A Reply to Frances Harrison of the Huffington Post.
Posted on November 19th, 2012
In an article Ãƒ”šÃ‚ to Ãƒ”šÃ‚ the Huffington Post of the 16 November,2012 Frances Harrison asks, Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã…“ What if the UN Had Spoken Out on Sri Lanka ?Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã‚Ãƒ”šÃ‚ The article is to blame UN for suppressing the information it is supposed to have hadÃƒ”šÃ‚ about 50,000 casualties in a war off limit to journalists and asks Ãƒ”šÃ‚ if today the United Nations had informedÃƒ”šÃ‚ the receipt of such unconfirmed reportsÃƒ”šÃ‚ Ãƒ”šÃ‚ Ãƒ”šÃ‚ Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã‚ wouldnÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢t the world take notice of it ?Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã‚
What would have happened ?Ãƒ”šÃ‚ We know what happened in Libya . We have seen in LibyaÃƒ”šÃ‚ what happened when theÃƒ”šÃ‚ Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã…“worldÃƒ”šÃ‚ took noticeÃƒ”šÃ‚ and tried to stop the killings.Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã‚Ãƒ”šÃ‚ That taking notice ended up in what the NATO said Ãƒ”šÃ‚ the Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã…“ most successful operation Ãƒ”šÃ‚ in NATO History.Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã‚
Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã…“Writing back in September, Thomas C. Mountain, an independent journalist currently living in Africa who was a member of the 1st US Peace Delegation to Libya in 1987, estimated that NATO had dropped over 30,000 bombs on Libya, with an average of “two civilians killed in each attack.Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã‚ Thus, Mountain has estimated that some 60,000 Libyan civilians had been killed by NATO air strikes alone by the end of August. Ãƒ”šÃ‚ Shortly thereafter, when rebel forces began the siege of Sirte, Moussa Ibrahim, a spokesman for the now-deceased Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, told Reuters via telephone on September 19 that “in the last 17 days, more than 2,000 residents of the city of Sirte were killed in NATO air strikes.”Ãƒ”šÃ‚ As of today, some 26,000 NATO sorties and 9,600 strike missions have been conducted by NATO, with an average of four bombs used per attack.Ãƒ”šÃ‚ Ãƒ”šÃ‚ Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã…“Though it may never be known just how many died in Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã…“the most successful operation in NATO history,Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã‚ the alliance has shown little interest in rebuilding a nation that has in many ways been wrecked by its seven-month military campaign. Ãƒ”šÃ‚ Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã…“
According to Palestinian human rights activist Shawan Jabarin, Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã…“The military operation damaged everything in Libya, not just Gaddafi and his regime, but the society [as well].Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã‚
After some 8,000 bombing raids, with estimates of 4 bombs used per attack NATO has already dropped over 30,000 bombs on Libya. ThatÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s almost 200 bombs per day for 6 months, some tens of thousands of tons of high explosives. With an estimated 2 Libyans killed per bomb and without a single NATO casualty the Western regimes have massacred over 60,000 Libyans in the past half year with the rebels themselves having said there have been 50,000 Libyan deaths. One hell of a humanitarian intervention isnÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢t it? (http://www.counterpunch.org/2011/09/02/30000-bombs-over-libya/)
Frances Harrison that is how the Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã…“ world took noticeÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã‚ in Libya when a group of LibyansÃƒ”šÃ‚ in Benghazi manifested against the Colonel Gaddafi .Ãƒ”šÃ‚ It was not really the world but it was the Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã…“leaders of the powerful nationsÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã‚ that took notice of it and went all out to not only assassinate Colonel Gaddafi but also kill large numbers of civilians including women and children.Ãƒ”šÃ‚ After that NATOÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s most successful bombardments in its history what remained of Libyan cities and villagers were rubble of buildings, and houses where once people lived.
Ãƒ”šÃ‚ It would have been exactly what would have happened to Sri Lanka Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã…“if the world took noticeÃƒ”šÃ‚ and tried to stop the killings.Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã‚ The UN Secretary General having had experience of knowing how the West reacts to such notification may have deliberately suppressed the information without allowing the Western Nations to send its NATO Forces to turn Sri Lanka into rubble with civilian deaths put off as Ãƒ”šÃ‚ collateral damage.
