ACCUSATIONS AGAINST SRI LANKA ON CIVILIAN DEATHS: DELIBERATE & MISCHIEVOUS-MILITARY NECESSITY TO ERADICATE TERRORISM
Posted on May 30th, 2009

By Dr.Levins T.C.Rajaratnam*

The Universal Declaration on Human Rights is not limited in scope to ensuring the observance of human rights by Governments alone.

The Declaration has a far wider purpose: the observance of human rights by all governmental and non-governmental alike. Article 3 of the Universal Declaration, which requires that everyone has the right to life; and the provisions of article 30 of the Declaration prescribes that: “Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein”.  An act of terrorism by a non-governmental entity against civilians is surely one of the most heinous violations of the human rights of its victims and, surely, a crime against humanity as well.

We know the horrific direct consequences of terrorism: the carnage; the horror; the thousands of unsuspecting innocent lives lost or maimed, the thousands of families then left bereaved; the countless personal tragedies that terrorism leaves.The horrors of  Tamil Terrorism of the LTTE and other Tamil militants or Terrorists some of whom are designed as Tamil Political Parties with the label of Eelam working hand in hand together has devastated the country and  have  cast a heavy burden on successive Governments and the Nation including all of us and on humanity as a whole. There are also the larger disruptions of national stability and order as well: of the economy and the customary ways of life.

We remember the bombing of the Central Bank, the adjacent Buildings, the Temple of the Tooth Relic and other Temples in Sri Lanka where numerous people of all communities were killed, injured and blinded , the numerous innocent civilians who were killed and each of us would have a story to tell about the injuries sustained or the deaths of our loved ones. The assassination of President Premadasa, Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, Presidential Candidate Gamini Dissanayake, Cabinet Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle and two of my relatives Dr.Neelan Tiruchelvam and Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar are some of the few victims cited. However, during the 30 years of Tamil Terrorism not one Tamil Terrorist Leader was killed by the Terrorists. This reveals that there was conspiracy between all the Eelam Militant Groups who conveniently registered their organizations in the same name of their militant Groups as Political Parties but recent history and present observation reveals to us they never changed their attitudes. They convinced those around them that they hated the LTTE and even had suicide cadres to display attempted assassinations. All Tamil Militants have terrorized their own people. They never changed “”…” They earned money and still are marketing the ultimate objectives of Terrorism by slandering the Government and making derogatory remarks about the Government. We will always be affected by the memories of the damage caused by the Terrorists- we shall carry with us for as long as we live.

 The Terrorism of the eleventh of September, in the USA gave rise to a “coming-together” of the people of the great city of New York in the finest traditions of humanity. We expect the same in the IDP areas for international support to revive and resuscitate the morale of the people affected by the war. So, instead of talking about the dead let us talk of the living who are dying. Let us get together and support them. The Government is doing everything possible to help them. Let us hope that such a deep sense of the “togetherness” of all of humanity at times of great crises will continue to be pervasive.

Terrorism is, sadly, no stranger to Sri Lanka. We, in Sri Lanka know terrorism, unfortunately, only too well. We have shown that we could eradicate it but the process is not over. The Tamil Militant groups would have to be banned. The term “eelam” denotes a separate state. I was pleased to see the Hindu Newspapers of 30th of May news item of  which states that Dayasiri Jayasekera a prominent Member of Parliament  in the Opposition and Lawyer has made a Statement that all Political Parties with the tag “eelam” should be banned.  

Lakshman Kadirgamar is remembered to have said “A criminal organization – whether involved in rebellion against a State or not – must depend for its sustenance outside the law. For its massive operations and massive weaponry, massive collections of funds are continually required. As funds available for criminal activities within a State, especially a developing State, are Inevitably small, and the monitoring of their collection and disbursement relatively simple, fund collection for such activities is carried out abroad – through international criminal networks, of course – and also, as in all criminal enterprises, through knowing or unknowing front organizations or other entities that now proliferate in many forms, in many countries – often in the guise, sadly, of charitable groups or groups ostensibly concerned with human rights, ethnic cultural or social matters”¦.. The many disparate forces for international terrorism do not come together in one monolithic whole. They are variously interconnected in numerous ways and their international networks are extensive. They are mutually supportive and communicate through the global underworld of crime when special missions are afoot. If international terrorism is to be ever removed from our midst, we must begin with the recognition that international terrorism is a form of global criminality. We must not let ourselves be deceived by the artfully crafted cloaks of false pretensions. It is the method of terrorism as in the murder of innocent civilians and the defiance of the sanctity of life – that defines terrorism.”

