TERRORIST ATTEMPTS TO DISCOURAGE
INTERNATIONAL ASSISTANCE ARE BASE,
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
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
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.