India's hesitation to support the resolution — to be moved by the U.S., France and Norway against Sri Lanka in the U.N. — calling for those guilty of human rights violations against the LTTE to be brought to book, is unfortunate.
Channel 4 has provided enough evidence of the Sri Lankan army's ruthless execution of the surrendered and/or captured LTTE cadre. If India's commitment to an amicable solution to the ethnic conflict is genuine, it cannot hesitate any more.
The images aired by Channel 4 bear testimony to the deliberate barbarism against Tamils in the last phase of the Eelam war. Countries which have nothing to do with Tamils have chosen to move the U.N. motion, which expects the Sri Lankan government to institute a credible mechanism to investigate the allegations of war crimes and bring to book those who indulged in rights violations.
This refers to Anura Samantilleke's letter (March 14). To justify an act of violence as a consequent effect of another is deplorable and inhuman. Should hate be met with hate? The Tamils fought for equality in a peaceful way for more than three decades in independent Sri Lanka, with no sign of even remote justice. Only then did they resort to an armed struggle to achieve their goal.
Thanks to the connivance of the so-called biggest democracy, the freedom struggle of the Tamils came to an ignominious end. The world remained an insensitive onlooker until recently. It is only now that we are hearing a feeble voice in favour of the Tamils. Let us strive to bring a lasting solution to the ethnic issue.
How can we raise our voice against the atrocities committed in other parts of the world, when we hesitate to vote with countries wanting to bring the perpetrators of war crimes in Sri Lanka to book? In fact, India should have moved the resolution.
In his letter to DMK leader M. Karunanidhi, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has clearly outlined his government's policy, emphasising that he favours a way forward on issues related to accountability. He has taken a pragmatic stand. The approach will go a long way in persuading Sri Lanka to show greater sensitivity to the needs of the internally displaced Tamils, while strengthening India's voice in the comity of nations. By backing the U.S.-sponsored resolution, India will deny itself a historic opportunity to play a meaningful role in Sri Lanka.
The Sri Lankan army might have certainly committed excesses during the military operation against the LTTE. The U.S. military did the same in Iraq and Afghanistan. Why is it not the subject of documentaries? All wars and invasions are anti-human. All people have an equal right to live in their country with pride and peace. The Sri Lankan government has a greater responsibility towards the Tamils and is taking steps to resettle them.
When I visited Jaffna in 1982, I saw the bodies of two very young boys tied to lamp-posts with the word “traitor” written alongside. The LTTE was brutal from start to finish. If it was “war,” then the LTTE's “war crimes” too must be accounted for? If it was not a war but an operation to eliminate terrorists, we must understand that collateral damage cannot be avoided in such operations.