Sri Lanka : Most of the 19 ‘Journalists’ killed were LTTE or killed by LTTE
Posted on October 25th, 2013

Shenali D Waduge

The Committee for the Protection of Journalists -” CPJ has released a list of 19 -Ëœjournalists-â„¢ it claims to have been killed since 1992 in Sri Lanka. CPJ includes 39 journalists killed worldwide in 2013 -” none reported in Sri Lanka since January 2009. In total 1007 journalists are said to have been killed worldwide since 1992, 595 of this number murdered with impunity, whatever that implies, meanwhile 456 journalists are said to live in exile since 2008. When terrorists do not have an internationally accepted definition and neither do journalists we arrive at a very tricky scenario of who and who are not terrorists/journalists. Despite terrorism not having a definition we are well aware that the LTTE has been identified by 32 nations as a terrorist outfit and if an organization is declared terrorist its members must be also terrorists. Therefore the majority of the -Ëœjournalists-â„¢ names featured by CPJ unfortunately belong to the category of -Ëœterrorist-â„¢ while a large number of others killed have been gunned down by the LTTE. How does this equate to murder with impunity and zero press free media in Sri Lanka?

The Committee for the Protection of Journalists is just one of the many organizations claiming to protect the freedoms of journalists. With no acceptable definition and the unlikelihood of one it is good to quote how North Carolina-â„¢s law defines a journalist –

Any person, company, or entity, or the employees, independent contractors, or agents of that person, company, or entity, engaged in the business of gathering, compiling, writing, editing, photographing, recording, or processing information for dissemination via any news medium.‚  When people are in the -Ëœbusiness-â„¢ it certainly raises on behalf of whom they write for all -Ëœjournalists-â„¢ working for a living have to comply to the rules and regulations of the employer. Therefore can there be an unbiased media or free media today?

With communication being the new battleground it is important how media in all its forms gains itself leverage as the watchdog of all that happens around the world and in one-â„¢s country. Thus, much effort is made to promoting media amongst the world public as indispensable. They are quick to come to each other-â„¢s defense, they offer awards amongst each other, they are aligned to the world-â„¢s powerful bodies and corporate entities -” in other words like the humanitarian organizations they become no different to foreign governmental organizations, with local entities ever ready to speak on behalf of foreign governments without backing their own nation.

CPJ we may well remember was quick to award J S Tissanayagam no sooner he was arrested for links with LTTE. Which goes to show that media entities quickly garner together in solidarity irrespective of the wrongs been done.

http://www.defence.lk/new.asp?fname=20081222_01

http://www.defence.lk/new.asp?fname=20090831_07

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The release of a list of 19 journalists killed is likely to be quoted during CHOGM and used against the Government and military forces as foundation to prove the already concluded notion that the nation is bordering -Ëœauthoritarian-â„¢ rule -” in Navi Pillay-â„¢s own words. Little merit is given to the fact that regular elections are held and politicians are voted in to office.

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Top of Form

 

The 19 -ËœJournalists-â„¢ named by CPJ according to their website categorized as MOTIVE CONFIRMED

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Name of -ËœJOURNALIST-â„¢ Date / Reason for Death
1.‚ ‚  Shoba

 

Other names Isaipriya or Isaippiriya

Member of LTTE

Sri Lanka-â„¢s Defense Ministry declares -ËœSHOBA-â„¢ as Lt. Col. Issei Piriya -” member of the LTTE.‚  She died during battle with 53 Division troops on May 18 May 18 or 19, 2009, in Mullivaikkal. She even appears in the annual sensationalized Channel 4 dramas on behalf of Tamil Diaspora.

She has undergone LTTE military training. Her LTTE Identity Card was 03424-T ESAYRUVI

She was married to senior Sea Tiger Trincomalee leader Siri Ram, who carried out many operations against the SL navy ‚ 

Yet CPJ quoting Tamilnet and Channel 4 describes SHOBA as a -Ëœjournalist-â„¢ -” CPJ even called for an international inquiry into her death!!!

WOULD CPJ describe Al Qaeda TV presenters as -ËœJournalists-â„¢ TOO and question US on drones that have killed them?

