Colombo, Human Rights, Human Security, IDPs and Refugees, Peace and Conflict, Post-War, Reconciliation, Vavuniya, War Crimes

Did the Sri Lankan Army use cluster bombs and phosphorus bombs against civilians?

The partial, unprofessional and biased mainstream media reportage, particularly in English and Sinhala, on on-going proceedings of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) has been repeatedly flagged on this site.

On 20 September 2010, the Sudar Oli newspaper published a report based on the testimony of N. Sundermurthi to the LLRC. Not a single English or Sinhala mainstream print or broadcast media bothered to carry this story, even in translation. As Valkryie notes in ‘Learning Lessons’ from those affected by war: Does the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission really listen?

“The most recent sessions of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) were held in the conflict affected North from 18 to 20 September, at which a large number of persons, particularly women, made representations. Of course one wouldn’t know it by reading the newspapers, listening to the radio or watching television. In what appears to be a complete information blackout, Sinhala and English language media, which gave considerable prominence to representations made by those appearing before the Commission in Colombo, such as Jayantha Dhanapala and Austin Fernando, were conspicuously silent when the LLRC held sittings in the area where the final battle between the Sri Lanka armed forces and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) was fought. In contrast, the Tamil newspapers carried heart wrenching accounts of mostly women who had lost, in many cases, their entire families.”

The Sudar Oli story is one example of such a heart-wrenching account of civilians trapped in war.

Part 1

Part 2

High resolution scans of the original story can be download from here (for front page) and here (for inner page continuation of story). Sinhala translation available on Vikalpa here.

The translation of the article follows. One has to wonder why the mainstream English and Sinhala media are not flagging vital narratives such as these, told in public to a ‘home-grown’ Presidential commission, by those who survived conditions few of us can scarce imagine the horror of.

###

Sudar Oli, 20 September 2010, Lead Story

Army uses phosphorus bombs in final war – Pooneryn inhabitants tell the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC)

Killinochchi, 20 September:

In the final stages of the war, thinking they were attacking the LTTE around Puthumathalan, the Army used cluster bombs and phosphorus bombs against innocent civilians. There were many casualties on account of this. Around 400 – 600 died daily, and around 1,000 were injured.

A witness to atrocities in the final stages of the war testified in front of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) in Pooneryn yesterday. Based on his experiences, N. Sundermurthi, an official from the Pooneryn Agriculture Development Authority went on to note in front of the LLRC that,

The so-called humanitarian war spread over Mannar, Killinochchi and Mulathivu. Since the war continued unabated, displacement of civilians was commonplace. The displacement that began in Mannar stretched to Mullivaikkal. The suffering of civilians during this period of time was immense. Both parties to the war are responsible for this. Because the government established so-called Safe Zones and placed civilians in them, the LTTE was able to recruit new cadre with ease and also store weaponry in them. If the government hadn’t established Safe Zones, we would have found safe zones ourselves and minimised casualties. When we were in the safe zones, we had to face life-threatening circumstances. Using civilians as a protective shield, the LTTE attacked the Army using shells and quickly moved out of the area, only to have the Army retaliate with shell and air attacks. On account of this, around 200 died daily.

On account of this, we tried several times to get out of the safe zones and into Army controlled areas. Whenever we tried, the LTTE didn’t allow us to move and attacked us with raw blades. They shot into the air to scare us. At the same time, the Army also shot civilians who attempted to move into areas under their control. Because of this, we stayed in the safe zone. Puthumathalan, Suthanthipuram, Ambalavan Pokkanai, Valaipadu and Valiyarmadam were some of the areas we stayed in. On one occasion, Army shelling into the safe zone killed 17 women and 6 children instantly.

There was no nutritious food in these areas. There was not even drinking water. There were supplies by ship, but they all went to the hands of the LTTE. From their stores and warehouses, the LTTE distributed food items to the civilians as rations.

Because there was a shortage of coconut, we were to neighbouring areas to pick them. Some who went in this manner were killed by the deep penetration units of the Army.

At one time, at dawn, we saw skeletons in holes in the earth around the tents. They had died either from LTTE or Army attacks. There were a lot of holes around, and it was evident that these people had died from Army shelling.

