Wednesday, June 4, 2008

SPUR expresses displeasure over Western hypocrisy on Sri Lanka's strife

An Australian based rights group, Society for Peace, Unity and Human Rights of Sri Lanka (SPUR) in a press release yesterday expressed its displeasure over the stance adapted by the Western countries on Sri Lanka's terrorist issue. It says that the silence of the western powers and media over the bloody terrorist attacks targeting civilians has been deafening and unbecoming for the "Champions of Human Rights.

The Press Release in full:

SPUR (Society for Peace, Unity and Human Rights for Sri Lanka Inc)

Reg: A003 0777 M

P.O. Box 4066, Mulgrave VIC 3170, Australia

Phone: (03) 9795 7143 Fax: (03) 9795 7142

3 June 2008

Media Release
Human Rights and Terrorism
Western governments are considering taking punitive action against Sri Lanka citing the human rights record of the Sri Lankan government, which they allege has deteriorated since the abrogation of the Cease Fire Agreement.

The measures being considered, such as cutting off resources and withdrawing the General System of Preference and Trade benefits will weaken democracy and the democratic institutions in Sri Lanka and affect the determination of Sri Lankan people to improve their economic and social situation.

The actions being contemplated by these Western governments are even more of a gross violation of human rights, especially since this will ensure the perpetuation of Terrorism in Sri Lanka.

The attitude Western Powers have to the terrorism of the Tamil Tigers is in stark contrast to the attitude they display towards other groups such as Al Q'aida, the Taliban and other Islamic militants. Western Media like the CNN and BBC consistently refer to the Tamil tigers as "Rebels" "Insurgents" or "Militants". They are never referred to as "Terrorists". This is, in spite of the fact that, it has been conclusively proved that the Tamil Tiger terrorists are mentoring, training and encouraging other terror groups to carry out attacks in Western countries. The Tamil Tigers have never overtly carried out any acts of terror in Western countries. However, by encouraging other militant groups the Tamil Tigers are covertly carrying out attacks in these countries.

From the very inception Tamil Tigers have been massacring defenceless civilians - mainly old people, women and children. The silence of the Western powers and media on these attacks has been deafening. The recent spate of setting off bombs in public places has not had a reaction from any of these champions of human rights. Even when the terrorists blew up a bus at Moneragala and then cold bloodedly shot down the survivors escaping from the burning bus - again mainly old people, women and children - there was a singular lack of comment from those who accused the Sri Lanka government of gross human rights violations. HRW so scathing of the government's record has nothing to say of these acts of crimes against humanity perpetrated by the Tigers. .

Voting Sri Lanka out of the UN's Human Rights Council sent a wrong signal to the countries fighting the armed violence of groups who have no qualms in killing civilians, exploding bombs in city centres etc. Ironically, some of the very countries, which led the campaign to oust Sri Lanka, themselves have very dismal records in upholding the charter of human rights and are safe heavens for terrorists groups and their front organizations.

The President of Sri Lanka has rightly declared his intention of carrying on the military campaign in spite of the bombs being set off in the south of the country. The Tigers who began this war with bomb attacks on civilians have now reverted to their old tactics again. They seem to be desperately trying to deflect attention to their plight in the North with a show of "strength" by setting off bombs massacring civilians in the South. At this crucial juncture Western Powers are threatening the Sri Lankan government with punitive measures, which will affect all the citizens of the country negatively. By punishing the victims of terror for trying to eradicate terrorism, Western powers are effectively saying that third world countries have no right to defend themselves against terrorism.

While the President of the US declares that there will be "no negotiations with terrorists" the Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Evan Feigenbaum is urging the Sri Lankan government to negotiate with the Tiger terrorists. They constantly refer to the "ethnic conflict" in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka does not have an "Ethnic" problem. All ethnicities lived together in harmony until a section of the Tamil politicians nurtured the Tamil Tigers and unleashed terror on the citizens of Sri Lanka. This is purely and simply a terrorist problem and it is high time that the west accept it as such and help the Sri Lankan government to fight it without trying to impose terms and conditions that will only serve to perpetuate terrorism in Sri Lanka.

Jeanne Jayasinghe



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