Washington, D.C. 01 March (Asiantribune.com): Fri, 2013-03-01 13:12 — editor

The term “ethnic cleansing”, incorporated into the English dictionary in 1990s has been extensively used by the international media in relation to the Yugoslav wars and has become a popular phrase from 1992 on-wards.LTTE Terrorists drove a lorry packed with explosives through roadblocks and set off a huge truck bomb outside the Sri Lanka’s holiest Buddhist shrine in central Kandy, killing 13 people and wounding 23. Two toddlers were among the dead. The temple, which houses a sacred tooth of Lord Buddha suffered serious damage from the bomb blast.

There is no formal legal definition of ‘ethnic cleansing’. A broad generalization, however, refers ‘ethnic cleansing’ as forcible deportation of a population and an act of crime against humanity, under the statutes of both International Criminal Court (ICC) and the International Criminal Tribunal.

‘Ethnic cleansing’ is a method which involves terror, associated with a distasteful misfortune of refugees. It brings about gloom with the ruins of ravaged homes. Its purpose is to ensure destruction through threat, humiliation, mass murder, torture, rape and sexual assault, confinement of the civilian population, use of civilians as human shields, destruction of cultural property etc.

The UN General Assembly condemned “ethnic cleansing” and racial hatred in a 1992 resolution and held that the practices associated with ethnic cleansing “constitute crimes against humanity and can be assimilated to specific war crimes”.

• 1971 Census in Sri Lanka indicated a population of 20,514 Sinhalese civilians living in the Jaffna peninsula. By mid October 1987, they were completely and ethnically cleansed by the LTTE.

• Paradoxically, since 1984 over 400,000 Tamils had moved into ethnically diverse Colombo metropolis to live in security and harmony among the majority Sinhalese and all the other communities.

As of 2009 the percentage of ethnic minority population outside of the Northern and Eastern Regions is 54%.
The expulsion of the Muslims from Jaffna was an act of ethnic cleansing carried out by the LTTE in October 1990. In order to achieve their goal of creating an ethnically “pure” Tamil state in the North and East of Sri Lanka, the LTTE forcibly expelled the entire Muslim community from the northern Jaffna peninsula, giving only 48 hours of warning. Muslims were not even permitted to take any of their belongings; subsequently refugees’ belongings were looted by the LTTE.

The LTTE sentiments with regard to Muslims were amply manifested in their actions. From the first week of October, 1987 LTTE proceeded with no provocation to massacre Sinhalese and Muslim civilians from Trincomalee down to Batticaloa, two of the three districts in the Eastern Province. The atrocities committed on Muslims alone were as follows:

The US State Department Human Rights Report on Sri Lanka for 1995, published in April 1996, said that, “In the northern part of the island LTTE insurgents expelled some 46,000 Muslim inhabitants from their homes in 1990…virtually the entire Muslim population…expropriated Muslim homes, lands and businesses and threatened Muslim families with death if they attempt to return…In October (1995) over 120 Sinhalese civilians were massacred by LTTE forces in an attempt to inflame communal violence…many of the victims were hacked to death with swords and axes,” it added.

The atrocities committed on Muslims alone were as follows:

• 62 Muslims (both sexes and all ages) hacked to death at Nintavur in the Ampara District on the 21st June 1990.

• 140 Muslims murdered and 66 injured while at prayer in the Meera Jumma and Hussainiya Mosques at Kathankudy in the Batticaloa District on the 5th August 1990.

• 40 Muslims murdered at Akkarapattu in the Ampara District the following day.

• 127 Muslims murdered at the Saddam Hussein Village, Poovaikadu and at Kalavaichanai near Eravur in the Batticaloa District about four days later.

• This trend continued in the Northern and Eastern Provinces and spread to adjacent villages like Palliyagodella and Alinchinnapotai in the North Central province where families were hacked to death while going about their day to day affairs, or at night when asleep.

• In 1992, the LTTE gave every Muslim in all parts of the Jaffna, Killinochchi, Mannar, Vavuniya, and Mullativu Districts the option of leaving the Northern Province within 24 hours or being murdered. These Muslims who had co-existed in the North with Tamils for generations left their homes and fled to refugee camps.

• On 03rd August 1990, gun-carrying Tamil Tiger terrorists swooped on Muslims at prayers inside the holy Kattankudy mosque and butchered 103 Muslim including over 25 small children. According to the Muslim Peace Secretariat data in 1981 the total number of Muslims in the North was 50,831. According to statistics as at end of 2007 the population of Muslims in the North is 20,583.