The LTTE even attacked airplanes that were sent to attack the safe zones. When they counter-attacked, the Army used banned phosphorus and cluster bombs against the LTTE. There were many casualties on account of this. Around 400 – 600 died daily, and around 1,000 were injured. It was a grim situation. After this, amidst incredible hardship, we arrived in areas controlled by the Army.

Even after this, it was only after we were kept for a long time in welfare camps that we were resettled. But every single item from our homes were looted. After we returned, the first goods we kept were stolen the next day. The tiles on the roofs of houses are now atop Army checkpoints. After all this calamity, something good must happen to these peoples. Earlier commissions that were appointed for this purpose were useless. We believe this commission will be different, and be beneficial to the peoples.

At this time, other people also gave testified in front of the commission. Relatives of those who had disappeared also gave letters to the commission.

  • Observer

    Anyone can really say anything. Just hearsay. The proof is where fact lies. I am pretty sure the Sri Lankan military procurement divisions have never even imported phosphorous bombs let alone use it! Trust me had Sri Lanka imported such weapons the US would already know. They monitor the international weapons trade along with even the black market quite well. You’d really be asking for it if you imported such weapons and I can assure you decision makers are not that short sighted!

    Where this quoted article fails is that it tries to incorporate the whole shebang of possible allegations and it does not even make sense. Here are a couple of discrepancies I noted and if you’re not satisfied I can pull it apart even further just from what’s written let alone getting into facts.

    “At one time, at dawn, we saw skeletons in holes in the earth around the tents.”
    I didn’t realise bodies decompose to skeletal level so quickly! And how can skeletons end up in “alleged” shell blast holes. An explosion generally blasts things away from the explosion and the holes are generally empty if not some water collected.

    “Some who went in this manner were killed by the deep penetration units of the Army.”
    At the final stages, there were no areas for DPUs to operate in. If you look at how the final encirclement happened this becomes quite obvious. By the time NFZ were established, the hot zone had become geographically smaller and DPU entering into such confined space under the hawk eyes of the LTTE would become pure cannon fodder. I also find it confusing why the LTTE would let them out of their reach to gather food when they would refuse them to escape?

    Anyway a lot of things said doesn’t make logical sense. Hey it could be just me.

  • Dr Dayan Jayatilleka

    Sudar Oli? Sudar Oli? Now why does that ring a bell? Ah , yes, I think I have some back copies of Sudar Oli of the CFA days lying around somewhere, with its exultant headline and page one colour pix of civilians including Grannys receiving military training from the LTTE ( under the Makkal Padal programme).

    Relying on ( or taking at face value) a Sudar Oli report on the war is worse than regarding as credible, Fox News on Obama’s healthcare programme!

  • TT

    As in any war, a lot of people died in the Elam War IV. But some statements above are inconsistent with facts. The credibility of it is therefore is seriously compromised. There is no point bashing him or me for our views. Hopefully readers will objectively assess what is said without being naive.

    “Using civilians as a protective shield, the LTTE attacked the Army using shells and quickly moved out of the area, only to have the Army retaliate with shell and air attacks. On account of this, around 200 died daily.”

    SLAF carried out very few (one on March 31 according to available data) attacks in the No Fire Zone. (It targeted a LTTE 130mm artilery gun.) Many attacks were carried out outside the NFZ. So the statement that it killed 200 daily makes no sense. Also she doesn’t say the 200 were civilians, LTTE cadres or LTTE cadres in civilian clothes. He agrees that these attacks were aimed not at civilians but at LTTE cadres who attacked SLA. There is no way SLA would have known that LTTE had run away.

    “At the same time, the Army also shot civilians who attempted to move into areas under their control.”

    This makes no sense. What happened was the exact oppositte. Hundreds of thousands of people progressively crossed to the SLA controlled area. There is no way he could have known for sure that those who fired at civilians were SLA. It may well have been LTTE. Tigers carried out suicide bomb attacks on civilians crossing to SLA controlled area. This is a fact.

    “Because the government established so-called Safe Zones and placed civilians in them, the LTTE was able to recruit new cadre with ease and also store weaponry in them.”

    “On one occasion, Army shelling into the safe zone killed 17 women and 6 children instantly.”

    This is sad. However, statement #2 caused due to statement #1. If LTTE was storing weaponry in the Civilian Safe Zone and recruiting cadres it provides a military advantage to the LTTE which makes it – according to the Geneva Convention and the relevant international law – a valid target for security forces.

