LTTE Kaput or are SL Forces betrayed?

After Nandikadal


By Lalin Fernando

(Continued from yesterday)

LTTE terrorists dressed in civilian attire qualified traditionally to be shot as spies but were not. Nor were the captured terrorists tried by SL for war crimes. In retrospect this appeared to give a warped West controlled UN an opening - to try the SL Forces instead- for defeating the fascist LTTE!

In WW2 in the Ardennes Battle of the Bulge (1944) the Nazis had shot 86 American captives and Belgian civilians at Malmedy. Captured German troops in American uniforms were shot or ‘died suddenly’. The terrorists shot many hundreds of captives at Pooneryn, Mullativu and Elephant Pass and hundreds of fleeing Tamil hostages at Mullaivaikal. The Army did not reciprocate. There will be NO charges against the LTTE while all possible charges will be made against the Army by a SL co sponsored resolution in Geneva. Words are hard to find to describe this betrayal. Maybe what someone said at the ‘Geneva and you’ presentation at the SLFI on 29 Sep 16 about a father giving his daughter for prostitution would convey the moral indignation of very many voiceless people.

Surrender offers by the LTTE

It was a PM of SL quoting inappropriate laws, long after the conflict ended and when there were no terrorists concealed among fishermen who wanted Indian fishermen poaching in SL’s territorial waters shot. Why then is the West that he supports, thrashing SL about allegations of shooting terrorists who had perfected suicide bombings that killed thousands including rescued Tamil hostages that apparently wanted to surrender?

The terrorists were under an oath not to surrender as broadcast worldwide. They, including Mrs. Balasingham now in UK, all carried cyanide capsules to bite in case of capture. Which soldier would expect a surrender offer by any of them as genuine? They had not surrendered before. They had never respected the norms, practices, traditions or customs and laws of war especially in conventional war as chosen by them in extremis. They could not expect any mercy. They had killed or tortured and bled to death troops and policemen (600 in the East alone in one day in 1990) by the thousands. The 600 Sinhala and Muslim policemen—the Tamil policemen were released— were butchered by specialist killer groups of the LTTE like the Einssatzgruppen and the Sonder Commando of the Nazis after being asked to surrender; they were given a guarantee of safe passage. The then groveling government was also complicit in this massacre as it ordered the police not to fight back but surrender. To date the fate of the policemen has been ignored. Is it because it will shed light on one the worst atrocities that ever happened in battle anywhere in the world and expose who was responsible? Only in numbers was it different from what happened at Babi Yar in the Ukraine (Sep 1941) when 33,771 Jews were asked to lie down at the bottom of a ravine, shot with automatic rifles and covered lightly with soil, before another lot were shot with machine guns – all in 36 hours. It is a mockery of justice, "transitional" or "hybrid", not to try all those responsible for this slaughter, this real attempted genocide. Are SL and its Army if not the Police then not the real target for the West wearing moral or bloody terrorist camouflage?

The SAS in the 1980 Princes Gate Iranian Embassy siege killed all but one the 6 terrorists and rescued all but one hostage of 26. The SAS operation took just 11 minutes. Orders had been given to take no prisoners. "There can have been little opportunity to ask a clearly identified terrorist whether or not he was armed or was really surrendering" (Secret Armies -James Adam). This British exemption apparently did not apply to the SL Army during the closing stages of a 30 year war in tropical jungles. Six thousand soldiers were killed in two years after capturing 12,000 terrorists and rescuing 295,000 hostages who were shot at by the terrorists.

Apparently surrender offers were made on the telephone from all over the world to non military people, were accepted and broken. In the battlefield surrender has to be negotiated and accepted by the field commanders and no one else. Nowhere in the world are ridiculous pleas of brazenly self appointed negotiators (Ms Colville (UK), TNA MPs etc) and nondescript players given any credence.

Beguiling troops with white flags was just another treacherous ruse. Would they be a cover for a raiding party or worse? The Army, fully aware of how deceitful the terrorists were during the 26 years of the conflict, was wary. Four cease fires were broken by the terrorists without warning by launching massive and devastating attacks on Army camps, killing thousands. Suicide bombers intermingling with rescued hostages blew themselves up killing over 30 during the hostage rescue. Which soldier in any army would accept an offer of surrender from such depraved terrorists especially if he has seen the terrorist shooting his comrades minutes before? This was a 26 year war. A lot of lessons were learned. What man would trust the terrorists knowing their own assurances to surrendering troops were always dishonored. If in the circumstances any terrorist(s) were actually unarmed, aberrations could have been made in what had to be split second decisions in battle. Let SL judges decide what was legitimate or not on the banks of the Nandikadal. ‘Hybrids’ or even hermaphrodites, retired, recycled, reborn or jobless nondescript international lawyers must not be allowed in SL to judge SL’s soldiers.

The Forces had undone what the 1983 ‘Sonder Commando’ of the Dharmista Government started with petrol cans, knives and swords towards finding their ‘final solution’. They should be the first accused for starting the war according to the Nuremburg findings.

No Fire Zones

SL offers of No Fire Zones (NFZ) for the hostages were rejected by the LTTE. Thus there were no NFZs legally as one party had not agreed to it. The LTTE instead actually occupied the NFZs and cynically intermingled with the 300,000 hostages. They expected to get a respite from the Army’s fire and assault. They did, until the hostages escaped.

In effect the LTTE’s denial of the NFZs meant the whole conflict area was a Free Fire Zone (FFZ). The Forces however did at no time treat any part of the LTTE occupied areas as a FFZ until the hostages had escaped. Fire was selective and minimized at considerable cost in lives to the troops. The LTTE did not have such compunctions and fired their artillery from civilian inhabited areas and where hospitals were located.What is not verified is how many hostages were actually killed by the LTTE.

But the same politicians that backed Premadasa who treacherously supplied weapons and ammo to the LTTE, shamelessly denigrated the troops and their commanders (2008) and genuflected to the terrorists for endless years now protest from roof tops that they will never ‘betray’ the fighting forces of whom 23,000 were KIA in 26 years. Who on earth wishes to believe them?

Is the army that liberated SL to be sacrificed, now that danger is over? If so by whom? What is the real target?

"Be absolutely proud of the fact that in our Armed Forces we have men and women who are willing to put themselves on the line for our safety and to do things that that most of us would not contemplate being willing to do in terms of our own safety" … who ‘conducted an unpopular war, poorly resourced, poorly planned and when they return.. They are pursued for decades afterwards by spurious allegations (Johnny Mercer MP, retired British Army Officer)

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