Improving welfare facilities for IDPs:
Govt takes up challenge
The Government of President Mahinda Rajapaksa had series of
challenges from the international community after he decided to wage war
against the LTTE to liberate the entire Tamil civilian population in the
North and East from the clutches of the most ruthless terror outfit in
Those challenges from the international community came in multiple
faces that were more humane and the Government had to take up those
challenges very seriously considering the humane nature of those
At the initial stage the international community came up with the
demand that Government should not go for any type of armed struggle with
the LTTE as thousands of civilians were going to be affected if Security
Forces wage a war. They were seriously concerned about the suffering of
the civilians entrapped in the Vanni and charged that the Government was
depriving the basic needs food, medicine and education for the civilian
Thousands of tents where civilians lived with least
facilities in Puthumattalan before they were liberated by
the Security Forces
But they were not aware that it was Tiger leader Velupillai
Prabhakaran who was depriving all those basic needs to the civilians.
The entire Vanni civilian population was living like frogs in a well,
like the same manner the civilian population in Jaffna peninsula was
living before the launch of operation Riviresa to liberate the Jaffna
peninsula from the LTTE in 1995.
It was Operation Riviresa that brought freedom to the Jaffna
population. If not for that bold step to liberate Jaffna the entire
Jaffna population would have had to live under the jackboot of the LTTE
and suffer without seeing a ray of light in their lives. That was why
when the people in the Vanni were suffering like slaves; the people in
Jaffna had a completely different life style under Government
If Jaffna peninsula too was under the LTTE they too would have lived
in the same darkness as the Vanni people. Although the international
community, especially the international Non Governmental Organizations
kept faith in the LTTE and spent millions and billions of dollars for
the development in the Vanni, the civilian population had not seen a
semblance of development there for the past three decades.
Many foreign nations funded those INGOs to build houses, roads,
schools, hospitals and various other development projects to be
implemented in the Vanni despite channelling those funds for the
Government machineries which were also in operation inside Vanni despite
LTTE controlling the area.
Today, any foreign Government, without any hindrance can observe the
so-called development projects implemented by those INGOs along with the
LTTE, if they really wanted to have a feed back on their funds spent for
the Vanni civilians through those INGOs. They can observe that not a
single infrastructure facility has been implemented in the Vanni
although they had released millions of dollars from their coffers to
fund those development projects.
Thousands of civilians arriving in military controlled area
after they were liberated by the Security Forces. Pictures
by Rukmal Gamage
Instead of observing infrastructure development in the Vanni they can
see the underground bunker facilities, factories to build suicide boats,
suicide jackets, claymore mines, anti personnel mines and factories to
produce mortars and RPGs.
At the same time they can observe the way that the LTTE had developed
their state-of-the-art factories to manufacture submarines and other
underwater devices with the technical know how they obtained from the
foreign nations through those so-called INGOs who had developed their
ventures with the LTTE in the guise of assisting the tsunami affected
people in the Vanni.
They were the infrastructure facilities developed inside the Vanni
using huge amounts of foreign funds channelled to the Vanni through
INGOs to assist the innocent civilians. That was how the funds collected
by small children internationally through various fund raising
activities to assist their friends affected by the tsunami with special
focus on theVanni had finally ended up with the Tiger coffers through
the INGOs, to develop their facilities for their terror campaign.
Therefore, those civilians in the Vanni instead of seeing any
development had to observe the way the Tiger outfit was producing war
material using the technical know how the Governments were providing for
livelihood development programs and ultimately ended up with joining the
LTTE to reach an illusive Tamil Eelam.
That was how the international community led by the strong Tamil
Diaspora pushed the Tamil civilians into that miserable situation and
today they have a responsibility to conduct their own investigations as
to how their funds were utilized by those so-called NGOs and what
happened to the millions of dollars they had channeled to those NGOs.
School children enjoying their right to education at the
Menik Farm relief village (MCNS photo)
Ultimately, it was the Government which came to assist those Tamil
civilians by launching the humanitarian operation to liberate the
When intense battles were going on to liberate the Tamil civilians,
the Government once again came under pressure to stop the war. This time
they highlighted the displacement of civilians and civilian casualties
as the key factors to justify their pressure on the Government to put a
brake on the military thrust against the LTTE.
Fed by the LTTE, they came up with various figures about the civilian
casualties and deaths to justify their arguments and based on those
figures they continued to exert pressure on the Government to stop the
It was under these circumstances and due to the Government concern
about the civilians entrapped in he battle zones, especially after the
fall of Tiger stronghold Kilinochchi, the Government had to demarcate
safe zones for the civilians.
Ultimately, the demarcation of safe zones for the civilians was taken
advantage of by the LTTE to mobilize the entire Vanni population at one
point and continue its recruitment campaign very easily and to create a
human shield around them.
So the Security Forces had to take up that sensitive challenge of
liberating hundreds of thousands of Tamil civilians under the Tiger grip
effectively in two stages completing the world’s biggest hostage rescue
operation in a successful manner.
