Human rights and the Tamil people
THE public demonstrations which broke
out in the North in reaction to the LTTE's brutal slaying of a school
Principal, proved amply that not all sections of the Tamil people are
intending to be cowed by the Tigers' murderous, intimidatory violence.
This is the evidence that nothing that the LTTE could do could
strangle the yearning in the hearts of these sections to enjoy their
democratic rights and lead a life of dignity.
Although precious lives have been lost in the LTTE's unrelenting
terror campaign and this is a matter to be deeply regretted, some
progress is being made in the North-East in terms of democratic
development and this is something which needs to be welcomed.
That is, the people are finding it important to stand-up to LTTE
terror. There is, in other words, a growing consciousness of their
However, a people conscious of their rights is something the LTTE
would violently resent and this is probably the reason why international
human rights expert, Ian Martin has considered it important to insist on
the sides to the conflict endorsing and adhering to a human rights
declaration, a proposition which is anathema to the Tigers.
Why cannot the LTTE make such a commitment? Is it because they intend
to reduce the North-East to a "Killing Fields"? If that is so, the
"Peace" desired by the Tigers is that of the graveyard.
For, a people who are democratically-oriented would be at
cross-purposes with the LTTE, whose one intention is to rule in the
As we have said before, the Lankan State would find this highly
unacceptable, for, it is obliged to work towards a just and honourable
peace which would not result in even one section of the people coming
under the yoke of tyranny.
It is an account of these considerations that we need to admire TULF
President V. Anandasangarie's courage and inner strength. Anandasangaree
is, of course, a dour defender of Tamil rights but he would not succumb
to the cruel dictates of the LTTE.
The candle lit by Anandasangaree in the name of democratic freedoms,
needs to be kindled to a glowing flame by all democratically inclined
Therefore, it is vitally important that the Tamil people are saved
from their self-proclaimed guardians. A human rights declaration which
would be signed by both parties and respected by them is, therefore, a
We do not see any reason why such a task should wait until political
talks are held between the sides on implementing the ceasefire - a
demand made by LTTE political wing chief, S.P. Tamilselvan.
There is absolutely no connection between the two and we all on the
international community and other concerned sections to pressurise the
Tigers into signing and implementing this human rights declaration.
By insisting on this link the LTTE is making a glaring disclosure of
its duplicity. It is betraying a tyrannical tendency and mindset and
this is something no fair thinking person or group could countenance.
However, the LTTE being a big fighting machine, could not be expected
to adhere to humanitarian principles easily. That is not the language it
speaks. More so why, pressure needs to be brought on it to adhere to a
human rights regime.
The West, in particular, should take it on itself to bring pressure
on the LTTE, for the purpose of promoting human rights.