25 October, 2020

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CHOGM – An Acid Test For Malaysian Prime Minister

By K. Arumugam

K. Arumugam

K. Arumugam

If our Prime Minister steps on the soil of Sri Lanka for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) later this week, he will be committing one costly political blunder. It will surely earn the displeasure of the Malaysian Tamils who had supported him in the last election. In a larger context Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak will be seen to have duped larger minorities within Malaysia for trading humanity and human dignity with hegemonic sovereignty that acted with impunity.

Sri Lanka is accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity for killing over 40,000 civilian Tamils in the last phase of war that ended on the 17th May 2009.  That military act was brutal and its conduct was without witness save for its own military personnel.

The ethnic Tamils of Sri Lanka were living as a distinct nationhood parallel to that of the Singhala Kingdom prior to colonization. Sri Lanka became a unitary state when it was colonized by the British.  Continuing the British system after independence the majority Singhala politicians introduced systematic marginalization, disenfranchisement of citizenships and discriminatory policies against the Tamils. Tamils fought back. When their non-violent struggle was met with the brute power of the state, the Tamils were pushed to take up arms in their right to self-determination. If the Tamils struggle was to take place right after the Second World War, it would have been called an independence struggle.  That was the setting.

Immediately after the war in May 2009, Sri Lanka diplomatically labelled the crushing of the Tamils as a military solution to liberate the Tamils from the control of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam calling them terrorist. A resolution was tabled at the Human Rights Council (HRC) on 26th May 2009 justifying the military solution as an act in line with the promotion and protection of human rights’ standards.  Malaysia was bought into that and voted for Sri Lanka, despite local Tamils crying foul.

However, soon after images of the war began to surface. These fueled worldwide condemnation. Various levels of compromise in the United Nations monitoring of the event were exposed. Sri Lanka tactfully handled it roping China and India as accomplices to the act with support from few allies in the region.

British television, Channel 4, screened the first video titled ‘The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka’ exposing summary executions and indiscriminate bombings and abductions. Coupled with United Nations Panel of Experts findings and international lobby by Tamil Diaspora the UN conceded that Sri Lanka must be pushed to account for its conduct during the war.

Pressure built up locally pressuring Najib Razak to play a Statesman role in view of the prevailing information to correct its foreign policy over Sri Lanka. Subsequently, Malaysia refused to support Sri Lanka on resolutions tabled in 2012 and 2013 on issues of accountability on the conduct Sri Lanka during the war.

Was Najib Razak playing politics to appease the Tamils for their votes in the 13th General Election or was he a statesman in the making?

Press reports and answers to Parliament questions positively indicate that the Foreign policy of Malaysia has been somewhat compromised in favour of Sri Lanka. Malaysia treats happenings within Sri Lanka as domestic and sovereign in nature. But, this contrary to Najib Razak’s concern for peace across the globe.  He also criticized regimes that killed their own people. His role on Syria and Rohingya Muslims were sound.

Just three months ago, at the Mahathir Award for Global Peace ceremony, Najib Razak called upon all nations to share common responsibility to secure lasting peace, He reminded that, “It is a challenge that must be met collectively. It is imperative that we achieve a peace premised upon a covenant of the willing, not one enforced by hegemony or secured through coercion.”

Thus it becomes an acid test for Najib Razak. Between what he profess and what he can become. For him to rely on any policy outcome of Wisma Putra on Sri Lanka will be a disaster. Its synthesis may unwittingly puts Malaysians’ investments in Sri Lanka at risk. In a written reply to a question in the last sitting of the Parliament, the honorable Foreign Minister completely failed in bringing home the profound arguments on accountability of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by the government forces of Sri Lanka in May 2009. These were documented in volumes and made available to all parties during the Human Rights Council Sessions in 2012 and 2013. But sadly, Wisma Putra allures investors to Sri Lanka, ignoring the fact that it is indeed a support for a regime run by war criminals.

One should view the Callum Macrae’s ‘No Fire Zone’ the latest authenticated documentary which is available online to get a glimpse of the Sri Lanka episode for a fair appraisal of Wisma Putra. This is precisely the reason why Wisma Putra is deadly against the public viewing of the ‘No Fire Zone’ in Malaysia.

