Monthly Archives: May 2012

Mr. Sampanthan’s Disturbing Discourse

WEDNESDAY, 30 MAY 2012 02:41Daily Mirror

By Dr Dayan Jayatilleka

The keynote speech by Mr. R Sampanthan, the leader of the main Tamil parliamentary party at the recent congress of that organization is in many respects a landmark event. It sheds light on a number of key strategic issues and should make clear to the international community that the matter of political dialogue leading to ethnic reconciliation is, has become or is becoming rather more complex and fraught than is customarily thought.

“The symbol of our party chosen for us by our founder – the House – also symbolizes this. This House is the Home of our community; our community’s historical habitat; our community’s sovereignty. Our fundamental objective is to regain our community’s Home, its historical habitat and its sovereignty. The symbol of the House symbolizes this unshakeable aim…”

The senior political leader of the Tamil community in the island’s strategically sensitive Northern Province reconfirms the political aim and goal of his party. Perhaps more importantly he clarifies the international strategy that is being, and is to be, adopted in furtherance of that political project, as well as the interconnection between the international strategy and domestic tactics in support of the project.

“My respected friends. The current practices of the international community may give us an opportunity to achieve, without the loss of life, the soaring aspirations we were unable to achieve by armed force. Because of this, we must be patient.”

Mr. Sampanthan’s speech not only states clearly that the political project lies outside the parameters of both the 13th amendment as well as the structural form of a unitary state, it also provides considerable evidence that the goal of a sovereign state of and for the Tamils, one in which they enjoy absolute authority rather than shared or devolved authority, remains the goal. The terms ‘devolution’ and ‘power-sharing’ do not appear in the speech.

“Our expectation for a solution to the ethnic problem of the sovereignty of the Tamil people is based on a political structure outside that of a unitary government, in a united Sri Lanka in which Tamil people have all the powers of government needed to live with self-respect and self-sufficiency.

… Powers must be allocated under this structure based on the understanding that meaningful devolution should go beyond the 13th Amendment to the Constitution passed in 1987. This position has been accepted by our party. Our acceptance of this position does not mean that we consider the 13th Amendment to be an acceptable solution, nor that, in the event  our right to internal self-determination is continuously denied, we will not claim our right under international law to external self-determination.  It only means that this is the only realistic solution today.”

Perhaps the key segment of Mr. Sampanthan’s speech is that the strategic perspective is to prove to the international community, most especially India and the USA, that a solution for the Tamil people is not possible within a united Sri Lanka. The repeated use of the term ‘united’ rather than ‘unitary’ reveals that the strategy is not merely to convince the international community that a solution cannot be found within the unitary form and framework, but rather within a united Sri Lanka itself, i.e. Sri Lanka as a single, united country. Despite several references to a ‘united Sri Lanka’ elsewhere in the text, this strategic perspective reveals a latent commitment to a secessionist goal by other means.

“In other words – we must prove to the international community that we will never be able to realize our rights within a united Sri Lanka. We must be patient until the international community realizes for itself that the effort we are involved in is doomed to fail. To put it more strongly, the international community must realize through its own experience, without us having to tell them, that the racist Sri Lankan government will never come forward and give political power to the Tamil people in a united Sri Lanka.”

This interpretation is confirmed by a passage in which it is stated that the softening of the political stand of the main Tamil party is merely tactical, does not indicate a shift of political goal and is intended to dovetail with ongoing and emerging international trends and leveraging those international trends and factors in favour of the stated political goal.

This speech provides a glimpse of future tactics inasmuch as it speaks of a non-violent campaign which it fears will be met with violence, at which point the international community should act decisively.

“…Our patience however, will not be everlasting. Our patience too, has its limits. Once we have reached that limit, we will move onto the stage of our effort. We will not hesitate to gather our people together and with the support of progressive forces in our country, and the international community, even engage in a non-violent struggle. We will decide on specific deadlines and when the time comes for such action, we will act…”

The stances of the party until then can be understood as setting the stage and positioning itself for such an endgame.

