Questions to UNSG/UNHRC: Who killed 6261 soldiers during the final phase – LTTE or Tamil Civilians or Others?
Posted on September 15th, 2016

Shenali D Waduge

During the last few months before the end of the LTTE ground force there were 3 players inside the theatre of war – the Sri Lankan Armed Forces, the LTTE and Tamil civilians and the possibility of South Indians also fighting needs to be ascertained? We know that 6261 soldiers died between 2006 and May 2009, we know that close to 300,000 people were saved, we are told that a figure between 40,000 to 200,000 had been killed whom accusers say are ‘civilians’. All these figures are confusing but we need to know how many were LTTE and how many can claim to be civilians and how credible is the evidence of the accusers.

Sri Lanka Military records reveal that 6261 soldiers died during the last phase of the conflict (Eelam IV). Their details – names, date killed are all available. How they got killed and more importantly who killed them is never answered. They had to have been killed by either of the 2 other parties inside the theatre of war – the LTTE or Tamil Civilians. However we also know that the LTTE had an auxiliary force called the Makkal Padai” comprising 2 branches (Eelapadai & Gramapadai). These units blurred the distinction of who was a civilian and who was not – at least 10,000 of the Tamils claiming to be ‘civilians’ were trained as  combatants and are automatically denied civilian status.

Eelapadai – comprised 5000 volunteer civilians who were homeguards and later used during the final conflict. They were on LTTE payroll.

Gramapadai – comprised 5000 civilians who fought alongside LTTE and helped resist Army advances to LTTE dominated areas. They helped LTTE logistics and also took part in the final conflict.

Therefore, all those who turned up at the Army civilian medical centres and IDP receiving points (between Jan-May2009) cannot be categorized as Civilians – they may have been LTTE in civil or civilians who were part of the LTTE auxiliary force.

What is confusing the scenario further is the question of whether South Indian illegals also fought on side of the LTTE. We know for certain that illegals from Tamil Nadu were consistently arriving in Sri Lanka which is why we cannot make sense of the population and the births and deaths do not match as a result. Since 1981 proper census was not done. Most of the officials in the North were under LTTE influence. People on state payroll were also working part time for the LTTE. Others were too scared of LTTE and in such a scenario doctoring of figures by the grama sevaka and the AGA to suit LTTE cannot be ruled out.  

This is confirmed by UTHR (J) report that gramasevakas of Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu were working very closely with LTTE.

From the 1990s the LTTE has used the headmen under its control to police the people, force them to attend demonstrations, perform compulsory military service as auxiliaries, impose punitive cuts of rations, diddle government aid and report on those coming in and going out…”

Human Rights Watch report reiterates this further (Feb 2009)

They [the LTTE] got the lists of IDPs from the GS [grama sevaka, a village official] – every family had to register there – and then visited every family several times. If anybody tried to hide their sons and daughters, they would come back at night and search the house”

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Former Defense Secretary Gotabaya Rajapakse informed that since July 2006 battle at Mavil Aru, 6,261 soldiers died, 29,551 were wounded (Gotabaya Rajapakse) & 22,000 LTTE killed

As of 19 May 2009 we need to know

  Killed Injured Alive
Soldiers      
LTTE in uniforms      
LTTE in civilian clothing      
Civilians engaged in combat      
Civilians not trained by LTTE      
LTTE family members      
South Indians fighting for LTTE      

Set against this we need to know how many escaped to government areas and away from LTTE and categorize them as civilians with no military training, civilians with military training, LTTE cadres in civil, others (illegal Indians) and LTTE families. We also need to establish how many Tamils were shot and killed by LTTE and how many were shot and injured by LTTE.

We also need to know how many of the above died naturally.

The numbers do not add up.

The LTTE

Led by Prabakaran, we know that LTTE had combatants in uniform as well as combatants who fought in civilian clothing. What we do not know is how many were in uniform and how many were in civilian clothing or how many in uniform changed to civilian clothing before the fight came to a close. No one especially the people calling for accountability seems to want to even answer this very basic question.

What we need to know is

  • How many LTTE cadres were in uniform during the final stage
  • How many LTTE cadres fought in civilian clothing & died in combat
  • How many LTTE cadres fought in civilian clothing were injured
  • How many LTTE cadres in uniform were injured (we also know that LTTE put injured cadres into buses and blew them up)
  • How many LTTE cadres in civilian clothing surrendered (we know that close to 12,000 LTTE cadres who surrendered were in civilian clothing)
  • How many LTTE cadres in uniform surrendered

The Tamil Civilians

  • We know that the LTTE had trained civilians in armed combat – what we do not know is how many among the 300,000 received such training and how many were sent to combat and died as a result or were injured from LTTE firing.
  • We also know that during IPKF presence the Indians too trained a civilian army to compliment their stooge Varatharaja Perumal whom the Indians planned to replace by bumping off Prabakaran.

