The world's deafening silence
Brazenly and cold-bloodedly using civilians as
a human shield in its confrontations with the Security Forces seems to
be increasingly favoured by the LTTE, but the SLMM and the world
community, except for the US, seem to be turning a Nelsonian eye on the
evil. In fact these sections seem to be increasingly tongue-tied in the
face of this brutal tactic by the Tigers.
As reported by us yesterday, civilians in their thousands are being
displaced by LTTE artillery fire, directed at Eastern villages, such as,
Kallar, Serunuwara and Mahindapura. Just a few days back, LTTE big arms
fire directed at Somadevi Vidyalaya in Trincomalee, killed three
civilians and injured scores of schoolchildren and a teacher.
Fortunately, the Security Forces are showing remarkable
self-restraint and discipline in the face of these revolting
provocations. They are certainly taking defensive action of a limited
kind but are not falling for the Tiger ruse of triggering a full-blown
conflict. We hope the Armed Forces would continue in this vein because a
full blown conflict is what the Tigers are hoping for.
Meanwhile, the observer could only be amazed and befuddled by the
stony silence of the SLMM and the world community at the outrageous
human shields strategy of the LTTE. The gravest danger here is that the
Tigers would take this silence as complicity in their heinous conduct.
In fact, the silence may encourage them further in their inhuman
acts. Why are you silent? We are prompted to ask the SLMM and the world
community. Why is the SLMM in particular shying away form its
responsibility of naming and shaming the LTTE for its macabre and
inhuman practice of taking cover behind hapless civilians? Doesn't it
realise that its silence could be misinterpreted by the LTTE as
connivance in its misdeeds?
Even-handed monitoring is what is expected of the SLMM. It cannot be
partisan towards either of the parties to the conflict. In this context,
the axiom, sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander, applies most
This observation applies to the international community in general
too. It too needs to come down heavily on the LTTE for its growing and
increasingly glaring recalcitrance. A failure to use the big stick on
the Tigers would only encourage the latter to persist with their
It needs to be seen that human well-being in general and human rights
in particular are being wantonly abused by the Tigers. Isn't this
obvious to the world community? The West in particular acts as the
watchdog of the global human rights situation. However, gross human
rights abuse by the LTTE seems to be winked at by the West.
The world needs to see that the Lankan State is doing its best to
contain the conflict in this land. An experts committee, acting under
the aegis of the APC, is trying its best to work out a consensual
political solution. The State is going the extra mile to ensure the
well-being of the North-East people. Their everyday needs are met on a
However, the State cannot allow the LTTE to inexorably harm the
national interest. The Security Forces have no choice but to defend the
common interest of the people. Thus the State is beneficially active on
many fronts. It needs to be helped in this task by the world community
which must hold the LTTE accountable.
Media as a partner in national development
It is very important for the media to be a
partner in national missions. They should highlight the positive
aspects and provide solutions to difficult aspects through
To: Yoshitha with love
You remind me of your great grandfather D. M.
Rajapaksa. He was renowned as the lion of the Ruhuna. He was a
challenge to the White Empire. White Government Agents were target
of his kicks at the Hambantota Kachcheri and the Hambantota Rest
House. He was in the forefront of the Ruhunu Vanguard against
repressers of the working class during the colonial era.
Drinking patterns among Sri Lankans
Toddy has been a popular alcoholic drink among
Sri Lankans since the days of Sinhalese kings and has a low alcohol
content and had been quite popular among our ancient warriors.
Oliver Goonetilleke, greatest son of post colonial Sri Lanka
October 20 marks the 114th birth anniversary of
former Governor General of Sri Lanka, Sir Oliver Goonetilleke,
arguably the greatest son of Lanka since the advent of the Europeans
into the country.