By V. Anandasangaree –
His Excellency Mahinda Rajapaksa, President of Sri Lanka,
Why this crisis in Beautiful Sri Lanka
After very serious consideration I decided to write this letter to you, although I am fully conscious of the fact that this won’t be palatable to you. I am neither an oracle nor a fore teller but one much devoted to my country and its people irrespective of their ethnicity or religious beliefs. I have no greed for power too. Had I been dishonest enough to say that the LTTE was the Sole Representatives of the Tamil People, I would have been at the helm of Tamil Politics today. I did not say so because they were not so. This stand that I took, a part from costing me my seat in Parliament at two successive terms totaling a period of 12 years also deprived me of my income as a Lawyer and Notary Public and earned me the honorary title of “Traitor” which title every politician is honored with by his opponents. In spite of all these my only worry today is that of the welfare of my country and of its people.
Off and on I had been advising you on various political matters based on the immense experience I gained during a period of about sixty years in Politics. Winning the war against the LTTE was a joint effort of many, and not that of an individual or a group of persons. The contributions came in different forms from different sources. The sacrifices made by the soldiers, the conscripted youths, the people of the country particularly of the North and the East and the act of banning of the LTTE in almost all countries including India, EU, UK, Scandinavian countries, USA, Canada etc, all together contributed for the defeat of the LTTE. In most countries the ban is still in force. Added to this, many countries gave various forms of aid to defeat the LTTE. No democratic country will ever extend its support for a group, committed to violence. Hence the credit for winning the war can never be claimed by one individual or a group of individuals. The unfortunate situation prevailing now in the country is that many people who waited for over 30 years to enjoy freedom are still not enjoying freedom and the worst is, in most parts of the North and the East the dominance and subjugation are much more severe then what it was under the LTTE rule. The biggest mistake made by you or by those who are close to you is to give you the full credit for the eradication of the LTTE rule, in spite of the fact that very many thousand civilians high officials, many Parliamentarians and Ministers, among the civilians many innocent women and children, religious dignitaries the soldiers and the conscripted youths etc all have made great sacrifices.
I regret to bring to your notice that your failure to take serious note of my suggestions and advices given to you off and on had contributed to bring the country to this tragic state.
During the last lap of the war with the LTTE between the 1st and the 19th of May 2009 I wrote a number of letters to you. The one captioned “Save the remaining IDPs in Vanni dated 2nd May 2009, virtually foretold all what were going to happen at the end. Lankasri News reported, “In a fervent appeal to save the Internally Displaced Persons trapped in Vanni, V.Anandasangaree, President of Tamil United Liberation Front has suggested that an International Agency, acceptable to the Government, be selected to visit Vanni.”
I quot the following four paragraphs from that letter to you
“I have very reliable information that the number still stranded in Vanni is over one hundred and fifty thousand but I am positively sure that the number exceeds one hundred thousand. On an earlier occasion too, I hope you will remember, as regards the number I proved correct. It is very un-fortunate that although aerial bombing had stopped shelling and artillery attacks had been taking place during the last three day also. I plead with you to have them stopped forthwith and save the civilians.”
“ I wish to point out that the military action that is going on, apart from causing several causalities among the IDPs in Vanni, the fear and tension this is causing to those IDPs who have already come into the Welfare Centers, will have serious repercussions on them since most of their relatives are still in Vanni. Every life is valuable and it is your bounden duty to save the innocent people at any cost. As I mentioned earlier in one of my letters to you, when the truth comes to light one day, the country as a whole will get condemned by the International Community.
In relation to shortage of food I had written:-
“There is also an acute shortage of food and the people are virtually on the verge of starvation. On the 2nd April they had received 1100 metric tons of food items. Since then on the 28th and 29th 30 metric tons was received each day. Sugar received on these two consignments is only 1000 Kg each. Hence please direct the authorities concerned to dispatch sufficient stock of food items and drugs immediately to Vanni.
In conclusion I wrote:-
“Even at this late hour I have a suggestion to make which if acceptable, your Excellency may consider for implementation. I suggest that an International Agency, acceptable to the Government, be selected to visit Vanni and persuade the LTTE to allow the innocent people to go out freely, with an offer of a general amnesty to those who surrender with arms. A period of two weeks may be give to the agency to make the necessary arrangements. If such an arrangement is not made to bring out the civilians safely, the whole thing will end up in a national disaster detrimental to the good name of the country”
Your Excellency, if you go through some of my letters you will agree with me that your advisers had let you down. If they had acted responsibly the present situation could have been avoided. In my observation the biggest mistake the Government made was ignoring India’s advice and taking seriously the views of some who misled you by making very irresponsible statements. How nasty it looks to see certain degrading words used in condemning some officials of the UN. Surely these people know that these officials act strictly on the reports given to them which they have to take as authoritative Let us first stop condemning officials at random . Let these people about whom I refer, understand that foreign countries have their Diplomatic missions for a genuine purpose. Specially at a time when the LTTE still remain banned in their respective countries whatever information they collect locally will be genuine and truthful and not at all fabricated. If adverse reports are reaching the UN official it is our people who should open their mouths with utmost caution. When the fault is with our people why should we find fault with foreign countries, when they decide to support the US resolutions.
We should not forget that each country that has its mission in Sri Lanka has its own source to gather information needed, which obviously will be shared among themselves. Please take note that every wrong thing happening in the country will in their estimation be felt as violations of rights. Such matters will promptly be transmitted to the proper person. Thus those who act foolishly will have to act with caution. No country will tolerate planting a statue of one faith replacing one of another faith, that too by soldiers with a gun in one hand or driving out the local people and trying to replace them with people belonging to another ethnic group from far off places are matters that will be spurned by any reasonable person. This country is big enough to accommodates ten times or even more than the population now available in this country.
The North is burning and the people are still mourning the deaths of their dear ones and about the missing persons. When they are still weeping over their losses due to the war, the lose of their peaceful life, of their starving children, of their roofless homes, and broken families, the soldiers are playing the fiddle. This is not the time to propagate Buddhism. On the whole I dare say that it is ridiculous to change the demographic pattern in the pre dominantly Tamil areas when the country is not normal and thoroughly destabilized. May I tell you your Excellency that you should impress on the people that fanaticism will not pay.
I am not a stranger, not to know about you. We knew each other for over 43 years. I want you to be the same old Mahinda and do what is just. If in your option “Mahinda Chinthana” is a just and honest concept, implement it in the best and most honorable way that will be appreciated by every body. Tell the country that you are President for everybody and that you are duty bound to hold the scales evenly and will not be swayed by sentiments.