What we need to know is

  • How many civilians inside the theatre of war were civilians who had no military training by the LTTE.
  • How many civilians had served as LTTE combatants during some stage in their life
  • How many civilians took active part in combat and died engaged in hostilities
  • How many civilians who had no training died in exchange of fire (fog of war may not determine from whose fire they died)
  • Only in answering above can we determine the number of civilians who died. To qualify to be a civilian they cannot have been armed or taken part in hostilities. If so, they lose their right to civilian status and thus no one can claim them as civilians being killed by the Army.
  • How many of the 300,000 were trained by LTTE in armed combat and would have killed our soldiers in the battlefield before they were saved?
  • How many of the 300,000 never held a gun or was trained by the LTTE.

According to ICRC Rule 5. Definition of Civilian / Civilian Population

The phrase civilian population” within the meaning of this Convention shall include all those not enlisted in any branch of the combatant services nor for the time being employed or occupied in any belligerent establishment as defined in Article 2.”

The term belligerent establishment” is defined in Article 2 as military, naval or air establishment, or barracks, arsenal, munition stores or factories, aerodromes or aeroplane workshops or ships of war, naval dockyards, forts, or fortifications for defensive or offensive purposes, or entrenchments”. 

LTTE violated the customary law principle in Article 51(7) of Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions by using civilians and protected spaces for military purposes thereby making those spaces legitimate targets to the opposing side. LTTE is faulted for endangering civilian lives and infrastructure as they are prohibited from using civilians.

In the light of the above how many Tamils can be termed as ‘civilian’?

How many Tamils belonged to ‘helps/contributes/advances’ the military ‘goals/objectives’ of the LTTE? (these activities include sentry duty, building bunds, bunkers, trenches, transporting military material, even carrying dead LTTE cadres) if so these Tamils cannot be given protection of ‘civilian’ under international law in a conflict.

LTTE intentionally used civilians as a battlefield strategy – LTTE had an auxiliary force, LTTE used civilians as hostages, LTTE used civilians as human shields.  

LTTE forced the Sri Lankan Military to forego attacks on legitimate targets in order to protect civilians held by LTTE or forced the Sri Lanka Military to change tactics which resulted in troop casualties which ICRC South Asia Head in July 2009 admitted. It also forced ground commanders to weigh legitimate military objective against the injury to troops and take decisions.

The Committee Established to Review NATO Bombings in Yugoslavia made clear that the decision of the Military Commander in deciding military advantage is held above that of any human rights lawyer. Just because some say casualties could have reduced if a,b,c was adopted it does not become any war crime.

The PoE itself admits that soldiers risked their own lives, helped countless ‘civilians’ attempting to escape war zone and ended up incurring heavy troop casualties to rescue over 100,000 people.

What is important to note is that civilian casualties in an armed conflict even significant in number does not establish any violation of international law as per doctrine of ‘proportionality’ in scenario of incidental injury and collateral damage. Such deaths though unfortunate were never intentional or planned (LTTE keeping civilians and firing from among civilians was planned and intentional)

Harm to a civilian cannot automatically become illegal. Illegality comes in determining those who violated the laws of armed conflict and the principles of distinction & proportionality. Clearly LTTE violated.  

Let’s also not forget that the figures of dead emerged only after December 2009 after the UTHR(J) claimed tens of thousands killed” during the final months of the conflict. Between December 2009 to December 2012 even after the PoE there was NO EVIDENCE to support the figures quoted as being killed (neither credible allegations nor credible evidence)

What is clear is that no one can establish the actual population figures before the last phase to establish the number of dead as against the number saved and how to differentiate LTTE from civilians. Confounding the matter further is the possibility that population and LTTE cadres may be further obliterated by South Indian illegal populations and fighters too. No one has researched this aspect.

While the propaganda networks are spinning lies and fairytales, and UN officials are doing their best to bring to the dock Sri Lanka’s military claiming the army killed civilians without touching on how many LTTE cadres were killed or making no statement on the 5000 missing soldiers, we should not allow them to get away by namecalling and slandering.

Who killed our soldiers?

How many LTTE were killed and how can UN establish the 40,000 as ‘civilians’ and whether these deaths were outside of the legally accepted proportionality/collateral damage to claim as war crimes. UN cannot sling mud and start tribunals just so that their people can secure jobs every time new offices are opened. All of the UN tribunals when scrutinized reveal to be nothing by while elephants not doing any justice to the victims. Sri Lanka must refuse to be another victim of UN systematic lies and distortions.