We see it in a militant group in the business of shipping and engaged airline flights to Jaffna with an absolutely frightening record of criminal activities and now seeking support to contest the municipal council election in the North having a fear of losing the elections because of their criminal activities of barbarism, abductions and extortions they are conveniently contemplating on leaning towards the Ruling Party to further their criminal activities with ease.  All these perhaps can be masked within Social activities. The Ruling Party should not risk entertaining these criminals who have links with the LTTE. They have links overseas to the LTTE, a careful internet research would reveal the conspiracies.

We should therefore not be surprised that allegations of civilian casualty in the present times generates from certain corporate interests involved in international trade and terrorism.

One of the magnificent achievements of the UN, in the last half century, has been the transformation that has taken place in global opinion on the relationship that should obtain between the governing and the governed, between the government and the citizen. It was on the basis of the moral authority of the General Assembly’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the determined endeavours of the Commission on Human Rights, that this transformation was achieved. The dignity of the individual has now, largely as a result of United Nations leadership in the field of human rights, been placed, as it should be, amongst the primary priorities of national and international attention.

The duly elected Executive President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, President Mahinda Rajapakse, as the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces took a patriotic and bold decision as he is morally and legally bound to protect his subjects from all forms of terror. Military Intervention was a necessity in the interests of the Nation. It is in this connection that President Mahinda Rajapakse has rightly liberated the Tamil people who have been in bondage in the North. The Exodus was like Moses giving freedom to the Jews from Egypt. But the stunning difference is that the Tamil people were liberated by President Rajapakse, whilst the international community has from time to time been misled by those marketing terrorism for their own corporate interests.  

 

 No country has any moral or legal right to interfere or intervene in the internal affairs of Sri Lanka. President Mahinda Rajapakse has exercised his jurisdiction by protecting the territorial integrity of Sri Lanka and eradicating terrorism in Sri Lanka. The process is not over, the President has to save the Nation from all the Tamil Terrorists.

 

The doctrine is most often used in a sense which requires a balance between the need to achieve a military victory and the needs of humanity. In this sense, necessity has been viewed as a limitation to unbridled barbarity. The application of the doctrine of military necessity makes use of the principle of proportionality as a mechanism for determining the positioning of a fulcrum between these competing poles. Using proportionality thus gives effect to the recognition that the choice of methods and means of conducting war or armed conflict are not unlimited.

 

The means and methods of conducting war operate to achieve a particular military objective, which consequently assists in achieving a larger political objective.

 

While necessity might determine the legitimacy of the armed attack, proportionality determines the amount of force that might be used. In a sense, necessity operates at a macro level, while international humanitarian law operates at a micro level, though both might lie on the same continuum given the difficulties in the transition. This difficulty is most apparent when the principles of necessity and proportionality have been incorporated into conventional international law, particularly international humanitarian conventions. The development of these conventions, and the application of these principles require some consideration if one is to arrive at an understanding of their application in a modern armed conflict. The distinction in the Sri Lanka situation is that it is within our territory.

 

Military necessity has been described as “a basic principle of the law of war, so basic, indeed, that without it there could be no law of war at all.” the acceptance that, while the object of warfare is to achieve the submission of the enemy, which may require the disabling of as many enemy combatants as possible, this should only be achieved in a manner that does not cause any unnecessary suffering or damage. This limitation to the means of waging war is not, however, necessarily humanitarian in nature, and much of the early restraints were based on economic, political, and military considerations. However, the need for a balance between the considerations of humanity and the military actions necessary to win a war is regarded as defining the very nature of international humanitarian law, making military necessity a central principle in this balance.

 

 

Military necessity admits of all direct destruction of life or limb of armed enemies, and of other persons whose destruction is incidentally unavoidable in the armed contests of the war; it allows of the capturing of every armed enemy, and every enemy of importance or of peculiar danger to the captor; it allows of all destruction of property, and obstruction of the ways and channels of traffic, travel, or communication, and of all withholding of sustenance or means of life from the enemy;  Men who take up arms against one another in public war do not cease on this account to be moral beings, responsible to one another and to God.

