An exercise in inducing amnesia – Australia’s Human Rights Law Centre teams up with LTTE rump to ignore decades of atrocities and bash Sri Lanka on alleged war crimes and human rights
Posted on March 14th, 2013

By George Rupesinghe

 The Human Rights Law Centre, based in Melbourne, has fallen prey to the LTTE rump in Australia. On March 7 and 8, at two events in Melbourne and Sydney, they staged an exercise in Sri Lanka bashing with the help of an alleged card-carrying member of the LTTE youth wing, Parimala Nathan Sampavi alias Sham alias Sam Pari, now wearing the lily-white robes of a human rights campaigner, aided by two scribes, Gordon Weiss and Frances Harrison, who have latched on to a lucrative business of sniffing bones and counting carcasses in fanciful numbers at the end of the bloody conflict in Sri Lanka. Joining them was Bruce Haigh, former diplomat and now columnist specialisiing in writing columns critical of Sri Lanka. 

 Weiss, who was scheduled to appear only in Melbourne, came to Sydney as well, ostensibly to bolster the panel and leave little time for questions and avoid the “chaotic” situation that prevailed at the Melbourne meeting. The Sydney venue was changed at the eleventh hour to the Sofitel Wentworth Hotel owing to “security reasons.”

 Despite strong protests against the one-sided nature of the panel when the event was announced, the HRLC was not moved to adopt an even-handed approach and change the composition of the panel. 

 HRLC executive director Hugh de Kretser, welcoming those attending (comprising over 99 per cent of obvious LTTE sympathisers and supporters) said that an invitation to the Sri Lanka High Commissioner to attend was declined. An interjector reminded him that the High Commissioner was invited only at the last minute but had to go to Sri Lanka and had nominated two others to serve on the panel, a fact that de Kretser disingenuously avoided mentioning despite a similar reminder in Melbourne the previous day.

 Mark Davis of SBS TV’s Dateline program and moderator of the event, then outlined the parameters of the discussion: the closing stages of the war only and the role of the Sri Lanka forces in civilian deaths; the human rights situation in Sri Lanka and the reasons why asylum seekers from Sri Lanka are flooding Australia’s shores.

 The tactic of ignoring the thirty years of bloody conflict strewn with suicide bombings and other atrocities is an amnesia tablet the LTTE rump is slowly and cleverly foisting on the international community through paid propagandists and NGOs with vested interests.

 The audience was then served with the same worn out stories of the horror of innocent civilians caught up in the closing stages of the conflict, the lack of rights for Tamils, the hardships they are enduring and hence their desperate attempts to flee to Australia, Canada, the US and Britain.

 To an informed listener, what the panel did not say was more significant and revealing than what was actually said, confirming  that the event was a transparent stage-managed exercise. 

 Weiss, serving as a UN official in Sri Lanka at the time, made big light of the people trapped in the crossfire of the war in 2009. Asked about the UN’s role in Sri Lanka at the time, he replied it was humanitarian. 

He avoided any mention that the UN did absolutely nothing when thousands of people were being forcibly removed from one side of the country to the other by the LTTE, deliberately put in harm’s way and used as human shields in the heavy fighting zones. 

He made a big play of saying the UN was “finally successful” in getting food supplies to the trapped thousands without any acknowledgement or admission that for the entire duration of the conflict the Sri Lanka Government ensured regular food supplies to the war zone even though it knew most of it would be commandeered by the LTTE. 

He also failed to acknowledge that the Government provided over a million meals a day, breakfast lunch and dinner, to the tens of thousands in the camps pending their resettlement after the war.

When asked why there was no condemnation of Sri Lanka when thousands of Sinhalese were killed in insurgent uprisings in Sri Lanka in the 1970s, Weiss replied that the present protocols were not there at the time.

Again, there was nothing about applying such protocols in Iraq and Afghanistan, despite Paul Wolfowitz shrugging off civilian deaths as “collateral damage” and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s firm statement that the US was not prepared to fight wars with one hand tied behind its back.

 Sam Pari repeated the usual LTTE spiel about the plight of Tamils in Sri Lanka, their lack of rights and how the “traditional Tamil areas” of Sri Lanka were being Sinhalised. Amparai, for instance was a predominantly Tamil area but now there are hardly any Tamils there. She failed to specify what precise rights Tamils did not have that are enjoyed by everyone else in Sri Lanka.

 The fact that tens of thousands of Muslims were forcibly ejected from the country’s east by the LTTE to keep that area ethnically pure was another fact she cleverly concealed.

