Sri Lanka: UNHRC puts LTTE rehabilitees too in harm’s way?
Posted on March 11th, 2014

The UNHRC hype is not really about war crimes is it

 Why would the TNA and Tamil tiger diaspora back Sri Lanka’s War time Army Commander in the elections as opposed to the President? While accusing the Government of War Crimes?
The TNA and LTTE diaspora funding – was to back the former Army Commander who has been clear that it is he that commanded and mobilised the Army and has stated categorically – then and now…
“If there are allegations of war crimes against the army, I have said that I am ready to answer that anytime to anybody because I don’t agree that the army had committed any war crimes. I deny that. If somebody has a specific complaint and any credible evidence, then we can always conduct an inquiry like we have done in the past….If there are war crimes allegations and somebody goes to the electric chair, it will be me because I commanded, I planned, I monitored, I directed, I supervised the battlefield activities and I gave orders
If the Tamil tiger diaspora and TNA actually believed the War Crimes saga – why did they back the Army Commander?
What exactly does the Tamil tiger diaspora want?
What exactly does the TNA [voted in with the Tamil tiger diaspora funds and phone calls pressurising the voters in the previously LTTE held regions] want?
Then what is it about? The Tamil tiger fronts and supporters cant bear the fact that it was finally under the Governance of Mahinda Rajapakse that their terrorist leader was killed. That the LTTE collapsed.
In the absence of any way to seek revenge – they trumpet war crimes – but back the war time commander!
Sri Lankans know who has succeeded in routing out terrorism and developing the nation and bringing the country and the people – who want to be a part of this nation – out into a new era.
Sri Lankans would like those that dont want to be part of this nation to seek their Eelam in their host countries (Join the 1million in Toronto and Scarborough following in the footsteps of Quebec. Join the 300,000 in South London and Tooting for the UK. Join the 80million Tamils in Tamil Nadu for India).
It is also good to know that the West, while it allows terrorists to operate in their country to attack other countries – will not give an inch of theirs. So it is no surprise though that the quest to Make January the Tamil Cultural Month was rejected by the Canadian Parliament. It is no surprise that the USA renewed the ban on the LTTE as a terrorist group again as it knows the dangers of playing with terrorists.
 UNHRC Puts ‘LTTE Rehabilitees’ Too In Harm’s Way?

N. Sathiya Moorthy The Sunday Leader, Colombo 7 March 2014

If the ‘leaked’ draft of the proposed Anglo-American resolution on Sri Lanka to the UNHRC is any indication, the Tamils will have to ask themselves if the ‘international community’ was any more their friends as they had believed.

”‹ ‘LTTE ghosts’ back from where they are buried, deep in minds and in the midst of the civilian population, with no identity tags hanging around their necks. In such a case, at least the 12,000 LTTE cadres detained by the State at the conclusion of the decisive ‘Eelam War IV’ and ‘rehabilitated’ in the local Tamil society by the Government will be held as much ‘accountable’ as sections of the nation’s armed forces, as the case maybe, on allegations of ‘war crimes’.

The armed forces acted for the State in the protection of the Sri Lankan nation’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, and the lives of the people. International law, practices and precedents are clear about their role, responsibility and rights, as they are about ‘accountability issues’, which are not as inherent and are more and more agenda-driven in comparison. They have a protection that the LTTE cadres lack.

The LTTE was a non-State terrorist group. Post-9/11, the international community has clear ideas and clear-cut ideals in dealing with such outfits and their members. Sri Lanka is possibly the only nation in the post-9/11 era to have ‘rehabilitated’ ex-terrorists of the kind, and in such large numbers. Either the international community should hold these terrorists accountable for their ‘past acts’, or hold the Government ‘accountable’ for letting ‘em all get off the hook after ‘reformist’ training, including vocational rehabilitation ” or, both.

Is it what the Tamils want, Diaspora or no Diaspora, the Government having concluded, or at least seemingly so, that the West is no more a friend of Sri Lanka? Is it what the ruling Tamil National Alliance (TNA) in the Northern Province bargained for when they wanted the ‘international community’ to come to their help? And is this the way out of the Tamils’ eternal problems, or is it the way ‘in’ for more problems, much of it being self-inflicted precisely this way?