The process of eviction of Muslims from the Northern Province commenced early as 1985. Muslims from Mullaitivu were the first victims. In the year 1990 a pure form of ethnic cleansing of Muslims took place in an unprecedented manner. Muslims were ordered to leave within a short time period or face dire consequences. According to a survey conducted by Dr. S.H. Hasbullah Muslim families were evicted from about 70 villages in the province. Scholars have pointed out that the eviction was a calculated attempt at uprooting of an ethno-regional identity of a community from a land of historical habitation.

In the year 1990 except in certain parts of Mannar and Vavuniya Districts of the Northern Province an attempt was made to clear the rest of the North of Muslims. The effort was successful in the Jaffna, Mullaitivu and Mannar Districts. However, in the Districts of Vavuniya and Mannar substantial number of Muslims continued to remain in spite of threats to life and property. In Vavuniya the entire Muslim population remained intact (statistically) and in Mannar the Muslim population dropped drastically to less than 6,000 after the expulsion. (From 26.81% to 5.14%)

LTTE used mass massacres to evict the Muslims from the north and the east of Sri Lanka.

At the time of expulsion a large concentration of Muslims lived in the Jaffna District. In the year 1981 there were 13,757 Muslims in Jaffna. The number is down to 299 in the year 2007. There was heavy concentration of Muslims in the Jaffna town.

Then, the Tamil Tiger outfit turned its wrath on the Sinhalese with mass massacres.

On May 14, 1985, LTTE killed a total of 146 Sinhalese men, women and children, when they hijacked a bus and drove to the Sri Maha Bodhiya, and began firing indiscriminately into a crowd that included nuns and Buddhist monks.

On June 2, 1987 a bus carrying Buddhist monks in Arantalawa in the north was attacked and 35 Buddhist monks were killed.

Then the LTTE cadres massacred 109 Muslim men, women and children in Palliyagodella on 15th October 1991.
Subsequently the LTTE cadres massacred 42 Sinhalese men, women and children on May 25th 1995 in a fishing village called Kallarawa in Trincomalee.

Later on September 18, 1999 over 50 men, women and children were again hacked to death in Gonagala, a small village in the Ampara District in the Eastern Province.

The end result was the depopulation of the villages as the last remaining survivors fled. The wholesale massacres by the LTTE on two ethnic groups, Sinhalese and Muslims, in the Northern and Eastern provinces were to target a mono-ethnic region in combined Eastern and Northern Provinces.

This is what the International Crisis Group said in a report published 29 May 2007:

(Begin Quote) “Throughout much of the 25-year Sri Lankan conflict, attention has focused on the confrontation between the majority Sinhalese and the minority Tamils. The views of the country’s Muslims, who are 8 per cent of the population and see themselves as a separate ethnic group, have largely been ignored. Understanding their role in the conflict and addressing their political aspirations are vital if there is to be a lasting peace settlement. Muslims need to be part of any renewed peace process but with both the government and LTTE intent on continuing the conflict, more immediate steps should be taken to ensure their security and political involvement.

“At least one third of Muslims lives in the conflict-affected north and east and thus has a significant interest in the outcome of the war. They have often suffered serious hardship, particularly at the hands of the Tamil rebel group, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Since 1990 Muslims have been the victims of ethnic cleansing, massacres and forced displacement by the insurgents.” (End Quote)

It recommends to the Sri Lanka Government “Establish a presidential commission to investigate the expulsions of the Muslim population from the Northern Province in 1990 and address both immediate needs and long-term legal, political and physical obstacles to an eventual return.”

LTTE Mass-scale Massacres/Genocide from 1985 thru 2009

Before the long list of genocidal acts of the Tamil Tigers the readers need to be reminded again what ‘Genocide’, in internationally accepted terms, constitute.

The analysis of the crime of genocide shows that there are three major elements thereof:

– victims of the above-mentioned violent acts must belong to particular national, ethnical, racial or religious group;

– there must be specific intent (mens rea) to destroy such group in whole or in part;

– any of the genocidal acts must be actually committed (actus reus).

Consequently, genocide can be committed only against certain national, ethnical, racial or religious group. Similar actions directed against, for example, political or social group cannot be qualified as genocide.

The concept of genocide requires the existence of a specific intent regarding general consequences of an illegal deed. As a feature of genocide, intent includes following aspects:

– intent must not to be directed against one or more persons belonging to ? certain group, but rather to the group as such. In other words, the qualifying criteria is not the victims’ personalities, but their being a member of the certain group;

– intent must be aimed at a group, as such. Genocide means denial to accept the right to exist of entire human group. To the contrary, killing of a human being (homicide) is characterized as a denial of the right to exist of an individual being. Consequently, actus reus (prohibited act) may be committed against even one person, but mens rea (intent) must be directed against the existence of the entire human group;

– intent must contain the desire to destroy to group in whole or in part;

– such a group must be national, ethnical, racial or religious.

