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|UPDATE on terrorism related topics||OTHER LINKS to anti-terrorist sites|
|Sri Lankan army braces.......||UMBERTO|
|Thailand closes doors to LTTE||Sacrilege|
|Now even armed moderates haunt Tamil politicians||US Bans LTTE Terrorism|
|A Tamil guerrilla's story starting at age 7||SPUR - Society for Peace, Unity & Rights|
|Sri Lanka president to opt out after ending war||Sinhala Veera Vidhana|
|LTTE not keen on peace, US team told||LAKHANDA - Voice of Lanka|
|Jane's Military Review - India helped Pak to airlift||SINHAYA from UNITED KINGDOM|
|Sihala Urumaya policy||SIHALA URUMAYA|
Paris, Tuesday, August 22, 2000
A Tamil Guerrilla's Story, Starting at Age 7
A Child Fighter Describes Abduction and Training
By Thomas Crampton International Herald Tribune
JAFFNA, Sri Lanka - Shuffling her sandal-clad feet in the dust, 14-year old Arumuyam Malar confesses that she has been a naughty girl: She did not kill herself.
Trained since the age of 7 to fight until victory or death and commit suicide upon capture, she did not have a cyanide capsule or grenade handy when Sri Lankan government troops overran the position she was defending several weeks ago.
''If I had had a grenade or cyanide capsule, I would have done it,'' she said through a translator. ''I thought the army would kill me when I was caught.''
The story of Arumuyam Malar, one of the youngest child soldiers captured alive by government forces in their 17-year war against the guerrilla fighters of the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, is a sad tale of abduction and lost childhood.
Her story also reveals the methods employed by the rebels to recruit and train young children into their ranks. The Sri Lankan government claims that many Tamil Tiger guerrilla fighters are children, with nearly one third of the 5,000-strong force under the age of 18.
Captured in late July following a battle with government troops that left most of her all-female unit dead, Miss Malar is being held in the military high security compound on the Jaffna Peninsula.
A small group of foreign journalists who interviewed her, the first reporters permitted onto the peninsula since April, were refused access to the compound where she is held. Nothing she said could be independently verified, and she was interviewed under stressful conditions that could easily have appeared to her as an interrogation.
Seated in a plastic chair on a hot and dusty street in front of a bombed out building, she was surrounded by a dozen camouflage-clad and heavily armed government soldiers. The foreign journalists she spoke with asked questions through a military interpreter, just about the only person with whom she could communicate in her native Tamil.
Her answers were often monosyllabic, occasionally contradictory, and her lack of education hampered communication. Almost all large numbers were described as one thousand. She spent much of the interview with her brow knotted, nervously wringing her hands, twisting a microphone cable and searching for eye contact. She rarely smiled, and she did not laugh once.
Her battle scars spoke volumes. In addition to fresh artillery wounds to her left hip, her right wrist had what an army nurse described as an old bullet wound.
Her transition from infant to child soldier started when at the age of 7, she was home alone. With her father dead and her mother temporarily hospitalized, she was in her uncle's care when a girl called Sylvie dropped by.
''Sylvie said we would go to buy something together at the shop,'' she said. Instead, she was taken from her village in northern Sri Lanka into the Jaffna Peninsula, the operations center for the Tamil Tiger guerrillas.
''They told me I must fight for the country,'' Miss Malar said. ''I lived as brother and sister with other young people who also wanted to fight.'' The Tamil Tigers told Miss Malar that her mother had been informed about her joining the guerrilla army, but she never received any letters or direct messages from anyone in her family.
While in the guerrilla camp, she woke up each day at 4:30 a.m., took a bath and put on the Tamil Tiger's uniform: shirt and trousers with light green and yellow camouflage. She usually studied two hours of radio communication before breakfast.
Then, at 8 a.m., the day's training began, with only a short break for a lunch of rice and curry. Exercises included marching, drilling and practicing counterattacks, including the use of hand grenades and the T-56 semiautomatic rifle, a weapon similar to an AK-47.
