety in the zones demarcated by the Sri Lankan Armed Forces alongside appeals for the release of Tamil civilians? Why were these Tamil civilians severely undernourished, without food, water and basic medical attention if LTTE were looking after their well being? Why would LTTE shoot into Tamil civilian crowds that attempted to run away from the LTTE to safety – footage released showed LTTE shooting at fleeing Tamil civilians and hurling them together. Would any Tamil parent wish to keep their young children in a volatile environment where both LTTE and Sri Lankan Armed Forces were fighting each other?
- There is little doubt that Tamil civilians were being used as human shields. UN Secretary General and foreign governments also appealed to the LTTE to release Tamils. That LTTE kept Tamils by force to be used as human shields is a violation of Geneva Conventions. LTTE has also violated Geneva Conventions by hiding amongst civilians, keeping their weapons amongst civilians and firing to the Sri Lankan Army from these positions.
- These factors have been slowly pushed into the background. Sri Lanka’s officials need to quote these factors in all discussions with UN.
LTTE forced unpaid labor of Tamil civilians
- Dangerous unpaid forced Tamil labor was referred to by LTTE as ‘Donor Labor’.
- LTTE forced Tamil civilians to dig trenches for its fighters, construction of LTTE bunkers and trenches for the IDPs during the final stages of the war – those that could not had to pay Rs.5000 to be exempted. Forced labor is a violation of Geneva Convention.
- Forced labor / payment in lieu of forced labor does not tally with LTTE’s claim that Tamils were voluntarily with the LTTE during the last phase of the war. It also questions some of the foreign NGOs who had gifted their construction machinery to the LTTE to ensure the ultimate collapse of the LTTE would be delayed – the bunds put up to delay the forward march by Sri Lankan troops gives evidence of this.
- LTTE has violated Article 4 & 5 of the UN Declaration of Human Rights – No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms / No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
LTTE confiscates Tamil assets/property and forces Tamil civilians to ‘contribute’ to LTTE
- LTTE confiscated assets and properties of Tamil civilians wanting to leave the North.
- This was an unjustified restriction on Tamil civilian movement.
- LTTE forced Tamil civilians to contribute to the LTTE kitty. Tamils living in Sri Lanka and overseas were all forced to contribute. Those that did not faced fatal consequences! LTTE were psychologically terrorizing the Tamil community both in Sri Lanka and overseas.
- LTTE also stands guilty of confiscating essential commodities sent by the Government to the Tamil people. Essential commodities including food, medicines and even fuel sent by the Government to the people of the North and East were confiscated by the LTTE and distributed amongst its cadres and LTTE families. This was evident in some of the provisions found inside the LTTE bunkers including UN and NGO food rations.
LTTE Assassinates Tamils / Indiscriminate shooting at Tamils
- Starting with Alfred Duraiappah, Mayor of Jaffna in 1975, LTTE has assassinated close to 200 Tamil politicians, parliamentarians, academics, intellectuals, public officials, religious leaders, civil society members, journalists, media personalities, rival militant groups and their leaders and Tamil civilians including children in addition to shooting other ethnic groups and even foreigners.
- That LTTE has planned and gunned down Tamils denies LTTE or its fronts and supporters any right to claim that LTTE represented the Tamil people.
- When LTTE shoots indiscriminately at Tamils who were fleeing the LTTE during the final stages of the war, LTTE is denied any right to claim it was acting on behalf of the Tamils.
- LTTE has violated Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by denying Tamils right to life, liberty and security of person
LTTE denies Tamils freedom of thought and expression and democratic rights
- Tamils living overseas are forced to send their children to these ‘Eelam Madrasas’ and fees charged go into the LTTE kitty.
- Tamil civilians living overseas are coerced into telling lies over electronic media and children are forced to take part in demonstrations carrying Eelam flags which are illegal.
- LTTE has misused the freedom of religion to control the kittys of the foreign kovils and many of these kovils are now under foreign surveillance. Churches should similarly be monitored as well given that some priests have been openly supportive of LTTE terror.
- Tamil people are scared to say that they suffered because of the LTTE.
- Tamil people are scared to denounce the atrocities committed by the LTTE on their families
- Tamil people are scared to accuse the LTTE of kidnapping their children and turning them into killers some of them who are now no more.
- The Tamils living in LTTE held territory never had any voice other than to do as the LTTE wished. Torture chambers discovered after LTTE collapse reveal the sordid tales of the suffering. The numerous LTTE police, LTTE courts, LTTE legal systems suffice to deduce the type of punishments LTTE would have enforced. Yet, there are some who claim the Sri Lankan to be ‘authoritarian’ – would such a Government then allow the TNA to win the Northern Provincial Election with the victory it secured giving Tamils to enjoy their democratic right to vote which hereto LTTE had denied.
LTTE denies Tamil children their fundamental right to education
- LTTE abducted and held children in training camps in the jungle teaching them jungle warfare and handling of arms and ammunition. These children were forbidden from visiting parents or family
- Throughout LTTE defacto rule, LTTE visited schools and addressed students as young as 14 to indoctrinate them. Principals or teachers opposing LTTE were simply gunned down.
- LTTE claimed to be running schools and championing human rights – Can anything be more hilarious than a terrorist organization promoting human rights or teaching children while training them to kill!
- LTTE has violated Article 26 of the UN Declaration of Human Rights
- (1) Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory.
- (3) Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.
LTTE’s illicit fundraising activities
- Associated with the international ban on the LTTE by 32 nations is the aspect of sponsoring and fundraising of terrorist activity. Numerous LTTE fronts have been banned and their leaders and members have been arrested but none of these fronts have been closed down or properly monitored – thus foreign parliamentarians have even taken part and spoken at these fund raising events without their Governments taking action against them.