 

The “ƒ”¹…”principle of distinction’ is fundamental to humanitarian law, but its precise content varies according to the kind of conflict. In national liberation struggles “”‚ and international armed conflicts “”‚ the distinction is between “ƒ”¹…”civilians’ and “ƒ”¹…”combatants.’ Combatants have no right to life under humanitarian law. Every individual is classified as either a combatant or as a kind of protected person, such as a prisoner of war (a captured combatant) or a civilian. An individual’s rights change when his classification changes. A civilian has the right not to be targeted for attack and the right to receive some protection from attack. If the civilian joins the armed forces, he exchanges the rights of a civilian for the rights of a combatant. A combatant has the right to take part in hostilities.

 

Every citizen owes his or her allegiance to the Constitution and to the Head of State- the duly elected President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka.

We look for diplomacy. But there is no diplomacy with some of those opposed to us. We do not consider them opponents but they oppose every conceivable move we make to develop the country. Sometimes, there is no compromise with such people, no meeting of minds – no point of understanding – so we would have a just choice -defeat it or be defeated by it. This is where there was a necessity for military intervention.We learnt that however much we strive for peace, we need a strong defence capability where a peaceful approach fails. Whatever the dangers of the action we take, the dangers of inaction are far greater.

Laws will have to be changed not to deny the basic liberties but to prevent their abuse and protect the most basic liberty of all; freedom from terror. The people are terrorized by certain vested interests in their vile pursuits for power committing crimes and targeting a reflex scenario as if the Government was responsible. All Tamil Political Parties with the name “eelam” should be banned forthwith. All Tamil Militant Groups should be disarmed and tried for their crimes against humanity.

We must work as a community to ensure that everyone not just a privileged few get the collective ability to further the individual’s interests.

We are not alone in this. All round the world governments are struggling with the same problems. We must have co-operation, determination and consensus.

We are a community of people, whose self interest and mutual interest at crucial points merge and that it is through a sense of justice that community is born and nurtured. This is the moment to bring the faiths closer together in understanding of our common values and heritage a source of unity and strength.

By the strength of our common endeavour we achieve more together than we can alone. We must reach beyond our fears and our divisions to a new time of great and common purpose. Let us trace the roots of affirmative action. Let us determine what it is and what it isn’t. Let us see where it has worked and where it hasn’t and ask ourselves what we need to do now.

Private media freedom is running amok. The news that millions of people in this country including foreign correspondents who convey news overseas receive each night is determined by a handful of men responsible only their corporate employers. The State should have control not to permit abuse of the freedom of the Press.

We must not permit a contaminated moral environment. Let us not negotiate out of fear, But let us never fear to negotiate.

There are individuals and groups who may be critical of the President for political gain, but the President has always taken affirmative action within the norms required of the President.

We cannot restore peace unless we can find some way to bring the nation close together. We must be Patriotic. We must uphold and defend the Constitution and the Head of State-the President. We owe allegiance to the President and the Constitution as Citizens of Sri Lanka. We must uphold the norms of the Constitution apprehend and prosecute those who terrorize us by their actions and threats, then economic prosperity will follow suit. Our destiny lies in our hands.

Nothing can stand against the argument of military necessity.”  

(General Dwight Eisenhower, Order of the Day, Dec. 24, 1943)

Our victory as a Nation would be when all the Tamil Militants and their Eelam Parties and their Leaders be defeated and destroyed in the best interests of our Nation!

In conclusion, may I cite the great General George S.Patton, Jr., :Almighty and most merciful Father, we humbly beseech Thee of Thy great goodness to restrain this immoderate weather with which we have had to contend. Grant us fair weather for battle. Graciously harken to us as soldiers who call upon Thee that, armed with Thy power, we may advance from victory to victory, and crush the oppression and wickedness of our enemies, and establish Thy justice among men and nations. AMEN.

 

(Dr. Levins T.C.Rajaratnam LL.B(SL).,LL.M(Lond).,Ph.D(Lond)., has practiced in the United Kingdom as a Solicitor of England & Wales, in Australia as Barrister and Solicitor, in US and Sri Lanka as Attorney at Law; He is the author of several publications, poems and has been a Lecturer in various Universities in Colombo and overseas. He was the Co-Ordinating Secretary to the Chief Government Whip of Parliament, the Late Jeyaraj Fernandopulle. He is the author of “Selected Essays on President Mahinda Rajapakse”(Sarvodaya Viswa Lekha Publication May 2009). Member of the World Lawyers & Poets Society, USA; Chief Editor of Sri Lanka Patriot “”…”newsline(www.srilankapatriot.org)

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