I have always maintained that the Tamil Tigers (LTTE) and Tamil moderates who peacefully opposed any discriminatory law or policy in Sri Lanka should not be confused as one. It is well documented that the Tamil Tigers were a group of bank robbers, criminals, and murderers who changed their modus operandi into a liberation movement with the help of India. The Tamil Tigers killed many Tamil moderates. Therefore it is incorrect to claim that an armed insurgency was only formed after years of non violent demonstrations against discrimination.
The suicide bombing featured on the video took place on the 10th of March 2009. Mariana failed to mention that it targeted a Muslim religious festival. The Muslims in Sri Lanka have also been brutalised by the Tamil extremist for two decades. See the following BBC article.
It is not only the Sinhalese ethnic group that despise the Tamil Tigers. There isn't an ethnic group on the island, barring the extremist themselves, who justify the need for a mono-ethnic state and all this bloodshed. No other ethnic group supports the Tamil Tigers on the island of Sri Lanka. Only the Tamil extremist find their cause noble.
When you ask a child soldier exposed to Tamil Tiger indoctrination if she still loves the LTTE, you must quickly remind yourself of the Stockholm Syndrome.
The Tigers use of children as forced recruits meant their fighting force was not voluntary. Human Rights Watch and UNICEF has documented thousands of abductions by Tamil Tigers. The US report on Sri Lanka's war claims the Tigers executed children and their family members if they refused to join. This is another reason they are considered terrorist and banned in 32 countries worldwide.
In regards to Mahinda Rajapaksa, the Sri Lankan president only managed to win the election thanks to the Tamil Tigers. The Tigers prevented people in districts they controlled from voting during that election. This gave Mahinda Rajapaksa victory over Ranil Wickremasinghe by a very small margin. Ironically back in 2005 in his annual 'Heroes Day' speech the leader of the Tamil Tigers, Vellupillai Prabhakaran, called Rajapaksa a practical man.
All of the videos showing civilian casualties in the Vanguard documentary were released by the Tamil Tigers. As Mariana pointed out, no journalist were allowed in. Everything you witnessed, in terms of dead Tamils civilians, was all filmed and edited by the Tigers. I have written extensively on the Tigers final strategy. They forced 300,000 civilians to retreat with them. As the UN points out they held Tamil civilians as a human shield to protect their leaders and use them as a bargaining tool.
It is irresponsible to assume that Sri Lanka cared not for civilian casualties, or claim that thousands died based on evidence presented by an organisation which will put the Nazi's propaganda wing to shame.
Here is a staged photo shoot set up by the Tigers.
What many don't seem to realise is that Sri Lanka is a third world country plagued with bad governance. No different to any other developing nation. The aftermath of 26 years of war was the breakdown of freedom of speech and other rights. The culture of impunity which exists is as a result of years of war. Abductions and disappearances take place when half of Sri Lanka's land mass was lawless and under the control of a terrorist group. But none of these reasons resulted in the defeat of the Tigers.
With the end of war all Sri Lankans feel more hopeful than ever before that the situation will improve for all.
All in all I enjoyed the Vanguard documentary. I hope the crew enjoyed their stay in Sri Lanka. I hope they noted that on the streets of Sri Lanka, it's people care not if your Tamil or Sinhalese - Muslim or Burgher. They all want an end to war and one nation for all.
Video: Sri Lanka - Notes from a war on terror - Vanguard Journalism
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