Teaching Tamil Tigers Medicine
While Learning Their Propaganda War!
Australian Medical Journal,
The recent article in the AMJ titled Teaching Tamil Tigers
MJA 2007; 187 (11/12): 703-705 by John S Whitehall is completely misleading
and has all the hallmarks of LTTE propaganda. In fact the writer John
Whitehall himself admits that the LTTE (Tamil Tigers) had requested
him to provide maximum publicity and nothing else! If they genuinely
need medical support their request would have been quite different.
Johns article is highly misleading to an unassuming reader. In
wide contrast to what the article tries to purport, there are dozens
of hospitals functioning without any problem in the LTTE controlled
North of Sri Lanka including the Killinochchi Hospital and Mullaitivu
Hospital that are massive hospitals in size. Salaries of hospital staff,
free medicines, free consumables, free meals, capital expenditure, maintenance,
etc. are all provided by the government of Sri Lanka free of charge.
Free immunisation programs are also launched by the government with
immense hardships. The polio eradication programme that was a success
story elsewhere in the country faced stiff resistance from the LTTE
when implemented in Vanni. It is no secret that the LTTE has heavily
used polio victims as suicide bombers including the 2007 November suicide
attack and the 1994 October suicide attack carried out by polio affected
women. The government also provide freely, vital vitamins, regular check-ups,
free nutritional meals and all other necessities to pregnant mothers
in Vanni. However, the LTTE uses them as suicide bombers exploiting
the wide respect Sri Lankan society has for pregnant females of any
race and species. The 2006 April suicide attack on the Army Commander
was carried out by a pregnant woman. Had she not been pregnant she would
never have had the opportunity to pass through so many barricades! Those
who want John to publicize cooked stories never had any sympathy for
the poor Tamil mother and her unborn child; all in the name of liberation.
An additional allowance provided by the government of Sri Lanka for
all medical practitioners serving in the North and the East also boosts
the medical facilities in LTTE controlled areas. There is no country
in the whole wide world that provides free medication to its enemies
as much as Sri Lanka does. May be this is an excessive effort, and,
faced with severe ungratefulness on the part of the tigers, this generous
policy may be in need of a revision.
The Sri Lankan health system is highly infested with trade unionism
and at least 30 days a year are lost due to strikes that affect all
hospitals except those in the North-East where trade unions are banned
by the dictatorial LTTE! All Sri Lankan government hospitals lack many
things including medicines, etc. due to lack of funds but provide a
reasonable service to the public and there has never been any complain
that the hospitals in LTTE controlled areas were any different. Even
insulin vials required by the LTTE leader Parabakaran is supplied free-of-charge
by the government every month knowing too well that there arent
many diabetic cases in poverty stricken Vanni (LTTE controlled area)!
Contrast this with how the western media reported on Osama Bin Ladens
death due to a stomach problem early this year instead of rushing medications!
On top of this every week the government sends free food and other necessities
for 350,000 civilians in Vanni out of taxpayers money. As a matter
of practice the LTTE robs all of this and first uses it for their cadres
and the remainder is distributed based on a preferential system that
favours families of fallen LTTE cadres. Rice and other crops are grown
in Vanni amidst severe LTTE threats by unfortunate dwellers whose fertiliser
needs are also supplied free of charge by the government of Sri Lanka.
Foreign aid groups including Doctors Without Borders (MSF), the Red
Cross (ICRC) and a host of others are allowed to function in Vanni despite
the fact that they have been highly sympathetic towards the tigers in
their acts of terror. On the other hand, had these organisations not
supported the tigers, they simply would not be allowed by these ruthless
terrorists to function in their area. A compelling true story about
a university lecturer was turned to a film named No More Tears
Sister by an international filmmaker is a case in point. The lady
university lecturer Dr Rajini Thiranagama who was once
a terrorist herself along with her sister later defected. They argued
that the LTTE has no regard for the human race. She was heavily involved
in safeguarding the university education in the North which is once
again provided free-of-charge by the government of Sri Lanka. She was
appointed vice chancellor and head of the science faculty. She treated
civilians who were shut out from medication by the LTTE and by the Indian
Peace Keeping Force (IPKF). The IPKF (though forced to leave Sri Lanka
in 1990) still sends shockwaves among Jaffna citizenry due to their
conduct involving mass rape, gang rape and other sexual offences committed
on the Tamil people. The LTTE found this in favour as rape victims were
easily brainwashed to become suicide bombers. Sensing the danger Rajini
started a rehabilitation campaign for those women and as a result, the
LTTE gunned her down. She and her work were indeed silenced contrary
to the widespread belief that violence cannot silence good work. It
is also relevant to note that the Sri Lanka security forces have conducted
themselves exceptionally decent; the number of sexual offenses committed
or alleged by the Sri Lankan troopers is insignificant for the past
24 years war. It is also a fact that the LTTE comprises mostly of women
and children! This is a very rare achievement by the Lankan forces in
a world where conflicts necessarily involves large scale sexual assaults
may it Abu Graib, Guantanamo Bay or Serbia/Bosnia.
