LTTE's true face
The shocking disclosure of an LTTE female conscript
doubling as a Government English teacher as revealed in the
media shows the extent to which the three decades old conflict
had brutalised the sensibilities of even intelligent normal
Of course she had joined the outfit not out of choice but to
save her male siblings who would otherwise have been forcibly
drafted into the outfit as per the edict that civilians
sacrifice at least one member of the family to the LTTE.
English teacher cum Tiger cadre Nilaveli who is 28 years old
had coached students from grade 6 to 10 class. At the time of
capture she was still drawing her Government salary. She
together with three other female cadres were captured by the
Security Forces in the on going battles in the Wanni. According
to her confession more than 100 of her colleagues most them her
batchmates are still with the outfit.
She also gave details of her harrowing ordeal with the LTTE
and that of other female cadres. She also said all Government
officials in the uncleared areas such as clerks and minor
employees are forced to serve on the frontlines on pain of
death. If the tale of Nilaveli is to be believed there a sizable
segment among the LTTE fighting cadres who are not volunteers
but those forcibly conscripted and turned into killing machines.
We would like to ask those R2P advocates, where is the
protection to these innocents who have been drafted into the
LTTE at gunpoint and sent to the frontilines like lambs to the
slaughter. It was only yesterday that this column described on
the eagerness shown by the youth in the newly liberated East to
join in the Government's vocational training programmes.
It is gratifying to see these youth who had been cut off from
all mainstream activity all these years grab the opportunities
now afforded them to start life anew. These youth who all those
years had missed out on a lot no doubt.
They would do their utmost to catch up with lost time with
their legendary drive and enterprise. Similarly there is little
doubt that there is an Army of youth currently under siege by
the LTTE who may be
praying for a miracle to break out of their enforced prisons
and enjoy the fruits of normal life.
It is incumbent on the Government to afford them this
opportunity by ridding them of the shackles that had bound them
to a life of misery all these years. In fact, the President in
his Budget propsals detailed measures to rehabilitate ex-LTTE
Like we commented yesterday these youth may well represent a
sample of their enterprising forefathers in the North who
contributed in no small measure towards the economic and social
advancement of the country as outstanding professionals.
Nilaveli's case no doubt may well represent the tip of the
There are bound to be countless other youth with great talent
and potential who are forced into battle against their will in a
futile exercise of chasing after a mirage. It is hoped all those
foreign lecturers on human rights would take note of Nilaveli's
tale before pointing the finger at the Government for alleged
human rights violations.
For, what worse violation of human rights can there be a for
a youth just flowering out, to be hauled up and forced into
combat against his or her will with death staring in the face.
Is this not the ultimate violation of human rights - the
right to one's life. Isn't the right to life the most basic and
fundamental of human rights ? The Government should seize on
this latest episode to show the world the true face of the LTTE.
These Tamil Nadu film artistes who are shedding copious tears
for the protection of the lives of Tamil civilians should ask
themselves whom are they to be protected from ? It is indeed sad
to note the North which once produced eminent professionals and
geniuses in many fields is today an intellectual wasteland.
Like in the East many Tamil youth there are yearning to break
free from their shackles and enjoy their youth in fulfilment. As
mentioned earlier it is therefore incumbent on the Government to
provide this opportunity to this section of our citizens who are
waiting to be delivered from their hell hole. It is appropriate
that the Government has described its current offensive as a
There may be hundreds of Nilavelis in the LTTE gulags crying
out to be free. It will be the wish of all that their wait will
not be a long one.