Alleged war crimes Hands off Sri Lanka!
Posted on September 3rd, 2016

by Lakshman I. Keerthisinghe (The writer is an Attorney-at-Law with LLB, LLM, MPhil(Colombo) Ceylon Today

Who made thee the ruler and judge over us?-Exodus 7.27 –The Bible
Asian Tribune on 20 August reported that the American Ambassador to Sri Lanka Atul Keshap addressing a reception in Jaffna on 16 August had stated, “We know the government has committed to establish judicial mechanism to investigate war crimes.” This declaration by the ambassador is a strong message to the people of Sri Lanka, their armed forces that defeated the secessionist-terrorist Tamil Tigers and to opposition political forces. This appears to be a clear indication what Washington’s Department of State is giving to the Sri Lankan regime.

Following the former government’s military defeat of the internationally proscribed terrorist organization, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in May 2009, Sri Lanka embarked on an essential and long-term twofold post-conflict strategy: (i) rehabilitation and reintegration of former LTTE combatants, and (ii) the rebuilding of the conflict-affected Tamil communities of the Northern and Eastern Provinces. The rehabilitation programme was by many counts a success, with demonstrated cognitive transformation in attitudes and behaviour of most of the formerly radicalized combatants.

Reconciliation efforts
Reconciliation initiatives were implemented to fulfil the urgent social, political, and economic needs of the conflict-affected communities of the North and East. However, despite the many effective state-led and other reconciliation efforts undertaken by Sri Lanka, the relentless disinformation campaign against the Sri Lankan State pursued by the remnant LTTE cells surviving internationally appear to be gaining ground.

The three decades long “Sri Lankan conflict” came to a conclusive end in May 2009, following the military defeat of the LTTE, also known as the Tamil Tigers, an internationally proscribed terrorist organization known for its horrific brutality.
The LTTE was notorious for its horrific terror tactics such as the use of suicide bombers in carrying out attacks on civilians and the country’s leadership, the abduction of children for recruitment as child soldiers, forced money collection from Tamils with threats to life in case of non-compliance, attacks on the country’s economic infrastructure such as the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) and the only international airport, “ethnic cleansing” of Sinhalese and Muslims from the North and East of Sri Lanka, the assassination of Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, the assassination of Sri Lankan President Ranasinghe Premadasa, the systematic assassination of more than 40 prominent mainstream Tamil political leaders, including the Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar, and deliberately inflicting casualties by holding civilians as human shields during the final phase of the war and shooting at those who attempted to flee. The LTTE’s brutality was amply demonstrated when it used a pregnant Tamil mother to be as a suicide bomber to assassinate the then Army Commander presently Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka.

Post-conflict years
It is to be noted that some news reports that have appeared internationally in the post-conflict years, have attempted to undermine the moral legitimacy of the previous government, by bringing in charges of war crimes due to alleged high numbers of Tamil civilian casualties and cases of torture. They do not attribute names to their sources and choose not to call for the prosecution of the LTTE cells and front organizations which continue to operate outside of Sri Lanka.

These statements have not only dampened Sri Lanka’s hard-won victory over one of the world’s most lethal terrorist groups, it has also brought suspicion over some remarkable and globally unprecedented post-conflict reconciliation efforts undertaken by the government. Although the LTTE was a despotically run militant organization that directly threatened the sovereignty of Sri Lanka and the security of its people, the government asserts that these views do not take into account the “principles of self-defence or reasonableness of retaliation, proportionality, or a technical analysis of the trajectories of the shells allegedly fired, to determine their source.

Guerrilla-cum-terrorist group
It also has to be kept in mind that the LTTE was the only guerrilla-cum-terrorist group in the world which had an infantry (“Military”, which included an elite fighting wing and the “Black Tigers” suicide commando unit), a maritime wing with a shipping fleet (“Sea Tigers”), an air wing (“Air Tigers”), a highly secretive intelligence group (“Snow Tigers” as well as international political and procurement offices.

Presently, the LTTE primarily exists overseas in the form of the Nediyavan faction (“Oslo group”) Joe Emmanuel faction (“London group”), Global Tamil Forum and British Tamils Forum), Rudrakumaran faction/ Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (“New York group”) and Vinyagam faction (“Brussels group”). The LTTE has a presence in 44 countries outside Sri Lanka, with established structures in 12 of them. Some of the most active pro-LTTE lobby groups are located in Canada, the United Kingdom, Norway, the United States, Switzerland, and France. Pro-LTTE front organizations exist also in India, Germany, and Australia, corresponding to the large number of diaspora Tamils who have settled in these countries. It is apparent that these organizations have succeeded in misleading the international community by their intensive false propaganda against Sri Lanka on alleged human rights violations.

