Red Cross at Cross Roads
Agents of neo-colonial interests must be booted out
By the Editors of Sri Lanka Watch
Introduction: Wanni was for nearly two decades a terrible detention or even a concentration camp operated by the LTTE as a source of meeting all their needs especially young cadre personnel. There were torture cells, abductions, disappearances, killings, ambushes and even mass killings including the wiping out of Mathaya and all his camp followers. Wanni could easily be reckoned as the world’s biggest detention camp ever; or the most horrendous concentration camp.

The Sri Lankan Government has been exceptionally polite and even courteous to the nth degree asking the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to scale down their operations in Sri Lanka. On the face of it and by its founding charter the ICRC has an obligation to strive to protect the lives, health and dignity of individuals under the provisions outlined by the International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and International Human Rights Law (IHRL).

Both IHL and IHRL cover a vast field both international as well as those that occur within a state that violate human rights. The ICRC has been active in many countries and has handled a vast array of conflicts. In whatever countries the Red Cross becomes engaged in, they usually have an expatriate staff, as well as from the local community too. The latter are expected to be faithful and loyal to the ICRC as long as they are in their employment even as volunteers.

It was during the early 1990s sneaky and shifty suspicion began to build up that the ICRC may not after all be honourable about their mission in Sri Lanka and could have had a predestined motive as to how they should set about their task in the country’s protracted civil war. Slowly and surely an impression began to emerge that Sri Lanka’s ethnic crisis was being used by certain interests to ride the Trojan Horse using the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), and not even the pro-LTTE Tamil Diaspora would have suspected this crafty serpentine reptile creeping with deadly intentions through the grass.

There were the self-styled Diaspora leaders who were gathering paltry plaudits for themselves. There were others who saw opportunities to make illegal gains in the name of Tamil liberation. There were the Tiger goons out to harvest funds for the Tigers with representatives from Wanni itself operating in the various countries where the Tamils had migrated and made their homes.

There were the also ran Govindas among the mob (Kumballai Govinda) seeking cheap popularity for themselves with fake awards believing themselves equal to the founders of the Nobel Prize; even those with bogus doctorates too. In other words the first generation Tamil Diaspora was dominated by frauds, fakes, hoaxers, swindlers, shams and a lot of imposters and charlatans. Among these the clever ones collected grants from various government departments on the pretext of helping the migrants in their new homelands. We are told in Canada the Tigers garnered millions from the federal and state governments with a fake front called the Tamil Eelam Society.

Mansions dwelling refugees
All these people had one thing in common. They presented the Tigers as the Tamil liberation heroes and the Sri Lankan government as determined to rid Sri Lanka of the Tamils. The net result of this campaign was that the Tamils became the first generation refugees anywhere in the world to live in luxury in large numbers. They dwell in mansions not in camps. Secondly they used their kith and kin in Sri Lanka to advantage but have during the last decade moved away from them a great deal. The Tamil Diaspora is now virtually another caste, another class, another clan, another community in another country; think they are another colour too. Their own mean nothing to them anymore.    

In between both are the hardly English literate young immigrants among whom there has been a tendency to take to the underworld, the growing empire of the LTTE masters who may be serving more the interests of K Pathmanathan, a Valvettiturai man alleged to be with twenty three identities. He has amassed massive material gains out of the Eelam War and is probably a bigger underworld arms dealer than Adnan Kashogi himself and believed to be wanted by the Interpol. No Sri Lankan Tamil is familiar with this man except the likes of lawyer Visuvanathan Rudrakumaran in the US, “Divine Soldiers of Christ” Father Emmanuel in Australia, Father cum Professor Chandrakanthan in Canada and obviously the Radio Veritas priest Father Jagath Casperz in India too.
 
What is tragic here is that hundreds of honest, well-meaning and highly concerned Tamil Diaspora folks have been over the last two decades cheated by these people using the call for a separate Eelam state in Sri Lanka for the Tamils and where a large majority of them live outside that region and a good part of those from the areas considered traditional to the Tamils in the vast horrendous Tiger concentration camp of Wanni that was hijacked by the LTTE on the run from Jaffna pursued by Major General Janaka Perera. The whole progress was master minded with a hate campaign against the majority Sinhala people. The Tamil media – TV, radio and an incredible variety of Tamil tabloids ignoring just about every journalistic moral and ethical norms and codes indulged in vicious and persistent presentations as the Tamils being marched to a genocidal extinction in Sri Lanka.   

This being the circumstance neo-colonialist interests in the West began to recognize the LTTE as a necessary force to de-stabilize South Asia using Sri Lanka as the base. Even though the route to this domination was sought through the Catholic Church which exercised a great deal of influence in the coastal communities of Sri Lanka and especially the Valvettiturai smuggling community of Prabhakaran, Rome’s general concept of intolerance towards those of other faith facilitated as a useful weapon to seek dominance by the western neo-colonialist interests. Sri Lanka’s United National Party (UNP) has a lot of skeletons in its closets and has given support to the LTTE in various ways and on many occasions. During the time the UNP held reins in Colombo, the overrunning of army camps by the LTTE became a kind of joke because it soon became recognized as a means to supply arms to the terror force with the nation in blindfolds.