With the latest position taken by Mr Manmohan Singh, the Prime Minister of India, the immediate neighbour to Sri Lanka, not to attend the CHOGM in Colombo next week, it is now imperative for Najib Razak to reconsider his earlier decision to attend.

Our Prime Minister has so much to gain by not going than to commit a crime of attending CHOGM. Sri Lanka’s peace is not premised upon a covenant of the willing, but enforced by hegemony, secured through coercion and filled war crimes and crimes against humanity.

*K. Arumugam – Chairperson of Suaram Human Rights Organization in Malaysia

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Latest comments

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    All these calls for boycotting CHOGM comes from the effective and aggressive Campaigning by the Tamil Diaspora.
    The GOSL on the other hand seem to be taking the easy way out, by only reacting ineffectually to their Propaganda, and not taking positive steps to mount an aggressive Campaign of their Own!
    Why not publicise Videos of the bombing of the Central Bank Building and other atrocities committed by the LTTE and their Suicide Bombers?

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      What is rational? If something is not rational then it is irrational. You cannot compare LTTE attack (banned organization) with the attack of Civilians by the State (recognised organization, Elected by people have a duty to follow what is written in the law books). Sri Lanka is a member of The CHOGM, not the LTTE.

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        Here comes the Malaysian branch of the defeated Tamil terrorists.Nothing new!As usual following in the footsteps of their smelly brothers and sisters in shitty Tamil Nadu.A bunch of cheap BLACKMAILERS!

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          But they still get the job done. :)

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        Ajith
        “Sri Lanka is a member of The CHOGM, not the LTTE.”

        Then why are Canada and India (who are members of CHOGM), listening to the LTTE backed Tamil Diaspora?

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          They are not listening to LTTE. They have facts about what you did to the Tamils? Canada and India banned LTTE long before your massacre of civilians. You did not ask Canada and India why did you ban LTTE listening to your lies. Rational is both Sri Lanka and LTTE violated the human rights but the violation of Sri Lanka was since 1958 and still continues whereas India, Canada and other western nations helped you several ways to defeat LTTE and LTTE is no more. You still violate. Somebody has to stop it. That is rational. Can you prove that you are clean?

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        Why blame Sri Lanka for the death of Tamil civilians? If any civilians died it is because they were captives of the scum LTTE. Those who supported the scum LTTE are responsible for deaths of civilians, if any, we’re killed. Tamils at large approved the scum LTTE as the sole representative. Therefore Tamils at large and scum LTTE have to share the blame for whatever the outcome of the war they started, and LOST. The world is getting tired of whinging Tamils from UK,Canada, Australia. Now, another moron from Malaysia has opened his foul mouth. Time to shut up and get a life!

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          It was GOSL deliberately targetted and slaughtered tens of thousands of Tamil civilians in 2009, not the LTTE.
          The LTTE excuse is old hat and worn out; you Sinhala chauvinists will blame the LTTE for everything and ignore the history of Sri Lankan conflict and the post LTTE torture, intimidation and rape of Tamils.

      • 0
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        well said

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          sinhala friend

          “well said”

          Bull sh..

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      Rationlist:
      I’d suggest you change your pseudonym because it is most inappropriate considering what you keep saying. The Tamil Tigers were Terrorists, the Sri Lanka armed forces and its government pretended to be DEMOCRATIC. Can’t you see the difference in status and expectations as far as the two were concerned.
      Remember also, that those who were tried at Nuremburg were not those actually carrying out all the brutalities. It was the leadership of the government of that time.
      Over and above everything, since when did two wrongs make a right?
      Also, are you going to say that KP, Pillayan, the various Masters, and Colonel Karuna should not even be investigated, leave alone prosecuted. And speaking about individual acts of terror, how about the 6000 unarmed police that Karuna sent to the other world. Do you think the fact that he is a deputy leader of the government should absolve him of this crime.
      “Rationalist?”

