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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume. 34, Number 16. September 8th 1971

Government's Offensive

Government's Offensive

The government from the outset denounced the young rebels as terrorists and began all-out war against them with all the armed forces at its command both internal and external. It sought and obtained armaments including helicopters from US and UK and other capitalist countries, India, Pakistan and the UAR. It obtained troops and warships from India. It also obtained armaments from the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia. The Soviet Union supplied Mig Jets together with pilots to train local personnel.

The armed forces of the government did not confine their attacks on the young rebels. They commenced a campaign of slaughter of thousands of younf persons and others unconnected with the rebels who happened to be in the same age group as the rebels, or happened to be relatives, neighbours or acquaintances of the rebels Thousands taken into custody on suspicion have been summarily executed by shooting Victims have been lined up near graves dug by the victims themselves and thereafter shot and killed Public hangings and executions of young persons including girls have been carried out by the police and the military often accompanied by extreme sadism. Police and Army men have raped women and girls and thereafter have shot them. The wounded who are still alive have been burnt or buried together with the dead. Dead bodies of young persons and others have been seen daily floating down the rivers. The horrific public displays was intended to terrorise thy people.

These medieval atrocities have of course not been committed in the view of the International Committee of the Red Cross. That is perhaps the reason why Roger Du Pasquier, the representative of this committee hastened to grant the Ceylon government and its armed forces a certificate of good behaviour when he visited the country one month after the government's military offensive began. "I have seen" said Rogers "that the treatment given to those held in custody is in accordance with article 3 of the Geneva Convention"! That Roger Due Pasquier should have lent himself to the complete distortion of the truth after a conducted tour organised by the torturers and killers themselves, does not speak well for the International Committee of the Red Cross that seeks to function as a non-partisan humanitarian society.

Government forces have destroyed and razed to the ground a large number of houses of poor people. Whole villages have been burnt down and even bombings and strafing from air planes and helicopters have been carried out by the armed forces.

The government's offensive supported by the armaments of seven foreign countries has pushed the forces of the rebels more into the interior parts of the country and into the forest-covered hills. In certain areas the military and police vehicles can move only on the main roads, and that too, not after dark.