There are certain phrases that jump off the page.
In reports coming from Sri Lanka, (officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka), phrases like “forced sterilization,” “coercive population control,” “movable crematory vehicles,” “mass graves,” and “genocide” are among them.
To understand what is happening in Sri Lanka, one must first understand the ethnic tensions between the minority Tamils and the Sinhalese, which account for over 70 percent of Sri Lankans.
A bit of background
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The atheist, Marxist Tamil Tiger rebels were finally defeated in Sri Lanka in 2009 after a civil war that lasted 27 years.
PBS reported in 2002 that the conflict
“has its roots in the mistreatment of the minority Tamil ethnic group, who are mostly Hindu, by the majority Sinhalese, who are mainly Buddhist.”
“Ethnic tensions” seem to be at the bottom of many conflicts. The Tamil Tiger rebels used anti-Tamil riots in 1983 “to their advantage internationally by stepping up their campaign for a separate Tamil state in the north and east claiming persecution by the Sinhala majority governments,” as reported at xinhuanet.
It seems that the Tamil population in the northern part of the country continue to be victims of the government. And the Tamil Tigers, who were bad guys for sure, now make easy scapegoats.
With this in mind, read what is happening now.
Forced sterilization in the name of ‘Family Planning’
Earlier this month, the Columbo Telegraph reported that the Ministry of Health Colombo has been conducting “forced sterilization” using “facilities” that “were obtained from WHO and UNICEF under the name of Family Planning.” It is hard to believe but the article gets weirder.
The author reports that officials want to reduce “the Tamils growth rate” and also reports in broken English:
“The local health authorities involve in this procedure are getting bribery by going abroad official tour including Thailand, Singapore Indonesia and Philippines for brothel as a reward.”
Tamilnet confirmed this report and further noted that women “who were subjected to a controversial coercive population control” were “being approached to sign a document stating that they received subdermal implants on their own request for contraceptive protection.” [emphasis added]
The article continues,
“The latest move has come as the women, who were coerced to receive a long-term hormonal birth control implant inserted under the skin of their upper arm, have been complaining of side effects…after 2 months of the birth control experiment by the SL State. On 30 November, a 26-year-old woman, who was one of more than 50 victims subjected to contraceptive control, died at Jaffna hospital after a mysterious infection.”
Further, the article states,
“Similar ‘birth control experiments’ were also being carried out among the up-country Tamil people in the island.”
Mass Graves in Sri Lanka
“Sri Lankan authorities continuing investigations on a new mass grave uncovered in the North believe the mass grave was used by the Tamil Tiger terrorists during their reign of the area.”
But the Tamil Guardian reported,
“Dismissing any inquiry by the Sri Lankan government, Bishop Rayappu Joseph, said that other graves had been unearthed across Jaffna, and he did not believe the investigations undertaken were authentic.”
Tamilnet reported today,
“Occupying Colombo’s police officials in Mannaar have said that the skeletons recovered at the mass grave at Thirukkeatheesvaram were being dispatched to China for forensic examinations. Responding, legal sources in Mannaar asked the motive of Colombo using China for DNA testing of the skeletons discovered at the mass grave and questioned the fate of similar cases earlier sent to China for ‘forensic examinations’. In 2009, China had allegedly provided Colombo with ‘movable crematory vehicles’ to get rid of the dead bodies of the genocidal victims in Vanni. Tamil activists urged the alternative world to assist the nation of Eezham Tamils to undertake forensic examinations in future in a credible and independent manner.” [emphasis added]
The Hindu reported,
“The discovery of the grave in Mannar comes even as Sri Lanka investigates another mass grave found in Matale, in central Sri Lanka.”
Many human rights organizations still believe the Tamils are being persecuted.
Last month, British Prime Minister David Cameron,
“visited Jaffna in the north and spoke to Tamil leaders, visited a Tamil newspaper, and visited a camp for internally displaced people. He was met by hundreds of people who took to the streets calling for help to find their missing loved ones.”
Renee is also a guest blogger for the Shire Blog.