2.‚ ‚  Puniyamoorthy Sathiyamoorthy

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Supporter of LTTE

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CPJ describes him a -Ëœsupporter of the secessionist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)-â„¢ -¦ who -Ëœwrote‚ for many pro-Tamil publications and frequently contributed to official LTTE media-â„¢. He gave -Ëœlive commentaries from conflict zones-â„¢

He was killed in a Sri Lankan artillery barrage in the Mullaitheevu district on February 12, 2009,

3.‚ ‚  Lasantha Wickramatunga editor-in-chief of the weekly‚ The Sunday Leader, killed by unidentified gunman – 8 January 2009

Various sensationalism has resolved around the murder. The case remains unconcluded and investigations are continuing.

4.‚ ‚  Rashmi Mohamed

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Killed by LTTE

correspondent for Sirasa TV died on October 6, 2008 at UNP rally in Anuradhapura by a LTTE suicide bomber targeting Maj. Gen. Janaka Perera who also died alongside 27 others.

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5.‚ ‚  Paranirupasingham Devakumar

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Killed by LTTE

May 28, 2008, in Jaffna

Jaffna correspondent for the independent channel News 1st, was stabbed to death when he was attacked by supporters of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), according to Sunanda Deshapriya, spokesman for local press freedom group the Free Media Movement

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6.‚ ‚  Suresh Linbiyo

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Member of LTTE

Voice of Tigers (LTTE run radio station) – November 27, 2007, in Kilinochchi by a Sri Lankan Air Force air strike

Voice of Tigers-, (VOT),is a clandestine radio station operated by the LTTE

Tamilnet, the LTTE propaganda channel admitted the 3 VOT members were LTTE which again questions why CPJ would include them as -Ëœjournalists-â„¢.

7.‚ ‚  T. Tharmalingam

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Member of LTTE

Voice of Tigers (LTTE run radio station) – November 27, 2007, in Kilinochchi by a Sri Lankan Air Force air strike

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8.‚ ‚  Isaivizhi Chempiyan

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Member of LTTE

Voice of Tigers (LTTE run radio station) – November 27, 2007, in Kilinochchi by a Sri Lankan Air Force air strike

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9.‚ ‚  Selvarajah Rajeewarnam a journalist for the Uthayan newspaper, was shot dead on 29 April 2007 while on his bicycle by unidentified gunmen

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10. Subash Chandraboas editor of a small Tamil-language monthly magazine, Nilam (The Ground), was shot to death at around 7:30 p.m.

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11. Subramaniyam Sugitharajah a part-time reporter for Tamil-language daily Sudar Oli killed on January 24, 2006, in Trincomalee while his way to work

CPJ website states that The newspaper and its Jaffna-based sister publication Uthayan came under attack by both LTTE and anti-LTTE forces in political violence

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12. Relangi Selvarajah & husband

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Killed by LTTE

Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corp -” Gunned down on August 12, 2005, in Colombo by unidentified gunmen on the same day as Lakshman Kadiragamar assassination.

Selvarajah’s husband was affiliated with the formerly militant and now mainstream group, the People’s Liberation Organization of Tamil Eelam (PLOTE)

PLOTE is critical of LTTE

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13. Dharmeratnam Sivaram

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Known also as Taraki

A founding member and contributor to TamilNet and a military and political columnist for the English language Daily Mirror

April 29, 2005, in Colombo

Sivaram was a former member of PLOTE who defected to the LTTE. Rajan Hoole who was critical of Sivaram’s role as the Tamilnet.com’s editor, said he was involved in the murder of two PLOTE dissidents during his days as a Tamil militant.

Investigation continues and member of an armed gang has been arrested in this connection.