There are plenty of loopholes in all of the UN/UNHRC reports/panels and their findings. They have opted to rely on LTTE fronts, LTTE propagandists and LTTE sympathizers for their ‘witness’ accounts. All these third party, 4th party versions have been brought to ZERO by Maj. Gen. Kamal Gunaratne’s book – Road to Nandikal which exposes all the lies. UN / UNSG and UNHRC should feel ashamed.

Shenali D Waduge

 

6 Responses to “Questions to UNSG/UNHRC: Who killed 6261 soldiers during the final phase – LTTE or Tamil Civilians or Others?”

  1. plumblossom Says:

    The UNSG Ban Ki Moon’s Outrageous, Total and Utter Lies With no Proof Whatsoever Regarding the Sri Lankan Conflict during His Speech in Colombo, Sri Lanka, is Insulting to the People of Sri Lanka

    The UNSG Ban Ki Moon’s statement that ‘thousands of civilians died in the last stages of the conflict in Sri Lanka’ at a speech Ban Ki Moon gave in Colombo, Sri Lanka on the 2nd September, 2016 is a total and utter lie, is outrageously wrong and an extreme insult to all the victims of the brutal terrorist group the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). If Ban Ki Moon makes such outrageous statements, it is better he has any proof whatsoever to show for it. His utter lie is totally deplorable, is condemnable and an insult to the people of Sri Lanka and the Armed Forces of Sri Lanka.

    Sri Lanka has had 26 years of conflict from 1983-2009. In this period (inclusive of the first, the middle and the last stages of the war), it is the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) terrorist group who massacred over 47,000 mainly Sri Lankan Armed Forces members and also civilians.

    The LTTE massacred over 35,000 Sri Lankan Armed Forces members, Police Force members and Civil Defense Force members over 6000-7000 overwhelmingly Sinhala but also Muslim civilians, 1,253 Indian Peacekeeping Forces (IPKF) members, over 2,000 Tamil Armed Group members who supported the Government of Sri Lanka and who were against the LTTE, around 3,000 Tamil civilians and all this add upto 47,000. Around 35,000 LTTE terrorists are estimated to have perished too. In all around 84,000 in total have perished in total in the war.

    As you can see it is the brutal LTTE terrorists who massacred over 47,000 mainly Sri Lankan Armed Forces members, Police Force members, Civil Defense Force members in over 26 years of war. Over 23,000 Sri Lankan Armed Forces members are today both temporarily and permanently disabled due to the war. Over 13,000 Sri Lankan Armed Forces members are permanently disabled due to the war. Over 156,000 Sri Lankan Armed Forces members have been injured due to the war. Over 6,000-7,000 overwhelmingly Sinhala but also Muslim civilians have been massacred by the LTTE terrorists in the war of over 26 years. Ban Ki Moon is insulting all these civilians who perished at the hands of the LTTE terrorists. Ban Ki Moon is also insulting all the over 35,000 Sri Lankan Armed Forces members, Police Force members and Civil Defense Force members who perished at the hands of the LTTE terrorists.

    If Ban Ki Moon can prove the above statistics wrong, please do so. Otherwise please do not insult the Armed Forces of Sri Lanka and the thousands of Sri Lankan citizens who were massacred by the LTTE terrorists for over 26 years. Thankfully the Sri Lankan civil war is at an end.

    Regarding Ban Ki Moon’s deplorable statement further, the UN did absolutely nothing while the LTTE terrorist group recruited over 20,000 child soldiers, all Tamil youth, as attested by UNICEF itself which stated in 2007 that perhaps the LTTE has recruited over 20,000 young persons under the age of 18 years into its cadre between 1983-2007 inclusive.

    The LTTE terrorist group also ethnically cleansed the entire Sinhala and Muslim population of the Northern Province, of over 65,000 Sinhala people and over 75,000 Muslim people of the Northern Province in the 1980s and the 1990s. The LTTE also ethnically cleansed the entire Sinhala population of the Batticaloa District in the East of over 25,000 Sinhala people. The UN did absolutely nothing then too.

    Today, the Sinhala people and their descendants of over 135,000 are yet to be resettled in the North and in the Batticaloa District and Muslims of over 115,000 are yet to be resettled in the North. Uptil 2012, of the above number, around 32,000 Sinhala people and around 32,000 Muslims has been resettled in the North.