 An interjector reminded Pari that demographic changes are evident in lots of places in Sri Lanka. Parts of Colombo are predominantly Tamil and that such demographic movements are quite commonplace in lots of countries. In the USA today the demographic landscape has changed to the point where the traditional Anglo-Saxon population is in a minority and now other ethnic groups combined are in the majority.

Davis questioned Pari on the continued presence of the military in north and east areas and suggested it was quite proper that soon after a conflict adequate security precautions are needed. “Eternal vigilance,” a voice interrupted.

 Frances Harrison echoed the old refrain about uncounted bodies and went to the length of describing it as “the greatest crime against humanity in the 21st century.” She carefully avoiding any comparison of the stark figures of the 2003 Iraq invasion and the fact that the Americans prohibited hospitals releasing the numbers of civilian dead.

There were confusing statements of the complications of achieving a surrender and allegations that despite waving white flags the LTTE were shot at by the forces.  

 Asked why she did not use her investigative skills to ferret out Adele Balasingham, the child recruiter who personally put string necklaces with cyanide pills round the necks of her charges, Harrison countered that Adele was in London. The bigger child recruiter was Karuna, she said, and now he was serving in the government. 

Sri Lanka’s political strategy of engaging the enemy was plainly beyond her thinking.

 Bruce Haigh explained that the 9/11 attacks by al-Qaeda on the US changed the dynamics of how the US and the world viewed the actions of terrorist groups. He then went into the 1930s  when Bracegirdle, an Australian, worked as a creeper in a tea plantation. “The lowest job for a white man,” said Haigh. He was quickly reminded that tea plantation Tamils are not the same as Sri Lanka Tamils and before being advised that these were people brought from India by the British to work in British plantations, he was cut off by the moderator. 

Haigh then went into modern mode saying that UN intervention in Sri Lanka was a solution. One person in the audience welcomed this idea and suggested that a wide-ranging inquiry from the very inception of the war would reveal all facets of the truth. 

Sri Lanka was bankrupt, said Haigh. The government is corrupt and people from every walk of life were dissatisfied with the government. Again an interjector asked him how many people were dissatisfied with the Australian Government right now.

 On the question of asylum seekers, no one gave credible reasons why those Tamils claiming persecution would pay thousands of dollars for a perilous boat trip to Australia when they could go some 30 kilometres across to South India, the source of their shared linguistic and cultural traditions. 

Haigh was asked why, if persecution is so rife, are Tamils from India begging to come to Sri Lanka to harvest the bumper rice crop owing to the shortage of labour in some areas?

 The representative of the Australian Tamil Congress, who admitted two days before to Foreign Affairs Minister Bob Carr that most of the asylum seekers were economic refugees, refused to confirm that fact when requested. She was reminded that an Immigration official, David Walsh, told her that all asylum seekers are assessed individually, not in groups. 

She, instead, side-stepped to explain that despite Pari’s record as an alleged terrorist she is still the preferred spokesperson for the Congress. 

One can then infer that terrorism is still part and parcel of the ATC agenda, despite their see-through human rights clothing.

 The technique of limiting the time for audience discussion and participation succeeded to some extent. At 8.30 Davis called an end to the proceedings.

 Several persons, approached de Kretser and voiced their displeasure at the composition of the panel. They included a few persons who identified themselves as Tamils.

De Kretser said those nominated by the High Commissioner did not represent any organisation. An odd criteria that did not apply to three members of the constituted panel.

 So why was such an anti-Sri Lanka event staged, for what purpose and what did it set out to achieve?

 Ben Schokman of the HRLC said in response to an inquiry, “We only work on issues in Australian law and so don’t do any work on human rights issues in Iraq, Afghanistan or Palestine.” 

Isn’t that a strange statement? Is the HRLC blind or ignorant of Australia’s direct involvement in the Iraq invasion and the spilling of Australian blood there? Aren’t Iraqis seeking asylum in Australia?

 If the event was intended to showcase human rights and other alleged abuses in Sri Lanka what traction did it get in an audience composed of mainly of Sri Lankan Tamils? Was it a show for the loyal faithful? To demonstrate how their war taxes are now being used to get propagandists to do their dirty work?

 Was the HRLC piper paid to play the LTTE tune? The HRLC’s Tom Clarke was specific. “The HRLC has not received or been promised funds by any Tamil organisation for hosting this event,” he said. “The HRLC does not have a stance on the conflict and never has.”

Why then was it such so difficult to have an even-handed panel discussion on all aspects of the issues? Doesn’t it smack of sinister motives on the part of the HRLC when persons nominated by the Sri Lanka High Commissioner were ignored?

