Lalith’s move checkmates UK, USA and India
Posted on February 9th, 2014

Part I- H. L. D. Mahindapala

 The Head of the Presidential Secretariat, Lalith Weeratunga, has made a  bold and strategic move which was reported by Reuter at the end of his  diplomatic tour  of the West. He told Reuter’s: “If there is an international investigation, the whole period has to be investigated ” from the 1980s onward ” which includes the two-year tenure of the Indian peacekeeping force, which will upset India, which will upset our relationship with India.” With this statement he has not only hit the nail on the head but also nailed the USA-UK-Indian move against the Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) as an irrational, invalid and partisan resolution designed to hang only Sri Lanka and let others like India off the hook.

 India’s role, which exacerbated, destabilized and, consequently, led to violations of human rights for 33 years, has been ignored by the high priests of international morality in the UN, Western foreign offices, I/NGOs and the cacophonic Indian commentariat too. On the contrary, the focus has  been exclusively on Sri Lanka implying that other interventionists like India, which played a key military role in the north and the east between 1987 and 1990, are not guilty of any crimes committed by the IPKF. Now for the first time, Lalith Weeratunga has signaled that Sri Lanka should not be made to carry India’s baby. India too must accept its share of responsibility for the violations of human rights in Sri Lanka. And that any resolution moved by USA-UK at UNHRC must give equal weightage to the IPKF atrocities as well..

 Up until now India has got away with impunity despite the known record of  committing some of the worst the crimes against the people of Sri Lanka. (More of Indian atrocities later). Now at last the Government of Sri Lankan (GOSL) has called off India’s bluff. And why not? If India has consecutively accused Sri Lanka of violating international humanitarian law ignoring the documented record of its own IPKF operations to quell the Tamil Tigers targeting Indians forces why can’t Sri Lanka raise the issue of India’s accountability in committing war crimes and crimes against the Tamils in Jaffna in particular?

 This counter-move was long overdue and this must be pursued to balance and neutralize, if  possible, India’s back-stabbing of a friendly neighbor who was hoping until now that India would be an understanding partner in stabilizing the region. Weeratunga has made a bold move because it is the first sign of Sri Lanka saying “enough is enough” to India. Sri Lanka and the SAARC region as a whole has suffered long enough under Indian imperialistic arrogance. It is time that India was told where to get off. Though Weeratunga in his  usual sophisticated and diplomatic way has not opened up a full frontal attack on India it is sufficient enough to signal India that Sri Lanka no longer considers India to  be the innocent saint that it pretends to be in the international stage. He has in his own  quiet way exposed India’s hypocrisy of pinching the baby and rocking the cradle.

 The move against GOSL at UNHRC, however, is all about ending wars on a high moral plane ” a principle never applied to any of the wars waged by the accusers. The consecutive resolutions express concern about GOSL not ending the war on the moral plane prescribed by the movers of the anti-Sri Lankan resolutions at UNHRC. Or to be more precise, Sri Lanka is accused of not ending  the war in its last five months (from  January 2009 to May 2009) according  to the norms that would have satisfied the movers of the anti-Sri Lankan resolutions at the UNHRC. But the fact remains that it is purely an arbitrary cut-off point which is not based on any known rules/norms to judge any war.

 The international humanitarian and human right law may pick incidents that demonstrate the gross violations from various phases of a war but there is absolutely no provision in these laws to draw an arbitrary line insisting that the violations of only this or that period should be used in judging a prolonged war. Such an artificial line can only favour some actors and disadvantage the others. A rational and fair judgment must be based either on the entire length of a war, however long it takes, or none at all. Imaginary lines drawn to judge one phase and  not the other cannot cover the totality of the violations of international humanitarian and human  rights law which are bound to occur in any war. This explains why there is no known  precedent in history where the consequences of a war are judged on a selected short time frame of five months.                                                        

 For instance, the Nazi leaders were not tried in Nuremburg on their conduct in the last five months of World War II. The Nazi leaders were held responsible and tried for their actions throughout the six-year war, including the crime against peace which goes to the very beginning when Hitler declared war on September 3, 1939, tearing up the peace agreement with Neville Chamberlain. Based on this landmark Nuremburg precedent the longest running war in Asia fought on Sri Lankan soil should be judged from the day the Tamil leadership, which was in the non-violent democratic mainstream, declared war against the nation on May 14, 1976 in the Vadukoddai Resolution. That is the first crime committed by the Tamil leadership not only against peace but against their  own people. Like the Pied Piper of Hamelin they lured their own people to ruin with self-destructing racist tunes.