It is not required that a group be indeed totally or partially destroyed, so that the responsibility for genocide be inferred. For that, it is necessary that the acts, constituting the material element of the crime concerned, be committed with such an intent.

Following are some of the selected incidents of mass scale massacres targeting an ethnic group undertaken by the LTTE which fall in to the category of genocide internationally defined as “intent must contain the desire to destroy an (ethnic) group in whole or in part”. All these massacres were executed by the LTTE in the Eastern Province to achieve its goal of a mono ethnic combined North-East provinces that they claim as the ‘Tamil Homeland’. The Tamil Tigers were successful in ejecting Sinhalese and Muslim population from the Northern Province using the weapon of mass massacre.

30 Nov 1984

Kent Farm, Vavuniya
Armed terrorists shot dead 29 Sinhalese settlers and injured several others;

30 Nov 1984

Dollar Farm, Vavuniya
Armed terrorists shot dead 33 Sinhalese settlers and injured several others;

14 May 85

Anuradhapura Armed terrorists invaded town and shot dead 146 Sinhalese and injured 85 others. This included pilgrims who were inside the sacred Sri Maha Bodhi premises.

07 Nov 1985

Namalwatta, Morawewa, Trincomalee
Armed terrorists shot dead 10 Sinhalese villagers;

25 May 1986

Mahadivulwewa, Trincomalee
Armed terrorists shot dead 20 Sinhalese and set fire to 20 houses;

04 June 1986

Andankulam, Trincomalee
Armed terrorists shot dead 17 Sinhalese, including Ven. Bakamune Subaddalankara thera;

20 April 1987

Jayanthipura, Trincomalee
Armed terrorists shot dead 15 Sinhalese villagers;

29 May 1987

Arantalawa, Ampara
Armed terrorists shot dead 30 bhikkhus and four Sinhalese civilians and injured 15 Bhikkhus.

Arantalawa, Ampara Massacre 2 June 1987:

bloody massacre and the brutal mutilation of 33 young monks and their mentor Chief Priest Ven. Hegoda Indrasara at Arantalawa in Amparai, by the ruthless LTTE Tamil Tiger Terrorists.

06 October 1987

Batticaloa
Armed terrorists shot dead 18 Sinhalese;

06 October 1987

Sagarapura, Kuchchuveli, Trincomalee
Armed terrorists shot dead 27 Sinhalese villagers;

06 Oct. 1987

Thalavai, Eravur
Armed terrorists shot dead 10 Sinhalese villagers;

31 Dec. 1987

Mahadivulwewa, Trincomalee
Armed terrorists shot dead 10 villagers and burnt 15 houses;

02 March 1988

Morawewa, Trincomalee
Armed terrorists shot dead 14 Sinhalese villagers;

14 March 1988

Kantale, Trincomalee
Armed terrorists shot dead 13 Sinhalese villagers at Gamletiyawa;

15 March 1988

Kivulkade, Trincomalee
Two groups of terrorists entered the village and killed seven Sinhalese villagers;

22 March 1988

Paudukulam, Vavuniya
Ten to 15 armed terrorists had attacked the Sinhalese village and killed six villagers. Another three were injured;

22 March 1988

Medawachchikulam, Vavuniya
Armed terrorists shot dead nine Sinhalese villagers;

On 03rd August 1990

Gun-carrying Tamil Tiger terrorists swooped on Muslim prayers inside the holy Kattankudy mosque and butchered 103 Muslim prayers including over 25 small children.

07.08.1990

Bandaraduwa Uhana, Ampara
About 40 armed terrorists had gone to a Sinhalese village and killed 30 Sinhalese and injured four;

19 Aug 1991

Palliyagodella, Polonnaruwa
Terrorists attacked a Muslim village, killing 13 Muslims and injuring six others.

29 April 1992

Alinchipotana, Polonnaruwa
Terrorists attacked Alinchipotana, killing 56 Muslims and injuring 15 others;

15 Oct 1992

Palliyagodella, Ahamedpura and Agbopura, Pamburana, and Polonnaruwa
About 200-300 armed terrorists attacked Muslim villages and shot and hacked to death 172 civilians (171 of them Muslims), 12 policemen and eight soldiers. Eighty three others were injured.

18 September 1999

Tamil Tiger Terrorists massacred 61 Sinhalese villagers including 17 Women and 7 children in three villages of Kalpengala and Bedirekka in Ampara District The victims were dragged from their sleep and hacked and chopped to death using machetes and swords, some of them still lying in bed.

Welikanda Massacre on 29 May 2006.