- LTTE through its Diaspora are involved in internationally networked scams that range from narcotics, human smuggling, money laundering, credit card, boat smuggling, propaganda to turn economic migrants as asylum seekers.
- It was on account of LTTE’s Raj Rajaratnam fiddling into Western accounts that led to his arrest.
- Tamils living overseas are scared to inform foreign law enforcement because it would place the lives of their relations in Sri Lanka in danger. Moreover, Tamils are forced to feel that if any Tamil relations are living overseas (in better pastures) it is due to the LTTE and so Tamils must be eternally indebted to the LTTE. This forced psychological gratitude factor continues to prevail kept alive because remnants of the LTTE prevail still.
- LTTE is running hundreds of ‘LTTE madrassas’ on foreign shores misusing and manipulating the social service systems of foreign nations. This was evident in the manner LTTE fronts have incorporated themselves as charities and humanitarian organizations channeling money accumulated by telling lies across the world tax-free from which they have even purchased arms and other sophisticated machinery for their terror campaigns while enjoying a luxurious life overseas.
LTTE’s encouragement of religious conversions
- That LTTE used ethnicity, Tamil language and nationalism to cloak its quest for a separate state but did not use the religious factor is noteworthy given that both Tamil Nadu separatist advocators and LTTE chose not to bind Tamil nationalism with Hindu religion to which most Tamils belong.
- This however has left a loophole in understanding where the ‘separatist agenda’ for both Tamil Nadu and LTTE Tamils is heading given that the support bases and individuals for Eelam separatism happen to be non-Hindus from nations promoting their faith through development initiatives and that the top-brass of the LTTE too converted as born agains – it is the remnants of the Brahmin high caste/class like Sambanthan who are left fighting to preserve the fast eroding Tamil class/caste psychosis. Traditional Brahmin Hindus cannot ignore the statistics that showcase how large numbers of Tamil villages have become totally converted including the entire Tamil Nadu coastal belt which adversely affects how they function and the new leadership structure that is likely to prevail. It is no better a time for the Hindus to take stock of these ground realities.
- When Tamil nationalism on the foundation of Tamil Hindu culture becomes the basis for the calls for self-determination, the fact that prominence for Hindu culture has been omitted and replaced with western religion and cultures certainly puts a huge question mark to the self-determination bid and makes us understand that placing of Wigneswaran is just a smokescreen to continue to paper privilege for Hindu Tamils.
UN Declaration of Human Rights – http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/
LTTE killing spree that included targeting of civilians, placing of bombs in civilian localities, destroying civilian property, suicide missions in locations where civilians gather, kidnapping children and training them as child combatants, denying freedom of movement, freedom of speech and thought, freedom of education were all violations of Geneva Laws and Conventions. Moreover, the hallmark of LTTE were their suicide terrorism – training to kill and die at the same for which LTTE gifted each of its cadres a cyanide capsule. Suicide terrorism is a criminal offence yet UN or its officials, foreign governments that have banned the LTTE have never taken action against the LTTE for its crimes against humanity and war crimes and some of these foreign nations like the UK give refuge to those that turned innocent Tamil civilians into killers and mass murderers. When will the LTTE be punished for these crimes? Instead the remnants of the LTTE have been able to pocket foreign parliamentarians to be their mouthpieces and fund documentaries that emerge like Channel 4 to discredit democratic Governments by showcasing terrorists as civilians.
We will never know exactly how many LTTE cadres were killed by the LTTE
When a megalomaniac puts together a group of youth that is given foreign training with the explicit instructions to destabilize Sri Lanka, it should come as no surprise the power that such a terrorist movement could yield.
While our lists of LTTE victims include Tamils and non-Tamils, civilians of all ethnicities we have often forgotten the numbers of Tamil LTTE cadres the LTTE would have killed. With gun in hand and evil in head it is not difficult to imagine what a single second of anger would have led to especially when most of the cadres were living in fright, kidnapped and being manufactured into killers through drugs and indoctrination.
Yet, the movement that claims to be for Tamils by Tamils should not have killed its own men and women who pledged their life to it. Eyewitness accounts of how 49 disabled LTTE female cadres were asked to board a bus, served tea and without their knowledge had the doors of the bus closed and blasted by LTTE’s Nedumaran on 8th May 2009 at Demuniwagala gives a fitting reminder to the brutality of the LTTE and should put to shame all those that continue to refer to LTTE as heroes. LTTE killed its 49 cadres despite relations appealing for their release promising they would take care of the wounded LTTE cadres. Killing wounded cadres even those belonging to terrorist movements are a gross violation of international humanitarian laws and Geneva Conventions. The eyewitness accounts of this particular killing should be given to Channel for their response for unlike the fake ‘witnesses’ Channel 4 produces Thiruchelvan Waratharasa of Wattarappalam not only viewed LTTE atrocities during the final phase of the war but also saw 29 civilians being killed by the LTTE which included his own son and his sisters son. Waratharasa was rescued by the Sri Lankan army on 16th May 2009.
It has served LTTE remnants, LTTE fronts and their foreign collaborators and those paid to function as they do to continuously parrot about investigations into the last phase of the war. Where is the equality of justice if crimes committed through 30 years are simply laid to rest without inquiry? Calculated murders by LTTE and the killing of its own cadres has never been tabled for discussion but it is now time for the LTTE to be questioned on how many of its own cadres the LTTE eliminated instead of attempting to pass the blame to the Armed forces by creating bogus numbers of dead without their names, without name relatives of the dead or addresses of where they lived.
We would rather believe our armed forces than terrorists who have been serial killers and mass murderers throughout 3 decades and continue to be banned as terrorists.