 However, history records that it was the demonized Sinhala leadership that finally rescued the Tamil people from total annihilation. Under the leadership of Velupillai Prabhakaran the chances of Tamils in peace were extremely remote. But the positive role of GOSL saving lives and restoring peace is swept under the carpet. The gains of the post-war period is white-washed and with a monstrous twist of facts and figures the international community is focusing on a negative scenario that does not conform to realities of judging wars. Deliberately expunging all the preceding contributing events that led to the war and its bloody consequences, the UNHRC resolutions confine the charges to the last five months. Oddly enough, the first resolution moved against GOSL commends the elimination of terrorism but accuses GOSL of not conforming to international humanitarian and human rights laws in ending  the war in the last stages. The Secretary-General of the UN, Ban Ki Moon, too assigned the Panel of Experts headed by Darusman to focus only on the last five months of the 33-year-old war, give or take a few days from May 14, 1976 to May 18, 2009.

 The moralists in the international community are obsessed with the last five months. This is a mystery that has not been explained by the movers of  the resolutions. What is the  international community, including India and UN, obsessed only with the last five months and not the preceding 32 years and seven months? By any standards it is a bizarre calculation to judge a 33-year-old war based on the operations conducted in the last five months. This implies that violations of international humanitarian and human rights laws occurred only in the last five months and the rest were free from any such violations. But the recorded history contradicts this absurd conclusion. As in any other war, all actors involved in the longest war in Asia, including  India, are guilty of either collateral damage or deliberate violations of international and  human rights law. To judge a 33-year-old war by only its last five months defies all logic. It is primarily a cover-up to protect some interventionists and put  the blame entirely on GOSL. If there is any natural justice available at the UNHRC the 47 members should collectively throw out the USA-UK-Indian resolution against Sri Lanka.

  In short, the USA, UK and India have jointly moved a resolution without a sustainable or justifiable rationale. Their resolution  is located  in a moral vacuum which undermines it validity to point an accusing finger at GOSL. Besides, none of the practices, precedents, principles and policies pursued perennially by USA-UK in any of the conflict situations faced by these accusers contains any example of ending their wars according to norms laid down for Sri Lanka at the UNHRC.

 Moreover, if any UN organization is used to seek justice then each state must be judged by the same rules. In other words, every state that ended their wars must be judged, without exception, on the identical rule of how it ended their war/s in the last five months. Any deviation from this principle can only lead to legal perversions and moral hypocrisy that cannot sustain or justify lop-sided, country specific resolutions. International law that guarantees equality of status to all states, irrespective of their size, cannot justify the ending of one war by dropping atom bombs and  killing 300,000 on Japanese civilians in two cities, on the one hand, and accuse another for ending a war by saving 300,000 Tamil civilians who were held as a human shield by the perpetrators of the 33-year-old war.                                        

 It is quite plain that the five-month time frame, in which only GOSL was involved directly in combatting the LTTE,  was designed to exonerate all other national, regional and international actors who were involved from 1976 and to accuse only GOSL for alleged violations of international humanitarian and human rights laws. There  is no other acceptable reason for this selective approach. Viewed from any angle there is no moral, legal, political, factual or statistical rationale for the accusers to blame only GOSL based on a five month time frame. In hindsight,  the hidden agenda behind this move has become quite transparent: it is a politically motivated move  to exclude all the national, regional and international actors involved in the Vadukoddai War which began officially on May 14, 1976. If, on the  other hand, the accusers took the charges out  of the five months frame and extended it to the entire  length of the Vadukoddai War then a whole range of actors, including, India, Norway and the Tamil diaspora would come within its ambit.  India, in particular, will have to face serious charges of atrocities committed by its IPKF forces in the North and East.