 If the HRLC “does not have a stance on the conflict and never has,” why is it beyond its resources and research skills to access the vast amount of documents readily available and glean the required information? 

 Why then did de Kretser release a statement on 8 March asking the Australian Government to support calls to relocate the CHOGM this November?

 Why was it difficult for an HRLC team to go to Sri Lanka and gain a first-hand impression of what is actually happening three years after the conflict?

 Isn’t it apparent that the HRLC is embarking on the bandwagon of Sri Lanka bashing and giving oxygen and encouragement to a terrorist group hell bent on re-igniting the flames of discord and division to derail the palpable peace now prevailing in Sri Lanka? 

 But then peace is bad news for some NGOs and sections of the media that thrive on conflict and controversy. They prefer to swallow the amnesia tablet to justify their existence. 



18 Responses to “An exercise in inducing amnesia – Australia’s Human Rights Law Centre teams up with LTTE rump to ignore decades of atrocities and bash Sri Lanka on alleged war crimes and human rights”

  1. Lorenzo Says:

    If everything the LTTE RUMP alleges on SL were TRUE, it calls for celebration.

  2. Sarath W Says:

    Sri Lankan government should give boats to these ungrateful parasites to come to Australia and help them to create their Eelam in some part of Australia.

    Did any one question those dumb LTTE spokesmen in the panel about the rights of the aborigines in Australia?

  3. Voice123 Says:

    “Sri Lankan government should give boats to these ungrateful parasites to come to Australia and help them to create their Eelam in some part of Australia.”

    Sarath W, dont even say this in jest. They are FAR more dangerous outside Sri Lanka, so long as Sri Lanka has such a comparatively low per capita income. Of course they arent going to ask for separation in Oz, they will be crushed like bush flies. However India will try and exercise all sorts of infuence. Thats a different story.

    Ill bet “Shockman, de Kretser ??? …” are Ceylon Burghers from the 50 Club. (some fanatical Burghers who formed a club to say they were proud to be accepted into Australia under the height of the racist White Australia Policy. Hence their obsession with race. There was another ex Sri Lankan called David de Vos, I believe who worked as a tv announcer and spread a lot of pro LTTE lies in 1983.

  4. Lorenzo Says:

    “Sri Lankan government should give boats to these ungrateful parasites to come to Australia and help them to create their Eelam in some part of Australia.”


    This is what SL should do. GET RID of them.

    Imagine 1,000 Tamils leave SL. They will be men. They will marry 1,000 Tamil women from SL. Then they will bring 2,000 of their brothers and sisters and they will marry 2,000 other Tamilians from SL. That is 6,000 ungrateful parasites OUT of SL. The story does not end there.

    They GROW at a HUGE rat rate. If Their annual population growth rate is 2%, in 26 years they would be 10,041.

    SL will be 10,041 parasites less.

    With every asylum seeker leaving SL, it increases the IQ of BOTH SL and Australia!!

  5. Lorenzo Says:

    Ultimately this war will be WON NOT by propaganda FARTS but by DEMOGRAPHIC WINNERS in SL.

    Don’t forget not all asylum seekers leaving SL reach land SAFELY. There is HUGE potential in this space.

  6. Voice123 Says:

    Lorenzo, your theory is flawed because:

    More assylum seekers means more money into LTTE coffers and more propoganda and more votes for Western stooges.
    Demographic change wont work if after the Northeast is balanced, the UN then sends American and Indian troops to forcibly partition Sri Lanka abd install the TGTE in power. Your demographic advantage will be “sent packing” at gunpoint straight to the South! This has already happened in countries like Cyprus.

    Sinhalese should already be making plans of how to respond in the event of externally imposed partition.

  7. Voice123 Says:

    Besides any demographic advantage by outflow from SL will be more than offset by inflow from Tamil Nadu into SL. These demons have all their bases covered!

  8. Lorenzo Says:



    Only a VERY FEW of them ever care about the LTTE after they go abroad.

    The FEW terrorists are EDUCATED Tamils not boat people.

    Look at ALL the TGTE terrorists, GTF, BTF terrorists and ALL the terrorists arrested abroad. ALL are educated Tamils!!

    Now your tiger stripes are showing.

    SL has the demographic advantage of Sinhalese ALREADY!! SL has to INCREASE it further at the DETRIMENT of Tamils.

    The MORE Tamils leave SL, the EASIER it is WIN the demographic war (REAL WAR). Encourage more and more ungrateful Tamils LEAVE to Australia.

