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bul32doc - University Teachers for Human Rights (Jaffna)

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    University Teachers for Human Rights (Jaffna)

    Sri Lanka

    UTHR(J)*

    Information Bulletin No. 32

    Date of Release: 2nd May 2003

    The North East: Democracy on Death Row

    1.After Hakone

    2. Life Amidst Death, the Plight of the LTTE‟s Opponents

    2.1 The Trail of Murder

    2.2 The SLMM and Police

    2.3 An Escape from an LTTE Prison & other incidents

    2.4 The Mark of the Tiger

    3. Why is there so little Outcry?

    4. Paralysed by Fear Dynamics of Tamil Society‟s Relationship to the LTTE

    4.1 Operation Tiger in Sheep‟s Clothing:

    4.2.The Third Party Syndrome: Anything Goes

    5. The Importance of Broader Political and Moral Objectives

    Appendix I

    Persons from Political Groups Abducted or Killed by the LTTE from January 2002

    (Incomplete)

    Tamil Army Personnel and Former Members of the LTTE who were Abducted or

    Killed by the LTTE from January 2002 (Incomplete)

    Tamil Civilians Abducted or Killed by the LTTE Since July 2002 (Incomplete)

1.After Hakone

    Contrary to hopes raised by the ceasefire and the MoU, impunity persists in the North-East, especially on the part of the LTTE. The two crucial and inseparable areas of violations that we have consistently highlighted are child conscription and attacks on political opponents. The two go on in parallel and independently of each other with slack periods followed by periods of intense activity. At present child conscription appears to have subsided while the LTTE‟s intelligence activity and targeted killings have intensified, both in the North-East and the South, as the LTTE endeavours to eradicate political opponents and military enemies.

    By the end of April newspapers were reporting that at least 15 Tamils working as informants to the Sri Lankan military had been killed since the beginning of the cease-fire th, causing the in February 2002. The latest killing occurred in Colombo on April 26

    Government to launch a long delayed investigation. Reports of surveillance, harassment, abduction and murder of rival Tamil political party members have also increased.

    It appears that the LTTE has adopted a programme of first things first. In Batticaloa after the Hakone talks, the LTTE spread the word that whatever was said in the press about the peace talks, each family was still required to provide a child recruit. But intense scrutiny on the issue has made conscripting children outright more difficult. Since Hakone, the LTTE has launched a renewed effort to silence independent local observers and political groups. Their policy: elections and democracy, yes, but after killing or crippling the remaining political opposition.

    Thus the universally eulogized peace talks, and the prospect of local elections, far from ushering in hope, have become the sound of doom. It is no exaggeration to say that many of the LTTE‟s courageous and outspoken political opponents, especially in the East, are

    living a confined existence, as it were, on death row.

    Norway and Japan are the main external actors dealing directly with the LTTE. Their bottom-line has appeared to be that human rights must be pushed, but not beyond a point where the LTTE might break off talks. This may partially explain why the LTTE‟s continuing attacks on Tamil opposition groups has not featured as a critical concern in the peace process, even though any entity promoting resolution of this conflict would unhesitatingly acknowledge how critical democratic participation is to lasting peace.

    In fact, in April the LTTE at least temporarily broke off talks in spite of the diplomatic soft-pedalling. Reacting to a perceived slight when the Sri Lankan government participated in a meeting with donors in Washington, DC that the LTTE was barred by US anti-terrorism laws from attending, the LTTE withdrew from talks scheduled for ththThailand in late April; a major aid conference Japan is hosting from June 9 10 in

    Tokyo; and also pulled out of a joint panel on humanitarian needs in the North-East. This was followed by a soap operatic interlude when Minister Moragoda threatened not to participate in peace talks, alleging that LTTE political leader Thamichelvan had misquoted him to the Sunday Leader (27.4.03) as having promised to wangle for the

    LTTE an invitation to the Washington meeting.

    The Minister who had been very tolerant of the LTTE bringing the ultimate misery to thousands through child conscription, abduction and murder in the name of peace, was waxing loud with moral indignation over a storm in a teacup. The LTTE‟s spokesman Anton Balasingham, who has been at pains to say that their absence from talks does not necessarily signal a return to war, was more than ready to smother Moragoda with apologies (for an alleged translation error!) and be pals again. For the present, at least, the moves on all sides appear to be a game of brinksmanship.