As the youngest child soldier in her unit, Miss Malar had difficulty keeping her much shorter legs in step when marching. Speaking about her early training with the assurance of a hardened veteran, she almost mocked herself. ''I really was not very good at marching drills in the hot sun,'' she said. ''I was frequently punished.''
Breaking into a rare grin, she added: ''I did many small steps to keep up.''
Punishment for the child soldiers frequently consisted of holding a four-kilogram (10-pound) T-56 rifle above their heads and doing what she described as ''thousands'' of knee-bends.
At 3 p.m., those who did not have sentry duty could play games. Volleyball was popular, but Miss Malar preferred kabadi, a traditional Sri Lankan game similar to tag. She never owned a toy or played with a doll. Each night members of her unit took turns serving one hour of sentry duty.
Her main instructor and mentor was Sylvie, the girl who recruited her, and a more senior cadre known as Anna. All 48 members of her unit were female and five were her age. ''Anna said the youngest ones were not supposed to fight unless fighting reached the inner cordon,'' Miss Malar said.
Her strongest memories are of people dying in battle, such as when Sylvie was killed or when a cadre, Susila, was given cyanide after receiving a head wound from a shell blast. ''Her face turned blue 30 minutes after taking a cyanide pill,'' Miss Malar said. ''Her body was delivered to her next of kin.''
Now awaiting trial, Miss Malar is held alone in a house in the security compound. She has no playmates, and few people speak her language. A letter sent through the International Committee of the Red Cross to her mother several weeks ago has not yet brought a reply.
How does she feel?
Jane’s: India helped Pak airlift arms to Sri Lanka
June 16 “However, there are limits to how much
help India would like to see Colombo accepting from Islamabad,” the
report added. Aircraft belonging to Shaheen Air, a foundation established
by the Pakistan Air Force, were pressed into service soon after the LTTE
captured Elephant Pass. “It used its Boeing 707 aircraft to fly weapons
and ammunition on three occasions in the first weeks of May. Until 1998,
weapons and ammunition were regularly flown from Karachi to Colombo, but
the practice was stopped because of its exorbitant cost.”
After the three emergency flights in early
May, claims the report, weapons are now being shipped from Pakistan to Sri
Lanka. “It is unusual to see Pakistan and India pulling in the same
direction over a regional problem and Pakistan is aware that an LTTE
takeover of Jaffna will undoubtedly cause problems for India.
Furthermore, the creation of a Tamil
homeland in Sri Lanka will create a welcome (from the Pakistani
perspective) precedent for Kashmir,” comments the Jane’s report, which
attributes Pakistan’s prompt response to Colombo’s request for weapons
to Sri Lanka’s pragmatic approach to General Musharraf’s coup last
“However, this understanding (between
India and Pakistan) ends with the landing of Pakistan weapons in Colombo.
Pakistani troops in Sri Lanka will definitely be one mouthful too much for
New Delhi to swallow,” said the report.
“However, there are limits to how much help India would like to see Colombo accepting from Islamabad,” the report added. Aircraft belonging to Shaheen Air, a foundation established by the Pakistan Air Force, were pressed into service soon after the LTTE captured Elephant Pass. “It used its Boeing 707 aircraft to fly weapons and ammunition on three occasions in the first weeks of May. Until 1998, weapons and ammunition were regularly flown from Karachi to Colombo, but the practice was stopped because of its exorbitant cost.”
After the three emergency flights in early May, claims the report, weapons are now being shipped from Pakistan to Sri Lanka. “It is unusual to see Pakistan and India pulling in the same direction over a regional problem and Pakistan is aware that an LTTE takeover of Jaffna will undoubtedly cause problems for India.
Furthermore, the creation of a Tamil homeland in Sri Lanka will create a welcome (from the Pakistani perspective) precedent for Kashmir,” comments the Jane’s report, which attributes Pakistan’s prompt response to Colombo’s request for weapons to Sri Lanka’s pragmatic approach to General Musharraf’s coup last year.
“However, this understanding (between India and Pakistan) ends with the landing of Pakistan weapons in Colombo. Pakistani troops in Sri Lanka will definitely be one mouthful too much for New Delhi to swallow,” said the report.