    The LTTE was notorious for its horrific terror tactics such as large scale bomb attacks and the use of suicide bombers in carrying out hundreds of attacks against mainly Sinhala civilians and the country’s leadership, horrific attacks against Sinhala civilians using IED devices, claymore mines and bombs, the massacre of Sinhala villagers in their villages in the North Central, Eastern, Northern and North Western Provinces, the coerced recruitment or abduction of Tamil youth and children for recruitment as child soldiers, forced money collection from Tamils with threats to life in case of non-compliance, attacks on Sri Lanka’s economic infrastructure such as the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL), Sri Lanka’s the then only international airport, oil storage facilities, hotels, planes, buses, trains etc. ethnic cleansing of Sinhalese and Muslims from the North and East of Sri Lanka, the assassination of Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, the systematic assassination of over 120 noteworthy Sri Lankan politicians, civil servants, senior military and police officers, prelates, activists, academics, journalists and other professionals who were assassinated by the LTTE who were but a few of the hundreds of assassinations carried out by the LTTE, including the former Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar.

    My plea to Ban Ki Moon is to leave Sri Lanka alone and for the UN to stop supporting once and for all, the brutal terrorists group the LTTE at least now. The UN has continuously supported the brutal terrorist group the LTTE while it massacred over 47,000 as shown above for over 26 years.

  2. plumblossom Says:

    The UN stated in May 2009 that around 7000 persons meaning almost all combatants (meaning LTTE terrorists) during previous year or so perished. These are not civilians as mentioned in the article. This is a totally wrong statement. Civilians were not involved in the fighting only LTTE terrorists were involved. Also during the same period over 5900 of our Sri Lankan Forces were also killed, apart from Sri Lankan Police Force members. During Eelam War IV as mentioned over 6,261 Sri Lankan Forces members were killed apart from Police Force members. So who killed over 6,261 Sri Lankan Forces except LTTE terrorists? My guess is around a similar number of LTTE terrorists perished too i.e. around 6,261 and not 7000 as suggested by the UN at that time. In order for over 6,261 Sri Lankan Forces to perish and additionally Sri Lankan Police Force members too, there was a large LTTE terrorist force along with the LTTE possessing a large number of weapons. So is it not totally logical that a similar number of LTTE terrorists perished too as I have shown? The LTTE terrorists are combatants are they not?

    We know that after the war huge caches of LTTE arms, weapons and ammunition were found which we saw on TV. According to Sri Lankan Army sources, the LTTE possessed enough weapons, arms and ammunition to blow up the entire Sri Lanka two times. Even today, arms caches of the LTTE are found from time to time in the North as we know.

    What this tells us is that during the last phases of the war, almost all casualties were either Sri Lankan Forces members or LTTE terrorists.

  3. S.Gonsal Says:

    Tamil civilians supplied labour to kill so many soldiers who provide security to them.
    It is the police that provide law enforcement after a crime has taken place. Soldiers provide security for the whole country.
    Tamils killed the soldiers of their own country who provided security.

    Navy provide security to Tamils and to safeguard their livelihood form Indian Parasite Tamils even today. Without them Tamil fishermen in the North have no jobs. So, if you kill them you should be given death penalty, whether civilian or LTTE.

  4. Cerberus Says:

    Thank you Shenali,
    Even Prabahakaran had said that 35% of LTTE fighters had come from South India. Today these same unemployed low caste Tamils got into the refugee camps and are now getting houses and land while our Rana Viru soldiers who liberated the country have to suffer in jail. The Yahapalanaya has given priority to settling the Tamils while the 200,000 Sinhalese who were chased out of Jaffna and East coast have lost their land and have no where to go. It is the same for the approximately 100,000 muslims who were chased out by the LTTE Supremo. Justice has been turned on its head. One Rana Viru soldier who shot a Tiger who tried to escape from a camp has been jailed and has been asked to pay Rs. 20 Lakhs to the family of the Tiger. Bandula Gunawardena and the JO have started a campaign to collect the Rs.20 Lakhs to pay the fine so that the brave Rana Viru Soldier does not have to go to jail again. They have also jailed 6 intelligence officers for over a year now without a shred of evidence just because the TNA wants it so and RW hates our soldiers.

  5. Fran Diaz Says:

    Comment on Cerberus’ entry :

    It is part of a soldier’s duty to fire on escaping prisoners of war, if apprehending them is not possible in other ways. What the soldier did was legal action, was it not ?
    An escaping LTTE prisoner had to be stopped per Army rules.
    If so, why is this soldier being penalised for carrying out orders per Army Rules during a War ?

    Something is very wrong here.

    Also, as far as we know, the 6 Intel Officers are in jail because they being forced to go against the MR Govt. and incriminate Gota in some criminal act. What we heard was that they will be released if they sign up in some FALSE claim against the MR govt & Gota in some criminal act.

    Something is very wrong here too.

  6. Fran Diaz Says:

    Re all the CIVILIANS killed over nearly 30 yrs by the LTTE terrorists, who compensates those families that lost their breadwinners, fathers & mothers, children, kith & kin, etc. etc. ???

    Who is responsible for the LTTE and their killings ?

    Who pays for these terrible loss of life ?

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