Ãƒ”šÃ‚ There would not have been the Human Rights watch , the Amnesty international, International Crisis Group and the UNHRC that would have got involved to interveneÃƒ”šÃ‚ but just the Ãƒ”šÃ‚ NATO bombardments.Ãƒ”šÃ‚ Frances Harrison aught to be naÃƒÆ’Ã‚¯f , not to understand that eventuality.
Ãƒ”šÃ‚ Frances Harrison , Ãƒ”šÃ‚ today UNO is just a label, there are other Organisations andÃƒ”šÃ‚ Agencies that have usurped Ãƒ”šÃ‚ the original UNO.Ãƒ”šÃ‚ What remains is an empty shell just bearing its name.Ãƒ”šÃ‚ After the Ãƒ”šÃ‚ Swedish Secretary General of Ãƒ”šÃ‚ UNO Dag Hammarskjold, the next European who held the position wasÃƒ”šÃ‚ Austrian Kurt Waldheim, and after him no Western man has Ãƒ”šÃ‚ headed the UNO.
Ãƒ”šÃ‚ Since then the Western countries were disrespectful to the UNO, and gradually it lost its importance as an International Organisation to keep war at bay, making it a forum for the dissenting nations to meet and settle their disputes in dialogue rather than resorting to war.Ãƒ”šÃ‚ George Bush just walked over the UNO and declared war against Iraq waving Ãƒ”šÃ‚ tampered documents claiming Iraq has stock piles of Ãƒ”šÃ‚ weapons of mass destruction.Ãƒ”šÃ‚ In like fashion France, USA, UK and their allies gave false assertion of surveying the airspace over Libya and got the NATO Forces to Bomb Libya.
Ãƒ”šÃ‚ Frances Harrison has not written anything about Syria.Ãƒ”šÃ‚ Syrian war continues because the western countries arm the rebels against the Armies of Al Asad like they did in Libya. Fortunately Sri Lanka escaped such a dire end. The West including people like Frances HarrisonÃƒ”šÃ‚ regret that lost opportunity to get the NATO to bombard Sri Lanka and arm the Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã…“rebels under PrabhakaranÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã‚ against the Government.
Ãƒ”šÃ‚ For Frances Harrison it is the question of Ãƒ”šÃ‚ a leaked document which had been suppressed by the Secretary General Ban Ki Moon. One wonders how many such leaked documents there would be in future.Ãƒ”šÃ‚ Ãƒ”šÃ‚ It is really another farce that isÃƒ”šÃ‚ being enacted by the West.Ãƒ”šÃ‚ There had been no leaked documents, but these are Ãƒ”šÃ‚ reports and information brought out from time to Ãƒ”šÃ‚ time to discredit a Sovereign State Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“Sri Lanka which is doing far Ãƒ”šÃ‚ better than theÃƒ”šÃ‚ expectation of the West.
Ãƒ”šÃ‚ At the moment West isÃƒ”šÃ‚ facing a serious political and economicÃƒ”šÃ‚ crisis.Ãƒ”šÃ‚ There greatest fear is the Asian countriesÃƒ”šÃ‚ piercing through difficult technological and financial barriers to take over the control of the world economy.Ãƒ”šÃ‚ Ãƒ”šÃ‚ USA has its part ofÃƒ”šÃ‚ the unsurmountable difficulties, yet the newly elected President Barrack Obama makes a voyage to Burma of all places.Ãƒ”šÃ‚ Why not to France which has changed its conservative regime to a Socialist Regime ?
Ãƒ”šÃ‚ President Obama chooses Burma to spread American influence in an area of the world where China is becoming a super power.Ãƒ”šÃ‚ America by its hopeful influence in Burma is trying to avert ChinaÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s influence in North Korea, which America continues to threaten along with Iran for their Ãƒ”šÃ‚ nuclear intentions.
Ãƒ”šÃ‚ Therefore it is understandable that Frances Harrison is Ãƒ”šÃ‚ made a mere pawn in the hands of the Western big powers to stop Sri Lanka getting further involved with China, allowing China to make use of its politically strategic position. The west is involved in a power game discrediting Sri Lanka and help any dissenting groups like the TNA andÃƒ”šÃ‚ anti Sri Lanka pro-terrorist Tamil Diaspora to BalkanizeÃƒ”šÃ‚ Sri Lanka.Ãƒ”šÃ‚ Having had lost the opportunity they had to break up Sri Lanka at the last phase of itsÃƒ”šÃ‚ military operations against the terrorists, the countries Frances Harrison represent now come out with Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã…“leakedÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã‚ documents and numbers killed by the armed forces at the crucial phase of its war against terroristsÃƒ”šÃ‚ gradually increased from 7000 to 40 or 50000.