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The most alarming piece of cynicism in this regard came from the SLMM essentially a th March, during the talks in Hakone, Japan, voice of the Norwegian government. On 20

    the LTTE attacked and sank a Chinese fishing trawler off Mullaitivu, killing 17 of its crew. In a bid to exonerate the LTTE, the SLMM in its reflections on the incident pointed its finger at the hapless Tamil opponents of the LTTE! The scene of the incident is a few miles off the Mullaitivu coast, which the LTTE zealously controls. It would have been dangerous or suicidal for anyone else to come there in small fishing boats, the kind in which the attackers reportedly came. The Navy passes that way in fast patrol boats, which journey between KKS and Trinco. Not even the LTTE has suggested that the Navy, which rescued the nine survivors whom the attackers had tried to finish off, committed the crime.

    The US is now being widely acknowledged as a key player, the threat of whose destructive power, it is thought, had kept the LTTE from breaking off completely from negotiations. The US called upon the LTTE to formally „renounce violence and

    terrorism‟ while heaping praise on the peace process. Whatever the nuances the LTTE has gathered from these expressions, it apparently feels more confident about killing its political opponents. Complicity on the part of the Government is now taken for granted.

    Notably, at the Hakone talks during the third week of March, both the Government and the LTTE rejected proposals for international monitoring of a human rights agreement. They opted instead for monitoring by the Human Rights Commission (HRC), knowing well that the HRC are neither equipped for monitoring under the prevailing environment of terror, nor have they established public credibility to an extent that can give confidence. The LTTE once more pledged to drop child conscription and agreed to the holding of local council elections in the North-East.

    2. Life Amidst Death, the Plight of the LTTE’s Opponents

    Having got the message that the MoU will do little to prevent or punish political killings, the LTTE is now quite open about it. Members of opposition parties, particularly in the East, dare not leave their political offices. They visit their homes at great risk. The incidents below illustrate the kind of impunity the LTTE enjoys now. Even in the heart of Batticaloa town, LTTE spies quite openly hang out with cell phones. When they spot a target they summon the death squads who would come promptly on motorcycles or auto rickshaws. Under the MoU, the LTTE‟s political opponents have been deprived of the

    weapons they had for their protection, while the LTTE goes about with arms and has shot people in public, while the Police and the Army did nothing. In Jaffna things can be subtler and for that reason more chilling. (See the Atputharajah murder below.)

    In Batticaloa the LTTE could silence the Tamil community by getting rid of a handful of individuals, whose survival all these years needs to be marvelled at. In Jaffna and in Muslim areas the LTTE faces a far greater challenge. Among those most vulnerable in the East are members of the EPRLF(V) and EPDP. UTHR(J) have reliable information that in targeting certain leaders, the LTTE has approached some former members of these groups to gain access to their party offices and kill for a cash reward. The deterrence of the law has become a non-issue. This will be seen in the cases below.

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2.1 The Trail of Murder

    Kadirgamanathan Ragupathy (35): was once a member of the PLOTE and was of late

    attached to the Directorate of Military Intelligence. Married and a father of two children, he was living in Colombo after the ceasefire (December 2001). He has become the fourth such person to be killed by the LTTE contrary to the MoU, but using the access it thprovided. Late in the evening of 18 March he was gunned down by LTTE assassins who

    came on a motorcycle. This happened in Mt. Lavinia, on Galle Road, as he was approaching St. Sylvester‟s Rd. where he had a room. The circumstances point to LTTE spotters with cell-phones covering the area and summoning the hit men when the victim was sighted.

    Killers in Colombo: The irony of the incident is that it was expected. Ragupathy had told Military Intelligence that he was being trailed. That the probable killer, Sivakumar,

    had left Batticaloa for Colombo the previous day was known, and warnings had been sent to vulnerable persons and political groups in Colombo. It is well known in the Tamil community that senior LTTE intelligence operatives who were earlier functioning in the Vanni or Interior Batticaloa, from where they sent instructions to operatives in the South, have, under the MoU, set up shop in Colombo and have even been seen in public with their bodyguards. They do their fieldwork without any bother from the Sri Lankan authorities and summon their hit men, who are strangers in Colombo, to do the job and vanish. Sivakumar was back in Batticaloa the next day.

