Sunday, March 29, 2009

Ex LTTE members speaks out

One of my friends sent me this interview of an ex LTTE member named Ragavan, who was a founding member of the LTTE and gives us a window into the inner workings of LTTE through his experience from the early days of the LTTE. This is a very interesting and unexpected interview, coming from a former LTTE member. Particularly noteworthy is the claim that the introduction of district quotas by the government that allowed students from the underdeveloped villages to enter the university, which the Tamil middle classes did not want to acknowledge as it was against their own interests. Also note worthy are the caste issues within the Tamil community that are raised in the article. To the uninitiated, Dalit is a term used to describe the "Untouchables" of the Indian culture; their only crime being born to the "lowest untouchable" caste.

Here is another interview of an ex LTTE member that now speaks against LTTE as the voice of the Tamils

I salute both these brave souls for condemning and renouncing violence that they themselves engaged in the distant past and for speaking with their heart.  Just hope that they will ultimately realize that all these divisions along the race/religion, etc too are meaningless.  We must all stand as people of one country.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Claims of Discimination in Sri Lanka

Genocide and Discrimination, as told by the supporters of LTTE Terrorists are strange and misleading stories; for one thing they are both inversions of Truth. For another, it is the Sinhalese that have felt the effect of both of these as Sinhalese are a minority in the geographic area. I addressed the issue of Genocide in my Open Letter to Dr. Anna Neistat and want to address the issue of Discrimination here.

Discrimination is a broad term, that is used cheaply by the LTTE to fill in the vague and loose terms it uses to invoke human emotions of anger and sympathy, such as in the claims of Genocide. The best a state can do is to pass laws to prevent discrimination and enforce it, such as the USA and other western countries have done. The government of Sri Lanka too has gone out of the way to ensure that the minorities are given a fair chance. Tamils, Moslems and other minorities living in the government controlled areas live a descent life as any Sinhalese and enjoys the same rights as a Citizen of Sri Lanka; in fact, Sinhalese are a minority in Colombo, the commercial capital of Sri Lanka! Tamils and Moslems together control a large part of the Sri Lankan economy; something no other country in the world can claim. Any one can educate their children in any language they please and there are Sinhalese, Tamil, and Moslem schools that teach in their respective languages. Tamils have always been represented in government and some of these brave statesmen have been assassinated by LTTE for not agreeing with them.

However, you cannot take the human elements out that easily as illustrated by many news items such as this one, which occurred in the civilized USA. I have not forgotten, nor do I condone the riots of 1983 which was an ugly response to the ongoing LTTE terrorist violence to break apart the island. That fateful day, all Tamils were judged as LTTE terrorists regardless of their beliefs or allegiances, and was a shameful generalization that should never have occurred. I am ashamed of this dark period and I sincerely apologies to any one that was hurt during these few ugly days in our history. This event occurred quarter of a century ago, and since then the Sinhalese have shown amazing restraint despite the continued loss of innocent lives through escalating LTTE violence and atrocities.

At the heart of the issue is the fact that the Sri Lankan government chose Sinhala as the official language of Sri Lanka after gaining independence from the British. During the British rule, Tamils enjoyed a disproportionately high number of governmental positions due to the "divide and conquer" policies of the British empire. After having gained independence, the government of Sri Lanka felt that it was necessary to have a proportionate amount of Sinhalese be allowed the opportunity to govern their own country. However, the Tamils felt that it would be unfair discrimination for them. Let me point out that this is the case with ANY country in the world; India has Hindi, Pakistan has Urdu, Malaysia has Malay, Iran has Farsi and so on. However, the Tamils somehow feel that this should not the be the case, claiming they are unfairly discriminated due to these "discriminatory policies of the government." The Sri Lankan government has gone out of the way to help appease the minorities by adopting Tamil and English as official languages of the state in addition to Sinhalese. What other country in the world has done that to appease its minorities? Not even in the United States of America, where Spanish is fast becoming a second language, has it been declared as an official language of the state. On the other end of the spectrum you find the Bumiputra movement of Malaysia, whose constitution gives special rights to the bumiputras. Yet, Sri Lanka, that has bent over backwards to please the minorities by adopting 3 official state languages are accused of discriminatory policies. You only have to look at the violence LTTE has inflicted on their own people to realize that these accusations are based on hidden agendas. If LTTE is truly interested in liberating their people, it should take up on my challenge to better the lives of its people instead of fighting a war to divide a tiny island.