Frances Harrison is getting depressive haunted by the thoughts ofÃƒ”šÃ‚ what may have happened at the end phase of Sri Lanka war againstÃƒ”šÃ‚ terrorists. Harrison says, Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã…“The document cites the UN’s role in Rwanda, saying some lessons there were not learned and proved relevant to Sri Lanka. Let’s hope they’re learned for Syria, but as the author of a book of survivors’ stories from that war in Sri Lanka I am haunted by the thought of what might have been there.Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã‚
Frances Harrison refers to Charles PetrieÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s document andÃƒ”šÃ‚ very sadly remarks, Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã…“Petrie’s report meticulously documents how senior UN officials continuously tried to blame the Tamil Tiger rebels – a proscribed terrorist group – for the killings even while their own international staff told them the Sri Lankan government was responsible for the majority of deaths. It was a bias that has slanted all coverage of the conflict since because it came from such an influential and reliable source – the UN no less. Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã‚
Whatever Charlesd Petrie had saidÃƒ”šÃ‚ UN is making constant errors without having an agenda of its own but serving the agenda of those powerful Western Countries.Ãƒ”šÃ‚ There are no reliable reports about Sri LankaÃƒ”šÃ‚ Ãƒ”šÃ‚ from whatever western agencies, journalists or foreignÃƒ”šÃ‚ political analysts , not to speak ofÃƒ”šÃ‚ the squeaking of theÃƒ”šÃ‚ BBC, Ãƒ”šÃ‚ the UK Channel 4 and the likes.Ãƒ”šÃ‚
Ãƒ”šÃ‚ I cannot understand Frances Harrison who is supposed to have written a book of survivors’ stories from that war in Sri Lanka,( apparently there areÃƒ”šÃ‚ many who profit from the situation in Sri Lanka to make money writing books for gullible western readers) has not read the report of theÃƒ”šÃ‚ Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission on its Ãƒ”šÃ‚ records of the breaches of the CFA by the terrorists and the Government, an excerpt from Ãƒ”šÃ‚ which reads:Ãƒ”šÃ‚ Ãƒ”šÃ‚ Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã…“ In total 13,026 complaints were filed, most of them in Batticaloa (3815, 29%) and Jaffna (3219, 25%). The vast majority (92%) of the violations were committed by the LTTE Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã‚¦.Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã‚
Ãƒ”šÃ‚ The Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission wasÃƒ”šÃ‚ a European Group, and they reported from what they had verified and monitored that the majority of the violations against the CFA were committed by the terrorists.Ãƒ”šÃ‚ Ãƒ”šÃ‚ How can then those Ãƒ”šÃ‚ who had no access to the ground situation Ãƒ”šÃ‚ Ãƒ”šÃ‚ say, even if they were senior UN Officials that , Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã…“the Sri Lankan government was responsible for the majority of deaths.Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã‚Ãƒ”šÃ‚
Ãƒ”šÃ‚ In the final stages of the military operations against the terrorists no body could have been counting deaths though Frances Harrison faults the UN officials . There was an exodus of Tamil Civilians held asÃƒ”šÃ‚ human shields by the terrorists Ãƒ”šÃ‚ Ãƒ”šÃ‚ Ãƒ”šÃ‚ seekingÃƒ”šÃ‚ the safety amoung the Government Military Forces.Ãƒ”šÃ‚
Ãƒ”šÃ‚ Can Frances Harrison understand the dimension of the situation that existed in that no fire zone ?Ãƒ”šÃ‚ Why cannotÃƒ”šÃ‚ Harrison give a modicum Ãƒ”šÃ‚ of Ãƒ”šÃ‚ his thoughts to the extreme human kindness of the Armed Forces taking 300000 Tamil Civilians to safetyÃƒ”šÃ‚ risking their own lives ? Would theÃƒ”šÃ‚ soldiersÃƒ”šÃ‚ who helped the escapees from the terrorists seeking their protection turn round to shoot at them ?
