Blame me for being ‘biased’. But this is what I’ve been thinking about the UN over a killing field in Vanni.
[TamilNet, Monday, 16 February 2009, 18:01 GMT]
The UN said 15 of its local staff and 75 of their dependents were not allowed to leave the conflict area by the Tamil Tigers, who had forcibly recruited one of the UN staffers, reported AFP on Monday. “The UN for the first time openly acknowledges its agenda of withdrawing even the remaining few local staff from the conflict zone, completely shedding its responsibility of caring for the civilians trapped here,” said Velupillai Sivanadiyar, the president of the Tamils Rehabilitation Organisation (TRO), the only NGO working in Vanni. The latest UN stand implies that the apex security system of the world has written off the fate of more than 250,000 civilians to the discretion of Colombo’s encircling army of 50,000, a ratio of 1:5.
The UN office in Colombo also accused the LTTE for preventing the civilians from escaping, shooting at the fleeing civilians and sometimes killing them, recruiting child soldiers as young as 14 years old and fighting from areas of civilian concentration causing death and injury to civilians.
This latest outburst of the UN office in Colombo finds nothing wrong with the Colombo government.
It has nothing to say on how fled or caught civilians are treated by the SLA, how firebombs and prohibited weapons like cluster bombs are deliberately used in attacking civilian targets and on the fate of children as young as 14 when they get into the hands of the SLA.
As seen from the earlier statements, the Colombo UN office never knew from where the shells that attacked the civilians came from.
Quoted by AFP, the UN admits “Tens of thousands of civilians in the rebel-held area were experiencing serious shortage of food, medicine and clear water” and “efforts to bring in more food and medicines have not yet been successful.”
The latest reports from Vanni indicate that people fall on streets due to hunger, easily die in the bunkers at the slightest shock as they are week and thousands of women in their late stage of pregnancy suffer from serious malnutrition.
“The UN’s inability to fulfill its obligations to civilians is explicit. Yet they don’t say who is preventing them from their responsibilities,” said Mr. Sivanadiyar.
The UN couldn’t even materialize a temporary truce period from the Colombo government to allow civilians to move.
“If they really care for the civilians, this is not the time for useless talk and accusations. They don’t need to bother about the LTTE. Let them come directly and see what is happening and do the needful. When they can’t act they have no moral responsibility to accuse” said Mr. Sivanadiyar.
“The UN accusations are aimed at hiding their own failures. Their unwillingness to act but at the same time their preoccupation with biased propaganda can only be understood that the highest international body is the worst exploiter of the plight of the people of Vanni. This is the ‘human shield’ they use to protect the interests of the oppressors”, he further said.
The grudge and bias of the Colombo UN office for not being able to materialize its schedule of self interest were known for quite sometime.