Saturday, January 31, 2009



In a desperate attempt to secure a pause in the fighting in the Vanni area of Northern Sri Lanka in order to be able to regroup, the LiberationTigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) has been emulating the tactics of human shields or human buffers used by the Hizbollah in the Lebanon in2006 and by the Hamas in Gaza recently to slow down the Israeli military strikes.

2. While refusing to let the civilians in the areas still controlled by it to move to the safe zones proclaimed by the Sri Lankan Governmentunder the pretext that the civilians cannot be forced to move against their will unless there is an internationally-guaranteed ceasefire, it hasactivated the Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora in the West and Australia to demonstrate in large numbers in the streets to highlight the plight ofthe civilians. It has mobilised the support of foreign human rights organisations on this issue. Impressive demonstrations were held by largenumbers of Sri Lankan Tamils in different Western cities on January 31,2009.

3. At the same time, pro-LTTE web sites have been highlighting the protests launched by some political parties and by some sections ofstudents and lawyers in Tamil Nadu against the alleged violations of the human rights of the Sri Lankan Tamils and their calls for Indianintervention in support of the Sri Lankan Tamils. They have been trying to project as if the protest campaign in Tamil Nadu has beengathering momentum.

4. Some of the pro-LTTE web sites in the Tamil language have been carrying inflammatory articles projecting India as the villain forallegedly providing military assistance to Sri Lanka in its counter-terrorism campaign against the LTTE. They indirectly admit that duringthe last two years the LTTE has suffered a series of set-backs and attribute these set-backs to the assistance allegedly given by India tothe Sri Lankan Army.

5. One such article calls upon the members of the Sri Lankan diaspora abroad to hold continuous demonstrations outside Indian diplomaticmissions in protest against India's role in Sri Lanka. The pro-LTTE web sites have been directing their criticism against the Government ofIndia as well as the Congress (I), which is projected as the "Sonia Congress". Some of the criticism is personally directed at Mrs.SoniaGandhi.

6. They have been accusing the Congress (I) of taking vengeance on the Sri Lankan Tamil community for the assassination of Rajiv Gandhiin 1991. (1-2-2009)

(The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For TopicalStudies, Chennai. E-mail: )


M.S. Kiran said...

Very apt. I think Hamas was the "first" to use "civilian shield" against Israeli counter-measures (strikes) - "effectively" used by the recently dead (Gaza-Jan 2009) Hamas leader Dr Nizar al-Rayyan (as claimed by a pro-Hamas website).

Padmanaban said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...


1) Why are you mum about the threat by the Sri lankan Defense Minister Gotabaya Rajabaksha to 'chase away' German and Swiss diplomats and media like CNN, Al-Jazeera and BBC for criticizing the govt?

2) Why do you keep silence about the claim by Gotabaya that hospitals outside the 'safe zone' are 'legitimate' bombing targets? Which international law allows targeting of hospitals even if they treat terrorists?

3) Why are you mum about the claim of the ICRC and other neutral observers that dozens of civilians are killed everyday and hundreds wounded by army shelling?

4) Do civilized societies engage in bombing civilians even if they are held hostage by terrorists? Do we do that in India?

5) Is revenge worth its cost? Today lakhs of Tamils like me are disillusioned. We had always believed that unity is India's strength. Now we feel if Tamilnadu had been independent we would have interfered on behalf of our brethren, as we had always done for thousands of years. Remember Raja Raja Chola's conquest of Sri lanka and Rajendra Chola's intervention in Indonesia and Malaysia?

6) If Rajiv's killing is the reason for keeping mum about genocide, why India still has diplomatic relations with Pakistan, let alone not going to war against them? Why does Manmohan Singh send new year wishes to Zardari even after scores of Indians are killed in Mumbai?

7) If there can be an independent Bangladesh, why not an independent Eelam?

8) If you think Prabhakaran is too much dictatorial, do you support the underground democratic movement in Burma?

9) Do you honestly believe that by competing with China in delivering weapons and supporting brutal genocidal regimes in places like Sri lanka you can secure India's national interests?

10) Why is there no concern for Tamil lives when there is too much concern for north Indians in a tiny strategically irrelevant island like Fiji?

11) Do you honestly believe that India's federal democratic fabric can be strengthened by disregarding the sentiments of the people of a politically and economically important state like TN?

vasanthakumar said...

Non-Tamil actors like Pranab Mukherjee(Bengali), Shiv Shankar Menon(Malayali), M.K.Narayanan(Malayali) are deciding Tamils future. Who are they to decide Tamils future. Who are they to say Tamils should live like this. How these people know Tamils sentiment?. Malayali's are number one enemy of Tamils. They always think they are superior than Tamils. Does Man Mohan singh sent a Tamil to Columbo to discuss Tamils issue. Moreover Brahminic dailys like THE HINDU and DINAMALAR are campaigning against LTTE and justifying the killing of Tamils in Sri Lanka.