The twelve workers who were killed and the two who escaped death in the alleged Tiger attack at Omadiyamadu in the Welikanda area were engaged in an irrigation canal construction project for the Mahaweli Authority undertaken by a contractor.

Kebithigollewa Massacre on 15 June 2006:

15 School Children, several pregnant women, one Buddhist priest and many civilians massacred; Death toll is 64.

LTTE’s Muttur Massacre on 03 August 2006:

Three schools in east of Sri Lanka’s Muttur which have now been converted to refugee centers were bombarded with heavy Artillery fire by the LTTE. The intention of the LTTE very clearly was to cause the maximum damage to a hapless innocent Muslim community who were gathered in large numbers at these refugee centers.

April 5 & 12, 2007 Massacres:

LTTE terrorists in their ethnic cleansing raids killed six women and one man and injuring few others, at Paleuruwa in General area Avaranthulawa – Vavuniya on April 12, 2007. According to the defense sources an armed group of terrorists stormed the village around 04:30 p.m. and executed two families at two houses. Earlier, LTTE terrorists killed four civilians at Aralaganvila on 05th April 2007.

05 December 2007:

Massacre of civilians by the LTTE Tamil Tiger Terrorists
Another massive Bomb targeting a civilian bus in Abhimanpura, Kebetigollewa. 16 civilians dead, 23 injured.

16 January 2008:

Massacre of school children by the LTTE Tamil Tiger terrorists at Okkampitiya, Monaragala in Sri Lanka on 16 January 2008: 28 killed and 64 wounded.

21 February 2009:

A group of LTTE cadre stormed the Kirimetiya villege at Ratmalgaha Ella in Inginiyagala in the Ampara District in the East of Sri Lanka, a predominantly ethnic Sinhalese village, indiscriminately fired at a farmer community killing 21 and injuring 20 others including children.

To Whom Does the Genocide Tag fits: Pirapaharan or Rajapaksa

Who had “a specific intent (mens rea) to destroy such (ethnic) group in whole or in part; Pirapaharan or Gotabhaya Rajapaksa?

The internationally accepted definition of ‘genocide’ relates:

“intent must be aimed at a group, as such. Genocide means denial to accept the right to exist of entire human group. On the contrary, killing of a human being (homicide) is characterized as a denial of the right to exist of an individual being. Consequently, actus reus (prohibited act) may be committed against even one person, but mens rea (intent) must be directed against the existence of the entire human group;
” intent must contain the desire to destroy a group in whole or in part; “such a group must be national, ethnical, racial or religious.”

In its exercise countering LTTE terrorism, which is a “Sri Lankan phenomenon” according to former US Ambassador to Sri Lanka Jeffrey Lunstead, the Government of Sri Lanka has not been battling with neither the 54% ethnic minority Tamils living among the majority ethnic Sinhalese outside the Northern and Eastern Regions nor with the rest of the Tamils living in the north and east but with the vicious fighting cadre of the LTTE who happened to be ethnic minority Tamils.

In 88/89 the Government of Sri Lanka did not battle the Sinhalese during the Marxist-JVP insurrection/terrorism but was battling the fighting cadre of the JVP who happened to be Sinhalese.

The LTTE became a ‘self appointed sole representative of the Tamil people’ after successfully assassinating the entire democratic Tamil leadership in the late eighties and nineties forced the international community to recognize them as a ‘negotiating partner’ to address Tamil grievances.

Then it became a formidable political and military force when it controlled a significant percentage of both the Northern and Eastern Provinces which earned the recognition of the West which continuously forced the Government of Sri Lanka to negotiate with them.

It graduated to the ‘negotiating table’ by massacring the Sinhalese and Muslims in the north and east, with targeted ethnic cleansing which fits into the international definition of genocide; “ intent must contain the desire to destroy a group in whole or in part; “ such a group must be national, ethnical, racial or religious.”

The brutal elimination of the entire democratic Tamil leadership helped it to convince the Western democracies, international rights groups, INGOs and the UN that it is the ‘sole representative of the Tamil people’.

The international community is unable to ignore the genocide practiced by the LTTE and its supreme commander Pirapaharan, and this is an attempt to refresh their memories about the atrocities committed by them from the inception of this terror outfit to early 2009. The Asian Tribune presents these almost buried historical facts for the international community to assess at a time the UN Human Rights Commission is meeting in Geneva.

Make no mistake: Annihilation of the Tamil Tigers is not the annihilation of a race in Sri Lanka. It is the Tamil Tiger outfit who started the annihilation of two ethnic communities in the Northern and Eastern Regions in Sri Lanka and held the Tamil community captive in once dominated lands. The term given to that exercise is: “Genocide”.

– Asian Tribune –

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