‘Walk to the troops’: SMS sent Tamils to their death
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
[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.
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[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.pdf – Frontlines ed.]
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