It's not trendy or chic anymore to say it is
raining cats and dogs. Not if you belong to
the INGO circuit or that club of touch-down
and quick-go foreign correspondents who
prefer the gossip of the INGO circuit to the
hard work of news gathering. For them the
fashion today is to say it is raining
cluster bombs. It is not the tropical
monsoon they talk about. It's all about
what's taking place in the north of Sri
"It's raining cluster bombs there, you
"Really? Who's getting hit?
"Who else, but Tamil civilians?"
"What Tamil civilians?"
"Don't you know? It's those who have
volunteered to surround the LTTE leadership
with their families to ensure the leader's
safety. Those brave people willing to
sacrifice their children and even the old
and feeble to carry arms for the cause of
Prabhakaran's great liberation struggle and
the Grand Dream of Thamil Eelam."
"You mean those innocent people who are
being forcibly pulled out of the warm and
cuddly embrace of the tigers, by those
terrible Sri Lankan troops claiming to
liberate the Tamils from the clutches of
"You've got it. There's no terror over
there at all. Never has been. That's the
great story. There never was a child soldier
in those parts. That's the real angle. It's
the place where cyanide capsules are
crunched in the mouths of young people like
Polo Mint or Chewing Gum. It's a fad, daring
though it may be.
"Wow, that's a great story. You thinking
of a Pulitzer, are you?"
"Yah, all I need are the real INGO, local
NGO and Humanitarian contacts."
"Are you into the Tamil Net - sure can be
"Of course, I wow it......No angles; the
true tiger story as they like to say it."
Sri Lanka has gone through Johnny mines,
claymore mines, anti-personnel mines, hand
bombs, petrol numbs, improvised bombs,
suicide bombs - and now we are into cluster
bombs. All of the others came from the LTTE
- the organization banned as terrorists by
more than 30 countries - not likely to be a
mistake, although some would like us to
think so. The cluster bomb is no tiger
creation; it is not the handy weapon of
terror. It is the weapon of choice of the of
Sri Lanka, the duly elected government of
this little South Asian island, and its
security forces, who have shown as sheer
bunkum the once much vaunted invincibility
of the LTTE and its great military
strategist leader Velupillai Prabhakaran.
That's the new INGO Cluster Line.
"But how did Sri Lanka get cluster bombs,
which are illegal under international law or
something like that?"
"Blimey, they got them from Amnesty
"You must be crazy. Amnesty International
dealing in bombs, and cluster bombs at that?
"I'm not crazy. If I am, so is the United
Nations. It is the UN office that reported
the Amnesty claim about Sri Lankan troops
having used cluster bombs to attack a
hospital in the north....
"What a dirty thing to do....
Disgusting.... a thousand times worse than a
suicide bomb; definitely worse than a child
suicide bomb. Did the UN bring it to the
notice of the Security Council?
"Bloody let down; they accepted the Sri
Lanka Government's claim that they don't
have cluster bombs. The UN apologized.....
"You mean the UN backed out and let
Amnesty carry the baby? I always thought
they worked hand in glove?
"But Amnesty didn't eat crow. They didn't
apologize. They explained it.
"But how can they, after the UN
"They said that lower ranking Sri Lankan
troops may have got the cluster bombs from
the LTTE, when they captured the tigers'
arms dumps....and used them on civilians in
"You mean the Sri Lankan Air Force
dropped the captured cluster bombs...?
"No. Amnesty says it is more like the
lower ranks of troops used some new
improvised catapults to target the cluster
bomb at the hospital.....
"Did anyone see them fall?"
"Nonsense. There were families of UN
workers who the LTTE refused to release, who
heard the raining of cluster bombs for 16
hours...... near the hospital compound...
"Was anyone hurt in clusters or singly...
it must have been terrible..
"No one was hurt...... they described the
sound to he UN Security Guards in Colombo by
phone, and they accurately concluded it was
definitely the sound of cluster bombs...
Apparently the UN office has clusters of
such sound experts in Colombo ....
"Did any foreign journalists go there to
verify....even breaking the ban on travel to
those parts......as they do in other
parts......it's a great story... like the
white phosphorous that Israel dropped on the
"The journalists remained in Colombo,
complaining about travel restrictions and
having a good time in five star hotels...
but the UN did make further inquiries....
"What did they find..., pieces of cluster
bombs... any unexploded clusters.....?
"All they found was shrapnel...they say
it came from air-burst fragmentation
munitions, whatever that may be. Not even
sure there were clusters of them.
"Does Amnesty admit to the error?
"Not bloody likely......they are
repeating the one about the Sri Lankan
troops finding cluster bombs among tiger
weapons hauls, and throwing them
around...having some bloody fun at the
expense of civilians
"Do they condemn the tigers for having
cluster bombs in their arsenal....isn't
there some international agreement banning
"Not bloody likely......
"How can they condemn cluster bombs in
tiger hands, when they don't condemn suicide
killers trained by the same tigers?
"You mean they condone suicide killers?
This is what the Amnesty spokeswoman says
of the killing of civilians in a refugee
center by a women suicide killer. She wants
the tigers to disavow 'the use of tactics
such as suicide bombers disguised as
"What if she was disguised as a woman
soldier......or a pregnant woman?
"Who knows, in Amnesty's twisted think,
it may be considered an act of women's
liberation. But read it all, Amnesty at its
supreme defence of the LTTE. 'It is
important to remember that the use of such
[suicide killer] attacks by one party to an
armed conflict does not excuse unlawful
attacks in response.
This perfidious assault should not be
used as an excuse by the Sri Lankan military
to abuse displaced civilians who should
still be treated in accordance with
international law,' ....The Lankan security
forces must still make sure that their
actions are directed against military
targets and not civilians.'
The sanction is on the Sri Lanka
troops...who did not use cluster bombs...
who do not use suicide killers....only this
side to the conflict must make sure their
targets are military and not
civilian.....the other side can hoard
cluster bombs and train more suicide cadres
...if they have more volunteers .....or even
more of the brainwashed.
It was Winston Churchill who on being
told that he cannot refer to a lie as a lie
in parliament, referred to it as a falsehood
or untruth, and went on to say it was a
We are not bound by the niceties of
parliament here. What Amnesty International
said and the UN repeated was a dirty and
bloody lie, and AI still clings to its lie.
That's the trend of things. Get ready to
take shelter from the cluster bombs of lies
that will fall on us these days....courtesy
Amnesty International, the UN, and heaven
knows how many others in the pay of the LTTE?