Sri Lanka, India and USA

But Should Not Sri Lanka Army Have Been More Circumspect To Avoid Deaths?

Different Yardsticks Should Not Be Used

UNHRC Resolution

USA is going to bring a resolution before the Human Rights Council of UN against Sri Lanka. What are the responsibilities of Sri Lanka? What should India do? There are varied opinions on these controversial topics. I have expressed my opinion in this article. I am an Indian and I support the welfare of Sri Lanka Tamils. But I am opposed to terrorism in any form and all terrorists including LTTE. Keeping these facts in mind, you can read and judge my article.

Many People Urge India to Support the Resolution

There is an impression that the resolution brought by USA before the UNHRC seriously condemns Sri Lanka and presses for an international enquiry against the Sri Lanka army for committing war crimes. But in reality, the resolution by USA does not press for all these things. Do you remember that Sri Lanka appointed a commission of enquiry a la the Truth Commission appointed by South Africa? The US resolution urges Sri Lanka government to implement the recommendations of this committee and presses for smooth resolve of the problems of the Sri Lanka Tamils. I do not understand how the LTTE supporters view this resolution as a serious one.

Should An International Committee Be Appointed To Go Into The War Crimes?

The US resolution does not talk about war crimes. It talks about violations of human rights. US does not even insist that these violations should be probed by UNHRC or any other international committee. The resolution urges Sri Lanka government to probe into these violations and take suitable action. The Reconciliation Commission appointed by Sri Lanka government has come out with certain recommendations. The US resolution urges UNHRC to assist Sri Lanka government in implementing these recommendations. What if Sri Lanka government does not implement them? Nothing can be done about it.

One Rule for Israel, another Rule for Sri Lanka

In fact even the human rights organizations in Sri Lanka have stated that there is nothing serious in the US resolution. But the human rights organizations in India and particularly in Tamil Nadu state think that there is something really serious in US resolution. People in India and Tamil Nadu are being fooled by these organizations. The same UNHRC brought a resolution against Israel some time back on similar lines. The same USA condemned the resolution. USA asked why Israel should be singled out when human rights violations take place all over the world. USA also stated that UNHRC has no rights to single out a country on human rights violations. But the same USA is not bringing a resolution singling out a country Sri Lanka. This is a double talk on the part of USA. USA adopts one policy for Israel and another policy for Sri Lanka. Informed sources from USA say that USA has brought this resolution against Sri Lanka deliberately in order to prove that not only Israel but many other countries indulge in human rights violations. India should note this point and better not support this one-sided resolution.

Then How Can Those Indulging In War Crimes Be Punished?

Actually there was no war that took place in Sri Lanka. It was an action taken by the Sri Lanka government and army against terrorists. This was not a war. India is also taking action against the naxalites (Maoists). Can one describe this as a war? Indian army is taking action against the religious fundamentalists in Kashmir. Is this a war? One should not conclude that wherever military is used, a war is taking place. In Punjab, Indian government used the army to flush out the Khalistani terrorists headed by Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale from the Golden Temple in Amritsar. Was it a war? There was no war in Sri Lanka. Without a war, war crimes would not have taken place.

Even If It Was Not A War, Is It Not True That Many Civilians Were Killed?

Terrorists (read LTTE) used civilians as a shield while fighting Sri Lanka army. Terrorists were hiding in the midst of the civilians. Even boys were used as shields. What should the Sri Lanka government have done under these circumstances? One option was to abandon the fight against the terrorists as that would have killed thousands of civilians. The second option was to continue the war and kill all the terrorists including the LTTE leader Prabakaran and his lieutenants like Pottu Amman. Sri Lanka government opted for the second way. It was unfortunate that thousands of civilians were killed in the war. But the end was a good one as LTTE and its leaders were finished off. Civilian causalities were unavoidable and Sri Lanka government cannot be blamed for it.

But Should Not Sri Lanka Army Have Been More Circumspect To Avoid Deaths?

There were two sides that fought against each other. One was the government of Sri Lanka and the other was LTTE, the terrorist organization. There were no rules and regulations for the LTTE in the fight. They could do anything and get away with it. No human rights organization could condemn their action. They could even enter a hospital and fire from there. They could use civilians as a shield. They could kill innocent people without any trial. They could force boys to fight on their behalf. They could demand money from anybody. They could plant land mines. They could use human bombs for killing their opponents. Human organizations shut their eyes and will not question the terrorists as otherwise they themselves will be the target of the terrorists.

