UN War Crimes Report Soft Pedals LTTE’s Using Human Shield: G.L.Peiris
Posted on September 23rd, 2015

By P.K.Balachandran Courtesy The New Indian Express

COLOMBO: Former Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Prof.G.L.Peiris has said that the report of the UN High Commissioner of Human Rights on war crimes” in Lanka has soft pedaled the LTTE’s using civilians as a human shield, when it is a war crime under international humanitarian law.

He charged that the Lankan government has not forcefully presented to the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) the existing prohibitions against the use of civilians as shields in civil wars. The findings of the Maxwell Paranagama Commission on civilian deaths in Eelam War IV was also not conveyed, Peiris told Express.

The UN report pilloried the government forces which had rescued 300,000 Tamil civilians held hostage by the LTTE. But it let the LTTE, the hostage taker, off the hook.

The report does chide the LTTE for using human shields, but its final word is that the government cannot blame the LTTE for the loss of civilian lives.

The duty to respect international humanitarian law does not depend on the conduct of the opposing party, and is not conditioned on reciprocity,” the report  says.

Law On Human Shields

The Geneva Convention of 1949 described the use of human shields as cruel and barbaric”.  In his paper on the human shield, Michael N.Schmitt, Professor of International Law at the US Naval War College, says that violation of the human shield prohibition constitutes a war crime.

The Additional Protocols to the Geneva Convention say that warring parties   shall not direct the movement of the civilian population in order to attempt to shield military objectives from attacks or shield military operations. The presence or movement of the civilian population shall not be used to render certain points or areas immune to military operations, they say.

Art 58 of the Additional Protocol I, says that parties to a conflict are obliged to remove the civilian population and civilian objects under their control from the vicinity of military operations. It also prohibits locating military objectives within or near densely populated areas. The LTTE brazenly violated these provisions in the final phase of the war.

8 Responses to “UN War Crimes Report Soft Pedals LTTE’s Using Human Shield: G.L.Peiris”


    P.K. Balachandran, it is nice to see you publishing on Lanka web. I can remember that time when you wrote about “Pathini Dviyo” and said that Keralays were ruling Sri Lanka from north to south. At that time you were describing SL was in turmoil just like today. Ambakke Devalaya is a good example. The Head Kapurala does a all night dance with young girls under the age of 18. It is called “Gini Maduva” where the girls are drugged and dance until they fall down exhausted. Then the family members carry the girls home. This is practiced even today. Pathini was a woman who looked after Prostitutes and gave them protection found the clients. You justified EELAM map that Tamils ruled from north to south. What you have written is correct, but did you ask your self Modi Government support for this mentally deranged Prince Ra’ar is doing? He was in a mental hospital in Jordan where King Hussein put him there after he represented the Hamas. later King Abdulla released him but had restrictions placed on him travelling in nebor countries or inside Jordan. Obama got him installed as the UNHCR Ambassador specially to retard the economic advance of SL. I hope Mr. Balachandran can now see the picture in a different angle like the TAMILS FOR OBAMA.

  2. Dilrook Says:

    The fault mostly falls on Sri Lanka that failed to do a proper accountability investigation leaving aside reconciliation and political solutions. A proper accountability investigation would define what happened as an armed conflict and apply rules of war (Geneva Conventions, ICRC interpretations, etc.). Under these no war crime has been done by armed forces and LTTE and its allied political parties, sections of the Tamil diaspora, etc. must be guilty of grave war crimes.

    The reconciliation sham tied the hands of Lankan authorities from revisiting the war objectively while allowing UNHRC to carryout its biased investigations.

    Absolutely nothing happens if Sri Lanka disregards the OHCHR report and UNHRC resolutions. At most the matter will die a natural death at the UN Security Council. The danger is acting on these which is self harm.

  3. Sirih Says:

    My dear Professor, where were you when UNHR formulate this colonial agenda ? You were the foreign minister and what did you do ? Nothing.
    It was left to the countries patriots to defend the countries war heroes.

    I am so mad that whole thing is repeating due to present morons doing the same mistakes pandering to colonial whims ..
    We have a taylor that pandering to western interest and PM thats been a western stooge with out any qualification to be a national leader.
    All along our sinhalese idiots brought this mess on their head.
    I got approached but refused to support the present govt.
    Security heads are worried and I have offered full support for our defence forces but not to the govt.

  4. Independent Says:

    Kithsiri Ayya,
    I am not silent even though enders so much restrictions. I took your challenge. Now just read the comments just below you comment punk. All these are true, regardless of WHO is saying it.


  5. Independent Says:

    My Dear Sirih,
    Now you drear professor is allowed to talk what he thinks. That is the difference.

  6. Asanga Says:

    Thank you Sirih, for your yeoman service to our country. Hopefully someone somewhere, with more than two brain cells in their heads will realize your true value to the nation as a whole, and utilize it, instead of falling prey to their own sense of jealousy and selfishness.

  7. Fran Diaz Says:

    Mr Balachandran has written up a good analysis and an honest article for which we thank him.

    Every GoSL ‘soft pedalled’ the LTTE issues of terrorism and blatant breaking of the Law of the Land for nearly 30 yrs. This was done to placate Tamil Nadu & India and various religious bodies plus powerful foreign interests ?

    You can see what a formidable array of powers had/have aligned themselves against Lanka & GoSL.

    All for what ? To divide Sri Lanka for different agendas, none of which will be solved by division of Lanka !!

    Address the problem at the Source (wherever) for permanent solutions to problems, whatever they are.

  8. Lorenzo Says:

    We have to be sympathetic to the professor.

    Although he was the FM, there was a FOREIGN MINISTRY MONITORING MINISTER (now in prison). That monitoring minister did the real deals including slapping high commissioners and other ways of getting the best of diplomats.


    You are a true patriot who fought against C4 BS headon. After that they quickly hushed hushed it.

    The TAYLOR who is the foreign minister today was FIRST made foreign minister by MR in 2005.

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