Who cries for the Tamils?

Ramesh Rajaratnam

Modified 3 Jun 2010, 5:58 am

Almost all mainstream media carried the world-wide condemnation of Israel's attack on the aid ships that reportedly killed nine human-rights cum aid workers. The local response was even more intense with political parties asking for UN sanctions against Israel and more.

In fact, some quasi-political parties even had a picket-cum-flag-burning protest outside the US embassy, all safely watched over by our FRU and police, thereby lending tacit approval by the Government of Malaysia.

I do not support any form of violence, be it local or state sponsored. However, it pains me to see so much condemnation world-wide against the death of nine people when it remains muted against the continuing state-sponsored ill treatment of Sri Lankan Tamils in northern and north-eastern Sri Lanka.

Back in April/May 2009, the Sri Lankan government was complicit in murdering more than 25,000 civilians and imprisoning more than 400,000 in concentration camps. This news was well reported worldwide but sadly, received scant publicity in Malaysia.

I may be mistaken but I don't recall seeing any mass protests or flag-burnings out side the Sri Lankan embassy in Kuala Lumpur. There were no strongly worded condemnations from Barisan nor the opposition although I am aware that a few opposition leaders did lend their personal support to the institutions that were raising public awareness on the tragedy in Sri Lanka.

In fact, then and even now, when world leaders have raised serious concerns on the violations against the Tamil civilians by the Sri Lanka government, our government and its business leaders continue to court the Sri Lanka government, feting and wining them even as recent as a month ago.

These actions are repulsive and go against the grain of human decency. The Sri Lanka government must be punished in the world arena and treated as a war criminal. The perpetrators of those murders and assaults should be tried in an independent court of justice and sentenced for their actions.

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