Sri Lankan Humanitarian Crisis Deepens. What can ordinary Malaysians do?

by Augustine Anthony
[email protected]

How much more should the Sri Lankan Tamils suffer before the Malaysian government responds decisively, consistent with its previous efforts in condemning the practices of human rights violations such as :-

1. Apartheid discriminating blacks and coloured in South Africa,

2. Genocide of Muslim population in Bosnia,

3. Atrocities against the Palestinians in the Middle East fighting for their homeland.

Almost three decades of civil war coupled with the aftermath of the 2004 Tsunami that displaced more than 500,000 people, the Sri Lankan Tamils had suffered unimaginable hardship.

But what awaits the Sri Lankan Tamils and the world in the aftermath of the Armed Forces perceived victory against the LTTE is about to explode into a major international crisis unless sooner averted.

On May 18th 2009 Amnesty International made the following observations;-

“Humanitarian crisis continues to unfold in the country. Amnesty International has called for key steps to be adopted to ensure civilians and captured fighters are protected. There are more than 200,000 displaced people, including approximately 80,000 children, who need relief but also protection from abuses in Sri Lanka”

Barely a month after the above observations, New York Based Human Rights Watch made the following remarks:-

“The Sri Lankan government should end the illegal detention of nearly 300,000 ethnic Tamils displaced by the recently ended conflict in Sri Lanka. Displaced Tamil civilians have the same rights to liberty and freedom of movement as other Sri Lankans.”

“Treating all these men, women, and children as if they were Tamil Tiger fighters is a national disgrace, Displaced Tamil civilians have the same rights to liberty and freedom of movement as other Sri Lankans.”

It is shocking that in less than a month there had been a sharp increase in the number of displaced Tamil civilians in detention camps and one could only conclude that the numbers will continue to increase.

One of the major concerns arising out of the detentions of Tamils in these detention camps is the exercise by the Sri Lankan authorities who are expected to screen persons leaving the war zone to identify Tamil Tiger fighters.

Such screening exercises could most likely lead to serious human rights violations such as physical violence, rape and even murder as seen in the aftermath of many civil wars in other parts of the world.

The world must voice its grave anxiety and fear of these possible human rights violations even before the coming of documented reports.

We, peace loving Malaysians can play a major role in this humanitarian crisis.

So please send or post your comments and suggestions on what we can do for the Sri Lankan Tamils, no matter how unimportant you may think it will be, so that collectively we can do our part in preventing a human catastrophe awaiting.

  1. #1 by pulau_sibu on Sunday, 14 June 2009 - 11:12 am

    I am waiting to see when Mahathir will open up his mouth

  2. #2 by -ec- on Sunday, 14 June 2009 - 12:37 pm

    the first step is to close the sri lankan high comm in kl to indicate our position against sri lankan govt inhumane activities.

    why we do not care much? because sri lankan tamils are no muslims and sri lanka has no diamonds to be extracted.

  3. #3 by albert308 on Sunday, 14 June 2009 - 1:56 pm

    Malaysians at large has great sympathy to atrocities of ethnic Tamil in Sri Lanka, me too.
    The current conflict in Sri Lanka did not have much coverage in local media. Foreign Ministry has a role to play in voicing the concern. This matter concern to international relations, hopefully United Nation give attention. I believe the Foreign Ministry has dilemma in dealing with it as the conflict may be consider as internal affair in nature. Our country has diplomatic relation with Sri Lanka, in addition as Commonwealth members.

    Now, look at Malaysians sentiment. Back in 1998, Indonesian Chinese the victims of killing, rape, robbery in racial riots. What ordinary Malaysians can do? Sympathy.

    One DAP MP participate in a Public Forum on this issue. Utusan turn this into different news. Should we let Umno capitalised on their advantages? That is in their strenght, racial cards.

    Focus on issues with common Malaysians interest. Don’t drag opposition down on issue of ‘Utusan’ interest.

  4. #4 by ekin on Sunday, 14 June 2009 - 5:25 pm

    We can’t do anything. No matter how much you do as in the name of charity, the charity body had never announces the true amount of money collected. Whether the amount will be deliver to them or not, its another issue as there had not been reports good enough to prove their actions. Keep your money and if you want to give it to the poor, find a poor home and give it directly yourself to them. No point let the poor keep hoping and get nothing.

  5. #5 by monsterball on Sunday, 14 June 2009 - 6:24 pm

    To be very frank..I have a full load of Malaysians problems to talk about and have no interests in others affairs…partly because I have not study the whole situation well.
    I hope Malaysian Sri Lankans focus on being Malaysians and on Malaysian affairs…as I strongly believe…Malaysians Chinese are also.. not interested in China’s affairs are Malaysian Indians…..partly because we simply have no extra time.
    UMNO have guided us to race and religion dirty politics for so long….get out of it!! Do not be fooled by them.
    Our country needs our fullest attention.
    We are so near and get so far to be totally free.
    The 13th GE is our best hope.
    But on the subject….from thousands of years up to now…dirty corrupted governments do create the haves and have not…..and even the untouchables. Greedy and being the most cunning animal on earth.. we are.
    Shortest history in living things on earth…will be us destroying ourselves…no need outside force.
    Humans are treated like hungry sick animals…let it rot…let it the self appointed almighty…and those crooks deserved better lives than others.
    It seems religions are faithfully practiced by the simply folks..the poor and needy..and those who propagate……getting results are the ones…that are not practicing what they preached…inspite of swearing to do so.
    For sure…the devils are ruling Malaysia because of our selfishness and greedy for power and money.
    We must chased them live in paradise….right need to die and experience it.
    But are you living in paradise now?
    We have a handful to do at out backyard…no time for neighbors private affairs.

  6. #6 by ekin on Sunday, 14 June 2009 - 7:27 pm

    Yes Mr. Monsterball, I agreed with you again.

    Our country has so many poor families who lives on bread and candle lights. They slept on the floors with a used pillow given by their neighbor. What has the leaders done? Nothing. Imagine the total amount lost in PKFZ could help so many families, save so many lives and yet our leaders stayed at home shaking their legs watching 60 inches LCD and fully air conditioned environment. With their electricity bill alone, each bill can help 2 families for an entire month! When you look at all these…13th GE must put a stop on all these!…

  7. #7 by limkamput on Sunday, 14 June 2009 - 8:07 pm

    Now this P Uthayakumar fellow is giving DAP led government in Penang the ultimatum to acquire the land currently occupied by an Indian village. So much for his rule of law and sense of fairness! He thinks the CM of Penang is at his disposal.

    He is just a kurang ajar extremist. Go ahead, carry out your threat. Better still, join MIC, PPP, UMNO, or whatever.

    I urge LGE to stand firm and rule the state according to the principles of fair play and good economic sense. Most fair minded Indian Malaysians will stand by DAP and PR. Read my lips, HINDRAF will be a spent force in no time.

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