“………..It is for us, the living, rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they have, thus far, so nobly carried on. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us - that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here gave the last full measure of devotion - that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain; that this nation shall have a new birth of freedom; and that this government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” ( from Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address )
In 1861 there was no terrorism. Any revolt against the government became an armed conflict-a civil war. In 1862 the Emancipation Proclamation to end slavery in America was opposed by the Southern States which had large numbers of agricultural Farms and depended on slave labour. Eleven of these States formed in to a Confederation and rose in rebellion, as a war goal the abolition of slavery proclaimed by the US Government..
Twenty Northern States that had already abolished slavery along with five border states formed into a Union . The army of the Unionists confronted the Confederates in a war to end the rebellion demanding separation from the United States. The civil war that followed between the Unionist Armies and the Confederate Armies in which an estimated 700,000 had died was the most bloodiest of the civil wars.
In reality in” modern terms” it was a military operation by the US Government represented by the Union of 25 Northern States, against the Confederate terrorists demanding separation, from the United States, like the military operations of Sri Lanka Armed Forces against the LTTE terrorists demanding a separate State. Only difference was that the terrorists of Sri Lanka came from the Tamil Community, where as the Sothern and Northern Sates of America were Americans though the Union Army had black soldiers.
The climax of the American civil war- in its last phase in the “ killing field of America” which lasted from 1 to 3 of July,1863 at Gettysburg was a “blood bath” in which there were 57,225 casualties- both killed and wounded.
Four months after the war on the 19 November, 1863 “ the killing field of Gettysburg” was dedicated to the dead soldiers, the President Abraham Lincoln made his famous speech an extract of which is quoted above. It is now the “most revered” historical landmark.
Though statistics are available for the death of the Union and confederate Soldiers there are strangely no statistics of civilian casualties. It is regrettable that the death of civilians as collateral to the war had been neglected as unimportant. That is the price paid in the separatist war in America.
A commentator says, “There is no way to know at this point without further research what the true effects of the war were on civilians and what kind of price they truly paid. So the question in my mind, how do we determine collateral damage during the Civil War? Does the starvation of civilians or their murder by bushwhackers count as “casualties”? I would argue it does. »
While another says, that Fellman’s “Inside War” roughly estimates 10,000 Missouri civilians were killed during the war, but IIRC offers no methodology or documentation. »
In June of 1862 Gen. Curtis, had described the situation in eastern Arkansas, saying « I leave nothing for man or brute in the country passed over by my army,…… »except a little saving to feed the poor, which will hardly save them from suffering.”
« Confederate bushwhackers and guerrillas brutally targeted suspected Union sympathizers and burned cotton wherever they found it, causing civilian morale to “plummet” throughout the state. The combined effect, according to one historian, was economic “collapse, social upheaval,” and the general “collapse of social institutions,” according to William L. Shea. »
These investigations are no concern of UK Channel 4, the State Department of the USA which is on a witch hunt to take to a Tribunal the Sri Lanka Armed Forces for war crimes in the elimination of a group of terrorists, murderers , assassins, who massacred , tortured , and blew up innocent civilians during a thirty year of terrorism., which were perhaps more than the terrorism of the Confederate Armed terrorists.
What is also relevant in what has been quoted above is what General Curtis had said in June of 1862 that, “ I leave nothing for man or brute in the country passed over by my army,……”
Because the same cannot be said of the Armed Forces of Sri Lanka, who during the last phase of the military operations against the terrorists, had while eliminating the terrorists rescued from the clutches of terrorists 300,000 civilians kept by the terrorists as human shields.
It is on record that the Soldiers of the Sri Lanka army who some times fought without having a meal, when they had a packet of food, handed it over to the emaciated civilian Tamils rescued from the clutches of the terrorists. The soldiers helped the old and weary civilians escaping from terrorists some times carrying the old in their arms.
That was the humanitarian aspect of the soldiers of the Sri Lanka Armed forces the Channel 4 had conveniently left out from showing or acknowledging in their “doctored” document, and taken seriously by persons like Howard Berman , Hillary Clinton and the rest of them.
It is easy for the US State Secretary, and her friend Jayalalitha, UK, and French Governments to accuse the Sri Lanka Government Forces without understanding the mentality of the terrorists who were cornered and saw no escape rout, and the soldiers of the Government Armed Forces who were facing ruthless brutes of terrorists who had not respect for life, and were yet trying to save as many Civilians as possible running away from the grip of the terrorists in that “Gettysburg of the no fire Zone” .
