Those forgotten final days – By N Sathiya Moorthy
By Mahinda Gunasekera Agincourt, Ontario
Honourable Political Party Leaders, Please see the article by the Indian Journalist, N. Sathiya Moorthy published in the Colombo Telegraph where he writes about the final stages of the nilitary action taken by the Sri Lankan authorities to eliminate the internationally designated (including Canada) terrorist group known as the Liberation Tiger of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), after a period of over 33 years of blood letting and killings and war crimes in 2009, which action is being deliberately misrepresented by the political leaders of Canada for none other than to woo the Tamil community resident here for their votes to gain power for short parliamentary terms.
The UN’s resident representative in Sri Lanka estimated a total 7721 deaths without distinguishing between LTTE combatants and Tamil civilians after a process of verification conducted by them which the UN Secretary General’s Panel of Experts headed by Marsuki Darussman, together with Steven Ratner and the pro-LTTE campaigner Yasmin Sooka sitting in New York and not visiting Sri Lanka came up with an unverified number of 40,000 deaths, which report also recommended that the one sided submissions received by the Panel be witheld for a period of 20 years till April 2031. The American Association for the Advancement of Science commissioned by Amnesty and HRW to study the satellite images relating to the latter stages of the conflict were only able to come up with a figure of 1362 graves in the area of the battleground in Mullivaikkal. The Tamilnet website which was a pro-LTTE propaganda organ reported a total of 7398 deaths during the period January 1 to May 19, 2009, which was less than the Sri Lanka government’s census figure of 7,437 deaths during the related period using 15,000 enumerators comprised of teachers and government officials from the Tamil community.
The number of deaths are inflated by the pro-LTTE groups, ranging from 7398 to 140,000 which latter number was contained in Bill 104 presented by LTTE supporter and MPP Vijay Thanigasalam, adopted by the Ontario Provincial Legislature without conducting a fact check, or hearing Objections submitted for review by the Standing Committee as is the normal procedure. It has been established that the LTTE fired on Tamil civilians that attempted to flee their area of control, and even blew up busloads of their disabled cadres. Even the UNSG’s panel reported that the LTTE held the civilian population of around 310,000 as a human shield and would not release them despite two 48 hour ceasefires declared by Sri Lanka, nor would they accede to the request to surrender, as they expected the USA to mount a rescue and take the terror leaders to Eritrea or other African country from where they could continue their terrorist warfare to break up the unitary state of Sri Lanka. They fired their long range weapons on the Sri Lankan armed forces who had ceased the use of such weapons to save lives placing their guns in the midst of the civilians, or near schools/hospitals, so that retaliatory fire would certainly kill the civilian population. The Sri Lanka armed forces succeeded in eliminating the terror leaders and bringing the armed conflict to an end on May 19, 2009, and at the same time rescue the civilians numbering 295,873 held as a human shield to safety, house them in welfare camps, feed and provide them with special training to lead independent lives after demining the area and resettling the rescued civilians including 594 Child Soldiers and 12,000 LTTE fighting cadre that surrendered.
It is indeed a gross violation by Canada’s political leadership to speak of unsubstantiated numbers of civilian deaths without any valid reasons or verification of the facts, purely for political gain to win the support of the large Tamil community resident in Scarborough, Markham and other areas of the GTA. Their actions will only contribute to cause ugly racial rivalry and disharmony within Canada’s ethnic people.