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Mar-20-2012 17:15printcomments

Western Media Clouds Obscure Sri Lanka's Genocide

Graphic Images: As the U.S. steps forward, charging Sri Lanka with war crimes in Geneva, western media create confusion, contradicts facts.

Tamil Genocide in Sri Lanka

(SALEM / COLOMBO) - The Washington Post reports that hundreds of Buddhist monks and other religious clergy Monday participated at a ceremony praying for the defeat of a U.N. resolution calling on Sri Lanka to probe wartime human rights abuses. (see: Sri Lankan clergy pray for defeat of UN resolution urging investigation of possible war abuses - The Washington Post)

Bodyguards who escorted son of LTTE's
leader to surrender, like so many, they
were executed with their hands bound.
Sri Lanka has used the label of 'terrorism'
to terrorize Tamil people.

Sri Lanka's government is trying to defeat the resolution the United States filed over war crimes in Geneva. Those following western coverage of the matter might well believe that this island nation deserves a break; but in reality, Sri Lanka's government under the leadership of President Majinda Rajapaksa, was part of a highly orchestrated campaign to eliminate Tamil Hindus and Christians.

It is one of the cruelest stories in modern history and, as documented thoroughly by Channel-4 in London, one big, long planned string of war crimes and crimes against humanity. It left more than 160,000 human beings unaccounted for, and most experts believe that while some may remain in detention at undisclosed prison camps, they are almost all dead.

Tamil woman's body is impaled by a rocket - 'no fire'
zone? Sri Lanka followed weeks of rocket and artillery
attacks with more personal killing - all denied by SL.

The Tamil population formed a resistance force some 30 years ago to protect its population from being eliminated by the country's Buddhist Sinhalese majority.

With the help of former U.S. President George W. Bush, that defense force: the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) or 'Tamil Tigers', was declared a terrorist organization and they lost their ability to represent themselves politically, exactly what the Rajapaksa regime sought.

'Terrorism' is every other word when those who advocate Sri Lanka's position, plead their national cause and deny the sickeningly, heavily documented war crimes. Sri Lanka also attacked the Tamil north when a cease fire was in place.

One of my recent article about Sri Lanka implicated Google Earth for having replaced the section of the earth where this horrific Genocide took place, with a frame from four years before it happened. The rest of Sri Lanka was photographed for Google Earth during the Genocide's most brutal month, May 2009, when all surviving Tamils were routed into the area Google removed and replaced. A comment on that article yesterday brought clarity to the plight of Tamils prior to the terrible Genocide, which is a separate matter from the country's three-decade long civil war.

Here are few important historical points on what Tamilians were deprived of in the course of time.

  • In 1948-50 the then Prime Minister of Ceylon D.S. Senanayake launched massive Sinhalese colonization schemes in the Eastern province, the traditional homeland of the Tamils. Gal Oya in the Batticalo District, Allai and Kanthalai in the Trincomalee District were the colonization schemes launched by him.
  • On June 14, 1956 Mr. S. W. R. D. Bandaranayake, leader of the Srilanka Freedom Party and Prime Minster, who won the Parliamentary Elections help in 1956 caused Parliament, dominated by the majority Sinhalese to enact "Sinhala Only" as the official language of Ceylon. This was a negation of the hitherto accepted language policy of treating both Sinhala and Tamils as the official languages in place of English. The imposition of Sinhala only represented the subjugation of Tamils by Sinhalese imperialism. In protest the Federal Party which opposed the Sinhala only act staged Satyagraha in Colombo.
  • In 1971 admission to the university based on merit was abandoned and "standardization" to university admissions through G.C.E A/L examination results was introduced. Lower qualifying marks were fixed for Sinhalese than for Tamil students, both regarding the language of instruction and the subjects themselves. The introduction of "standardization" adversely affected Tamil students' access to higher education.
  • In June 1981 under directions of two Sinhalese Ministers the army and the police set fire to important buildings in Jaffna town, specially the Jaffna Public Library considered one of the best in South Asia was torched. This resulted in the destruction of 44,000 valuable books. In addition printing presses and shops were also burnt down. Civilians were killed by the army . Another racial riot broke out.
  • First Sinhalese started to occupy the lands of Tamils and then removed the official language status of Tamil and abandoned the merit based admission to the university and destroyed the litreray and knowledge base of the Tamils.
    - Special thanks to Kumar (see: Is Google Earth Hiding Sri Lanka's Ghosts?)

Dead Tamil Tiger soldiers - many females were abused & raped.

So as you read The Washington Post and other sources that are obviously advocating for Sri Lanka in their articles, I suggest taking a closer look at what really happened.

They write:

    Sri Lankan soldiers defeated Tamil Tiger rebels to end a quarter-century civil war in 2009. Both sides have been accused of serious human rights violations.

