Maoists join hands with South Asian sister outfits, resolve to fight ‘Indian expansionist hegemony’

[This news report from Indian bourgeois press this week, is referring to a previously-reported meeting or conference held several months ago, in March 2011.  Why do they bring up old news?  Because, they seem to be telling the government, “don’t even consider talks or peace moves with these guys, they’re still Maoists.” — Frontlines ed.]

13 Jul, 2011

Bharti Jain, Economic Times Bureau

NEW DELHI: Even as the West Bengal government explores the option of brokering peace with the Leftwing extremists, the Maoists have resolved to work with their sister outfits in Nepal and other South Asian countries to fight the “Indian expansionist hegemony” and make South Asia a base for the “world proletarian revolution.”

The declaration of the South Asian Maoist outfits – assembled under the umbrella of Coordination Committee of Maoist Parties and Organisations of South Asia (CCOMPOSA) – “to develop ongoing people’s wars, initiate new ones, and accomplish a new democratic revolution in their respective countries” was made in a resolution adopted at their fifth international conference held in March this year, possibly somewhere in Nepal.

Congratulating the Maoist forces in India for “successful withstanding the state’s counter-revolutionary offensive”, the conference noted that “while the initial victories in beating back this war of the people, politically as well as militarily, give better conditions to the revolutionaries, the gravity of the challenges they face remains.” Continue reading

India: Democratic Students’ Union (DSU) on Tamil Eelam after Two Years of the Eelam War IV

Two years after the military assault by Sri Lanka troops, Tamil people continue to be held in massive internment camps.

Two Years after the Eelam War: The Flames of Liberation Continue to Expose the Oppressors and their Apologists!

18 May 2011
Two years back, on 18 May 2009 the Sri Lankan army claimed to have killed Vellupillai Prabhakaran, the leader of LTTE, along with hundreds of his comrades. The next day in the Sri Lankan parliament a jubilant Rajapakse declared victory in the Eelam War IV. This was the day, two years back, when the Eelam Tamils lost their hard-fought freedom at the hands of the fascist and expansionist Sri Lanka. This week the Tamils in Eelam and outside remember the heroic sacrifice of the sons and daughters of Eelam who laid down their lives fighting the armed forces of the chauvinist Sri Lankan ruling classes. Braving threats, intimidation and harassment from the Sri Lankan armed forces and intelligence, the people of Eelam paid homage to those who have fallen in the decades-long struggle for national liberation. They reiterated that it is the people of Tamil Eelam alone who have the mandate to chose their destiny, denouncing and warning against any ‘negotiated settlement’ of the issue which compromises with the historical realities. The people have stated that any secret deal or confidential talk with the Sri Lankan state by those who claim to represent the Eelam Tamils will not be acceptable. The ‘solution’ only lies in the recognition of the historical reality of Tamil Eelam, i.e., its right to exist as a free and independent national state.
The injustice, oppression and discrimination of the Eelam Tamils by the Sinhala chauvinist ruling classes of Sri Lanka has a long history that goes back many centuries. Continue reading

Sri Lanka: When Tamil Tigers surrendered, they were killed

‘Walk to the troops’: SMS sent Tamils to their death

Ben Doherty
May 14, 2011

Beaten and with nowhere left to run, they received the text message just before 9 o’clock on a Sunday morning.

It came, through an intermediary, from the Sri Lankan foreign secretary, apparent instructions for a surrender: ”Just walk across to the troops, slowly! With a white flag and comply with instructions carefully. The soldiers are nervous about suicide bombers.”

At dawn the next day, a group of nearly 20 – Tamil Tiger soldiers and civilians – scrambled from behind their defensive sand embankment, walking under white flags towards the Sri Lankan army’s 58th Division.

Within half an hour their leaders were found, shot dead. None who surrendered are known to have survived.

The man who sent the text message was Dr Palitha Kohona, a dual Sri Lankan-Australian citizen, a former Australian diplomat and trade negotiator for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. He is now an ambassador for Sri Lanka, the country’s permanent representative to the United Nations. Continue reading

Protest against “Literary Festival” in repressive Sri Lanka

Chomsky, Arundhati, lead protest to writers meet in Galle

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 19 January 2011, 23:37 GMT]
“This is not the right time for prominent international writers like you to give legitimacy to the Sri Lankan government’s suppression of free speech by attending a conference that does not in any way push for greater freedom of expression inside that country,” said an appeal made by leading intellectuals, Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka and Reporters without Borders, against writers participating the ‘Fifth Galle Literary Festival’ scheduled to take place in the southern city Galle in the island of Sri Lanka, 26 – 30 January 2011. Noam Chomsky and Arundhati Roy were the leading signatories of the appeal. In the great tradition of solidarity that binds writers together everywhere, the appeal urged them to send a clear message by their actions that until there is a real improvement in the climate for free expression in Sri Lanka, one cannot celebrate writing and the arts in Galle. Continue reading

Photos of Sri Lanka government massacre of Tamils

[After international media picked up on this story, Sri Lanka reversed its ban on visas for al-Jazeera.  See the video below.–Frontlines ed.]

