Monday, 13 April 2009

Questions for the Protesting LTTE Supporters

Tens of thousands of Sri Lankan Tamil supporters of the LTTE have been protesting in various western capitals, calling for western governments to force the Sri Lankan government to declare a permanent ceasefire. The protestors claim that the lives of many thousands of civilians trapped in the no-fire zone in the northern Vanni jungle are at risk and that a permanent ceasefire is absolutely vital to save those civilian lives. That such a ceasefire will also enable the LTTE to recover from the recent debacles and regroup, is not mentioned, though it is understood by all.

I have the following questions for the protestors:

Why aren’t the protestors calling on the LTTE to allow the trapped civilians to leave? Isn’t the LTTE much more guilty (than the Sri Lankan government) of putting those civilians at risk by holding on to them and using them as human shields?

It has been confirmed by some of the fleeing civilians that the LTTE has forcibly recruited many of the trapped civilians, including children, and forced them to fight the Sri Lankan army. The LTTE is merely continuing with its long term history of such forcible recruitment. Doesn’t this fact make a bit of difference to the protestors?

How would the protestors feel if their own children were forcibly recruited by the LTTE to fight the Sri Lankan government? After all, didn’t those protestors opt to leave Sri Lanka for the West rather than stay back and join the LTTE?

Are the protestors willing to give any form of assurance to their host (western) governments that if the Sri Lankan government were to agree to a long term ceasefire they will stop sending funds to the LTTE’s coffers?

Are the protestors willing to point out to their host governments the LTTE front men in their midst who carry out extortion, blackmail and other crimes in order to raise money for the LTTE?

And finally, why should those protestors have such a big problem if peace were to return to Sri Lanka? Is it because once the LTTE is wiped out and peace returns to Sri Lanka, the cottage industry of raising funds for the LTTE will also be wiped out and those fund raisers will lose their main source of livelihood? Is it because many of the protestors who are ‘refugees’ in the West may have to return to Sri Lanka?

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