Spurious war crime allegations against Sri Lanka
Posted on October 27th, 2017

by Lakshman I. Keerthisinghe Courtesy Ceylon Today

On the basis of the evidence available to this Commission and the prevailing law, the suggestion that the crime of genocide was or may have been committed during the final phase of the war is without foundation.-Paranagama Commission

At the ongoing 36th session of the United Nations Human Rights Commission (UNHRC) although there is no agenda item on Sri Lanka, a number of countries have already referred to Sri Lanka’s human rights situation following the strong statement made by High Commissioner Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein. High Commissioner’s indirect warning during his opening statement on 11 September 2017 to the effect that “the absence of credible action in Sri Lanka to ensure accountability for alleged violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law makes the exercise of universal jurisdiction even more necessary,” is significant. The High Commissioner also called for a time bound action plan for the implementation of transitional justice process in Sri Lanka.

In the meantime, UN Special Rapporteur Pablo de Greiff, on a two- week visit to Sri Lanka, announced before his visit that he intends to “review the progress made thus far, to identify obstacles and bottlenecks in the implementation of the transitional justice and reform process”. The Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry for its part issued a media release insisting that “Governments are not bound by the advice or recommendations of Special Rapporteurs” and that it was up to the government of Sri Lanka to decide whether it will “draw on his knowledge, expertise and advice and consult him further in any manner.” This statement was an indication that the government will not capitulate before continuing international pressure on alleged human rights violations which are said to have taken place during the last stages of the war against terrorism in Sri Lanka. Although there is an allegation of 40,000 civilians being massacred during this period, there is hardly any credible evidence to substantiate this obviously false allegation. Such a large number of dead bodies have never been found. Even the channel 4 videos fabricated at the instance of the Tamil Diaspora representing the sympathizers of the LTTE hell-bent on taking revenge from the victorious armed forces, fail to produce such evidence.

Paranagama Commission

The 2nd Mandate Report of the Paranagama Commission, whose conclusion stated that allegations of genocide are without foundation as quoted at the outset was compiled with the advice of legal luminaries of international stature. It included a legal Advisory Council made up of Sir Desmond de Silva, QC (UK) as Chairman, with Prof. Sir Geoffrey Nice, QC (UK), and Prof. David M. Crane (USA).

It is of paramount significance that recently Lord Michael Morris Naseby, a British Baron told the British Parliament: “The West, particularly the US and UK, must remove the threat of war crimes and foreign judges that overhangs and overshadows all Sri Lankans, especially their leaders,” Michael Morris, Baron Naseby PC, who started the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Sri Lanka in 1975, expressed these views during a debate on Sri Lanka. The debate focused on what assessment the UK government has made of the progress made by Sri Lanka in meeting the requirements on reconciliation established by the United Nations Human Rights Council.

Lord Naseby further said he hoped that, as a result of the debate, the UK will recognize the truth that no one in the Sri Lankan government ever wanted to kill Tamil civilians. Furthermore, the UK must now get the UN and the UNHCR in Geneva to accept a civilian casualty level of 7,000 to 8,000, not 40,000. On top of that, the UK must recognize that this was a war against terrorism, so the rules of engagement are based on international humanitarian law, not the European Convention on Human Rights,” he said.

Ruthless activist

Lord Naseby stated in his address: “The Tamil youth have been activated by two people in particular. One is Balasingham, a British citizen after Blair’s government gave him that, and the other is a man called Prabhakaran, a single-minded ruthless activist. In 1973 Prabhakaran killed the Mayor of Jaffna, along with six soldiers whose bodies were brought to Colombo. …Fast forward to 18 May 2009. The Tamil Tiger terrorists are defeated in a military solution, and after nearly 30 years of war there is peace across the whole island, as there is today.”

In conclusion, it must be stated that the international community is being misled systematically by the Tamil Diaspora, sympathizers of the barbaric LTTE once known as the world’s most brutal terrorist organization, with their immense financial resources to initiate unwarranted international inquiries. Both President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe have assured the people of Sri Lanka that there will be no foreign judges sitting upon judgment on our armed forces who ensured peace in our motherland.

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