US urges Sri Lanka to probe war crimes – ‘The boot is on the other foot’
Posted on October 25th, 2009

Dr.P.A.Samaraweera, Australia

The US in a document captioned “Reports to  Congress on incidents during the recent conflicts in Sri Lanka”, has urged Sri Lanka to probe allegations of war crimes committed by government troops and Tamil rebels during the final months of their conflict. According to the Report there are credible claims of atrocities by both sides.
Some of the allegations against the government are, senior rebel leaders who brokered a surrender were executed, government forces abducted and killed ethnic Tamil civilians, shelled and bombed no-fire-zones.
With regard to the surrender, even though the government gave the LTTE leaders the option to surrender during the last lap of the war, it was declined. Subsequently, there were talks of surrender to 3rd parties who are their allies etc. But all these stalled as the track record of the Tigers is well known.
Secondly, it was not the government forces which abducted and killed ethnic Tamil civilians but the LTTE who used them as a human shield and fired at them if they escaped. They forced the civilians to follow them from one end of Vanni to the other. The government policy was to give protection to the civilians and to rescue them and this finally ended up as the largest hostage rescue mission in world’s history.
Thirdly, there are accusations that the government shelled and bombed the no-fire-zone (NFZ). The NFZ was created for civilian safety but the LTTE created earth bunds and took cover in the NFZ., installed their heavy mortars and retaliated.
Then, with regard to the request by the Report for the Sri Lankan government to probe war crimes committed by the LTTE is flogging a dead horse. Because the senior cadres who were in the battle field are no more. The others obviously had been given shelter as asylum seekers in various countries. It is alleged that the remnants of the LTTE cadres are now moving as ‘boat-people’ seeking greener pastures.
The Report admits that, “…the data and information that were used to compile the Report was ‘unverifiable’ “. Further, the Report does not reach conclusions concerning whether the alleged incidents actually occurred. It refers to limitations and observes, “…the Report does not reach legal conclusions as to  whether the incidents described constitute violations of international law…” It also adds that there had been no testing and corroboration of evidence and it had difficulty in verifying the facts, data and information.
Ian Kelly, States Dept., Spokesman admits that the allegations are based on US Embassy reports, International Organisations, Foreign Media and NGO’s.
Therefore, the conclusion that third parties could make from the Report is that it is based on hearsay evidence, ambiguous information, data supplied by the LTTE Front etc. to undermine the governments effort to eradicate terrorism and to implicate the government in human rights abuses. With regard to war crimes and HR abuses the US should review their policies in Iraq and Afghanistan. So the boot is in the other foot.

One Response to “US urges Sri Lanka to probe war crimes – ‘The boot is on the other foot’”

  1. Ram2009 Says:

    The US from its very inception has more blood on its hands than any other nation, and is the last nation that should ask others about their conduct. But this it does, to avert the gaze of others from their own evil deeds. The UN should be looking into the criminality of the US and its proxy in the middle east, and not look to be part of this fraternity.

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