Ãƒ”šÃ‚ Frances Harrison any human being has two mental aspects one that appreciates, andÃƒ”šÃ‚ the other that condemns.Ãƒ”šÃ‚ What one observes in these Western do gooders isÃƒ”šÃ‚ their weeping for theÃƒ”šÃ‚ unknown dead, without turning to understand the living. They readily condemn, but are Ãƒ”šÃ‚ slow to give credit.Ãƒ”šÃ‚ Ãƒ”šÃ‚ Ãƒ”šÃ‚ If one can look at the problem without getting personally involved then one Ãƒ”šÃ‚ will realise that there are the inevitable that mayÃƒ”šÃ‚ happen in warÃƒ”šÃ‚ for which the one that fights toÃƒ”šÃ‚ destroy the evil cannot be blamed . Ãƒ”šÃ‚ For terrorism was the evil that, massacred, killed, and maimed a nationÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s cherished people, men and women of valour.
Ãƒ”šÃ‚ Frances Harrison there are many who try to put the Sri Lanka terrorists and the Government Forces on the same footing. This is aÃƒ”šÃ‚ most disgusting way of evaluating Ãƒ”šÃ‚ perpetrators of crime, and those who try to stop its perpetration.
Ãƒ”šÃ‚ Would you put Al Qaeda who blew up the twin towers killing more than 3000 Americans and the AmericanÃƒ”šÃ‚ Navy Seals who killed the unarmed Osma Bin Laden on the same footing ?Ãƒ”šÃ‚
Ãƒ”šÃ‚ Of course you would notÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã‚¦ so why do you write accusingly of Ãƒ”šÃ‚ Ban Ki MoonÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s Chef of the cabinet Mr. Vijay Nambiar an intelligentÃƒ”šÃ‚ man imploring Navy Pillai to tone down and dilute her statementÃƒ”šÃ‚ ? You say Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã…“He even complained that her statement put the Tamil Tiger rebels and the government on the same footing.Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã‚
Ãƒ”šÃ‚ Frances Harrison, Ãƒ”šÃ‚ many are the people who have come forward to accuse Sri LankaÃƒ”šÃ‚ after the elimination of the cancer of terrorism that ate into the fabric of the Sri Lankan Society for three decades .Ãƒ”šÃ‚ They never came forward before either to sympathise with the government and the people of Sri Lanka, nor to give a hand in its attempt to rid itself of terrorism.Ãƒ”šÃ‚
Ãƒ”šÃ‚ Why do you now after three years come round to look for numbers dead, while the living are seeking Ãƒ”šÃ‚ to get over the shock of going that long period of suffering to settle down to reconcile with the communities and march together towards progressive development of Sri Lanka ?
Perhaps Frances HarrisonÃƒ”šÃ‚ does not know Ãƒ”šÃ‚ how many innocent civilians have been killed by the very nations he represent through out the period of colonisation from Peru to Africa, Vietnam to India, Latin America to Middle East ?Ãƒ”šÃ‚ What are the numbers Ãƒ”šÃ‚ the Western countries you represent killed in Vietnam, in Japan , in China, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Libya ?
Ãƒ”šÃ‚ Frances Harrison you do not represent a saintly crowd of Western countries ?Ãƒ”šÃ‚ They are and they have been more devilish, ruthless killers, murderers, and assassins ?
Ãƒ”šÃ‚ The war against terrorists in Sri Lanka was a rightful war against a group of terrorists sprung from amoung the people, and fought within the boundaries of Sri Lanka. It was a clean war .Ãƒ”šÃ‚ It is the West representedÃƒ”šÃ‚ by you who are used to unclean wars , who try to make our war against our terrorist Ãƒ”šÃ‚ seem unclean.
Ãƒ”šÃ‚ If there were to be terrorism again in Sri Lanka we will eliminate them the same way we eliminated the LTTE terrorists, and will not allow any one of the countries you represent to interfere asking us to set up monitoring offices.
Ãƒ”šÃ‚ Frances Harrison, you have worked for the BBC, Amnesty International , but these institutions have no love, they have no sense of justice and fair play. They get reporters to write what they are paid to report .Ãƒ”šÃ‚ They are reporters without feelings without Ãƒ”šÃ‚ hearts.Ãƒ”šÃ‚ Each country has its own Ãƒ”šÃ‚ cultural values that makes one Ãƒ”šÃ‚ nation different from another.Ãƒ”šÃ‚ It is only one who knows and understands anotherÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢sÃƒ”šÃ‚ culture, that can evaluate the reasons of its actions.Ãƒ”šÃ‚ The rest are mere spectators trying to understand others from oneÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s own cultural make up, which is different from that of the other.