On Anniversary , a Victory Parade and a Crackdown in Sri Lanka. The New York Times May 18th 2015 – Gardiner Harris & Dharisha Bastians
Posted on May 24th, 2014

A Response To The Many Inaccurate Claims-Dr. Chula NA Rajapakse MNZM United Sri Lanka Association Wellington , New Zealand

The above article in the NYT has many inaccurate claims that compels a response. The most glaring of these is the claim that , ” The United nations has estimated that 40,000 people, many of them civilians were killed in the final stages of the war….”.

This is not a United Nations claim. To appreciate fully the fallacy of this claim, it is best to describe how this claim evolved.

The first number for the Tamil civilian casualties appeared in the Tamil net within days of the end of the war in May 2009, claiming a figure of seven thousand odd, quoting UN sources. The UN under secretary Sir John Holms who was in charge of Sri Lanka then, was quick to dissociate the UN from this claim ,on the grounds that the UN had no way of knowing accurately the number of casualties, as it was not at the war front in the last stages of the war.

This angered the defeated Tiger Diaspora and their ally’s who accused the UN of colluding with the SL government, to keep the casualty numbers low. This was vehemently denied by the UN. Not with standing this, The London Times, who had an axe to grind with the SL government, having had their reporter expelled earlier by the SL government for what was seen by them as a transgression of rules, came up with the next figure of 20,000 claiming it to be based on analysis of   areal photographs .

Next in the numbers game was Gordon Weiss, a Colombo based UN employee with book on SL call the ” The Cage” to sell, who sensationalized the numbers further by claiming a casualty rate of 40, 000 based on sources he refused to divulge. He however retracted on this figure to 10,000 on intense questioning at his book launch in Australia a year later.

The UN secretary generals panel of experts came next. This was the SG’s appointment not an UN appointment. Their appointment was not sanctioned by either UN General Assembly or UN Security Council and in fact the commission was appointed going behind their backs deliberately, as China and Russia had announced that they would veto such a panel . Darusman commission as it is referred to based on the name of the chief commissioner, consisted of three commissioners with adverse encounters with Sri Lanka in the period preceeding their appointment, so ill disosed towards Sri Lanka. Not suprisingly they concurred that there were “credible allegations of 40,000 casualties”. This report however, begins by conceding that the numbers in their report are not factual as they have not been verified, and they refused to reveal the source of their information for thirty years any way , both of which left very little credibility remaining, with their findings. However, this report has since become fodder for any one seeking to be critical of SL, quoting it as a UN report and so gospel as these authors have done

The next inaccurate claim is that the   ” government encouraged civilians to enter “no fire zones” and then shelled those areas”. The diabolical truth is that the moment these areas were declared , and before any civilians could move in, the Tigers moved their heavy artillery to the heart of these areas, as they did to the proximity of the field hospitals, using thecivilians as shields to protect their artillery. These had to be neutralised to rescue the three hundred thousand trapped civilians, which they ultimately did. Neutralising the artillery they did with great care to minimise collateral damage and in the process incurred a significant increase of security forces casualties,than would otherwise have happened , a fact acknowledged by the US embassy in Colombo, revealed in wicki leaks, revealed embassy communications.

The strongest contradiction of the above two claims are to be found in the testimonies of overfifty civilians representing the the three hundred thousand rescued Tamil civilians , a Tamil MP and six Tamil doctors, who were all with the alleged 40,000 civilian casualties. These testimonies are found in the documentary “Lies Agreed Upon” found on U Tube, who to a person vouched to the good conduct of the security forces and that the only directed fire they received was from tigers, when they attempted to flee , to prevent loss of their human shields. Further, had there been so many casualties from amongst them consequent to the SL forces fire, would these   civilians have streamed into the arms of these very same forces, themoment the tiger built embankment to prevent them from doing so was breached, as they did in full view of the world media. Had the SL forces been bent onincreasing Tamil civilian casualties, would they spend the next two years ,demining their homes at great personel risk, to resettle these three hundred thousand as they did.

Additionally a SL government census conducted  by  Tamil teachers  in Feb /March 2012 in the war zones has established that the number of war related deaths was 7432 very similar to the first estimation released by the UN  and quoted by the Tamil net. Given that the security forces lost about 4000 in the last days of this war , it would be reasonable to estimate that, of the 7432, a similar number would have been Tiger fighters, reducing the non combatant civilians still further to around 3000 and quiteconsistent with collateral damage given their deliberate exposure as human shields , by the Tigers. However, the estimation of the Tamil doctors referred to above , of the dead civilians they encountered, was 7-800. These are a far cry from the 40,000 figure.

Further, the LessonsLearned and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) was set up among others   to hear evidence in support of this type of allegation as was the Army commission to investigate civilian deaths though army action. However , nothing was forthcoming regarding the alleged 40,000.

