USLA Wellington Spokesperson’s Report
Posted on March 11th, 2017
2016 April to 2017 March – Dr. Chula Rajapakse MNZM
The year began with me being shown a picture of a car on a Wellington road , brazenly displaying a personalized plate bearing the letters , LTTE. Having come to NZ to escape from LTTE terror, I decided that very evening to seek the withdrawal of this taunting plate and have it’s owner placed under surveillance, on the basis of the plate being a brazen declaration of support for a brutal terrorist group, it being offensive to those of us who were victims or potential victims of their terror, that it was provocative to us and threatened the peace and racial harmony in New Zealand. I also identified through the “CarJam” website that the plate was registered by Ushanthan Balakrishnan of Dixon Street Wellington.
I made these points in complaints as Spokesperson USLA to NZTA, New Zealand Personalised Plates and Prime Minister John Key. The latter acknowledged our concerns, immediately & referred the matter to MFAT who emailed me next day , that they would take up the matter with NZTA . The following week I, along with Mr Rudra de Zoysa, made a formal written and oral submission along these lines at the Lower Hutt police station to two very receptive detectives from the Wellington Crime Squad , who undertook to act promptly to secure and destroy this number plate and enter LTTE as being proscribed for a future number plate.
Within three weeks of our complaint I received confirmation that all of these had been achieved, a result far better than many anticipated. This is but a demonstration that in a democracy, especially in a western democracy, it is our obligation to counter mischievous misuse of democracy, to taunt and misinform , and that properly exercised, such a counter has every chance of success .
Sadly, I believe it is the lack of such countering of misinformation timely and effectively, that has been a significant contributor to the greatest externally generated challenge that Sri Lanka faces today. I refer to the US/UK initiated, UNHCR resolution demanding establishment of hybrid war crimes courts to trial SL servicemen who liberated SL from three decades of tiger terror facing an allegation 40,000 civilian victims in the last stages of the war. The resolution also demands drastic reduction of security surveillance in Tiger Terrorist operative areas for three decades, delegation of land and police powers to the provincial governments of these areas with provision to unit despite not making any security sense.
Much of the arguments for justifying these calls have come from inadequately challenged and misinformation based reports like the Darusman report supporting the allegation of 40,000 civilian victims in the last weeks of the war, with no source of information revealed and the UK Channel 4 documentaries , entirely based on videos that have no author, no date or place of filming .
The calls made of the SL government in these resolution also runs entirely counter to the letter and spirit of UK PM Theresa May’s call in 2016 that she will not allow any of her servicemen who served in Iraq to be hauled before war crimes courts .
I have communicated these misgivings to Prime Minister John Key , on the occasion of the Chilcot report release in July ’16, that named Iraq as a victim of faulty UK & US foreign policy. I sited the above to suggest that Sri Lanka has been an even a worse victim of such faulty policy and requested him to use NZ ‘s position in the security council to obtain redress from the ill advised UNHCR resolutions. I made the same call following the Neice Truck Bombing in France also in July, highlighting that what Sri Lanka faced was three decades of bombings, that Neice faced just one night.
The advent of the Trump administration in the US opened up an opportunity to discredit the US sponsorship of UNHCR resolutions as being a product of his opponents, Clinton & Obama , tainted with receiving campaign contributions from the Tiger diaspora war chest of billions & echoing the 40,000 civilian casualty allegation which really originated from the Tiger diaspora. I also warned him of not being fooled by the “Tamils for Trump” group ,as they were the same that before the election was “ Tamils for Clinton”.
His strong call against the NYT for “fake news from unnamed source”, opened an opportunity to highlight UK channel four as the leader of fake news.
Bases on the strong stand that President Trump has taken against terrorism I have sought his support for the only country that was able to wipe terrorism from it’s shores, Sri Lanka by withdrawing the Clinton/Obama UNHCR resolution hampering Sri Lanka’s progress.