Rigging of Elections
Sihala Urumaya Policy
ONE UNITED SIHALA COUNTRY
we are confronted with a great national crisis of a magnitude that is
virtually unprecedented in
the history of Sri Lanka. The
very survival of the Sinhala People is now at stake.
Never before have the Sinhala people been so helpless and
leaderless or found themselves with no one to advocate their
cause. Who is primarily to
blame for this tragic situation other than certain leaders of
the major parties who, driven by nothing more noble than a naked
lust for power and nepotism, set Sinhalese against Sinhalese and ruled
this Country in rotation for the major period of time since Independence?
It was consequent to a
deep analysis of this pathetic situation that Sihala Urumaya was
founded by a group of dedicated men and women who are untainted by corrupt
Urumaya is committed to the
protection of the birth
rights of the Sinhala People and the legal rights of all other
sections of the populace who consider Sri Lanka to be their only homeland.
It being crystal clear that this task will
not be achieved by any
of the other existing political parties the Sinhalese are left with no
alternative other than to make a final attempt at a revival of the Sihala
Lanka which is the only homeland the Sinhalese have in the entire world
has not, at any time, been so disgraced as now.
It is against this background that Sihala Urumaya was
launched with the pure intention of providing to the Sinhalese People,
who, having chased a mirage by voting in turn for one or the other of the
two major political parties have had their hopes and expectations
brought to naught, with a new Party, which is both possessed of the
capacity to champion their cause and one with which they could identify
themselves without reservation. Accordingly, to whatever party you may
belong, in whatever religion you may believe, and whatever your place in
society may be, if you are a Sinhalese by birth or one who sympathises
with the Sinhalese, we cordially invite you to consider this good news
Urumaya” is not just another
political party. It is
a powerful social force that arose as the need of the hour to safeguard
for all time, the historical, environmental, economic and socio-cultural
heritage of the Sinhalese. Sihala
Urumaya has a clear vision about the future of our land and
a set of policies it truly expects to implement, as well as a team
of enlightened and genuinely dedicated men and women.
We present to you a summary of our principal policies. We intend placing before you a comprehensive manifesto
in due course.
UNITED SIHALA COUNTRY AND A CLEAN ADMINISTRATION
The writ of the Government of
Sri Lanka will be re-established throughout the length and breadth of this Country and the rule of law will be applied to the
letter to all citizens regardless of rank or race.
The unitary character and
territorial integrity of Sri Lanka will be protected and any attempt at
dividing the Country will be so wholly destroyed that the ugly head of
separatism could never again be raised in our Land.
The Sinhalese race which has
from time immemorial founded the civilization of this Country and
members of all other races who regard Sri Lanka as their only
motherland will be guaranteed their birthrights of living in and
travelling to any part of this Island without fear and
engaging in any occupation of their choice.
The Provincial Council system
which was foisted on the People and has resulted in the wastage of an
enormous sum of money in excess of Rs.25,000,000,000.00
annually will be abolished; a system of `Development Regions’ based upon
river basins in consonance with the geographical realities of the Country
will be established, and the
institutions of the Local Government strengthened after a re-demarcation
of their boundaries.
A long term plan to move the
seat of government (the governmental capital) to the ancient city of
Anuradhapura which has been the cradle of the Sinhalese civilization and
the capital of our land for about 1500 years (or to a place in close
proximity thereto in the Rajarata) will be formulated and implemented.
This will, in turn, bring the seat of government closer to the residents
of the Northern and Eastern Provinces and pave the way for the development
of the under-developed areas of the dry zone. Colombo will, however
continue to be our commercial
The Public Administration
will be cleansed of corruption, sycophancy and waste and a public service
which is efficient and
committed to serving the needs of the People re-established.
The Buddha Sasana will be
guaranteed the rights/privileges conferred
upon them by Article 5 of the Kandyan Convention of 1815 and reflected in
the Buddhist Commission Report of 1956 and State patronage given for the
performance by Temples of those services traditionally rendered by them to
A foreign policy which does
not permit Sri Lanka to cow
down to any foreign force or non-governmental organization which is
inimical to Her sovereignty will be followed.