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Arun Pandiyan- A Pro-LTTE MLA from Tamil Nadu Visited Jaffna Secretly

Mon, 2012-05-28 06:43 — editor
Chennai, 28 May, (Asiantribune.com):
Arun_Pandiyan.jpg

On the left Vijayakanth and on the right Arun Pandiyan

Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam MLA and Actor-Producer Arun Pandian has visited Jaffna secretly. Karunamoorthy of Aiyngaran films international accompanied him.

Arun Pandiyan is an MLA of the Tamil Nadu State Legislative Assembly elected on the Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK) led by actor turn politician Vijayakanth, presently the leader of the opposition in the Assembly.

Vijayakanth and his DMDK are said to be strong LTTE supporters and involved in glorifying Prabakaran and his suicide attacks in the past.

In the latter part of last month Arun Pandyan the DMDK MLA representing of Peravurani constituency in the Tamil Nadu state Legislative Assembly visited Jaffna very secretly and was staying there until he returned back to Chennai.

Arun Pandiyan was on a one month visa and visited Sri Lanka along with his business partner Karunamoorthy of Aiyngaran films international.

Karunamoorthy is originally a Sri Lankan and presently owns Ayngaran and resides in the United Kingdom.

Ayngaran is a film distribution and production company of Tamil films, based in the United Kingdom. The company has distributed various Indian-produced Tamil films in Europe and North America. It is also responsible for the production of Tamil films into home media, such as VHS, DVD, and blu-ray disc. They also operate a chain of retail video stores located in Canada, France, and Singapore. The largest retail store is located in Toronto, Canada.

Ayngaran is also involved in the daily transmission via satellite to European countries Kalaingar TV – a DMK propganda electronic media and also Jaya TV owned by the present Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J.Jayalalitha which runs an anti-Sri Lankan agenda.

It is reported Arun Pandian during his stay in Sri Lanka was staying in the village called Inuvil which is nearly 8 kilo meters North of Jaffna city, located on the Jaffna Kankesanthurai Road,

Arun Pandian while keeping a very low profile managed to photograph strategically important place in the Jaffna peninsula and met many Tamils.

Also it was reported that a few Sri Lankan Tamil political Party leaders have gone and met with Arun Pandian.

Reports reveals that he managed to leave Colombo without any let or hindrance.

Reports further revealed that Karunamoorthy of Ayngaran international has managed to bring in Arun Pandian representing ant-Sri Lankan political party and also helped him to leave for Tamil Nadu without any problem.

– Asian Tribune –

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‘Tamils Against Military Withdrawal’: Dismantling Camps Will Give Rise to Terrorism – Expert

Posted on May 26th, 2012
By Manjula Fernando, Courtesy Sunday Observer

If military camps are dismantled in the North and the East, extremism and terrorism will return, international anti-terrorism expert Prof. Rohan Gunaratna warned yesterday.

Responding to comments by Sarath Fonseka on military camps in the North and the East should be reduced, Prof. Gunaratna said the threat of terrorism being revived is very real because supportive political elements and LTTE proxies are still active in Sri Lanka, India and in a few other countries.

“They have not abandoned the Tiger flag, Vellupillai Prabhakaran’s image or the separatist goal,” said Prof. Gunaratna, who heads the International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research (ICPVTR) at Nanyang Technological Institute, Singapore.He said, “Due to the weak law and order situation, enforcement and intelligence, ideological extremism and terrorism grew in Jaffna and spread islandwide starting with Prabhakaran killing the Jaffna Mayor Alfred Duraiappah in 1975. Most Sri Lankans including Tamils do not want the military to withdraw for two reasons.

