The Day of Reckoning is not too far for the Superpowers
Posted on November 10th, 2013

By‚  Garvin Karunaratne

Prime Minister of Britain Mr Cameron has threatened to teach President Rajapaksa of Sri Lanka a lesson in human rights. Premier Cameron tends to forget‚  Britain-â„¢s ignominious Empire record and also its current violations of human rights.

‚ Premier Cameron‚  has said that he intends to have some -tough conversations with the Sri Lankan Government. I am not happy with their human rights record. I am not happy with what they have done following the conflict and we-â„¢ll have some very frank conversations to make those points.-(Channel NewsAsia:25/10/13) He has said that he -will demand Sri Lanka investigating the allegations of war crimes and human rights‚  abuses-

‚ The Beginnings

‚ The British‚  during their empire days brought droves of Tamils in their thousands from Tamil Nadu to Sri Lanka,‚  Malaysia, Fiji, South Africa‚  and many other British colonies to work as indentured labour on the Estates set up by British Planters. The Tamils brought down were indentured till the cost of bringing them was repaid; this almost amounted to a life sentence- a form of slavery. Thus the Tamil minority problem in Sri Lanka was created by the British. In Fiji the Tamils took total control of Parliament, but‚  the Fijians resented and took power in a coup d etat. In Myanmar the rulers were smart to get rid of the Tamils when they‚  gained independence. Sri Lanka was magnanimous to treat the Tamils as equals, though they were only 17% of the population and we lived with them in harmony. At independence‚  their leader Ponnambalam wanted 50% of seats in Parliament reserved for them, which was refused. . Later the LTTE and its leader Prabhakarn took over this mantle, wanting self rule and a separate state in both the North where the Tamils are in the majority and also in the Eastern Province where the Sinhala, Muslim and Tamil population are equal. The LTTE-â„¢s‚  proposed separate state included three fourths of the coast and a third of the land mass, including the Port of Trincomalee, all for only 17% of the population. The LTTE‚  was supported by India‚  and its army was trained and equipped by Indira Gandhi the Prime Minister of India. This was‚  unofficially sponsored by the Superpowers who even refused to sell weapons to Sri Lanka to stop the uprising

‚ A British Colony

The British held Sri Lanka in a firm grip, where they held the people as slaves. There was apartheid, though not known by that word.. I can yet remember that in the Fifties there was a special swimming pool in Colpetty, Colombo‚  reserved for the Whites. Even the education system was set up to train clerks for administrative jobs. Every staff officer in the Public Service was British.

‚ The legacy of the British was to give the colonies‚  a party political type of democracy where the people will be for ever divided, fighting among themselves. Sadly our. historians and political scientists living in blinkers,‚  do not realize this even today.

‚ The atrocities of the British in Sri Lanka is well documented and cannot be‚  unknown to the present British leaders. A few instances are quoted.

‚ The Uva Wellassa Rebellion of 1818

Sri Lanka was conquered by the British in 1815 and in 1818 there was a major rebellion where Government Agent Wilson was killed.‚  Keppetipola Disawe who was sent to quell the rebellion joined the rebels.. Drastic action was taken by the British.

-As an act of retaliation against the rebels and inhabitants, Major MacDonald assisted by Lieut Taylor set fire to the houses in the surrounding villages, burnt their grain and cut down their coconut, jak and breadfruit trees. The cattle were then driven off to feed the troops-(www. Virtuallibrary-Sri Lanla) This was done all over the Uva Province -The irrigation systems of Uva were systematically destroyed-¦. The British massacred the male population of Uva above the age of 18 years-(Wikipedia & The Island11/03/11)

‚ A Minute by Herbert White, a subsequent‚  British Government Agent at Badulla in 1879 states in The Journal of Uva: -The havoc caused is unlimited. In short the people have lost their lives and all other valuable belongings. It is doubtful whether Uva has at least now recovered from the catastrophe.-

The British were inhuman to the maximum one can ever imagine in the manner they decimated the entire male adult population, which coupled with the action taken to destroy all the tanks storing water, cutting all fruit bearing trees and killing the cattle amounts to a charge for genocide and war crime. The British left the women and children to starve to death.‚  It was something unheard of. and an atrocity without parallel in the annals of warfare. The British did make reparations to Kenya for the repression of the Mau Mau Rebellion. It is time that Sri Lanka insists on reparation from Britain for this atrocity. At least that will bring today-â„¢s British leaders to their senses.

