Watch out for cluster bombs of lies
by Lucien Rajakarunanayake

It’s not trendy or chic anymore to say it is raining cats and dogs. Not if you belong to  INGO circuit  or  that club of  touch-down and quick-go foreign correspondents who prefer the gossip of the INGO circuit to the hard work of news gathering. For them the fashion today is to say it is raining cluster bombs. It is not the tropical monsoon they talk about. It’s all about what’s taking place in the north of Sri Lanka .

 "It’s raining cluster bombs there, you know?"

 "Really? Who’s getting hit?

 "Who else, but Tamil civilians?"

 "What Tamil civilians?"

 "Don’t you know? It’s those who have volunteered to surround the LTTE leadership with their families to ensure the leader’s safety. Those brave people willing to sacrifice their children and even the old and feeble to carry arms for the cause of Prabhakaran’s great liberation struggle and the Grand Dream of Thamil Eelam."

 "You mean those innocent people who are being forcibly pulled out of the warm and cuddly embrace of the tigers, by those terrible Sri Lankan troops claiming to liberate the Tamils from the clutches of terror?"

 "You’ve got it. There’s no terror over there at all. Never has been. That’s the great story. There never was a child soldier in those parts. That’s the real angle. It’s the place where cyanide capsules are crunched in the mouths of young people like Polo Mint or Chewing Gum. It’s a fad, daring though it may be. 

 "Wow, that’s a great story. You thinking of a Pulitzer, are you?"

 "Yah, all I need are the real INGO, local NGO and Humanitarian contacts."

 "Are you into the Tamil Net – sure can be helpful?"

 "Of course, I wow it……No angles; the true tiger story and they like to say it."

 Sri Lanka has gone through Johnny mines, claymore mines, anti-personnel mines, hand bombs, petrol numbs, improvised bombs, suicide bombs – and now we are into cluster bombs. All of the others came from the LTTE – the organization banned as terrorists by more than 30 countries – not likely to be a mistake, although some would like us to think so.  The cluster bomb is no tiger creation; it is not the handy weapon of terror. It is the weapon of choice of the of Sri Lanka, the duly elected government of this little South Asian island, and its security forces, who have shown as sheer bunkum the once much vaunted invincibility of the LTTE and its great military strategist leader Velupillai Prabhakaran. That’s the new INGO Cluster Line.

 "But how did Sri Lanka get cluster bombs, which are illegal under international law or something like that?"

 "Blimey, they got them from Amnesty International.

 "You must be crazy. Amnesty International dealing in bombs, and cluster bombs at that?

 "I’m not crazy. If I am, so is the United Nations. It is the UN office that reported the Amnesty claim about Sri Lankan troops having used cluster bombs to attack a hospital in the north….

 "What a dirty thing to do…. Disgusting…. a thousand times worse than a suicide bomb; definitely worse than a child suicide bomb.  Did the UN bring it to the notice of the Security Council?

 "Bloody let down; they accepted the Sri Lanka Government’s claim that they don’t have cluster bombs. The UN apologized…..

 "You mean the UN backed out and let Amnesty carry the baby? I always thought they worked hand in glove?

 "But Amnesty didn’t eat crow. They didn’t apologize. The explained it.

 "But how can they, after the UN apologized…..

 "They said that lower ranking Sri Lankan troops may have got the cluster bombs from the LTTE, when they captured the tigers’ arms dumps….and used them on civilians in the hospital…..

 "You mean the Sri Lankan Air Force dropped the captured cluster bombs...?

 "No. Amnesty says it is more like the lower ranks of troops used some new improvised catapults to target the cluster bomb at the hospital…..

 "Did anyone see them fall?"

 "Nonsense. There were families of UN workers who the LTTE refused to release, who heard the raining of cluster bombs for 16 hours…… near the hospital compound…

 "Was anyone hurt in clusters or singly… it must have been terrible..

 "No one was hurt…… they described the sound to he UN Security Guards in Colombo by phone, and they accurately concluded it was definitely the sound of cluster bombs... Apparently the UN office has clusters of such sound experts in Colombo ….

 "Did any foreign journalists go there to verify….even breaking the ban on travel to those parts……as they do in other parts……it’s a great story… like the white phosphorous that Israeldropped on the Gaza civilians…..

 "The journalists remained in Colombo , complaining about travel restrictions and having a good time in five star hotels… but the UN did make further inquiries….

 "What did they find…, pieces of cluster bombs… any unexploded clusters…..?

 "All they found was shrapnel…they say it come from air-burst fragmentation munitions, whatever that may be. Not even sure there were clusters of them.

 "Does Amnesty admit to the error?

 "Not bloody likely……they are repeating the one about the Sri Lankan troops finding cluster bombs among tiger weapons hauls, and throwing them around…having some bloody fun at the expense of civilians

 "Do they condemn the tigers for having cluster bombs in their arsenal….isn’t there some international agreement banning it?

 "Not bloody likely……

 "Why not

 "How can they condemn cluster bombs in tiger hands, when they don’t condemn suicide killers trained by the same tigers?

 "You mean they condone suicide killers?

 This is what the Amnesty spokeswoman says of the killing of civilians in a refugee center by a women suicide killer. She wants the tigers to disavow ‘the use of tactics such as suicide bombers disguised as civilians’ …..

 "What if she was disguised as a woman soldier……or a pregnant woman?

 "Who knows, in Amnesty’s twisted think, it may be considered an act of women’s liberation. But read it all, Amnesty at its supreme defence of the LTTE. ‘It is important to remember that the use of such [suicide killer] attacks by one party to an armed conflict does not excuse unlawful attacks in response.

This perfidious assault should not be used as an excuse by the Sri Lankanmilitary to abuse displaced civilians who should still be treated in accordance with international law,’ ….The  Lankan security forces must still make sure that their actions are directed against military targets and not civilians.’

The sanction is on the Si Lanka troops…who did not use cluster bombs… who do not use suicide killers….only this side to the conflict must make sure their targets are military and not civilian…..the other side can hoard cluster bombs and train more suicide cadres …if they have more volunteers …..or even more of the brainwashed.

 It was Winston Churchill who on being told that he cannot refer to a lie as a lie in parliament, referred to it as a falsehood or untruth, and went on to say it was a terminological inexactitude.

 We are not bound by the niceties of parliament here. What Amnesty International said and the UN repeated was a dirty and bloody lie, and AI still clings to its lie. That’s the trend of things. Get ready to take shelter from the cluster bombs of lies that will fall on us these days….courtesy Amnesty International, the UN, and heaven knows how many others in the pay of the LTTE?

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