First, security. Ninety percent of the LTTE’s victims were Tamils until 1983. Since then Tamils, Muslims and Sinhalese suffered gravely and Sri Lanka went back a quarter century. Although the LTTE has been dismantled in Sri Lanka, the LTTE maintains a significant presence in Tamil Nadu. LTTE ideologues and leaders who support terrorism including S.J. Emmanuel, V. Rudrakumaran and Nediywan are radicalising and militarising a new generation of Tamils. Through front, cover and sympathetic organisations, the LTTE is operating out of New York as TGTE, London as TGTE and In Norway as TCC.Second, the military has provided sustained support to the civilian population: building roads, refurbishing hospitals, renovating schools, improving livelihoods through farming fishery and agriculture assistance and donating blood.”In the next decade, the greatest challenge facing Sri Lanka would be communal extremism propagated by LTTE remnants and their proxies, he said.

“The Government must continue to engage the Tamils and build a strong friendship with all communities especially in the North and the East. Military and intelligence must recruit more Tamils and learning Tamil must be made mandatory. The police have set an example by recruiting and deploying Tamils in the North and the East.”

Earlier, British High Commissioner Rankin in a video posted on the High Commission website said, “We hope the military presence in the North and the East can resemble the level of the military presence in other parts of the country, rather than the very large military presence we continue to have at present.”

A spokesman for the External Affairs Ministry said they were studying his comments.

The former Army Commander Fonseka too had voiced similar sentiments in an interview with a Tamil newspaper after his release. President Mahinda Rajapaksa told the nation on the third anniversary of the defeat of terrorism, that the military camps in the North and the East would not be removed as long as security considerations remain, in the backdrop of LTTE diaspora activity.

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“Killing Fields” Loses BAFTA

“Killing Fields ” did not win the BAFTA  Award !!

The Current Affairs Award was won by BBC.

Undercover Care: The Abuse Exposed (Panorama) BAFTA mask
Frank Simmonds, Paul Kenyon, Matthew Chapman, Joe Casey
BBC Productions/BBC One

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Secretary Clinton Delivers Remarks With Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Peiris

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Human Rights Council – A Butterfly Or A Caterpillar with Lipstick? Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes?

Fri, 2012-05-25 00:30 — News Analysis

By Mr Mohan Pieris – PC Senior Advisor to the Cabinet on Legal Affairs Former Attorney-General, Chairman, Seylan Bank.

The ides of March have come and gone but the passage of the famous or infamous US sponsored resolution on Sri Lanka continues to provoke discussion and discourse not to mention the controversy it has raised among us on its pros and cons.

So when I was invited to be among you this evening the Rotarians – the kind of enlightened gentlemen who have banded themselves into one of Sri Lanka’s reputed service oriented organizations, I thought it opportune that I should share some thoughts with you on the United Nations Human Rights Council as a body and tell you what I feel is the legal impact of this resolution. That overview of the body –the scope and extent of its powers -will put the resolution in its correct perspective.

That will also strengthen my argument that the resolution finds no place in the overarching scheme of the building blocks of the Council.

Human Rights Commission (1948-2006)

The Human Rights Commission-the predecessor to the Human Rights Council-was established in 1948-the year we gained independence. This Commission in fairness to it did some useful work. Immediately after its formation, it focused its attention on drafting the major human rights document of the world-Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). It was adopted as a General Assembly Resolution on 10 December 1948-a day we celebrate every year as a International Human Rights Day. As a General Assembly Resolution we call it soft law which means a legally non binding document. But its uniqueness lay in its trend setting standards such as right to freedom and equality and freedom from discrimination. It was trend setting because most countries adopt them in their constitutions. You would observe that they find their place in our 1978 Constitution too.

This Commission brought forth some other standard setting international contentions to which Sri Lanka became a party-such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights (ICESC) and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989). In fact our National Action Plan on Human Rights have the goal of progressively improving these covenant rights. So much for the good work of the Commission. But there is a flip side to the Commission.

Western and Anti-third world bias

Towards the 1980’s it was widely accepted that the Human Rights Commission began to sport a Western and anti-Third World bias. The Commission passed almost no country-specific resolution against any Western Country, as all of its attention was focused on small Third World countries that had the misfortune of being caught up in the maelstrom of the formal end of the Cold War – countries such as Cambodia or El- Salvador. Indeed, countries like these remained continuously on the Commission’s agenda during the 1990s.