‚ Captain Hendry Pedris‚  the highest ranking Sinhala officer in the Army‚  was executed for alleged incitement of racial riots in 1915.‚  In the Muslim Riots, the Governor declared martial law and -ordered the Police and the Army to shoot anyone whom they deemed a rioter without a trial. It is said that the number of Sinhalese killed this way were in the thousands.‚  With the escalation of the violence looting broke out in Colombo. Captain Pedris as he was responsible for the defence of the City successfully managed to disband several rioting groups after peaceful discussion.‚  The vanity and jealousy towards Captain Pedris of both the British and their sinhalese henchmen led by Solomon Dias Bandaranaike the Maha Mudliyar culminated in false charges being drawn up against Captain Pedris which eventually led him to be court marshaled.. Soon after he was arrested and incarcerated he was tried by a military court on 1/7/15 declared guilty and branded a traitor. His sentence was death by a firing squad.‚  Many prominent citizens appealed and an appeal was made to King George V. The execution was promptly carried out to prevent these actions(appeals) from taking effect. -¦ His body was burned in an unmarked grave against the wishes of the family-¦ A Court inquiry that followed found Pedris not guilty-¦.After the execution the blood soaked chair on which Capt Pedris was shot was taken to the prison cells that contained many Sinhalese leaders including D.S.Senanayake and shown to them with the warning that they would be next- .-(Wikipedia)

‚ One cannot forget the atrocities done by the British in the world. May I quote a few to keep the leaders‚  informed..

Chagossians Thrown out of Hearth and Home to enable USA to have a military base. ‚ 

The Chagossians lived a peaceful life in the Chagos archipelago till they – were forcibly evicted in the late 1960s and 1970s so that Diego Garcia could serve as the location for a military base shared by the UK and the US-¦. On 16/4/1971 the UK issued a policy called BIOT Immigration Ordinance No 1 which made it a criminal offence for those without military clearance to be on the island without a permit-¦ Between 1967 and 1973‚  the Chagossians then numbering 2000 were expelled by the British Government.‚  .. The food stores were allowed to deplete in order to pressure the remaining inhabitants to leave-. The homeless Chagossiand moved from pillar to post took to the Courts and – on 11/5/2006 won their case in the High Court of Justice that they were entitled to return to the Chagos Archipelargo. However in 2006 the British Government filed an appeal in the Court of Appeal against the High Court-â„¢s decision.. After the Court of Appeal upheld the decision of the High Court the British Government appealed to the Judicial Committee of the House of Lords. On 22/10/2008 the Law Lords reached a decision‚  in favour of the British Government, ending the legal process in the UK and dashing the islanders-â„¢ hopes of return. Further in April 2010 the British Government established a marine nature reserve‚ ‚  around Chagos Islands-¦ the most effective long term way to prevent any of the Chagos islands former inhabitants or their descendants from resettling.

The Chagossians launched an appeal seeking a judgement that the reserve was unlawful aimed at preventing them from returning home.. in June 2013 the pair of judges turned down the appeal .. because the reserve was compatible with EU Law.-(Wikipedia & Press Association:11/6/2013)

The Chagossians numbering over 2000 are homeless eking a life‚  wondering anywhere in many countries today.. Where are the human rights of the British authorities not in their clover Empire days but today, in 2013in the days when Premier Cameron himself is in immediate charge?

Dr. David Kelly was the British Government;s‚  Arms Inspector. ‚ Dr Kelly was the UK Arms Inspector who was a member of the UN Team sent to Iraq to establish whether Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. The US and Tony Blair the Prime Minister of Britain wanted to somehow attack Iraq and insisted that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. Dr Kelly said that Iraq had no such weapons. Dr Kelly had to be silenced.‚  (Mail On Line 3/11/13)The weapons inspectors body was found after he was unmasked as the source of a damaging BBC Report questioning the grounds for the Iraq War. Dr Kelly was found dead on an evening walk a few days later. A strange inquest was held not by the normal coroner but by Lord Hutton who concluded that Dr Kelly had committed suicide.‚  However Lord Hutton decided that the post mortem report and photographs of the body should not be released for 70 years- till after everyone in the deciding line were dead. After protests the material was released in 2010.