As for the authors claim of leaked video’s and photographs showing summary executions by soldiers, besides these videos being un attributable to any source or place, it has also been revealed by the former Tiger propaganda chief, that for years, captured soldiers were summarily executed with no clothes on, by Tigers wearing their clothes, and filmed   for later use in propaganda , as appears to have happened.

What the authors claim to be a “crackdown”, is raising a storm in a tea cup for the security measures instituted that were essential to prevent resurgence of the three decade insurgency which the international Tiger diaspora is using every trick conceivable to achieve. To this end they are using the powerful media and political allies they have aquired, for which no doubt their ill gotten war chest of billions would have come in very handy.That this is happening is apparent to any internationally based discerning follower of Sri Lanka’s trials and tribulations. What the diaspora aims for is removal of security forces from the north to facilitate the relaunch of Tiger terror. This threat will continue as long as the international Tiger Diaspora led conspiracy continues and those seeking the removal of the security forces should first seek the removal of the international diaspora of the internationally proscribed Tigers, what ever they may call them sleves now, be it The Global Tamil Gorum, The British Tamil Forum, The Canadian Tamil Forum or Trans National Government of Tamil Elam.

Despite the claimed crackdown, as it happened , the Jaffna University Science teachers and students did mourn collectively the “death of a large number of members of their community” as they wanted to , watched over by the security forces to ensure that the event was not hijacked by dormant Tiger elements, as no doubt would have happened otherwise.

What the authors seem to grudge Sri Lanka very much , is the right for Sri Lanka to annually reinforce their eternal gratitude to the many tens of thousands of security personel who laid down life and limb to liberate Sri lanka from three decads of Tiger Terror, with a parade , that would perhaps have been more appropriately labelled ” Liberation Parade” , rather than “Victory Parade”. The latter tem leaves room for misinterpretation and exploitation by the Tiger diaspora as has happened , by claiming that it implied victory over the Tamil community, which was not the intent even remotely. This is an illustration of the cunning sophistication of Tiger misinterpretation and misinformation that Sri Lanka has to contend with .

Having annual memorials and parades to reinforce gratitude, for sacrifices of life and limb in battle to secure the future for generations that have followed , is a practiced widely in the west. In New Zealand, the annual Anzac Parade to commemorate the NZ war heroes that lost their lives in Gillopolie , due for the hundreth commemoration next year, is a case in point.

Sri Lanka should be permitted to achieve home grown solutions   to their problems. The international community should not undermine this. Instead they should fascilitate it and rejoice in their sucesses, of which there are many.

Dr. Chula NA Rajapakse MNZM


United Sri Lanka Association

Wellington , New Zealand


3 Responses to “On Anniversary , a Victory Parade and a Crackdown in Sri Lanka. The New York Times May 18th 2015 – Gardiner Harris & Dharisha Bastians”

  1. RohanJay Says:

    Good article only contention is that you said ‘international community’ actually it is NATO countries who are pushing their imperialist agendas. Western media is nothing more than a propaganda arm of NATO so it isn’t surprising that they lie and make up BS figures like 40,000 by such dubious characters of the UN like Gordon Weiss. They cook the books to fit their imperialist globalist agenda. Also of NATO countries the rest of the world should be most weary of countries such as US and UK with other NATO countries such as France and others falling in behind these criminal two. Of course Sri Lankans are well aware of the imperialist machinations of these nations in the last 100 years as Shenali Waduge has documented very well from her many well written articles about these western nations over the last 7 years or so on lankaweb.com I am sure Shenali Waduge’s articles are archived going back to 2007. I think it required reading by lankaweb.com readers and others to read her well researched articles.

  2. jayasiri Says:

    Thank you Dr. Chula Rajapaksha from New Zealand. As pointed out already SHENALI WADUGE always produce cmments & articles well researched and I am sure our Sri Lanka lovers must read and absorb so that NO WESTERN MEDIA or western countries who are mostly past COLONIAL powers who governed Asia & Africa can be expeted to give any support to Sri Lanka or her armed foorces.

    WE already know starting with Libya, Afghanistan & many Mid East countries WERE DISTROYED by western alliances & Newspapers. These newspapers are owned by BIG BUSINESS congoerates & they can even have a say WHO THEIR LEADERS should be & how these leaders should govern.

    We need not worry as long as Sri Lankan people irrespective race or colour, minority or majority SHOULD WORK TOGETHER to save Lanka from OUTSIDERS. As Chinese PM has said ASIA should solve problems of ASIA by Asians NOT BY WEST or DEFINITELY NOT BY USA. We have seen what happened to Thailand, who supported USA, NOW it is under military rule.

    Thi sis why Imperial west & colonial powes should be shun away from ASIA. Thank you all……..J

  3. Lorenzo Says:

    Dharisha Bastians is a Tamil racist with anti-Sinhala views.

    These LOSERS still cannot come to terms with what happened on 18 May 2009. Let these losers’ community go extinct.

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