Tamil protesters call for Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena to be tried for war crimes and genocide committed during civil war
Posted on September 16th, 2015

On the eve of a delayed UN report into the bitter conflict, Tamils are on the march calling for justice from the international community

I’m looking for my daughter, my daughter-in law and two little grandchildren who disappeared during the war,” says Sivaneswari, rubbing her arthritic legs as she rests after a five-day protest march across the northern tip of Sri Lanka. I have faith they are still alive.”

Like Sivaneswari, 63, most of the bedraggled Tamil protesters from Sri Lanka’s biggest ethnic minority community, holding up photographs of their missing family members and placards calling for a war crimes investigation into the tiny island, are women. And six years after a three-decade war, they are old and they are tired.

The duo leading the protest march are the wife of a missing” Tamil Tiger terrorist chief who was responsible for hundreds of child soldier conscriptions and a cousin of the Tiger supremo Velupilla Prabhakaran who ran a ruthless terrorist organisation replete with suicide bombers. Now, they are ready for another kind of battle – they want the international community to try the island’s Sinhalese leadership for war crimes.

Maithripala Sirisena is a war criminal,” says Mahalingam Shivajilingam, a provincial council member and a cousin of Prabhakaran, referring to the current President. And we demand that he be tried for war crimes and genocide against the Tamil people of this country.”

Maithripala Sirisena, the Sri Lankan President, served as Defence Minister at the end of the civil warMaithripala Sirisena, the Sri Lankan President, served as Defence Minister at the end of the civil war (Getty)
Allegations against Mr Sirisena are spurred by the fact that he served as Acting Defence Minister under the former president Mahinda Rajapaksa during the last two weeks of the war, where, according to the United Nations, more than 40,000 Tamils were killed. Sparing no one, Ms Shivajilingam accuses the Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, Mr Rajapaksa, his brother the former Defence Secretary Gotabhya Rajapaksa and the field marshal, Sarath Fonseka, who commanded the military during the final war years, of also being war criminals.

The protest in the former northern war zone is timed to coincide with an ongoing United Nations Human Rights Commission (UNHRC) investigation in Geneva, where the head of the organisation Zeid Ra’ad Al-Hussein will release a delayed report on Sri Lanka’s war crimes tomorrow. The report addresses alleged extra-judicial killings, rape of Tamils and bombing civilian no fire zones” by the Sri Lankan military. Addressing a session in Geneva, Mr Al Hussein said that the report’s findings are of the most serious nature”.


Mr Rajapaksa has refused to comment until the release of the report. Mangala Samaraweera, the Foreign Minister, told the human rights commission that Colombo will set up a truth and reconciliation commission modelled on post-apartheid South Africa to look into atrocities committed during the final phase of the war. But the Tamils call any effort of an internal investigation an eyewash”.

You cannot compare South Africa with us,” says Ananthi Shashitharan, the wife of the eastern Tiger chief who, she says, disappeared after surrendering to government troops. We are not ready to trust any Sinhala government,” adds Manmohini, another woman with missing children. We want justice for the ethnic cleansing that happened to us Tamils. For the 2009 and 1983 riots.”

The mistrust between the two communities goes beyond to the riots in 1983, when a faction of the majority Sinhalese killed more than 3,000 innocent Tamil civilians across the country. While the Government watched, Sinhalese rioters dragged out and shot, clubbed and stabbed Tamil men and women, burnt their homes and set aflame vehicles with entire families inside. The Tamils have always felt marginalised.

Tamil qualms go beyond the Government too. They blame the West, particularly the United States and the UN, for watching while genocide was committed during the final phase of the war”.

We are angry with the international community,” says Ms Shashitharan. All of them, with their fancy satellite technology watched while we died by the thousands and now the US is backing out on its promise.”

The broken promise of the United States that the Tamils refer to has been America’s recent change of heart towards Sri Lanka following the new pro-West Government that came into power in January. After sponsoring and pushing for an anti-Sri Lankan resolution that called for an international investigation into the country’s war crimes, the US recently said it would adopt a collaborative approach” where Sri Lanka would be allowed to conduct a domestic investigation.

We don’t believe in domestic inquiries. We’ve been cheated by America,” says Rahumalar Thiruchchelvan, 52, a Tamil woman who joined the walk in protest against a probable softer UN report. A change of presidents and governments doesn’t wipe out our losses,” she says.

13 Responses to “Tamil protesters call for Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena to be tried for war crimes and genocide committed during civil war”

  1. crobe Says:

    When are the Tamils going to hold the LTTE responsible? When are they going to hold the Tamil politicians responsible for colluding with the LTTE?

    says Ms Shashitharan. “All of them, with their fancy satellite technology watched while we died by the thousands and now the US is backing out on its promise.”
    Believe me, if the US had anything incriminating on those satellite recordings, they would have already hung the Sri Lankan leaders. The only reason they kept on harping on an international investigation is because they had NO proof of the massive numbers of the dead they claim. The actual number was approximately 7,800. This is the number the UN initially put out. Why doesnt the UN publicize that report? Because, then it will give the lie to the Darusman panel report.

    Look at the 2 people leading this march – Ananthi Sasitharan is the wife of the brutal LTTE terrorist leader Elilan. He killed and maimed civilians without any compunction. Forcibly recruited children as young as 9 years old to fight in the front front lines. The list goes on.
    The second is M K Sivagilingam, a cousin of Velupillai Prabakharan. Where was Sivagilingam when VP was murdering people? He was silent. No words. No marches. No clamoring for international investigations. All this human rights crap was after their beloved Tigers perished. Until then, all murder and mayhem was good.