The situation in Vanni is appalling owing to LTTE terror acts. Civilians
are banned from seeking medical treatment in hospitals at times of large
LTTE casualties. Even foreign medical practitioners are not allowed
to treat civilians during these periods. Tigers enjoy full facilities
of government hospitals while civilians are forced to put up with sub-standard
tiger medical teams comprising seasoned killers! If tigers are studying
radiation biology, make no mistake, they are after radiation
emitting Dirty Bombs to kill people!
Photos published in the AMJ report showed tiger terrorists in their
uniform. Only LTTE fighters who are seasoned killers are allowed to
don the striped tiger camouflage uniform. The others are
sent to the battlefield in civilian clothes in barefoot.
The injured in one photo is not a civilian as he is wearing a fighters
trouser and belt!
The LTTE sea-tiger wing leader colonel Susai leaving the Killinochchi
Ponnambalam Hospital after adequate medical treatments on a government
funded wheelchair while civilians are shut out from hospitals by the
The LTTE declares that they are fighting for the liberation of Tamils
in Sri Lanka in the same vein as the Al Qaeda is fighting for the liberation
of Muslims. However, most Tamils have left tiger areas with millions
living abroad. Even Tamil medical interns from the North-East refused
to serve in the North-East which created a major rift with the Health
Minister resulting in the interns filing a Fundamental Rights petition
in the Supreme Court. Their dislike to go back to tigers is so intense.
Tigers hate for schools and universities is not strange; most
of their cadres are abducted children from schools in broad daylight!
In 1997 a group of pro-LTTE university students killed a fellow student
in Kandy (outside the North-East) solely because the victims father
was a member of a Tamil democratic political party. The country lost
a budding engineer and I lost a good friend.
Meanwhile the tiger leaders children were educated free of charge
by the government and presently they are studying in Ireland. Many more
children of LTTE leaders live and study abroad utilising more than USD
300 million extorted by LTTE charities annually. Why cant these
liberators finance the education and medication of their
subjects for a start instead of amassing billions of dollars in foreign
The Sri Lankan government is faced with the worlds most ruthless
terrorist organisation with the highest number of suicide bombers, the
largest arsenal of mortars, the only terrorist navy in the world and
the only terrorist air force in the world. However, experienced troopers
are scoring unprecedented military victories, an endeavour amply supported
by the world community.
Amidst this brutal war all successive governments of Sri Lanka have
always extended unparalleled support to civilians under the LTTE jackboot
and for the LTTE itself. A lopsided and ill-informed campaign against
the government can only backfire. The governments mercy mission
should never be taken as a weakness or a submission to the demands for
an illegitimate Tamil Elam nation. The Tamil Elam Nation
for which the LTTE is fighting for supposedly for 80 million Tamils
the world over will not be a reality in Sri Lanka; those who seek it
are barking up the wrong tree. South Indian state of Tamil Nadu with
70 million Tamils is more appropriate for the Tamil Nation.
Civilians in Northern Sri Lanka must have access to qualified government
doctors, better equipped government hospitals and full benefits of free
healthcare provided by the Sri Lankan government. Shoddy part-time medical
practitioners cum killers, terror camps and inhuman treatment
should be only for LTTE terrorists.
Although all humans including terrorists must have access to medication,
the LTTE must be forced to give up and leave hospitals that belong to