Next steps for US engagement
Sometime ago it was reported that then US Ambassador Michele J. Sison in an address to the Foreign Correspondents Association in Colombo spoke “about the next steps for US engagement with Sri Lanka”. She said the 2012 resolution simply asked the government to fulfil its own commitments to its people from its Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) report, and to meet its own international commitments. If one were to investigate the accountability of the United States in its own record of human rights violations all over the world taking place in the form of cowardly drone attacks killing large numbers of innocent women and children in Pakistan, Afghanistan and other Muslim countries in the world where will it end? Subsequent to the 9/11 attacks in the United States by the Al Qaeda, the United States appears to be engaged in a witch-hunt indiscriminately murdering humans all over the world in acts of unwarranted revenge targeting innocent Muslims wherever and whenever it suits them to do so.

It is indeed surprising that the present and past US Ambassadors appear to be conveniently unaware of the human rights violation in the form of atrocious torture committed by the US troops in Vietnam, Guantanamo Bay, Abu Graib, Bagram and other prison camps maintained by the US.
Bush Administration
The US government under the Bush Administration adopted the American Service-members’ Protection Act (ASPA) in an attempt to protect any US citizen from appearing before the International Court of Criminal Justice (ICC). US President Obama is liable to be charged before the ICC for war crimes committed under his command responsibility by the drone attacks. Why is the US Government engaged in employing double standards in protecting human rights in the world?

The Bible states, “No man should sit upon judgment on another lest he be judged.” This saying is more relevant when applied to a wrongdoer assuming the role of a judge over others. As that great British Jurist, then Master of the Rolls Lord Alfred Thompson Denning once questioned: “Who made thee the ruler and judge over us?” repeating the saying in Exodus 7.27 –The Bible. Post-conflict reconciliation and reconstruction is by nature a long-term process. Thus, Sri Lankans, the Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora, and the world must allow the democratic, culturally developed, and traditionally ethnically harmonious country Sri Lanka to heal itself.
In conclusion, Sri Lanka requests the Americans to put their house in order first before venturing to protect human rights all over the world. It is a fact that the United States has immense military power and has caused devastation in Iraq, Libya and some other countries in the Middle East and succeeded in grabbing their petroleum supplies, but did those invasions benefit the people of those countries devastated by the Americans?
Sri Lankans are a dignified, courageous and a peace-loving nation whose spirit can never be broken down by threats, torture or a show of force. There is peace and tranquillity in our land and the great majority of the Sri Lankans do not desire any foreign interference in the internal affairs in our land.

2 Responses to “Alleged war crimes Hands off Sri Lanka!”

  1. mario_perera Says:

    A word of caution to Viggie who is overplaying his hand.

    ‘Let him with no blood on his hands throw the first stone’

    How this man with total lack of discernment could have been a supreme court judge beats me completely. MInd you his two sons are married to two Sinhala women. So much so for his esteem of TAMIL WOMEN ! I have a strong feeling that his immaculate white dress will reek with RED SPOTS in the region of the heart sooner than we think.

    In short a Tamil is a Tamil. They are like the Jews – a completely different breed of humanity. The infamous Emmanuel wrote a book: let my people go.

    By all means GO…GO TO HELL.

    A constitution that does not declare Sri Lanka (We hope the name will be changed to SINHALA) to be:

    A UNITARY State
    A Buddhist State
    A state with SINHALA as its official language

    will be considered as used toilet paper.

    Mario Perera

  2. plumblossom Says:

    In the Missing Persons Act, a relative or a friend can make an official inquiry (but a totally bogus inquiry) from the Office of the Missing Persons (OMP) by email inquiring as to the whereabouts of their relative or friend.

    There are over 8 lakhs to 10 lakhs Tamil diaspora asylum seekers (actually economic migrants), a vast majority of who support the separatist terrorist LTTE and its aim of a separate state. If even 40,000 of these Tamil diaspora who support the separatist terrorist LTTE write bogus emails to the OMP inquiring the whereabouts of their friend or relative (but this friend or relative is actually living alongside them in these countries i.e. the US, UK, EU, Canada, Sweden, Norway, Australia, New Zealand, India etc.) these inquiries will officially be accepted by the OMP as 40,000 missing persons.