    Varathan led a breakaway group from TELO in Araiampathy, south of Batticaloa. He had been a member of the local council and worked for the PA during the last elections. TELO had worked closely with the Army from 1990 perhaps the only means the local

    cadre had to protect themselves but its leadership fell in with the LTTE and is part of the TNA. The MoU enabled the LTTE to target members of Varathan‟s group with little

    hindrance and now it seems to be open season. Varathan had gone to Colombo and returned recently.

     ndOn the morning of 2 April, Varathan was in front of the Ariampathy Hospital

    talking to the OIC, Police, Kattankudy, when Sivakumar of the LTTE passed them on a motor cycle, going towards Kalmunai. Sivakumar turned back, came towards them, whipped out his pistol (which the MoU does not allow him or Varathan to have), and fired at Varathan. Surprised, Varathan, who was unarmed, started running. Sivakumar got down from his motorcycle, gave a chase, and pumped several bullets into Varathan. This was seen by several people, who asked the police inspector why he did nothing. The inspector pleaded that he was unarmed.

Mylvaganam Sivakumar (28) heads the LTTE intelligence in Batticaloa town and had

    been 6 years in the LTTE. A native of Pudur, he answers directly to the Batticaloa

    Amparai Intelligence Chief, Ramanan, and is said to have received special training in stalking and killing individuals. It was under his supervision that three senior EPDP rdmembers in Batticaloa were abducted on 3 December 2002 (Bulletin No.31). For his

    work he has reportedly been assigned a van, two motorcycles, weapons and 5 bodyguards. Until now his actions against opposition party members had been low key. Since

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    December his men have been stalking, mostly in the night, homes, offices and routes of th opposition party members and we have reported several attempts on them. On 17February, he threw a grenade at the house of Thurairatnam, leader of the EPRLF(V) in Batticaloa.

    2.2 The SLMM and Police

    Complaints about Sivakumar‟s actions have been made to the SLMM, the Human Rights Commission and the Police, but nothing has been done. Following Sivakumar‟s public murder of Varathan, an order for his arrest was made by the Batticaloa Magistrate. Sivakumar continues to ride around Batticaloa town by broad daylight without the slightest impediment. The current orders to the LTTE intelligence wing are to kill members of the opposition expeditiously. Earlier, in December, the Magistrate ordered the Police to arrest Rajan and Paramanathan over the murder of EPRLF(V) local council chairman Alahathurai in Mandur. The two continue at large.

    The SLMM has been notably silent on the murder of members of opposition groups and of Tamils in the security forces, apart from using them as scapegoats to exonerate the LTTE. When approached by opposition parties about their security, the SLMM directed them to the Police. The Police and the Army in turn have spoken of the absence of instructions from the top. In effect the LTTE goes about killing like vigilante units during the JVP era, while the Police look the other side. It is the same police force

    that a few years ago showed an astounding prowess for picking up in a single day a thousand or more „Tamil Terrorist Suspects‟ in Colombo! Whenever the Police are made to look ridiculous, the situation is ominous.

    Amirthalingam Rasan (18) was from a very poor family in Analaitivu (The Islands) who had been a member of the EPDP for a year. According to his mother Amirthalingam Selvamalar, who has five other sons, the LTTE had sent her several letters to bring Rasan thto their office. Rasan declined to comply. In the afternoon of 4 April he was abducted

    by the LTTE when he left the EPDP office in Mallakam and was tortured in an abandoned house in Soorawattai, Chunnakam. With help from villagers his body was thdiscovered in the lavatory pit of that house on 7 April. Owing to the circumstances, the

    post mortem on Rasans corpse and the interment were done in Colombo. The kind of information the LTTE tries to extract from opposition party members comes from the testimony of an EPDP escapee from LTTE custody. It gives a curious insight into the LTTE‟s preparations for peace. Much of his story has appeared in the Press (e.g. Sunday thTimes, 13 April 2003).

    2.3 An Escape from an LTTE Prison & other incidents

    stSelliah Param (23) of the EPDP went to Killinochi on 31 March to meet his elder sister

    and family whom he had not met for many years. This is well within the provisions of the Ceasefire Agreement. He was arrested by the LTTE after being seen by a reporter known to him. He was held in a dark underground bunker in notoriously subhuman conditions, where he met members of other groups and also Sinhalese speakers, whom he was told were members of the security forces.

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    Two days later he was beaten and interrogated while being shown photographs of senior EPDP leaders, some of them crossed in red. The information being elicited was to facilitate murder e.g. the source of the EPDP leaders meals and his movements.

    At this stage an LTTE cadre Kumar whispered to him that staying there was fatal and he should somehow escape. The chief interrogator learnt of this, shot Kumar dead in his presence and got him (Param) to clean up the mess.

