Posts Tagged ‘Tamils’



by James Sarda

Kota Kinabalu: No one should accuse Sri Lanka as bitterly as they do just because there had to be casualties in the process of ending that island nation’s civil war.

Stating this to Daily Express in an exclusive interview on the sidelines of the 59th Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) conference in Johannesburg, South Africa, recently, its Secretary General Dr William Shija, said in the case of Sri Lanka, it would be unrealistic to suggest that there have been human rights violations just because there had to be a decision to end the terrorism (waged by the Tamil Tigers for three decades).

“You had a group of people who had completely captured a portion of that country through violent means. That is anarchy. That is terrorism.

“What do you expect the Sri Lankan Government to do? What would any nation faced with this situation be expected to do? Sit and negotiate?

“That is similar to what we heard about, for example, in the Falklands (when Argentina temporarily seized the island in the early 1980s).

“Why would Britain then go to the extent of trying to protect the Falklands which is so far away. It can’t be terrorism if you are protecting your nation or your people,” said the former Tanzanian Minister.

Shija also said it was ironic to even attempt to suggest that Sri Lanka had violated human rights when actually there are more serious human rights violations taking place even right now in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq (by the western troops).

“Those are examples that need to be examined in the proper perspective,” he said, obviously referring to the countless civilians killed by US, UK and Nato forces in these Muslim countries. Thousands of innocent civilians have been killed by US drone attacks in Afghanistan alone.

Shija added that there were also plenty of human rights violations during colonialism and during times of slavery. “If people want to talk about human rights violations we might as well go into history,” he said.

He said looking at the situation today, “you can’t have countries or even the Commonwealth dictate to Sri Lanka what to do.

“Who are you coming from the Commonwealth or otherwise to tell these guys what to do.

In fact, there are even smaller countries within the (53-member) Commonwealth who flex their muscles when it comes to their own country’s decisions.

“The world has moved on and no longer do you have an unipolar system where one member can dictate to another. So the best way to keep the family together is to be flexible and accommodate the variances and rather contribute on what should be done.”

Malaysia has confirmed participating in CHOGM despite calls by Barisan Nasional component MIC and the opposition DAP to boycott the event. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib would lead a delegation and Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman said that Malaysia’s participation was “relevant and significant”.

Critics of Lanka have alleged that its government was responsible for the deaths of up to 40,000 civilians in the civil war there that ended in 2009 with the killing of the entire Tiger leadership. There have been no more killings since.

It made Sri Lanka, reportedly albeit with Chinese help in logistics, the first and only nation in the world to have successfully defeated terrorism.

The Tamil Tigers have also been accused of drafting child soldiers and killing innocent thousands, including its own people that did not side with it during their campaign for a separate state in the island’s north.

There is evidence that in the last stages of the war their besieged leaders tried to use fellow Tamil civilians as human shields and killed those who abandoned them.

The Tigers also became infamous for introducing suicide bombings that has seen been adopted by other reactionary groups as a means to achieve their objectives, especially assassinating key people.

Their most high profile victim was Indian Premier Rajiv Gandhi when they sent a woman strapped with a bomb inside her sari to greet him when he visited Lanka during the early stages of the bloody conflict.

James Sarda is the Editor-in-Chief of Daily Express an Independent National Newspaper of East Malaysia


Happy Pongal To All ‘My Anbullangals’ And All My Wonderful Readers Who  Are Connected To Me By Love.

Hope This Year’s PONGAL brings tons of happiness….good fortune,And lights up your home with hope and prosperity….Today and Always!

YEN  INIYA PONGAL NAL VALTHUKAL…….


A little about Pongal….

Pongal is one of the most important popular Hindu festivals of the year. It is a festival of thanksgiving to nature after the harvesting of rice and other cereals, sugar-cane, and turmeric. It’s the Tamils Harvest Festival.

