How about thanking Sri Lanka’s Armed Forces for saving Tamil children from becoming Child Soldiers!
Bricks are easier to throw than Bouquets. Sri Lanka’s Armed Forces sadly have never got the accolades they deserve. They never will. Being grateful doesn’t fit into the scheme of things. Every time well-funded campaigns nit-pick on what they didn’t do ignoring all that they did. No national army in the world has successfully carried out a military cum humanitarian operation simultaneously. No national army has been able to eliminate the ground force of an internationally proscribed terrorist organization while saving close to 300,000 Tamils & accepting close to 12,000 LTTE combatants all of whom surrendered wearing civilian clothing. Out of these close to 12,000 LTTE combatants were 545 LTTE child soldiers. Sri Lanka’s President considered them victims of LTTE & gave them a presidential pardon, another first. No foreign government has looked at the humanitarian side of the terrorists – even child soldiers. These 545 became the last of batch of Tamil children who were kidnapped & turned into child soldiers by Tamil militants.
None of the so-called Tamil leaders in the political scene today uttered a word against LTTE & its recruitment of child soldiers. Today, the bellow in Parliament, but they did not even donate a bag of rice to the refugee camps following the end of the conflict.
While in the international arena, other than writing fancy reports – what did the UN, its rapporteurs, UN agencies for children & women or the human rights organizations do to stop LTTE child soldier recruitment from 1970s to 2009?
Do their reports reveal how many Tamil children between the ages of 7 to 18 years ended up kidnapped by LTTE?
Do their reports highlight from what homes these kidnapped Tamil children came from?
Do their reports reveal how many got killed since 1970s by LTTE during training or by LTTE while trying to flee training? How many fleeing children did LTTE shoot to death?
Do their reports cover the horrendous training they had to undergo in the thick jungles?
Do their reports cover the deaths of these children, trained to hold a gun & shoot at a national army?
Do their reports reveal how many child soldiers died at the hands of the LTTE while trying to flee during the last phase of the conflict?
Do their reports cover how many Tamil children would have died biting the cyanide capsule & committing suicide?
Have any of these international entities raised the demand for justice against LTTE for these war crimes against children?
It is indeed very sad, that the LTTE diaspora takes pains to demand “accountability” and is promoting a bogus “genocide” but they shy from answering questions related to the kidnapping of Tamil children and turning them into child soldiers or justice which will invariably turn to their accountability for aiding and abetting child soldier recruitment.
The LTTE Diaspora and their supporters in Sri Lanka are also shy to answer the question from what type of homes these children were kidnapped from?
They were kidnapped from LOW CASTE and IMPOVERISHED homes – parents who were too poor to even travel to a police station to complain, parents too scared to say anything against the LTTE, parents too poor to feed their children that they thought joining the LTTE would make their life better.
The ordeal these Tamil low caste & poor children went through is factual & nothing like the made up stories of genocide by LTTE rump overseas.
Why don’t the LTTE diaspora celebrate the LTTE children during these memorials?
They dare not do so because it impacts negatively on them. LTTE will never highlight the child soldier regiments because it is a black mark on them. Notice how LTTE fronts have never covered any child soldier in their wailings about supposed killings by Armed Forces.
LTTE was an armed movement – they cannot expect the Sri Lanka Armed Forces to be firing roses. LTTE was an armed non-state actor in uniform and a clear hierarchy. If LTTE is firing with aim to kill, LTTE must expect the return. However, the scenario LTTE fronts are presenting to the world is that they were an innocent group of people getting shot at by the Sri Lankan Armed Forces. Obviously the world is oblivious to its list of crimes & any international body holding roses for LTTE should seriously look up LTTE’s crimes first.
The majority of Tamil community comprise low caste & poor.
LTTE used their own children to acquire international status as a terrorist outfit. LTTE had armed units comprising of child soldiers.
These children lost their youth, they lost their childhood, they were denied education, freedom of movement & the right to live in a happy environment with their parents.
No one can measure this loss.
When 545 child soldiers surrendered to Sri Lanka’s Armed Forces in May 2009, these 545 child soldiers became the last of the children that LTTE were able to steal from parents & turn into child soldiers.
Tamil children & their parents did not have to fear walking to school or returning home from school to get kidnapped on the way & taken to a thick jungle hide-out where they were training in combat operations, taught how to commit suicide & given a gun to kill. Sri Lanka’s Armed Forces saved the Tamil child and the Sri Lankan Armed Forces deserve more than bouquets for this.
Shenali D Waduge