Sri Lanka denies visa to Al Jazeera over disturbing images of war

Nov 12, Colombo: Sri Lanka has denied visas to reporters of Qatar-based Al Jazeera news service who wanted to cover the inauguration ceremony of Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa over the broadcast of disturbing images of alleged war crimes.

The Deutsche Press Agency news report citing an External Affairs Ministry spokesman said a decision had been taken not to issue the visas for at least three staffers of Al Jazeera who wanted to cover the swearing-in on November 19 and also to visit the North.

Al Jazeera on last Wednesday published unverified photographs showing a mound of dead bodies piled up in a trailer and an associated video clip describing that the scene appears to be a mop up operation by the Army.  Al Jazeera said it is not possible to verify the authenticity of the images obtained from Tamil contacts who have reportedly received them from some one in the Sri Lankan military.

The Sri Lankan government has vehemently rejected the photographs saying that remnants of the LTTE and pro-LTTE forces are attempting to revive the vanquished terrorist organization by bringing false allegations of human right violations against the troops.  The government said it has proved that the pictures published by pro-LTTE websites were a fabrication.  “The government on previous occasions has denied these pictures. It is improper to suggest that the military was involved in these killings,” the Ministry spokesman has told the Deutsche Press Agency.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Photos of  S Lanka war massacre (Graphic)

Some viewers may find the footage in the report disturbing Continue reading

Maoist leader in India assesses the situation in South Asia (India, Bhutan, Nepal, Pakistan)

[The following is an excerpt from a recent interview with Ganapathy, the General Secretary of the Communist Party of India (Maoist).  The entire interview can be read and downloaded at: http://www.bannedthought.net/India/CPI-Maoist-Docs/Interviews/Ganapathy-101108-Full-Final.pdfFrontlines ed.]

India: A woman guerilla reading

How do you assess the revolutionary situation in the whole of South Asia? What do you think would be the impact of the recent changes in Nepal on it?

COMRADE GANAPATHY : According to our party’s assessment, the revolutionary situation in the whole of South Asia is excellent. The assessment of the Coordination Committee of Maoist Parties and Organizations of South Asia (CCOMPOSA) is also the same. In all the countries of South Asia the condition is more or less the same. Though the chauvinist Sinhala government may be arrogant that they had completely suppressed the Tamil Eelam movement under LTTE’s leadership, it is impossible for them to permanently suppress the Tamil national aspirations. The conditions for it to raise its head within a short period in another form exist there. The struggle forms and organizational forms may vary. Tamil people have made immense sacrifices and have a long experience of struggle. Freedom-loving Tamil people would never rest. It would be an illusion of the chauvinist Sinhala government if it thinks that it had established permanent social peace by eliminating LTTE.

Severe revolutionary crisis is still continuing in Nepal. The state machinery has become paralyzed. All class forces are intensely clashing with each other. But the unfortunate thing is that, the Maoist party there let go the opportunity to seize political power using this excellent crisis situation. At a time when it should continue the people’s war and seize political power, it wants to come to power through the parliamentary system instead. Our party’s Central Committee wrote an open letter to that party in this matter and had issued statements too. Continue reading

Australia deports asylum seekers, Sri Lanka tortures them

Torturing In Sri Lanka?

By Chandi Sinnathurai

03 September, 2010
Countercurrents.org

It is cited that bad politics, systemic institutional violence and unwritten aggressive policies are some of the causes for Sri Lanka to be constantly exporting a steady output of asylum-seekers to the developed world. The thirty-year conflict has sadly made many Tamils to leave the country including some from the majority community, the Sinhalas.

In the light of President Rajapaksha’s project of rebuilding the country as a peaceable habitation for all communities, the September 3 Australian Amnesty Report is very worrying (See below). Three Sri Lankans from the Sinhala community have sought asylum in Australia but having their application rejected they were promptly returned to their country of origin. On return, as per this report, these three individuals were abused and underwent torture in Sri Lanka. Continue reading

Eezham Tamils on counterinsurgency, development conquistadors and economic integrators

http://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=99&artid=32523#

TamilNet, 01 September 2010

 

Tamil people: from the suppression to the camps

Whether in the diaspora or in the island, observers can clearly perceive that there is an orchestrated effort in recent times to simulate a politics for Tamils, keeping them under constrains rather than allowing them freely to spontaneously voice their aspirations.

On one side the US Asst. Secretary of State outlined in June an agenda to encourage new business development in the north and to ensure power-devolvement to new democratic institutions in the north.

