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LTTE's constant betrayal of Tamil hopes

BETRAYAL: There is an array of anti-Tamil acts from harassment up to genocide, which the LTTE accuses the Government of, in its attempts to muddy the waters for the Sri Lankan Government when they do sit down to talks again, in pursuance of the Geneva agreement of March 2006.

All this is meant to take the focus of international opinion away from the shocking and bloody violations of the Ceasefire Agreement by the LTTE, confirmed by the SLMM, which poses the threat of sanctions of a serious nature against it by the Co-Chairs and others of the international community, as they continue to balk at what the world thinks of them.

This is an attempt to prove as right the wrong image of Mahinda Rajapaksa as 'hawk', 'hardliner' or 'warmonger' portrayed many of the pro-LTTE softies in wire services and the UNP, him prior to his election as President in November last year.

Readers are aware of the 67 plus serious violations of the CFA by the LTTE since Geneva One. They also know of the many casualties among the Security Forces and civilians caused by these deliberate and unprovoked violations of the CFA.

With all these provocations and attempts to skirt the next round of Geneva talks, the LTTE has shown the world that President Mahinda Rajapaksa is an exceptional embodiment of patience and restraint, and a person with a true commitment to peace.

What surprises one looking at the LTTE's current activities objectively is its exceedingly hollow claim that it defends the rights and freedom of the Tamil people.

It may take some bloody delight in provoking a reaction to its grenade attack near the Trincomalee vegetable market, but even this satisfaction was limited as the Government acted swiftly to bring the situation under control.

Even with the number of casualties among Security Forces increasing daily through claymore mine attacks by so-called "people", the LTTE failed to provoke violent reprisals anywhere else.

This is proof that its reading of President Rajapaksa's patience and restraint and his refusal to be drawn by the bait of LTTE provoked violence, has gone down well among the people too.

Especially those "radicals and extremists" among the Sinhalese, who the LTTE and its own brand of peace-activists, would have hoped may have used the occasion to take revenge on Tamil civilians in their midst. The LTTE will obviously have to be without such delights on its menu of bloody feasting.

The Hoole factor

My purpose is to expose the treachery of the Tamils themselves, at a time when the LTTE is making such loud noises about alleged attacks on the Tamils and their livelihoods and rights by the Government.

The latest contemptible example of this betrayal of the Tamils by the LTTE is the situation with regard to Prof. Ratnajeevan Hoole, the new Vice-Chancellor of the Jaffna University.

Mushroom organizations of students and other Jaffna "people" have issued the direst threats of Prof. Hoole, if he dares enter the Jaffna University as Vice Chancellor, to which office he has been duly appointed.

Threats have also been made to some of members of the Jaffna University Senate who voted for his name to be among others recommended to President Rajapaksa for this office.

Prof. Ratnajeevan Hoole's life is now under threat. He has been warned of suffering the same fate as Rajini Thiranagama, the daring lecturer in the Anatomy Department of the Jaffna University who expressed her criticism of the LTTE's politics of terror nearly two decades ago.

Many are those critical of the LTTE who have suffered the same fate. I do not want Prof. Hoole, a man of so much learning and a total commitment to the cause of the Tamil people - much more than those who use the children of others as child soldiers and send their own children abroad for study, and still claim to be a Sun God or some minor bloody deity - to suffer the same fate.

The "Christian crime"

Apart from his not being pro-LTTE in his thinking, the main reason for the opposition to his appointment, and that his appointment is not agreeable to the LTTE, one other charge levelled against him his that he is a Christian and therefore an opponent of Hindus.

In its desperation to keep Prof. Hoole out of the Jaffna University, the LTTE and its stooges have now even begun to use religion against him. Was the late Joseph Pararajasingham a Hindu, when he was a proxy in Parliament for the LTTE via the TNA ?

We understand that there are no limits of degradation that the LTTE can go to, to achieve what it considers its objective.

Therefore, if it is helpful to use Prof. Hoole's Christian faith against him, alleging that he is therefore anti-Hindu, that is all part of the LTTE's betrayal of the Tamil people and their right to freedom of religion and worship.

However, I am indeed surprised that those who ran full-page advertisements with strident, provocative headlines screaming "Christians Awake!" during the Presidential election campaign, with regard to the support for Mahinda Rajapaksa from those they described as "radicals" and "extremists" among the Sinhalese, are now so silent and subdued, when an acknowledged terrorist organisation threatens a learned man with his life because he is a Christian. Where are these rich crusaders and their foundations today?

Apart from behind the scenes moves to arrange meetings between Prof. Hoole and the LTTE leadership, the Catholic and other Christian Bishops and other church leaders should be far more open in their criticism of this threat to Prof. Hoole, not only because he is accused of being a Christian, but because it threatens his freedom of thought and worship, and that of the Tamil people.

Betrayal by silence

Tamils do give top priority to the education of their children. Most Tamils who comprise the Tamil Diaspora and those now living in peace in the "South" of Sri Lanka have mainly left their homes in the North to escape the war pursued so relentlessly by the LTTE.

I find no excuse for the silence of the Tamil parents living in the safety of the "South", as well as for those in the Tamil Diaspora, not protesting loud and clear at what the LTTE is doing to prevent the helpless children of Tamil parents still trapped in the North from getting a proper tertiary education at the University of Jaffna.

If the LTTE does stand for the Tamils then it must allow the education of Tamil students to go on unimpeded by its campaign of terror.

The many and varied threats to Prof. Hoole and other members of his family, because of his courageous decision to accept the office of Vice Chancellor of the University of Jaffna, has now attracted the attention of Amnesty International.

One would hope that even if the Christian leaders, whether Tamil or not, and other leading members of civil society in Sri Lanka prefer to remain silent on this great betrayal of the Tamils and their right to freedom and education; the threat to Prof. Hoole will prompt more international organizations to go beyond candlelight vigils in support of the genuine rights of Tamils that are under constant betrayal by the LTTE, and organizations of civil society who keep asking for a political will to achieve peace.

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