Paraplegic women - LTTE's new sacrificial lamb
The failed assassination attempt on the life of Social Service and
Social Welfare Minister Douglas Devananda highlights what seems now a
recurrent dimension in the LTTE's continuing manifestation of terrorism,
the use of the vulnerable as sacrificial lambs.
Ordering a paraplegic woman to carry out a suicidal attack may seem
unthinkable, but to some elements at least in the LTTE it would seem
that the unthinkable is second nature.
The incident further demonstrates LTTE's rejection of a peaceful
approach towards resolution of the conflict and exposes the duplicity of
its leader's statement on Nov. 27 that, while he has chosen the path of
peace, the Government has not.
The woman suicide bomber, disabled with polio, appeared to have wired
her bra to explode when it was tampered with.
She too died in the explosion. Tragically, the LTTE seems to have no
qualms about exploiting the poverty and innocence and now even
disablement of young women to transform them into human bombs. Out of
the total number of suicide attacks committed by the LTTE, 2/3rds were
The slaughter of young women through using them as tools in
pre-meditated suicide attacks is appalling. Even more than other such
attacks, it violates the fundamental canons of humanitarianism and
humanitarian law. It breaches the ground rules of decency that
characterise civilised society.
Sadly, this inhumanity seems, not least in the eyes of victims, to be
compounded by the marked failure of human rights watch dogs to denounce
the act and hold the master minds responsible for planning suicide
In issuing statements that seem designed to appease terrorists, in
the guise of preserving balance, they make clear the impunity that will
continue to be available to such atrocities.
In training and employing young women to indulge in suicide
operations, the LTTE prevents such women evolving into young mothers - a
natural expectation of any young woman. Sometimes indeed the LTTE also
seems to remove young mothers from their children to fill growing
vacancies in the rank and file of LTTE cadres.
The rejected and abandoned children, removed from their mothers'
protection, are then used as cannon fodder by the LTTE in the form of
The LTTE's attempt to prevent this issue being on the agenda at
negotiations between them and the Government, and their rejection of the
principles stand of the Norwegian facilitator, that this was a
legitimate subject of discussion, may indeed have prompted the
withdrawal of the LTTE from peace talks, a withdrawal it intransigently
continues to engage in despite the continuing readiness of the
Government to talk, and the anxiety of the international community that
talks should be resumed.
Whilst vulnerable Tamil women and children continue to suffer in this
faction, the LTTE hierarchy enjoys a comfortable life.
Their children attend top drawer schools overseas, as in the case of
Appealing to the LTTE itself to stop its brutal practices may be a
useless exercise, but we must urge those elements within it who believe
in peace to do their best to assert an entirely different mindset.
We also believe a less tolerant attitude on the part of human rights
activists and organisations concerned with the welfare of women and
children may help those elements in the LTTE who are sickened by this
continuing abuse to take remedial action.