During the UNP regime, the air raids against the LTTE camps in Jaffna beginning with the attack in Chulipuram were sham operations. It appeared the LTTE enjoyed prior information and vacated the camps in time and only civilian lives were lost. It was incredible that the LTTE never suffered loss of lives; not even their arms were destroyed.

These overruns gave an impression to the world that the LTTE was a powerful liberation force but in reality it was a sheer fakery that was exposed the way they ran for their lives in the final Eelam War despite having vast hordes of arms and all kinds of military hardware and related technology they had and only children forced to handle them on the fronts. How many thousands of children and young people have been sent to their perishing grounds by the LTTE? And how many hundreds of Diaspora children are in the universities in the west, a Diaspora that funded the murder of Tamil children in Sri Lanka?
Where was the Red Cross during all these terrible times and events and that goes for the Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch commission and the media in the west shedding streams of “crockodilian” tears.     
   
In all these who better than the Red Cross to be the agents of the west? It is based in Switzerland significantly the country that provides the guards for the Vatican. And there are also the Amnesty International, Human Eights people and various media organizations adequately portrayed by a Times of London editorial three days ago with a vitriolic attack on the Government of Sri Lanka for reading some parts of the Riot Act to the Red Cross.

Screaming Defiance
The screaming defiance of Times of London comes as no surprise. Once upon a time it was the most respected and trusted British daily but by the 1970s had begun a downward slope in the realms of Trashland and the editorial referred to, is proof of this tirade which also further exposes the realitity that the Sri Lanka government not only had to fight the most brutal terrorist force in the world but also a whole lot of powerful interests in the west determined to damn Sri Lanka. Times of London must understand that international loans are no pittance. After all the most powerful nation in the world survives on loans and quite a bit comes from the developing world especially from China and that goes for Britain too. Without such even Times of London may not have the wherewithal to survive.

No wonder the order to scale down the operations of the Red Cross has shaken the devious might of these interests. But this organization has a rather terrible record in Sri Lanka for some years now. Next to the Norwegians, the Red Cross has been LTTE’s allies in Sri Lanka and both received their directions from the Catholic Church. Seated as High Priest of these interests was the Bishop of Mannar, the Rt Rev Rayappu Joseph and he had his legions of priests who have from time to time publicly demonstrated for the LTTE and even disgracefully displaying the photograph of the world’s most tyrannous child killer.

What is the record of the Red Cross in Sri Lanka? Why did they not rescue the children and young people who were being blatantly conscripted by the Tigers? The concern expressed by the Red Cross about the IDP camps are certainly about protecting Tiger personal who are hiding among the Wanni civilians. Increasingly they are being identified by the civilians who had suffered immense horrors from them. Who is running the country – Red Cross, Great Britain, France, Channel 4, BBC, Times Online, Amnesty Internal, Navaneetham Pillai, pro-LTTE Tamil Diaspora who have purged themselves of the Tamils in Sri Lanka or the Government of Sri Lanka?

During the early 1980s, it came to be known that some of their workers were Red Cross by day and Tigers by night. In that dreadful October 1995 forced march of the civilians as human shield to the fleeing Tigers from the Jaffna Peninsula to the Wanni and that too under the terrible monsoon conditions of that season, Red Cross workers were seen looting the Jaffna General Hospital of beds and valuable equipment all of which ended in the Wanni. Several homes were also looted and Red Cross workers by day figured a great deal in this activity by night. Unspeakable terror wielded by the Tigers was such that people dared not to challenge these teenaged terrors with guns, grenades and all.

On this march and with such inclement weather, many people died on the way. Leaving behind the dear ones in shallow graves people just marched under the ruthless command of Tiger cadres who showed no mercy whatsoever. They used their guns like toys and were trigger-itched to use them at the slightest opportunity that came by their way.    
In other words like the Catholic Church right from the beginning, the Red Cross  also facilitated itself as supportive to the interests of the LTTE. This is one of the factors in the eventual events of the Civil War that gave the false confidence to Prabhakaran that some power will ensure a ceasefire and give yet another new breath of life to the LTTE. But for that hope, of which he was quite confident, he would have tried to escape much earlier and that would have been possible too.

A Wanni wit who went through hell in the No Fire Zone said that the Tiger leaders kept looking at the sky trying to spot US marines air-dropping at Pudukudyiruppu sure Barak Obama will do what Ronald Regan did for Marcos and his corrupt cronies. He said. “It was when they were looking up, they were all shot and because of the plumpness due to the year round bunker habitation of Prabhakaram he could not take cover quickly.”

