he just-concluded 17th Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) in Margarita Island in Venezuela, has placed a great emphasis on the prevention and eradication of terrorism world over.Condemning terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, the final declaration of the two-day NAM Summit had strongly pitched for decisive and coordinated action to prevent and combat the financing and illicit transfer of weapons.
The NAM countries also had reaffirmed that terrorism and violent extremism as and when conducive to terrorism, cannot and should not be associated with any religion or nationality.They also recognised the threat posed by the scourge of terrorism; particularly the activities carried out by terrorist groups such as the Taliban, al-Qaeda, ISIS and affiliated entities.
“The NAM countries also reaffirmed their firm condemnation of terrorist acts in all their forms and manifestations, whatever their motivations, wherever and by whomsoever they are committed. They further condemned destruction of heritage and religious sites as well as the commission of crimes against humanity by terrorist groups among others on the basis of their religion or beliefs,” the draft declaration said.
Indian Vice President Hamid Ansari, who led the Indian delegation to the summit, stressed the need for “concrete action” against terrorism.Underscoring that terrorism remained one of the most serious threats to international peace and security, Skills Development and Vocational Training Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe, who led the Sri Lankan delegation to the summit, as the special envoy of President Maithripala Sirisena, said all forms and manifestations of terrorism must be condemned.“Sri Lanka underscores the need to strengthen cooperation to fight this scourge and reaffirms the importance to conclude a comprehensive convention on International Terrorism at the earliest” the Minister had stated.Well said.
However, these hallowed sentiments are being expressed at all international fora, world as well as regional; the UN General Assembly, UN Security Council, and UNHRC Sessions, the SAARC Summit, OIC, G8 and many others.However, terrorism continues.It is not a secret that the main causes for the failure to eradicate terrorism from the surface of the earth are the uneven distribution of wealth and the double standards of member countries of all these fora.
The Western powers invariably call countries like Iran, North Korea, Syria, Gaddafi’s Libya and Cuba among some others as nations that support terrorism, while wholeheartedly supporting Israel, which bulldozes houses of poor Palestinians even at the drop of a hat, ignoring any resolution adopted at the UN General Assembly as well as the UN Security Council, in respect of the region.
It is well known that it was India, which now complains about the Pakistani support to the various groups active in Jammu and Kashmir, that nurtured the Sri Lankan Tamil armed groups providing them with weapons, money and training during 1980s.It was the West that created the Mujahideens in Afghanistan and many other Middle Eastern armed groups. World has failed to answer the question as to who supported the Taliban to capture power in Afghanistan within two years of its creation.
As far as Sri Lanka is concerned the Western powers had contributed to the strengthening of the Sri Lankan terrorism.For example, Sathasivam Krishnakumar alias Kittu, Thilagar and Anton Balasingham were stationed in London for a long time to serve as spokesmen for the LTTE, while the outfit was planting bombs in buses and trains in Sri Lanka and conscripting poor Tamil children to be sent to the battlefield.
The US Government prevented the LTTE from attending the conference on the Sri Lankan peace process in Washington on April 14, 2003, citing that the organisation had been designated in the US as an international terrorist organization, but V. Rudrakumaran, one of the members of the LTTE’s peace delegation returned to the US after each round of peace talks with the Ranil Wickremesinghe government.
Hypocrisy has been the norm of many countries with regard to terrorism mainly because the UN has failed so far to formulate a definition to the term “terrorism.”In other words, so long as the world fails to reject the notion “one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter” world leaders would have to continue to make rhetorical statements against terrorism in every international forum.