Colombo, Human Security, IDPs and Refugees, Peace and Conflict, Post-War, Vavuniya

Update on Menik Camp flooding: More images and reports from the ground

After first breaking news on Friday, Groundviews continues to receive disturbing photos on the flooding in Menik Camp after last Friday’s torrential downpour. No journalists have been allowed to visit the IDP camp even after the floods.

Key points of situation updates received by Groundviews
Groundviews contributor Vidura’s tweets (available here) are one source of information related to the worsening ground conditions in Menik Camp.Though unverified, shared concerns and points in a number of other reports received by Groundviews indicate,

  • People detained in Zones 4 and 5 are facing severe hardship. Some reports suggest they have moved in to common buildings like schools and hospitals and that this has in turn created other problems over over-crowding and sanitation.
  • Roofs of tents have have been blown away by strong winds.
  • As camps are flooded, vehicles have found it difficult to reach the IDPs with help
  • Toilet pits are overflowing and whole areas are stinking. Huge concerns over health and sanitation.
  • For over two days there hasn’t been proper food and water for IDPs in Zones 4 and 5. (Zone 5 is newly built to move number of IDPs camp from Zone where 75,000 are thought to be detained)
  • Tents in Zones 4 and 5 do not have cemented floors. IDPs are forced to sleep on sandy floors, which of course are now too wet to inhabit.
  • The RDA, responsible for cleaning the ditches, has not done so for months and is yet to start the work.

All reports concur that tensions within the camps over conditions of internment are rising.

Traditional print media and SMS alert coverage
SMS news services update cricket scores minutes after a vital catch, decisive over or match-winning stroke. 48 hours after the devastating floods, Groundviews has not received even a cursory report of the flooding in Menik Camp via any of the SMS news services it is subscribed to, including JNW and Daily Mirror.

Only Uthayan on Saturday carried a news story on the situation in Tamil. English and Sinhala Sunday newspapers are also revealing in this regard.

Amongst the leading English Sunday newspapers, the Sunday Observer, The Sunday Island and The Nation web versions do not report the crisis in Menik Camp. The Sunday Times has a short front page article. Only the Sunday Leader and Lakbima News headline the situation. The Sunday Leader quotes Jeevan Thiyagarajah, Head of the Consortium of Humanitarian Agencies (CHA) in IDPs swimming in human excreta,

… apart from inadequate sanitation facilities and tents meant for an emergency only would also collapse in the event of heavy rains.  “My predictions have been proved right,” he said last evening.

Lakbima News notes in IDPs at drowning point notes that “Minister of Resettlement, Rishard Badhiyudeen, when contacted by this newspaper over the phone for a comment, asked us to “call back in 15 minutes”. But the minister remained “un-reachable” since”. Which is frankly unsurprising.

News over KPs arrest and Police brutality dominate Sinhala newspaper coverage on Sunday.

  • Divaina goes with the headline “Operation to round up foreign operatives of Tigers begun”. No mention of the dire conditions in Menik Camp. Front page photo here.
  • Unlike its English counterpart, Lakbima goes with the headline “The Police itself opposes the brutishness of personnel in the service”. No mention of the dire conditions in Menik Camp. Front page photo here.
  • Rivira goes with the headline “KP had prepared atomic weapons!”. No mention of the dire conditions in Menik Camp. Front page photo here.

The denial of access to cover the humanitarian conditions in IDPs camps by government is, sadly, an excuse for leading traditional media to completely erase a growing humanitarian tragedy from their news coverage. A public ignorant of how bad conditions are in these camps for infants, children, women and men will continue to believe in the outrageous braggadocio of the President and his government, claiming to look after these IDPs without the help of any NGO but unable to even agree when, and in what numbers, they will be released.

Even to help government look after these IDPs, we have a right to know what the conditions on the ground are. Simply covering up this humanitarian tragedy is not a viable response. A State that sees fit to keep hundreds of thousands of civilians in these conditions and is blind to the resulting inhumanity, indignity and violence,  is not one capable of peace or reconciliation.

  • Sunday Sinha

    The Sunday Leader and Groundviews are opposition and pro-LTTE outlets and it is not surprising that you make such a fuss about this whereas the respectable and more responsible media prefer to gather sufficient information and evidence before rushing to publish.

    Your images don’t bear any date or timemarks, and we wonder why. Could it be that your images are doctored, just like many LTTE images were in the last days and weeks of the war?

    Such poor living conditions prevail in every temporary shelter whether in the north or south. Sri Lanka is a poor country raising its head after 30 years of war. Get used to it. At least these people are swimming in their own shit, and no longer having to take LTTE’s shit! They should be grateful.

    By the way, where were you when over a million Tamils, Sinhalese and Muslims were displaced by the tsunami? Are your tears only for the Tamils?

    • Sunday Sinha,

      This is precisely the type of pedestrian piffle geared to shift attention away from the key issue at hand, which is that over 260,000 IDPs in Menik Camp alone, under the “care” and “protection” of the Sri Lankan State, are facing a humanitarian catastrophe today that exacerbates the trauma faced in the last weeks and days of war and under the LTTE.

      To address your second point though, I’ve yet to see a time-stamps and dates on photos published on the Ministry of Defence and Army websites. But that’s not a problem for you is it? I fully expected the argument to be made that these photos are be doctored. Prove they are. Go on. Fetch the evidence. And by the same token of skepticism, why don’t you question the images and video released by government during and after war?

      Respectable and responsible media in Sri Lanka? Gosh – that’s rare man. Are you one of them? You certainly can’t be the same Sinha in charge of a newspaper that defames with aplomb, plagiarises and has a tragi-comic understanding of and approach to citizen journalism and new media. But just in case you are, please take note of this response to your take on citizen journalism from before,

      Your contribution to this debate/conversation is about as useless as the SL government’s actions to resolve the IDP issue. Regardless of whether you define the writer as a journalist or not the issue is something completely unrelated to that. You may want to focus on that and take your raving and ranting to a forum that’s less in touch with reality.

  • GOSL needs help to help this people and needs it soon. it’s going to be a hell of a place when NE monsoon starts. Possibly GOSL can allow some people to be with their relatives in other parts of the country while keeping a check on them under local Police

  • Renton de Alwis

    Please think as Sri Lankans. After a drought there was a day of rain that flooded the low areas in the Menik Farm complex. All is not well there and all was not well even before the rains and that is the truth. But remember that this is a temporary sheltor for the displaced. The numbers of the last exodus were many and it is a tough task to provide all facilities as expected by the world. The tents have taken its toll, food is not ideal, there are the sick that need caring on a regular basis. The truma of many who were caught up in the battle fields is still prevelant and they need kindness, compassion and support. While there are many good men and women who are silently lending a hand, there needs to be much more done. I think the likes of Sunday Sinha must also stop seeing those who are IDPs in the camps as Tamils. They are fellow Sri Lankan citizens and need to be treated like any one of us. If we had an earthquake tomorrow in the South we would be in a similar predicament.

    Look at this heavy downpour of rain of the 15th as a blessing where the low areas are now identified. Do not forget that the real monsoons are yet to come. I think the lead article in a Sunday Newspapaer of IDPs swimming in thier own excreta is sensational. With a flooding it can happen in Slave Island, close to the business disrtict. Those who wrote it perhaps saw the movie ‘Slum Dog Millionaire’ and laughed at the plight of the little boy who jumps in the hole.

    What we as Sri Lankans must do at this time is not to simply make things look bad or take anysides, but rally round together and see how each of us can help to find solutions to the problems the IDPs and those who are charged with looking after their needs are faced with and find whatever rational solutions for them.

    Please see how we can get roofing material such as thick canvas (Tarpoline) and water proof mats for the floors etc. to the camp administrators. I can vouch by my own experience that there is no barrier (of course checkpoints are there) for those who want to do good on behalf of the IDPs. But for those who seek to take things and distribute, take photos to show the world or go with the intent of gaining social or political mileage, there may not be opportunity. I have seen how silent social workers work at these camps and hats off to them. They do not make lighning visits in fancy vehicles but drive their own cars or pick ups with their own fuel and volunteer.