So the Third World Countries no longer looked at the UN Human Rights Commission as a weapon of the weak but as a bludgeon. In fact the agenda on the Commission was substantially influenced by the UN general assembly and there was a plethora –I would call an unreasonable number of condemnatory resolutions against the Third World and it was this politicization that drove countries to charter a so called reform that would replace the Commission with a Council.

Did the Human Rights Commission Fail?

In fact if you ask me the question-did the Human Rights Commission fail? My answer would be –ask those who mattered and suffered-the countries that were the subjects of resolutions constantly. Selectivity and non objectivity-the two terms that we ever so often use today to accuse the Human Rights Council were the pervasive norms in the Commission and this was best captured by an English Professor of International Law from Colin Warbick when he said-I quote

“The Commission lost its integrity and direction over time: with much of its membership decisions, powers and focus coming to be fuelled by disreputable goals rather than motivated by the aim of promoting, protecting and advancing human rights.”

The legacy Continues…..

Are these comments pertinent today to the work of the Human Rights Council that replaced the Commission as a reformed body? I certainly make the opinion that the comments that the Commission was biased and partisan and disreputable goals were rife in targeting countries are still relevant today and applicable to the Council in light of what we went through on the 22nd of March

Human Rights Council (2006)

In 2005 the then Secretary General of the UN Kofi Annan called for the abolition of the Commission, and the establishment of an effective Human Rights Council. Let me recall his words-

“We have now reached a point at which the Commission’s declining credibility has cast a shadow on the reputation of the United Nations system as a whole, and where piecemeal reforms will not be enough.”

Following a long process of negotiation the General assembly adopted Resolution 60/251 on 15 March 2006 setting up the Human Rights Council. You would be interested to note that the United States, Marshall Islands and Palau voted against the resolution to establish the Council. Three countries, Belarus, Iran and Venezuela abstained and 170 countries including Sri Lanka voted for the resolution. The General Assembly established the Council as a subsidiary organ. Thus the Commission was abolished and the first Session of the Human Rights Council began in Geneva in June 2006.

Membership

It is made up of 47 members, vis-à-vis the 53 members of the former Commission. The membership is mandated on equitable geographical distribution –members will be elected directly and individually by secret ballot by the majority of the members of the General Assembly; The General Assembly elected the first group of 47 members in May 2006 and Sri Lanka had the privilege of being a member in that first batch.

The membership shall be based on equitable geographical distribution, and seats shall be distributed as follows among regional groups:

Group of African States, thirteen;

Group of Asian States, thirteen;

Group of Eastern European States, six;

Group of Latin American and Caribbean States, eight;

and Group of Western European and other States, seven;

The members of the Council shall serve for a period of three years and shall not be eligible for immediate re-election after two consecutive terms.

There is a rider that the General Assembly lays down in para 8 of its resolution for qualification to become a member-While electing the members to the Council, the General Assembly must take into account “the contribution of candidates to the promotion and protection of human rights and their voluntary pledges and commitments made.”

One year later after the General Assembly resolution of 2006, in 2007, the Human Rights Council met in Geneva and adopted its constitution which is called –the Institution Building Package 5/1 that delineated the future work of the Council.

So we have two constitutional documents that must guide the work of the Council and the Council cannot step outside of them-namely GA resolution 60/251 of 2006 and the Council Resolution –Institution Building Package of 2007.

To an international lawyer and even otherwise any thing done outside the four corners of these two document would be ultra vires-beyond the powers of the Council.

The conduct of business in the Council has to be guided by the parameters set by these two constructional documents. Even the moving and passage of resolutions have to be authorized by the principles that are found in these documents. Were they adhered to or even taken note of ?

I must tell you-if you look at the GA resolution of 2006, you will see a pious declaration that was exhorted of the Human Rights Council-the Council must be guided in its work by the principles of“universality, impartiality and non-selectivity, constructive international dialogue and co-operation.”

In other words the Council was expected to operate in a ‘transparent, fair and impartial manner so as to achieve the objective of promoting dialogue.