    Param was then moved to a makeshift cell, which he shared with a member of the PLOTE, who was detained 4 months ago. The latter had obtained an instrument of sorts during forced labour during the day. They managed to undo the lock, and finding the two guards asleep, made their escape. Being a local, the PLOTE man knew the area, and led Param to the main road near Killinochchi, where they climbed a tree and waited for the dawn. The PLOTE man showed him the SLMM office and went his way. While Param was with the SLMM, Thamilchelvans office called and asked the SLMM to hand him

    over to the LTTE Police. At Params request he was returned to the EPDP through the

    Sri Lankan Police.

The Incident in Chelvanagar, Araiyampathy, Batticaloa District: Following the

    murder of Varathan, some members of his group had held talks with a view to joining the th April, Traditional New EPDP. The incident which took place about 11.30 PM on 13

    Years Eve, was described by Tamilnet in these terms: Alagathurai Ganesan (30), a

    father of 3 children , and Mr.Vinoth, a member of the Varathan group, were killed and 8 people were wounded in a grenade attack, allegedly by the paramilitary Varathan group,

    and subsequent shooting, sources said. Four members of the Varathan group and four women were admitted to the teaching hospital in Batticaloa with injuries sustained in the attack.

    Tamilnet added: Sources said that inebriated members of the Varathan group visited Selva Nagar’„ and started attacking villagers. Mr. Ganeshan had resisted the attacks and the Varathan group had then visited the home where Mr. Ganeshan was staying and lobbed grenades. Mr. Ganeshan died and two women in the house were injured, the sources said. Following this there was shooting.

    This story is palpably at variance with the forensic evidence. The dead civilian (Ganeshan) and the five dead and injured members of Varathans group had gun shot injuries in

    addition to grenade blast injuries. The four injured women had grenade injuries.

    The basic facts are that the LTTE was in the area targeting the Varathan group, who were celebrating the New Year. Thilak, a member of the Varathan group (one of the injured), went to a boutique to buy cigarettes shortly before midnight and got into a fight with Ganeshan, which was joined by others. Some villagers informed other members of the Varathan group who came to Thilaks aid. The shooting was clearly by the LTTE.

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As to how the fight started, Thilak apparently went into Ganeshans premises to

    intervene in a noisy quarrel between Ganeshan and his wife, where, reportedly, a girl married to an LTTE cadre, Jegan, was also staying. The incident, we learn, took place in Ganeshans premises. While a complete account is so far lacking, a material fact in determining whether anyone from the Varathan group threw a grenade, is that no injury to the LTTE has been reported, as against five casualties from the Varathan group with grenade and bullet injuries.

    Raveendrakumar (Ravi), a Tamil who works for army intelligence, was shot and badly injured by the LTTE near his home in Batticaloa. The Army later picked up 3 LTTE men who have been remanded by the Magistrate for an identification parade. Ravi was first taken to Batticaloa Hospital. It was after others told the Army that the LTTE would finish him off there that he was transferred to Colombo.

Marimuthu Rasalingam (Jegathes) (42) was a bank employee from Karaitivu, south of

    Kalmunai, who joined the EPRLF and worked in their publications, and in the early 1990s joined the EPDP. He was on the fringes of the party and his inclination was to vanish into the obscurity of civilian life. He was sickly and went about on a bicycle on his own without any security. Last year he became chairman of the Alaiyadi Vembu Urban Council in Akkaraipattu.

     th April, Jegathes left Karaitivu for Akkaraipattu to sign some cheques at the local On 18

    council and it was known that he was coming. He was shot dead by LTTE men who came on two motorcycles without number plates when he emerged from Sagamam Road on to the main road in Akkaraipattu. It was obviously well planned and co-ordinated. Other sources reported that the killers had been sent from Ramanans Intelligence HQ in

    Palugamam and got back there soon after the murder.

    Selliah Puvanendran (53) was found dead in Thunnalai, south of Pt. Pedro, on the rdmorning of 23 April with cut injuries on his neck, hands tied and cloth stuffed into his mouth. Puvenendrans wife was working in Vavuniya and apparently owing to some differences Puvanendran had come to live with his mother in Point Pedro. Tamilnet

    suggested that Puvanendran was a member of the Sri Lankan Army volunteer force. This has been denied by others who knew the party. At this point whatever is claimed about him for public consumption must be regarded as useful speculation.