This must have certainly inspired a particular shade of political opinion among Eezham Tamils.

On the other side, India is primarily keen on Indo-Lanka economic integration and harps on the failed 13th Amendment as a solution.

The Centre for Indo-Lanka Studies and the Pathfinder Foundation has recently commissioned researches on various facets of integration. Preceding economic integration India is working on academic integration by proposing batch-by batch training in India to university academics of the island and a Chennai-based media empire is working on media integration. Continue reading

Resolutions from SANSAD Meeting in Vancouver, B.C.

SANSAD is an organization of Secular and Democratic South Asian Diaspora in Greater Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

South Asian Network for Secularism and Democracy held its Annual General Meeting on June 13, 2010 and elected a board with representation from Pakistani, Indian, Bangladeshi, Sri Lankan, and Nepali communities in the Vancouver area of British Columbia.

The meeting adopted a resolution mourning the passing of Hari Sharma, the founding president of SANSAD, who had been the driving force behind the organization, and committing the members to carrying forward the work of promoting democracy, secularism, human rights, social justice, and peace with the inspiration of Hari’s memory.

The following board was elected: Chinmoy Banerjee (president); Harsha Walia (vice president); Nila Somaia (Secretary); Abi Ghimire (Treasurer); Amal Rana, Chelliah Premrajah, Habiba Zaman, Haider Nizamani, Harjap Grewal, Imran Munir, Zahid Makhdoom (members at large); Abid Pittalwala, Col. Shafaat Ali (honorary members).

Following the AGM a public educational forum on “Globalization and Militarism in South Asia” adopted the following resolutions:

1.      Whereas the adivasis (tribal people) of India have been systematically neglected, oppressed and displaced in independent, modernizing India,

And whereas more recent neo-liberal globalization of the Indian economy has intensified this oppression in the interest of multi-national companies keen to extract the mineral resources under their land Continue reading

India and China contending for dominant role in Sri Lanka

India, China seek gains in Colombo

BIG BROTHER: The Indian and Sri Lankan presidents have signed a series of agreements on aid, loans and infrastructure, treading on Beijing toes in the process

THE GUARDIAN , NEW DEHLI
Friday, Jun 11, 2010

India and Sri Lanka signed a series of aid, economic and diplomatic deals on Wednesday, the latest move in an intense struggle between New Delhi and Beijing for influence over the island nation.

The signing took place on the first day of a visit by Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa to New Delhi, his first since winning his presidential election in January and parliamentary poll in April. The deals range from loans for major infrastructure projects to agreements to share electricity and boost cultural exchanges.

Dubbed “the new Great Game,” the battle between China and India for primacy in the Indian Ocean is set to be one of the major themes of the coming decades, analysts say. Sri Lanka’s geographic position is its main draw. Continue reading

India, Sri Lanka to step up defense ties

(Reportedly, a thousand Tamils were jailed or detained in Madras (Chennai) today.  They were demonstrating against Rajapaksa’s visit to India; he was invited  by “the UPA government, [which] faced with the Maoist menace,  hoped to learn from the island nation’s experience in decimating the LTTE.“)   (A note for readers on the uses of language:  Repressive governments throughout the world routinely refer to their war departments as “defensive” and “peace keeping.”)

Singh and Rajapaksa in New Delhi

Telegraph India

New Delhi, June 9: India today promised to train a much larger number of Sri Lankan military personnel at its defence training facilities as part of its increased defence co-operation with Colombo.

After the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) experiment, when Delhi sent military contingents to LTTE-ravaged Lanka between 1987 and 1990, India had largely kept its defence co-operation with the island country on the backburner. After the annihilation of the Tamil Tigers, India now seems more assured of increasing its defence co-operation with Colombo.

At today’s talks between visiting Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the two “leaders agreed to promote dialogue on security and defence issues of relevance to their bilateral relationship and enhance high-level military exchanges and training of military personnel as well as impart additional training in Indian institutions for the newly recruited police personnel”.

The two countries also agreed to start an annual defence dialogue. Rajapaksa will tomorrow fly to Shimla, where the Army Training Command is based. Continue reading

Indian Tamils protest ahead of Sri Lanka leader’s visit

Protesters burn effigy of Sri Lankan President Rajapaksa, who is responsible, they say, for genocide of innocent Tamils in the civil war.

BBC News

8 June 2010

Police in southern India have detained hundreds of Tamil demonstrators ahead of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s three-day visit.

Protesters alleging mistreatment of Sri Lankan Tamils were stopped from marching to the country’s mission in the city of Madras (Chennai).

Mr Rajapaksa is making his first visit to India, a year after Sri Lankan troops defeated Tamil Tiger rebels. India gave Colombo military support and did not question its tactics. But reports say the Indian government wants President Rajapaksa to show that he plans to give Tamils some measure of self-governance.