    Let us at least now unite to bring sanity into our Sri Lankan ways. Let us forget the past or the bad deeds of others. Let us do our bit together or individually to help out. We will not be helping the government , but ourselves when we do so as we know how and what our suffering was for the past thirty years.

    Please Sri Lankans…. begin to think of what we can do for our country …

    R

  • smoulderingjin

    Thankyou groundviews for the uptodate information you provide. The pictures say it all really. Although obviously for some, seeing is not belieiving.

    Just a response to the “pedestrian piffle” (and let me further qualify it also as asinine propoganda babble). Should not the following situations sustained by the government strike any logical person as strange, if not sinister and questionable.

    1. It was way back in May, that some of the humanitarian agencies, NGO’s and INGO’s tried to negotiate regarding the oncoming monsoons. Please note that the concern came, but from these organisations, and further note the concerns were totally ignored. I remember reading the comments voiced by one of these organisations about the location of the camps which they at that time pointed out were prone to flooding during the monsoons!
    2. The INGO and NGO organisations have limited juridisction over what they do in these camps. THese are not welfare camps – in case anyone is labouring under the delusion, these are internment camps and as such what is possible and not possible is solely in the hands of the govt.
    3. The opposition or members of govt are not permitted into the camps and are questioning why this is so. In fact they are quite angry. Is this not a gross violation of governance – to deny statesman (well lets call most of them that) or politicians interested in the well being of the nation, the right to visit these camps.
    4. Most journalists – and I use the word with caution – are not permitted into the camps. Obviously some “war double speak” article writers – lets not call them journalists – frequent the camps in order to tell us how hunky dory life is and what a wonderful job the govt is now doing – but I was not referrring to these categories
    5. This is a humanitaria disaster – following on the heals of the terrible disaster of the war. The war and its aftermath was already a terrible trauma for these humans – they were not only victims of the war themselves, they also experienced death of family, injury, loss of family and friends in terms of not knowing whether they are dead or alive, not to mention loss of home and livelihood. These are bombed out human beings! Emotionally, physically, materially, and psychologically.
    6. The “standards” of the camps that are peddled in the public, and I have read some very fairytale like ones, are the “show camps” where everything is tickety boo in order to give few visiting concerneds the satisfaction of believing all is well.
    7. These people will die. In this supremely buddhist nation, , is THIS the level of maithriya, and compassion, the human concern, that are extended to these people. Where for instance, are the voices of the clergy of this nation? Of all religions – but primarily the buddhist clergy?
    8. This kind of sore on the conscience and heart is precisely WHY the Buddha left his splendid palance and wealth and position to take up a path of enlightenment. This kind of suffering is precisely why he preached what he did. Is it not ironic that a nation that has such profoundly visible buddhist tenets can sustain the suffering of 250000 people, that the leaders of this nation who are manically buddhist, embrace wealth for themselves and indifference to the nation’s suffering.
    9. Does not the nation see a parallel between the brutality of the police towards its citizens in the North – the current two tragedies of the young boys, and now the two young girls – and the behaviour of the govt in terms of transparency, honesty and accountability to the rest of the nation.
    10. Would the govt have dared to incarerate 250000 people on the grounds of “guilty until proved innocent” if these had been the relatives of the JVP during the times of insurrection?
    11. Let us not forget the swift and massive response to the tsunami victims – to a tragedy of similar proportions. Let us remember the transparency of the media at that point regarding the suffering of the people – both here and in other countries. Let us not forget the swift return to normalcy, the aid, and the conditions under which they survived that disaster.

    What is going on here?

  • Renton de Alwis

    As a post script thought … what perhaps must be done by the authorities is to be frank about the gigantic task they have on their hand and call for the support of all Sri Lankans (may be though a unified unbranded media effort) for the requirements there are, After all it is better than seeking assistince from the rest of the world. We need the world’s support but it is firstly our own responsibility as Sri lankans to chip in. What I advocate are not huge “Yathras’ with lorry loads with banners on them being taken to distribute in front of TV cameras or doing things to gain some mileage for a political or social campaign or to raise funds from others beyond needs etc.

    Can the government organise the currently active NGOs and the INGOs that are operating within the camps with a proven track record and lead a campaign for them to be provided the material and other support needs to be able to address issues. We must also not forget that the persons in the camps by themselves are a huge resource and must be mobilised in groups with discussion on how they can come up with solutions and facilitate the support for their ideas to be implemented.

    They are aware of the impending monsoon rains (generally in October/November) and preperation must be made now to seek ways to minimise any problems. Like the gale wind that hit Anuradhapura, if a gale hits the camps the tents and shelters may not be able to withstand it. These are real issues to deal with and be prepared like we do in crisis management.

    Of course the resettlement must be hastened and that is the only real solution to the issue. But the realities on the gtround must not be forgotten. This is not like the tsunami but a post war against terror situation, where other isuues are also at play. Leaving that to the experts, we as citizens of Sri Lanka can focus on what we can do… and the media has a huge responsibility in this hard raod ahead. Once again we know all is not well on that front too. But let our media show us that they are beyond only criticising but are on to real action to help all Sri Lankans unite to build a Sri Lanka we can all be proud of. I do not have to remind any of us that this may just be the last such opportunity we may have to achieve that.

    R

  • Disgusted

    Migara,
    You said “while keeping a check on them under local Police”.

    Why? What crime have they committed to be checked by the police? Aren’t they war victims? They shouldn’t be in the camps in the first place.

    Looks like even nature (or God) doesn’t want to help GOSL continue with their criminal activity.

  • K.Anaga

    Sunday Sinha seems to be suffering from acute constipation resulting in mind bogging. Never mind being unconcerned about the IDP’s plight, but to accuse those who are trying to do something tangible to the affected people is not real Sinha like. Do Sinha knows the amount of work done by the ground view publishers to the Tsunami affected people…Various NGO’s saw to it that the Tsunami affected people never swam in their “own shit ” . What have yo done for the Tsunami affected people?
    I think it will be fruitless to answer people like Sinha.
    Let the dogs bark but the caravan should move on regardless
    FORGIVE THEM- THEY KNOW NOT WHAT THEY SPEAK..

  • Concerned Humanitarian

    This was the comment given by a “very responsible” Minister:

    ““The UN agencies involved in the IDP camps had taken the responsibility of constructing the drainage systems and flood preventive measures. So the Government cannot be blamed for the poor condition of the drainage systems which burst and failed,” Minister of Resettlement and Disaster Management, Rizad Bathiudeen said to local newspaper.”

    The NGOs have been telling from day one about the problems, but the GOSL arrogantly refused to heed to the advice.

    There can be one thousand agencies helping but the ultimate responsibility lies with the govt. Now, this Minister is just washing his hands away, just like the entire regime. It looks like the entire regime will pass the buck and put the blame on NGOs and even UN.

  • Aney Apoi

    Aney Renton mahattayo,

    You are too idealistic for this ruthless Sri Lanka! Let me say this in pithy Sinhala and then translate: rata karana ewun rata kana kota apata unwa kanna hithenawa! (when those meant to be running the country are actually ruining it, we feel like eating their heads off.) We as long-suffering citizens of all ethnic groups have little patience for a perennially bungling and uncaring and brutal Sri Lankan state. Don’t ask us to think what we can do for the country when the country’s custodian – the state – is screwing us day and night!

  • veedhur

    Groundviews ….the situation is worse than you have written. One small correction about numbers. The below is the numbers in the interment camps as per Govt and UN data

    Manic Farm Zone-0 5,836 19,644
    Manic Farm Zone-1 15,837 47,093
    Manic Farm Zone-2 19,416 62,623
    Manic Farm Zone-3 14,932 44,063
    Manic Farm Zone-4 12,936 42,589
    Manic Farm Zone-5 1,540 5,107
    In other 13 WFCs 12,595 38,240

  • veedhur

    sorry…the columns are

    Zone number

    Number of families

    Number of individuals (zone 5 had only around 5,000 till last week)

  • veedhur

    Renton, how stupid can you get – the terrain cannot sustain 260,000 plus people and the Government needn’t gear up for any ‘gigantic’ task. All they have to do is simple – release people to go live with their friends and relatives.