No amount of films, documentaries or interviews presented by the Channel 4 can explain the extreme condition that prevailed in that “ Gettysburg of no-fire Zone “ in Mullaitivu. Those images of the suffering of the people caught into cameras and faked as atrocities committed by the Government Armed Forces are a fiction which does not represent the truth of that last phase of the military operation against the terrorists.
The last phase of any war is the most outrages, as much as it was at Gettysburg at the end of the American civil war , or Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of the second world war, Hanoi at the end of the Vietnam War, or Mulaitivu at the end of terrorism in Sri Lanka. Those are the catastrophes to end other catastrophes.
Any intelligent persons, other than those who have “some reason” to fall for the “ dirty tricks” of the UK Channel 4 such as Howard Berman, Hillary Clinton, Navi Pillai, Jayalalitha, Human Rights Activists of all sorts, an objective and an intelligent viewer will use his mental capacity even if it is the size of a” pea nut” to question why the Government Armed Forces torture , kill and massacre some of the civilians while taking all risks to rescue 300,000 others escaping from the clutches of the terrorists.
The Soldiers of the Sri Lanka Armed Forces knew that they were there to end terrorism and not to eliminate the civilians, for which there were other methods they could have used such as drowning the 300,000 Tamil civilians escaping from the terrorists in the Nai Aru Lagoon instead of rescuing them.
In Gettysburg it was the American Government Forces-the Union Army , against American Confederate terrorists. It was killing of Americans by Americans in the Gettysburg blood bath. But in Sri Lanka the Armed Forces were fighting against a ruthless terrorists, who were deliberately killing and torturing the civilians , kidnapping children, handicapped or from low cast families to be trained as “suicide bombs”.
And these terrorists came from the Tamil Community, that was the difference and that is the reason for this accusations being leveled against the soldiers of the Sri Lanka Armed Forces who were from the Sinhala Community. If it was like in Gettysburg – a Sinhala Armed Force against Sinhala terrorists then no body would have bothered.
Everything said and done, with Channel 4 inventing all possible gimmicks, and atrocious falsehood to accuse the Sri Lanka government forces for war crimes, as far as the Sri Lankans living in Sri Lanka, the Tamil, Sinhala, Muslim, Burgers and the rest are very happy that terrorism has at last been wiped out. They have already sacrificed their kith and kin in the massacres, bomb blasts and to the pistol gangs of the ruthless terrorists. It is only now all the Communities of Sri Lanka have begun to live normal lives free from fear, peaceful and happy.
To all those who want to accuse the Sri Lanka Armed Forces for war crimes-UK Channel 4, Ban Ki Moon of UN, Navi Pillai of UNHRC, Hillary Clinton of US State Department, David Cameron of UK, Bernard Kouchner, David Miliband, Howard Berman, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International or any one else:
We would like to tell them, that we the Sri Lankans who elected Mr.Mahinda Rajapakse as the President of Sri Lanka, or we others by action and word supported and continue to support the President and Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse and acclaim our soldiers who died , and all others who risked their lives in the elimination of the terrorists, as our National Heroes, are equally responsible as much as the Sri Lanka Armed Forces for what ever happened in the last phase of the military operations to eliminate the terrorists, and we are all prepared to face any tribunal for any crimes hand in hand with our Armed Forces, the President and the Defense Secretary.
We tell them go ahead and accuse us we are ready to face any tribunal, for we have done what is right in the protection of innocent lives and to keep our motherland as a whole without handing over any part of it to terrorists, and separating the Communities, and end a thirty years of suffering that no Nation has so faced.
UK Channel 4 and all anti Sri Lanka elements are not interested in our coloured ethnic brothers, what they want is to take revenge, Channel 4 for not allowing them to film the IDP camps to make documents distorting with falsehood the real situation in camps, and the International Community for not allowing their representatives to enter the no-fire zone to rescue the terrorist leaders.
Numerous are the innocent men women and children who had died in the hands of the terrorists, numerous are our political leaders, Ministers, Government officers who have been killed by the terrorists, and numerous are the Military, Naval and Air Force Officers, and Army Soldiers and sailors, who had given their lives to remove a cancer of terrorism from the soil of our motherland.
In the name of all those who had died in the course and until the end of terrorism in Sri Lanka, we dedicate ourselves for the course for which they died to reconcile the communities to make this motherland of ours a happy place for every one to live together, and say as Abraham Lincoln said at Gettysburg after another terrorist war,
“ It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us - that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here gave the last full measure of devotion - that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain; that this nation shall have a new birth of freedom; and that this government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”