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        I’d suggest you change your pseudonym because it is most inappropriate considering what you keep saying. The Tamil Tigers were Terrorists, the Sri Lanka armed forces and its government pretended to be DEMOCRATIC. Can’t you see the difference in status and expectations as far as the two were concerned

        However, your pseudonym seems quite appropriate. So when a terrorist outfit commits atrocities we ignore them completely, allow their hangers, money collectors, theoreticians, political activists seek asylum, give them free hand to collect money, put up demonstrations, wave flags, have conferences in the house of representatives and everything JUST BECAUSE THEY ARE TERRORISTS? How cool is that? Ane Palayang yako!

        If channel 4 is genuine they should expose fully the atrocious crimes committed here by LTTE using money collected in UK, USA and Canada. It first expose LTTE leaders and sympathizers in the west. Then they can take the government to task for its own lapses.

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      Rationalist, be reasonable!

      Sri Lanka is doing vigorous propaganda worldwide for a long time now: In one instance 14 ruling Conservative MPs have been bribed with free trips, some of them repeatedly, and they defended Sri Lanka’s crimes in the Westminster parliament. They were told: We (SL) will give you anything you want for their spins!

      Now David Cameron has found out and banned the party members going on free trips to Sri Lanka financed by the SL state. I am sure there are many more cases of payed Confederates or shills of Sri Lanka in world bodies including the UN and the Commonwealth secretariat.

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    There is truth in what he writes. The Rajapaksha’s are also waging war against Muslims of the country via proxy groups like the BBS and Sinhala Ravaya. Malaysia must boycott as long as there is government that is trying to directly or indirectly enforce an ideology of Sinhala majoritarianism.

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    Way to go sir. We tamilians all over world should stand united and bring justice to the civilians.

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      Tamils all over the world should form a united federation to defend their rights where ever they are threatened.

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        Thiru,you say that:-
        “Tamils all over the world should form a united federation to defend their rights where ever they are threatened.”

        I would say that this has been going for as long as Tamils identified themselves as a different species, and ‘FELT’ threatened. They tended to form Ghettoes wherever they were,in sizeable numbers, whether it was Sri Lanka, Canada, India or elsewhere!

        You are probably too young to remember that Sinhala Nationalism was born when the Tamil members of the Government demanded 50/50 participation in the affairs of the State, way back in 1949.

        There was no way that a 20% Minority in Sri Lanka, would be given 50% of Government Seats!

        This, and the call then, for ‘We Tamils’ to unite, gave Birth to Sinhala Nationalism.

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          Tamils wanted control over themselves or equal say in matters, and since the North and East are sizeable chunks of SL why shouldn’t they. Also small Tamil fishing communities would have been in SL before your founder Vijaya colonised SL 2500 years ago.

          Just because you form the majority why should you Sinahalese run everything of any importance in SL. Larger demographic doesn’t mean you should get sole custody of SL since all you have to do is mass produce like rabits and assimilate non Sinhala to achieve greater numbers.

          I would say the Veddah should also have equal or ideally more say despite their numbers because their numbers is a function of Sinhala founders’ genocide on the Veddah.

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        The easiest way is to pack their belongings and go to your squalid, stinking Tamil Nadu. Fix that he’ll hole and let the rest of the world live in peace.

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          As long as you speak like this, we will fix your dead brain in the right place it belongs to!

        • 0
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          When will you Sinhalese be going back to Bengal , Orissa and South India.

  • 0
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    One place where PM Rudra and his buddies in Tami Nadu wouldn’t try their luck to install Eelaam is Malaysia.

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    An interesting parallel. The three counties threatening to boycott CHOGM are those with the highest Tamil populations. Its votes that matter.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tamil_population_by_nation

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      Otto cycle,

      Don’t forget, vote matters in Sri Lanka too: If the Tamils are oppressed Sinhalese will vote the party to power; that is what Rajapakse is doing to the hilt, attacking Tmails, Muslims and Christian interests.

      Votes are a fine tool for Sinhala Buddhist racists, but others can’t use it for justice!

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        Of course they can use it for justice. How many times was Thondaman a kingmaker in coalition governments?