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14. Lanka Jayasundara

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Killed by LTTE

Wijeya Publications

December 11, 2004 by an LTTE grenade attack at a music concert

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15. Bala Nadarajah Iyer

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Killed by LTTE

Thinamurasu and Thinakaran

August 16, 2004, in Colombo

a journalist, writer, and political activist with the opposition Tamil group the Eelam People’s Democratic Party (EPDP)‚ 

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16. Aiyathurai Nadesan

pen name Nellai G. Nadesan

Virakesari

May 31, 2004, in Batticaloa

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17.‚ ‚ ‚  Mylvaganam Nimalarajan

BBC, Virakesari, Ravaya

October 19, 2000, in Jaffna

Six months after the murder of journalist Mylvaganam Nimalarajan, RSF queries President Kumaratunga

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18.‚ ‚ ‚  Anura Priyantha

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Killed by LTTE

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Independent Television Network

December 18, 1999, in Colombo -” LTTE suicide bomb aimed at President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga at an election rally in Colombo

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19.‚ ‚ ‚  Indika Pathinivasan

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Killed by LTTE

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Maharaja Television Network

December 18, 1999, in Colombo -” LTTE suicide bomb aimed at President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga at an election rally in Colombo

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The above happens to be the list that will be infamously quoted as being the 19 reasons why the Government of Sri Lanka is guilty of MURDERING MEDIA, where NO MEDIA FREEDOM prevails. These will be quoted worldwide using whatever other terminologies in vogue amongst the same set of people making the reports, pointing fingers and coming up with solutions.

What has bypassed their attention is that out of the 19 MURDERED -Ëœjournalists-â„¢ how many are actually qualified to be called a journalist per se.

When 32 nations designate the LTTE as a terrorist organization, banned by their own country laws how is it remotely possible for members of the LTTE to become journalists when they are eliminated by the armed forces? If the US Navy Seals can uninformed to Pakistan Government enter Pakistan and eliminate unarmed Osama bin Laden and his son, on what grounds is it prohibited for the Sri Lankan armed forces to take action against a similarly categorized terrorist group inside Sri Lanka-â„¢s own territory?

If so, -Ëœjournalists-â„¢ categorized as No. 1, 6, 7, 8 are NOT journalists but members of the LTTE. Moreover, -Ëœjournalist-â„¢ No. 2 Puniyamoorthy Sathiyamoorthy by virtue of being a supporter of the LTTE puts him into the category of terrorist too. Thus, 5 out of the 19 -Ëœjournalists-â„¢ are not qualified in the least to belong to the list of -Ëœjournalists-â„¢ killed. CPJ needs to immediately remove these names from their listing.

Next, we come to the question of how these journalists died. Journalists featured under no. 4, 5, 12, 14, 15,18 and 19 were all killed by LTTE -” thus, 7 out of the 19 journalists listed by CPJ have been killed by the LTTE (which is almost half of the number being quoted)

In what is easily attempted to mislead the reading public the CPJ claims that since 1992 -” 19 journalists have been killed and the motive for their killing is given as confirmed. However, the motive is not explicitly given and no one is accused. Killed by -Ëœunidentified-â„¢ gunmen cannot be written off as being the responsibility of the Government. Most of these journalists had been members of armed groups, they had turned sides and tides, jumped from one group to another, written on behalf of one and then jumped ship and these situations are likely to have fostered various personal enemies over the years not necessarily from one. In the case of Lasantha Wickrematunga, the most high profile killing in the 19 named, we may well recall how the joint opposition Presidential candidate himself was accused of complicity in the murder. Speculations apart there is no hard evidence and in the absence of such we will simply be opportunities for turning stones and hurling stones.

We next come to the question of the lack of freedom of press and the -Ëœfear-â„¢ with which journalists write. If one writes lies, distorts truth and works to a malicious agenda it is one-â„¢s conscience that will always be pricking the nerves because the guilt of one-â„¢s actions will always shadow every thought and letter being penned.

Taking the statistics together it is easy to deduce the dates of these 19 murders

The last murder to have taken place was the killing of Lasantha Wickrematunga on 8 January 2009. We shall omit reference to Shoba, Puniyamoorthy Sathiyamoorthy and the 3 LTTE members of Voice of Tigers on account of them being LTTE and thus legally not entitled to be referred to as -Ëœjournalists-â„¢.

