CBC’s THe Current on HR violations in Sri Lanka -Nov 14th
Posted on November 14th, 2013

Mahinda Gunasekera Agincourt, Canada

November 14, 2013

CBC, The Current
Toronto, Ontario

Dear Sir/Madam,

I watched The Current this morning and submitted the following comment in respect of matters discussed in the program.‚  It appears as though Sri Lanka is being tried by the media on numerous allegations deemed “credible”.‚  What does “Credible allegations” mean?‚  If these are not formally presented to the Sri Lankan authorities and the accusers are unwilling to corroborate or substantiate these allegations, they will remain mere allegations that cannot be proceeded on and perpetrators if any tried in a court of law and punished for crimes committed if any.‚  Even the UN Secretary General’s so called Panel of Experts made several allegations which they termed as being ‘credible’, but decided to lock away the one sided information reviewed by them for a period of 20 years.

It is the standard practice among refugee seekers to concoct stories about rape, torture and other misdeeds in order to obtain asylum, especially at a time when hostilities in Sri Lanka have ceased making it more difficult for claimants to obtain refugee status outside.‚  A classic case is that reported in the National Post of one Mr. Samathanan who came to Canada as a refugee apparently claiming rights violations in Sri Lanka, and then proceeding to Sri Lanka, getting married, having children and settling there disproving his refugee claim earlier made to Canada. In 2007, he starts a business and without permission imports 600 cell phones which devices were being used by the Tamil Tigers to blow up bombs planted in buses, trains, shopping centres, etc.‚  When his case was heard in the courts he agreed to plead guilty to a single count of illegally importing an electronic device. He paid a fine and was released in August 2010 but he only‚  returned to Canada in April 2011.‚  But this man with the assistance of a rights group is seeking to sue the Sri Lankan authorities for torture and what have you, when his conduct clearly shows that he is unreliable and untrustworthy.

The number of civilian deaths in the last 4 months and 18 days ended on May 18, 2009 has been grossly exaggerated by the various rights groups and the UN Panel based on one sided information coming from prejudiced sources in order to demonize Sri Lanka and punish that country that defeated the brutal Liberation Tamil Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and rescued nearly 300,000 Tamil civilians held hostage as a human shield by the LTTE terrorists, who were being funded by members of the Tamil diaspora spread out in western countries with over 30 percent of the funding going from Canada according to Janes Intelligence.‚  A detailed analysis carried out by Kath Noble under the title -ËœNumbers Game-â„¢ published in the Island newspaper on July 3, 2013 and Prof. Michael Roberts-â„¢ notes in his blog reveals the discrepancies earlier pointed out. Refer : http://thuppahi.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/numbers-game-reviewed-by-kath-noble-the-full-monty/#more-9822 .

Comments made by me on November 14, 2013 to CBC’s The Current Program

“The number of civilian deaths in the period Jan 1 to May 18, 2009 published by the UNSG’s Panel and subsequent review by Petrie are guesstimates of 40,000 and 70,000 plus respectively pulled out of thin air, based on one sided hearsay information deemed as credible allegations, which the Panel locked away for 20 years. The figure of 7,721 ascertained by the UN Resident Rep’s office in Colombo for the same period gathered from their over 200 Tamil local staff who remained in the conflict zone and came out alive are not spoken of but held back.‚  The Tamilnet, a propaganda arm of the Tamil Tigers reported a total of 7398 deaths w/o differentiating between combatants and civilians. The Sri Lanka government carried out a census of the north and east in 2012 using Tamil Teachers and Tamil Public officials as enumerators and arrived at a total count of 7,432 war related deaths, of which the cause of 584 remained unknown.‚  Even Gordon Weiss who worked in the UN office in Colombo who was aware of the UN’s count of 7,721 deaths initially claimed a figure of 10,000 and later stretched it to tens of thousands to be around 40,000 in order to sell his book titled ‘The Cage’ to the million strong Tamil expats in the diaspora. Should we reject the local UN office count, that of the Tamilnet and the GOSL census and accept the baseless guesstimates of the UNSG’s Panel, Petrie report, CH4, Frances Harrison and other rights groups estimates made from outside the country?

PM Harper said he would keep away from CHOGM in Sri Lanka in response to a question from a Tamil journalist attached to the ethnic press, as the Conservatives have been wooing the Tamil vote in the GTA where their support could tip the scales in some of the ridings.‚  If you want Sri Lanka to act on alleged rape, torture and wrongdoings, the parties making the allegations must be prepared to formally present the evidence to the authorities for follow up and action against the perpetrators if any, as media videos alone are insufficient and same needs to be corroborated in a court of law, as otherwise they remain unsubstantiated allegations.‚ ‚ ‚ ‚  Mahinda Gunasekera‚  ”

Yours truly,

Mahinda Gunasekera

Agincourt, Canada

2 Responses to “CBC’s THe Current on HR violations in Sri Lanka -Nov 14th”

  1. Fran Diaz Says:

    Thank you Mahinda for this article. You have covered all the salient points.

