The vicious and ferocious Tsunami swallowed the entire coastal belt of our beloved beautiful nation on the peaceful Sunday morning leaving several thousand dead, billions worth properties destroyed, and retarding the country by several decades. It brutally pounded equally on everyone without any sort of ethnic, religious, cast discrimination or age limit.

We never even imagined that the sea we used to admire so much as coastal dwellers by dipping in ourselves and have a swim whenever time permitted could cause such a disaster denying us our dear kith and kin and cherished neighbours.

I myself lost four of my close relatives, a number of distant relatives and several dear neighbours. Almost everyone fortunate to be alive today in the affected areas find it extremely difficult to overcome the shock and the grief caused by the dreadful Tsunami, as memories of the lost ones and the scenes of destruction haunt them every minute that ticks.

The worst affected in this catastrophe are those who depended on the sea for their livelihood, and the poor population who were daily wage earners doing manual labour, who eked out a living by doing odd jobs, who were payment hawkers, and who were working in shops, hotels, restaurants, and those who brought vegetables and fruits for sale in the Sunday Polas (Markets). Those who have survived from this lot will have an extremely difficult life for years to come.

There are hundreds of anecdotes describing instances where people have sacrificed their lives and saved others. The dedication shown by the ordinary masses risking their lives to recover the victims, clear some of the debris, bury the dead, feed and clothe the casualties and offering shelter to the needy epitomize the inbred Sri Lankan characteristics of hospitality to strangers at any time.

Although the danger of dreadful diseases spreading haunts every affected area the sheltering of displaced persons have been taken care of to some extent by accommodating them temporarily in schools, government buildings and private residences. Many of the unidentified victims are being buried in mass graves in all affected areas.

Politicians shunning their party politics have joined together in expressing their grief and making themselves available to help the victims. It is noteworthy that even the rebel Eastern Tamil leader Karuna had this to say on the incident “I express my deepest condolence to all the bereaved families of Sri Lanka…………. I request all our fellow being to help our nation recover from the diasaster”.

However, it makes the Tamils of Sri Lanka, most of them are patriotic and considers themselves as Sri Lankans, to feel ashamed on the adverse propaganda being emitted and high-handed activities being carried out by the terrorist LTTE whose megalamaniac leader Prabhakaran and the political wing leader Tamilchelvan are reported to be missing. Yet the websites of Karuna and EPDP have not confirmed this news. Even the Tsunami victims will rise up from their graves to celebrate if this speculation is true.

The terrorist group has unleashed a vicious propaganda campaign against Sri Lanka stating that aid sent to Sri Lanka are not reaching the areas under the LTTE control (areas under suppression of LTTE). Statement made by the group leader of their own proxy Parliamentarians Mr. R. Sampanthan dispels this claim. He has told BBC that not only the Government of Sri Lanka but even the Sinhala people are rushing with food and other essential supplies to help the Tamil victims of the Tsunami in the North and the East. Richard Mauer of the international NGO “Save the Children” in an interview with BBC (30.12.04) also confirmed that supplies are being routed to Tamil populated areas unhindered.

Even my former colleague Mr. S. Nagarajah writing from Batticaloa to the Asian Tribune has said that “a noteworthy feature of the relief work in Batticaloa is the spontaneous and immediate food assistance provided by Sinhalese residents living in the neighbouring Polonnaruwa district. It is said that Sinhalese traders and community organisations from Polonnaruwa rushed to the district with food assistance on hearing of the disaster to their Tamil neighbours despite fears of the anti-Sinhala LTTE”(Asian Tribune : 30.12.04).

However, the thugs of the headless LTTE are reported to be forcefully looting the aid convoys being dispatched to the North and the East. Reports from Trincomalee state that LTTE thugs forcefully removed eight lorry loads of relief assistance enroute to Trincomalee under the Sirasa Shakti Sahana Yatra, although the organizers had been indiscriminate propagandists of the LTTE.

On top of this incident LTTE thugs have disrupted a high level Ministerial Mission to North under Prime Minister at Velvettiturai and in Jaffna. Earlier the government allocated Rupees 10 million each as immediate relief aid to seven districts in the North and East. The thuggish acts being carried out regardless of all positive efforts to help the affected Sri Lankan Tamils, clearly substantiate that the LTTE (hopefully headless) is making every effort with the vicious motive to prevent foreign aid reaching Sri Lanka.

Even the armed forces, which the LTTE depicts as occupying and oppression forces have taken laudable steps to save the Tamil population from the disaster in many areas. Many survivors have commended them for helping to save their life and belongings. It is reported that troops had recovered huge stocks of gold and other valuables in the Manalkadu areas, after tidal waves buried villagers alive and handed them over to Rev. James Nathan, Pastor, Manalkadu church.

Despite these admirable steps taken to help and assist the Sri Lankan Tamil victims who are unfortunately trapped in the areas where the terrorists subjugate them, the text message purported to have been issued by Prabhakaran (suspected to be missing – normally he issues a voice message in Tamil but this time it has also been issued as a text message) also attempts to espouse division even at this critical hour of our nation.

Confining the address only to Tamil people, the text states that the “homeland” has faced an unprecedented major disaster and is submerged in deep sorrow. It states that in the island of Sri Lanka, (symbolic to “ in the continent of Europe” – interpretation mine) the sea belt coast from Jaffna to Galle and “especially our homeland territories” (emphasis mine) became targets of nature’s fury resulting in massive destruction of life and property. It has exacerbated sufferings of our people ..…and has torn asunder our nation. Continuing it add that my condolences also go to our “Muslim and Sinhala brethren in the southern coastal areas.

What about the Sinhala and Muslim population in the Northern and Eastern areas, who form the majority when combined? The statement had made a futile attempt to depict these areas as a Tamil area, the so-called our homeland territories, and the South as a dwelling area of Sinhala and Muslim population. Since the statement is addressed specifically to the Tamil people, attempts being made by a pro-LTTE Colombo based journal calling itself as a national daily (and politically biased Websites to reproduce the view) to distort the meanings of words Nation and country treating them in its general meaning and portray the statement as a unity call is a gross misinterpretation of both the implied and expressed meaning of the whole statement.



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