Pongal follows the solar calendar and is celebrated on the fourteenth of January every year. Pongal has astronomical significance: it marks the beginning of Uttarayana, the Sun’s movement northward for a six month period. In Hinduism, Uttarayana is considered auspicious, as opposed to Dakshinaayana, or the southern movement of the sun. All important events are scheduled during this period.

Thai Pongal is an occasion for family re-unions and get-together. Old enmities, personal animosities and rivalries are suppose to be forgotten. Estrangements are healed and reconciliation effected. But this does not seem to be the case in this today’s world. Sad, but this is the reality.

Indeed, Thai Pongal is a festival of freedom, peace, unity and compassion. Thus, love and peace are the central theme of Thai Pongal. But is it?


I received this email from my friend Luis Morago of Avaaz.org (avaaz@avaaz.org)

According to Luis, a modern day bloodbath is unfolding in Sri Lanka and the key to stopping this humanitarian disaster lies with Sri Lanka’s largest donor and closest partner in the region — Japan. Luis wants us to do our small part by sending a powerful message to the Japanese Foreign Minister asking for pressure to stop the killing.

Please read on….

Dear friends,

A modern day bloodbath is unfolding on the small island of Sri Lanka, where a thousand civilians were reported killed over the weekend and tens of thousands of innocent people are literally at risk of being killed this week, as government and rebel forces battle it out over the last small patch of rebel held territory.

Now that the US has begun to increase its pressure, the solution to stopping this humanitarian disaster lies with Sri Lanka’s key donor and closest partner in the region — Japan.

It has powerful political and economic influence over the Sri Lankan government and a swing vote at the UN Security Council, which up until now has turned a blind eye to this mounting catastrophe.

Click here to send a message to the Japanese Foreign Minister, who is deciding his government’s next steps.Japan cares about its international reputation and a flood of messages from abroad would encourage them to act. If Japan moves then the Sri Lankan government will be forced to immediately respond to protect civilians:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/stop_the_bloodbath

As last weekend´s carnage testifies, every minute counts for the estimated 50,000 civilians still trapped inside the shrinking conflict zone and for those 200,000 more who are barely surviving in overcrowded camps. The International Committee of the Red Cross, which rarely makes public comment, called this conflict between the Sri Lankan government and the Tamil rebels, ‘nothing short of catastrophic’.

Until now, the divided UN Security Council has abdicated their responsibility to protect Sri Lankans from war crimes and other atrocities. But in this conflict Japan cannot be ignored – it’s powerful voice could tip the balance and influence the conflict dynamics, saving lives in the short-term and promoting peace and development in the long run.

Asia’s longest-running civil war is entering its final stage – the only question is how many will die before it ends. Let´s send a powerful message urging Foreign Minister Nakasone to act responsibly and lead international efforts to push the Tamil rebels to release the remaining civilians, stop the government bombing and bring sustainable peace to Sri Lanka.Japan’s political and economic weight means that they cannot be ignored:

http: //www.avaaz.org/en/stop_the_bloodbath

As other donor nations increase the pressure behind the scenes this week, a truly global citizens’ outcry can further turn the heat on the Japanese government to use its leverage and push for a robust and concerted international action that stops the bloodshed and protect the Sri Lankan civilian population at risk.

Thank you for sending your message today.

With hope

Luis and the rest of the Avaaz Team

Doctor reports hundreds of bodies being brought to hospital as UN says feared bloodbath has become reality – 11 May 2009 –

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/may/11/sri-lanka-civilian-deaths

Four leading international organisations call on Japan to play a more active role in confronting the unfolding catastrophe in Sri Lanka. Press release:

http://www.crisisgroup.org/home/index.cfm?id=6097&l=1&m=1

Full text of the letter at:

http://www.crisisgroup.org/home/index.cfm?id=6096&l=1&m=1

The US accuses Sri Lanka of causing “untold suffering” among civilians, and calls on rebels to release civilians stuck in the conflict zone:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/23/world/asia/23lanka.html

For information about the UN Security Council discussions on Sri Lanka:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article5817983.ece