  • veedhur

    Renton,

    what do you mean when you say

    “I think the likes of Sunday Sinha must also stop seeing those who are IDPs in the camps as Tamils” – THEY ARE TAMILS AND IT IS A FACT.

    the problem lies in your next sentence

    “They are fellow Sri Lankan citizens and need to be treated like any one of us”

    Do you mean to say that if they are TAMILs they don’t need to be treated like every one else??

    Or is it yet another instance of many of the Sinhalese seeing Tamils and Tigers as indistinguishable!

  • smoulderingjin

    Well neither the govt, nor the majority in the country are anxious for these people to be released. It is the complacency of the majority public, who still beleive that the internment is necessary for their safety, and the safety of the nation, that propogates such misery. In such a climate, the govt has the blessings of the general public to sustain these camps.

    There is no talk of sending them home. The re-inforcements to the military guard of the camps is a clear indication of this.

    We are probably about to witness a terrible humanitarian disaster in this land. Unless the people of this nation rise up and say “ENOUGH” the govt will continue to act as it does. Perhaps it is time we did that.

  • veedhur

    Sunday Sinha,

    >>>”The Sunday Leader and Groundviews are opposition and pro-LTTE outlets and it is not surprising that you make such a fuss about this whereas the respectable and more responsible media prefer to gather sufficient information and evidence before rushing to publish”

    Really…how many of those respectable and responsible media have been able to go to the zones and report things as they are? respectable and responsible my foot! Compromising and unprincipled are more appropriate! The rains have been for the past three days – the last time I saw the map, it takes less than 7 hours to get there from Colombo. Of course the provincial correspondents from Anuradhapura could have reached their in about an hour and a half.

    >>>Your images don’t bear any date or timemarks, and we wonder why. Could it be that your images are doctored, just like many LTTE images were in the last days and weeks of the war?

    Could be!…but the responsible and respectable ones haven’t been bothered at all to give us anything. Enlighten us with more illuminating pictures – with date, time, name of photographer and the army major who chaperoned them!! That would be pretty objective!

    >>>Such poor living conditions prevail in every temporary shelter whether in the north or south.

    True, but in the south you are not prevented from getting out and setting up your shed in a higher elevation – or seeking shelter with a friend or a relative. In menik farm if you do you are shot! Get the difference???

    >>>Sri Lanka is a poor country raising its head after 30 years of war.

    Not sure what being poor has got to do with it. In fact it is precisely why you should let people go to places they wish until their original villages are cleared for resettlement. You then could use the funds available to take care of people who have no where to go…..So ‘Sri Lanka is a cruel country (to some of its citizens) raising its head after 30 years’ should be a better way of saying it. .But any way the Government is not footing the bill – it is the foreign countries who are paying for the whole deal.

    >>>>By the way, where were you when over a million Tamils, Sinhalese and Muslims were displaced by the tsunami? Are your tears only for the Tamils?

    What is the point here???

  • veedhur

    And by the way – just so that we are clear about the situation – Even BEFORE this weeks rains, according to last WHO update,

    Up to date numbers of those affected by Communicable Diseases in Vavuniya IDPs’ camps are:
     Dysentery: 1,719 since 01st June to 10th July
     Diarrhoea: 10,517 since 01st June to 10th July
     Hepatitis A: Cumulative 3,013; 2,989 since 01st June to 10th J
     Chicken Pox: Cumulative 13,536; 1,899 since 01st June to 10th

    They are way way above the national averages and the worst part is that these hapless people do not have to go through these. They would not have gotten this sick if they had been locked up in internment camps with bad conditions.

    They are getting sick because we all live in a sick society (Buddhist by the way!)

  • veedhur

    correction to the previous post – ‘They would not have gotten this sick if they had NOT been locked up in internment camps with bad conditions’

  • Menik camp has become a menik(gem) mine for some

  • Dhmarmalover

    Kudos to Groundviews, to Veedhur, and to Apelankawe on Twitter — keep up the truth seeking and truth-telling and don’t let the Sunday Sinha’s and the don’t-rock-the-boat Renton de Alwis’s of the world get in the way. As those who have been following the situation with the internment camps in Vavuniya, Jaffna and elsewhere have long known, the government has allowed its over-reaching security concerns and its refusal to accept any criticism or independent information and analysis to get in the way of what should be its primary responsibilty: helping the bombed and shelled and forcibly recruited from the Vanni get back to their homes and lives as quickly and freely as possibly. Unless concerned Sri Lankans of all ethnicities and religions and international bodies — esp. the UN — get off their assess and start pressing the government to live up to their national and international obligations, the suffering of the last few wet days will only be repeated in new and worse ways in the coming months.

  • veedhur

    >>>>The Sunday Leader quotes Jeevan Thiyagarajah, Head of the Consortium of Humanitarian Agencies (CHA) in IDPs swimming in human excreta,

    … apart from inadequate sanitation facilities and tents meant for an emergency only would also collapse in the event of heavy rains. “My predictions have been proved right,” he said last evening.

    BUT HE WOULD NOT DARE ASK FOR THE RELEASE OF CIVILIANS!

  • renton speaks of helping IDP’s without making a fuss and just doing what one has to do even spending ones own finances. I cannot agree more. But its the same Renton who approached the sunday leader to extend at 50% the cost to promote tourism when he was heading that operation. The newspaper agreed and only one advert was carried before he bowed down to his political masters and stopped all advertising without even informing the newspaper. The point here is that he knows very well how the system of politics and politicians work.Sensationalism was percieved because of the font size….

  • @ Disgusted

    They have done no criminal activity. But we know that there are LTTE carders with them and situation is worse in Zone 4 & 5. How can you be sure that these terrorists will not flee when they set free? Every day Army is finding C4 explosives in kilos. these carders can assemble a bomb very easily and blast a public place as the surveillance level is much lower now. Everybody who are set free can be with their relatives, and at least weekly they should report to local police to ensure that they are there. Otherwise would you like to bear the responsibility of an explosion set by one of LTTE carders?

  • Disgusted

    Migara,

    Aren’t there a bunch of murderers roaming Colombo, who at intervals turn up in white vans and kill targeted people? Since we don’t know who these murderers are, shouldn’t we round up everyone in Colombo and put them behind barbed wire? You know, just to be safe? That way, the murderers won’t get a chance to cause their mayhem. What do you say? Doesn’t it sound like a really brilliant idea? Otherwise, would you like to bear the responsibility of innocent people being killed by these murderers?

    In civilized countries, that’s what the security forces are for–to hunt down explosives and would-be bomb assemblers and try to preempt terrorist attacks, while ordinary citizens go about their lives. They don’t imprison innocent civilians in order to prevent terrorism from happening.

    Basically, this is about it being acceptable to incarcerate innocent Tamils so that innocent Sinhalese can go about their daily lives. Now there’s equal citizenship for you!

    The Tigers are dead. But looks like you folks need to keep the Tiger myth alive so that you can carry on using them as your racist excuse to keep Tamils in chains.

  • Concerned Humanitarian

    Migara:

    The young children and the elderly – are they terrorists? What about most of the womenfolk? Yes, I am for the screening but it is very evident that the regime is not serious enough in wanting to resettle them. There is a clear deficit of goodwill thinking and intention in dragging them out of their normal habitat with sweeteners and when they ran for their life from the clutches of the LTTE, little they would have known that what was waiting for them was hell, and finally end-up floating in human waste. Now, the govt is conveniently washing-off its hands – the flood debacle has been pinned on the UN. They want a home-grown solution and everything they talk about is fiercely national but when it comes to the IDPs present flood predicament, then it is not SL, it is the UN’s responsibility. What more you guys have up your sleeves?

  • Sunday Sinha

    I have nothing more to say to the chest-thumping pygmies whose visitor numbers are insignificant. You have had 2,147 in 24 hours — which is less than what the respected Daily Mirror or The Sunday Times receive in one hour. There is no comparison – the people know who can be trusted, and vote with their clicks. Pygmies with huge chips on their shoulders can bark all their might, but the Moon will continue to shine.

  • smoulderingjin

    Disgusted, Concerned Humanitarian – thank you!

    The parallels you draw about the white vans is brilliant. Point made.

    I agree, the refugees would never have fled to the “safety” of the govt zones had they even dreamt of what awaited them. What a irony for them to find they escaped only to be trapped again at gun point. The joke, from what I hear is that the below 10yrs and the above 60s were supposed to be given permission to go. Tell me again, which elderly person will leave without their children to support them or which child will leave the camps alone without their parents to support them???