In reality, almost no Sri Lankan soldiers were lost in this campaign, at least by comparison; the casualties were on the side of Tamil population.

The civilian Tamils were routed into so-called 'no fire' zones and bombed to death in one of the worst war crimes in history.

Then Sri Lanka claimed that the deaths occurred because the Tamil Tigers used civilians as human shields. This is a preposterous and ridiculous excuse for killing civilians, the Tamil Tigers didn't lay their lives down for 30 years, just to kill their own people, it is a stupid notion and with very few possible exceptions, I reject the entire idea.

The article published by The Washington Post states:

    The statement says “evil forces both local and international, have joined hands to deprive Sri Lanka of the present environment of peace...and take this blessed island back to an era of darkness.”


Evil forces? This U.S. resolution calling Sri Lanka onto the carpet for war crimes is entirely proper and called for, no matter what the punishment will be nothing close to what is deserved. "Evil forces" murder children and civilians and they lie through their teeth to the entire world while they do it, Sri Lanka.

    “We therefore pledge with national determination that the Sri Lankan government and people will be able to defeat the resolution and the evil forces behind it.”

Again, nationalism is a disease of irresponsibility, this is a country that had the journalists who disagreed murdered and disappeared, read about it with groups like Amnesty International.

The article in question did state that:

    A U.N. report has said tens of thousands of civilians may have been killed in the final months of the civil war. It accused the government forces of deliberately targeting civilians and depriving food and medicine for those trapped in the war zone.

It also adds that the rebels were accused of recruiting child soldiers and that, from all accounts, is absolutely true. While the LTTE always had a young enlistment rate, the forced recruitment of teens to make a last stand in the Vanni, was based on dwindling numbers of Tamil Tigers available to fight. It is all such a tragedy, and the result of a quest for national freedom for Tamils. Both the 30-year war and the Genocide are a result of Sri Lanka's attempts to establish a Buddhist nation in a place that was far more diverse for that.

The only thing that matters is truth and accountability and both have been in short supply with regard to this story.

Tim King's previous reports on Sri Lanka:

Mar-18-2012: Is Google Earth Hiding Sri Lanka's Ghosts?

Mar-15-2012: Channel-4 Documentary Proves Sri Lanka Committed War Crimes

Mar-11-2012: War Crime Court and its Conflicting Interests

Mar-08-2012: Sex Abuse and Murder in Sri Lanka- New Photos Emerge

Mar-02-2012: A Very Uncivil War - Ghastly Images- Gross Detail and Denial of Sri Lanka's Genocide

Feb-28-2012: Americans Praise Sri Lankan Politicians who Orchestrated Genocide

Feb-28-2012: Tweets from Tamil Eelam

Feb-24-2012: Two of Sri Lanka's Foulest War Crimes

Feb-19-2012: Will Another Documentary on Sri Lanka's Genocide Impact the Geneva Human Rights Session?

Feb-08-2012: The Questionable Effectiveness of Lighting Yourself on Fire

Feb-03-2012: Sri Lanka's Independence Day- a Black Day for Tamil Eelam

Jan-11-2012: While UN Claims Zero Tolerance, No Discipline of Sri Lankan Abusers in Haiti

Dec-28-2011: Why Was a Red Cross Manager on Vacation from Gaza Murdered in Sri Lanka?

Nov-24-2011: Fear, Genocide and Torture in Sri Lanka

Nov-21-2011: London Calling: Time for Sri Lanka's Release of Post-Conflict Report

Nov-11-2011: Ode to a Humble Hero of Sri Lanka: Dr Brian Senewiratne

Oct-15-2011: Genocide 101: World and Media Apathy

Oct-08-2011: Sri Lanka Joins Israel in Naval Attacks on Unarmed Fishermen

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

Aug-31-2011: 'No Song and Dance' Over Sri Lanka War Crime Admissions

Jul-25-2011: Former Sri Lanka President's Children 'Reacted With Anguish' to Tamil Genocide Program

Jul-22-2011: M.I.A. - A Beautiful Reflection of the Besieged Tamils of Sri Lanka

Jul-17-2011: 44 Prisoners Join Hunger Strike at Vavuniya Prison in Sri Lanka

Jul-14-2011: The Bush Administration's Role in Sri Lanka's Tamil Genocide

Jul-13-2011: Fields Should be for Sports, not Genocide... Sri Lanka

Jun-29-2011: Sri Lanka Continues Genocide, Thumbing Nose at UN and World

Jun-20-2011: Sri Lanka's Violence Toward Tamil Minority Continues

Jun-18-2011: 'International Day in Support of Victims of Torture'Remember the Tamil Genocide

Jun-17-2011: European Tourists Waylaid in Sri Lanka, Resurgence of 'White Van' Crime

Jun-15-2011: Tamil Genocide Explored in Sri Lanka's Killing Fields

Jun-02-2011: UN Experts: Sri Lanka Tamil Genocide Video is Real

May-31-2011: New Song 'Depression' - Graphic Truth of Sri Lanka Tamil Genocide

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

Apr-22-2011: World Ignores Genocide of Sri Lanka's Tamil Population


Tim King in 2008, covering the Iraq War

Tim King: Editor and Writer

Tim King has more than twenty years of experience on the west coast as a television news producer, photojournalist, reporter and assignment editor. Tim is'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.

