|

More on Ummid : International l National Regional l Politics Sports Religion l History l Culture l Education

 

 

The silent horror of the war in Sri Lanka

Tuesday, May 05, 2009, Arundhati Roy

 

 

 

 
 

 

Success Stories

Mumbai Muslim girl takes Urdu route to IAS: Sarah Rizvi has done her bit to issue a blow to the stereotype of the Muslim woman, moderately educated and socially subjugated, ensconced...Read Full

From Amroha To The Moon:THE ENTRANCE to Chaugori Mohalla, a small Muslim locality in Uttar Pradesh’s Amroha town, abou...Read Full

Madrasa student cracks UPSC: At a time when eyebrows are being raised on the kind of education being imparted in Madrasas across the country, a Maulana from the Darul-Uloom....Read Full

The Success Mantra : Honesty top in the list: In the first ever one-o-one interview after the results, Qaiser spoke in length exclusively with ummid.com about his success mantra.....Read Full

A Trip to Globe on Handcart:

There are few in this world who are recognized by the good deeds. Bhavarlalji Jain, of course,  is one among the coveted few....Read Full

A Towering Entrepreneur: Exporting to other countries requires a very special and quality product line. But if Rajnikant Kothari has succeeded in...Read Full

A Marketing Legend:Sometimes back in 1997, people, all over the country, were struggling to get the auto rickshaws unless they pay the heavy...Read Full
 

More on Ummid

Contribution of Madrasas: In such a scenario Madarsas have played a much-needed role in educating the country's minority group Muslim youth. No government programmes or schemes have succeeded as much as Madarsas and Maktabs in making people literate. Thus religious...Read Full

Getting Ready for The Modern World: "A Muslim holding the Qur’an in one hand ceases to be a Muslim if he holds a bomb in the other”, said Prof. Akhtarul Wasey quoting from Maulana Abulkalam Azad’s famous speech. Prof. Wasey, who is HOD...Read Full

AMU opens door for Madrasa Graduates: Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) has expedited its efforts to provide an opportunity for graduates of religious Madrasas to get admission in the university for further studies. In this connection... Read Full

 

 

Even More...

'Give the Indian Muslims ten years of

peace': True, the Government initiatives, schemes and policies take time and if they are related to Muslims...Read Full

‘Advising Restraint, work for the Revival of the Community’: We should advise the Indian Muslims for observing total restraint so that the Anti-Muslim...Read Full

Will Indo-Pak peace bring peace to

beleaguered Indian Muslims? While the secretary-level talks between India and Pakistan has...Read Full

 

Related Article

Why Do So Few Speak Up for Gaza?: Why are we so indifferent to the death and destruction in Gaza? The major news outlets meekly accepted...Read Full

More News

Ex-US envoy slates Israel influence

Iraqi protesters call for US exit

AMU Is A Beacon Of Islamic and Modern Education

Milli Organizations still groping for elections etrategy

The horror that is unfolding in Sri Lanka becomes possible because of the silence that surrounds it. There is almost no reporting in the mainstream Indian media — or indeed in the international press — about what is happening there. Why this should be so is a matter of serious concern.

From the little information that is filtering through it looks as though the Sri Lankan government is using the propaganda of the ‘war on terror’ as a fig leaf to dismantle any semblance of democracy in the country, and commit unspeakable crimes against the Tamil people. Working on the principle that every Tamil is a terrorist unless he or she can prove otherwise, civilian areas, hospitals and shelters are being bombed and turned into a war zone. Reliable estimates put the number of civilians trapped at over 200,000. The Sri Lankan Army is advancing, armed with tanks and aircraft.

Meanwhile, there are official reports that several ‘‘welfare villages’’ have been established to house displaced Tamils in Vavuniya and Mannar districts. According to a report in The Daily Telegraph (Feb 14, 2009), these villages ‘‘will be compulsory holding centres for all civilians fleeing the fighting’’. Is this a euphemism for concentration camps? The former foreign minister of Sri Lanka, Mangala Samaraveera, told The Daily Telegraph:


‘‘A few months ago the government started registering all Tamils in Colombo on the grounds that they could be a security threat, but this could be exploited for other purposes like the Nazis in the 1930s. They’re basically going to label the whole civilian Tamil population as potential terrorists.’’

