Oppose the continuing devious involvement of the Indian Government
Press statement released on 28 April 2009 in New Delhi
Amidst the continuous claim of the Sri Lankan government that “The war against LTTE has entered the final stage” what is clear till date is far from the “reality picture” carefully ‘filtered’ and ‘sanitized’ by the former to be produced before the International Community. Notwithstanding the tall claims, the war has reached this “final stage” after the slaughter of almost half the population of Sri Lankan Tamils. Today the so-called ‘no war zones’ are virtual concentration camps where the starving Tamil population is being held within barbed fences under the cross hairs of the military to build international opinion in favour of the murderous campaign of the Sri Lankan Government. These camps are supposedly the ‘human face’ of the Sri Lankan war machine.
There is not a single person who has not lost a family member, not a family that has not been displaced from their homes. In fact they have been displaced several times over. Their homeland came under heavy aerial attack in 2007when Sri Lankan Government unilaterally withdrew ceasefire and started its war ostensibly to annihilate the LTTE. People were forced to leave their homes and take shelters in the various camps. Schools, hospitals and now the so called “no-fire-zones” too are not being spared by the murderous Sri Lankan Government. Some independent reports confirm that the recent phase of war itself has perished around 70000 Tamils. After 2 years the war still continues, violating UN resolutions and committing the worst genocide of our contemporary times.
The recent attack on April 06 of this year on the Tamil people has reached catastrophic proportions. Some independent reports fear that the Sri Lankan army used deadly chemical weapons, poisonous gas and thermo baric bombs—a bomb that uses a fuel-air explosive capable of creating overpressures equal to an atomic bomb in the war zone that can kill thousands of people. This information is to be verified by the international community. But the Sri Lankan Government is not allowing the journalists and independent international agencies to report from the Tamil areas. In this regard the People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) also has come out with a statement expressing their anguish.
The suspected use of chemical weapons and nerve gas and flamethrower weapons reminds one of the days of the Auschwitz where the Nazis butchered countless number of people. The International Conventions have strictly prohibited such use of weapons and poisonous gases resulting in gruesome mass killings of combatants and civilians. It has also been reported that the Sri Lankan army is using cluster bombs which are banned in almost 93 countries. And to escape from indictment on many counts from the international community against the use of prohibited weapons to human rights abuses, the Sri Lankan Government systematically keeps international media and foreign aid workers out of the war scene. According to UN 1948 Genocide Convention, many of these acts clearly constitute as genocide and Sri Lankan state deserves to be termed as a war criminal and brought before the world court, if an investigation by a competent International Team is held and such blatant criminal acts are confirmed.
The day before witnessed the Sri Lankan Government pretending to refrain from using heavy weapons at the present stage of the war. This is a hard lie as the three prong attack of the desperate Sri Lankan forces have utilized all forms of chemical weapons and other lethal ammunition proscribed internationally to claim their much awaited victory.
Our role to stop this heinous war of genocide becomes crucial as India is the back bone of this war and has extended material, intelligence and political support to the chauvinist Sri Lankan state. India’s position on Sri Lanka has always catered to the interests of the Sri Lankan rulers due to the geo-political importance of Sri Lanka in the Indian Ocean. In turn, Sri Lanka had always been ambivalent/ non-committal to the interests of Indian rulers. Hence the Indian rulers for a brief time supported the Tamil militant movement (for their own interests). Later they switched back to their original position after diluting and disarming most of the movements and sending troops to annihilate the only remaining force—the LTTE after the 1987 Indo-Sri Lankan accord. This covert support to Sri Lanka became an open partnership in the period after the death of Rajiv Gandhi.
In this light the statement of Shiv Shankar Menon, “Sri Lanka and India has never been so warm, so close, and so deep,” puts in nut shell the present Indo-Lankan relations. India had provided Sri Lanka with radars, intelligence inputs, arms training and now with its own troops. Worst, doing all this while talking about saving the lives of innocent Tamils in Sri Lanka. India has not only been a partner in killing thousands of Tamils in the north of Sri Lanka but did not even condemn the killings of journalists both Tamil and Sinhalese, illegal detentions and torture, media censorship and the dictatorial rule of the SLFP regime.
In Tamil Nadu, with the parliamentary elections at the anvil, one can see all the political parties trying to outsmart the other in their lip service to stop the war in Sri Lanka. The fact of matter is that none of these parties are really interested in immediate cessation of the killings of the Tamil people. They are more interested in counting on their votes over the dead bodies of the Tamil people in Sri Lanka. It is for anyone to see through this devious politics as any concrete intervention from India can see an immediate end to this genocide of the Tamil people.
In this context the continuous covert and overt support of Indian state to Sri Lankan Government is condemnable and is against the overall peace and stability in the sub-continent which it claims to be committed to. We call upon the democratic and freedom loving people of the subcontinent to raise their voice in protest against the fascist designs of the Sri Lankan government and the overt and covert support of India in this murderous deed.
Only a people who can determine their own sovereign future without being coerced, mistreated, discriminated or oppressed can bring a lasting and just solution to the spectre of war and genocide that is beholding the subcontinent.
Revolutionary Democratic Front (RDF)
Delhi Tamil Students’ Union (DTSU)