Mr Zafiri, US and War Crimes
Posted on January 20th, 2011

Dr Bandula Kothalawala

According to a press release from Amnesty International, Mr Sam Zarifi, AI Asia-Pacific Director, is of the firm view that “the United States has an obligation under international law to investigate and prosecute people who perpetrated war crimes..”!

Strangely enough, Mr Zafiri, has failed to specify the particular instrument in international law which devolves this rather onerous duty on the United States. Nor does he refer to or quote the relevant international jurisprudence. Moreover, there is no indication as to whether Mr Zafiri has already discussed this role with the US authorities, for this would confer an additional function on a country already credited with a condign unsavoury reputation for its conduct as gendarme on the international scene. Presumably, Mr Zafiri, now, wants the US to act as judge and, perhaps, as jury, as well.  

Curiously, Mr Zafari, has made no press release, requesting the US Administration to investigate Mr Hu Jintao, Chinese President, who, too, finds himself on US soil right now for alleged violations of human rights on the Tianamen Square in 1989 or in Tibet. I wonder whether this is an oversight which Mr Zafiri might want to rectify before Mr Jintao’s departure. Nevertheless, I can’t recall Mr Zafiri calling on the US Government to investigate other visiting heads of state accused of war crimes – Mr Tony Blair, for instance. Mr Zariri is, indeed, very selective in his choices! And Mr Zafini’s organization seems to have a weakness for the weak and meek in the world!

Apparently, Mr Zafiri is not concerned that the US has not yet signed up to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. In other words, Mr Zafiri wants a country which has steadfastly refused to be part of an international judicial process to investigate war crimes, fearing that it would end up in the dock one day, to investigate war crimes allegedly committed by some other country! In this day and age of doom and gloom, one should be grateful to buffoons like Mr Zafiri for providing us with some light, though, insipid, entertainment.  

 Mr Zafiri is meticulous in substantiating his allegations, for he quotes the US Ambassador in Colombo in one of her infamous diplomatic cables. “In December Wikileaks exposed a secret United States Embassy cable sent by Ambassador Patricia Butenis from Colombo in which she noted the difficulty of bringing perpetrators of alleged crimes to justice when “responsibility for many of the alleged crimes rests with the country’s senior civilian and military leadership, including President Rajapaksa and his brothers ….”, (AI Press Release, 19/01/2011). Mr Zafiri has no hesitation in making use of the leaked cables as argument or evidence, despite the fact that the US Secretary of State has made it clear that they are “our diplomats’ personal assessments and observations”, (Press Release, US State Department, 29/11/2010)

Surely, human rights barons of Mr Zafiri’s ilk still find it hard to resist the temptation to lick an occasional meatless bone thrown at them by the rump of the LTTE.

Dr Bandula Kothalawala

6 Responses to “Mr Zafiri, US and War Crimes”

  1. S de Silva Says:

    Thank you for the well deserved thrashing of Amnesty International. Hypocrites like AI have to be repeatedly hammered exactly like you have done until you drive their living s**t daily out of them. These are the guys who have given legitimacy to the LTTE on the World stage probably as return for handsome payment from the endless LTTE funds extorted out of other Tamils and a catalogue of illegal activities!! – S de Silva – London

  2. A. Sooriarachi Says:

    What is surprising is that AI’s partners such as the HRW, ICJ and R2P, who are now in the habit of ganging up on weak nations not in the US/EU/UK orbit, have NOT yet come out with similar unsubstantiated demands.

    The question one may now ask is whether the failure on the part of AI, HRW, ICJ & R2P to condemn the terrorists instead of the Govt. make them also answerable for the unintended encouragement to terrorists to prolong the conflict for over 30 years resulting in enormous economic damage and the death of over 100,000 SriLankans comprising innocent civilians + terrorists + security forces personnel?

    Also are these organisations still trying to whitewash the crimes committed by the terrorists in order to protect the overseas domiciled LTTE supporters, by continually pointing the finger at the Govt and armed forces, which should in fact be highly commended for rescuing over 300,000 Tamil hostages from the LTTE and for restoring the human right of all SriLankans to live and travel without being terrorised with suicide bombers, car bombs or genocide of non-tamils in LTTE controlled & claimed areas.

    As a deterrent against terrorism all over the world, I REQUEST AI, HRW and other groups to campaign for the prosecution of individuals and organisations responsible for funding and supporting terrorist and criminal activities, rather than target only security forces of a country?

  3. Siri Says:

    Very good article Dr Bandula Kothalawala. I wonder whether you can look into the possibility of Sri Lankans suing AI, HRW, ICJ & R2P and similar organizations for supporting and being funded by LTTE Terrorists. For a start Sri Lanka should look into arresting and charging these Terrorist supporters for the civilian deaths for which they bear part of the blame in aiding and abetting the Terrorists. If foreign Nationals are involved they should be deported and their offices closed down. If we play by their rules we can lock them up on suspicion on similarly flimsy evidence that will not hold up in any Sri Lankan court and maybe detain them indefinitely under the emergency law like in the US.

  4. Susantha Wijesinghe Says:

    THE SENTENTIOUS AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL HORSE FLY, SHOULD BE KICKED OUT OF SRI LANKA, PERIOD. I have suggested this in my article, “”AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL, THE HORSE FLY. “”

  5. aravinda Says:

    Mr.Zafiri may be referring to butchery of one million people in Iraq. We may very soon see an investigation in to conduct of USA and UK. I was just joking….it is obvious Mr.Zafiri is not going to worry about those hundreds of thousands of murders committed in IRAQ by invading armies….

  6. lal Says:

    Zafiri lives in cuckooland to think that US ought to take the moral high ground and prosecute persons for crimes they themselves have committed everywhere. Killing hundreds of thousands in Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afganistan with US presidential backing and judge others for alleged crimes? He has to make a few noises here and there to compete for funds with HRW, and other NGO bodies within the expanding human rights industry. Will AI ask Blair and Bush to be prosecuted for the killings in Iraq? If not why not?

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