Quite contrary to these principles partiality and selectivity characterized the ethos and undue haste with which certain countries waged this war of attrition against Sri Lanka in the Council while paradoxically the conduct of mighty nations in many a part of the world passes muster. That conduct, however reprehensible it may be, is beyond the pale of scrutiny of the Council.

This is why I say today that the Human Rights Council has been drifting away from its obligation to keep up to its guiding principles.

No jurisdiction

If you analyze the Constitution of the Human Rights Council-the Institution Building Package, nowhere would you find jurisdiction to go into the recommendations of a domestic mechanism of a sovereign nation-The LLRC was established by virtue of a legislation of the country called the Commission of Inquiry Act. The findings of the Commission are amenable to review by competent courts of this country but not by an extra territorial body such as the Human Rights Council. The Institution Building Package nowhere sets out powers to dissect and discuss the recommendations of the Lessons Learnt Commission at the Human Rights Council or for that matter even order an implementation of those recommendations.

It is axiomatic that when the Human Rights Council voted on a resolution to force a speedy implementation of the recommendation, the council most respectfully took on a resolution without jurisdiction.

No country or any resolution of the Human Rights Council can set deadlines when it comes to the matter of implementing recommendations of the LLRC. That critical engagement about the contents of the LLRC Report (especially those aspects pertaining to human rights and humanitarian law) should, firstly, take place in a spirit of dialogue; and not by attempting to introduce a resolution that binds a Government to some international time-table, especially one set by a country which has no moral right to extract commitments from other countries on human rights protection.

The so called international community , as a critical legal scholar stated, is a “completely impossible international player.” It reduces small and weak States, in particular, to a state of helplessness in the world; for, its hypocrisy, its arrogance, its “impossibility” cannot be easily dealt with.

This is the backdrop in which we faced the might of the countries which sought to abuse their might.

The resolution was placed on the agenda regardless of many a salutary positive in the Country. When we went to Geneva, we had a plethora of positives.

At no point were we saying that we would resile from the recommendations. The Country had just implemented the substantial portion of the interim recommendations of the LLRC.

Rehabilitation and reinsertion of former combatants was part of a restorative justice programme that was in place. The resettlement of the internally displaced was a near success.

National Action Plan on Human Rights

Moreover, a national Action Plan on promotion and protection of Human Rights was a reality which was the product of a deliberative process which involved several stakeholders. In fact it was a fulfillment of a voluntary pledge Sri Lanka made at a Universal Periodic Review that was conducted in 2008. This Action Plan takes cognizance of what needs to be done progressively on the human rights front. This stocktaking involved an examination of Sri Lanka’s UPR, all of the Treaty Body Recommendations, the recommendations of Special Rapporteurs, and Reports of NGO’s submitted during the UPR. This process moved on to conduct national consultations with the involvement of over 200 civil society Organizations as well as relevant Governmental Agencies to identify issues in relation to 8 thematic areas. Eight Drafting Committees that comprised six to ten experts from both Governmental and Non-Governmental members were appointed to prepare a draft Action Plan in respect of each thematic area. An important feature of the draft Action Plan is the inclusion of measurable indicators, emphasizing a serious focus on the monitoring and evaluation component. In September 2010 under a Presidential directive, a Cabinet sub-committee assisted by the Attorney-General was appointed to finalize a composite Plan incorporating the eight thematic Plans. The composite Plan titled the “National Action Plan for the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights” and incorporating a time frame for implementation, was approved by the cabinet and in all earnest the implementation of the plan has commenced

If I may itemize the 8 thematic areas of the Action Plan they are Civil and Political Rights, Economic Social and Cultural Rights, Prevention of Torture, Rights of Women, Labour Rights, Rights of Migrant Workers, Rights of Children and Rights of Internally Displaced Persons (IDP)

Each Thematic Action Plan divides into sub categories and effective implementation of the Plan has inspired a process that provides for the input of all stakeholders including those who will assume responsibility for implementation. The inclusion of measurable indicators will ensure that there is a ready platform for Monitoring and Evaluation. We believe that the Monitoring & Evaluation (M & E) component will make the difference between a Plan that will work and one that may not.