    We agree that : It is up to the parties who make wild claims of rape, torture and wrongdoings to formally present the evidence to the authorities for follow up and action.

    Wild claims for cheap sensationalism and monetary gain, citizenship in foreign countries etc via hired journalists will not work. Only truth of matters will prevail.

    Question: On the other side, are some people wishing for a major war in the SE Asian region via Tamil Caste problems ?

  2. Fran Diaz Says:

    Re evidence through Video, we found some interesting facts. I am referring to Digital Evidence as Ch-4 is fond of producing endless concocted videos attempting to prove war crimes by SL armed forces. According to the laws on this subject in the UK, Ch-4 is wanting in authenticity in the videos produced. They ought to be prosecuted.

    Admissibility of Digital Evidence :

    In USA :

    Digital evidence is often ruled inadmissible by courts because it was obtained without authorization.[1] In most jurisdictions a warrant is required to seize and investigate digital devices. In a digital investigation this can present problems where, for example, evidence of other crimes are identified while investigating another. During a 1999 investigation into online harassment by Keith Schroeder investigators found pornographic images of children on his computer. A second warrant had to be obtained before the evidence could be used to charge Schroeder.

    Authentication

    As with any evidence, the proponent of digital evidence must lay the proper foundation. Courts largely concerned themselves with the reliability of such digital evidence. As such, early court decisions required that authentication called “for a more comprehensive foundation.” US v. Scholle, 553 F.2d 1109 (8th Cir. 1976). As courts became more familiar with digital documents, they backed away from the higher standard and have since held that “computer data compilations… should be treated as any other record.” US v. Vela, 673 F.2d 86, 90 (5th Cir. 1982).
    A common attack on digital evidence is that digital media can be easily altered. However, in 2002 a US court ruled that “the fact that it is possible to alter data contained in a computer is plainly insufficient to establish untrustworthiness” (US v. Bonallo, 858 F. 2d 1427 – 1988 – Court of Appeals, 9th).[1][6]
    Nevertheless, the “more comprehensive” foundation required by Scholle remains good practice. The American Law Reports lists a number ways to establish the comprehensive foundation. It suggests that the proponent demonstrate “the reliability of the computer equipment”, “the manner in which the basic data was initially entered”, “the measures taken to insure the accuracy of the data as entered”, “the method of storing the data and the precautions taken to prevent its loss”, “the reliability of the computer programs used to process the data”, and “the measures taken to verify the accuracy of the program”. 7 American Law Reports 4th, 8, 2b.

    UK ACPO guidelines:

    In the United Kingdom examiners usually follow guidelines issued by the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) for the authentication and integrity of evidence. They were updated to Version 5 in October 2011 when computer based evidence, was replaced with digital evidence reflecting the development of investigating cyber security incidents in a wider context.

    The guidelines consist of four principles:

    Principle 1: No action taken by law enforcement agencies, persons employed within those agencies or their agents should change data which may subsequently be relied upon in court. Principle 2: In circumstances where a person finds it necessary to access original data, that person must be competent to do so and be able to give evidence explaining the relevance and the implications of their actions. Principle 3: An audit trail or other record of all processes applied to digital evidence should be created and preserved. An independent third party should be able to examine those processes and achieve the same result. Principle 4: The person in charge of the investigation has overall responsibility for ensuring that the law and these principles are adhered to.
    These guidelines are widely accepted in courts of England and Scotland, but they do not constitute a legal requirement and their use is voluntary. It is arguable that whilst voluntary, non adherence is almost certain to lead to the exclusion of evidence that does not comply subject to the provisions of s.76 Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (Power to exclude evidence obtained unfairly).

    ADAM Principles :

    Building on the ACPO Guidelines but with a more generic application outside of law enforcement the following overriding principles that must be followed by the digital forensic practitioner are proposed by Adams:

    The activities of the digital forensic practitioner should not alter the original data. If the requirements of the work mean that this is not possible then the effect of the practitioner’s actions on the original data should be clearly identified and the process that caused any changes justified.
    A complete record of all activities associated with the acquisition and handling of the original data and any copies of the original data must be maintained. This includes compliance with the appropriate rules of evidence, such as maintaining a chain of custody record, and verification processes such as hashing.
    The digital forensic practitioner must not undertake any activities which are beyond their ability or knowledge.
    The digital forensic practitioner must take into consideration all aspects of personal and equipment safety whilst undertaking their work.
    At all times the legal rights of anyone affected by your actions should be considered.
    The practitioner must be aware of all organisational policies and procedures relating to their activities
    Communication must be maintained as appropriate with the client, legal practitioners, supervisors and other team members

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