Taking the 19 killings, omitting members and supporters of the LTTE the last killing was in 2009 and not a single killing has taken place since January 2009 to date in October 2013. How can media personnel be living in fear?

The CPJ has also included a separate list of 6 other journalists and categorized the motive for their murder as -Ëœunconfirmed-â„¢

These -Ëœjournalists are:

1.‚ ‚ ‚  Sahadevan Nilakshan -” editor of Chaalaram magazine shot at by unidentified gunmen on 1 August 2007 in Jaffna

2.‚ ‚ ‚  Sinnathamby Sivamaharajah -” editor of Namathu Eelanadu killed outside home on 20 August 2006. He was a MP of the TULF and member of TNA.

3.‚ ‚ ‚  Sampath Lakmal -” reporter for Sathdina, killed on 1 July 2006

4.‚ ‚ ‚  Vasthian Anthony Mariyadas -” freelance reporter for Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation killed on 31 December 1999.

5.‚ ‚ ‚  Atputharajah Nadarajah – editor of Thinamurusu. EPDP Member of Parliament 02 November 1999, in Colombo

6.‚ ‚ ‚  Rohana Kumara -” editor of Satana (UNP financed) killed by unidentified men on 7 September 1999 in Colombo.

However, there are some accusations of attacks on media and of late we have the examples of 2 journalists to take note of.

‘Faraz Shauketaly‘ of the Sunday Leader was shot at on 15 February 2013. The Sunday Leader carried several articles on the attack -ËœLeader Journalist Shot -” Eswaran Ratnam, -ËœThe Shooting of ‘Faraz Shauketaly‘ by Emil Van de Poorten writing that -Ëœshooting of Faraz Shauketaly is being treated (and will be treated and could be treated) in the Debacle of Asia (DoA), members of the Opposition all rushed with the obvious insinuation that it was a -ËœGovt-â„¢ job.‚  The insinuation and implication will always remain because ethical journalism has not meant that none of the accusations were ever corrected when the real reasons for the attacks were disclosed. The personal nature of his relationship leading to a recurrent monetary dispute being the center of the issue was never disclosed and will never be because it serves a better agenda to have the incident remain an attack on -Ëœmedia-â„¢.

The next case of attack comes with the news of a robbery on 23 August 2013 at the home of Mandana Ismail Abeywickrama Co-editor of the Sunday Leader. A suspect was killed by police, 3 were arrested. The immediate reaction was to implicate the Government and the armed forces. The interrogation revealed that the robbers had decided to rob a house ad hoc after a drinking binge in Bambalapitiya. Contrary to the version being floated to insinuate a totally different version the robbers had robbed both cash and items which included 18 nos of Rs.2000 notes, bangles, bracelets, pendants, rings, earrings total number over 60 items all of which were recovered barring an earring.. ‚ It is also true that 2 army deserters were among the 5 member gang and the army disclosed full details of them. 3 of the 5 were brothers. One of the soldiers had been arrested in September 2009 while in service for theft. The suspects too have been produced in court. However, the co-editor is now living overseas thanks to the false accusation on a highly controversial and questionable accusation of -Ëœmedia attack-â„¢. This like Shauketaly-â„¢s case cannot be categorized as a media attack though despite placing the facts it has suited vested parties and groups to continue to maintain the former version of things with the likelihood of being coveted journalistic awards for unfettered media service when the entire incident is out of scope and nothing to do with any role in media.

Its just as well that despite being pressed against the wall the Government and military continues to desist from putting the garbage out of those accusing them but the public deserves the right to know exactly how angelic these media fraternity actually are and how man skeletons are hidden inside their own closets whilst pretending to be doing the public a service.

