UN: Before asking Sri Lanka to investigate does OISL have substantial evidence for a case against Sri Lanka  
Posted on March 24th, 2016

Shenali D Waduge

Leaving aside questioning why UN chose not to investigate Sri Lanka’s terror for 30 years but decided to do so only after LTTE leader and ground force was vanquished. We need to remind the UN that 2 investigations have already been held under the auspices of the UN. The first is plagued in controversy given the legality being raised of how a personally commissioned report (Panel of Experts/Darusman) came to become the foundation for resolutions & used as the basis for OHCHR to call for international investigation. The second was an actual investigation conducted by the office of the OHCHR. The question is does the OHCHR’s OISL have credible evidence of the ‘credible allegations’ that it investigated to order Sri Lanka to hold an investigation & hybrid court. If the OISL had sufficient evidence why should another hybrid court be created to investigate? Why is the UN asking Sri Lanka to investigate credible allegations when the UN/OHCHR already undertook 2 investigations to do so? What our government and foreign ministry officials should be asking the OISL is ‘where is the evidence to claim war crimes/crimes against humanity was committed” collateral damage is expected in any conflict. People holding guns do not extend roses. They can’t come out with stories & documentaries only. So far neither the OISL has produced credible evidence nor has the Government of Sri Lanka asked the proper questions from the OHCHR & its head. “The necessity of proof always lies with the person(s) who lays charges.” The Sri Lankan Government/Sri Lankan Army carries only the benefit of assumption.

The questions we need to have answered –

  • Is the UNSG’s Panel of Expert report legal because it was appointed without UN General Assembly or UN Security Council mandate but was used as a basis for several resolutions and was extensively quoted by both OHCHR heads in their reports/statements though it was not tabled officially giving Sri Lanka the right to respond? 
  • Giving the benefit of doubt about the legality, what are the credible evidence that the PoE report produced except a list of credible allegations in a report that deduced LTTE as the most disciplined and most nationalist of the Tamil militant groups’. (A team appointed by the UN Secretary General is calling a terrorist movement internationally banned by 32 nations as ‘most disciplined’ this itself warrants the report to fall flat on its face.)
  • How did ‘credible allegations’ claimed by the PoE turn into ‘credible evidence’
  • How did there could have been as many as 40,000 civiliandeaths.” as quoted by PoE turn out to be more than 40,000 dead some figures even going as far as 200,000?
  • Why was the UN country team figure (7721 deaths) rejected, when pro-LTTE website quoting dead was also 7398 and when even Navi Pillay quoted 2800 dead on 13th March 2009. Why is no one explaining how 2800 deaths on 13th March became 40,000 dead 36 days later? No one is also telling how 37,200 died between 13th March 2009 18th May 2009 and where these bodies are. So far none of those making these wild allegations have come up with details of the dead nor have they produced the skeletons. When UNSG arrived 3 days after the conflict ended and he flew over the conflict area surely he and his team would have seen & taken pictures of newly dug graves. In such a small area no one can still explain where the dead disappeared to (if they were killed)?
  • Why is the UN/OHCHR silent on the legal status? Under customary international law applicable to international and non-international armed conflicts – LTTE as combatants do not enjoy the protection against attack accorded to civilians.
  • Under the same law LTTE also does not enjoy right to combatant status or prisoner of war status.
  • Rule 6 declares that civilians are protected against attack unless and for such time as they take a direct part in hostilities – this leads to further questions not answered
  • Does the UN know how many civilians did not take part in hostilities?
  • Does the UN know how many civilians took part in one or two acts of hostilities making distinction further complicated?
  • Does the UN know how many civilians volunteered to take part in hostilities?
  • Does the UN know how many civilians may have died while taking part in hostilities?
  • Does the UN know how many will admit and own up to being a civilian but taking part in hostilities?
  • Does the UN know how many civilians 5 years on will admit to taking part in one or more hostile acts
  • Can the UN rely on these civilian accounts if all those saved claim they did not take part in hostilities and thus provide them the package of witness protection for no reason?
  • The biggest question is how the initial call from the UNSG to investigate the last 3 months of the conflict ended up investigating even beyond 2009 and also included non-conflict related issues which could have been easily broached at the Universal Periodic Review.
  • The other question is why is the UN /OHCHR only concentrating on one set of victims only (Tamils) totally ignoring the other victims (Sinhalese & Muslims) they were virtually ethnically cleansed from their original habitats in the North by the LTTE & the Indian Army.
  • The UN & OHCHR claims to want accountability and truth but conveniently brushes under the carpet calling for the crime list of the LTTE since the 1970s and the Indian Army from 1987 to 1990 and India for being a state sponsor of terror because India clandestinely trained unemployed Sri Lankan Tamil youth in India which is clearly established in the Jain Commission report and is the best evidence anyone can produce to direct guilt at the Indian government.
  • How can only part of a conflict be investigated when it is an injustice to all victims? How can a handful of cases be used targeting one party in order to accuse only that party? These are all legal violations and morally indefensible.
  • Why is there never mention of the other associated entities that fanned the conflict for 30 years – LTTE fronts that were banned under UNSC Resolution 1373, the Church, the Christian NGOs, foreign envoys, UN officials, politicians and all others who were providing some sort of material support covertly or overtly. They were all aiding and abetting the crime and should also be including to be punished.