 Here in lies the fundamental flaw. Even Sri Lanka must be judged, if at all, from May 14, 1976 and not from January 2009 to May 2009. But the accusers have shied away from this accusation because they know that if any inquiry is held into the entire length of the war then other leading actors like India too will have to face similar charges of accountability. So the UNHRC resolutions were drafted to let India get away with impunity and hang Sri Lanka for the crimes of all the others, including India. The Biblical judgment demanding that those without sin should cast the first stone applies to the accusers who argue, inter alia, that Sri Lanka should be made an example to others. It is nearly five years since the first resolution was raised at UNHRC. How many lessons have the Sri Lankan example  taught remote control operators of American drones, Indian occupiers of Kashmir, or the President of America who sits every Tuesday with his CIA-FBI intelligence units to pass death sentence, without due process, on those who are considered to be a threat to America? The arguments leveled against Sri Lanka by its accusers, when tested against their own standards, are worse than school boy jokes.

 It is the selective approach to judge the 33-year-old war that questions the integrity of the moralists who are bent on putting Sri Lanka in the dock at UNHRC. The  irony is that the first UNHRC resolution confirms that there was a necessity to eliminate the Tamil Tiger terrorists. It was only quibbling about the way the war was ended in the  last five months. So the morality is not about conducting the war but about how the war was ended. This leads to several key issues: 1. How would the movers of the anti-Sri Lankan resolution end a similar war if they were facing an intransigent megalomaniac like Prabhakaran? 2. Would they have stopped their war against  such a ruthless maniac if they were at the gates of the Tigers, knowing that the civilians were being used as a human shield? 3. What kind of weapons and targets would they have selected from their armoury against the enemy?  4. Also, what kind of precautions would they have taken to save the non-combatants in fighting the war to a finish? and 5. Did the GOSL treat the Tamil community in the north and the east as citizens of the state that needs protection and saving or as citizens of the putative state of Eelam (as the Tamil separatist lobby believed) who should be eliminated in a genocidal exercise to win the war?

 Under ideal conditions the only moral answer in any conflict situation is not to declare war. That is step number one. But it was the Tamil leadership that officially declared war in passing the Vadukoddai Resolution in May 14, 1976. No other community has taken that aggressive step against  another community as the Tamil leadership. They are thus guilty of the crime against peace. In the end it proved to be futile exercise that served no one any good.

 The second best option, once war is declared,  is to open ways and means of ending the war for the mutual benefit of both parties. Opportunities to end the war were offered by national, regional and international power-brokers. All offers were rejected by the “sole representatives of the Tamils”. Not only that, the peace-makers (like Rajiv Gandhi, President Premadasa, Neelan Tiruchelvam, Lakshman Kadirgamar) were assassinated by “the sole representative of the Tamils”. Prabhakaran depended essentially on war-mongering for his survival. He could never have maintained his fascist tyranny under peaceful conditions. There was, therefore, no chance of arriving at a negotiated settlement.

 The ultimate option consequently was to fight to a finish. This is identical to what happened in World War II. A feeble Hitler who was on his last legs came out from his bunker to shake hands with untrained teenagers who were brain-washed to hold out to the end. Prabhakaran in Sri Lanka was no different. He had to be removed from the political equation, as stated in the UNHRC resolution.

 And the world today is a better place for the preservation of human rights because of the last five months in the Vadukoddai War.

 (To be continued)

21 Responses to “Lalith’s move checkmates UK, USA and India”

  1. Lorenzo Says:

    A DOUBLE FOLK in chess!

    Lalith Weeratunga is the man. Foreign ministry should take instructions from him DIRECTLY.

    Lalith Weeratunga on a previous instance quoted from Chandraprema’s book GOTA’S WAR read out “ENDIA financed, trained and armed Tamil terrorist groups.”

    Oh! I forgot. He also said 13 amendment and PC system is a WHITE ELEPHANT!

  2. Nanda Says:

    “If there is an international investigation, the whole period has to be investigated – from the 1980s onward – which includes the two-year tenure of the Indian peacekeeping force, which will upset India, which will upset our relationship with India.”

    The only Golden Statement since 2009. Want to here more.
    We must all rally behind this man !

    Will MR sack him ? I am worried.

  3. Nanda Says:

    But the Tamil women will say IPKF did not rape them, they willingly enjoyed !
    Tamils will say IPKF did not kill a single innocent man, they committed suicide !

  4. Mr. Bernard Wijeyasingha Says:

    Before any international probe is put in place Sri Lanka should compile her own evidence backed up with supporting videos, etc. that fully imply India’s role in the Sri Lankan civil war and hand it over to the UNHRC. It is irrelevant whether the UNHRC takes it seriously or not but it is most important they have this information before an international investigation is formulated in Washington D.C.

