The great rescue mission
The last surge of
civilians have now arrived, fleeing from their liberators turned
captors, into the cleared areas, snowballing the figures to
around 250,000 displaced.
These civilians were liberated by the security forces ending
one of the longest and bloodiest hostage dramas in known memory.
TV footage showed these hapless people arriving in the
Government controlled areas, a majority of them in various forms
of degradation and mutilation, the result of LTTE firing at
those fleeing. All civilians though in a state of anguish
praised the Security Forces for rescuing them.
This episode speaks eloquently to the world as to who the
true liberators are. But what one cannot fathom is why even at
the last stages of the hostage drama were the Western
Governments calling for a Ceasefire from the Government.
There had been strident calls by Britain, the US and the EU
calling on the Government to go for a ceasefire to allow the
civilians to go while leaving out the LTTE in the bargain.
Wasn’t it evident to them that the initial rescue operation was
carried out with no Ceasefire on the side of the LTTE. Isn’t
this call for another ceasefire from the Government an attempt
to revive a dying outfit to serve the ulterior motives of these
Why aren’t the UN and the EU who showed so much concern for
the civilians not even acknowledge the role of the Security
Forces for freeing all these civilians without causing any harm?
Had they not intervened would not these hapless people be
condemned to a much worse suffering.
It looks as if the international community has lost it’s
leverage on the Government now that all the civilians have come
to the safety of the Government controlled areas. It is obvious
that they had been using the civilians as an excuse to secure a
Ceasefire and thereby allow some breathing space for the LTTE.
The civilians it appears had never been in the forefront of
If not how could one view the efforts being made by various
parties to block the economic aid from coming to Sri Lanka? The
other day US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that Sri
Lanka was not in a position to receive the IMF loan without
putting a peace process in place.
While conceding that a peace process would have to be evolved
some time soon for an ultimate solution to the problem is this
such an overpowering need at this juncture at a time the
Government’s compelling priority is dealing with the unfolding
Is not the West, whose hearts bleed for the plight of
civilians, by trying to stall economic assistance to Sri Lanka
in effect contributing placing these civilians into a worst
plight now that they have sought freedom with the Government.
Isn’t it by giving all the necessary assistance that the
welfare of the civilians could be assured. It is time the West
stops it’s duplicity and help Sri Lanka address the problem the
way she sees fit. The insistence by Britain to allow
humanitarian agencies access into IDP camps too smacks of this
Why in the first place did not it force the LTTE to let the
civilians go? Why only now the urgency to attend to the
civilians after the security forces had already liberated the
civilians from the loosening grip of the terrorists.
The Government should be firm in resisting such pressures as
it has done so far, lest these international do-gooders use the
plight of the civilians to sow the seeds of hatred by the rest
of the world towards Sri Lanka.
True, we need all the assistance we can get to ameliorate the
conditions of the civilians, but this should not be at the cost
of blighting the image of the country. We already saw how
certain Western media had described IDP transit centres as
Sri Lanka can well do without such adverse publicity. Already
there will be many good Samaritans swarming into the country
with the assistance to civilians. The Government would do well
to harken to famous saying “Don’t trust Greeks who bear gifts”.