  9. Voice123 Says:

    Lorenzo, Tamils leave SL and more pour in from Tamil Nadu. They are perpetually “in transit”. Demographics alone cant win this. Demographics needs to be combined with economics and geopolitics. If demographics meant everything, India would be the worlds No. 1 superpower, South Africas black majority would never have been enslaved by Apartheid (by just 15 percent whites) and Israel would have been crushed by the Arabs (a concept you would understand) because Israelis are outnumbered 100:1 by Arabs. This is the one example you should understand!

  10. Lorenzo Says:

    No. The two are DIFFERENT.

    SL can STOP Tamilians coming from TN with border protection.

    DEMOGRPHICS is what will WIN the war in MOST part.

    “If demographics meant everything, India would be the worlds No. 1 superpower”

    This is a foolish statement. Demographics works NATIONALLY in the case of SL and in other countries.

    THANKS to demographics Blacks eventually WON against apartheid whites!!!!

    Israel is a different country. It is NOT part of Arabia just because it is close to them. Israel’s demographics is WITHIN Israel.

    Don’t think SL is part of TN. It is not.

    Demographic changes turned Buddhist Pakistan, Bangladesh, Maldives into Islam. Almost turned Fiji into a mini India. But they FAILED in SL.

    SL will one day win this war through DEMOGRAPIC DOMINATION. There is no other peaceful way.

  11. Lorenzo Says:

    Total Tamil population percentage in SL has REDUCED from 1981 to 2012 which is FANTASTIC!!

    Even if NO Tamilian from SL goes to RICH countries, Tamil Nadu Tamilians will go to Australia and help LTTE.

    What we CAN protect is SL, not Australia (no need to protect those GENOCIDAL colonials). Let them pay for their stupidity of allowing these fraudsters, molesters, etc. in.

    If I poo, it stinks until flushed. But that doesn’t mean I keep it inside!

    Similarly just because Tamilians stink in Australia against SL, there is NO NEED for SL to keep the dirt inside!

    In a generation or two Australia will FLUSH Tamilness out of MOST Tamilians.

  12. Voice123 Says:

    Lorenzo, your comments are – almost – hilarious. Time only will tell what the outcome will be.

  13. Lorenzo Says:

    Time will WIPE OUT the enemies of SL SLOWLY as they end up in rubbish bins of Australia!!!

  14. Christie Says:

    In Melbouune chaotic court interjector said”Thank you for the KANGARRROO COURT”

    This HRLC is no different to Amnasty International or Human Rights Watch or the thing in Hong Kong.

  15. Voice123 Says:

    Lorenzo, I hope the enemies of SL end up in the rubbish bins of everywhere, not just of Australia!

  16. Lorenzo Says:

    Australia is where they will end up, unfortunately for you.

    They don’t like Canada nowadays because its too cold, USA too violent, UK too cold, Europe unknown languages, so Australia is their preferred choice.

    Australia is the ONLY country that has NOT banned the LTTE among Tamil destinations. That is the biggest attraction.

  17. aloy Says:

    Why we cannot get the bigger picture?.
    The tamil diapora or remnants of LTTE is only the cats paw.

  18. Voice123 Says:

    Lorenzo, South Africa also has not banned the LTTE. The ANC government is MUCH FRIENDLIER to the diaspora than Australia. In fact, they have high profile South Africans like Desmond Tutu, Navi Pillay and Nelson Mandela on the Tamils side. Many South African whites are also FULLY BRAINWASHED into thinking the LTTE is some kind of Indian cause and it is good. When Australia cracks down harder, Tamils will run to South Africa in droves. Australia will crackdown on the illegal immigrants without banning the LTTE. Its not just the LTTE. Aussies dont like making anything illegal because of the convict history. Making anything illegal or criminalizing it has negative connotations. Its got nothing to do with encouraging assylum seekers. They will send them to Malaysia, PNG and all over the place, others will be locked up. The LTTE ban in Canada, USA or Europe is a JOKE! Nobody takes it seriously and the Tamil assylum seekers know that. Its VERY EASY for Tamils in Canada. Its easy to enter, easy to claim assylum. Most politicians are on their side. Most Canadians just give them a wide berth and are otherwise polite and listen to their BS. They can move around EXCLUSIVELY in Tamil enclaves and perpetuate themselves for generations and generations. Canada is the country the majority of them will end up in. Sorry to disappoint you Lorenzo. I know you live in the US or Canada, so they will congregate mostly on your doorstep! They will NEVER shed their Tamilness in North America. You will have to live with it. Sorry pal.

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