Sri Lanka – Human Rights in Grave Peril
Posted on January 31st, 2020

Ira de Silva Canada

The Editor,
Human Rights Watch
New York,N.Y.

 At the outset it is important to state that the so-called “war” in Sri Lanka was one that was waged by the terrorist group known as the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) which had the dubious distinction of being classed as the most violent terrorist group at the time, against the democratically elected Government of Sri Lanka, with the goal of dividing the country to establish a fascist, Tamil only state in the north and east of Sri Lanka comprising one third of the country. The LTTE was an internationally designated group banned by the UNSC and 32 countries. The protracted war was funded by LTTE supporters in Europe, Canada, the U.S. and Australia and supported by these countries just to get votes of LTTE supporters in their countries. Western countries never had any interest in helping Sri Lanka defeat the Tamil terrorists, Sri Lanka had to do it alone. This was at a time that the international community was broadcasting their “war on terrorism”!

When the security forces of the Government of Sri Lanka, without any help from these western countries, finally managed to engage the LTTE and forced it to retreat from west to east, the LTTE compelled Tamil civilians to move with them to be used for their labour and serve as a human shield. In the final stages when it became clear that the LTTE would be defeated, all that the western countries wanted was to negotiate a safe passage for the LTTE leader and his hard core fighters. This effort was led by the U.S. ambassador to Sri Lanka, Mr. R. Blake. This action merely confirmed the fact that the western countries supported LTTE interests, not the people of Sri Lanka who were the victims of Tamil terrorism.

Resolution Number 30/1 of October 1, 2015 was adopted by the UNHRC against Sr Lanka based on an imaginary figure of civilian deaths which were never proven or based of facts. The UN Resident Representative in Colombo reported a total of 7,721 killed between the end of August 2008 and May 13,2009 based on information from selected sources on the ground including Tamil employees of UN agencies whom the LTTE refused to release. TamilNet, the propaganda arm of the LTTE stated the number as 7398. Amensty claimed a total of 10,000 killed, the U.K. Sunday Times reporter, who only flew over the last battleground with Ban Ki Moon on May 25,2009 claimed 20,000 killed and later this figure increased to 40,000 killed. The pro-LTTE reporter Francis Harrison must be still be looking for the dead to count as she believed that 70,000 to 140,000 may have been killed but to  date has not indicated how many she has counted. The fact is that these numbers kept increasing based on the claimant’s need to exaggerate and dramatise but there was no substantiation or proven facts to back these claims. The number of genuine civilians killed is unknown because none of the published figures distinguish between combatants, LTTE auxiliary forces and non-combatant civilians.

The myth of 20,000, 40,000 killed is resurrected whenever the organizations and countries that supported the LTTE make representations at the UN in Geneva.  The pro-LTTE Yasmin Sooka, a Tamil from South Africa who is closely linked  with the Tamil lobby, attends propaganda meetings organized by the pro-LTTE groups, surfaces regularly in time for the Human Rights sessions in Geneva. She has benefited by her openly partisan approach and received a grant of twenty-five million Euros for a NGO headed by her in South Africa.

In 2012 the Government of Sri Lanka carried out  a census carried out by Tamil school teachers and public servants in the north  to find out the number killed in the last stages of the war. They established a number of 7,432 excluding those who had died of natural causes. TamilNet, the propaganda arm of the LTTE stated that the total killed during the period January 1,2009 to May 2009 was 7398. This proves that the figures from LTTE propagandists of 40,000 to 100,000 is merely a figment of their imagination. To date, there are no graves, no dead bodies to substantiate their fictitious numbers.

The question that the UN needs to answer is why Sri Lanka is being harassed by the UN  and orgsnizations such as yours and attempts continue to interfere in Sri Lanka’s internal affairs. Until the UN does and discredits your reports and opinions, Sri Lanka will be subjected to the same lies and myths for the next sessions in Geneva.

I. de Silva


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