What LTTE supporters attempt is to buy time through sympathy so LTTE can be reinforced while the international community seeks to find a political solution to a problem that has no political solution. LTTE has repeatedly broken off peace talks by committing violence against the innocent during the peace talks, showing their reluctance to any peaceful solutions that has been proposed through out the decades. Any attempt to bring about a political solution has the same effect as it had for the past 3 decades; one of exposing innocent civilians to undue hardships and loss of life as evidenced by "How to Kill Civilians in the Name of “Human Rights”: Lessons from Sri Lanka". It is not possible to keep giving away a pice of this tiny island to every minority group in the country, whenever they take up arms. The only solution is to live in unity and realize that we are people of one country, not separate groups. That is not possible for as long as one group clings on to the idea of a separate country and kills innocent civilians to bring attention of the world. The time has come to end terrorism once and for all in Sri Lanka. Any victory in putting an end to LTTE terrorism is a victory for the whole world, not just Sri Lanka, as LTTE is the inventor of suicide bomber techniques and the teacher of terrorism techniques to Al-Qaeda.

Who is Prabhakaran
LTTE Attrocities
LTTE Facts

Friday, March 13, 2009

War and Peace

A little over half a century ago, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (Mahatma Gandhi) broke free from the shackles of imperialist Great Britain, earning India's independence through peaceful means. Following on the heels of Mahathma Gandhi, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr was instrumental in earning the freedom of African Americans, yet again preaching and practicing non violence. Today, an African American man has become the president of the USA, achieving the highest post in the country, if not, the world; a feat that was unthinkable 50 years ago. Contrast the methods of these great souls with those of the ruthless terrorist organization, Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (LTTE), and you can clearly see the effects of war and peace.

For well over 25 years, LTTE has engaged in ruthless terrorist acts to break apart a peaceful country to claim it for their own, costing over 70,000 lives to date. LTTE has also actively and successfully run a propaganda campaign to twist the facts to fit their own agenda, calling themselves freedom fighters. Is there such a thing as freedom fighters when they take the lives of innocent people to make a statement? Here is a CNN video of a suicide bombing that took place on the 10th of March, 2009 in Sri Lanka at an Islamic Mosque. This is one of many atrocities omitted by LTTE in furthering their own agenda through violence.

If LTTE is truly interested in liberating the Tamil people, I offer LTTE a challenge... instead of spending the multi-million dollars collected from the Tamils living in the comforts of the western world on weapons for the destruction of human lives, why not spend it on improving the lives of the impoverished Tamil people in Sri Lanka? You don't need to fight a war to divide a small country in order to achieve social equality, as evidenced by history. Instead, lay down you megalomaniac egos and educate your people so your children can have a future, provide them jobs so they can stand on their own legs, and provide them with shelter so they have a place to call their own. Instead of tending to these needs, you have chosen to fight an unfair war that has hurt your people much worse than any other and has wasted that money on destruction and despair rather than on construction and hope. If LTTE is the voice of the Tamil people, take care of them instead of driving them out of their homes for your selfish greed. If countries that are many magnitudes bigger, with larger populations and bigger problems could overcome problems of social inequality through peaceful means, you too can over come it through peaceful means if your cause is a truthful one.

The simple truth is that you have been robbing the Sinhalese of the only piece of homeland and the only future they have on earth, while portraying to the world that you are the one that is disadvantaged. You have tried violence, propaganda and deception for over a quarter of a century and your defeat is imminent today. Why not lay down your weapons and try the peaceful means at least now? Why not give up the idea of divisions and learning to live in unity with peace and respect for each other?