The crux of the argument is simple. The UN, OHCHR, UNHRC or anyone else can make allegations but they must be credible and have legal standing in a court of law.

The UN had two attempts to investigate Sri Lanka and has spent 6 years to do so. Neither report has given solid evidence of war crimes/crimes against humanity. The next best thing they can do to save face is to pass the pillow to an appeasing Sri Lankan government. So now, they are asking Sri Lanka for ‘credible investigations’ http://www.adaderana.lk/news/34643/un-calls-for-a-credible-investigation and the present government is falling for the trap.

Is this some kind of a joke?

When the UN/OHCHR has undertaken 2 investigations why should Sri Lanka be asked to further investigate? Moreover why is the UN/OHCHR asking to set up another hybrid court to undertake another investigation – is it because they have found nothing to incriminate Sri Lanka? Why is the whole emphasis from the PoE to the OISL and now to a hybrid court only on targeting the Sri Lankan Army? Why is there no emphasis to punish all those guilty of LTTE crimes that lasted 30 years most of which fall into violations of the Geneva Conventions? Why is time and money being wasted like this?

Why is the UN/OHCHR being so blatantly biased? We cannot expect Sri Lanka friendly nations to come to our assistance when arm-twisting by the UN/OHCHR suffices to place weak Sri Lankan governments to go on their knees. However, the General Assembly members should take this up especially when none of UN tribunals have succeeded so far.

It doesn’t take an idiot to realize that the 2 investigations (PoE & OISL) have been specifically targeting only one party to the conflict. There is sufficient evidence of clear bias when reading the reports as well as the reports/statements by the successive resolutions and the OHCHR Head. If there is any impartial figure or body in the UN they would see this injustice and malpractice by officials of the UN/OHCHR.

What is really hilarious is the UN/OHCHR undertakes 2 investigations and cannot yet present a legally binding case for war crimes/crimes against humanity on the one party (Sri Lankan Army) they are targeting (except highlight individual folly which does not constitute a systematic command order) and is now asking Sri Lanka to find the evidence and the present government is saying ‘OK, we will find the evidence for you’ without asking the OHCHR to ‘please present your case with evidence or shut the case altogether and allow the people to let bygones be bygones and get on with their lives as they are currently doing’.

The situation is really simple to understand. Anyone that says war crimes & crimes against humanity has been committed must come out with the evidence and not ask the GOSL to find the evidence for them. Moreover, 2 investigations have been held obviously both have failed to come out with evidence that is legally binding in a court of law which is why to save face they are now asking Sri Lanka to find the evidence and are using the ignorant Sri Lankan Government to agree to commit hara kiri by sending their own to the gallows for no legal reason whatsoever.

Shenali D Waduge

2 Responses to “UN: Before asking Sri Lanka to investigate does OISL have substantial evidence for a case against Sri Lanka  ”

  1. AnuD Says:

    Even earlier UNHCR attempets by USA was because of Britain’s needs.

    It is Still the British LTTE rump pushing corrupt British politicians.

    Only way to escape is going behind those LTTE rump for supporting terrorism and try to get them deported.

    but, CBK’s approach is support British Tamils and isolate GTF anf BTF. That is simply to help her children and not to help Sri lanka or to give leaddership to Sri lanka.

  2. Ancient Sinhalaya Says:

    The reason for all this fuss by UNHCR?


    The above link will explain why they are hell bent on avenging MR. MR stopped formation of a catholic
    country in Sri Lanka. It has to be punished so the next time round they will succeed in formation of a catholic
    country. Of course it will be nice to have one between south africa and the phillipines!

    Where was when UNPatriotic party killed 60,000+ Buddhist jvpers?
    Where was amnesty (selective justice) international when those 60,000+ died?
    Why can’t monki boon open his mouth to condemn, at least, catholic tigers of tamil drealam’s 100,000+
    victims? These victims included several hundred Buddhist monks, 0 priests.

    Why can’t Sinhalese make some noise about the injustices meted out to Sinhalese Buddhists by
    UNHCR and UNPatriotic party and the west?

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