    • 0
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      Send where?

  • 0
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    In the 1st place it was wrong to allow Sri Lanka to organize this meet,as the country has just come out from the long civil war with the Tamils,it was too early to say if what the Sri Lankan govt did was right or wrong,so it should have to given to another nation BUT as the commonwealth group of nations all per se are a bunch of fools it was thought right for Sri Lanka to host the meet BUT as the days go into months in this tech savvy world photographic evidence emerged to show the other side of the coin.In the best interest of all sorry to say but this the BRUTAL FACTS OF LIFE stop THIS SUMMIT .

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      The Commonwealth is manipulated by a few influential members and it was decided to hold the CHOGM in Sri Lanka because they want to white wash war crimes/genocide, bring respectability to the regime, engage with it and keep it in their fold: You can guess who are these members.

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    Otto:
    Why don’t you make the other obvious comparison: one of the countries boycotting the CHOGM is the largest in terms of population and the other is the largest in respect of geographical area. I suppose it is important that Nauru and a bunch of atolls are attending and these two aren’t?

  • 0
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    L t t e was a ruthless organization no doubt similar to ossamah ,but raping and torturing women in manners beyond borders is very sad,why so much frustration to rape the people one despise,inhumane,treating woen in a degrading manner when we call ourselves civilized,opportunies to rape even the dead srilanka is the highest,after chogm bbs will get into full swing and start abusing the minorities ,so sad and hurtful things they say and do,we love srilanka but the attidtude in this country is so much beneath the level of expectations,being civilized and well mannered and patience and good words are long lost in sl

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    Mauritius PM becomes 3rd leader to pull out of Commonwealth summit http://www.tamilguardian.com/article.asp?articleid=9167

    • 0
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      He probably was threatened and blackmailed by his Tamil brothers and sisters. No thosai and wadai on the CHOGM menu. Makes it lot easier for the chefs and no suicide maniacs to worry about.

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      10% of the population in Mauritius are ethnic Tamil. Recently Tamil Diaspora or rump LTTE had held a symposium on HR violations against Tamils in Sri Lanka there. No wonder Mauritius Prime Minister Ramgoolam said he had his ‘own deliberate judgment’ and followed harper, the PM of Canada.

  • 0
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    sad situation

  • 0
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    SL should copy Malaysia in treating Tamilians.

    Tamilians have too much in SL.

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      Why don’t you Sinhala should remove all the Tamil influence and South Indian genetic input in you ; oh wait that would render you null and void.

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    Which war is not brutal Mr Arumugam?

    LTTE didn’t have a war with Tamils. LTTE’s war was with the government. But LTTE accused following list of Tamils as traitors and killed them between 1975 and 1990.