    With this any international investigation can be forced to address India’s role in the Sri Lankan civil war. Once the gate is open on this issue, it would be the duty of Sri Lanka by herself or with the support of China and Pakistan to demand further investigation on a litany of human rights violations India has committed and the UN has ignored including the Gujarat riots, the human rights violations committed by the Indian military in Kashmir, Operation blue star in the Punjab.

    If this fails then Sri Lanka should back the pro Khalistan movement along with Pakistan, back the Muslim Kashmiri people to achieve independence or join with Pakistan, back the separatist movements in Assam, Nagaland, Mizoram and Manipur. When Indian military take action against these movements and if they eventually violate human rights then demand that the UNHRC address the human rights violations perpetrated by the Indian military. This may take China’s security Councils veto power. Sri Lanka can train cadres in each separatist movement in the same manner RAW did till India faces numerous separatist movements and equal accusations of human rights accusations if her military puts one toe out of line.

  5. Nanda Says:

    BW,
    Remember this a challenge by LW only to checkmate all sakkilis.
    We should never allow “international probe ” anyway, because they will make their own “evidence”.

    We should back all enemies of Endia anyway, even now.

  6. jayasiri Says:

    Thank you Prof.Mahindapala…I knew that there will be hope if we ALL pull together. EVERYONE known to Lankaweb said the SAME THIMG, to investigate ALL 33 years of Terror, Kiilings of innocent & also destroying places of worhsip of all religions.

    Investigate specially the period of IPKF in Sri Lanka, and that monument built is a disgrace to ALL Lankans & Tamils as well, They raped Tamils & Muslims during that PERIOD of OCCUPATION of a democratic country as a BULLY. This INDIAN intervention in a neighbour, WILL NEVER BE FORGIVEN. INDIA should realize that.

    I am sure for March 2014, Dr. Chanaka Bandarge of Australia & others who volunteered services, will assist Mr. lalith Weeratunga in this effort. Going to IFJ in Hague is also an option as one of the knowledgeble individual commented, as according to him, EVEN the first two resolutions against SRI Lanka are illegal.

    Keep our patriots in the loop & continue the hard work so that at lleast the expat community with the help of other Sri Lankans have made some progress in BLUNTING USA / UK/India resolutions against a FRIENDLY NATION……..J

  7. Lorenzo Says:

    Nanda,

    “But the Tamil women will say IPKF did not rape them, they willingly enjoyed !
    Tamils will say IPKF did not kill a single innocent man, they committed suicide !”

    You have understood the TAMIL MENTALITY very well. This is EXACTLY what will happen!!

    But you are 208 years behind a British who understood this.

    “Untruthfulness comes as naturally to a Tamil as mother’s milk.” – William Sabonadiere (1806)

    There is a SL proverb if I get it right, “Trust only 2 Tamils – the dead Tamil and the Tamil who is dead”.

    I PITY MODAYA Sinhalese who have NO brain power to understand this simple FACT and act accordingly.

  8. Lorenzo Says:

    In 1991 RAW used its LTTE darlings to bomb Rajiv because RAW was headed by pro-Soviet guys at that time. Rajiv and his wife Sonia were CIA agents. RAW came to know this and bombed him. Sonia escaped because she didn’t go with Rajiv. But in 2004 Sonia SACKED all old RAW bosses.

    An investigation will REVEAL this thing creating a MAJOR dispute between Endian govt, Sonia/Rahu, CIA and RAW. North Endians will be AGAINST Tamilians. Snowden and Julian will look like innocents!!

  9. Indrajith Says:

    I agree with Mr. Mahindapala, Lorenzo, Nanda, Jayasiri and Mr. BW.
    A small change to what Lorenzo stated though! As I heard it should be read as :

    “Trust only two Tamils: the dead Tamil and the one in the Photo!”

  10. Nanda Says:

    Lorenzo,
    Please watch “scars of sri lanka” by aljazeera.
    Even I became moved by some crying women. But Ananthi ( I am sure she got a lot of money already) appears to be the leading actress in this video.
    But what do you think about Army man’s response. Very poor. How can he smile like that ?
    These buggers are not trained to face journalists.
    One thing good is SUper Thugs are doing some service

  11. Nanda Says:

    Instead of laughing the military bugger must have asked the journlist to make a complaint on the spot and asked him to be a witness.

  12. Lorenzo Says:

    Thanks Indrajith for the correction.