    Go figure. The international community(US, UK, Europe, Canada) was clamoring for investigating war crimes and human rights violations was because they hated the Rajapakshas and wanted them out. They had no proof to begin with. Just bully SL into a corner. Now that they have a more pliant administration they can control, the pressure will be off. Geopolitics at its best

  2. SA Kumar Says:

    The actual number was approximately 7,800 – Sorry machang you are wrong should be zero casualty , you know who gave this figure !!!
    Now You know why We-Sakkiliya Demila call you Sinhala Modayas last 2,000 years ( from Eelra (Eela Raja) time).

  3. Lorenzo Says:

    This is high fun.

    Tamils voted for Maru Sira and now want to punish him for war crimes!!
    Same with Fonseka.

  4. ranjit Says:

    What about mass Genocide done by Tamils and their terrorist brothers and sisters? Why no one is crying for the poor Sinhalese? What about our sons,Daughters,Father’s and Mother’s? How many has been killed and maimed by those LTTE brutal killers? Who will answer my questions?

    Who are these people who are protesting? Aren’t they are the parents of LTTE killers? Let this killers and the west go to hell.We shouldn’t allow any investigations against our heroes to do in Sri Lanka or otherwise. We as a nation must stand together in this national issue and fight against the evil International community who are trying to bully us like they did in Libya,Syria,Iraq etc. You should not give anything more than what they have now to those ungrateful Tamils. They should learn to live as other citizens in peace and harmony without demanding more and more. They do not deserve anything extra after all what they did to Sinhalese for thirty long years. Indian parasites were responsible for all what happened to my country. They deserve punishment not from a tiny nation like us but by nature for their crimes against a peaceful country..

  5. SA Kumar Says:

    Tamils voted for Maru Sira and now want to punish him for war crimes!! Same with Fonseka. – Vote against MR.

    only two horses in the race ( sorry forget Joker Sivajilingam got 100 Votes in Kurunagal ?)

  6. vyasan Says:

    I am not sure where I made a comment earlier, either in Lankaweb.com on an article or on facebook, in which I had mentioned that probably Maithripala Srisena was made a presidential candidate by being lured into,or by threats by the concerned parties through their agents. Now it looks like, apart from his own ambitions, MS could have been threatened to join the forces against Mahinda Rajapakse advising him (MS) that as otherwise he also would have to face war crimes and human rights violation as he happened to be the Defence Minister for the last two weeks of war during which time most of the alleged crimes and violation said to have taken place.

    That’s why the pro-LTTE elements now gang up against MS for being reluctant to carry out the a UNHRC recommendation, for these elements just want to take revenge on the deaths of LTTE leaders. Every one knows that the pro-LTTE elements have never been concerned about the deaths of civilians, whoever may be the cause for that but the LTTE leaders and the crushing of the LTTE at the hands of Srilankan Army.

  7. ranjit Says:

    Good for Sira.Give them some more and get punished.Listen to the Majority Sinhalese if not your end will not be far away. LTTE all over again and everyone’s life is in danger.Rulers must protect the Sinhala nation and the Sinhala people rather than pleasing the ungrateful Tamils and Muslims.

  8. Sarath W Says:

    This traitor must be tried for high treason by the next Sri Lanka government.

  9. asoka2468 Says:

    Dear editor please do not publish this idiots picture in your articles. Every time I see his sorry pathetic face I throw up.

  10. Nimal Says:

    Who ever is in power for the foreseeable future the terrorist diaspora in UK and elsewhere will be active as it is big business to prolong the separatist claim.It will take over decade to calm things down and the Tamils in UK to forget the affairs in SL,which will be remote to them as years go by.In the meantime we must strive for ethnic harmony like in Singapore.

  11. Fran Diaz Says:

    Killing off good Sinhala & Tamil leaders appears to be the goal of pro-LTTE Tamils.

    It is the fault of the Govts of Sri Lanka, past and present, to have the Tamil Language as an Official/National Language. The pro-LTTE types think they alone own the island. This thinking has been encouraged by Tamil Leaders demanding a Separate State from the 1940s. All this is compounded by the presence of some 15 Million Tamil Dalits in Tamil Nadu.

    All Patriotic forces must get together and protect the country from division and dangerous political dissent.

    Activate the 6-A. It will protect the moderate Tamils of Lanka.

  12. Lorenzo Says:

    “please do not publish this idiots picture in your articles. Every time I see his sorry pathetic face I throw up.”

    I have to agree with this. Me too.

    I HELPED this traitor become president. I wasted money and time to get this FOOL elected because he PROMISED by the TEMPLES OF ANURADHAPURA AND POLLONNARUWA he will NOT divide the country, give into Tamil demands and stop corruption. He behaved so lame and gave the impression he will ALWAYS be with the PEOPLE. He is the ONLY SL leader from a RURAL school. He GAVE UP PM post in 2004 for MR. All well and good.

    But he FOOLED 5.2 million SLs after becoming president.

    Now even the mentioning of this piece of dirt’s name is DISGUSTING.

    I wish I could WITHDRAW my help to him in January 2015!!

    One good thing that came up from it was I KNOW the internal dynamics of the MARU SIRA camp. I will use this knowledge in due time against them.

  13. Christie Says:

    Indian colonial parasites and vermin in the West are demonstrating against the helpless subjects of the Indian Empire.

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