Sithamparapillai Yasodaran (23) of Pudur, Batticaloa, had been a member of the Razik

    group, a Tamil unit that is part of the Army, for a short time. Having left the unit six rdmonths ago, he was staying at home. At 10.30 AM on the 23 of April he was abducted

    from Arasady Junction by the LTTE.

    2.4 The Mark of the Tiger

    Maclan Atputharajah (52) was a father of five and was president of the Chavakachcheri mini bus owners association. He was efficient, fluent in all three languages, and was notably firm in not letting the LTTE dictate terms to the association. Prior to the displacement in 2000, the LTTE had asked him for Rs. 5 lakhs. The wife, who was afraid,

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reportedly went without her husband‟s knowledge, gave them Rs. 50,000/- and told them

    that they do not have more. When they returned to Chavakachcheri recently, the LTTE demanded money again. There were also rumours that Atputharajah, who was known to be sympathetic to the EPRLF (V), would become its candidate at the coming local rd April, Atputharajah, closed his bar and council elections. About 9 PM on the night of 23

    was returning home by van with his helper Poothan Chandrakumar (27).

    They were waylaid by 6 masked men in black trousers and T-shirts who came in another ash coloured van, carrying with them poles and knives. They waited just inside a lane off Kandy Road, between the CSI Church and Drieberg College, where there is an army sentry point. At the approach of Atputharajahs vehicle, the waiting van dashed out to

    the road and stalled the coming vehicle against a pile of stones. Atputharajah was beaten and stabbed while seated in the van, and again after being dragged out. The assailants finished the job and vanished within four minutes. Atputharajah died while being taken to hospital by members of the public. Chandrakumar escaped with stab injuries. Atputharajah normally went home on a motorcycle. This meant that his movements, including the change to a van, had been monitored and passed on. The Police have arrested two men, Kili and Thanges, who had quarrelled with the deceased.

The Anatomy of the Atputharajah Murder: Thanges was the owner of a minibus and

    had been suspended by the Minibus Owners Association (MOA) for breaking rules.

    Although Thanges was known for a sharp tongue, he was thought incapable of premeditated murder by those who knew him, nor did he have the contacts for the kind of action that took place. Kili had a quarrel with Atputharajahs son who owned a shop.

    He was known to have friends in Thunnalai, Vadamaratchy, who are rough elements. But friends of the deceased, who checked up in Vadamaratchy, said that these friends were in Thunnalai that evening and had not left the place.

    The kind of organized gangsterism involved, with other tell-tale signs, point the finger clearly at the LTTE. Atputharajahs body was released by the hospital the following th(24) morning and the funeral was fixed for the next day. The family wrote up a notice and the Uthayan correspondent in Chavakacheri agreed to put it in next days edition as

    a news item. The correspondent passed it on to his Jaffna office through the driver of Jeweller V.M. Kanapathipillai who also had a branch in Jaffna. The driver confirmed that it was delivered. But the paper failed to publish it the following day. The statement issued and delivered to the Uthayan by the Minibus Owners Association met with the same

    fate.

    The MOA took issue with reporters on the day of the funeral for not informing the public of an event that was undoubtedly newsworthy. The reporters, who felt bad, told the MOA to parade their buses as a mark of protest and that they would photograph it and publish it. The parade did take place, but the reporters did not turn up! When Atputharajah recently had an age-attaining ceremony for his daughter, eight LTTE men turned up, apparently uninvited. But only one LTTE man turned up for the funeral, and moreover, at the time the coffin was being removed.

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    The family of the deceased and other concerned persons expressed their dissatisfaction about the murder to the LTTE, who promised in earnest that they would investigate and find the killers. More than a week later, there were no signs of any investigation. The LTTE had questioned neither family nor friends. This was rather like the promised investigation into the brutal assault on the Hartley College Principal last September.

    On looking back, two events stand out. A week before the murder, unknown persons had woken up Atputharajah at his home at 1.00 AM and wanted him to come with them. Fearing what it might mean, the natural response of people under such circumstances is to think of escape and not to ask too many questions. The men said that a vehicle had met with an accident at Sangathanai, a mile east of Chavakacheri, and wanted his help to remove the vehicle. Atputharajah told them to go to the Police and that he would come the first thing in the morning. He discovered the next morning that there had been no such incident near Chavakacheri.