    I was just thinking myself, that the blaming of the UN is pretty rich, given that the govt bleated around saying WE must look after OUR refugees, and we don’t want any advice or support, or monitoring. If the advice given long ago had been taken, the govt would have realised that the location for the camps was described as unsuitable for rainy weather!

  • Ganga

    There are multiple issues here. One of the major one is humanitarian. The other major one is political. Most of those who are crying for people in camps are politically or NGO motivated. The bottom line is the people in camps helps some people’s dream come true. No one is fighting in Sri Lanka for other people’s freedom. We are simply exploiting human tragedy for our own advantage.

  • notmyopinion

    @migara and others:

    Isn’t Sri Lanka supposed to have a legal system that imprisons people after they have committed an offence, rather than in case they might commit an offence, or because they are related to someone who committed an offence, or because they know someone who might commit an offence, or because they come from the same province as someone who committed an offence, or because they have the same religion, language, or ethnicity as someone who committed an offence, or because one of their relatives was kidnapped by the LTTE and conscripted as a child soldier?

    Maybe there are terrorist cadres in some of the camps. Maybe even in many of the camps. But how does that justify or require:

    – preventing press access to the camps

    – preventing MPs from visiting the camps

    – making it incredibly difficult for aid agencies to travel to the camps

    – failing to register and publish names and details of those being “cared for” in the camps

    – failing to reunite families separated during the evacuation

    – failing to provide a fair or adequate standard of healthcare in the camps

    – forcing patients to wait for army permission before they can be admitted to hospital, after doctors determine they need treatment

    – failing to provide a proper education for the children in the camps

    – failing to resettle inmates promptly

    -failing to allow children and the aged to leave the camps to stay with family outside

    – failing to prepare for the rains

    Surely a country that can defeat a ruthless and well supplied terrorist organisation can look after the refugees and let them go home, if it puts its mind to the problem?

    If Sri Lanka is really one nation, then how long should part of the nation need to live behind barbed wire, wading through overflowing cess pits?

    And if it’s really not as bad as all that, why is it such a secret?

  • Concerned Humanitarian

    Sunday Sinha:

    The respect of Daily Mirror and The Sunday Times had long been mortgaged to the fear of the gun. Have you been sleeping when a number of newsmedia were attacked. Pray tell me that even one of these attacks have been solved and the perpetrators apprehended. It is a well-known fact that the newsmedia that you mentioned have long succumbed to a “yes-man” editorial policy. Why not conduct a poll in these two media to gauge the treatment of the IDPs. At least we can understand what kind information these have propagated to-date.

  • SomeOne

    If any one read the situation in this island right now one thing will be clear that some sections of the people (Majority) are exercising their power on another section of people. Government is only instrument here.

    Majority of the people believe that these people should be kept in this confined camps (what ever you call it!) up and until we are absolutely sure that (so called terrorism) will not lift its head up again. How long?? What ever the time it takes to eradicate the terrorism.

    You guys were living under the boot of LTTE. Therefore, you guys should be able to live under our boot too. Don’t shout. You will be fine. We are going to increase the size of our boot by another 100,000 or so. In my view, this is “Yakkage Neethiya”. In a way, this is politics and democrazy all about.

  • Manushi

    I get the feeling that only a few people are truly concerned about the plight of the poor and the marginalized in Sri-Lanka. When the discussion degenrates into racism (and bigotry of every kind) it becomes more and more apparent that people have found a convenient outlet to channel their personal frustrations by feigning empathy for the IDP’s.

    This is utterly reprehensible. Not only were these poor people victimized by the LTTE, they are now holed up in dismal camps and exploited by special interest groups with agendas of their own. Haven’t they suffered enough?

    This is not the time to make a name for ourselves. It is time to work together as Sri-Lankans. Yes, it is that simple.

  • President Bean

    How would you people have felt if it was 2,80,000 plus sinhala buddhists languishing in those welfare concentration camps?

  • President Bean,

    If it was Sinhalse in the camp, then dont cry like this, NGOs wont voice like this, Amnesty International, ICRC, HRW will come after floods are gone. Because it was Tamils, even before the first rain drop falls, flood news in the Ground Views and in other media… cool man! They are real activists!

  • notmyopinion

    @Noealam

    I think you’re mistaken. Very few in the outside world have the slightest preference for Sinhala or Tamil. They know little of the differences between Buddhist and Hindu. They don’t care how you wrap your saree, what you eat for dinner, or who you vote for.

    But they hear stories of hidden camps, with barbed wire and armed guards, shielded from the world’s media, flooded, with inadequate supplies, sanitation and healthcare, holding civilians displaced by war. The inmates – let’s be blunt – the prisoners are denied access to the outside world.

    Of course the world thinks that something is wrong. How could they not?

    It’s not because they have any special animosity to the ethnic group that dominates the south and west of some island in the Indian Ocean – it’s because that island’s government is keeping human beings – including children and the very old – in terrible conditions, in secrecy, with no criminal charges, and no sign they will be released soon.

    If the world is allowed to complain about Guantanamo Bay or Tiger atrocities (and they have complained about both), why shouldn’t they complain about Manik Farm?

    Even if this were the first time the international community had ever complained about anything (and it’s not), they would still be right to do so. Some things are just wrong – and the treatment of the IDPs is one of them.

  • veedhur

    @ Manushi

    “This is not the time to make a name for ourselves. It is time to work together as Sri-Lankans”

    OKay….and do what?

  • veedhur

    @ noealam

    That is selective amnesia and the oldest excuse in the book – when the sinhalese youth were being anhilated in the south it was mostly the same group of NGOs and international agencies that voiced out loud

  • ayshya

    NoEalamInSL, can you please cite an example of some sort of major catastrophe that has affected Sinhalese, that civil society has ignored?

  • notmyopinion n others,

    By now the world knows who we are. Not the whole world but key players of colonial imperialism. They want a mess in Sri Lanka. They played a game for the last 30yrs holding LTTE as a triumph. MR Govt took a different strategy, turning to Eastern powers, which worked with amazing results.

    We won the war against terrorists. Now West i trying to convert Sri Lankan victory to a tragedy. All these propaganda are to give a negative impression on Sri Lanka as a failed state. They blocked IMF loan, when they know mass IDPs are maintained by a govt battered by a war. Have any west Europeans recognized victory of War against Terror in Sri Lanka? Have any of West European leaders whole heartedly congratulated Sri Lanka for victory? No. It is an embarrassment for them that a developing country combated terrorism with success and far better than super powers. They were surprised!

    When USA bombed populated cities like Baghdad, Iraq none of the human rights group voiced against USA, now they are concerned of floods and barb wires of IPD camps. How pathetic is your cause!!!!!!!!!!

    IDPs are not only in Menik Camp, they are all over the country. Why only Menik camp a central point? There are floods rest of the places, why only in north?

    Amnesty International’s propaganda using a child voice to attract sympathizers.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XBEbU1qfhMc

    In this video, the child who read the script doesn’t know what she reads, thus AI, the guardian of human rights abusing children to fabricate stories against Sri Lanka to tarnish its image on behalf of terrorists, supporting terrorists’ propaganda.

    KP revealed HRW, AI involvement in pressing govt to stop the war at last stage. Thanks to our brilliant people like Dayan, Rajiva, Kohana in frontline of international arena they couldn’t execute their LTTE evacuation plan.

    All these propaganda has one thing in common: more emphasis on barb wires & security, concentration camp etc… Because there are 10,000 LTTE cadres among civilians, pro-tigers movements want to get them out of the camp to continue Eelam struggle further. That’s the pathetic truth of all this propaganda, not because of genuine concerns for IDPs.

    Just like Hawks sniff for carnages, media sniff for short coming of IDP camps… The bitter the situation, the better the impact!

  • notmyopinion

    @NoEalam:

    You overestimate how much the “evil empires” actually care about Sri Lanka. Defeating terrorism is a good thing, and world governments are not shedding any tears about the loss of an organisation they proscribed as a terrorist group.

    But they don’t have to “recognise” the government’s victory.