Sihala Urumaya will
strive to unite all Sinhalese who are now divided on political, religious
and social lines and to defeat all efforts made at dividing the Sinhalese
NATIONAL ECONOMY THAT PROTECTS THE SIHALA HERITAGE.
A modern development program
which is both speedy and designed
to protect the environmental heritage and the natural resources of
Sri Lanka as well as the needs of future generations, and ensures
to the entire people of Sri Lanka a high standard of living, will be
It is the aim of Sihala
Urumaya to build a strong economy founded on the vision of a just
society and nationalism, in which abject poverty no longer exists, and the
disparity of income levels is reduced to a minimum.
It is the aim of Sihala
Urumaya to make our Country self sufficient in food and
secure in Her ability to feed our People despite whatever
instability there may be in the world economy in the future, and to
thereby minimise the threats that could be made to our security and
independence by powerful nations.
In as much as it is the
Sinhalese who most suffered the adverse effects of the existing open
economy and received the least benefits therefrom, steps will be taken
to minimise such adverse effects.
Agriculture which is the
principal means of livelihood
of the Sinhalese People will be resuscitated by following a protectionist
policy and maximizing production by the use of
new technology which is harmonious with the environment.
The local entrepreneur, the
small and medium scale industrialists and those engaged in the service
sector of the economy will be encouraged by the provision of modern
technology and State protection.
A program will be implemented
to make the country self-sufficient in essential goods and to provide
optimum facilities for distribution and marketing so as to ensure that the
cultivator is able to sell his produce for a higher price [than that at
which he now sells it] while
the consumer is enabled to purchase it at a lower price [than that at
which he now buys it].
Such practical and long-term
measures as are necessary to cushion the unbearable burden of the cost of
living that the public has
got to bear will be taken without delay.
Steps will be taken to
development in all parts of the Country by the application of a greater
percentage of the national
investment in development to the most under-developed areas of the
Steps will be taken to
relieve the acute landlessness of the Kandyan peasantry and the others
similarly circumstanced by providing them, as a matter of priority, with
land from productive estates which have been abandoned and are located in
proximity to the places of their residence.
program will be implemented whereby `security villages’ are
created in close proximity to unprotected villages in the Northern and
Eastern Provinces by the grant, to members of the security forces who
fought for the Country and the People regardless of risk to life and limb, of such land as is necessary to ensure for them a stable
New systems and methods to
provide to all, employment
according to their skills and remuneration which is geared to productivity
will be implemented.
Sihala Urumaya intends to
adapt to the needs of the modern age, the indigenous technological
knowledge which is harmonious with the environment and has come down to us
over the generations, and to embark upon a path of development which is
both our own and consonant with our traditional values and norms.
Our youth will be regarded,
not as a burden on society but as an invaluable resource
and a program of human resource development designed to realise the
full potential of their skills will be followed.
is committed to destroying the present system whereby the attainment of
political leadership is dependent on one’s birth and family connections
and to throwing open the doors of opportunity to political leadership to
all those born with talent and natural leadership qualities who have
earned the respect of society.
State patronage will be given
to all measures taken to absorb all citizens of Indian origin into the
mainstream of our national and cultural life.
will be implemented for the purpose of
protecting aged pensioners who have expended their energies in the
service of the nation, those who are physically handicapped and those who
are in a helpless condition due to other reasons as well as for the
purpose of developing their skills.
will be taken to provide public servants working in remote rural areas
with official quarters and incentive payments in addition to their
salaries in accordance with the hardships encountered by them having
regard to the facilities available in such areas.
ONE NATION, ONE LAW, ONE PEOPLE
While any law that may be
passed for the public benefit in respect of any subject including subjects
such as the possession/ownership of land, birth control etc., will be
implemented throughout the length and breadth of the Country in respect of
all races and communities without distinction, steps will also be taken to
make such amendments to the existing personal/territorial laws of the
country which are applicable to only some and not to other segments of the
People, so as to make the same laws applicable to all the People of the
country without distinction on the basis of race, caste, place of
residence and/or religion.