Even after the Government taking up those challenges effectively
after liberating the entire civilian population and defeating the LTTE,
the international community once again raised an issue alleging the
Government of committing war crimes and being responsible for huge
number of civilian deaths based on the information they received from
Ultimately, it has been proved that they have made those charges
against the Government, based on unverified sources and on their own
assumptions. Even after those false charges have evaporated the
international community is now closely observing this situation as to
how Government is going to take up this challenge.
So far the Government has proved its metals by providing all basic
needs for the displaced civilians at relief villages. The civilians now
feel the difference between living under Tiger grip and the way they are
living in those welfare villages with all the basic facilities whilst
the Sinhala community is extending the hand of friendship to the
The Government has given them all their basic needs freely and
facilitating the education of the displaced children at relief villages.
They have been provided all the facilities that are available to any
village folk in the country as Government has set up schools, hospitals,
pre-schools, co-operative shops, recreational facilities for these
villages whilst providing vocational training for the youth.
If someone is trying to compare the facilities provided to the
civilians with the facilities available for the developed nations that
would be unrealistic. The comparison should be with the way they were
living in the safe zones in Puthumathalan, Vellamullivaikkal and
Karayanmullivaikkal under LTTE.
The civilians can recall the orgy they had undergone in those safe
zones in six feet tents erected in the sandy beaches in the coastal belt
without any basic facilities. The so-called INGOs that operated among
those civilians could not manage the situation.
Those well recognized INGOs and even UN agencies who tried to operate
their own welfare villages with their facilities, after the civilians
were liberated from the clutches of the LTTE ended in failure as they
tried to run those welfare villages according to their own foreign
The Government mechanisms are put in place to provide the basic
needs, shelter, sanitary facilities and other requirements according to
the local environment but not according to the way the international
organizations are fulfilling the requirements of the displaced
Therefore, it is a futile attempt to force these civilians to live in
tents even for a temporary period.
The Government has taken up the challenge of fulfilling the
requirements of the displaced civilians at a high level and is now
heading towards the challenge of the resettling the civilians in the
Mannar, Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu districts while providing them with
all basic infrastructure facilities.
The Government is now implementing its master plan for the
resettlement of the displaced civilians in the North under Uthuru
Vasanthaya program and the international community and the displaced
civilians will get a chance to observe how the Government mechanisms get
activated in providing all basic infrastructure facilities for the
displaced civilians. Whilst, the Government was taking up those
challenges effectively, the entire international community is also
observing the way the LTTE is going to re-organize themselves
internationally as LTTE elements like Selvarasa Pathmanathan alias KP
and Visuanathan Rudrakumaran are attempting to reorganize the Tamil
Diaspora under LTTE again.
It has been proved that the attempts of KP to become the so-called
Tamil leader to launch a political struggle to achieve Tamil Eelam has
no base as he had no room even within the LTTE for the past three years
although he is trying to emerge as the new leader of the Tamil Diaspora.
Records about his connections now reveal that KP had not contacted
Tiger leader Velupillai Prabhakaran or even Sea Tiger leader Soosai over
the phone for the past three years although he was trying to give the
impression that they were in contact with him even at the last moment.
Intelligence reports now indicate that even Political Chief Nadesan
had not contacted him through the satellite phone at the last moment of
their attempt to surrender despite claims by KP that he had tried to
make arrangements for their surrender.
It has been proved that the he had direct access only with very lower
level cadres in the LTTE and the top Tiger leadership had kept him away
from the organization.
Therefore, these facts very clearly indicate that KP was a very
remote person to Tiger leader Velupillai Prabhakaran at the last stages
of the LTTE and the LTTE had never kept faith in him.
KP had proved that he was an ineffective leader who could not even
arrange a mechanism to protect the leadership of the LTTE. Therefore,
chances are very remote for the Tamil Diaspora who heavily funded the
struggle of the LTTE to establish a Tamil Eelam in Sri Lankan soil to
have faith in a leader like KP.
The Tamil Diaspora is very well aware that it was totally an
unrealistic attempt to go after an illusionary Provisional Transnational
Government of Tamil Eelam in exile as proposed by KP and Rudrakumaran as
it has no legal base at all.
The Government of Sri Lanka has already shattered the dream of Tamil
Eelam on Sri Lankan soil with the defeat of the LTTE. Therefore, leaders
like KP have no ground to establish Eelam anywhere in the world. Even
M.K. Karunanidhi, the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu has accepted the fact
that Tamil Eelam is no longer a realistic possibility in Sri Lanka.
If under any circumstances the LTTE makes an attempt to reorganize
and launch another terror campaign, the Sri Lankan Government and the
Security Forces have made it impossible for them to do so by deciding to
further expand the Security Forces, recruiting another 50,000 to all
three Forces very soon.
The establishment of a powerful position of Chief of Defence Staff to
coordinate all three Forces is also aimed at curbing any attempt by any
terror movement to raise its ugly head on Sri Lankan soil. The Act which
was passed in Parliament last week laid a strong foundation for this
So the Government has so far not only faced all the challenges it
came across and laid a strong foundation to face all the other
challenges that may come across in its effort of enshrining the Tamil
community with its true freedom and taking this country towards