“UN failed Sri Lanka” – Leaked UN Report
Posted on November 13th, 2012
Asada M Erpini
A UN internal report, which the readers are expected to accept as “leaked”, states, “Events in Sri Lanka mark a grave failure of the UN”, as quoted by the local media on 13 November. None could state facts more succinctly or clearly than that: the UN, or the United Nations, is not united and is a mere appendage of the rich and the powerful, led by the US and which is at the beck and call of the US doing what the sole superpower of the world commands. The surprising thing is if the UN, except for institutions such as WHO or UNICEF, ever succeeds in its goals and avowed aspirations.
The report quoted in the local media is ascribed to BBC. It is not surprising at all to see the BBC correspondent stating, “an earlier UN investigation said it was possible up to 40,000 people had been killed in the final five months”.
What the UN said in 2009 was that it estimated the number killed in the final stages of the war to be approximately 7000, but since the figures could not be verified, the data were not released. Gordon Weiss, an employee of the UN at its office in Colombo at the time, gave a figure of 20,000 dead, and after his services with the UN ceased and on arriving in his native Australia, the figure ballooned to 40,000 (Incidentally, The Cage, a book written by Weiss on the conflict in Sri Lanka appeared not a long time after that!)
Many people have no faith in a number of organisations that come within the UN. Being impartial appears to be an aspect that these institutions do not value. There is a High Commissioner for Human Rights, originating from South Africa, who sees Sri Lanka as the only human rights violator on planet earth: what the US did and continues to do in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya and Syria in endeavouring to ‘bring in democracy’ to non-Caucasian natives who have ‘not yet been civilized’ is no concern of hers. Another woman, sadly from Sri Lanka, who is entrusted with overseeing the protection of children, did not see the LTTE forcibly recruiting children to be used as cannon fodder against the Sri Lankan armed forces that went on for decades, but has now woken up from her slumber to point a finger at the Sri Lanka government for not doing what is needed for the welfare of children.
The BBC report goes on to say that the Tamil civilians were exploited by both sides (LTTE and the Sri Lanka government). The whole world saw how the near 300,000 Tamils who had been herded by the LTTE escaped to the armed forces of Sri Lanka when the soldiers breeched the barricades and the embankments. All that the Western media, the NGOs and the LTTE sympathisers saw was indiscriminate shelling of civilians. The truth of the matter is that there was no indiscriminate shelling; the LTTE had planted their heavy weaponry in the No-Fire zones that the government had declared, and, in the pursuit of minimising civilian casualties, the armed forces lost over 6000 men and women in uniform in the final stages of the war.
It is time that the media people who rush to quote UN figures cite the numbers that the UN had actually mentioned at the time – 7000, but not verifiable. LTTE remnants, LTTE sympathisers and many NGOs will continue with figures of 20,000, 40,000, 100,000 or even 200,000 Tamil civilians ‘massacred’ by the Sri Lankan armed forces, as they stand to gain by depicting Sri Lanka as country of Tamil killers!