"To say that Tamils are being persecuted in Sri Lanka is bunkum" - Gayathri Jude

"To say that Tamils are being persecuted in Sri Lanka is bunkum," said an Australian who recently visited Sri Lanka. Gayathri is not just any Australian, nor is she any ordinary Tamil.

Gayathri Jude is the daughter of Tamil Tiger leader Velupillai Kumaru Pancharatnam, better known by his nom de guerre, George Master.

George Master was in the custody of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) when his daughter in Australia decided to visit Sri Lanka in hopes of seeing her father.

"When I announced plans to visit Sri Lanka, they [Tamil friends and family in Australia] warned me that the police will not only kill me, but my husband and two children as well," Gayathri told the Island.

"If not, we will be tortured, they warned. So, I returned to Sri Lanka with a great degree of fear," she added.

The yearning to see her father meant nothing would hold her back.

The Jude family arrived at the Katunayake Airport, as any visitor to the island would, and then proceeded to call the CID to inquire about visitation rights to see her father.

The Island

She said that she had a long, leisurely chat with her father on both days and the CID made her experience a pleasant one. "My father said that he is being treated well by the police".

Gayathri said that she last visited Sri Lanka in 2005 to attend her mother’s funeral.

"I now realize the extent of the false propaganda spread by the LTTE [Tamil Tigers] to mislead the international community and tarnish Sri Lanka’s image".

"To say that Tamils are being persecuted in Sri Lanka is bunkum", she stressed. "I am talking through experience, though I myself feared the worst at first".

The Island publication is not a state run publication. It is owned by Upali Newspapers LTD, a private organisation.

The power of the Tamil Tigers' propaganda is yet again highlighted.

When prominent foreign news agencies use Tiger front organisations as a source, Tamils living outside of Sri Lanka form an impression that the Sri Lankan government and it's armed forces are out for Tamil blood.

Sri Lanka has no intentions of housing Tamils in camps forever. There is a process in place. Senior citizens amongst these displaced are now being allowed to move out of camps and into the care of friends and family.

A structured amnesty for Tiger combatants is being drawn up. They will not face prosecution, but rehabilitation.

I wrote previously on how moderate Tamils are seldom seen on any news network speaking on behalf of Tamils in Sri Lanka. It's always MIA, Jan, and other individuals who represent the interest of the Tamil Tigers and Tamil EELAM (an undoubtedly racist, mono-ethnic, homeland for only Tamils.)

I also highlighted several false claims made by the Tigers and their fronts to create an impression of a bloodbath. A genocide.

It's painful for those of us living in Sri Lanka to see people on the TV calling Prabhakaran their leader. It's a shame they don't tell their children the crimes against humanity and the slaughter of minorities, like the Muslims, which Prabhakaran orchestrated.

Photo by peevee@ds under the Creative Commons license.

It hurts us Sri Lankans to hear the 'Tamil diaspora' tell the international community that there is genocide in Sri Lanka, and insinuate that the rest of us (non-Tamil and non-Sinhalese citizens) are in on it. Watching it unfold, and keeping quiet as thousands of Tamils are apparently killed.

Tamils were continuously fed lies so the Tigers would look like liberators in their eyes. The Tigers lied about large scale casualties to force the Sri Lankans into a ceasefire. It would have given the cornered Tigers a reprieve and a means to escape.

The Tigers also needed the Tamil diaspora to think that they were liberators fighting for their rights in order to part with a substantial amount of their monthly wages.

The Tamil diaspora worldwide was fooled into funding a war that killed their own people. More Tamils died at the hands of the Tigers than they died at the hands of any other group on the island.

What is irreversible is the fact that two generations of Tamil children were deprived of an education. Over 9000 Tamil youth, both men and women, are now the burden of the state. The very state the Tamil diaspora opposes blindly. Tax payers foot the bill towards educating former combatants and their rehabilitation.

Another little known fact is that the Sri Lankan government maintained and paid for all social services in Tamil Tiger controlled territory in the last 30 years. When Prabhakaran focused on war, government institutions like schools, hospitals, and other social services provided for everyday Tamils for years.

Sri Lanka waged war against a terrorist group and not a minority. It's time Tamils acknowledged that. It is also a good time for them to stop falling prey to the Tamil Tigers, and assist in rebuilding the lives of those affected by war in Sri Lanka.

Peace has finally arrived in Sri Lanka. It's not exclusive to anyone. Tamil mothers are joyous that no more children will be recruited. They can sleep easy knowing no more shells will fall. No more war in Sri Lanka means peace for all.

Let's keep it that way.

There will be those who come across this post and call it propaganda. There will be those who, as always, will accuse me of being Sinhalese. Such is the power of propaganda and years of brainwashing. It will take years for their opinions to change. One only hopes - for the sake of peace - those who disagree with my post above will not contribute towards another war.

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