Monday, March 16, 2009

Is there Genocide in Sri Lanka?

Whether there is Genocide against Sri Lankan Tamils is such an integral issue to this conflict I thought it was worth me highlighting my view on this topic again as a separate post even thought this was taken from an internet dialogue that I had.

To me the word genocide is one that depicts hatred by the inciting party, but in addition to this the list of definitions involve the concepts of "intent to destroy"

Wikepedia's definition is:
"Genocide is the deliberate and systematic destruction, in whole or in part, of an ethnic, racial, religious, or national group."

For those who accuse Sri Lanka of Genocide - really believe that the Sri Lankan nation is trying to deliberately and systematically destroy the Tamil culture and ethnicity?

I am speaking honestly and asking you "honestly" do you think this is what the Sri Lankan nation is doing or wants?

It greatly disturbs me that people have been so deeply affected by their direct experiences, or perhaps just the information that has been given to them, that they believe this.

In short to those who are reading this and have not made up their mind - please don't - don't make up your mind always keep it open, as a closed mind lends itself to the violence that currently perils Sri Lanka and it people.

From my experience, as person who has been living and working in Sri Lanka for 3 years, in places as far south as Galle, and north as Anuradhapura, central as Kandy and East as Colombo and Puttulum, someone who has talked to associates of the UN, Human rights organisations, Diplomats from various countries and members of civil society, including journalists film makers, and most importantly, from someone who has a deep respect and compassion for ALL people in this country. I do not believe there is "Genocide" of the Tamil people either now or in the past (at least in Post independance past that is)

There HAVE been terrible atrocities of and violations of human rights that makes us all sick, both currently and during JVP times. There have been heinous riots targeting Tamils (carried out by minoritiy of sinhala extremists), such as in the black July Pogrom of 1983 - but no Genocide as the commonly claimed by LTTE supporters.

Even in 1983 when the Sri Lanka saw it's darkest day in modern times - do we think that there was a systematized drive to eradicate the Tamil people and remove all traces of their existance?

Who then were the poeple who protected those perpetrated and risked their own lives in the process? What of the MP's who spoke out against this (they were a minority but there was at least one Kandy MP who fought against the rights, and i have spoke to personally about this)

Black July was a terrible event that occurred because of a minority of Sinhala thugs murderous actions after the LTTE's provocation of killing 12 Sinahalese Army soldiers in a time when killing wasn't as commonplace as it sadly is today. The lack of response by the government of the time, was appalling. But as Chaminda mentioned we are still all suffering for this.

I am sorry for this - for the suffering that occurred. We all are sorry for for what happened. The Sinhalese, and the whole of society. Perhaps not the perpetrators.

Only in Sri Lanka people are not good at saying sorry. It's not just Sri Lanka. When i lived in Australia in 2000 we walked across the Harbour bridge in protest for John Howard (the Then Prime Minster) not saying "sorry" for the treatment and annihilation of the "forgotten generations" of Australian Aboriginies,

Anyway back to my original question - is there genocide in Sri Lanka?

If there was why does the government forces not just kill all the people in the No Fire zone.

There are no human rights groups, there are no reporters. Why don't they just "exterminate them" as is constantly being accused?

The reason is that these people are human beings like you or I ,and they DO NOT WANT TO KILL Tamil people.

I know first hand the effort that has gone into saving lives of casualties of war, in Wanni civilians, who have received intensive surgery after transfer to Anuradhapura from the north - Why would they put all this human resouce and opertating theatre time ( a limited resource) in to saving the lives of people they were categorically trying to kill?

It is clear to me that this drive to lead the publlic at large, particularly people who live out of Sri Lanka , who don't have the luxury of knowing that Sinhala, Muslim, Tamil, Christian, Buddhist, English, Australian Burgher people all breath the same air, often eat the same food, drink the same water.

"Genocide" of the Tamil race only exists in the minds of the LTTE supporters because the concept of genocide is so abhorrent that it justifies equally abhorent means of protests such as the terrorist strategies of child recruitment and suicide bombing that the LTTE uses commonly.

Anyone who uses this term - please think carefully before you accuse the Sri Lankan nation (your nation) of being "genocidal". It is alright to use the term if you actually believe that the nation is deliberately trying to destroy the Tamil people. But anyone with any experience in Sri Lanka knows, this would be akin to cutting of one's own leg - Wellawatte (suburb of Colombo where my parents grew up) alone is approx 60% Tamil.

Again - do you really think that that Sinhala people want to Kill the Tamil people.

All I can say is that from first hand information about 150 don't - ie thats about all the Sinalaese people I know.

Or - do you think there are a group of extremists who occassionally say things like "lets carpet bomb the north" (as vile as this statement is) because they are "idiots" who are unrepresentative of the population at large?

I think it is the latter not the former -and even this group of loud mouths, if you really pinned them down - don't want to Kill Tamil people a root desire -they just feel threatned by the LTTE - and the same goes in reverse.

Anyway sorry to go on - but I think these are important concepts.

Finally, i think it is important for many people to write there views down. As it stands there are some serious claims being made here, and only about 4 people contributing.

I think a lot of positivity about the future and current harmony that exist should be brought to light.

Just my views

No comments: