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The War Crime Sri Lanka Can't HideTim King Salem-News.com
Sri Lanka could eventually be tried for a vicious Genocide against women and children and civilian non-combatants.
(SACRAMENTO, CA) - Many Americans are catching bits and pieces about the newly released photos of the 12-year old son of Tamil Tiger leader, Velupillai Prabhakaran. Images of the handsome boy, Balachandran Prabhakaran, clearly suggest they were taken just before he was murdered by Sri Lankan military forces.
Even the Huffington Post covered it, yet I suspect that most yanks have no idea what this unique culture is about, nor do they fully comprehend the horrors of the recently ended Sri Lankan civil war their country supported, between the government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, (LTTE), the famed Tigers of Tamil Eelam. It isn't the fault of the American for knowing little to nothing about this struggle, instead the blame falls on the shoulders of the U.S. media which is not worth its weight in blood.
The demise of this group of people, up to 160,000 of them or more, was engineered in part by former U.S. President George W. Bush who helped officially designate the Tamil Tigers as a terrorist group when in fact the U.S.-backed bloody government of Sri Lanka had terrorized the Tamils for years before they ever fought back.
We now know that a number of Americans were well aware of what was taking place and there
While our articles on the Tamil Genocide are widely read in Sri Lanka, this article is specifically written for the American audience. If people know what happened, we stand some chance of preventing it from happening again.
Who are the Tamils?
I sadly think that probably close to 99% of the people in the U.S. do not know who the Tamils are, and I didn't either until I began writing about this conflict. Now I feel like I am at least part Tamil and that is from my heart. There is nothing sadder than being embraced by an embattled culture, nor are many things more rewarding for a journalist.
Most Tamil people live in Tamil Nadu, a state of India, that is by coincidence where Salem, India is located. A large contingent of Tamils live in Sri Lanka, most are in the north coastal area. Tamil activists told me last year at the large Tamil gathering in Baltimore known as FeTNA, (Federation of North American Tamil Sangams), that a land bridge once connected India and Sri Lanka and that explains many things about how the Tamils ended up in both countries. Many historians agree and there is strong evidence of the former connecting land bridge.
Tamil problems of equality and acceptance accelerated after Sri Lanka, then known as Ceylon, gained independence from British colonialism in 1948. The majority culture, the Singhalese Buddhists, have time and time again attacked their Tamil neighbors.
In fact for three decades following independence, Tamils in this island nation attempted to use a demonstrated model to gain peace, that is Gandhi-style non-violent protest. It worked in India, and it failed in Ceylon.
Believing their culture to be one of the most ancient on the face of the earth, the Hindu and Christian Tamils finally found no choice but to fight back, and the Tamil Tigers were formed in the early 1970's to defend the population from the GoSL military and police and roving mobs of Sinhala Buddhist civilians. These Buddhists had (have) a tendency to set fire to Tamil villages, rape Tamil women, and commit murders.
Over time, the Tamil Tigers experienced strong levels of corruption. Some members broke away, some abandoned their ideals and began working for the government, and others held fast and true. The LTTE would be plagued by their use of child soldiers, however a closer examination of that story shows that many young Tamils spent their lives waiting to become part of this paramilitary force of great fighting capability. They were patriotic like anyone else and the Tamil Tigers were their protectors.
The civil war in this country was horrible. The LTTE created the suicide bomb and used it to great effect. However many believe their most well known credit, the assassination of Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1991, was a set up. No matter what, evidence in the matter was weak and the governments were both working against the LTTE at that point and happy to convict their members in the high profile killing.
The answer to the question, who are Tamils? They are human beings with all the rights of human beings as defined under the 1947 Universal Declaration of Human Rights. As a culture, they have been around longer than most.
Death in a War of Deception
Velupillai Prabhakaran was the founder and leader of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, the militant organization that sought to create an independent Tamil state in the north and east of Sri Lanka. He was murdered by Sri Lankan government forces at the close of the civil war, in fact his death brought an end to the conflict.
The photo that the Sri Lanka government released initially, showed the body of Prabhakaran with a cloth covering the top of his head.
In realty, there is no top of his head. He was executed like countless other Tamil militants, with a round fired into the back of his head, and it largely destroyed his forehead, replacing it with a gaping bullet exit wound.
The other photos and video showing the actual wounds were soon leaked. One shows the Sri Lankan government crudely removing pieces of Velipillai Prabhakaran's brain.
He is seen dead in uniform, with his clothing removed, and then with his body smeared in mud. All of this is depicted in the Channel-4 program, Sri Lanka's Killing fields.
Prof. William Schabas, a Human Rights Lawyer featured in Sri Lanka's Killing Fields: War Crimes Unpunished, says Velupillai Prabhakaran's fatal injury was not the result of a combat death, but an execution, a murder, and in this case, a war crime.
His 17 May 2009 death led to this statement from the LTTE:
"We announce today with inexpressible sadness and heavy hearts that our incomparable leader, the supreme commander of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), attained martyrdom fighting the Sri Lankan government," the rebels' chief of international relations, Selvarasa Pathmanathan saidt.
"His final request was for the struggle to continue until we achieved the freedom for his people."
As previously stated, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam were defeated in Sri Lanka during the conclusion of this war in 2009, but the resistance is still in existence, the group is widely viewed as a resistance force that stood only for the liberation of the Tamil people.
It is a fact that the final push that began in 2005, came at a time that a cease fire was in existence. This was not observed by Sri Lanka's government. This fact alone is stark and haunting. It had taken a long time and many deaths to finally achieve peace and Sri Lankan President Majinda Rajapakse and his brothers who run Sri Lanka, shattered it.
Son of a Tiger
The Channel 4 documentary reveals how the Sri Lankan Army (SLA) located this otherwise elusive military leader. It seems Velupillai Prabhakaran's fatal mistake, was trusting that officers in the SLA would behave like human beings and above all else, respect civilians who surrendered. He made the wrong assumption, they tortured his son into providing the information. Then they murdered the boy in cold blood.
It was almost a year ago, in March 2012, that we carried Sri Lanka's Ghastly Child Killings, however the work of Callum Macrae in London
As stated by the Global Tamil Forum on 13 February 2013:
What Macrae did was to remove any doubts about the fate of 12-year old Balachandran Prabhakaran. We already knew what happened, we had all viewed the death photos that show the small boy with five bullet holes laying in the dirt. But the new photos of him sitting in the custody of Sri Lankan soldiers, taken immediately before his death, make it a wrap.
As the war was going out of control, young Balachandran was sent to turn himself into the GoSL along with his bodyguards, in order to protect his life. Treacherous to the end, the Sri Lankan Army (SLA) forced the boy to reveal information about his father, and then he was executed like so many other Tamils who used white flags to surrender.
This story is one of tens of thousands that tell of murder and a government's elimination of its own people. I have followed many parts of the saga and the links to all of my previous reports are listed below. I hope Sri Lanka will eventually be tried for this vicious Genocide of women and children and civilian non-combatants. The only thing the GoSL has shown us is that they will not admit anything, and therefore the credibility of this government is greatly strained, it has been caught in one lie too many.
Tim King's previous Salem-News.com reports on Sri Lanka:
Jan-17-2013: Special Feature: A Spark of Unity for Sri Lanka?
Nov-21-2012: Why Did Sri Lanka Kill So Many Children?
Jul-30-2012: Blindness Sweeps Large Parts of Sri Lanka
Jul-20-2012: Why Are Buddhists Committing Genocide Again?
Jul-01-2012: Did a Ghost Crawl Inside My Laptop?
May-07-2012: Sri Lankan Buddhist Mobs Call for Mosque Demolition
Apr-10-2012: Sri Lanka: Genocide and Poor Toilet Training
Mar-18-2012: Is Google Earth Hiding Sri Lanka's Ghosts?
Mar-11-2012: War Crime Court and its Conflicting Interests
Mar-08-2012: Sex Abuse and Murder in Sri Lanka- New Photos Emerge
Feb-28-2012: Tweets from Tamil Eelam
Feb-24-2012: Two of Sri Lanka's Foulest War Crimes
Nov-24-2011: Fear, Genocide and Torture in Sri Lanka
Oct-15-2011: Genocide 101: World and Media Apathy
Oct-05-2011: War and its Aftermath... a Real Killer for Tourism
Oct-01-2011: Sri Lanka in the Crosshairs of Canadian Parliament
Sep-13-2011: Sri Lanka Recalls Diplomat Accused of War Crimes
Jun-20-2011: Sri Lanka's Violence Toward Tamil Minority Continues
Jun-02-2011: UN Experts: Sri Lanka Tamil Genocide Video is Real
May-31-2011: Sri Lanka Tamil Genocide: Killing the Messenger
May-03-2011: Confronting the Tamil Genocide in Sri Lanka
Apr-27-2011: Tamil Genocide in Sri Lanka Emerges Into Public View
Tim King: Salem-News.com Editor and Writer
You can write to Tim at this address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visit Tim's Facebook page (facebook.com/TimKing.Reporter)
With almost 25 years of experience on the west coast and worldwide as a television news producer, photojournalist, reporter and assignment editor, Tim King is Salem-News.com's Executive News Editor. His background includes covering the war in Afghanistan in 2006 and 2007, and reporting from the Iraq war in 2008. Tim is a former U.S. Marine who follows stories of Marines and Marine Veterans; he's covered British Royal Marines and in Iraq, Tim embedded with the same unit he served with in the 1980's.
Tim holds awards for reporting, photography, writing and editing from traditional mainstream news agencies like The Associated Press and Electronic Media Association; he also holds awards from the National Coalition of Motorcyclists, the Oregon Confederation of Motorcycle Clubs; and was presented with a 'Good Neighbor Award' for his reporting, by the The Red Cross.
Tim's years as a Human Rights reporter have taken on many dimensions; he has rallied for a long list of cultures and populations and continues to every day, with a strong and direct concentration on the 2009 Genocide of Tamil Hindus and Christians in Sri Lanka. As a result of his long list of reports exposing war crimes against Tamil people, Tim was invited to be the keynote speaker at the FeTNA (Federation of Tamil Sangams of North America) Conference in Baltimore, in July 2012. This is the largest annual gathering of North American Tamils; Tim addressed more than 3000 people and was presented with a traditional Sri Lanka ‘blessed garland’ and a shawl as per the tradition and custom of Tamil Nadu
In a personal capacity, Tim has written 2,026 articles as of March 2012 for Salem-News.com since the new format designed by Matt Lintz was launched in December, 2005. Serving readers with news from all over the globe, Tim's life is literally encircled by the endless news flow published by Salem-News.com, where more than 100 writers contribute stories from 23+ countries and regions.
Tim specializes in writing about political and military developments worldwide; and maintains that the label 'terrorist' is ill placed in many cases; specifically with the LTTE Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka, where it was used as an excuse to slaughter people by the tens of thousands; and in Gaza, where a trapped population lives at the mercy of Israel's destructive military war crime grinder. At the center of all of this, Tim pays extremely close attention to the safety and welfare of journalists worldwide.
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