    “At one time, at dawn, we saw skeletons in holes in the earth around the tents. They had died either from LTTE or Army attacks. There were a lot of holes around, and it was evident that these people had died from Army shelling.”

    The third sentence completely contradicts the second sentence casting serious doubt over the credibility of the person making it.

    “The LTTE even attacked airplanes that were sent to attack the safe zones. When they counter-attacked, the Army used banned phosphorus and cluster bombs against the LTTE. There were many casualties on account of this. Around 400 – 600 died daily, and around 1,000 were injured.”

    If LTTE had fired at airplanes, it is according to the Geneva Convention and the international law to attack the LTTE at those places.

    However, there is absolutely no way of this lay person knowing about phosphorus and cluster bombs! It is nonsensical and echoes what LTTE propoganda says. Use of cluster bombs is acceptable (if it so happened) as Sri Lanka is not a signatory to the cluster bomb ban. He admits that “the Army used …………..cluster bombs against the LTTE”. So it was against the LTTE and not civilians.

    He also claims it killed 400-600 daily. He admits that the attacks were against the LTTE and does not specify the casualties were wholely civilians, LTTE cadres or partly civilians and partly LTTE cadres.

    Throughout his submission she has been very vague between civilian casualties and LTTE casualties. It must be remembered that the just and fair purpose of the war was to annihilate the LTTE. In that context mixing civilian and LTTE casualties seriously affects the credibility.

    Finally it is also a fact that because the war ended in May 2009, over 6,000 human lives were saved so far. Assuming that the 26 year old war killed 120,000 people, on average 4,615 died every year. For 16 months from May 2009 to September 2010, it is over 6,000.

    Every passing year after May 2009, over 4,615 human lives will be saved each year. It is by all standards a noble achievement.

  • TT

    Echoing Tamilnet and LTTE propoganda results in hate mongering during these times of peace. All peace loving citizens must reject hate mongering as it achieves nothing good.

  • Dear TT,

    Don’t follow what you mean. As noted in the piece, this is public testimony given to a ‘home-grown’ presidential commission from a real man reported in mainstream media and published as a translation. We would not have run same testimony had he / some strange email address sent this to us. We have received plenty of images and reports on these lines that we haven’t published. This is more an indictment of mainstream English and Sinhala media that haven’t, to the degree it deserved, covered the testimonies to the LLRC in Killinochchi and Mullaitivu.

    See Translation of Tamil newspaper reports on the Lessons Learnt & Reconciliation Commission hearings held in Killinochchi and Mullaitivu – http://www.groundviews.org/2010/09/23/translation-of-tamil-newspaper-reports-on-the-lessons-learnt-reconciliation-commission-hearings-held-in-killinochchi-and-mullaitivu/

    And where is the debate on this on Sudar Oli? Could there, for example, have been other compelling testimony observing the atrocities of the LTTE? Observer and Dayan Jayatilleka in their inimitable way have taken on the content on this piece. GV is just a small site, scarcely a blip on the public consciousness. Why can’t the mainstream media take these narratives up – not to support uncritically, but as vital debates based on accounts from fellow citizens who lived through war?

    If we can’t even debate the past, and see this testimony as hate mongering, it does suggest a peace in Sri Lanka that risks violence in the future.

  • Sarath Fernando

    Dayan,

    Questioning the credibility of Sudar Oli smacks of your trade-mark red-herring strategy.

    The question is whether Tamil witnesses called in by the Commission made such complains in front of the Commission or not. And if they did, why did the Sinhala and English Media avoid publishing them? If you can confirm that such statements were not made by the witnesses you are right — Sudar Oli is to be called on the bluff. In the same vein, if witnesses did in fact make such claims, and the Sinhala and English media intentionally avoided reporting them, then those media need to be taken to task as well.

    Given that, I guess it is only correct that we request an official confirmation from an official or the commission itself whether the witnesses made such statements or not. I am sure there must be some official transcripts to get this clarified unambiguously. Will you join me in asking for such a confirmation? If not, why not? — given your readiness to throw in your hat to blame Sudar Oli.

    If the witness statements are untrue and can be proved as such, that is a different matter. That should not affect the rights and responsibilities of the media in publishing the actual witness statements made in front of the Commission – correct?