Given its stated objective of ‘‘wiping out’’ the LTTE, this malevolent collapse of civilians and ‘‘terrorists’’ does seem to signal that the government of Sri Lanka is on the verge of committing what could end up being genocide. According to a UN estimate several thousand people have already been killed. Thousands more are critically wounded. The few eyewitness reports that have come out are descriptions of a nightmare from hell.

 

What we are witnessing, or should we say, what is happening in Sri Lanka and is being so effectively hidden from public scrutiny, is a brazen, openly racist war. The impunity with which the Sri Lankan government is being able to commit these crimes actually unveils the deeply ingrained racist prejudice, which is precisely what led to the marginalization and alienation of the Tamils of Sri Lanka in the first place. That racism has a long history, of social ostracisation, economic blockades, pogroms and torture. The brutal nature of the decades-long civil war, which started as a peaceful, non-violent protest, has its roots in this.

Why the silence? In another interview Mangala Samaraveera says, ‘‘A free media is virtually non-existent in Sri Lanka today.’’

Samaraveera goes on to talk about death squads and ‘white van abductions’, which have made society ‘‘freeze with fear’’. Voices of dissent, including those of several journalists, have been abducted and assassinated. The International Federation of Journalists accuses the government of Sri Lanka of using a combination of anti-terrorism laws, disappearances and assassinations to silence journalists.

There are disturbing but unconfirmed reports that the Indian government is lending material and logistical support to the Sri Lankan government in these crimes against humanity. If this is true, it is outrageous. What of the governments of other countries? Pakistan? China? What are they doing to help, or harm the situation?

In Tamil Nadu the war in Sri Lanka has fuelled passions that have led to more than 10 people immolating themselves. The public anger and anguish, much of it genuine, some of it obviously cynical political manipulation, has become an election issue.

It is extraordinary that this concern has not travelled to the rest of India. Why is there silence here? There are no ‘white van abductions’ — at least not on this issue. Given the scale of what is happening in Sri Lanka, the silence is inexcusable. More so because of the Indian government’s long history of irresponsible dabbling in the conflict, first taking one side and then the other. Several of us including myself, who should have spoken out much earlier, have not done so, simply because of a lack of information about the war. So while the killing continues, while tens of thousands of people are being barricaded into concentration camps, while more than 200,000 face starvation, and a genocide waits to happen, there is dead silence from this great country.


It’s a colossal humanitarian tragedy. The world must step in. Now. Before it’s too late.

(The Times of India)

                                                           

 

 

 

 

 Home | Top of the page      

   

 

  Comment on this article

 

Name:
E-mail Address:
Write here...
 

Sare Jahan Se Accha

Hindustan Hamara

In 1905 more than 100 years from today, when Iqbal was a lecturer at the Government College, Lahore he was invited by his student Lala Hardayal to preside over a function. Instead of making a speech, Iqbal sang Sare Jahan Se Accha Hindustan Hamara in his style. Iqbal compiled this poem in praise of India and the poem preaches the communal harmony that had unfortunately started ceasing in India by that time. Each and every word in this poem depicts an Indian’s respect and love for the motherland and the values the Indian society inherited for long...Read Full
 

 

 
 

 

Ummid.com: Home | Contact Us | Disclaimer | Terms of Use | About Us | Feedback

Ummid Business: Advertise with us | Careers | Link Exchange

Ummid.com is part of Awaz Multimedia & Publications providing World News, News Analysis and Feature Articles on Education, Health. Politics, Technology, Sports, Entertainment, Industry etc. The articles or the views displayed on this website are for public information and in no way describe the editorial views. The users are entitled to use this site subject to the terms and condition mentioned.