    Defeating terrorism is an internal matter, unless crimes against humanity or war crimes are involved, or there is a humanitarian disaster. Oh wait…..

    Then you said a strange thing. You complained that in Amnesty International’s propaganda video, “the child who read the script doesn’t know what she reads…”

    Maybe AI should have got a child who had first-hand experience of the camps to talk about it on camera? Why didn’t they do that instead? Oh yes – the Government won’t let anyone see what’s going on in the camps.

    If it’s so good in the camps – why not let the media see.

    If it’s necessary to imprison children, and to keep families separated, let’s hear exactly why. And lets hear how many people are imprisoned, and who they are.

    Finally, you talk as if the media were searching high and low to find some trivial flaw in the operation of the IDP camps.

    The flaws are not trivial.

    You don’t have to sniff very hard when the toilets in your prison are overflowing…

  • smoulderingjin

    Trying to reason with those who do not want to hear, who are determined to make the IDP camps into Terrorist Weeding camps is a waste of breath.

    NoEelaminSL, Sunay Sinha and their ilk will keep waving the flag of victory, pride, defense, animosity, and racism towards those who dare to speak of violation of the basic rights of human dignity. I suspect that for them, any human voice that is raised against the suffering of the IDPs is “terrorist” and “anti Sri Lankan”, no let me correct myself “anti Sinhalese”. As Bush, and later GR and MR voiced it – “you are either for us or against us.” You are either pro govt or non Sri Lankan/ Sinhalese. These equations are an abomination and insult to those people in Sri Lanka who care about this nation and its people.

    It is perhaps beyond the likes of NoEeelaminSL that ordinary human beings, with a conscience and a sense of compassion will care about what happens to 280000 civilians in their nation. For them anyone who speaks out out of care and concern is a “pro LTTE” or a Western propogandist. I mean, really, what more can one say to them!

    Interestingly none of these “self declated patriots” – who insult and make derogatory remarks about those who have some compassion for the IDPs – are saying anything about the anarchy, loss of freedom, murder, abduction, threats, coercion, and thuggery in the South. Yet the lack of judicial process, rights for the people in the North, access to the outside world and the anarchy of the South are but two sides of the same coin. What travesty of justice it is when a significant police officer is merely trasferred and not interdicted for, together with his wife and son, assualting a young boy.

    There are none so blind as those who WILL not see. That perhaps will be the tragedy of this nation. And those of us who are citiizens, who care deeply about the nation, who care about equality, justice, freedom, and transparency, will have to watch as a few bigoted statesmen and its blinded citizens take this nation down the paths to hell.

  • rajivmw

    Very very well said smoulderingjin.

  • Disgusted

    smoulderingjin,
    Rarely do people manage to find words that are a mirror to everyone’s feelings. You did it!

  • notmyopinion

    I think you’re right, smoulderingjin. You cannot make someone see something if their whole worldview depends on their not seeing it.

    But I’m hopeful that there are some people of good will and integrity on both sides of this divided society – people who can see that their own community is not perfect, and that wrongs have been done by all sides and to all sides – people who want BOTH peace and justice – people who can hear as well as speak – people who can see that there are more colours than black and white – people who don’t blindly follow their leaders into the past .

    I sometimes wonder where they are, though.

  • Manushi

    Veedur,

    So, you don’t want to work together as Sri-Lankans?

  • smoulderingjin,
    True or false?
    1. Sinhalese have liberated 300,000 Tamils from the clutches of brutal LTTE terrorists who used Tamil civilians as human shields for the last 30 years. International community, NGO failed to Stop human shields.
    2. LTTE shot at escaping civilians. International community, NGOs didn’t stop LTTE or presurize to lay down arms.
    3. Sinhalese and the government of Sri Lanka have sheltered 300,000 Tamils in huge camps and provided food and medicine. Internatinal community did not give 100% cooperation due to differences with GOSL.
    4. Sinhalese from South sent food and cloths medicine and volunteered to cook for mass while NGOs were rally Tamil Diaspora to voice against Sri Lanka.
    5. NGOs have supported LTTE with bunkers, military equipment and financed the organization in and out of Sri Lanka.
    6. LTTE is the world no-1 terrorists yet international community accepted as a freedom fighters.
    7. LTTE is banned in EU, US yet they feed LTTE and allowed pro-LTTE protests around the world.
    8. NGOs, EU, US worked to together to pressurize government to stop the war while it is an internal matter.
    9. EU and US held special session at Security Council and Human Rights Council to pressurize a democratic government who was fighting terrorists. Didn’t actively push LTTE to lay down arms, rather they planned an evacuation of LTTE leadership.
    10. NGOS have demanded uninterrupted access violating its own code of ethics. (NGOs bound to render services under the laws of host government but they demanded uninterrupted access).
    11. Demanding such unethical, unlawful conditions to render their services to people in need is a violation of international law.
    12. West media have violated media law by publishing LTTE propaganda without veracity in channel4 and other channels.
    13 NGOs, West Media acted unlawfully in Sri Lanka, govt has a legitimate right to send them out of the country and limit access for security reasons. true or false?
    14. EU, USA blocked IMF loan and stopped all donations to Sri Lanka.
    15. Sri Lanka has improved standards of IDP camps according to UN.
    16. Natural disasters are beyond government control and were not prepared for floods but now it has been corrected.
    17 UN, UNICEF, UNHCR lacked coordinating and organizing with GOSL and other NGOs to provide smoother operation of such a mega project deliberately or not.

    Results:

    If “True” count is 15 or more than; then GOSL has done excellent and not to be blamed for the current crisis and delivered its obligations more than satisfactory. EU USA NGO not delivered their obligations neither they corrected their mistakes yet.

    Refences:
    1.Stunning speeches by Rajiva on NGO, Media and EU corruption and il-treatment towards Sri Lanka revealed at UNHRC : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PnyybN7y11g

    2.The Firewall of Sri Lanka (I am first to call Dayan a Firewall) denied access to terror dipolmat: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R0znNBZZOBs

    3. Sole Representative of Tamils Continue to Fire at Fleeing Civilians http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i6mLvnXYPbc

    4. UN Spokeman Gordon Weiss will be summoned to explain about the civilian bloodbath http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dk0cxwZLdkY

    5. British Journalists of Channel4 Deported Rohitha Bogollagama http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mJjsCZ9cWEc
    6. Sri Lanka Doors Closed for Notorious Anna, HRW http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pi2Qxr38YnA

    7. Anuradhapura Massacre by LTTE- 146 Civilians http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qqdW2auRlo4
    8. Shocking Claims in Srilanka s concentration camps in Vavuniya Channel 4 News
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G1TzRoshh0I
    9. Democracy Under Attack in EU: Sri Lanka Emabssy Was Attacked in Oslo, Norway http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G34gaKe88yk

  • Manushi

    The process of resettlement is long term. Not only do the IDP’s need housing, access to health care and education, many of the children need counselling for post-traumatic stress disorder. It is next to impossible for children to return to a normal way of life after being torn away from their families and brutalized into becoming child soldiers. In having been forced to kill, and with their childhood robbed in the process, these children need all the help they can get from caring adults that want to see them become successful and well adjusted members of society.

    Not only are the IDP’s still languishing in miserable camps, but the Sri-Lankan government must be forthright in providing proper rehabilitation for the soldiers who are also caught in the nightmare of PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) with many of them in need of prosthetic limbs and wheelchairs. Although I am against America’s illegal war in Iraq, the American soldiers returning from Iraq receive professional PTSD counselling. The Sri-Lankan government must be held accountable for using and trashing Sri-Lankan citizens willy – nilly.

    No one is expendable. We are all entitled to the basic necessities of life.

  • @ Disgusted

    Now your conversation gets moronic. Here are the points in a list. Read one by one and understand it and then get back to the dialogue.

    1. IDP’s need not be behind barbed wire. If they have relatives in other parts of the country, they should be with them.
    2. When you allow people out of camps, LTTE carders will be also out. They can set up bombs. But you cannot identify them at this moment.
    3. The people who have joined their relatives remain in their relatives homes. They are not under custody.
    4. Police will pay visits or the former IDPs have to report to local Police to prove that they have not left their relatives place. This will keep track of the IDPs and the LTTE members with it.
    5. If you don’t like options 2-4, then next option will be for IDP’s to wait till screening is over, which will take up to 3 months.
    6. If you don’t like 2-5 options, then you can set all the IDPs loose to GAGF, and do the demining at the current pace which will take up to 1 year.
    You can select which line of management is best and you can propose any better ways if you have.