‚ A colleague of Dr Kelly, Dr Richard Spertzel has stated that Dr Kelly was on a hit list. and has called for a coroner to examine the death again.(MailOnLine 3/11/13)

Iraq

It is a fact that Prime Minister Tony Blair joined US President George W Bush in attacking Iraq and it was on the basis that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. And this could not be done till UK-â„¢s own Inspector‚  Dr David Kelly was silenced

Kernya: Torture and Killings of the Mau Mau

Professor Caroline Elkins of Harvard in her book:Imperial Reckoning: The Untold Story of Britain-â„¢s Gulag, ‚ shows how the British detained almost the entire Mau Mau population and deprived the detainees of food almost to the point of famine and used torture to punish them. She started this Study‚  to write a Dissertation on the success of the British but actually found the opposite-a story of murder, torture and massive cover ups. In -Burying the Bones of the Past-‚  David Anderson tells -The British made extensive use‚  of detention without trial and applied the death penalty to a wide range of of offenses. The official death toll was above 10,000 but the real figure may have been double this. (Histories of the Hanged: Britain-â„¢s Dirty War in Kenya and the End of Empire, Weidnfeld: 2005)‚  ‚ Britain was sued. and had to plead guilty:‚  (UK Announces Compensation for Kenyans Abused during 1950s Mau Mau Rebellion :HuffPost9/11/2013)

– The British Foreign Secretary William Hagiue in his address to the House of Commons‚  admitted that Kenyans were subject to torture and other ill treatment‚  and the case was settled with the payment of $ 21.5 million to the 5200 Kenyans‚  tortured. In addition $ 9.25 million was paid to the legal team.-‚ 

Zimbabwe. Everyone blames President Mugabe for what has happened to Zimbabwe, once the grain bowl of Africa. With three fourths of its population having fled abroad to find employment, with untold poverty levels and a currency devalued to become the least valued currency in the world Zimbabwe is totally destabilized and its economy decimated..‚  What really happened was that at the Lancaster House Agreement(Dec 1979) where the independence deal was hammered out, the British promised to pay compensation to‚  the white land owners whose lands were to be taken over after 10 years. For the first ten years of independence the land could not be wrested unless the white owners agreed. Ten years passed and Mugabe wrested lands to be given to the poor peasants and hoped that Britain would provide the promised compensation. Prime Minister Tony Blair reneged and refused to honour the Lancaster House agreement and threatened economic sanctions if Mugabe were to wrest an inch of White held land.‚  Mugabe did not sacrifice the rights of his people like Nelson Mandela. He started land acquisition and re distribution to the local people. The UK, US and the EU‚  enforced economic sanctions and today the effect of the sanctions is felt in the collapse of the economy. Hyper inflation has amounted to 231 million percent and unemployment is at 80%‚ ‚ ‚  At independence US $ 1 was equal to Zimbabwe $ 0.657 ‚ By 2006 the official rate was‚  Z$ 101.196 per US $ but the unofficial rate was‚  550,000 per US $ (Wikipedia)..‚  Today(2013)‚  the US $ is equal to 361,900 Z$ which amounts to a devaluation of 550.835% The Zimbabwe $ has no value and instead foreign currencies are used.‚  So much for the British . reneging on the agreed terms at the Lancaster House Agreement‚  and this exposes their international responsibility. It is interesting to note that the British reneging on the Lancaster House Agreement which was the cause for the calamity in Zimbabwe is not talked of by current historians who blame it on the support Mugabe provided for wars in the Congo.‚  Zimbabwe is a case for the human rights of a people ruined by the sanctions imposed by the UK, US and the EU.‚  Sanctions was the bullet used.