Tens of millions of ethnic Tamils live in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. They are concerned with how the Sinhalese-dominated Sri Lankan state treats its own Tamil minority, the issue that led to decades of ethnic war. Continue reading

Bollywood Awards: Tamil Protest prevents return to “Business as Usual” in Sri Lanka

Amitabh Bachchan: will reportedly not attend opening ceremony

MEL GUNASEKERA

June 6, 2010 – 8:49AM

Megastar Aamir Khan’s hit movie “3 Idiots” swept the “Bollywood Oscars” in Sri Lanka this weekend, securing 16 out of 27 awards, including best film.

The film — a coming-of-age comedy about three engineering students — was nominated in 12 of the 13 main categories at the Indian International Film Academy (IIFA) awards and won eight of them on Saturday night.

It had already secured another eight of the 14 technical awards announced last month, including best screenplay and best cinematography.

But actor-producer-director Khan, who stars in the film, was not present at Saturday’s glitzy ceremony in the Sri Lankan capital, Colombo, which was overshadowed by protests from minority Tamils.

The influential film industry in India’s southern Tamil Nadu state, which is home to many Tamil refugees, called for a boycott, arguing that staging the event in Colombo endorsed Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse’s government.

Rajapakse is under pressure from the international community to allow a probe into a controversial military strategy that crushed Tamil rebels last year, ending a near four-decade civil war.

The United Nations has said at least 7,000 Tamil civilians were also killed in the final months of fighting last year.

IIFA brand ambassador Amitabh Bachchan, who won the best actor award for his role in “Paa,” was also not present at the awards ceremony. Continue reading

Sri Lanka: 170,000 Tamil Refugees Need Housing

A year after the end of the 30 year war, an estimated 73 thousand families are still living in refugee camps, with no future prospects. Everyone should be given everyone a home to help them resume a normal life. A former rebel leader, now a member of the government, speaks.

By Asia News

Colombo – 170 thousand homes are still needed for refugees of the bloody civil war in Sri Lanka, which lasted more than 30 years. Exactly one year after its end, 19 May 2009, the situation of thousands of people who lost homes and jobs, remains grave.  According to the Red Cross at least 260 thousand homes were damaged in the war.

Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan, Deputy Minister for Rehabilitation and a former top-level leader of the defeated Tamil Tigers, last week said that “about 17 thousand homes are required in the east, the rest are needed in the North”.  170 thousand are needed to house all of the remaining refugees.

According to the deputy minister in the Wanni area alone there were 280 thousand refugees. The government has often replied that the program of resettlement of refugees had to wait for mine clearance in many areas of the north. But he says that 80% of the north has now been cleared of landmines.

73 thousand refugees still live in internally displaced persons camps in the north, often with minimal services and with little or no job opportunities, scraping by on what little is guaranteed by state and charitable groups, but without being able to plan any future. Continue reading

Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal Report on War Crimes in Sri Lanka

Victims of government shelling and aerial bombing of Tamil refugee camps.

The Delhi Tamil Students Union and the Democratic Students Union jointly organized a convention titled “The Unspoken Genocide: War Crimes in Sri Lanka” in Delhi on the 15th of April. Focusing on the Dublin based Permanent People’s Tribunal report that indicted the Sri Lankan government of war crimes and crimes against humanity, the speakers charged the Sri Lankan government with genocide and criticized the international powers for their support to the war crimes committed by the Lankan state. The Indian English version of the report was released by Ajit Singh Bains, Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Kolathur Mani.

Rajinder Sachar, former Chief Justice of High Court of Delhi, said that conditions in Sri Lanka cannot improve unless the Tamils are given a respectful place in society as equal citizens. “Unfortunately, that is not happening” he said. He also pointed out that the Tamils may be forced to take other courses of action if in the immediate future the Lankan government did not give them an equal and respectful place. VR Krishna Iyer, former Judge of the Indian Supreme Court, seconded Sachar’s point by adding that the concept of human rights was absent for the Tamils suffering in Sri Lanka. Mr. Iyer, who could not attend the convention owing to health reasons, had sent in a recorded video statement.

Prof. GN Saibaba, Vice-Chairperson, International League of Peoples’ Struggles, drew a link between what is happening in Sri Lanka and what is happening in other parts of South Asia. He said that pressure must be put on the international community to prevent the extermination of the Tamils. Terming the war on the Tamils as “one of the biggest genocides of the 21st century,” he said that if the international community failed to save the Tamils, they would be unable to intervene in the case of repression in Kashmir, the North-Eastern states or on the Adivasis of the Indian heartland. “The most immediate task that all of us have to do is for all nationalities facing similar situations to come together and raise a voice.” Continue reading