    //In civilized countries, that’s what the security forces are for–to hunt down explosives and would-be bomb assemblers and try to preempt terrorist attacks, while ordinary citizens go about their lives. They don’t imprison innocent civilians in order to prevent terrorism from happening.
    With that also more than 5,000 died with bombs in Colombo. And don’t get mistaken, no their country match us when hunting down suicide bombers. Now are you taking responsibility for deaths cause by such explosions if you were give the chance to rectify things?

    //The Tigers are dead. But looks like you folks need to keep the Tiger myth alive so that you can carry on using them as your racist excuse to keep Tamils in chains.

    VP is dead, and elite leaders are dead, but there are brain washed psycopaths who are still living, trained as human bombs. Do you take responsibility for such an explosion?. I will not definietly as a reasonable prudent citizen. If you cannot take responsibility with such a calamity by working according to your plans you can no way criticize GOSL who is accepted to take the responsibility of the IDPs.

  • @ Concerned Humanitarian

    //The young children and the elderly – are they terrorists?
    No they are not. That’s why they deserve to be with their relatives as I explained earlier. On other note where are you going to keep them without their male partners or parents? Do you want to keep them alone?

    Now what is UN or other INGO’s doing in the demining process? nearly nil of note. What they are busy is to bring MR in front of international courts by believing words of pro-Ealmists! Now where are the INGOs who have given loads of heavy machinery to LTTE to build bunkers? Cannot they build 15,000 latrines in these camps? The good will may be lacking from GOSL. They may have plans, but lack resources. But the lack of good will from so called “Humanitarian” agencies are lacking in shocking magnitude. GOSL cannot handle this problem alone, and if they do it alone it will take up to 1 year. there are half a million mines lying in those 7,000 sqKms. That will take ages to demine unless foreign aid flies in.

  • @ notmyopinion

    Go back to my answers to Disgusted and Concerned humanitarian. If you criticize, you should have better plans and be manly (or womanly) enough to take responsibilities of your actions. None of you propose any alternative ways, and even when you propose, you are not wanting to take responsibility. That’s the prime example of destructive criticism. Just sounding like an empty bottle, with criticisms.

    preventing press access to the camps – We know what these “alternative” news agencies are up to. The biggest businesses in the world up to now were drugs and arms. Now two more things are added, humanitarian crises and reporting.

    preventing MPs from visiting the camps – i am all for preventing hacks like Jayalath Jayawardane to these places, because of their past history of lying big and fat,

    making it incredibly difficult for aid agencies to travel to the camps there are 300,000 people as IDPs and INGOs applied 3,000 – 5,000 vehicles to enter the camps. If we say half of them are at service, you can imagine what will happen to IDPs when 2,000 double cabs roam up and down on dusty roads? Opinion of health experts were taken and that is a very good policy desicion to limit the number of vehicles that can enter camps per day. (I think it is around 250)

    failing to register and publish names and details of those being “cared for” in the camps – any proof that it could have been done 10 weeks time?

    failing to reunite families separated during the evacuation – agreed. But this will also take time, Without ending the registration process, this is near impossible.

    failing to provide a fair or adequate standard of healthcare in the camps – This is a big fat lie. There are 250 doctors who are attached to IDP camps from post-intern batches, and there are about 50 senior doctors working in the area (as part timers as they have to look after other areas as well). GMOA arranges 25 doctors to work in IDP camps. In minimum count there are 200 doctors working. 300,000 / 200 = 1,500 persons per doctor. On island wide the number of doctors is around 18,000. The national average is 1,800,000 / 18,000 = 1,000. Infact rural areas of Uva province have lesser facilities than this. I have worked in IDP camps for few weeks and the supply of medicine is better than some of larger hospitals, because it is done by military.

    forcing patients to wait for army permission before they can be admitted to hospital, after doctors determine they need treatment – Another big fat lie. doctors are solely responsible but they have to wait until transport arrives if the matter is not urgent medically. That is the same practice in every hospital.

    failing to provide a proper education for the children in the camps – I am interested to know what was the education LTTE were giving them.

    failing to resettle inmates promptly – Resettle them on minefields? The the same notmyopinion will start the bandwagon “GOSL let them settle in minefields”

    failing to allow children and the aged to leave the camps to stay with family outside-Without keeping records how would you let them go? If you can prove with concrete evidence that GOSL could have registered all kids by now I will buy that argument.

    failing to prepare for the rains – What was this INGO’s doing when they jumped to the scene and promised to build shelter? Most these houses were built by them. Finger only pointed at GOSL? not at these INGO’s who deliberately did not take the monsoon in to consideration?

    //If Sri Lanka is really one nation, then how long should part of the nation need to live behind barbed wire, wading through overflowing cess pits?

    This was done before when Tsunami struck. But then the media did support, There were few antagonizers,and it was not a big profit making excercise for INGOs. SL can do it, but need help.

  • @ President Bean

    //How would you people have felt if it was 2,80,000 plus sinhala buddhists languishing in those welfare concentration camps?

    And add some brain-washed lunatics who are prepared to blow up any Tamil they see, and ask from Tamil community what they’ll do. After that we shall continue.

  • Pandora

    I completely agree, smoulderingjin!

    It is truly unbelievable how blind these patriots are to the suffering of nearly 300,000 countrymen. That is the biggest tragedy of all.

  • Veedhur

    Manushi…..

    You got me wrong…read my response clearly….

    I do want to work as Sri Lankans as you plead….but what should we as Sri Lankans do when 280,000 other Sri Lankans are locked up in internment camps and left to suffer in miserable conditions?

    What do we do? I ask….and you ask ‘dont you want to be a Sri lankan?’

  • Veedhur

    @NoEalam

    >>>>3. Sinhalese and the government of Sri Lanka have sheltered 300,000 Tamils in huge camps and provided food and medicine. Internatinal community did not give 100% cooperation due to differences with GOSL.

    Really, the UN and Government’s own data sheet detailing who is giving food to the IDPs gives an entirely differnt story – 100% is given by international community!!

    >>>4. Sinhalese from South sent food and cloths medicine and volunteered to cook for mass while NGOs were rally Tamil Diaspora to voice against Sri Lanka.

    Really….a rough estimate is that all the food that the southern people sent (bless all of them) could partially feed the people for a whole of about 10 days max. Even that is a stretch. Do you have any idea as to how much food came from south and do you have any idea as to how much it costs to feed 300,000 IDPs?

    And by the way, since July the Government is moving people to individual cooking where they get WFP rations (five items) and will have to find the rest themselves. So many IDPs are eating out of their own savings while at least 2/3rds are suffering. How would you feel if you are forced to eat out of your savings and not go out to earn money?

    >>>16. Natural disasters are beyond government control and were not prepared for floods but now it has been corrected.

    REALLY…can you tell me how? As of this morning when we heard Minister Rishard Bathiudeen speak to the agencies and department heads in Vanni it was clear the Govt had no plans! Or if they had they are not telling the IDPs or those who are working for their betterment and are telling only people named NoEalam!!

  • Veedhur

    again @ manushi

    >>>The process of resettlement is long term

    Yes indeed, but what is currently being asked is to give the IDPs freedom of movement, to go stay with friends and relatives rather than suffer in the miserable camps until conditions are conducive for speedy resettlement. There should also be a public plan that every IDP knows that outlines the time table and process of resettlement – as opposed to the state of limbo in which they are in now…. languishing in camps with children and sickness around with uncertainty is a pretty pathetic situation.

  • Veedhur

    @ manushi,

    Yes we need to address the psychosocial needs of the soldiers!

  • Veedhur,

    Oh yah? costs of IDP 100% from UN/IC then why GOSL bothered?