  • TT

    Dear Groundviews,

    Sure you didn’t get what I meant in my second comment. My apologies. This is absolutely not against Groundviews, Sudar Oli or the person named N. Sundermurthi. It is against the contradictory statements that are totally inaccurate (please refer to my previous comment). These contradictory and inaccurate statements only add to hatred between the communities. Restatement of these statements don’t. We have to discuss these. Only then can we know the reality.

    Hope I made it clear and value the service Groundviews does towards peace, reconciliation and ethnic integration.

  • Thanks TT, agree.

  • bundoora

    Dayan , why jump the gun ! i know you could not take it , just kill the messenger. By the way, why did not you response to the number of articles which published in the lanka Guardian in relation to your article (18 th Amendment). I am eagerly waiting for a response from you !!!

  • Supan

    There is should be Sri Lanka War Crimes Accountability.

    We should never forget this atrocities committed on our fellow human beings !!!

    When we have evidence like this, whats wrong with asking for full investigation by an impartial group of people like UN?

    It will be a disgrace to humanity, if we do not.

  • veedhur

    Can some one follow up and look into the safety of Mr.Sunderamurthy! please

  • Theva

    The Democracy is a joke in Sri Lanka !!

    Rajapakse can now contest any number of times to be Prez !!

    So be it but the irony will have to be borne in the coming years.

    Why the Tamil people are kept in bondage in concentration camps and other internment camps ?

    The politics of hatred continues without concrete dismantling of its methods and rule.

    It is no wonder that there are 300,000 fully armed Sinhala troops in the country mainly concentrated in the north and east even after the Tamil War

  • Burning_Issue

    Dr. DJ,

    You have said that you are also part of the quest in finding a viable political opposition that will rival the MR regime. Though I yet to see any concrete evidence, I will take your word and hope that you will play a crucial role in that endeavour.

    “The partial, unprofessional and biased mainstream media reportage, particularly in English and Sinhala, on on-going proceedings of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) has been repeatedly flagged on this site.”

    The Groundviews commenced the article with the above paragraph; what is your opinion on that? Do you think that the BBC is a biased media organisation? The GOSL has banned BBC from covering LLRC hearings; what is your opinion on this?

    “Sudar Oli? Sudar Oli? Now why does that ring a bell? Ah , yes, I think I have some back copies of Sudar Oli of the CFA days lying around somewhere, with its exultant headline and page one colour pix of civilians including Grannys receiving military training from the LTTE ( under the Makkal Padal programme).”

    Didn’t the LTTE give training to young and old civilians? Was it not a news that was worthy of publication? In my view, it was a front-page news. I am not judging Sudar Oli; it might have been selective in support of the LTTE; I have no knowledge of that, but citing this as an example to discredit its coverage of the LLRC is distasteful!

  • Muthu

    The Sri Lankan armed forces widely responsible of intentionally killing civilians by targeting schools and hospitals.

    War crimes, dire violation of humanitarian and human rights laws have systematically taken place against the Tamil minority with the direct and in-direct blessing of the Sri Lankan government.

    Sri Lanka so far not demonstrated it is seriuos about complying with the international norms on the issues of war crimes, violation of humanitarian and human rights laws.

    Justice delayed itself is justice denied.

    Supporting the Tamil people’s exercise of their right to self-determination has precedent in the international community.

    Recently the international community supported the exercise of the right to self-determination in Timor-Leste (East Timor) and Kosovo.

    Furthermore, the international community has recognized the expression of self-determination in many of the former Soviet republics such as Georgia, Latvia, Kazakhstan and Ukraine.

    Similar to many of these nations, the Tamil people have a traditional homeland which they occupied for hundreds of years prior to colonization, as well as a distinct language, culture and history. ”

    Based on the tangible and intangible constructions of the Tamil nation, the Tamil people deserve the opportunity to express their inalienable right to self-determination.

    Based on the Government of Sri Lanka’s historical and continuing denial of basic human rights as well as the denial of freedom of speech, freedom of expression, civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights to the Tamil people, the International Community should support the Tamil people’s exercise of their inalienable right to Self Determination.

  • Agnos

    Mr. Sunderamurthy’s account is critical of both the GoSL and the LTTE. As such, as Mr. Sarath Fernando notes, questioning the credibility of Sudar Oli for its past pro-LTTE stance, is a clear redherring. But can one expect anything other than spin-doctoring, evasion and redherring from someone whose job was to provide cover for war crimes ?

