Dispute on Sri Lanka War Crimes Escalates – March 23,2014
Posted on March 25th, 2014

Ira de Silva London, Canada

The Editor

New York Times
New York, New York

Dear Sir:

Re: Dispute on Sri Lanka War Crimes Escalates – March 23 by G. Harris and D.Bastians

There are several statements in this article that indicate to anyone who has a knowledge of Sri Lanka and the ground realities, that the writers are merely using information that is questionable and unsubstantiated, perhaps believing that it becomes “fact” by constant repetition. For example, “about 40,000 people, many of them civilians, are estimated to have been killed in the war’s final stages in 2009”. This number of 40,000 was claimed by Gordon Weiss to promote his book The Cage. When he was in Sri Lanka working for the U.N. during the final stages of the war, the U.N. itself placed the number at around 7,000. There has been no correction of the U.N.’s original number of 7,000 and it is still the official number. Weiss inflated the numbers without any evidence.  When he was traveling in Europe the U.S. and Canada, sponsored by supporters of the Tamil Tigers to promote the sale of his book, at public meetings he said that the number was around ten thousand (this was his number in Toronto, Canada, he admitted that it was not 40,000).  Have these writers got any factual evidence to continue to promote this lie of 40,000 or is it due to ignorance, bias or just shoddy journalism?

Regarding the two “activists” who were arrested, they were taken in for questioning and produced before a court and released. What is the problem when they are dealt with according to the law? Are “activists”, like some journalists, above the law? Everyone knows that there are many Tamil terrorists at large in Sri Lanka, that various NGO’s supported the Tamil terrorists  during and after the war and that the Tamil terrorist organizations overseas  are attempting to re-group, recover the weapons they have buried all over the north and with the help of the foreign interests/governments  such as Tamil Nadu,  are intent on de-stabilising Sri Lanka and dividing the country as was the goal of the Tamil terrorists the LTTE.  This includes the U.S. who, as indicated by regular news reports in Sri Lanka, are busy interfering in the internal matters of Sri Lanka against all norms of diplomatic protocol. For example, members of the U.S. embassy had questioned and harassed those who had been expelled from the north by the Tamil terrorists when they returned to their homes in the north. This is the insidious role of the U.S. in attempting to upset the hard won peace and escalate the dispute on war crimes to serve their interests. (See letter below to the U.S. ambassador regarding this harassment.)
As for “fearing that a failure to investigate the past could rekindle a violent insurgency, the United States and other nations have lost patience with the Sri Lankan government and are now pressing for an outside investigation”,  it is not fear of a failure to investigate the past that would rekindle a violent insurgency but the blatant interference by the United States and other nations in the west who euphemistically call themselves the “international community”, who incidentally were the same countries that held the view that the LTTE should be given what they want,  were opposed to the military campaign against the LTTE and since 2009 have backed the left over LTTE overseas  that are doing their utmost to support the forces of separation. It is the same deceit of the U.S. and other western countries who try to tell the world that  they, the “international community” knows  what is best for other countries while in fact they are interfering everywhere creating chaos, unrest, invading countries based on lies, destroying these countries and then leave having killed hundreds of thousands, displacing millions and destroying the economies of those they have attacked. 

What the U.S. and former colonisers who murdered and plundered at will  for hundreds of years and now call themselves the “international community” have lost patience with is the  lack of terrorism in Sri Lanka since 2009.  They are upset that Sri Lankans are not living in fear, that suicide bombers are not killing at will and that people are gradually trying to get on with their lives. They believe that a return to the violence and terrorism of the past thirty years is best for Sri Lanka and it is they who are responsible for the “escalation of the dispute”. However, Sri Lanka  has recognised their deception. It is for the people of Sri Lanka to decide  what is best for them, not the U.S. and former colonial powers. 
Yours truly,
Ira de Silva
London, Canada
 Copy of letter to U.S. Ambassador regarding undiplomatic interference in Sri Lanka

Swarna Hansa Foundation

262Densil Kobbekaduwa Mawatha, Battaramulla,Sri Lanka Tel/Fax: 2869901 E. mail :shf@slt.lk

March, 4, 2014

Her Excellency Ms. Michele J. Sison


Embassy of the United States of America

210, Galle Road,

Colombo 3

 Dear Madam,

 I write as a citizen of Sri Lanka concerned with the national security, the sovereignty of the State and the liberty, freedom, welfare and the development of the people of Sri Lanka.

“Swarna Hansa Foundation” is functioning as an incorporated body (under the Companies Act) and a non-profit making voluntary organization, dedicated for the enhancement and uplifting the living conditions of the people of Sri Lanka and engaged in activities to achieve and secure the personal and national rights, liberty and freedom since its inception in 1982; whereas I am the founder and the de-facto head of the said foundation.

