How can GoSL commemorate Victims & their Killers in the name of “Reconciliation”
Sri Lanka’s Cabinet appears to be least bothered about finding solutions to the country’s economy and instead fishing to create new issues. The latest is a proposal to create a memorial to ‘symbolize unity & healing’ and is to include ex-combatants (LTTE) as well. What an insult to the war heroes who sacrificed their life for the nation. Let us not forget, the LTTE fought for a cause, the armed forces fought to defend the nation. The memorial being proposed comes 14 years after the end of terror after 30 years of political failures. Therefore, politicians have no moral right to decide on any unity or healing as many of the deaths are a result of their inaction, delayed actions and wrong actions. What has the Govt done for justice to the victims of LTTE? Why are they, after 14 years, so bothered about “healing” for ex-combatants? 14 years have passed, no ex-combatant has been shunned from society, if any have, it is by their own people who regard them as failures to their cause. Therefore, the Government & Cabinet must not make a mockery of the war victory & insult the dead victims by putting all into one basket memorial. This proposal must be rejected & opposed by all. How can a govt want to put a memorial to commemorate the victims & their butchers?
The bogey ‘reconciliation’ ‘trust & reconciliation’ cards are nothing but avenues for a handful to make money by allocating funds & giving themselves appointments to do sweet nothing. This is the story of all TRCs, Reconciliation programs held globally.
The Armed Forces has done far more than these bogus Commission – they saved 294,000 Tamils from being held hostage sacrificing 6621 soldier lives. GoSL should not demean this.
It was suggested many times to create a LTTE War Crimes memorial for people to know how innocent people were targeted and killed since 1980s. No Government chose to do so. Instead, they are now proposing to put a memorial putting these victims with the terrorists that killed them. Any politician shamelessly proposing so, should not be in any future Parliament.
The bitter lessons from the past to the ordinary surround why the then government failed to nip in the bud a bunch of youths who they knew were moving towards militancy, why the politicians who were promoting separatism & terror were not dealt with by law, why political orders were not given to end the terror, when the forces could have done so, why the morale of the military were broken by lukewarm attention to the arising conflict, why politicians chose to play politics with the lives of innocent people who were subject to terror – as many of us go through past incidents our questions divert to the politicians and their role in lengthening the conflict as a result losing so many innocent lives.
On another note, if we are to regard the LTTE as victims (not all but only those that were forcibly recruited & include children, women & men) the questions must be directed to the West, the UN & even India as well as some Tamil rapporteurs who were tasked to save the child soldier but didn’t. If at all, all those who were holding positions throughout from 1980s and did not do anything when they had the power to do so to end the conflict should be held culpable.
We do not need memorials.
People are going on with their lives.
If a Government does not wish to put up memorials to show the world how the victims of LTTE died, there should be no reason for the world to empathize with the LTTE now.
To add to insult, compensation for LTTE families was given first during the 2015 government by opening the Office of Reparations completely disregarding the real victims. This memorial is a continuation of that treachery.
Has the US put memorials for US forces & Al Qaeda?
Will India put a memorial for IPKF alongside the LTTEers who killed them?
Has the EU or UK put memorials for their enemy alongside their armed forces & victims?
The bottom line is that a soldier cannot be compared or put on par with a terrorist.
Parents of a soldier cannot be put on par with parents of a terrorist too.
A wife of a soldier cannot be put on par with a wife of a terrorist too.
But they all have the right to mourn their child. The issue is not the mourning, the issue is how that mourning is being done. Mourning with LTTE flags & emblems is what we object to.
The members of the armed forces are those that defend the nations’ sovereignty – the terrorists are those that attack the nations’ sovereignty. Terrorists take up arms to go against the state. LTTE are defined as Armed Non-State Actors in a conflict defined as Non-International Armed Conflict.
The soldier only defends his terrain – the terrorist is trained to kill & is ordered to violate the rules that govern a state.
No soldier is commanded to kill unarmed civilians – the terrorists are.
The Government is insensitive to the civilian victims to commemorate them in a memorial that is also commemorating those that killed them. Where is the healing?
We don’t need government to enforce healing on people with memorials. Everyone forgets how the parents of Prabakaran were treated by Tamils when they discovered they were his parents. Ultimately, it was the Sri Lankan soldiers who had to take them to safety and looked after them until their deaths. None of todays cardboard heros came forward to accept their bodies. The funeral had to be done by the soldiers courtesy of the state.
The Government should know very well the tamashas held globally to commemorate LTTE dead claiming them to be Tamil civilians. The Canadian Prime Minister even called this “genocide”. The Canadian Government even hold Genocide Weeks & have curriculums to teach about a genocide and while these lies are going on the GoSL are putting a memorial saying all are the same. What kind of a laughing stock Sri Lanka is being made of across the world by these decisions. Why don’t the Govt take legal action against the LTTE in remand or release them if they cannot frame a case against them. Simply keeping them prisoner while putting silly memorials is ridiculous.
The Government is advised not to insult the dead by putting the victims alongside the killers. The Government may think this is healing, it is only smearing the dead and insulting them.
Shenali D Waduge