SUNDAY TELEGRAPH QUOTES TAMILS FROM TIGER ENCLAVE WHO SAY THE REMAINING PEOPLE TRAPPED DO NOT LIKE LTTE AND THEY WANT THE ARMY TO COME AND RESCUE THEM
By Walter Jayawardhana
The mass circulated Sunday Telegraph of the United Kingdom in a full page article said the people who escaped from the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) controlled area had told them that the remaining people do not like the Tamil Tigers’ dictatorial mini-state any more and they want the Sri Lankan army to rescue them..
Quoting such a man who escaped to Kilinochchi Sunday Telegraph’s Nick Meo said, “What the man had to say about the Tigers would have been unthinkable for a subject of their dictatorial mini state a few weeks ago. ‘The people do not like the Tigers any more,’ he said angrily . ‘They are trapped by them and they are scared. They want the Sri Lankan army to rescue them.”
Reporting from Kilinochchi the Sunday Telegraph staffer said, people are being used as human shields by Tamil rebels who have promised to fight to the death.
The report further said, “The haunted eyes of the grandfather who had just escaped from the Tamil Tigers at their most furious betrayed the horror he had left behind him ‘I want to live not die, and that’s why I have come here with my family’, he said.
“The exhausted businessman was safe in a Sri Lankan army base after weeks trapped with …other civilians in a seven square mile strip of land on Sri Lanka’s North East coast, short of food and fresh water and incessantly pounded by shells.
“The rebels of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) who for last 26 years have claimed to be fighting to protect Sri Lanka’s Tamil ethnic minority , have forbidden the refugees to leave – on pain of death.
“But the civil war grinds slowly towards its end with the Tigers apparently facing final defeat , conditions within their enclave have become so grim that in the past week alone that an estimated 5000 men women and terrified children have risked their lives to flee. Many have been shot by rebel gunmen and some of those caught have been executed.
“The elderly man wearing a grimy Tshirt and sarong and clutching a single bag that contained all that remained of his possessions , had managed to get out that morning. He described how he had gathered his family and friends as quietly as possible in the dead of night before slipping past guards. They had been wading across muddy lagoon towards Sri Lankan army lines when things went wrong.
‘We left at 2 a.m. today in a group of 23 but the Tigers fired at us and only 12 of us arrived here.’he said as his bewildered grand daughter aged seven looked on. ‘I do not know what has happened to the rest. We became separated in the confusion.’
The Daily Telegraph staffer is the first British reporter allowed inside Kilinochchi after it fell in January and he interviewed the people at the town, which was once the Tigers heaquarters.
The Sunday Telegraph said that some time ago Tigers ran a third of the country but much of the money collected by the Tamils all over the world were creamed off by corrupt Tiger leaders.
The article quoted Brigadier Shavendra Silva who said the civilians in the LTTE grip were forcibly taken there and now the security forces cannot bomb the Tigers because of the human shield.
For this article the Sunday Telegraph also interviewd a 25 year old female teacher who had been forcibly recruited by the LTTE. She and the others had been indoctrinated into believing of army torture on capture. So she said, two of her younger comrades , without surrendering committed suicide by blowing themselves with the help of grenades. She surrendered and faced no torture.
A 18 year old school girl who was forced to fight but later managed to escape told the Sunday Telegraph that she cried for her other friends who could not escape as they were scared of the Tamil commonaders. “They are only there because of fear of the Tamil commanders. They told us so many lies. The people will hate them after this.” (EOM) The original article on which this news item is based appeared on March 29 2009.
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