On 22nd of February, 2014, “The “ISLAND”, a National News Paper registered in Sri Lanka carried a news item under the heading “Now, US probes TNA allegation of GOSL change in demographic pattern in NP”, which referred to, among others, the following acts or conduct of a US diplomat named Michael A. Ervin who was visiting Navatkuli, a village close to Jaffna town in the Northern province of Sri Lanka; i.e.;-

a. Interrogating some of the Sinhala families who had returned to Jaffna peninsula on conclusion of the terrorist activities May 2009.

 b. Interrogating them in regard to the circumstances under which they had been displaced, who supported them now and details pertaining to Sinhala population in Jaffna peninsula at the time they fled the area.

It is noted that said officer and several other officers accompanied him from your embassy acted in collusion with the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and its members in engaging in the above mentioned and related other activities during this visit. In that the said diplomat had endeavored to deliberately and unlawfully interfere with and undermine the authority and the rights of the State, having over the territorial jurisdiction of Sri Lanka. Further your diplomats attempted to prevent the Government from resettling the families in their respective native lands, who had been displaced due to terrorist activities, and thereby directly and/or indirectly justify the baseless, malicious, racial and separatist claim of TNA, that the Government of Sri Lanka was attempting to change the demographic pattern in the Northern Province.

 I wish to bring to your notice that the said families (that your agents had interrogated) had fled their native places of residence due to death threats inflicted on them by the LTTE. According to the accepted norms and laws these people have every right to return to their places of origin, where they studied and lived for years from the time of their birth. After the restoration of peace in the Northern Province these families exercised their natural and legal rights and started to return to their respective native lands. All these families who were subjected to your interrogations are “Singhalese” and had been living in peace in their respective lands and properties for years before the brutal LTTE terrorists forced those people to leave such native lands. Their limited livelihoods were/are also based on the natural resources and the facilities available in that area/region and therefore, they are unable to survive independently outside their native places.

 We understand that after the visit of your diplomat, the said families were placed in unnecessary fear of ejectment and displacement. Such unwise and irresponsible activities would definitely lead to create an artificial disharmony among the people who are presently enjoying freedom after reviving from the memories of brutal terrorism. Seeds of malicious thoughts that diplomats of your embassy are endeavoring to plant in the hearts of our people by engaging in such unbecoming activities, would re-direct the country into another vicious era of terrorism.

 Further, by engaging in such unlawful acts your officers/agents have interfered with the property rights of the families returned and struggling to establish their usual livelihoods in their native places in that part of Sri Lanka. Such unlawful interferences are amounting to acts of infringement of the democratic rights and freedoms of the citizens of Sri Lanka as protected by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Constitution of Sri Lanka.

 I wish to bring to your notice that being personnel in the diplomatic service, your officers have no right whatsoever to directly interfere with the lives of the people of this country. If you have any legitimate expectation to carry out any investigation affecting the people of the country still you are obliged to first obtain the sanction of the Government of Sri Lanka. It is so surprising and pathetic to note that the officials of the United States diplomatic mission execute their purported professional activities by totally disregarding the basic procedures that should be followed in dealing with the receiving State. In that sense the same act of undue interference (resulted by undue interrogation) is also amounting to violation of Sovereignty Rights of the State of Sri Lanka (receiving state) and the Democratic and Sovereignty rights of the People of Sri Lanka. These unbecoming activities of your diplomats, would lead to destabilize

the even and equal application of the objectives of the United Nations, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, other International Conventions and the Rule of Law.

The claim that such conduct were amounting to acts carried on regular basis and part of the normal diplomatic work, cannot be accepted as the said conduct do not come within the ambit of diplomatic/official functions in terms of the Vienna convention and the contemporary International Law. In the circumstances such activities fall outside the ‘official functions’ of the diplomatic officers of your embassy/mission.

It is obvious that Your officers deliberately misinterpret the provisions of the international conventions for your egoistic advantage and repeatedly engage in similar arbitral and capricious activities on the soils of the receiving state (Sri Lanka) with ulterior motives of creating precedents.

In the circumstances I, as a citizen sharing common interest with the families already returned and will return in the near future to their respective native places in the Northern province of Sri Lanka, hereby demand for an assurance in writing within 10 days of receipt hereof, to the effect;-

a. That the diplomats and the other officials of your embassy, mission or other officers engaging in the diplomatic service, shall not interfere with the sovereignty of the State of Sri Lanka and its people.

 b. That the diplomats and the other officials of your embassy, mission or other officers engaging in the diplomatic service, shall not interfere with the State Actions executed within the territory of Sri Lanka.

 c. That the diplomats and the other officials of your embassy, mission or other officers engaging in the diplomatic service shall not engage in any activity outside their official functions:

 d. That the diplomats and the other officials of your embassy shall restrain from unduly interfering with the rights of the citizens relating to private immoveable property situated in Sri Lanka.

In the event of your failure to comply with this demand, I am compelled to take appropriate action available and provided by the international and the domestic law to obtain such assurance for and on behalf of the Citizens of Sri Lanka.


 Galllege Punyawardana

Head – Swarna Hansa Foundation

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