Atrocities done by British military personnel in action in Afghanistan has been‚  documented again and again. Recently it was reported that a group of UK Marines had found an injured Taliban fighter on the roadside‚  and murdered him by shooting him. (-Marines -ËœMurdered man on live on camera-â„¢ Court Marshall sees graphc footage of execution of injuredTaliban fighter- : The Independent, UK: 24/10/13)‚ 

It was also decided to keep the video clippings in secret.

What did happen in Sri Lanka: The facts one should‚  know before one speaks.

The insurrection of the LTTE was brought about by the LTTE. India-â„¢s Prime Minister took them to India had training camps, equipped them with sophisticated weaponry and sent them to Sri Lanka. They wanted self rule and held the North and East of the country as their homelands despite archaeological evidence to the fact that these were the homelands of the Sinhalese people as far back as the third century B.C.

‚ The LTTE did bombings all over the country and targeted civilians, monks and sacred places of the Buddhists. Over two hundred devotees and monks were gunned down at the most venerated Sri Maha Bodhi at Anuradhapura. The evidence was that over five hundred were gunned down but the Government under played the numbers of the dead.‚  For a full twenty seven years not a day passed without an LTTE attack gunning down civilians. The LTTE first killed their own democratic leaders like the Mayor of Jaffna and the Tamil Members of Parliament. They also killed President Premadasa of Sri Lanka and former Prime Minister of India, Rajiv Gandhi. I lived in Sri Lanka from 1955 to 2000 and during that period not a single day passed without an attack by the LTTE, The Sacred Temple of the Tooth at Kandy was attacked and many devotees succumbed. The Central Bank was bombed with over a hundred civilian officers dead.

‚ President Rajapaksa came to power at a democratically held election, where he promised to eradicate terrorism from Sri Lanka.‚  True to his word he did achieve this task.

‚ President Rajapaksa tried to talk peace with the LTTE and found that they were finding the time to re group. The LTTE stopped the irrigation water to farmers at Mavil Aru, and this made President Rajapaksa take action to stop this violation of the LTTE depriving farmers of water- their sustenance in the Dry Zone.‚  That was in itself a humanitarian task. It was the human right violations of LLTE actions that spurred him to direct the army to action.
In the last stages the LTTE took almost all its people at gun point to be used as a human shield and the Government had to fight hard to hit the LTTE cadres who used civilian sites like hospitals to shoot them.‚  A human carnage‚  was inevitable and thousands of soldiers perished at the hands of the LTTE. It was a grim battle where there was no time for either the attacking soldiers‚  or the LTTE cadres to take photographs or have telephone pictures.‚  But photos emerge now as the basis for films to show the atrocities of the armed forces. These are all fabrications.

‚ The LTTE‚  controlled the North and a part of the East by the baynot. The first Tamil that dared to vote in national elections had his arms cut off. The LTTE enforced conscription. The Tamil national‚  leaders of today had to abide by the rules of the LTTE for fear of being executed. Tambimuttu one of their Members of Parliament was shot dead in the heart of Colombo.

‚ The LTTE had a Sea Force‚  and also an Air Force. The Sri Lankan Airport at Colombo was attacked by the LTTE and a dozen planes were destroyed.

‚ These are a few random instances of atrocities perpetrated on the majority Sinhala population and also the Tamils who were living in the area they controlled. During this period for almost three decades the parents of any one family never traveled together. They traveled separate to ensure that if one was blasted the other was left to look after the children.

‚ A further important fact is that throughout the three decades the Government of Sri lanka provided the administrators teachers and food for the people that lived in the LTTE held areas.. The food in convoys of lorries were taken to the borders and handed over to the LTTE who sold it and made a profit. My own official car driver in the Agrarian Services Department who drove a lorry load of rice to the LTTE areas never returned. The Government was that magnanimous. Five Government Agents who did not carry out the instructions‚  given to them were murdered by them

‚ In the last days of the battle while the LTTE cadres that did surrender were taken into custody the Armed Forces of Sri Lanka saved a mass of almost three hundred thousand civilians whom the LTTE had taken to serve as a human shield. This mass was fed, housed and settled in their habitat after their areas were demined. This was a feat of achievement without a parallel in humanitarian effort.