    I am afraid Mr. Sunderamurthy and others giving testimony to the panel are naive in believing that this commission will be any different from past ones. Mr. C. R. de Silva’s job was ( and it still is) to provide cover to war crimes, as was Mr. Jayatilleka’s.

  • justitia

    A report on use of phosphorus bombs:-
    http://tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=13&artid=29322
    A report on cluster bombs:-
    http://tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=13&artid=28053

  • Mervyn

    Dayan Jayatillake and Observer are the same type who never condemned restrictions on journalists into war-torn areas. Now, when these allegations of cluster bombs and phosphorous bombs come out, the same pseudo-patriot wannabes dismiss them as LTTE propaganda! You can’t have it both ways… restrictions on journalists mean one and only thing: to provide a cover for activities by the SLA. It is not unreasonable to infer that such activities include the use of banned weapons.

  • Dr Dayan Jayatilleka

    C’mon folks, Charlie Havilland of the BBC did a story on the testimony by Tamil civilians at the LLRC hearings in the former conflict areas which was quite critical of the Govt, but he didn’t touch this sensationalist nonsense.

    Nor did any Indian paper.

    This tale is Sri Lanka’s equivalent of WMD.

  • Bundoora

    Dayan , 

    it is incredibly stupid to come to conclusion like the way you think Dayan  ,  as you said ” neither BBC journalist nor Indian media reported ” so you hurriedly committed yourself , this is typical Dayan’s style , is not it ? Who do you try to fool!!! Or you try your level best to creep in to another high ranking UN position.i do not know SL army used proscribed weapon or nor  , but one thing is for sure , definitely  so called Doctor Dayan will be there to defend ,  for his own ulterior motives , that is why he was so busy defending the 18 th amendment.in my previous post i asked why did not dayan reply in defending  his article which was published in Lanka guardian’s, there were quite number of interesting replies for dayan’s article (an Indian scholar as well ),but we are yet to see his reply !!!!!!

  • Muthu

    Dr Dayan Jayatilleka said,

    September 26, 2010 @ 9:57 am

    C’mon folks, Charlie Havilland of the BBC did a story on the
    testimony by Tamil civilians at the LLRC hearings in the former conflict areas
    which was quite critical of the Govt, but he didn’t touch this sensationalist
    nonsense.

    Nor did any Indian paper.

    This tale is Sri Lanka’s equivalent of WMD.

    • N Ethirveerasingam

      Thank you Groundviews for highlighting the Clustor Bomb use. You can add to it the limited use of phosphorus bombs. During the last phase of the bombings in the war I received information on both devices being used. I informed us state dept of this. They did not make any observations on this. They wanted to stop the war if Ltte surrendered to the ICRC and the civilians to be in the Vanni under the protection of UNHRC.
      In 2010 August I have helped victims of such atrocities and one of the person whose right ear and the skin of the right armed was burnt. She wore white medicated Sleeve from shoulder to wrist.

      If and when the Hybrid tribunal becomes a reality the witnesses and victims will come out. I doubt whether they would to a Domestic mechanism.

  • Muthu


    Dr Dayan Jayatilleka said,

    September 26, 2010 @ 9:57 am

    C’mon folks, Charlie Havilland of the BBC did a story on thetestimony by Tamil civilians at the LLRC hearings in the former conflict areaswhich was quite critical of the Govt, but he didn’t touch this sensationalistnonsense.

    Nor did any Indian paper.

    This tale is Sri Lanka’s equivalent of WMD.

    Dayan Jayatilleka , I tired of reading your half-truths here.

    The BBC has been blocked from covering public hearings about Sri Lanka’s civil war in former rebel-held territory.

    The panel will travel to the lagoon which was the scene of some of the last fighting and across which many people fled from the guerrilla-controlled zone.

    Many of the hearings on this trip will be held in public but the defence ministry has rejected an application by BBC News to witness the panel’s activities

    BBC was not allowed to attend its meetings in the IDPs camps with refugees and suspected former rebels.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-11349494

    BTW

    Are you referring to the Sri Lanka’s WMD – weapons of mass deception ?

  • Gnanendramohan

    Groundviews

    Thanks a lot for the elaborate and informative article.

    It should be the duty and responsibility of the media.

    The American poetess said, “Give people light. They will find the way”.