3 Responses to “Sri Lanka : Most of the 19 ‘Journalists’ killed were LTTE or killed by LTTE”

  1. Sooriarachi Says:

    Even according to the CPJ records, the 19 journalist killed in Sri Lanka are spread over the 21 year period 1992 t0 2013, where there were 2 from 1992 to 1998 + 17 from 1999 to 2009 + none since 2010. These 19 (out of a 1008 worldwide)
    consist of:
    32% Broadcast reporters
    11% Columnists/Commentators
    5% Editors (made up of one)
    32% Print Reporters/Writers
    5% Publisher/Owner (made up of one)
    21% Technicians.
    This indicates they were not all career journalists.
    It records these deaths having taken place for possible political reasons + in combat crossfire/bombings + Suicide bombings and accidents and does not accuse the Government for most of these deaths. LTTE was certainly involved in many killings, especially the journalists working for the EPDP and rival publications.
    However we must not condone any death of unarmed journalists for whatever reason. Even one is too many.

    Also, in the period 1999 to 2013 Sri Lanka had 17 deaths, very much less than our neighbours in India and Pakistan.
    In the year 2012 the list of dangerous nations included India, Pakistan and Bangladesh but NOT Sri Lanka with no deaths.

    Though this is the true situation regarding journalist deaths, by claiming death threats, many journalists just like the boat people, use such bogus threats as a passport to get admitted to rich Western Nations who have been either hoodwinked to believe these stories or are hand in glove to discredit Sri Lanka with the help of LTTE, AI, HRW and Ch-4. What is pleasing is, many nations are now beginning to realise that this propaganda is not true and in fact they are worried about LTTE sympathisers entering their countries and bringing bad influence to these nations. This is why many are now being sent back to Sri Lanka.
    Yes, eventually justice must prevail and will prevail and organisations like the LTTE, AI, CH-4 and HRW will be exposed and fail to deny human rights of 21 million Sri Lankan people to live without the threat of terrorism.

  2. Ananda-USA Says:

    Poor President … ALL BLAME & NO CREDIT,, except from Sri Lankans who love him well; Not even for risking his political neck by Empowering the TNA Separatists in the Northern Province through PC Elections.

    I FERVENTLY hope the President will DOMINATE the TOUGH TALK at the CHOGM meeting!

    Dear Mr. resident … Please TELL THEM what you are GOING to TELL THEM, then TELL THEM, and TELL THEM WHAT YOU JUST TOLD THEM for good measure until the message rings between their ears!

    These Drone Killers Preaching Peace & Harmony to Sri Lanka and the Developing World, are Quick to Sponsor Conflict and Terror in Other Countries to Undermine Governments and Exploit their Resources, but they Never Follow Their Own Advice!

    Don’t let these jaundiced HYPOCRITES wielding DOUBLE STANDARDS get a word in EDGEWAYS!

    ………………………….
    Rajapaksa: Sri Lanka’s affable authoritarian?

    By Jason Burke
    The Observer
    Japantimes.co,jp
    Oct 27, 2013

    LONDON – Down in the deep south of Sri Lanka, where life usually moves at a leisurely pace, there is one small town that is less tranquil. Hambantota — population 20,000 — is expanding fast. There is a vast new deepwater port, built with $360 million of borrowed Chinese cash; a new 35,000-seat cricket stadium; a huge convention center; and a $200 million international airport. A broad-gauge railway is under construction. Powerful people have ambitions for Hambantota. None is more powerful or more ambitious than President Mahinda Rajapaksa, born nearby in 1945.

    There is much construction in Sri Lanka these days. The island nation was already one of the wealthiest in South Asia but its economy had been held back by decades of civil conflict. Now the war is over and growth rates, the government claims, are touching 7 percent.

    Earlier this month, a new section of motorway was opened. Undeniably one of the best roads in a part of the world where rutted single-lane highways still link many major cities, it joins the international airport with Colombo, the political and commercial capital. British Prime Minister David Cameron, 51 other leaders and Prince Charles will drive down its tarmac next month when they fly in for the Commonwealth heads of government meeting.

    The summit is controversial. Rajapaksa, now in his eighth year of power, is much reviled — at least in the West. The chief charges against him are serious: that he ignored, condoned or even encouraged war crimes committed by Sri Lankan troops in the final bloody phases of the campaign to crush the brutal Tamil Tigers rebels; that he has again ignored, condoned or possibly even ordered a wave of repression directed at those who contest his or his government’s authority; that he has made no serious effort to reach out politically to Sri Lanka’s Tamil minority; that he aims to ensure that his family’s grip on the island nation is without challenge for decades to come.