‚ To even talk that President Rajapaksa who liberated the millions of Sri lankans from the jaws of attack by the LTTE has to be held for war crimes is a ludicrous suggestion supported by those who do not know the real facts.

‚ If Premier Cameron castigates Sri Lankan leaders for their human rights record they‚  are only displaying their utter ignorance of what really happened. There has been reconciliation. It is a fact that even while the LTTE commandeered some 40 % of the Tamil people in their areas the rest numbering around 60% lived amicably amongst their Sinhala btrethern.‚  Even in the area held by the LTTE where the Tamils lived in fear of death, there is peace today.

‚ The Tamil liberated areas have seen massive development far far beyond anything known‚ in the rest of the island.

‚ In the annals of history, other than in this instance‚  there has never been a war where the enemy‚  was provided food, clothing and essentials of life. Suppressing the LTTE rebellion was entirely done on humanitarian lines. Civilian casualties become inevitable in a situation where the enemy takes civilians as a human shield and bases its arsenals under‚  hospitals and other civilian camps. Such casualties are not intentional and not premeditated like in the case of the Chagossian people and the -murder- of Dr David Kelly for which the British leaders are responsible. . In every war there is collateral damage- deaths. In the fist JVP uprising in 1971 in Sri Lanka around 20,000 people were killed and in the second JVP uprising in 1987/88 in Sri Lanka as much as 70,000 were killed. These were the deaths caused by the JVP on civilians and the armed forces and in action taken by the armed forces to subjugate the JVP. Collateral damage -“deaths is inevitable in any war. The importance lies as to whether they were intentionally killed. There have been instances where certain officers intentionally killed people,like in the case of the Manamperi girl in 1971. But these cases were inquired into and the officers who perpetrated the killings were severely punished. Our Defence Secretary has already said that facts should be presented and that every allegation will be probed. I have seen the Issapriya Film and can figure out the tomatoes ketchup substituted for blood!

‚ Let sanity prevail and people in glass houses should not throw stones. Britain has many skeletons in its cupboard, Comparatively our leaders are only liberators And that fact will be laid bare if ever there is any pursuit of our leaders at war crimes. . It is a fact that Western countries that have become home to many Tamil migrants have to,pander to that mass to covet their votes at the coming general elections. Not only the UK and Canada but many other countries are caught up in this‚ ‚  pursuit to pander for votes in their aspiration to be in power. Britain is no exception.

Garvin Karunaratne

Former Government Agent, Matara

6 Responses to “The Day of Reckoning is not too far for the Superpowers”

  1. Lorenzo Says:

    We all know these but the question is does MAHARANEE have the BACKBONE to tell the BRISHIT off?

    He doesn’t.

  2. Nanda Says:

    Lorenzo,
    I have this strange feeling that Ranee will tell something to these buggers this time.
    I think he has the backbone but too much greed cause this inaction and counter productive action.

  3. Lorenzo Says:

    Good if he does as he did in 2009.

    At least let GR do the honors.

    But Maha Ranee’s youngest son is still studying in UK. So he might hesitate.

  4. Susantha Wijesinghe Says:

    LORENZO ! MAHA RANEE NEED NOT WORRY ABOUT THE YOUNGEST SON. BEST IS TO TELL THE BUGGERS OFF. IF THE BRITSHITS TRY THEIR FUNNY TACTICS, MOVE THE SON TO US.

    MR SHOULD NOT LOOK INTO THEIR PERSONAL GAINS AND HESITATE.

  5. Nanda Says:

    “MR SHOULD NOT LOOK INTO THEIR PERSONAL GAINS AND HESITATE.”

    Susantha, Susantha , Susantha – he is not an arahant ! Even the war winning is hard work for gains. But this is how it should be. He must do more difficult stuff and personal gains will automatically come to him! The law of kamma.

  6. veddah Says:

    Mahinda Rajapakse was perfectly right to say “People in glasshouses should not throw stones”. All nations are more less the same. Sri Lanka or United Kingdom are not exceptions. USA is among 5 countries which has not ratified Protocol 1 of the Geneva Convention. Proving my earlier point that all countries are more or less the same!

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

 

 


Copyright © 2018 LankaWeb.com. All Rights Reserved. Powered by Wordpress