  • Sarath Fernando

    Dayan,

    If I remember right, someone recently characterized you as the “Useful Idiot” or something to that effect – and it seems you would want that view consolidated.

    There is a reason why the said Tamils were asked to testify – and they did. Sudar Oli reported that and the Sinhala and English papers decided not to report because the statements seemingly were “inconvenient truth” that better go uninvestigated. So, the only logical reason for your jumping in the fray so hurriedly to demonize Sudar Oli has to be to use your “learning” to earn some royal crumbs – right? That, I suppose, is exactly what a “Useful Idiot” would do!

    If you know for sure that the Tamil witnesses did not make such statements, then that is different – would you make that claim?

    If not, tell us why you think Sudar Oli was wrong in reporting these statements by the Tamils? Try and stay away from your diversionary tactics, calling in BBC, WMD, Charlie H, etc more for colour than for substance.

  • Dr Dayan Jayatilleka

    Bundoora, you are either illiterate or a bit of a moron. In any case you are a downright liar. The Sri Lanka Guardian carried several pieces by me and the whole collection is available on their website as a debate. Secondly, where have i defended the 18th amendment? If you can quote a single sentence which proves that assertion, I shall stop writing to this website! Furthermore, I have repeatedly said in print, that I agree in the main with the criticism of 18A made by Kalana Senaratne and some of the points made by Nira Wickremasingha.

    Anyway, what kind of name is Bundoora?

  • Dr Dayan Jayatilleka

    Muthu, yes, the BBC was blocked but Charlie Havilland did report the testimony of some witnesses, and in any case he could easily have run with the Sudar Oli story, but didn’t. Nor did any other foreign newspaper. Nor indeed did the TamilNet! Go figure. Anyway, why not ask an indepndent expert with a military background, like David Blacker, whether this testimony rings true.

  • TT

    Justitia,

    Thanks for Tamilnet links. It was TamilNet that created the myth about WP and cluster bombs that has been blindly followed by other sources.

  • MV

    TT,

    In a report that appeared on Pakistan’s Dawn newspaper back in 2008, it was stated that Sri Lanka bought cluster ammunition from Pakistan.
    Pakistan is criticized by HR groups for manufacturing cluster bombs among few other banned weapons.

  • The witness’ testimony is quite useless on the point of whether or not cluster bombs and phosphorous was used by the SLAF. The witness merely states as fact that these weapons were used. There is no description of the weapons in action, the detonations or impact, nor of any residue, damage or injury caused. None whatsoever. The witness could just as easily have said that the SLAF used tactical nuclear weapons.

    As an aside, artillery units use white phosphorous (WP) shells as marker rounds for forward observers, and often the explosions and residue from these rounds are mistaken for offensive weapons.

    Overall, as TT says, the witness’ statement seems a bit contrived, as if he has been fed a few keywords (DPU, cluster bombs, phosphorous, etc) and is trying to work them into his story. The skeletons he describe probably were from a cemetery having been shelled or bombed. In general, civilian statements on artillery exchanges are often sketchy, with witnesses unable to accurately discern direction, especially at close range.

    Given all of this, is it really surprising that no other newspapers bothered with this?

  • anonymous

    “If you can quote a single sentence which proves that assertion, I shall stop writing to this website! ”

    You never write things in single sentences. That is the problem UI.

  • anonymous

    Sarath,

    I must say I didn’t believe the Sudar Oli report either for the same reasons given by David Blacker – too much technical information. However, I am not so sure if the mainstream media would have bothered even if the case was different, simply because its not mainstream news.

    Re: the term “Useful Idiot” (ui), it was suggested by “Presidunce Bean” and I picked it up because I think it suits the person so well. He even responded to it when I posted a message! He knows who he is.

    Since then he has been posting numerous messages here about his credentials which has led me to slightly amend his title: “Highly Qualified Useful Idiot (HQUI)”

  • TT

    MV,

    That is true. Sri Lanka has cluster munitions and has refused to sign the cluster bomb ban in around 2007 or 2008 when most countries (excluding USA, Russia, China, India, Pakistan, Israel and a handful of others) signed it. That means cluster bombs are not banned for use by Sri Lanka.

    However, there is no evidence to say SLAF used them. Stockpiles were mainly targeting possible unceasing wave type attacks by the LTTE which never materialised during Elam War – 4.

    WP story is totally false. I agree with David.