    So the KNOWLEDGE of this danger is already there in SL.

    Nanda,

    That is embarassing. But the media guys would have picked and chosen their targets.

  13. Nanda Says:

    Some news. Boss finally waken up ?

    ” The anti-government activities of the Northern Provincial Council in Sri Lanka had come under government
    scanner and the government has decided to conduct a special investigation into the Council’s recent measures.

    According to a report in Sinhala weekly The Divaina on Sunday, the government has become seriously concerned with the activities of the Council violating the Constitution and working against National Security and the country’s Foreign Policy and decided to conduct a special probe.
    The government has requested a report from the Governor of the Northern Province G.A. Chandrasiri in this regard, the report said.
    The government has also focused attention on a discussion held by the Provincial Minister of Education of the Northern Provincial Council Thambirasa Kurukularasa with the US Pacific Command for Asia Pacific region.
    In addition, the government has reportedly learnt that some of the councilors of the Northern Provincial Council have instructed the schools in the north not to hoist the national flag and not to sing the national anthem.
    Meanwhile, the intelligence services have informed the government that students at the Olumaddu School in Mullaitivu have been following the defunct terrorist group LTTE’s greeting customs during school sports meets, The Divaina further said. “

  14. Nanda Says:

    Simply dissolve these illegal gatherings of terrorists.

  15. SA Kumar Says:

    which will upset India, which will upset our relationship with India.” – because it upset India that why We do not want investigation ! what brilliant logic !!!

  16. SA Kumar Says:

    India’s accountability in committing war crimes and crimes against the Tamils in Jaffna in particular?
    Appe Sinhala sakotharayas worrying about Indian crimes against Demila Sakotharays after (1987) 27 years !!!!

    Thalaya Sunththuthu ! ( my head is spinning !) Chinhalavanra Sakothara Passam thanka muddia vilai ( I could not believe our Sinhalese brothers love ) !

  17. NAK Says:

    From the very beginning Sri Lanka’s position should have been that, If there is any investigation it has to be from early 70’s.
    Then we’ll know who was behind all these manipulations.

    I suspect in the early day’s, while India helped establish some terrorist groups, CIA was behind forming the Tigers.

    That explains JRJ’s attitude and behavior in 83. JR didn’t gain anything except the wrath of a lot of people from 83, while VP got every thing he wanted, most importantly much needed man power, a diaspora to provide the money and weapons and international support.

    The other aspect that needs to be investigated is the funding, weapons, equipment, expertise and training that the Tigers received from the west and India.

    Finally, this Geneva circus should be turned in to a blessing to get rid of all the undesirables including the 13A.

  18. Lorenzo Says:

    Nanda,

    NOTHING will happen because TNA rules SL. MR and GR are DEAD SCARED of TNA.

    Previous BS about rehabilitating Ananthi, investigating TNA-LTTE link didn’t happen.

    The news was in a Sinhala newspaper. A cheap attempt to fool the Sinhalese while giving north to Tamils.

  19. Nimal Says:

    GOSL shouldn’t allow foreign diplomats to visit north. They can say that it is not conducive to nation well being and harmony.

  20. Fran Diaz Says:

    GoSL should add in the INVESTIGATION into the 1983 trumped up Riots. These Riots were fake – it only enabled the Tamil EXODUS to the west, to refugee needing Canada especially, and ‘divide & rule’ Britain, whilst cornering Sri Lanka govt. of that time. JRJ could not declare a Curfew to stop the Riots. Only poor Hindu Tamils and a few Sinhala Buddhists (altogether some 400 people), died in those Riots. DRUGS were used widely to numb the senses prior to and after the Riots. Filming of the Riots were also done. The Sinhala people received the flack for these trumped up Riots, when in truth Tamils also participated in the Riots.

    See what Cold Wars can do to Lanka ! Keep away from them and declare Lanka, India & the SE Asian region a United and strong NON-ALIGNED ZONE.

    Parliament of Lanka : If you value your country and the People, bring in the 6-A and abolish the 13-A.

    Education re Drugs and the dangers therefrom must be done in schools and workplaces. The armed forces of Lanka should be put to action on this.

  21. Nanda Says:

    Lorenzo,
    I still have hopes, MR will not betray Sri Lanka.

    But I remember he was the first to go to UN and complain before he was arrested long time back. He is the inventor of complaining to UN rather than fighting bravely the enemy.

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