Human Rights Watch doesn't find anything positive to say about the liberation of the Eastern Province. It rather mocks the achievement, in fact. Reading its statement, we might almost think Human Rights Watch didn't know there had ever been a problem of LTTE terror in the East, states the Secretariat for Coordinating the Peace Process (SCOPP) in its official response to the latest report on the state of affairs in Sri Lanka by HRW.
"The LTTE wouldn't allow dissent. Democracy had absolutely no place in territory over which that organisation held sway. Abductions were how it filled its vacancies. Even with children. And killings were commonplace. Let's not forget it so quickly. Indeed, we can't. For the LTTE is still around," the SCOPP statement adds.
"The Eastern Province can never be the environment that we all hope for while there is still a threat from the LTTE. HRW sometimes appears to be rather pleased that this is the case; that we still have a bitter conflict going on in this country. Even though this is now some distance away from the Eastern Province. But we can't be. The LTTE has to be convinced to follow the path set down by those who are now on the road to the political mainstream. The Eastern Province may not be a utopia, but it is in a far better situation than most places in the Vanni," says the SCOPP.
The following is the text of the statement titled "The Human Rights Watch Syndrome", issued by the SCOPP in response to the HRW statement of Nov. 24 titled -" Sri Lanka: Human Rights Situation Deteriorating in the East Armed Faction Is Killing, Kidnapping Civilians".
"Some people really seem to delight in recounting our problems. Instead of appreciating progress, they bash us over the head with still to be obtained goals. And at considerable length. The situation is never improving in their eyes. We are either already bad or getting a lot worse, and no practical suggestions are offered to help us recover. Rhetorical flourishes are the only things we are given by these characters. They love nothing better than wallowing in a bit of good old misery.
"Human Rights Watch demonstrates this syndrome perfectly in its latest press release on the situation in the Eastern Province. To summarise, life is bad and blame lies with the Government.
"The Eastern Province isn't a utopia. There have been a number of killings and abductions in recent days, and these are clearly issues on which law enforcement agencies need to work harder until such crimes are totally wiped out from society.
Nobody should have to face threats of violence as they go about their everyday business.
"But it isn't always easy. A significant extent of the area in question was under the control of a terrorist group for several years. Human Rights Watch doesn't find anything positive to say about the release of the Eastern Province. It quite mocks the attainment, in information. Reading its declaration, we strength about think Human Rights Watch didn't know there had still been such a problem.
"The LTTE wouldn't allow dissent. democratic system had absolutely no place in country over which that organisation held sway. Abductions were how it filled its vacancies. Even with children. And killings were commonplace. Let's not not keep in mind it so quickly. Indeed, we can't. For the LTTE is still around.
"The Eastern Province has been set free, but there are motionless a fair number of persons who are dedicated to working for the LTTE. They are accountable for some of the abductions and killings. What's more, the doubt that these elements are at big and attempting to go through the organisation of their former comrades is fuelling the difficulty Killings and abductions within that organisation and between them and the LTTE take put as a result. It is an sad state of affairs, but one that has not been engineered by anybody other than the participants themselves.
"The Government supports the TMVP. Human Rights Watch appears to look upon this as an awful development, for they consider that the party is accountable for many of the killings and abductions. Whatever the truth of those allegations, trying to help the social meeting move into the political normal has to be the correct option now. Only a few years ago, the TMVP were part of the LTTE. They fought against the Government. Blew up innocent people in buses. Assassinated politicians. The LTTE haven't seen the error of their ways as yet, but the TMVP have. They want to change. But transformation of such an organisation isn't a simple matter. Leaders cannot now make a decision to do it. The TMVP has a difficult job on its hands and the Government is determined to help them see it through to the end.
"Human Rights Watch urges steps to be taken to get better the human human rights situation. It's a good idea, but let's believe about how that is going to be achieved. Just proverb it isn't any use.
"The Eastern Province wants development. We have to provide jobs for those who have documented only fighting as a means of continued survival. Former cadres need training. They and other Tamil language people will have to be brought into the law enforcement agencies, with proper mistake. communications has to be rebuilt after years of neglect due to the hostility. Health and teaching services need to be brought up to rub again. Business has to go back and spend in the area. And the catalog goes on.
"This is precisely what is happening now. The Government has been good-looking with international agencies to find money to finance projects in all these sectors, and development is fast being made. The teamwork at the highest levels between members of the different communities in the Eastern Province has been very hopeful. They are elected legislative body too.
"But it isn't enough. The Eastern Province can never be the surroundings that we all expect for while there is still a threat from the LTTE. Human Rights Watch sometimes appears to be quite satisfied that this is the case. That we still have a bitter conflict going on in this country. Even though this is now some coldness away from the Eastern Province. But we can't be. The LTTE has to be persuaded to follow the path set down by those who are now on the road to the political normal. The Eastern Province may not be a utopia, but it is in a far improved state of relationships than most places in the Vanni.
"The Government has chosen a practical move toward. Improvements are being made, and on an urgent footing. We do motionless have a way to go. But there is no greater main nervousness than putting an end to the conflict that has strong-minded our country for so long to make a nonviolent and wealthy civilization. We don't always spend time clarification our labors to the world. But things are occurrence. Let us keep in mind what has by now been conquer and look forward to agreement on this as we go forward."