    SLAF used effective weapons that are all legal and effective delivery systems to maximise Tiger casualties and destroy its robust military infrastructure.

    The bottomline is even Tigers are humans with friends and relatives. For these friends and relatives, Tigers will never be terrorists but will always be sons, daughters, etc. Therefore it must be expected that people from that society (Vanni) to mix up civilians and Tigers. For them both are their friends and relatives. Some of them may honestly see no difference. Tigers exploited this.

  • @David Blacker
    whats wrong with you David? Whom are you trying yo fool? Did you think the SLAF were dropping candy floss and cotton wool on those people in the “No Fire Zone.” And do you really believe that “Zero Casualties” tall story?

    Joseph Goebbels said,
    “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”

    …though many of you have been fooled. Some of us can’t be! Have a nice day.

  • Observer

    Mervyn, of course, I do not have the view journalists should have unimpeded access to forward operations! If they must only under, extreme embargos that would only grant delayed reportage which would not compromise tactical operations and the lives of the serving men and women. Shout all you want, no army in the world would grant you any wishes outside that. SLA did have embedded reporters with them just like NATO forces did. Saman Kumara Ramawickrama was one such reporter. Surely they’re not going to let any Tom, Dick and Harry roll with the forces. The army needs to have a good trust relationship with those that would accompany them and know their moves and locations on the battle field. Even CNN admitted recently not airing certain footage during the Iraq war not to demoralise NATO troops – although the material was deemed to contain possible actions that violate rules of engagement! That side note aside, on top of all of this there is the added headaches of having to babysit journalists while dodging artillery shells…

  • Observer

    Bottom line remains, without credible evidence this is just hearsay. Nothing more.
    This testimony has the same face value as a top commander in the SLA denying the use of such weapons. One’s word against another. Except the difference is that, onus should be on the accuser to provide evidence to back up such outrageous claims. What adds more suspicion is the fact that the accuser’s script has gaping holes due to a highly ambitious attempt to include all the possible goodies into one neat package leaving it all over the place.

    On a side note, I guess lack of conviction and intellect leads to the ultimate hollow triumph for some of calling their adversary an idiot 😉

  • Bundoora

    Dayan,

    Thank you for the response sir, I’m more than happy to take your compliments calling me a moron or an illiterate, any one criticizes you, automatically
    Falls in to those categories is not it ? Next time you will question about my level of English knowledge competencies in reading and writing and finally, will resort to use filth.
    Dayan nowadays we have truck loads of Doctors ,I mean P.hd ( PERMANT HEAD DAMAGE in your case ), so better to be illiterate than being a P.hd like you , but one wonders if I’m illiterate how can i read and write ! lets not talk about my academic achievements here , as far as I see its quite irrelevant, what matters here is , you have written something which I do not agree , so I tried to back my argument with a previous article which you have written.
    you criticized sudar oli , for publishing the story , what concerns me most is you were so busy condemning the said news paper , not the contents , as I said previously I do not know SL used banned weapons or not , point being you jumped the gun, ( to score some brownie points from government top brass ) at least you could have criticized the witness for his integrity , but you were attacking the source.
    now you also called me a down right liar, well what else I can expect from a person like you, , I checked all the archives , but I couldn’t find the replies for the LATER posts from you, for that debate , please enlighten me if you could , where the replies are !!!!
    You challenged me to show one single sentence which proves you backed the 18 th amendment, herewith I attached part of your article for other readers to read and come to conclusion..

    Secondly, while the amendment rolls back an attempt at roll back (the 17th amendment) and therefore restores a status quo ante, taking us back to vintage JR Jayewardene ‘78, it makes de jure what was de facto, and gives constitutional form to the wartime Presidency. ”

    Thirdly, it brings Sri Lanka more in line with the forms of state that are most widespread in precisely that part of the world which most strongly supported Sri Lanka in the war. ”

    Fifthly, any game has an umpire and as the saying goes, the umpire or referee’s word is law, or else, there will be anarchy. One may disagree with the verdict but the point is that the Supreme Court heard the submissions of the critics, and doubtless read the papers, and has ruled on the matter, without dissent.”