    In short, it is alleged that under his rule Sri Lanka is becoming a nasty, authoritarian quasi-rogue banana republic. If there is some truth in many of the charges, the reality, like the man, is more complex than appearances suggest. In person, Rajapaksa is more avuncular than ogre. Tall, heavy-set, with an astonishing bouffant as solid, glossy and black as polished coal, he exudes the hearty bonhomie of the rugby player he once was. He remembers names, slaps backs, happily strips to the waist when he visits temples, and makes sure his guests, even journalists who have come to grill him, have been offered a cup of tea. One reporter watched astonished as the president went off to fetch biscuits. Such gestures reveal a canny politician with a carefully cultivated folksy style.

    Almost all Sri Lanka’s post-independence leaders have been smooth, English-speaking, often educated abroad, and from Colombo or its environs. Rajapaksa, a small-town lawyer without a university degree, is thus very different, even if he does come from a political family. Rarely seen in Western dress and never in a suit, he is supposed to enjoy a traditional country breakfast of buffalo milk curd and cane sugar treacle. His trademark rust-brown neck scarf deliberately recalls the sweaty rags of farmers and is supposed to represent the millet they sow. He usually speaks Sinhala in public — though he can get by in English, albeit without the fluency of many South Asian senior politicians, and has learned some Tamil.

    One problem for his critics is that, though elections are marred by intimidation, violence and the misuse of state resources, few deny that Rajapaksa’s successive poll victories reflect a genuine mandate. Even his opponents in Colombo admit that he remains without a serious local political challenger. His heartland is rural, conservative, Buddhist and dominated by the Sinhalese majority.

    It was these voters that, as a 24-year-old novice politician armed with a law degree and a famous father, he won over to enter parliament for the first time in 1970. The same voters backed him in 2005 when, after a year as prime minister, he stood for president, and still back him now. Part of the dislike, and the fear, that Rajapaksa inspires in Colombo’s political elite is his unashamed exploitation of his status as a political outsider.

    The emotions Rajapaksa inspires in many Tamils, who comprise 10 percent to 15 percent of the population, have their source elsewhere, however. A key election pledge was to end the bitter war against the Tamil Tigers, the de facto government in much of the north, by negotiation. This stance shifted. Here his brother, Gotabhaya, the defense secretary, played a key role, as he would do in the campaign to come. During the 26 years of conflict there had been a number of truces, most recently in 2002. These, the Rajapaksa brothers and the senior military believed, were simply used by the Tamil Tigers to resupply and reorganize. This time the Rajapaksas decided there would be no truce, whatever the international pressure.

    The military was expanded hugely. The cease-fire collapsed entirely. One senior Sri Lankan official remembered how, when a report of heavy army casualties arrived on the president’s desk, Rajapaksa called Sarath Fonseka, a junior general with a ruthless reputation who had been picked to command the new campaign, to express his concern. Fonseka said that if the president wasn’t prepared to have men killed, he would resign. He stayed.

    Only during the last few weeks of the conflict did the world begin to take notice of events in the rough, scrubby plains of northern Sri Lanka. As they retreated, the Tamil Tigers took hundreds of thousands of civilians with them. In a series of interviews last month, noncombatants spoke of chaos, “no-fire zones” that were not respected by the army, and orders from the Tamil Tigers to leave their homes. What is also clear is that the Tigers made little effort to separate combatants from civilians, particularly toward the end of the fighting, when huge numbers, including fighters and the Tamil Tiger high command, were packed into a tiny area between a lagoon and the sea. They may have shot some people who tried to escape.

    But the army bombed, shelled and strafed the area indiscriminately, killing the Tigers’ leaders but also thousands of civilians.

    “For many days we did not leave our bunker. It was just shells all the time,” one refugee from the town of Puthukkudiyiruppu recalled last month. “Finally we decided we would die unless we ran. So we waited until a break. . . . The army was only a few hundred meters away but on the way we passed maybe 25 or 30 bodies, men, women, old people, children.”