Fonseka’s reiteration

Ahead of the UNHRC session, Sarath Fonseka, commander of the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) all through ‘Eelam War IV’ and at present leader of the Democratic Party, has reiterated thus in a local media interview: “If there are allegations of war crimes against the army, I have said that I am ready to answer that anytime to anybody because I don’t agree that the army had committed any war crimes. I deny that. If somebody has a specific complaint and any credible evidence, then we can always conduct an inquiry like we have done in the past….If there are war crimes allegations and somebody goes to the electric chair, it will be me because I commanded, I planned, I monitored, I directed, I supervised the battlefield activities and I gave orders.�€

Political as it may sound, that too during the current run-up to the 29 March Provincial Council elections in the West and the South, Fonseka’s reiteration raises questions. One, why are the Tamils, particularly the Diaspora, that had gone after him with a vengeance on ‘accountability issues’ through those three-plus years of ‘Eelam War IV’, silent about it all? Independent of Fonseka’s rightful political ambitions and his personal justification drawn from the experience of four World War Generals becoming elected President of the USA soon afterward, what made both the Diaspora and the TNA to back him in the post-war presidential polls of 2010, all of a sudden, ignoring their own ‘accountability-related’ allegations against him and the armed forces that he had commanded?

Was it just the absence of the LTTE at the time of presidential polls that made the difference to the Diaspora/TNA perception about Fonseka’s candidacy, or was there more to it? What made them conclude that Fonseka was better presidential material for the Tamils than incumbent President, Mahinda Rajapaksa, under the circumstances, for them to join his campaign openly? Is there any linkage now to the Diaspora and the TNA maintaining stoic silence about their war-time charges against the then army commander and their backing for him in the presidential polls? Or, are they plain and simple embarrassed?

In this context, other questions too remain: What about the much-rumoured and seldom-publicised MoU signed between Fonseka and the TNA leadership, if there was any ahead of the 2010 presidential polls? With the PSC process on ” meaningfully or otherwise ” would either or both of them care to present those purported proposal for the greater consideration of the larger polity from across the nation? Or, what would they have answers if someone were to ‘leak’ what may then be claimed to be a copy of the document (if at all one was actually signed)?

It is a moot question now, but would things have been different for Sri Lanka ” and in Sri Lanka, too ” on the ‘accountability’ front, had Fonseka won the presidency in 2010? Independent of whoever, from within the country and outside, had backed him in the poll, his position even at the time was that the armed forces did not wrong or crime on the scale imagined and mentioned ” 40,000 Tamil civilian deaths by UN’s Darussman Report, and 186,000 by local Tamil claims, purportedly based on a ‘door-to-door census’, both culled out later. At the time of the elections, the rumoured figures of Tamil civilian casualties was 7,000-8,000, confirmed by an initial UN reports from the ground.

De-militarisation and de-mobilisation

Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa has outlined how such de-mobilisation may lead to social upheaval that the nation cannot handle.

The question is this: Would tempers and temperatures be relatively low if the war-time military camps were confined to war-weary areas, or are spread out even more to war wary areas? Yet, answers have to be found and implemented before it became too late all over again. Pending it all serves no good purpose for the Tamils if the more irresponsible among them inside the country start talking about ‘accountability’ by individual field commanders for alleged ‘war crimes’.

After the commanders, it could be the turn of individual soldiers. There are 200,000 soldiers. Targetting them would not help resolve any issue or even alleged ‘war crimes’. They too have families. They have friends and admirers, too. Such a course as is being mentioned now is not only mischievous but also possibly aims atundermining whatever ethnic reconciliation that may still be effected post-UNHRC. The movers and shakers behind such moves do not understand the consequences.

”‹ Read more on:

http://www.thesundayleader.lk/2014/03/09/unhrc-puts-ltte-rehabilitees-too-in-harms-way/

(The writer is Director, Chennai Chapter of Observer Research Foundation, the multi-disciplinary Indian public-policy think-tank, headquartered in New Delhi. Email: [email protected])

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