    Here is another interesting Eelam news: Rajnikanth, Vaiko, Ramdoss received Tigers’ money says a SL Minister: http://asiantribune.com/08/19/rajnikanth-vaiko-ramdoss-received-tigers-money-says-a-sl-minister/

    “Did Rajnikanth, Vaiko and Ramdoss benefit from LTTE money?
    Yes, they did, alleges Sri Lanka Minister for Resettlement and Disaster Relief Services Abdul Risath Bathiyutheen, who also claims that the Tigers funded business ventures and set up Tamil radio and TV stations in the West and Far East.”

    ” His ‘disclosures’ relating to Tamil Nadu are sensational, to say the least, Thols Thirumavalavan’s Viduthalaich Chiruththaikal, V. Gopalaswamy’s (Vaiko’s) Marumalarchchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, Dr. S. Ramadoss’s Pattali Makkal Kadchchi, and P. Nedumaran’s President of the Tamil Nationalist Movement and Tamil Eelam Supporters Co-ordination Committee received the LTTE money right from the very beginning, according to Minister Risath Bathiyutheen.”

    “the LTTE tried to pump in money into the SL stock exchange through an American hedge fund company. ‘The objective was to bring collapse of the corporate business sector in Sri Lanka. It did not succeed’.

    ” ‘My concern is not what had happened in the past, I only want the money that the LTTE took overseas for business ventures to come back. It can come back only if the LTTE remnants work towards that goal. I only want to prick their conscience. I hope my words will stir them into a course correction’.”

    “‘If this blood money that is going around is returned to Sri Lanka, it will be a humanitarian gesture towards 300,000 Tamil Internally Displaced persons living in transit camps. Remember these people have become IDPs because of Tigers; because Prabhakaran took them as his human shield till he himself was killed, because the Wanni Tiger leadership made these people move like nomads with’.”

    ‘by giving just two hour notice, Prabhakaran chased away more than 10,000 Tamil speaking Muslim families from the North to the refugee camps in the Puttalam district. These families were uprooted from their traditional homeland in Jaffna, Vavuniya and Mannar. Me and my family is one of them.’

    NoEalamInSL

  • smoulderingjin

    Perhaps NoeelaminSL you are too angry and prejudiced to even consider the suffering of human beings.

    I do not need to waste my time replying the innacurate information you give regarding the improving conditions in the camps, the gratitude due to the government, the culpability of the victims incarcerated, the dangerous nature of the LTTE, the wonderful victory and salvation that the government of Sri Lanka brought.

    It is also a waste of time attempting to respond to your views regarding the nature of the humanitarian situation here regarding the suffering and utter despair of 300000 civilians of this nation. For you these are “tamils” who were under the LTTE and perhaps supporters, who should be crawling with gratitude for what is extended to them.

    It is obvious that you have little concern for them. So there remains nothing more to be said to you regarding the matter. A few others on this forum have already said it anyway.

    But before you take up your cause and plead for trust in the government, take a look at what this government is doing in terms of civil rights, justice, and fairness to its citizens in the South. Take a look at the murders, the violence, the abductions, the threats made to Sinhalese in the South, take a look at the accusations leveled at many in the government regarding recent murders, take a look at the justice meted to the favourites of the government, take a look at the way lawyers are treated and the system of the law uphelp, take a look a the way the police of this nation behave with the blessing of this nation. Take a look at the anarchy and terror now governing the South.

    …and then talk to us about the trust we should have in a trustworthy government and its leaders.

  • Disgusted

    Migara,

    Just a couple of questions for you:

    1. Will the government (and Sri Lankans) know when the last LTTE cadre has been identified? I.e. do they have a complete list of the people they are looking for? Or does all this depend on ‘intuition’ and convenience? If they don’t know exactly how many and who they are looking for, could this be a witchhunt like the McCarthy trials, where people get themselves out of trouble by identifying other innocent people as culprits? This could go on till eternity.

    2. Are you saying the security forces that apparently are the first in the world to get rid of a terrorist organization will be unable to deal with a few stray escaped cadres, who act entirely on their own, without organisational coordination? As far as I know, suicide bombers need somebody else to assemble the bombs for them, and someone else to plan the details. How is all this coordination going to take place with the world’s best terrorist-defeating forces being on the watch?

    The burning question is: have the Tigers been defeated or are they still in operation? You can’t claim both.

  • Concerned Humanitarian

    Migara:

    Whatever happened to the request of the relatives of these elderly and children to be released to them. These are people who have been living under the govt’s control. You have to try your luck in some other way.

    Everyone else except you lack the intelligence that they cannot think for themselves of the atrocities piles by the SL regime? Please give them some credit. If, as you say, MR is holy as an angel and white as chalk, why he has denied access to the international media to the once war zone? You want their money and assistance but want to conceal the massacre of civilians whose only fault was to forced in-between the crossfire from two recalcitrant antagonists. Stopping IDPs from talking freely to visiting UN personnel and state-managed visits, etc, has been part of the staged drama by this regime. There is more than enough goodwill from the NGOs and the international community and in actuality it is the other way round – this regime has not reciprocated the goodwill extended to it.

    At least you agree that the govt has been unable to face the daunting task – a problem it created. Tell people to run for their freedom and telling the whole world that it is liberating the people but when they come out, catch them by the neck and lock them up in internment camps.

    Blaming the NGOs for the assets/machinery possessed by LTTE is nothing new but I am yet to see a single credible report on this. If indeed this is true, charge them for misusing their conditions of work. Until them it is nothing more than rhetoric.

  • Manushi

    Veedur,

    From what I understand, there are many poor Sri-Lankans (living in Sri-Lanka)donating money and other supplies to the IDP’s.

    It is the Diaspora that is hampering the process by peddling misinformation – not just about the camps – but about the entire country in general. This is what I meant by “we should all get together as Sri-Lankans”. If we stick to this principle, half the problem is solved. However, if people continue to play dirty politics, it is the IDP’s that will, once again, be caught in this vicious cycle.

    Of course the government has to improve the conditions in the camps and speed up the resettlement process so that the IDP’s can quickly integrate back into society. The government must also be held accountable for the safety and protection of all the people in the camps. I don’t think there is any person out there who would disagree with this.

    Having said this, our criticism of the camps must be directed soley at the government – not at the people of Sri-Lanka. How can anyone who confuses the two engage in humanitarian work?

  • smoulderingjin,

    In my previous post http://www.groundviews.org/2009/08/16/update-on-menik-camp-flooding-more-images-and-reports-from-the-ground/#comment-8349 I included important issues with relevant video (perhaps not 100% but an still you can get an idea), if you are not interested, you give me an impression that you don’t want to listen to others, and you want others to listen to you which reminds me of a Hitler type personality.

    I am angered by injustice done to Sri Lanka, I am prejudiced (if I am) due to western pro-tiger and anti-Sri Lanka perception in the past and present. Yet I do not let my fellow Tamil brothers and sisters to suffer in IDP camps nor anywhere else in Sri Lanka. This discussion should bring comfort to those who need and not for most irresponsible Western States, journalists and NGOs who are responsible for Tamil Carnage and sufferings done by LTTE. Every time when west want to attack Sri Lanka they use IDP or Humanitarian issue. They are still after “Two State option” which is the goal in their hidden agendas and IDP and HR issues are their milestones.

    I am not here to white wash any government or any organization; I am here to shed lights to people who are in the dark. They can choose whether to stay in dark or come to light. People like you prefer to stay in the dark.

    The videos of speech done by Rajiva at UNHRC revealed NGO & Western Hypocrisy and corruption. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PnyybN7y11g

    You pointed out GOSL bad governs ignoring bad practices of most accountable organizations for Sri Lankan crisis. I don’t think we can go further with our discussion.

    If you ask my personal view regarding MR government, I would say it is the best government so far in Sri Lanka, but not the perfect, still can be improved.

    NoEalamInSL

  • Veedhur

    @NoEalam,

    I give up brother/sister.

    I ask about IDPs and you talk about some jokers getting money from LTTE.!

  • SomeOne

    Dear “NoEalamInSL”,

    “…..by giving just two hour notice, Prabhakaran chased away more than 10,000 Tamil speaking Muslim families from the North to the refugee camps in the Puttalam district. These families were uprooted from their traditional homeland in Jaffna, Vavuniya and Mannar. Me and my family is one of them…..”

    You have missed out Mullaitheevu muslims!!