    There are also reports, backed by images shot on soldiers’ phones, of large numbers of summary executions of captured rebel cadres and some civilians. These are the alleged war crimes that the United Nations wants credibly and independently investigated — something the Sri Lankan government has so far failed to do. Rajapaksa has called the allegations “propaganda” and accused the U.N. of doing the bidding of “big countries” who “bully” little ones.

    Such rhetoric plays well at home, particularly from a man whose career has been built on an image of the straight-talker from the backwoods, and can be useful globally too. No one in Rajapaksa’s neighborhood is very keen on lectures from the west either. “We can live with it, but the public finger-wagging doesn’t help anyone,” said one senior Sri Lankan diplomat.

    Since the end of the war other concerns have intensified. There have been scores, some say hundreds, of abductions. Journalists are systematically threatened. Trade unionists and human rights activists receive regular “warnings” or are roughed up. The constitution has been changed to allow Rajapaksa a third term. Dozens of his relatives hold government posts, controlling, according to one estimate, nearly half the state expenditure. A son is being groomed as a successor. There are widespread allegations of graft and an upsurge in sectarian violence.

    “It is a situation of total state capture,” said J.C. Weliamuna, a leading human rights lawyer in Colombo.

    This is South Asia, of course, where zero-sum politics, dynasties, massive development in the native towns of incumbent leaders, marginalized minorities and corruption is unexceptional. Tourist visits and revenues are up — though not by as much as the government would like, or, probably, claims. Foreign investment worth $2 billion is expected this year, officials say. But even regionally there are now worries about where Sri Lanka is headed.

    These concerns will all be carefully obscured next month. So far the only invited leader not attending the Commonwealth summit is Canada’s Stephen Harper. David Cameron says “tough messages” are best delivered in person. Rajapaksa will no doubt be his usual bluff and cheery self at the meeting. But if anyone is delivering a tough message, it will be him.

  3. Ananda-USA Says:

    Is USAID & the Catholic Church recruiting former Terrorists in the Guise of Charity?

    Remember the Tamil Rehabilitation Organization (TRO) that chanelled a vast stream of funds to Prabhakaran? Is the PIPELINE of TERRORIST FUNDS starting up again …. with USAID?

    ……………………………
    Fr. Yogeswaran and ex-LTTE cadres meeting – Smacks of suspicion regarding intention

    By Nation.lk
    Sunday, 27 October 2013

    Questions have been raised regarding a ‘meeting’ held in Trincomalee between Human Rights Campaigner and Legal Advisor Fr. V. Yogeswaran and rehabilitated members of the LTTE and their families.
    This ‘special’ meeting was held by Fr. Yogeswaran last Tuesday (22). Those attended included several rehabilitated former LTTE cadres and relatives of LTTE members either undergoing rehabilitation or serving prison sentences.

    When contacted, Fr. Yogeswaran denied any such meeting had taken place. “There was no meeting. I never met any such persons,” he emphasized.

    However, informed sources disclosed to The Nation that such a meeting had indeed taken place, and that during this meeting, Fr. Yogeswaran had requested rehabilitated former LTTE cadres to submit him letters claiming that they were yet to receive any support from the Government.

    He had then registered these individuals with his office. He had allegedly told these individual that ‘someone’ would visit them within the next few days and they would be provided with financial aid afterwards.
    He had also met with selected relatives of LTTE members either undergoing rehabilitation or serving prison sentences. He had provided each of them with financial.

    The Police, who were alerted to the meeting, had later intervened and questioned the priest about why he was holding such a gathering in his office. At this point, he had allegedly stated that he was conducting it as an ‘act of charity’ and that funds for this activity were being provided by USAID and two priests from Negombo.

    According to military officials 0rehabilitated former cadres are provided with assistance, including self-employment training, access to bank loans, and other forms of financial support. As such, to coerce such persons to submit letters claiming they had received ‘no support whatsoever’ from the Government, smacked of a suspicious agenda.

    They also point out that if any NGO wanted to provide financial or other aid to rehabilitated LTTE cadres and families, they could do so easily by going through the Bureau of the Commissioner General of Rehabilitation.

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