Proclamation of May 18, 2019 as “Tamil Genocide Remembrance Day”
Posted on May 16th, 2019

National joint committee. srilanka 231, Kirula Road, Colombo 5, Sri Lanka. 

16th May 2019

Dear Mayors John Tory and Mayor Patrick Brown,

Re: Proclamation of May 18, 2019 as “Tamil Genocide Remembrance Day”

National Joint Committee on behalf of  all peace loving citizen of Sri Lanka wish to strongly protest against your intention to proclaim 18th of May 2019 as the Tamil Genocide Remembrance day” because genocide was not committed by the government of Sri Lanka when it defeated the LTTE on 19th of May 2009.

The second mandate of the Paranagama Presidential Commission of Inquiry in which Right Honourable Sir Desmond de Silva, QC. (UK) who was Chairman of the legal Advisory Council together with Professor Sir Geoffrey Nice QC. (UK), Professor David M. Crane (USA), all of whom contributed specific legal opinions that collectively became a legal bedrock of this Report.  The final distillation of the law was that of the Chairman of the Advisory Council working together with the members of the Commission.  The Advisory Council was ably supported by Mr. Rodney Dixon, QC. (UK/ South Africa), Professor Michael Newton (USA) Vanderbilt University who formerly served as the Senior Advisor to the United States Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes, Commander William Fenrick (Canada), Professor Nina Jorgensen of Harvard and The Chinese University of Hong Kong, and Major General John Holmes, DSO, OBE, MC (UK) former Commanding Officer of the Special Air Service (SAS).

Second Mandate of the Paranagama Commission of Inquiry is quoted below with regard to genocide. https://parliament.lk/uploads/documents/paperspresented/report-of-paranagama.pdf

The Commission rejects the suggestion that civilians were either targeted directly or indiscriminately by the SLA as a part of an alleged genocidal plan. The term ‘genocide’ is often used in a political context but it is a legal concept with a very precise and definite meaning and scope of application. Genocide involves a specific intent on the part of the perpetrator to destroy in whole or in part a national, ethnic, racial or religious group as such. In a recent judgment, the International Court of Justice rejected claims of genocide by both Croatia and Serbia making it plain that the crime is only made out if it is proved that the perpetrators acted with specific intent to destroy physically the group concerned – ‘specific intent to destroy in whole or in part’. The evidential bar has been set deliberately high for this most serious of international crimes.”

This Commission refers in its report to a US diplomatic cable dated 15 July 2009, by Ambassador Clint Williamson that cleared the SLA of crimes against humanity during the Wanni offensive. Not only was the SLA cleared of crimes against humanity according to Ambassador Williamson during the Wanni offensive, Jacques de Maio, head of ICRC operations in South Asia, stated that any serious violations of IHL that may have been committed by Sri Lankan forces did not amount to genocide. The University Teachers for Human Rights (Jaffna) have similarly found that there is no evidence of genocide in the final stage of the war by the SLA.

While there may have been long-standing practices of religious, ethnic and racial discrimination carried out by various governments towards minorities, targeting that group, even if for discriminatory reasons, is not sufficient to constitute genocide. On all the evidence available, this Commission rejects the suggestion that the crime of genocide was or may have been committed during the final phase of the war.”

Paul Joseph Goebbels a onetime Minister of Propaganda is well known for leading the German nation astray for the establishment of the Third Reich under Adolf Hitler. He believed that a lie repeated many times over would ultimately be accepted as the truth. This theory of Goebbels has been effectively put into practice by the Tamil Diaspora to mislead the world with greater success than what was achieved even by Goebbels himself. They have succeeded in making the Canadian politicians to believe that the war against LTTE terrorism in Sri Lanka was nothing less than a genocidal war against the Tamil population.

 Wars between nations or even a civil war within a nation causes much destruction to life and property. While the vanquished is found fault with the victor is rarely questioned when the war comes to an end. However the war against terrorism in Sri Lanka where the government was victorious is perhaps one of those exceptions. The reason for this could be attributed to the involvement of vested interests that have tried over the years to destabilize this country for their own advantage. India was first responsible for training and equipping terrorists for a separatist war in Sri Lanka. Though there were many separatist terrorist organizations at the initial stages trained by India, the LTTE finally took the lead role and designated themselves as the sole representatives of the Tamil people. When the Sri Lanka Army was poised to defeat the LTTE in the Jaffna Peninsula it was India that intervened to save the LTTE from defeat by bringing pressure on the J.R. Jayawardena government with the introduction of the Indo Lanka Peace Accord. 