    According to the provisions of the OMP Act, even if the OMP inquires after these let us say 40,000 and finds out that these are all bogus inquiries and that all these 40,000 persons are actually living alongside the inquirer i.e. their relative or friend and these complaints about these persons being missing are all bogus, the missing persons, now found by the OMP, can request that their whereabouts not be revealed to their relative or friend or be made public. So officially these 40,000 persons will still be missing!!!

    Then the OMP will use these bogus 40,000 missing persons (who are actually living comfortably in the US, UK, EU, Canada, Sweden, Norway, Australia, New Zealand, India etc.) as manufactured ‘evidence’ that war crimes happened in Sri Lanka (and all these bogus inquirers will state that these persons went missing during the 2006-2009 period) and our Sri Lankan Armed Forces will be persecuted for committing war crimes that they never, ever committed by a judicial process using these bogus email inquiries.

    The Missing Persons Act states specifically that if the missing person who is now found requests that the fact that they are now found not be revealed to the public that person will remain as missing as far as the OMP is concerned. That is how the OMP will manufacture bogus ‘evidence’ of 40,000 missing persons so that the Sri Lankan Armed Forces can be persecuted for committing bogus war crimes.

    The OMP emails cannot be checked by any outside body as stated in the Act since all evidence (almost all bogus) gathered by the OMP remains confidential. The OMP cannot be taken to the Supreme Court on this issue. However the OMP should absolutely and immediately be taken to the Supreme Court regarding what has been written above which is what would happen when this OMP is set up.

    The OMP will become a bogus ‘evidence’ manufacturing machine which will gather such bogus inquiries via email from those members of the Tamil diaspora who are supportive of the LTTE terrorists and who will send bogus email inquiries by their thousands. All these bogus inquiries (of people who are actually living in the US, UK, EU, Canada, Sweden, Norway, Australia, New Zealand, India etc.) will then be misused as missing person inquiries.

    I did not realize that the Sinhalese were this stupid as to allow such a process within the Missing Persons Act which can be blatantly misused in order to manufacture bogus ‘evidence’ like this. The OMP process is not transparent, it will happen in totally secrecy, no one in Sri Lanka will be able to question it, not our police, not our courts, not our Sri Lankan citizens, nobody. All the OMP will do is gather bogus email ‘evidence’ such as described above which will then be misused as missing person inquiries to try the Sri Lankan Armed Forces for bogus war crimes that they never, ever committed.

    The OMP process as described above must be stopped immediately. If a relative or a friend really and genuinely wants to find out about their genuinely missing relative or friend (i.e. perished LTTE terrorist), they can make a complaint to the OMP in person in public. This is the only way that Sri Lanka and the world will know that their inquiry is genuine. This was the methodology followed by the earlier Paranagama Commission which then received 23,000 complaints from relatives or friends of the missing person (i.e. perished LTTE terrorist or our perished Sri Lankan Forces soldiers) but they made their complaint in public in person to the commission. This is the only way to ensure authenticity and make the process transparent since this happens in the public arena. However, even with such safeguards, even some of those complaints may have been bogus.

    The OMP should be stopped immediately since it is not a transparent process at all as described above but a totally secretive process where no one and nobody can request to be provided an opportunity to even peruse, investigate or look at the email inquiries received by the OMP. If the UNHRC, the US, UK, EU, Canada, Sweden, Norway, Australia, New Zealand, India, the TNA and the separatist terrorists genuinely want to find out about perished LTTE terrorists, this Yahapalanaya Government could expand and extend the scope of the already set up Paranagama Commission in order to make such inquiries. This process should be totally following Sri Lankan Law, within Sri Lankan jurisdiction, paid for totally by the Sri Lankan Government only and with only Sri Lankan citizens appointed as commission members and investigators. In fact the entire staff should be composed Sri Lankan citizens only. The process should be a totally domestic process with no interference or input whatsoever from foreign countries. Most importantly, all complaints should be made in person by relatives and friends in public if their complaint is genuine.

    The Missing Persons Act is totally dangerous as pointed out above and should be dismissed totally as it is highly dangerous and a totally secretive process as described above designed and set up to manufacture bogus ‘evidence’ against the Sri Lankan Armed Forces.

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