Bolt-holes of criminals
Posted on September 18th, 2016

Editorial The Island – Sept 15, 2016

Many war criminals are reported to have avoided deportation from the UK thanks to some serious lapses on the part of the British authorities, who have taken no further action after blocking their bids for citizenship. A recent article in The Daily Mail tells us that some human rights campaigners have faulted the British officials for not reporting the criminal elements including some Sri Lankans to Scotland Yard’s special war crimes unit.

It was obvious that the UK and other western nations made a very bad mistake by harbouring terrorists from other countries. They may have thought those criminal elements would pose no threat to them, but in so doing, they allowed complex underground networks to be set up for sordid operations such as fund raising for terrorism, gun running, money laundering, drug trafficking and human smuggling. These conduits are now being used by anti-western terrorist groups like al-Qaeda and ISIS to carry out attacks.

Meanwhile, powerful nations, unflinchingly, shield war criminals and blood thirsty dictators in a bid to safeguard their economic and strategic interests. The US has a history of defending many dictators such as Shah, Marcos and Pinochet and Saddam Hussein, who finally fell from grace. France and several other European nations cottoned up to Bokassa, the self-crowned ‘Emperor’ of Central Africa. The UK, too, went out of its way to defend Pinochet, whose Caravan of Death left thousands of suspected communists dead in Chile. All the countries that produce electronic goods prolong the suffering of people in countries like Congo, where armed groups, backed by multinationals seeking cheap coltan to manufacture semi-conductors, are unleashing violence to plunder those resources. The Global North gains both ways; it sells its arms to terrorist groups in Africa and obtains raw materials for their products for a song in return. This, the so-called western democracies do while championing human rights in the developing world.

Politicians in all parts of the world are prepared to do anything to retain or capture power. Some diplomatic cables disclosed by Wikileaks have revealed that while the Vanni war was raging the then British Foreign Secretary David Miliband rushed here in a bid to broker a truce because he and his party were eyeing the block votes, which pro-LTTE groups in the UK claimed to be able to deliver to a party of their choice. Lord Naseby, who echoes the views of the vast majority of British people averse to terrorism, revealed in 2013 that the creator, recruiter and organiser of LTTE child soldiers in Sri Lanka, Adele Balasingham, was living comfortably in Southern England. It was a supreme irony that the then British PM Cameron visited this country to attend the CHOGM 2013 in Colombo, and called for a war crimes probe.

The Daily Mail tells us that some human rights groups have slammed the British government and warned that the UK risks becoming a ‘safe haven’ for war criminals. While their concerns should be appreciated the fact remains that Britain has already become a bolt-hole for criminals of all sorts from the four corners of the earth. They have also said it is ‘hard to understand’ how British officials effectively blocked war criminals’ attempts to remain in the country but baulked at deporting them or referring their cases to police. Such hypocrisy on the part of Britain is nothing new. In 2009, Abdelbeset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi, the only person convicted in connection with the Lockerbie airline bombing that killed 270 people, was released from a British jail purportedly on ‘compassionate ground’. However, the Blair government drew heavy flak for having engineered his release to improve economic ties with Libya. Saif Gaddafi, the second son of the then Libyan Leader Muammar Gaddafi, according to a Daily Telegraph dispatch we reproduced at that time, thanked the British as well as the Scottish administration for securing Megrahi’s release, and implied that lucrative trade deals would follow.

The Dr. Jekyll-and-Mr. Hyde behaviour of the developed world has stood global terrorism in good stead. Having sown the wind the western bloc is now reaping the whirlwind if terror strikes on their soil and the gnawing sense of uncertainty troubling them are any indication. One who harbours venomous snakes under one’s sarong is sure to get the shock of one’s life, as a popular Sri Lankan saying goes.

2 Responses to “Bolt-holes of criminals”

  1. Sarath W Says:

    I feel sorry for the British people as they are paying for the selfish decisions and crimes committed by their previous leaders like Blair and Cameron. British have a long record of these crimes in nations they invaded, murdered hundreds of thousands of natives of those countries, robed their wealth and destroyed their livelihoods. Soon British will loose their identity and as those migrants with growing populations will gradually take over the country.

    As for those terrorist like Adel Balasingham who were given asylum for political reasons, countries like Sri Lanka, should do like the US and Israel do. Put a bounty on their heads to get them back to Sri Lanka, dead or alive.

  2. aloy Says:

    “Put a bounty on their heads”
    Are we going to tell those who wined and dined with “Channel 4” in their head quarters about such a thing?.

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