However the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) that arrived to implement the Indo Lanka Peace Accord was soon opposed by the LTTE and in the fighting that followed many IPKF soldiers were killed. The IPKF was withdrawn from Sri Lanka after the R. Premadasa government took office. The R. Premadasa government commenced peace talks with the LTTE after taking office but these peace talks failed and the LTTE resumed its Eelam war. The funding needed to continue with this war was now received by the LTTE from the Tamil Diaspora and certain vested interests in western countries including from many NGO’s. After President Premadasa was killed by the LTTE, the D.B. Wijetunga government that took office was able to clear the east of LTTE terrorism. The strength of the LTTE was greatly depleted by the time the next general election was held. It was therefore necessary for the LTTE to build up their strength and reequip if they were to continue with the Eelam war. Therefore the LTTE agreed to have peace talks with the newly elected Chandrika Kumaranatunga Government in order to find the necessary time to build up their strength and reequip. When the LTTE was ready to resume the Eelam war an attack was staged on the naval vessels in the Trincomalee dockyard. The peace was broken and war recommenced once more.

The Norwegians who arrived in the scene became the next negotiator to initiate a peace accord between the LTTE and the Ranil Wickremasinghe government. It was during this period of peace that the LTTE was able to kill many government informers as well as intelligence officers in the Sri Lanka Army. However it was also during this period that the LTTE leader in the east Karuna Amman broke away from the LTTE. Despite this setback the LTTE under the leadership of Prabakaran that had specialized in guerrilla warfare in the past had by now gathered enough cadres and equipment which included suicide boats and aircraft to fight against the Security Forces of Sri Lanka.

The confidence that Prabakaran had in his ability to fight a conventional warfare with his newly acquired strength led him to close the Mavil Aru sluice gates challenging the Mahinda Rajapakse government to reopen these sluice gates if possible. The government took up this challenge and named it the humanitarian operation to provide irrigation water to over 30000 cultivators whose fields had gone dry due to the closer of the sluice gates. This humanitarian operation that commenced at Mavil Aru first succeeded in defeating the LTTE in the east and was next extended to the north and finally ended at Nanthikadal with the total defeat of the LTTE.

The final stage of the war against the LTTE was designated as a humanitarian operation. It would however be more appropriate to call thirty year old war against LTTE terrorism perhaps the most humanitarian war fought in the history of world warfare.  There are at least four very good reasons if not more for arriving at such a conclusion.

1.     Never in the history of world warfare has a government of any country provided food for thirty long years to people living in a territory that was controlled by the enemy.

2.     Never in the history of world warfare has a government of any country provided the necessary funds to maintain the local government administration for thirty long years in an area that was controlled by the enemy.

3.     Never in the history of world warfare has a government of any country provided the necessary funds during thirty long years for health services, which included maintenance of hospitals, providing these hospitals with the necessary drugs and payments to doctors and staff in an area that was controlled by the enemy.

4.      Never in the history of world warfare has a government of any country provided the necessary funds during thirty long years for school education which included not only providing books and school uniforms to children but also the payment of salaries to all school teachers in an area that was controlled by the enemy.

The government of Sri Lanka did all this and more during their war against LTTE terrorism. The LTTE that was fighting against the government was not burdened with finding food for the population under their control or in maintaining the local government administration in the area under their control. The food aid provided by the government was even used to feed the LTTE cadres fighting against government Security Forces. The government hospitals providing health services were available for the treatment of LTTE carders who were injured during battle against the Security Forces. The LTTE did not have to worry about the education of children in the area they controlled and would only visit schools to recruit child soldiers when the need arose. For thirty long years Prabakaran had all these privileges in his Eelam war against the Sri Lanka government. Are these reasons not adequate to identify the war against terrorism in Sri Lanka as the most humanitarian war fought in the world history of warfare? 