Universal Periodic Review

I must make a mention of this process that has been built into both the constitutional documents of the HRC. In fact the movers of the resolution paid scant respect to this inbuilt mechanism of review

The Institution Building Package of the Council tells us that a country formally reports on its country situation at what is called Universal Periodic Review.

GA Resolution of 2006 mandated the HRC to conduct this review. HRC Resolution of 2007 (Institution Building Package) tells us that it is a co-operative mechanism based on an interactive dialogue, with the full involvement of the country concerned. All countries go through this and we went through this in 2008. Our next cycle is later this year when we will lay bare our progress. Though the Constitution of the Council stipulates this review process and Sri Lanka contended that Universal Periodic Review would be the best occasion for a review of Sri Lanka, this was not taken notice of in view of the polarization and politicization that characterize the Human Rights Council today.

I must say that we have reached a situation that anything and every thing is cannon fodder for discussion in the name of human rights and constitutional documents are consigned to history. That is why we say that this resolution is non binding. It does not stand pari materia with a security council resolution which usually amounts to an equivalent of a court decree.

If you look at the text of the resolution, the permissive language un which it is couched would indicate its non binding nature. The first part calls upon the Government of Sri Lanka to implement the LLRC recommendations.

The Second part requests the Government of Sri Lanka to present a comprehensive action plan detailing the steps the Government has taken and will take to implement the recommendations

The third part encourages the office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to provide and the Government to accept any advice and technical assistance that office would give us if we need such advice.

Despite all the developments I referred to earlier and the government’s continuing commitment to charter a road map to implement the LLRC recommendations sua sponte (on its own), certainly we did not need a resolution that was placed on the agenda outside the parameters of the Council’s jurisdiction.

This resolution was timed under a guise of co-operation to coerce and force a country which was limping back to normalcy after so many years of bloodshed and it was a stark reminder of the continuing legacy of politicization of the Commission that haunts today its successor.

The Government has not rested on its laurels. The 258 recommendations of the LLRC have been compartmentalized into 4 categories. There is a road map that has been clearly strategized and we as Sri Lankans would march towards that halcyon era when we will have eternal peace and harmony.

But I venture to say this-when the human rights council was born, the U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., John Bolton said with a flourish, “We want a butterfly. We’re not going to put lipstick on a caterpillar and declare it a success.”

In other words he wished the Council to be a butterfly and not something where you put lipstick on a caterpillar-of course the reference to a caterpillar was to the Commission. But in the light of what has been the course of events at this council whose work suffers from politicization, we wonder whether the General Assembly launched a caterpillar with lipstick that has sullied the fabric of nations that wish to rise from an internecine post conflict.

So I part with these thoughts-Universal Periodic Review would have been the best occasion for a review. But a mistimed and ultra vires resolution once again tells us a sad commentary-the trigger mechanisms for discussion in the Council have grown higgledy-piggledy and those entrusted to watch over the interests of human rights get it wrong as to the vires of their actions. It reminds me of what that Roman poet Juvenal said in Latin- Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Who will guard the guardians? Who will take custody of the custodians?

“Who indeed?”

Thank You.

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Sri Lanka Demands War Crimes against LTTE Terrorists and India’s IPKF

Tue, 2012-05-22 02:27 —

By Shenali Waduge

We have come to a stage in history that we need to put things in its perspective by not shying away from demanding actions on two key areas that now needs to be investigated.

It is only by investigating who the LTTE was, what LTTE was involved in, the players who sponsored and supported the LTTE over the years, LTTE war crimes over 3 decades, victims of LTTE terror (civil and military) as well as investigating the war crimes, rape, looting and indiscriminate firing upon innocent Tamil civilians by the Indian Peace Keeping Force sent by India following India’s intervention in Sri Lanka forcing the signing of the Indo-Lanka Peace Accord that we can derive a plausible conclusion to enable the citizens of Sri Lanka to finally get on with their lives.

