Thursday, April 16, 2009
by Minnalkodi Sivan Basics Issue #13 (Apr/May 2009)
To many people Sri Lanka might be just a tiny island in the Indian Ocean. However, Sri Lanka is the most militarized country in South Asia, spending billions of dollars on military expenditure that makes countries like India look like dwarfs. Records indicate that Sri Lanka’s military budget has swollen to $1.8 billion in 2009, quite an ambitious figure for a small country.
Sri Lanka is only able to sustain this racist war with the help of external funding from their donor countries and imperialist-controlled organizations like the IMF. Sri Lanka‘s biggest contributors donate in millions, if not billions. Some of their top funders are Iran, EU, Japan, China, India, US and Canada. Additionally, Sri Lanka has requested for an International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan of $1.9 billion with no conditions. However, the reality is that the reason for the island’s weak economic state is the diversion of funds into militarization to buy weapons from countries like Israel and China to fight the Tamil resistance and wage a genocidal war on Tamil civilians.
According to various bodies such as the U.N, Human Rights Watch, and International Committee of the Red Cross, the current situation of Tamil civilians is extremely grim. Sri Lanka has violated most (if not all) international laws and has taken human rights violations to a new dimension. So far, in 2009, over 200 Tamils have been arbitrarily disappeared from areas under Sri Lankan occupation. Over 4,000 civilians have died and 8,500 severely injured in the conflict areas where 80% of the population are women and children. Reports from the conflict tell of the horrendous scenarios where government-declared “Safety Zones” are being bombarded daily. Maimed bodies, torn limbs and blood-drenched soil has filled the landscape. Make-shift, overcrowded hospitals that are functioning at bare-minimum levels are shelled regularly. According to the Sri Lankan Defense Secretary, brother of the current President, “hospitals are legitimate targets”.
The barbarism of the Sinhalese Army has not spared a single Tamil. There have been reports where new born babies are born with shell pieces stuck to their bodies and even a case where an unborn baby died inside its womb with an exploded head. Concentration camps have sprung up in the Vanni region where people are exposed to extreme conditions, harassments, intimidation and their state of mental health, especially children, are in inconceivable conditions. The Sinhalese Army’s plan is to end the “War on Terror” by eliminating the Tamil resistance which was sparked out of a long history of extremely ruthless discrimination and massacres against Tamils, and then the transfer all the civilians into detention centers for three years to “filter out terrorists”. The latest reports indicate that the war has taken a new phase where chemical weapons have been used against LTTE and civilians, killing thousands! Chemical warfare was used by Sri Lanka in the past and it now appears that the option has been taking down from the shelf.
The world is yet to respond to this silent genocide that is worsening by the day. So far the only response from the “international community” has been to line the pockets of a government that is following the path of the Nazis and pursing unrealistic goals to eliminate the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).
Meanwhile, as conscious beings Canadians should start boycotting blood-stained Sri Lankan products and join in solidarity with the Tamil Diaspora in Canada to demand that the Canadian government stop supporting Sri Lanka’s genocidal policies.
Labels: South Asia