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Sri Lankan Oppression
People Against Sri Lankan Oppression.
P. O. Box 5581,
Benoni South. 1502
Gauteng. Rep of South Africa.
Tel/Fax No: (011) 421-3235
1st March 1999
Sri Lankan Government's propaganda machine reaches out to
South African Parliamentarians and Journalist.
Parliamentarian group led by Mr Ebrahim I. Ebrahim -
Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee of Foreign Affairs.
In December 1998 a group of 7 Parliamentarians and in February 1999
a group of 10 South African Journalists were invited by the Sri Lankan
government to visit Sri Lanka and see for themselves what the situations in Sri Lanka was like. From reports and newspaper articles in South
Africa, the parliamentary group gave a balanced view of the conflict in
Sri Lanka between the Tamil Eelam forces and the Sri Lankan Armed
forces. They group did say that their report would be incomplete,
unless they speak directly to the LTTE.
The journalist are yet to publish something of substance other then
details of their fully paid holiday to Sri Lanka, and forecasting that
country as a future destination for holiday makers.
The Sri Lankan government refused to allow the delegations to meet
the LTTE, which represents the Tamil Nation. Instead they only
allowed them to speak to their puppets who collaborate with the
government in oppressing the Tamil people. These groups are in the
same category as the collaborators we had here in South Africa in the
House of Delegates, House of Representatives and the local
Councilors. Just as we had in South Africa, these people do not
represent the majority of Tamil people, and were elected into their
position by only a handful of friends and family. They are there as part
of the Sri Lankan government's propaganda machine, to show the
world that some Tamils are in government. We in South Africa should
know from our experiences how destructive these collaborators could
be. In South Africa these collaborators could not be trusted, how could
these collaborators be trusted or believed.
The groups were taken to the Temple of the Tooth, which was
damaged in an attack by the LTTE, but were not shown or told about
the number of Temples, Churches, and Mosques destroyed by the Sri
Lankan Army in the Tamil Provinces. They were not shown how the Sri
Lankan Army bulldozed the graves of the fallen LTTE fighters in the
Tamil Provinces. They were not told how the Sri Lankan army
destroyed the Library in Jaffna, destroying valuable Tamil Literature
that have been collected for thousands of years.
The groups were shown the refugee camp of 15,000 Tamil Muslims
(playing on the emotions of the Muslim MP of the parliamentary group)
who were asked to leave Jaffna, but were not shown the refugee camps
of 500,000 Tamils in the Vanni district. They were not shown the
devastation and misery that the Sri Lankan army has inflicted on the
Tamil Nation. They refuse to allow them to see the effects of the
embargo they have placed on the Tamil Provinces. They did not show
them how they use Food and Medicine as Weapons of War. They
were not told of the number of mass grave of Tamils that were in the
Tamil provinces. The groups were given statistics by the government,
which has not been verified by any NGO in Sri Lanka stating the
number of detainees, but were not allowed to speak to them and see
the conditions under which they were kept. They were not told of the
number of detainees who were tortured and killed in the Sri Lankan
Getting the full picture.
The parliamentary group did say that they wish to meet the LTTE to get
their view on the conflict, and have a better understanding of the
situation, however, the group has made no attempt thus far to make
contact with the LTTE. Is there a reason for the delay? We sincerely
hope that they have not fallen victims to the Sri Lankan government's
It is sad when some of our professional journalists do not rely on their
investigative skills, but rather on propaganda fed to them by their hosts.
From my conversations with a few of these journalists, I get the feeling
that they were there on holiday and having a good time, and as the Sri
Lankan government has instructed them, they are to promote tourism to
Sri Lanka and convince the South African public that everything was
normal there, even if they lie. One journalist mentioned that the trip was
worth it, obviously, if everything is paid for, and you don't have to do
anything but publish propaganda, it has to be worth it. Did any of these
professional journalist question their hosts why they are being so
generous and paying for their holiday and only showing them what the
LTTE has done? Did they ask about the mass graves detention without
trial, and torture of Tamils?. Did they ask about the starving Tamils who
were made refugees in their own land? It is really sad when some
professional journalists could be bought over with a free holiday.
We often wonder why the world and the UN are dragging their heels in
trying to find a peaceful solution to the conflict in Sri Lanka. We see the
world and the UN reacting very quickly to resolve the conflicts in
Europe and elsewhere in the world, why not Sri Lanka? Did the Sri
Lankan government ask the world and the UN for time to wipe out the
Tamil Nation before the world and the UN could get permission from
the Sri Lankan government to act?, or has the Sri Lankan government's
propaganda machine managed to make the world blind to the atrocities
and human right violations it commits. It is strange how the world is
fooled by the Sri Lankan propaganda machine to turn a blind eye to
what it is doing, even getting some governments to fund the atrocities
and human rights violations in Sri Lanka.
We appeal to all governments to stop helping the Sri Lankan
government to wipe out the Tamil Nation. As they are trying to assist
the people of Kosovo in finding peace and justice, they should also
assist the Tamil people to find peace and justice. If the world could use
force against the Serbs, why can't the world use force against the Sri
Lankans. If the Sri Lankan government believe that they can use
embargo's to force the Tamil Nation into submission, why can't the
world use sanctions and embargo's to force the Sri Lankan government
into submission. It is about time that the world and the UN treat all
nations alike and stop assisting the Sri Lankan government. It is the Sri
Lankan government and not the LTTE who don't want peace. The
LTTE has said that it is prepared to negotiate with third party
mediations. The Sri Lankan government is refusing to negotiate. The
world and the UN should force the Sri Lankan government to
Tommy M. Padotan
Paslo News Desk.
National Co-Ordinator -Mr. T. M. Padotan: Secretary -Mr. M. T. Pillay: Treasurer - Mr. Y. Chetty: PRO
- Mr. N. Pillay.
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