Incidentally, it is the death anniversary of Rajiv Gandhi, killed in Tamil Nadu on 21 May 1991 by the LTTE….and it becomes a perfect day to examine India’s and in particular Tamil Nadu politicians role in Sri Lanka and reason why all of India’s neighbors should despise India including Sri Lanka.

These 2 investigations are important for several reasons for it explains the reasons why Sri Lanka was forced to shoulder a conflict which went sour in the manner India’s peace keepers began raping and killing Sri Lankan Tamils – a true killing field ignored internationally. The manner in which in an unprecedented move resulted in the LTTE tie up with the Sri Lankan Government to fight the IPKF and demand it to leave Sri Lanka carries a clear message that Sri Lanka cannot be disintegrated like other nations – African or Middle Eastern.

1) Investigate War Crimes of LTTE

An investigation into LTTE war crimes will bring to light atrocities that forced 32 nations to declare it a terrorist organization and will record how over three decades the LTTE carried out over 200 suicide attacks killing innocent men, women, children and clergy. It will also enable the world to bury the myth that LTTE was a liberation movement when they realize that the LTTE killed practically all of the moderate Tamil politicians and Tamil intellectuals. All these people deserve justice for their untimely deaths.

It is easy to say that the LTTE is now no more. That may be true but we know very well that Sri Lanka’s Tamil political parties especially the TNA has been over the years the open mouthpiece of the LTTE and they are in parliament primarily on the strength of the LTTE’s open support of them even carrying out their election campaigns. There are enough evidence of TNA members with links to LTTE speaking atop LTTE stages even overseas. These TNA members have given political leadership and guidance to the LTTE over the year which has enabled them to entice the Tamil civilians towards the separatist cause.

LTTE’s foreign campaign is very much in full swing and are accountable for influencing the calls for war crimes against Sri Lanka’s troops on their ability to buy over foreign MPs on the bargaining tool of giving them enough votes to come into power. We are not interested in the morality of these foreign parliamentarians but what we insist on is that for far too long LTTE has been riding a white horse claiming itself the aggrieved party when they should have been as a declared terrorist entity found guilty of war crimes.

For a single act that has not even been proved the UN set up the UN Counter Terrorism Center immediately after the 9/11, what stopped the UN taking action against the LTTE when it has enough dossiers on the LTTE for recruiting child combatants, forcefully kidnapping them from their homes and running false orphanages which are actually LTTE training camps? What did the Tamil politicians do about Tamil children been taken and turned into child combatants – did they even plead for these innocent children to be released?

An investigation on how the LTTE and other Tamil terrorist groups started attacking Sri Lanka’s Government would take investigators to India where training camps were set up by retired RAW and army personnel. Investigations would unearth how the Indian Government provided logistical and financial support to these terrorist groups and how they manipulated one against the other.

The world would finally come to know how LTTE “liberation movement” was in fact an outsourced terrorist movement spearheaded by Indian intelligence primarily to delay an Eelaam and deny Sri Lanka any form of stability in economy or development. We need the world to finally know the truth and the world owes it to the public of Sri Lanka to open an investigation to bring out these dark home truths.

2) Investigate War Crimes of India’s IPKF

The Indian Peace Keeping Force landed in Sri Lanka the day after the signing of the Indo-Lanka Accord on 30th July 1987. This accord was thrust upon Sri Lanka by India with Sri Lanka having no say in its contents and it not only amended Sri Lanka’s constitution but it also introduced a provincial council system and merged the provinces of the North and the East. It is obvious that India chose to go ahead with the accord as it came to realize that the Sri Lankan armed forces were within a short distance of capturing Prabakaran just a month before the accord was pushed for signature. India demanded Sri Lankan troops stop advancing to capture Prabakaran and he was whisked off to India and made a promise by India to be given 5million monthly for his agreeing to the Accord.

We are not concerned about what type of agreement India had with Prabakaran or the LTTE. What we are concerned is that Sri Lanka lost thousands of people unnecessarily and for no reason simply because India did not want its Tamil Nadu to continue its calls to separate from India. By fooling the Tamil Nadu people into watching a supposed Eelaam take shape in Sri Lanka, India has been guilty of crimes against humanity.