A month earlier, Ilamparithy, the LTTEs political commissar for Jaffna, himself a

    Thenmaratchy man, attended a meeting of the Minibus Owners Association. He had

    earlier opposed Atputharajah being made its president. At the meeting Ilamparithy patted

    Hanuman, I have earlier saved your Atputharajah on the back genially, and told him,

    life! Hanuman was Atputharajahs nickname locally. There were two unknown faces

    at the meeting. Atputharajah inquired who they were. Ilamparithy replied casually, They are our boys. In retrospect, it was a chilling encounter, whose significance falls into place.

    In Chavakacheri itself, the public is convinced that the LTTE is behind the killing and talk about it less. It lays bare the sinister significance of the MoU that is still talked of as an achievement. Friends of the family are in a dilemma about what to do with the two men in police custody, whom they now believe are being harassed, and almost certainly beaten, for no reason.

     th24 April: Grenades thrown in Jaffna: About 8.30 PM, LTTE men who came on a

    motor cycle, threw a grenade into the restaurant run by the EPRLF(V) at the junction of st1 Cross St. and Hospital Road, Jaffna, and at the PLOTE office nearby. The grenades did not explode though the pins had been removed. The army disposal team exploded the grenade that had fallen outside the PLOTE office and removed the one from inside the restaurant for examination. In the latter instance, the lever which is kept pressed down to prevent explosion after the removal of the pin, had come off, and was found separately with EPDP written on it! The army disposal men said why the grenades did not explode is a mystery.

Lingasamy Devaraja, a former LTTEer from Batticaloa, who worked with the Armys thDMI was shot dead on the night of 26 April while going to a boutique in Pepilyana

    Road, in the Nugegoda area near Colombo, with his wife and young son. The killers who shot him at close range escaped in a trishaw. The number of Tamil army personnel killed during the MoU is placed at about 15.

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Trincomalee: Grenades Thrown: The LTTE threw grenades, late evening, into the th April 2003, the Orrs Hill residence of Tamil premises of the EPDP office on 14stSihala Urumaya member Viswanathan on 21 April and two into the premises of the thEPRLF(V) office on CV Road on 30 April. Fortunately, no one was out and no one

    injured. The message is clear against the approach of elections.

    3. Why is there so little Outcry?

    The silence [of progressive elements of civil society] over these killings has stemmed from a mistaken notion of democracy and peace building. Many former Tamil militant groups opposed to the LTTE share its history of human rights abuse. Tamil politics of the 1980s was dominated by militarism, and military mobilization was accomplished at the cost of political vision. Public disillusionment [with these groups] followed as LTTE terror destroyed all vestiges of a people‟s struggle. For the elite in Tamil society, appeasing the winner came instinctively as a means of survival. It became fashionable to heap derogatory epithets on the other militant groups. The pain, sacrifice, humiliation, rejection, and the debasement that many of the LTTE‟s rivals suffered meant little to them.

    But everyone is answerable for their actions, and peace can become real only if, not just the Tamils, but Sri Lankans as a whole strive to make all actors answerable for their misdeeds. Peace must come with justice, and not by building myths around unlikely champions of peace and stubbornly refusing to face the truth about where we are headed.

    Spearheaded by the Norwegians, the process has been based on technocratic calculations of military balance [that have accepted the LTTE as authentic representatives of the Tamil people and have permitted LTTE abuses to continue largely unchecked]. Under the noses of the monitors, the LTTE has continued to kill, to dragoon underage children for use as armed coolies, to impose any form of duress on individuals and groups to prove that they have the proverbial 100 % support, and to run prisons and engage in torture.

    This state of affairs could not have come about without a surrender of values by intellectuals and activists. Illusions of achieving an “illiberal peace” are sustained by holding out the offer of legitimacy to forces that are irreconcilably destructive, and whose ways are inherently the antithesis of peace and justice. That the guns have been largely silenced is used to argue that the present peace process is intrinsically feasible and, besides, the only conceivable „road map‟ to peace. Those who advocate this position

    refuse to acknowledge the growing adverse realities: the changing political equation in the South, the LTTE‟s calculated, multi-faceted thrust against any emerging Southern

    political consensus, and its patent cynicism in dragging on the peace process for as long as convenient by making sham, rhetorical commitments to human rights, democracy and a political settlement, while progressively ensuring by terror on the ground that none of these stands a fighting chance.

    To these guardians of intellectual rigour and the country‟s well being, the LTTE‟s targeting of members of opposition groups and Tamils in the security forces is just a minor irritant. Many of the victims are individuals who were abandoned and disowned by

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