Sunday, January 25, 2009

Call for a ‘ceasefire’ by the DMK party increases in Tamil Nadu

The well rehearsed but stale call, increasing daily led by the aging Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, 85 year old M.K Karunanidhi grows louder, shriller and more impatient as the Sri Lankan Armed Forces are knocking at the ‘door’ of the “Tiger” leadership in the jungles of Mullaitivu. The Chief Minister has a record of direct as well as indirect support to the LTTE , a terrorist outfit identified as the ‘most feared terrorist outfit’ in the world. During the period when the Indian Peace Keeping Forces were battling the LTTE in Sri Lanka, the Chief Minister found it appropriate to donate a massive sum of Indian rupees to the LTTE watched by thousands on the crowded ‘Marina’ beach in the State of Tamil Nadu. The LTTE outfit has been found guilty of the brutal murder of a former Indian Prime Minister Shri Rajiv Gandhi staged in the State of Tamil Nadu in which he is the Chief Minister. He also was absent when the IPKF disembarked in Chennai after duties in the north and East Sri Lanka.

The call for a ‘ceasefire’ by the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister is at time when the LTTE is on its ‘last legs’ facing the confident and successful Sri Lankan Armed Forces. The Indian media constantly reports that the Indian Coast Guard has been increasing its surveillance on the Tamil Nadu Coast to prevent smuggling military and related items across the Palk Straits to the beleaguered LTTE . The “Hindu” reported (18th ) that in Kannipuram coastal village, Customs detected a barrel containing a ‘white paste’ appearing on the beach half buried in the sand . According to Customs officials the “ The white colored chemical in the form of a paste could be used to turn out mines and other types of dangerous explosives” .At the same time after the terrorists attack on Mumbai which killed over 90 and injured hundreds, Indian leaders have in place tougher legislation to combat terrorism. The Honorable Minister for External Affairs Pranab Mukherjee addressing a meeting “ Delhi Dialogue” on cooperation and security of the ASEAN on 21st January called on the organization to ‘act resolutely “ to eliminate terrorism. He added: “states supporting terrorism “ be “disciplined by the International Community” and :” Terrorism is not just the act of misguided individuals . Since 9/11, the magnitude , depth and audacity of terror acts as once again manifested in Mumbai attacks, demonstrates that this is no longer a problem of a state or of a region but of the whole world. This problem becomes more acute when it becomes state sponsored… “Recalcitrant states must be brought to discipline by various international measures”.

The Sri Lankan Government has addressed the critical need of protecting civilians in the area of military operations by providing an “expanded safety zone “ according to reports in the prestigious English Daily “The Hindu”( 22st January 2009). But according to most reports the LTTE is using civilians in the affected areas as “human shields” for “their own protection”. A veteran journalist D.B.S Jeyeraj states in a Sri Lankan English Daily (24th January 2009)that those who want “ to go must be allowed to do so. Instead of allowing such free choice the tigers are restraining the people en masse . The demand is for an immediate ceasefire and not safe passage out for the civilians. These actions reinforce suspicion that the LTTE focus on the civilian plight is to pressurize Colombo into declaring a ceasefire” . The LTTE realizes the “game is up”. It is this LTTE echo that is “loud and clear” when the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister threatens to ‘resign’ if New Delhi cannot pressurize Colombo for ‘ceasefire’ . The sooner he realizes that his ‘bluff and bluster’ is stale and misplaced as India is committed more than ever to eradicate terrorism. An Indian English Daily in an article titled “ LTTE using human shields; Jayalalitha ” said “The killing of innocent Tamils can be avoided if LTTE allow them safe passage”. She has also taken exception to the use of “Eelam Tamils” instead of the correct designation “Sri Lankan Tamils” by the Chief Minister M.K Karunanidhi which shows his true intentions of supporting separatism as well as a Terrorist outfit banned in India since 1992. The former Chief Minister added:” But the killing of innocents is inevitable in a war. No country is an exception”. However the Sri Lankan Armed forces is committed to “zero” civilian casualties and has acted accordingly.

What is required is for the LTTE to ‘let go” the civilians they forcibly hold to be used as “human shields”.

(Media Centre for National Security)