Accusations of war crimes and demands for accountability in the final stages of the liberation war in Sri Lanka
Posted on February 9th, 2012

Asada M Erpini

The valiant armed forces of Sri Lanka decimated the armed wing of the “ƒ”¹…”invincible’ LTTE, delivering the knockout punch to the “ƒ”¹…”Sun God’ and his top lieutenants who were trapped in the marshes of Nandikadal in May 2009. The country has enjoyed an explosion-free period of peace since, and people living in any region of the country move about attending to their daily chores and business with no fear of running the risk of being blown to smithereens by bombs. The happiest among them must be those residing in the Northern Province: the eye witness accounts depicted in “Ruthless”, the video just released by the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development, are ample evidence of the relief of the parents and the youth who now do not get pushed from one village to another or are not forced to fight a war against their wishes.

 The governments of the US, Canada and Australia, with their vociferous anti-Sri Lanka ministers and the human rights groups led by Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the International Crisis Group, have many countries other than Sri Lanka to choose as targets for their action, if they are really concerned about human rights. The US, of all countries, living in its glass house, should look at its own performance as regards human rights violations, before it thinks it has any moral right to throw stones at Sri Lanka. While the US sent its armed forces to Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya, ostensibly to bring democracy to the “ƒ”¹…”primitives’, in the process killing hundreds of thousands of unarmed combatants and civilians, all that Sri Lanka did was to wage a war, within its own territorial boundaries, against a ruthless brigand of terrorists who massacred civilians and destroyed the infrastructure for nearly three decades. If one were to assess the before and after situations with respect to military intervention, Sri Lanka is miles ahead of the US in both the approach adopted as well as the outcome realised. In fact, this obviously is the issue that bugs the mighty US: puny Sri Lanka annihilated the LTTE, labelled the invincible, by military means, with almost no help from the West “”…” nay, in spite of the roadblocks “”…” whereas the US and its allies are stuck in a quagmire worse than Pirabhaharan’s Nandikadal or have been forced to retreat with their tail between the legs.

 The more important issue is, “What is so sacrosanct about the final stages of the war?” The LTTE has been massacring hundreds of the innocents in numerous bomb blasts and attacks on civilians that spanned nearly three decades. Demands for accountability are reasonable but why should they be restricted to the last stages of the war? The number killed by the LTTE “”…” Sinhalese, Moors and Tamils – far exceeds those who perished, if one were to use the term popularised by the US “”…” as collateral damage.

 If the human rights propagandists and their financial backers are really concerned about Sri Lanka, they should visit the country today and talk to the average civilian. Tamils who emigrated to Canada or Australia, citing persecution in Sri Lanka, are not the best source of authentic information. The UK-based woman MIA who now is a big name in the pop music world and sheds buckets of tears for the suffering of the children of her people, but who left the shores of the island when she was just five years old, is certainly not among those who could give information that is worth a tuppence.

 

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