From the circumstances that prevailed in sending Indian troops who had not been briefed about what they were supposed to do and clueless about their role it was no surprise when just after two months in October, orders were given to eliminate the LTTE and capture Prabakaran which clearly indicated India’s arrival was far more than India was revealing with 100,000 IPKF soldiers stationed in North Sri Lanka. The deaths to Tamil civilians by the IPKF is said to range from 6000 deaths to 10,000 deaths – we need all these deaths to be investigated before investigating anything else.

When the IPKF did capture Jaffna there were thousands of Sri Lankan Tamils who were displaced. Did the Indians or Tamil Nadu or for that matter any in the TNA or the foreign embassies and humanitarian groups cry foul and demand answers from India?

The IPKF was soon to earn the acronym – Innocent People Killing Force and a series of encounters will remind Jaffna Tamils how wonderful India had treated the Tamil people. Indian reply by Brig Kahlon for rape charges were “the Indian army are not angels….rape happens even in the West”. These are just a few of the examples of IPKF’s war crimes in Sri Lanka against the Tamil people India is now so concerned about.

• 12 October 1987 – IPKF attacks village of Kokuvil killing over 40 civilians’ in retaliation for loosing 29 Indian commandoes at the Jaffna University raid.

• 21 October 1987 – Deepavali, 68 innocent Tamils shot and killed by IPKF inside Jaffna Hospital including hospital doctors, nurses, staff and patients. Dr. Sivapathasuntharan who entered the hospital the next day was also killed by the IPKF.

• 21 November 1987 – Trincomalee, a IPKF soldier kills 7 civilians and injures 4 by indiscriminate firing.

• August 1989 – Velvettiturai, 64 Sri Lankan Tamil civilians killed by the IPKF.

• More than a 100 Tamil civilian bodies were found in Chunnakam, Mallakam, Uduvil, Manipay, Maruthanamadam and Inuvil – all deaths attributed to the IPKF.

Amnesty International Report 1988 (Jan-Dec 1987) quotes local magistrate in North Sri Lanka finding seven cases of rape by IPKF.

• http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/ASA37/030/1990/en/1520f8d1-17d4-…

• A book on India’s war crimes against Tamil civilians was released in April 2011 in New Delhi titled “In the Name of Peace : IPKF Massacres of Tamils in Sri Lanka” documented by the Northeast Secretariat on Human Rights (NESoHR) and published by the Delhi Tamil Students Union. The book covers 12 massacres committed by the IPKF.

For further reading :

• Memorial for IPKF – Innocent People Killing Force
By Dr. T. Somasekaram Retd. Surveyor Generalhttp://www.tchr.net/reports_commission_IPKF.htm

• Those Who Cannot Remember the Past are Condemned to Repeat Ithttp://www.sangam.org/2011/08/IPKF_Repeat.php?uid=4436

We do not deny the cultural affinities shared between India and Sri Lanka, we do not deny the close ties that have existed over centuries but inspite of such ties India has gone on to commit the unthinkable upon a nation that has done India no harm.

Knowing India’s own guilt at sponsoring terrorist groups and openly claiming to train them on Indian soil not feeling embarrassed of its guilt, India went on to vote against Sri Lanka in Geneva.

We are not concerned about why India did what India did for its actions speaks louder than words and foretells us that we can never expect sincerity in dealings with India ever. What we are now concerned more than ever is that the world should know the truth about the LTTE and we now demand war crimes investigations be opened against the LTTE being a terrorist organization and India for its crimes committed against our people by the IPKF. The Indian Penal Code does provide for extradition and Sri Lanka can open trial according to Sri Lanka’s laws.

Everyone can have their day in court – justice needs to start now.

For planning and sponsoring a terrorist organization, India does not deserve a permanent seat at the UN Security Council.

Sri Lanka should now be proactive and not defensive and be firm about what needs to be said to the world.

– Asian Tribune –

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