Questions for the Office of Missing Persons /Reparations Sri Lanka
A lot of people are coming forward to give their expert opinions on how the war should have been fought. You wonder at times, where were all these people when LTTE were carrying out suicide attacks, assassinations & bombing missions throughout 3 decades. Why could they have not come out with all these templates for conflict resolution & solutions before people were getting killed? Where were they & what role did they play when LTTE were on a killing rampage. Every penny that should have gone to develop Sri Lanka was diverted to fighting terror. Why is LTTE not being held accountable for this?
LTTE evolved into a global network – LTTE comprised not just the leader Prabakaran, his ground force but LTTE had its representatives placed overseas and throughout the country who were handling logistics, propaganda, promotion & communication, financing & illegal & legal activities which generated the funds for them to fight, maintain their cadres, buy over influential people to speak on behalf of them & carry out bogus humanitarian/charity initiatives that would camouflage & cover their true colours. None of the people who were covertly & overtly involved in these activities are being investigated and no one seems to be wanting to hold them to account for their aiding & abetting terror, top on the list is TNA that LTTE created to be its political wing.
Advertising agencies will be funded to come up with fancy slogans & initiatives but how much of these cover the truth
Can the Office of Missing Persons/Office of Reparations tell us
- How can people ever return to their original state when half of the story is kept hidden? When the culpabilities of the culprits are swept under the carpet, when people who openly promoted & spoke on behalf of LTTE terrorists get away without any accountability?
- Who should be paid compensation – certainly not LTTE cadres or their families. How can the Office of Reparations be certain that the people they are recommending for compensation had zero links with the LTTE? Anyone with links to LTTE cannot be privy to state compensation without being charged for their murders
- Rehabilitation of LTTE cadres was done by the previous government under a locally-designed program and many LTTE cadres & child soldiers returned to normal lives & their families & some were even able to complete their studies & start a living. None of these efforts can reduce or dilute the State’s obligation to look after the war heroes who sustained life-long injuries having sacrificed their lives to fight the enemy. People who were literarily hiding under the bed in fear of LTTE have no business to talk like lions after LTTE has been defeated & find fault with how the army ended LTTE. If not for the Armed Forces we would still be living in fear of bombs going off & suicide missions
- The public of Sri Lanka do not require to make any apology to anyone except the war heroes if we have neglected to look after them & for the silence in the manner they are being hurled into prison without charges against them & denied bail & even their salaries. While they are being treated like this the government is more than happy to offer blanket amnesties for the terrorists. How fair is this & no righteous citizen can agree to the manner the government is following double standards. Whatever said and done the national army deserves a special place above an internationally banned terrorist movement that has not been held accountable for its crimes over 30 years.
- If there is to be any Truth Commission at all every name & individual/organization etc that had links to LTTE must be named & shamed with the assurance that legal action would be taken against them for aiding & abetting terror
- LTTE & their families cannot be accepted as victims. Therefore reparations must be given Only to every non-LTTE linked Tamil, non-LTTE linked Sinhalese, non-LTTE liked Muslim, non-LTTE linked Burgher. No civilian who was part of the LTTE civilian brigade can be given compensation, no civilian that took part in hostilities & died can be given compensation & their families are not entitled to compensation either, no LTTE who fought in civilian clothing & died can be given compensation, no LTTE who fought & died can be given compensation, no LTTEr running to foreign shores & in hiding, taking false identity & pretending to be a missing civilian is entitled to compensation either,
- Any Tamil civilian killed by LTTE trying to flee LTTE should realistically be looked after by the LTTE fronts who are having a whale of a time enjoying the LTTE kitty.
- So far no one has been able to give us numbers as to who & how many were actually killed & by whom
- How many did LTTE kill in the last phase
- How many did the Armed Forces kill in the last phase – how many of these were LTTE cadres & how many were real civilians (not involved in any form of LTTE act)
- How many of the close to 300,000 saved by the Armed Forces were LTTE, were civilians who helped LTTE & were real civilians who took no part in LTTE terror acts
- How many people actually died – we know the number of dead in the army during the final phase but the common allegation is that there are 40,000 dead non Army – but no one has produced 40,000 names or details of the dead & th Office of Missing/Reparations have no right to be giving blanket cheques of compensation without ascertaining who is who!
- How many LTTE cadres died fighting in civilian clothing – none of these can be given any compensation.
- How many in LTTE’s civilian brigade died in combat – none of these can be given any compensation too.
- No government can force the tax payer to pay compensation to terrorists.
- No public officials who are paid to do their duty honorably & with integrity can make recommendations WITHOUT giving us a proper breakdown & details of those they claim as civilians. These public officials have no business to give terrorists compensation from public funds.
- No public official can recommend compensation without holding LTTE to book for their crimes in particular when there are calls for tribunals against the national army who were only defending the nation & its citizens.
- No public official can deem their job well done simply by writing blanket cheques & forgiving every LTTE but charging after the armed forces! There cannot be retributive justice to the Armed Forces & Restorative Justice to the LTTE. LTTE were the non-state actors, banned by 32 nations & Sri Lanka who had committed criminal acts over 30 years these have to be taken up first before the allegations targeted at the armed forces. If there are allegations against the armed forces the military must be given these allegations & asked to hold a military trial & if based on reliable evidence & guilt proven beyond doubt is established against any soldier & no action is taken by the Sri Lanka Armed Forces, only then should alternate action be recommended.
Therefore, moving forward the Missing Persons Office/Reparations Office must realize that the victims of the conflict are NOT ONLY TAMILS, NOT ONLY LTTE as is the common notion that we are forced to believe & accept.
Tamils died not by Sri Lanka Armed Forces alone. LTTE killed plenty of Tamils and some of these Tamils were noteable & valuable persons to Sri Lankan society the name of Lakhsman Kadiragamar is one such.
The real victims are the people that the illegal armed groups targeted & killed. Their rights should be looked into first. Their grievances should be addressed first NOT those of the LTTE or their families.
NO story can close without justice being served. Justice must be not only said to be done but be seen to be done as well. Therefore, the real victims must be looked after first. The real victims are NOT the LTTE, Not the LTTE families, Not the families of people linked to LTTE.
What the Office of Missing & Reparations cannot forget is that even foreign intelligence have acknowledged that the LTTE ideology & LTTE international networks are functioning still inspite of LTTE defeat. We know by the manner that the banned LTTE fronts are functioning even inside the UN & among UNHRC officials that money is a strong influencer in the inaction of authorities against them. Over and above this it is the representatives of these fronts that are meeting not only our government representatives by foreign envoys & UN officials but are making the identical demands made by LTTE and endorsed by the Tamil political leadership. In such a scenario it is quit laughable that we are extending the laurel which the demands of the LTTE & the separatist demands of the Tamil leadership continues.
Let us not live in any fairyland & create more problems that cannot be solved. We believe that officials given public roles & paid by the state are paid to protect the interests of the country & the citizens and not the elements trying to divide or separate the country.
Shenali D Waduge