Sri Lanka and Government Army of the country have been subjected to criticisms by International community, because of allegations of war crimes directed at them. A commission appointed by former secretary of UN, Ban Kyi Moon too concluded that at least 40 000 civilians were killed during the last stages of the civil war, based on “credible sources.” However people of the Sri Lanka and government is denying all these claims vehemently. So there may be the question “Who is telling the truth, Sri Lanka or International?” Most of the international community who is raising these concerns has no intimate experience at war field and what happened really. So in that sense they can be misguided. On the other hand Sri Lankan people and Government too can be biased because of their chauvinism. Since all these parties are not so credible, I found a party who can’t be biased for the country, and know intimately what happened in the war field. So let’s ask from them. They are the former members of LTTE, soldiers of the Tamil liberation army defeated by government forces. They have no reason to lie to protect the country (they fought for a separate country for their race) or government or Sri Lankan Army.
Following witnesses which have been translated into English are taken from an article published in Lankadeepa newspaper (one of the major Sinhala language newspapers of the country) under the title “Former LTTE members who came to the right path.”
Varman Gopika – I’m a former LTTE member. They (LTTE) called me Gopi. I joined with them when I was about 16 of age. In 2007 they ordered that someone from every family must join to their army. So I joined them on behalf of my family. It was a very unfortunate incident. We… still young children were given only a 14 days training and were sent to the battlefield. We didn’t keep any expectations about our future. In Pudumathalan I was wounded. …From the landmines. So I was fortunate to avoid the being in combat and so I’m alive. I was given a blood of a wrong group by our members and I’m still suffering because of that.
When we are surrendering to the Sri Lankan Army, we lost our all hopes about the life. We did it because we have nothing other to do. We thought that they will surely kill us. But what they did? They give us food, since we haven’t got any food for days. They rehabilitated us. And they recruited us with their forces and give us these new lives. Now we have got bank loans and have a bicycle and earning a salary. My husband is also in the civil security force. We didn’t have such dreams as family life etc. when we were members of the LTTE. Now we are fortunately get everything wanted for a beautiful life because of the army and civil security force. So we owe them very much and give merits and blessings to them, honestly.
Genesh Nirosha – I’m Ganesh Nirosha. My alias was Kavipriya. I worked as a R.P.G. leader in the LTTE. I lived in Vishvamadu. I had to join with them at age of 17. I joined with them so that my younger brother will complete his education. I was trained in Muthiankattu and faced many battles. In Pudukudiirippu I was to be in the midst of a hard battle. SL army attacked us without a pity. I was hit in my stomach. I covered the wound from a piece of cloth and crouched back. Our members gave me medicine at Mancholei. I have given a blood of a wrong group and now I’m facing the side effects. When I was hit, our members left me and escaped. When I came to Mancholei I found that my mother and father had done even my funeral ceremonies thinking that I was dead. They had gone to Zones ruled by SL Army. At the time army was attacking to the Mancholei too. A lot of our members died from the combat. I was the only survived one. I surrendered to the army. They sent me immediately to get medicine. It was like a dream. When surrendering I hoped that they will kill me at the very moment. They care about me than our members did. I got well soon and then rehabilitated. I was in a wheel chair for years. My husband left me at the time. After I got completely cure, I joined with the Civil Security Force. Now I’m serving for years. (Now I can) I teach my child well. And I can care about my parents. I didn’t hope that I was able to have such a beautiful life.
Kanapathipillei Thawarasa – I joined with LTTE when I was 14 years old. I was given the alias Bharathiraj. It was in 1991 I joined with them. Now I’m 42. I have many experiences in the battlefield (for I served for very long time). I can’t remember the number of battles I was in. It was the Wanni mission most dreadful battle I was in apart from the Jayasikuru mission. I did not have no hope about my life at that battle. We can’t even think of how to face, we were severely got hit. But we fought till the last moment. However I got wounded at Mullivaikkal. I was badly wounded when I was found by the army. When I heard the Sinhala words, I left the desire to my life. I wish that I had a Cyanide capsule to commit suicide. I hope that I got shower of bullets on my head. But the youth (who found me) gave me water to drink! Then I was carried to the hospital on the shoulders of the soldiers of the SL army. I could not believe what was happening. I was given the medical treatments there. Then was rehabilitated and given this job to earn and carry on my life.
However there may be the question that, “since those former LTTE members have been “rehabilitated” by Sri Lankan army, maybe they are saying these things perhaps they have been brainwashed or they are saying that under the duress?”
If this question popped in your mind too, I think you must watch this video. How Rathnapriya Bandu, who was a colonel of Sri Lanka army worked with and helped to rehabilitated LTTE members, was given a farewell by them.
Can such an emotional act be a fake?