Daily Archives: March 2, 2007
By Walter Jayawardhana
INDIA’S TRIBUNE NEWSPAPER SAYS THE ATTACK ON DIPLOMATS BROUGHT HOME TO THEM THE UTTER DISREGARD FOR LIFE BY THE TAMIL TIGERS
The plea of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam of being in the dark about the mission of the diplomats to Sri Lanka’s Eastern Province and the helicopter that was targeted is hard to believe when considering the sophisticated military and communication equipment besides an intelligence outfit the group posses and the attack brought home to the diplomats the Tamil Tigers’ utter disregard for human life charged the Tribune newspaper of India.
The Chandigarh, Punjab based popular daily in an editorial, entitled ’Diplomats Under Fire’, commenting on the LTTE attack on an entourage of diplomats in an Eastern Sri Lankan town said, it is typical if not outrageously cheeky of the LTTE to blame the government of Sri Lanka for their wanton act of terrorism.
“The human rights situation in Eastern Sri Lanka,” the Tribune said, “….could not have been brought home with greater force, particularly, the LTTE’s utter disregard for human life.”
The following is the full text of the editorial:
“Even by the predatory standards of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), the shelling of a helicopter carrying diplomats in Sri Lanka’s eastern district of Batticaloa is unprecedented. Mercifully, the ambassadors of the United States, Italy and Germany were only slightly injured along with 10 others and other diplomats in the delegation escaped unhurt. It is typical, if not outrageously cheeky, of the LTTE — which opened artillery fire against the helicopter — to blame the Government of Sri Lanka for their wanton act of terrorism by taking the plea that they were not informed of the diplomats’ travel itinerary. The international delegation, cruel as this may sound, needs no further evidence of the LTTE’s terrorism. The human rights situation in eastern Sri Lanka , which the diplomats had set out to see for themselves, could not have been brought home with greater force, particularly the LTTE’s utter disregard for human life.
“The LTTE has sophisticated military and communication equipment, besides an intelligence outfit. Therefore, the plea of being in the dark about the diplomats’ mission and the helicopter that was targeted, is hard to believe. The attack — coming as it does just after the fifth anniversary of the peace accord that has collapsed with the LTTE’s declaration of a return to war — is a grim reminder of the no-holds-barred battle being waged by the Tamil Tigers. It would appear that they will stop at nothing in their military campaign for a separate Tamil Eelam.
“Unlike the United States, which is closer to India’s view of the LTTE as a terrorist organisation, which — despite its protestations about being interested in negotiations — should be allowed no quarter unless it renounces armed war, a section of the European Union and Japan take a surprisingly charitable view of the Tamil Tigers. It is time those who deluded themselves about the Tamil Tigers saw the LTTE for what it really was. At the same time, there should be realisation that the legitimate rights and aspirations of the Sri Lankan Tamils are hardly advanced by the kind of terrorism to which the island as well as its minority are held hostage.”
No # 1 Terrorist group, Ltte (Liberation Tamil Tigers of Eeelam) Committed the greatest war crime in Sri Lanka on Tuesday Feb 27 2007.
Ambassadors of USA, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and number of several other top level foreign and local delegates came under LTTE mortar attack damaging the helicopters and injuring several others of the team including Disaster Management and Human Rights Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe.
Large number of civilians were hurt do to continuous 122mm motor shelling by the terrorists from uncleared areas without any regard to human lives.
This was a clear assassination attempt by LTTE terrorists due to the ban carried out by the respective states of the Foreign Diplomats.
Ltte was well aware of the arrival and had exact coordinates of the civilian landing site. Ltte shelled the area exactly at the time of the VIP’s arrival.
This civilian area has not been subjected to war recently and been free of terrorists. Ltte’s main idea is not to allow these diplomats to carry out humanitarian efforts for the Tamil population in the East of Sri Lanka by holding Tamil/Muslim civilians hostage.
This Terrorist act was condemned by U.N and the rest of the world and should not go un-punished.
The Tamil Tigers have started trying to absolve themselves and allay the fallout. The terrorist group went so far as to blame the Sri Lankan government, through some highly contorted logic, for not warning the rebels that the diplomats were traveling in the area.
Even if this dubious claim were true, it certainly isn’t exculpatory because the Tigers have a history of targeting both high-ranking Sri Lankan officials and foreign diplomats.
Sri Lankan President Ranasinghe Premadasa was assassinated in a 1993 bombing, the foreign minister (himself a Tamil) in 2005 and the deputy general of the peace secretariat in August 2006.
Also in August 2006, Tiger guerrillas tried to kill a Pakistani official in a suicide bombing as his convoy drove through Colombo, Sri Lanka. The Pakistani envoy escaped; seven other persons died.
Most prominent was the assassination of former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Ghandi in 1991, which precipitated India’s crackdown on Tamil Tiger fund raising and operations.