    We every one has affected in some way. The fact that Pirapakaran chased the muslim out of that area doesn’t mean that it belongs to Pirapakaran or it is NOT yours. It is your birth right to live where you born. No one can take this right away from you.

  • Veedhur,

    I have made you silent and speechless. You are speechless after I unmasked the real culprits of Tamil sufferings http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PnyybN7y11g Prof Rajiva does talk about IDPs. Not only you, the whole chamber of UNHRC stood still when Prof Rajiva made his stunning speeches. Look at the faces of UN representatives sat next to him. The reactions they had for remarks; Stunned, just like you.

    LTTE infiltrated even UN, HRW, ICRC, and UNHRC with the help of West Europeans. LTTE voiced on streets across the globe thanks to West European states. LTTE killed more and more Tamil civilians to pressurize IC and the GOSL. UN Spokesman Gordon Weiss announced the civilian bloodbath which never occurred http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dk0cxwZLdkY

    HRW represented terrorists instead of democratic government. They let kill civilians. Now crocodile tears for flood in IDP camps.

    You gave up not because of jokers, because of bitter truth behind IDPs and Tamil sufferings. People here, are playing games. The real culprits are not the government or Sinhalese; real culprits are the humanitarian preachers with croc tears!

  • smoulderingjin

    Noeelaminsl

    None of the respondents in this group are condoning the LTTE or disclaiming the hypocrisy of Western govts. But that does not mean we should not speak up for the rights of humans in our nation, or that we should condone what the govt in Sri Lanka does.

    To assume that the SLankan govt, with the blood of innocent civilians – not from just from the North, but from the South, from among the Sinhalese here – is the best thing that Sri Lanka has had? The final sentence in your last comment actually says it all. If, this nation feels that MR and his band of murderous corrupt politicians is the best leadership SLanka has had…I can only pity what this nation will become!

    Just to reassure you, you have not rendered me speechless – it takes a lot to do that. You have merely rendered further comment pointless. Hence the non-response. However, I do find it amusing to read your conclusions regarding my personality and my likeness to Hitler. It is “virtual psychology” at its most entertaining.

  • Disgusted

    NoEelaminSL,
    I listened to Prof. Rajiva’s speeches. I too like Smoulderinjin am not struck speechless by them. Neither are the people seated next to him–they just look like they are listening to someone. I don’t see any dropped jaws or eyes popping out of their socket. And what is there to stun anyone? It was just rhetoric, of the most verbose sort, SL government playing the victims’ game, pointing their fingers at everyone but themselves. Actually, I wanted to laugh when Prof. Rajiva demanded transparency from the UN! GOSL is in no position to demand transparency from anyone. The Jews have a term for this—it’s called chutzpah.

    Then, Mahinda talking about Gordon Weiss–again, no evidence provided for anything that is being claimed. Just a lot of blustering.

    I wonder at your claiming that you have the handle on the truth of what happened (that there was no civilian bloodbath, that IDPs are being well-taken care of, etc) when the state will not allow media, local and international, access to the camps unless they are on army-guided tours. NGO access is also restricted. Does not this cloak-and-dagger business raise alarm bells with you? Plus, GOSL itself publishes names of dissenting journalists, which is quickly followed up with murders or assault of said journalists. What are you basing your so-called knowledge on? Faith in state propaganda? That isn’t enough for some of us.

    It’s very clear from your posts that it’s you that cries crocodile tears. You pretend to be concerned about the displaced Tamils, but anyone can see from these posts and those in other threads that, for you, this is about Sinhalese vs Tamils. It’s not about human rights, or concern for fellow-citizens, or anxiety that the nation should behave ethically. What you’re after is protecting the reputation of GOSL and Sinhalese. As far as you’re concerned, the IDPs deserve their fate simply because they are from the same ethnic group as the Tigers. That is why you keep bringing up the history of Tiger terrorism, when everyone else is talking about innocent civilians.

    I have no quarrel with Sinhalese, but plenty with GOSL. When someone acts secretively and refuses to be transparent, I suspect that they are doing something wrong. I believe that is the only reasonable position to take. I won’t believe that the IDPs are being treated fairly and reasonably until the camps are freely accessible to the media (and not just those selected by the government).

    As for their being no civilian bloodbath, do you not know that your own president boasted in an interview with the Indian media that the SL Army tricked the Tigers into going into the lagoon area by declaring it to be a safe zone for the civilians? So, yes, the Tigers used civilians as their shields. But the SL army used innocent civilians as pawns to help them win the war. Governments are supposed to protect citizens, not push them into the path of danger. So, when they were killing the Tigers, pray tell me how did they distinguish Tigers from the civilians?

  • Disgusted,

    It is interesting but strange enough not to believe your pathetic post. The facts and figures given by Rajiva were to support his accusations of corruption and hypocrisy of European Union and NGO. They are just empty rhetoric words for you. Pity to hear “I wanted to laugh when Prof. Rajiva demanded transparency from the UN” regarding corruption and hypocrisy of NGO who funded bunkers, swimming pools, vehicles, weapons from the tax payers’ money in Europe, where LTTE is proscribed.

    When I heard Rajiva, my jaws dropped out of socket with my eyes popped out. That’s the difference you and me. You voice for the Tigers, I voice for the IDPs.

    Gordon Weiss represented UN; the guardian of democracy has given two bias statements in favour of LTTE. For you it is not so important. You say “no evidence, just a lot of blustering”, while minister claimed that he had proved previous statement was based on a counterfeit RDHS document.

    You said “SL army used innocent civilians as pawns to help them win the war”, you are flipping the coin now. Civilian hostages were not in favour of army but LTTE. It helped IC to put the pressure on the government to stop the war because of a possible “Blood Bath predicted by Gordon Weiss”. Europeans pressurized only the government for a ceasefire. So called Blood Bath didn’t occur. 250,000 civilians were rescued from terrorists. It was the largest rescue mission on earth. The super powers looked at Sri Lanka with their jaws dropped from their sockets and their eyes popped out! Didn’t they?

    You keep pushing West European funded/ owned HRW, ICRC, Media, International Criminal court. You want to convince me that they are unbiased and let them in without restrictions to see what is happening in camps, but we are not that dumb to realize the tricks of the bird brains.

    Sri Lanka is doing its best for its citizens; GOSL doesn’t need any advice from mass slaughters of Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan on how to do a humanitarian operation. Neither can you convince ordinary citizens like me good and bad. We have lived with terrorism for thirty years; finally we got rid of them. Sri Lanka Free at last, free at last!

  • Disgusted

    NoEelaminSL,
    You seem far more concerned about alleged misbehaviour of UN and NGOs than of fate of the IDPs. Is the former meant to cover up the evils of the latter? Many of us can see that GOSL’s focus on alleged misdeeds of UN and NGOs are meant firstly as a distraction tactic. When someone is after you for something wrong you’ve done, then it’s a good strategy to point fingers back at them, isn’t it? Also, it’s rich to go after the UN and NGOs when your hands are palms out, demanding their money. Only someone incredibly corrupt and lacking in dignity can have the gall to do that, to accuse someone while happily pocketing their money.

    This is what I expect. If GOSL did nothing wrong, it would have turned up at the UN, armed to the hilt with evidence of its innocence. That’s what innocent people do when falsely accused. But instead, it preferred to point its fingers back at its accusers, and used verbosity to cover up the lack of evidence.

    As for civilian hostages not being in favour of the army but of the LTTE, that should make you think. Why did they prefer terrorists (known to kill their own community on a whim) to their own state army? Could it be that these civilians have suffered more at the hands of the army than at the hands of the LTTE? Any government worth its salt would see that they have failed their people in not gaining their trust. But not GOSL.

    Sri Lanka free at last? Only if by Sri Lanka, you mean Sinhalese. Nobody behind barbed wire, swimming in excreta, considers themselves free. The largest rescue mission indeed! It’s certainly nothing like any rescue mission I’ve seen, where people get to go home and be reunited with their family, instead of being incarcerated. I would anytime prefer a quick death by bullets than long drawn out humiliation at the hands of morally defunct people.

    I note that you have nothing to say about the president’s own boast that the army used civilians as bait to reel in the Tigers.

  • The humanitarian thing to do would be to:

    Kill ’em all and let GOD sort ’em out.

    Anything less than that would be impossible.