WAR CRIMES- NOT A LEG TO STAND ON
Posted on June 9th, 2009

Dr Donald Chandraratna, Australia

The diktats of innumerable conventions beginning from Franz Leibers code in 1863, which try to limit the rights of belligerent warring parties to minimise the suffering of civilians are usually claimed as Western in origin. This may be correct although similar but more virtuous sentiments of righteousness in the conduct of war are numerous in the inscriptions of Kings and rulers of the Orient in historical antiquity but they are not codified in that manner. Leaving that to a side any perceptive reader will note that behind the Codes and Conventions of the West, such as St Petersburg (1868), The Hague (1899), 1949 Geneva, and Geneva 1977 Protocols, the manifest humanitarian concerns hide ulterior motives of financial, political and supremacist interests. The multitude of conventions which have come about after millions of dollars paid by the public purse to the Swiss Hotels are flawed in their meaning as well as in their application. I will only point out to a few of those blunders in this short article.

Ms Pillai, overstepping her legitimate role, is keen to take the GOSL top brass under Article 35 of Prtocol 1, (2),1977, which prohibits the use of weapons and projectiles which cause superfluous injury or unnecessary sugffering (to civilians). Article 35 (3) refers to the protection of women and children, even journalists (so long as they follow the ehics of the profession- Luckily we did not have many such in Sri Lanka at the time). The same Article also prohibits warfare that causes severe damage to the natural environment.

Since these conventions do apply to non-international conflicts like the one which has just been terminated, the conduct of the UN appears to be woeful. Any agency such as the Human Rights High Commission must show that justice is also seen to be done. At the very outset the UN has miserably failed in their sacred duty of preventing and / or eradicating the causes for these unnecessary wars. That would have been a disaster to the Western armament industry and no Western nation will agree to such things. Thus they only agreed to the humane conduct of wars. Who is watching the humaneness of war? The independent international media. Given the Sri Lankan situation the whole world will understand how this international image is concocted by the media which is now labelled the mafia. It is the CNN, BBC and the like. You must be a loony to take them seriously. Next is the stricture on the use of bombs and ballistic missiles. Did all the NATO bombs avoid humans when they carried that “ƒ”¹…”virtual war’ from the air, a war conducted without Security Council approval? Were the Human rights Angels fast asleep that night? Seriously speaking the International court must first act to prevent waging of a war both international and non international before they pursue the war crimes. Having given the LTTE the license to engage in all those killings of one hundred thousand humans in the name of the so called liberal values of freedom and liberty the Western nations are now claiming to be the nice guys. Who are the guilty parties. The ICJ must talk. If not this is fraudulent.

Sri Lanka was legitimately in line with the 1977 Protocols when it militarily terminated the LTTE war. It was to maintain the territorial integrity, national unity and law and order. Nothing in that protocol can be invoked to intervene in such legitimate action by a legitimate regime. Literally we are absolutely blameless but being such a humane regime we did it with maximum caution to prevent avoidable civilian casualties, thereby saving the innocent three hundred thousand people. If we were also like NATO all those three hundred thousand are destined to die with Mr Prabhakaran. We were praised by many nations who had no grudge with Sri Lanka, but those guilty parties which are coaxed, cajoled and bribed by the forces outside are still trying to fault us. Under Article 90 of the 1949 Convention “ƒ”¹…”grave breaches’ (Ms Pillai was unrepentant in using the term as listed in the Rome statute) are investigated by a fact finding Commission of fifteen persons of “ƒ”¹…”high moral standing and acknowledged impartiality’. The first difficulty is finding such fifteen people of high moral fibre out of the present lot. Second, the report will not be public unless all parties to the conflict have requested the Commission to do so. Now that the LTTE is dead for all intents and purposes except those who are still “ƒ”¹…”managing’ the money, the exercise is superfluous. So why bother wasting so much money for the Sri Lankan Hotels though we welcome the cash.

These protocols have been so cunningly drafted for the Europeans to escape under various loopholes that only the weaker nations are made scapegoats to keep Human rights industry and International Courts busy. Under the 1949 Convention the US, though falls under the purview of these provisions refused HRC intervention. Remember Mr Bush asked you whether US tax payers are called upon to buy musical instruments for the prisoners at Guantanamo. How many times did Ms Robinson, your predecessor back off in the face of stiff opposition from Western Powers?

About environmental damage prohibition do you not think that legitimate governments should protect the natural environment from the vandalism caused by ruthless terror outfits such as Taliban and LTTE? The desecration of the historic artefacts in the North Eastern and Northern Provinces of Sri Lanka has been blown up just to prove that the revisionist history of Sri Lanka written by Mr Prabhakaran’s jungle scholars is the right version of Sri Lankan history which starts from 1505 A.D. Do you not think that the GOSL prevented further vandalism by defeating the LTTE? Who is the lunatic who will destroy the historic mementoes in the land while calling it their homeland? This is not a logical argument. The same bad logic was applied by the ICJ to dismiss Australia’s attempt to stop France in desecrating the atmosphere in the Pacific. Sri Lankan folk wisdom is miles ahead of these loony characters in their logic.

Article 8 of the Rome statute germane to war crimes reneged on landmines and nuclear weapons as these were the property of the Western Powers. On the ban on the use of weapons of mass destruction which are liable to cause mass suffering which are inherently indiscriminate, nuclear weapons are left out. They will be included only when they are comprehensively prohibited. Such is the Western logic. Even little Jonny will know that it is sheer nonsense. This shows the deviousness of international diplomacy, even according to Geoffrey Robertson, who spoke against Sri Lanka, I’m told. These Articles are confusing, inconsistent and even illogical. So Ms Pillai please stop worrying about the LTTE and Sri Lanka. Let both parties rest in peace.

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