UNHRC Sponsors May Be LTTE Sympathisers

But Sri Lanka government was expected to follow international law, human rights rules and war time regulations. Is it not one-sided rule in an equal game? Why is the UNHRC not bringing a resolution condemning LTTE activities also? Or is it the fact that the people behind the sponsor of the UNHRC resolution are LTTE supporters or sympathisers?

But LTTE Terrorism Was Due To the Brutal Treatment of Tamils

There is no doubt that LTTE terrorism arose because of the brutality against the Sri Lanka Tamils by the government and army. But one cannot cite this reason and justify the atrocities of the LTTE. In fact the number of Tamils killed by the LTTE is much more than those killed by the Sri Lanka army. LTTE liquidated many Tamil leaders like the TULF leader Amritalingam. Sri Lanka government did not do all these things. LTTE killed the Muslims praying in the mosques. LTTE killed their political opponents. LTTE wanted to be the sole representatives of the Sri Lanka Tamils and hence they killed other popular Tamil leaders. LTTE went one step further and assassinated the former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi on Indian soil. In the initial days, LTTE violence was appreciated, put up with and understood by even India. But later on it became plain clear that LTTE was not really against the Sri Lanka government or the Sinhalese people but against India.

Was LTTE Against India?

Undoubtedly they were against India. LTTE abused and criticised the Indian Peace Keeping Troops (IPKF). LTTE scuttled Rajiv-Jayawardene pact. LTTE assassinated the former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in South India in 1991. More than the Sri Lanka government, LTTE was against India. LTTE was not accepted as their representatives by the Tamils living in Eastern Province and by Indian Tamils living in South and working in tea gardens around Colombo. Only the Jaffna Tamils accept LTTE as their representatives. Many of the Sri Lanka Tamils view LTTE as a terrorist organization and do not have any respect for it. It has been proved beyond any doubt that terrorism cannot solve people’s problems but will only compound their woes.

No Justification for Terrorism Anywhere

If we justify LTTE terrorism on the grounds of brutality against the Tamils by the Sri Lanka army, then terrorism in Kashmir may also be justified (Pakistan is already justifying it). One may argue that there is no denial of any rights for the Kashmir people. But will the terrorists and political parties there accept it? Will we justify terrorism there on the same pretext as we justify LTTE terrorism in Sri Lanka? While condemning use of the army and brutal force on the part of Sri Lanka to control the LTTE terrorists, are we condemning Indian army’s usage of force to control terrorism in Kashmir? Why double standards are followed? There are complaints of human rights violations in Kashmir by the Indian army and police forces. If the matter is taken to UNHRC by Pakistan, will the Indian government support it? There are no answers to these controversial questions.

Different Yardsticks Should Not Be Used

India should not use different yardsticks for Kashmir and Sri Lanka. If the same USA brings a resolution before UNHRC condemning human rights violations in Kashmir, will the Indian government welcome it with folded hands? There is no terrorist organization in the world (including Islamic fundamentalists and Talibans) that possessed huge resources of weapons and money like LTTE. They had submarines, war planes and rocket launchers. They were on verge of acquiring nuclear weapons from North Korea. No other terrorist organization had this much bountiful of resources. In fact compared to LTTE, Sri Lanka government had meagre resources to contain it. That was why it could not contain LTTE for more than three decades. Even in 2009, it could finish off LTTE only with Chinese army. We should applaud Sri Lanka government for achieving this great feat even though it came because of Chinese help. China also deserves to be congratulated for helping Sri Lanka army even though it is because of Chinese designs to stage its troops on the southern tip of its bitter enemy India.

Red Cross Refused To Help

When the army and LTTE were fighting in 2009, LTTE used civilians as a shield. Some of these civilians tried to escape but were shot dead by LTTE. Nobody raised any furore about these merciless LTTE killings. Sri Lanka government complained to the International Red Cross about usage of civilians by the LTTE as shields. Sri Lanka government urged the Red Cross to prevent LTTE using civilians as shield. But the Red Cross refused to help Sri Lanka government.

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Worried Warrior profile image

Worried Warrior 3 years ago from Former War Front

One Rule for Israel, another Rule for Sri Lanka.

Very correct.

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