Tim holds awards for reporting, photography, writing and editing from The Associated Press the National Coalition of Motorcyclists, the Oregon Confederation of Motorcycle Clubs, Electronic Media Association and The Red Cross In a personal capacity, Tim has written 2,026 articles as of March 2012 for since the new format designed by Matt Lintz was launched in December, 2005.

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Chen August 1, 2012 6:34 am (Pacific time)

I have to ask, but doesn't the people of Tamil Nadu care about this??!! Or are they too busy chasing bollywood stars from the South in the RajaSabha?? Indeed what does Madame Malini and Madame Ganesan have to say, have they ANY opinion on the matter??? Or who sits where in the House???

Chariot March 23, 2012 12:57 am (Pacific time)

hey Tim, thanks for the responce. The casualty figures from a UN report is 6,432 - sourced from an Article in the Asian Tribune (independent source) published by a UK based watch group. as the artcle below states, the number is not known exactly, but its definitely not 40k or 300k. i think the first two sources u quoted are either NGOs whose bread and butter is genocide(or LTTE fronts) so they may be overestimating and the standard of journalism displayed by Jon Snow is also described in the article above. 300,000 is the total number of civilians that the LTTE forced from their homes to follow them in their retreat to serve as a human shield. Amnesty International estimated the total civilians held (basically hostage) by the LTTE at 50,000 during the final stages so there is no way 300k, 160k or 135k ppl to die. u got to understand that the current govt. will be happy as long as their swiss bank a/cs are filled and they really dont care abt discriminating between races. the focus on the war (the only thing the govt. did successfully) is a boon for them in the next election as it has completely diverted attention from the cost of living problem which was leading to protests from all corners only a few weeks ago. Most of the tamils in Sri Lanka have lived in harmony in sinhala or muslim majority areas (thats abt 85% of SL) for the last 15-20 years with no racial killings. we have moved on from the bloody intolerance of the 1980s and hopefully a good political settlement will result soon. Thanks, Peace out!

Chariot March 21, 2012 9:24 pm (Pacific time)

sinhalese did wrongs, but most of these wrongs are 30 years old and some of these (sinhala only etc) have been addressed or are being addressed (devolution of power), albeit slowly. the reality is the british under their "divide and conquer" policy gave minorities more political power (u can read on the constitutions of sri lanka prior to 1948 if interested) than the majority, which led to a backlash in 1956. the sinhalese, in their efforts to correct the balance, over-corrected and that led to discrimination, and ultimately an uprising. what u dont understand is that the basic problems tamils had in 1980s have mostly been addressed during the next 30 years- including sinhala only policy, higher education opportunities, etc. wht needs to be decided is devolution of power.

u r being misled by ex-Sri Lankans/LTTE sympathizers in the US, who migrated 15-25 years ago, when the situation was very different.

i have two very specific questions to the author -
1. where do u get a figure of 160,000 dead during the last month of the war. all reported figures, including UN, SL govt are at the most 7000. the absurdity of this number is more evident when u consider that the total loss of life during the ENTIRE 30 year war is put at around 100,000 by most sources.

 'More than 300,000 Tamil men, women and children estimated Killed or Disappeared' Genocide Prevention Now

 'More than 135,000 Tamil men, women and children estimated Killed or Disappeared'  Voice Against Genocide

 'at least 40,000 Tamil civilians were killed' Jon Snow on Channel-4

Tim King: One of the sources that I used was linked to the Sri Lanka Boycott campaign and lo and behind, that site appears to have been hijacked or somehow the domain name lost.   

2. No SL army died? mate, my village of 400 had 3 deaths during the last year and 1 during the last 3 months. the rajapakse govt. stopped publishing casualty numbers during the final year of the war as the numbers were so high and could lead to loss of morale.

 Tim King: I am sorry you lost people in your village, the information regarding these losses is hard to locate.

the author's concern for human rights is commendable but the stories are one dimensional and includes inflated casualty numbers and belief of everything said in pro LTTE sources and disbelief of everything said in pro. govt sources. think Tim needs to search for some independent neutral sources - which dont take either side. i will be happy to provide a list if required (published by sources outside SL, w/o links to either govt. or LTTE).

cheers! peace out :)

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