    A.T. Duraiyappah [SLFP Mayor of Jaffna killed on 27.7.75], A.Thiagarajah [ex ACTC M.P. for Vadukoddai who later joined the UNP killed on 24.4.81], K.T.Pulendran [UNP Organiuser for Vavuniya killed on 19.1.83], A.J.Rajasooriar [UNP Organiser for Jaffna on 12.8.83], Mala Ramachandran [UNP MMC for Batticaloa on 1.9.83], Gnanachandiram [Ex District Judge Point Pedro and Government Agent Mullaitivu killed on 24.2.85], C.E.Anandarajah [Principal St.Johns College, Jaffna killed on 26.6.85], B.K.Thambipillai, [President, Citizens Committee Oddusudan killed on 22.8.85], V.Dharmalingam [Ex TULF M.P. for Manipay and father of D.Siddharthan Leader of PLOTE killed on 2.9.85], Alalasunderam [Ex TULF M.P. for Kopay killed on 2.9.95], P.Kirubakaran [Primary Court Judge killed on 11.3.86], Kathiramalai [Sarvodaya leader on killed 26.9.86], Vignarajah [Assistant Government Agent Samanthurai killed on 15.9.87], Anthonimuttu [Government Agent Batticaloa killed on 8.10.87],.S.Jeganathan [Assistant Government Agent Batticaloa killed on 8.10.87], Sinnadurai [Assistant Government Agent Trincomalee killed on 26.11.87], M.E.Kandasamy [Principal, Palugamam Maha Vidyalaya killed on 14.12.87], S.Siththamparanathan [Principal Vigneswara Vidyalaya Trincomalee killed on 31.1.88], S.Wijayanandan [District Secretary Ceylon Communist Party killed on 8.3.88], Velmurugu Master [TULF Organiser and Citizens Committee Member Kalmunai killed on 20.3.88], Rev. Father Chandra Fernando [President, Citizens’ Committee, Batticaloa killed on 6.6.88], Rajshankar [President Citizen’s Committee Tennamarachchi killed on 27.10.88], S.Sambandamoorthy [Ex TULF Chairman District Development Council, Batticaloa killed on 7.3.89], V.M.Panchalingam [Government Agent, Jaffna killed on 1.5.89], K.Pulendran [Assistant Government Agent, Kopay killed on 28.6.89], A.Amirthalingam [TULF Leader and National List M.P. killed on 13.7.89], V.Yogeswaran [ex TULF M.P for Jaffna killed on 13.7.89], Dr. (Mrs) Rajini Thiranagama [Lecturer in Anatomy at the Jaffna University and co-author of the ‘Broken Palmyrah’ killed on 25.9.89], Ganeshalingam [ex EPRLF Provincial Minister for North & East killed on 28.1.90], Sam Thambimuttu [EPRLF MP] and Mrs. Tambimuttu killed on 7.5.90], V.Yogasangari [EPRLF MP killed in Madras on 19.6.90], A. Thangadora [TULF MP for Trincomalee]. I have not added NON-Tamils like Rajive Gandhi.

    Why did LTTE killed their own people? Because those Tamils opposed LTTE ideology.

    So, why only talk about last few month of the last war when there were four major wars and those wars had lasted 33 years. To be fair, one must investigate the entire 33 years (May 14, 1976 to May 19th 2009) to find out the war criminals.

    Talking about the last day of the last war, everyone knows that it is Velu who forced the civilians to tag with him to be a shield to his gang. It is Velu who decided to fire heavy arms from hospital premises and civilian abodes to get a return fire from the army to those places. Just like Rajiv being blasted to pieces, it is Velu who chose the place and date for thousands of other civilians to die as well. And racist Diaspora and Natu Tamils go berserk like monkeys to cover-up the truth. I know you malaysian Tamils cannot do that.

    Today, regardless their race creed or cast all Sri Lankans have absolute peace in Sri Lanka because all that terrorist tiger gang is no more. So, the first thing people like you should appreciate is that, had Rajapakse not send Velu and his terrorist gang to hell, thousands more more people would have been killed by human bombs, clamour bombs and what not like those in the list were being killed.

    We need not explain Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak how nasty terrorism could to a country for Malays has seen it all during the 1948-60 insurrection. So, we SriLankan can understand why ‘the Internal Security Act 1960’ (ISA) is still a law in Malaysia.

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      Dear Patriot

      Can you put a list of Tamil and Sinhala people who were murdered by Sinhalese and its military since 1948? It is easy to compare. Instead of few months of last war we will include everything since 1948.

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        Ajith,
        One thing I know is that, the first Sinhala-Tamil riot hadn’t started in 1948. It took place in 1939. Do you want to know who started it. GG.Ponnambalam Sn went to Nawalapitiya in 1939, and condemned Mahavamsa and the Sinhalese using bad language. ‘Hindu Organ’ reported on November 1, 1939 that there were clashes in Nawalapitiya, Passara, Maskeliya and even in Jaffna.

        Before that riot, Caste was more important in politics than race. In 1912, at the election for the ‘educated Ceylonese’, Sinhalas in Colombo elected Ponnanbalan Ramanathan, a Tamil over their own man Sinhalese doctor named Marcus Fernando. Check and see whether I am telling the truth.

        Why I made that list is to show terrorists make no distinction for race. Sri Lanka army is no terrorist organisation that give orders to kill certain race or cast, but there may be few villainy individuals who had terrorist inclinations. This I know by personal experience.

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