A special court will be
established with full powers to deal with all those who engage and/or have
engaged in dishonest and/or treasonous and/or anti-national activities to
enrich themselves at the expense of the Country in respect of defence
contracts and the privatisation of public assets regardless of their rank,
status or family connections.
struggle launched by Sihala Urumaya is not directed against any
non-Sinhalese segment of the populace but is, on the contrary, a righteous
struggle to protect the birthrights and the simple way of
life of the Sinhalese as well as our cultured society which are
fast being devastated. The principal weapons which will be used in this struggle are
truth and justice. Let
not our noble struggle be desecrated by any kind of violence of whatever
Rigging of Elections -
The foundation of true
democracy is the result of free and fair elections.
If elections are
rigged people lose confidence in democracy. In Sri Lanka there has been a
trend since of late for much election malpractices, culminating in the
infamous Wayamba elections which is considered to have been totally
rigged. There are many accusations that even the armed forces and police
were partial and supportive of the ruling party, thus making the election
a total fraud.
There were also
accusations that the armed forces and the police were actively utilized
in support of the ruling party at the last Presidential elections,
in areas such as Wattegama, Madawela and Katugastota, in the electorate
from which the deputy minister of defence hails.
It is now rumoured
that efforts are on the way to rig the forthcoming general elections with
the assistance of the armed forces and police. On or about the 24th of
this month, the present army commander is supposed to relinquish office.
When a commander of the army relinquishes office, the next most senior
officer below the age of 55 is appointed to succeed him. If such is the
case when the present army commander, Lt. Gen. Srilal Weerasooriya
relinquishes office the obvious person to succeed him would be Major Gen.
Janaka Perera who is the present second most senior officer, below the age
of 55, who is now the chief
of staff of the Sri Lanka army.
However Major Gen.
Lionel Balagalle who retired from service recently is still being retained
on a super numeral capacity.
It is therefore feared that there is a clear intention of appointing him as the next commander of the army. If
such an appointment is made, while it would be against all accepted
principles in the appointment of an army commander , it would also pave
the way for the ruling party to hand over the command of the army to a
political appointee. Such an appointment, could then be used very
effectively by those in power for the rigging of the next general
Major Gen. Lionel
Balagalle has a proven track record of failures in military campaigns,
Whilst Major Gen. Janaka Perera has a proven record of success in every
military campaign he has commanded. It
is prudent to mention that it was Major Gen. Janaka Perera who defeated
the LTTE terrorists at Weli
oya in 1995. He lost only one soldier and one grama arakshaka
in this encounter while the LTTE suffered a humiliating defeat with
the loss of 498 of its cadres and many more were injured. This probably is
the greatest achievement in the history of warfare in world history. In
1996, it was Major Gen. Janaka Perera, as a brigadier who was overall
commander for the liberation of Jaffna
and subsequently the liberation of Point Pedro and Kilinochchi. This year
we saw the near fall of Jaffna peninsula and it was Gen. Janaka Perera who
as overall operations commander prevented such a catastrophe.
For his efforts at
liberating the Jaffna peninsula, he was awarded a merit promotion and he
thus superseded Major Gen. Lionel Balagalle. However when the then chief
of staff relinquished office on
or about April 1999 the merit promotion bestowed on Major Gen. Janaka
Perera was withdrawn for the purpose
of appointing Major Gen.
Lionel Balagalle a supporter of the ruling party as chief of staff
of the Sri Lanka army. If the
accepted procedure is overlooked once more by the government and if Major
Gen. Lionel Balagalle who is now a retired officer on super numeral
strength is appointed army commander over and above the
present chief of staff
who is a professional soldier with no political affiliations, it is
adequate proof that the government has
a clear intention of rigging
the general elections to remain in power, with no intention whatsoever of
defeating the separatist terrorists to bring peace and
tranquillity to our nation.
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