It was America that brought resolution 30/1 against Sri Lanka at the last UNHRC sessions in Geneva. Let us consider the American civil war from 1861 to 1865. The total number of deaths in four years of the American civil war amounted to approximately 625000, which work out to about 599 deaths per day. The civil war in Sri Lanka from about 1979 to 2009 resulted in a total of approximately 100000 deaths in thirty years of conflict, which amounts to approximately nine deaths per day. It is indeed unfortunate that America failed to compare the death count in its own civil war with that of the Sri Lanka civil war. Could a country like America have been misled based on Goebbels theory of lies churned out by the Tamil Diaspora?

America should have also looked at the ground realities before pointing a finger at Sri Lanka. There were 300,000 internally displaced people when the war ended. The government had to initially find food and lodging for these internally displaced people in welfare centers. Within the resources available the government has done a very commendable job in resettling these internally displaced people. Only a very few now remain to be resettled and they are either those who do not want to leave the welfare centers or are those who reside in areas that have not been cleared of land mines. The government has spent 25% of the national reconstruction and development budget for a national population of just 5% living in the affected areas. America should have compared this with rehabilitation effort they have implemented for the victims of the Katrina hurricane.

Demands have also been made by certain NGO’s for the complete removal of the military presence from the north and the east. It is a well-known fact that no development can take place sans security. The presence of allied forces for a long time after the Second World War in Germany and Japan is perhaps the best example for the need of military presence for development activity. Is the demand for the removal of military presence another effort to recommence separatist activities in the north and east for the division of Sri Lanka?

There are arbitrary figures being mentioned with regard to the amount of deaths that occurred during the last months of the war against LTTE terrorism in Sri Lanka. The government of Sri Lanka conducted a very through census using Tamil enumerators in the former conflict area and has arrived at a figure of approximately 7000 deaths during the last few months of the war. These civilians killed during the last few months of the confrontation also include the LTTE cadres killed as well as the civilians killed by the LTTE.  The security forces in the final stages of the confrontation refrained from using heavy weapons as much as possible to avoid civilian deaths and did so only to neutralize LTTE gun positions. This endeavour in trying to save civilian lives resulted in the death of 9000 security forces personnel.

The LTTE on the other hand formed a human shield using the civilian population to protect their cadres from the advancing formations of the Security Forces. Any civilian trying to escape from this human shield to the government held territory was shot dead by the LTTE. All opportunities given by the government for civilians to move out of the conflict area was effectively blocked by the LTTE. Even bags of food such as rice sent by the government to feed the civilian population were used by the LTTE to strengthen their bunkers.

The BBC Channel 4 produced several documentary films on the subject of killing fields in Sri Lanka. These documentary films totally distorted the truth and were largely responsible for misleading the international community with regard to the war on terror in Sri Lanka. Though it cannot be established with certainty that Channel 4 has been funded by the Tamil Diaspora to produce these films, the Channel 4 TV’s Director of Diversity the well-known British journalist Stuart Cosgrove is married to a Sri Lankan born Tamil Shirani Sabaratnam from Vaddukoddi, Jaffna. In 2010 Stuart Cosgrove as a qualifying spouse voted for the creation of Eelam at a referendum organized by expatriate Tamils.  

There is a school of thought fuelled by probably NGO’s and vested interests who are supporting the division of this country that victory celebrations in the month of May to commemorate the defeat of LTTE terrorism is counterproductive to reconciliation. The defeat of LTTE terrorism was long awaited by the citizen be they Sinhalese, Tamil, Muslim or Burgher and when it finally happened on the 19th of May 2009 people rejoiced like never before. It was not very different to the rejoicing of the American people when the death of Bin Laden was announced. Therefore the 19th of May 2009 that saw the end of LTTE terrorism which brought so much death and destruction to Sri Lanka for three decades must never be forgotten. It is also a special day on which the whole country should pay tribute to the war heroes who sacrificed their life and limb to protect and preserve the unity and territorial integrity of our nation for posterity.

Taking all the facts mentioned above into consideration please note that the truth is stranger than fiction. Therefore since no genocide was committed against the Tamil population in Sri Lanka refrain from proclaiming 18th of May 2019 as the Tamil Genocide Remembrance day”.

Yours Faithfully,

Anil Amarasekera/-

Lt Col. A.S.Amarasekera (Retd)

Co-President National Joint Committee,

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