Vicarious Eastwood Relation
This son of a gun never fought a battle from the front. What he did was to throw unceasing waves of youth, often kids onto the front knowing fully well hundreds would be killed, the kind of numbers Red Cross would have been happy to scatter around the world as human rights violations. He was proud of boasting about the “Unceasing Waves – Oyatha Alaihal” and that is the LTTE version of slaughter of children and young people.  Prabhakaran always sat tight in his luxury bunkers living in fantasies as if he was the riding hero of spaghetti westerns. He led a life of a vicarious relationship with Clint Eastwood.   

Two years ago the LTTE fouled up the fortunes they hitherto enjoyed especially with their godfathers Ranil Wickremasinghe and Erik Solheim holding the clout in Sri Lanka. This was how they tried to prevent water from Mavil Aru being available to hundreds of farm families. Unfortunately for Prabhakaran there was a new man on the saddle in Colombo and by this time several countries had proscribed the LTTE as a terrorist organization.

Once President Mahinda Rajapaksa took matters in the right direction following especially the Mavil Aru outrage, the LTTE was on its run. What began at Mavil Aru became a wild flight through Mannar, Mulankavil, Maruthankerni and Mankulam hiding among the much exploited Wanni civilians on whose rations they lived on and whose children and young people they forced to take arms.

By this time the LTTE had virtually devastated the rich farming assets of the Wanni people.
Where was the Red Cross at this time? Why were there Catholic priests and nuns playing the role of aiders and abettors of this deadly march? Why did the Catholic bishops who rushed to the IDP camps fail to stop their clergy and nuns from forcing the civilians to be human shields?

A terror group that had developed a conventional army, navy and even a few tin sheets put-together air force, could not engage the well disciplined and determined Sri Lankan Armed Forces. It was a cowardly run using thousands of civilians as human shield. The ICRC never reported about what was happening in the Wanni, neither did the HWRs people, nor Amnesty International not even any of the Western media like the BBC, Channel 4 and others.   
Who was the Red Cross helping at this time, the people who were being subjected to an oppressive march or the LTTE? During the height of the Civil War and as it rolled towards a climax, questions were asked as to what was happening to the injured Tiger cadres. There were supposed to be over 25,000 of them and fire was exchanged between the army and the LTTE and several army personnel were known to have perished. But how about the LTTE injured?
Violation of the Oath of Hippocrates
Now comes the answer to what has troubled many of us with disgraceful and despicable dimensions to it. The five doctors who claim to have been working under LTTE-forced conditions have begun to spill the beans. All five have defied the Oath of Hippocrates which has as its primary obligation the respect for human life. The medical profession is totally dedicated to life under all circumstances, regardless of rank, age, intellect without any exceptions whatsoever.

These doctors were paid by the government and in fact the government’s health provisions to all the people have been in existence from the time of independence or even before it. There were no Red Cross or any other foreign agency involved in health services. These doctors have been working in Wanni long before the Civil War broke out and they should have been with the Armed Forces medicos and not with the Tigers.

However, it is evident they have been pro-Tiger people and now we have reports they ignored the injured people of Wanni and only looked after the wounded Tiger cadres. It was also on their recommendations the Red Cross handled the rescue operations using their ship. In other words the Red Cross helped the Tiger injured under the guise they were civilians and they were then delivered to the various government hospitals where they were treated.
The poor people of Wanni went without that service and had to go through their terrible trauma even wading through the waters to seek their help from the Army medicos. Not only in this alone but in various other engagements, the Red Cross failed its mandate and was only looking for ways and means to help the Tigers.

Comparing what the Red Cross has been saying about artillery fire and people killed and the statements made by the doctors, it is very clear the claim of the Armed Forces that there were no artillery fire on the hospital was correct. The Red Cross however practiced deceit with the false propaganda that was tailored for the consumption of the western media and the organizations like Amnesty International, Human Rights Commission etc.
Why does the Red Cross want full rights to enter the IDP camps? Sure there are many Tigers still masquerading as civilians there and it is their interests they seemed concerned. The Red Cross had also enabled their vehicles to be used to smuggle out Tiger cadres from the IDP camps. There was an earlier incident of a Red Cross vehicle being used to transport mines from the Wanni to Colombo.

There has been a great deal of suspicion that over the years vehicles belonging to the INGOs, NGOs and the Red Cross were used for illegal operations to help the Tigers especially in transporting certain incendiary materials like Claymore mines to and from the LTTE underworld in Colombo.

Times of London may scream and sweat its entrails out but we advise the editors to visit the detention camps in Britain ands see for themselves the conditions there and how hardened criminals are kept together with helpless asylum seekers and their families. There are over two hundred such detention camps in Europe in such countries as France, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Italy and other states apart from the United Kingdom.
But what is most significant, however, is the shocking reality, Wanni became a massive detention camp and where the people were terrorized for over 15 years and neither the Tamil Diaspora nor any of the international organizations not even the Times of London took any note of it