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Malin Abeyatunga

Mr. Gordon Brown the UK PM sent his Foreign Minister Mr. David Milliband to Sri Lank with the message to Sri Lanka to call for a ceasefire. French Prime Minister Nicolas Sarkozy sent his FM Dr. Bernard Kouchner with the same mission asking GoSL for a ceasefire. In fact both Milliband & Bernard (Mills & Berns- like Mills & Boon fantasies) visited Sri Lanka expecting to raise the question of Ceasefire with the President and his Ministers. Even before Milliband stepped into Sri Lanka, he had been voicing his opinion from UK that GoSL should call for a cease fire immediately with the intention of giving breathing space for Prabhakaran to escape. Ditto with French FM Dr.Bernard Kouchner. However, after coming to Sri Lanka this is what Mills & Berns said at a press conference after meeting the President Rajapaksa and our FM Rohitha Bogallagama according to print media quote” No one was here to call a ceasefire to save Prabhakaran but we are here to discuss the protection of civilians that was our absolute and paramount interest. The LTTE should stop fighting, UK Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Secretary of State David Miliband told at a press conference at the Foreign Affairs Ministry yesterday. What a great twist of the purpose of their visit by both within 14 hours of their departure from UK.

If UK and France took this stand at the outset condemning LTTEs inhuman act of holding Tamil civilians as hostages and demand that LTTE releases the Tamil civilians in their captivity instead of using them as human shield immediately, I am sure that GoSL would have welcomed them many months back and not once but many times. Mr. Milliband very cunningly says Quote “Our concern was about the civilians, held by the LTTE in the No Fire Zone and other civilians in the IDP camps, Miliband said.Unquote. Let us hope that both Mills & Berns stick to their words and take appropriate action in their own country against the LTTE apologists and activists ( just to remind Bernard that LTTE activist shot dead a French cop a couple of months back) who are marauding the streets in London and Paris and continue to raise funds for LTTE in front of their own eyes. The best that UK and France can do to help Sri Lanka is to adopt the ban of LTTE to its last word and bring the law breakers into justice in their countries.

However, I could not stop laughing when I read that Mills & Berns mentioned that both are in agreement that the French and British Governments have stood with Sri Lanka during the 25 years of conflict and will continue to stand by Sri Lanka in the future. With all due respect for Milliband for twisting the interest and purpose of his visit, we cannot agree with that statement as be they Conservative or Labour Governments they still continue with their double standards one for the Muslims and One for The Tamil Terrorists. Whilst LTTE was a banned terrorist organization in UK, their ideologist late Anton Balasingham was treated like a VIP and not as a terrorist. His wife Adele Balasingham who was once the leader of the women suicide squad continues to live in UK with the generosity and hospitality of the UK governments. Whilst LTTE was a banned organization, UK allowed LTTE fronts to raise funds in schools, churches, allowed to commemorate Mahaveer day to propagate LTTE terrorism and other LTTE events without any objection from the UK politicians but patronage from some of them and without any obstruction from the British Law enforcement authorities for carrying out LTTE activities on UK soil. Millions of pounds were raised on UK soil to fuel the LTTE killing machine. So how can he say that he stood with us during the last 25 years? May be he is referring to mollycoddling the LTTE terrorists. Milliband would have been just an uninterested teen when illegal LTTE activities were happening on UK soil but, Sri Lankan majority has not forgotten the patronage given to LTTE terrorists and its supporters by the UK governments albeit Milliband playing a different tune now.

Same goes with French Politicians too. Paris was the hub of LTTE international activities with their head office in Paris. All funds to procure illegal arms, drug trafficking, human cargo smuggling to and from Paris/London were operated through LTTE’s international head quarters in Paris which was once administered by Lawrence Thilagar. It is alleged that this function has now been handed over to K.Pathamnathan (infamously known as KP) with so many aliases by Prabhakaran and KP is a wanted criminal by Interpol. France allowed LTTE to have their own satellite TVS, Radio Stations and other propaganda activities without any reservations, vigilance or surveillance. This is how the French Governments stood with us for 25 years in this conflict. Sri Lankan majority has not forgotten this either.

The President, his Ministers of GoSL, various organizations both in Sri Lanka and overseas have been telling the western world including UK and France which have a strong LTTE supportive base that over the last four months that LTTE is holding Tamil civilians as hostage and using them as human shield. But none of the countries wanted to listen to the actual situation in the North. Both the western print and electronic media who may be receiving perks from filthily rich LTTE never highlighted LTTE atrocities committed to their own people by forcibly keeping in their captivity. Instead, they continued with barrage of unsubstantiated accusations against the GoSL and its armed forces for human rights violations. There were Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and alike INGOs and NGOs who thrive on trouble spots in the world who fed inaccurate information to the biased media. Until last week neither UN Secretary General nor the western countries with vested interests asked LTTE to release the civilians holding as human shield. Until last week, they did not want to believe that LTTE is holding thousands of Tamil civilians as hostage. After a spell of almost four months, only last week that the UN Secretary General Ban-ki-Moon has woken up from slumber and has requested (not demanded) LTTE to release the Tamil civilians held as hostage which LTTE never heeded to that cry. Even on the eve of Milliband’s departure to Sri Lanka, Gordon Brown was playing the song “Calling GoSL a ceasefire”. The UK politicians Simon Hughes, Kith Vaz and their gang acting like patrons for British Tamil Forum continue to request the GoSL to ceasefire in order to give oxygen to dying LTTE.

However, as Milliband promised, we expect change of heart from Mr. Milliband , Mr. Gordon Brown and Dr. Bernard Kouchner to take necessary action against LTTE activities and activists in their respective countries once they get back home. We all are watching you very closely whether you all are acting as promised.

We also acknowledge with gratitude the donations made by the UK government and the French Government (with a field hospital) to improve the conditions of the IDPs in the welfare centers. I am sure that Mills & Berns would have observed how skillfully the welfare centers are being handled while fighting a war at the same time. Some foreign humanitarian organizations in the west and some western countries expect five star comforts provided to them which is humanly impossible when you are dealing with not hundred but almost 200,000 IDPS.


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