I am a war criminal, with you
Posted on January 24th, 2016

By Dr Upul Wijayawardhana Courtesy The Island

Dear Father Pieris, after reading your wonderful piece titled ‘I am a war criminal’ in ‘The Island’ of 16th and 18th January, I said to myself, something which I never thought I would say: “May God bless you!” Let me explain; as a non-believer in God, it is perhaps hypocritical for me to say so but I was so overwhelmed I just could not help saying it. If I am wrong and if there is a God, He surely will bless you for being so forthright and speaking for the silent majority.

You spoke from your heart but stated your case in a way no brain could have done better. You showed the way for a large number of misguided Sri Lankans who put religion, caste, creed and politics above our Motherland; we are all Sri Lankans first and Buddhists, Hindus, Christians, Muslims or whatever second. May I be permitted to reproduce your concluding paragraph so that those who did not read it will understand why I am moved to tears, yelling with pride and patriotism! Even those who have read it will no doubt would wish to read it again and again, as I have done:

“With positive and conciliatory attitudes shown by both sides we can handle our own process of post war mutual forgiveness and the journey towards justice, collaboration, development and peace. All of us, Sinhala, Tamil, Muslim, Malay and Burgher communities, we shall always protect and be proud of our beloved nation; the sovereign, independent, unitary state of Sri Lanka. We do not need any interference and guidance from outside. I wish to remind the countries that habitually poke their noses in to the garbage bins of other countries and accuse them of violating human rights and committing war crimes, the words of Jesus to the hypocrites who accused a poor woman of committing adultery. “Let the one without sin cast the first stone.” The Jews of those days had the grace to feel ashamed and left the woman alone. But those who goad the UNHRC to punish us don’t have that grace; they are those who felt humiliated by the defeat of the Tigers who were their agents, their pets, their cats’ paws; they still want to run the world on the ancient Imperial Roman strategy of ‘divide and rule’. They are the war-mongers, arms merchants and rapacious exploiters of the non-renewable resources of the Earth. They have blood on their hands and insatiable greed in their evil hearts. UNHRC or International Community or whoever you are – leave us alone.”

No one could have put it any better.

Though I reside outside Sri Lanka most of the time, my feelings towards my Motherland remain undiminished. Perhaps, may be my feelings are enhanced by the guilt of not being there to support my Motherland at the time of her greatest need. It may well be that I would not be alive to write this if I did not leave at the time I did, as I was well known to have a ‘loud mouth’ and many predicted that my mouth will be my undoing. Whatever it may be, I am happy to be associated with you as a war criminal, if that is the price we have to pay for liberating ourselves from a group of maniacal terrorists who did not care for any human values. It is a shame that the vestige of their supporters, who shed crocodile-tears over human rights, use the illegally amassed wealth to buy politicians outside who, as you correctly state, do not allow us to settle our problem.

You refer to the My Lai massacre in your piece, a subject I too have referred to in the past. It happened in March 1968 when around 500 unarmed civilians were massacred by U.S. Army soldiers from the Company C of the 1st Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, 11th Brigade of the 23r Infantry Division. Victims included men, women, children, and infants. Some of the women were gang-raped and their bodies mutilated. Twenty-six soldiers were charged with criminal offenses, but only Lieutenant William Calley Jr., a platoon leader in C Company, was convicted. Found guilty of killing 22 villagers, he was originally given a life sentence, but served only three and a half years under house arrest. He did not go to jail for even a single day. That is American Justice!

If, to appease International Community, we had kept a few of our soldiers under house arrest, would the outcome be different? I greatly doubt as it is my view that what the Americans wanted, supported by the British, was a regime change.

Much has been written about the misadventure of Iraq which made Tony Blair, who did much to change Britain for the better, a hate figure. At least Brits want their leaders to be accountable but Americans are totally different. ‘Dubya’ Bush enjoys all the perks of a retired President without any accountability for the war crimes he committed as well as gross violations of human rights by creating ‘Guantanamo Bay’. Though America is keen to export free thinking Americans are as badly brain-washed as citizens of totalitarian regimes. They still believe that dropping A-bombs on Japan shortened the Second World War even though their own top generals do not support this view.

Sri Lanka, of late, has been inundated by well-meaning British Politicians who want to help us to put things right. Why are they not visiting Libya? After all, it was David Cameron who led the international campaign against Gaddafi and after his murder, promised Libyan people to be with them through thick and thin. Large parts of Libya is now under rebel groups and the rest has two governments! Should he not send his ministers to Libya to put things right than to Sri Lanka, which has shown to the world it has the Leaders and the ability to defeat terrorism in spiteinternational war-mongers who parade as peace-makers while supporting terrorists!

Thank you, again, Father Pieris for speaking on behalf of the patriotic silent majority.

2 Responses to “I am a war criminal, with you”

  1. Sarath W Says:

    Thank you Dr Wijayawardena for your excellent article and for your respect and praise for Father Pieris.

    Today I am proud to be called a Catholic, thanks to the courage and honesty of the Reverend Father. Most Catholics in my family and among my friends were bought up in a manner, they think UNP is part of our religion and always support the party even at the expense of the country and always oppose any other political party. To me most Catholics are privileged and a selfish lot.

  2. NAK Says:

    I am afraid I am not just ready to jump in line with Dr. Upul. Not just yet.

    Pray forgive good father for saying this but as the saying goes one has to be careful of wolves in sheep skin and that those who got battered with fire sticks are afraid of fireflies, we have to be careful.

    I have good reason for saying this. Through out the strife neary thirty long years the Church played the role of the dumb when the Tamil Christian/Catholic/Anglican clergy played a leading role in justifying representing and some times helping the terrorists.
    Rev.Rayappu Joseph,Rev. Thomas Soundranayagam and Rev.Kingsly swamipillai openly spoke on behalf of the terrorists and Rev. Rayappu removed the the statue of Madhu and took it to terrorist controlled area when there were many requests for him to bring it to the government controlled area. There is ample evidence that, atleast until, Cardinal Malcom Ranjith took over there was a collaboration between the Church and the Tigers. Strangely though every one has conveniently forgotten that and there is not even a discussion on the subject.

    “We are war criminals”

    But I must thank father Pieris for coming up with a very good concept.”

    Since we, atleast the 5.8Mn who voted for MR on Jan 08th 2015, supported the war effort and there by take responsibilty of our participation of the war.

    We are all guilty of war crimes by participation and we will own up to it unlike the cowardly Tamils and their politicians who openly supported terrorism and now meekly distance themselves.

    We will not abandon our hero’s who faught on our behalf let, Sirisena/Ranil ‘kenda Avula’ hold their ‘war crimes Nadagama’
    and see how they deal with 5.8Mn admitted war criminals!

    Also we know for a fact that, if there ever was a clean war this one will not be second it.

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