    Sixthly, the 18th amendment is far less of a turning point, and far less dangerous than President Jayewardena’s Referendum of 1982″

    Seventhly, this shift is not the death/demise of democracy. Or to put it differently, the critical variable – the big story – is surely the meltdown of the main democratic opposition. ”

    “Tenthly, most of the civil society critics of and signatories against the 18th amendment are those who either support or sympathise with Ranil Wickremesinghe in the inner-party struggle”

    I do not want to drag this topic in to another 18 th amendment debate, simply because there were quite number of unanswered quarries from your side in sr lanka Guardian.
    PS , please don’t stop writing to this post , more you write more you reveal about your self Dayan.

    what I’m trying to get across here , you try your very best to gain your lost glory ( not to mention you were unceremoniously kicked out from your earlier UN post )now by writing & waiting for your political masters to notice you . Good luck , you can fool people , but not all the time.
    Dayan , apparently Dr Palitha Kohona is to relinquish his duties very soon ,
    may I suggest you to strat writing for daily news and Sunday observer and giving interviews for Rupavahini and ITN aswell, so that you could find your way to heaven in no time.

    ps finally you asked what sort of a name Bundoora is , that is for me to know you to find out mate.!!!!!

  • Sarath Fernando

    Observer,

    As you state “lack of conviction and intellect leads to the ultimate hollow triumph for some of calling their adversary an idiot ” — could indeed be a valid point, if only the presumed intellect were to disist offering declarations such as “Bundoora, you are either illiterate or a bit of a moron.”

    It is even more than “What is good for the goose is good for the gander.”

    One is presumably a highly esteemed intellect adamantly decorating himself with a dignifying pre-fix and inellegantly dropping names, I suppose, to validate that pre-fix. The other is just a run-of-the-mill blogger. Who do you think has the greater responsibility?

  • niranjan

    Observer,

    Lack of evidence does not mean that certain incidents did not happen. Some events mentioned above could have happened even though there maybe no evidence left to prove it.
    The Government should keep an open mind on what actually happened during the conflict.

  • TT

    Bean,

    Don’t jump into extremes. Everything that is not candy floss is not necessarily cluster bombs and WP. There is a wide array of bombs that are habitually used in conflicts with no legal restrictions on their use.

    As the “witness” says, LTTE misused the NFZ to recruit cadres, store weaponry and fire at planes. According to the Geneva Convention and relevant International Law, that makes it legal and just to attack the NFZ. There is no requirement in the Geneva Convention or in the relevant International Law to avoid civilian casualties altogether.

    There is a big gap between what is morally right and what is acceptable according to the international law. Also what is morally right for one group of people may be different to the views of another group of people.

    There’s only a handful of instances of actual SLAF attacks on the NFZ.

  • TT

    Niranjan,

    N. Sundermurthi does not give any evidence of the use of cluster bombs or WP. Evidence includes their distinct effects and after effects, how they fell, how they caused distinctive burns/explosions, etc. This is what constitute evidence. Merely stating the names of two bomb types avaiable in the world is not going to do. He only states that cluster bombs and WP were used even without knowing what they are. Unless he is a military expert, there is no way of him knowing the types of the bombs, especially when these were not frequently used (if at all they were used).

  • Heshan

    There is absolutely no doubt that cluster bombs and phosphorous bombs were used against civilians. Why else were journalists prevented from talking with IDP inmates in the barbed wire camps? And why else were journalists forbidden from going to the war zone… God forbid, they chance upon and photograph a spent casing! The “no cluster no phosphorous” claim is second in total hogwash only to the “zero-civilian” casualty claim. We know very well that 30,000 people died in a very short amount of time. It is highly that that toll resulted from conventional weapons alone.

  • Heshan

    *it is highly unlikely

  • Leon

    The comments made by DJ about Bundoora reminds me of what Pierre Trudeau
    said when it was revealed in the tapes that Richard Nixon had called him an “ass hole”. Trudeau said “I’ve been called worse things by better people”.
    About the issue discussed. The BBC was not permitted to attend the meetings held in Vavuniya and Mulaitivu.

  • MV

    TT, Observer:

    What evidence do you expect? You mean people would be standing there taking photographs while they were getting bombed on all corners?

    No people were allowed into the former war-zone, including journalists – doesn’t that imply the perpetrators were busy destroying any plausible evidence that would indicate war crimes?

    Instead what we have here are patriots questioning the credibility of the civilian testimony or Sudar Oli.

  • Dr Dayan Jayatilleka

    As the only person in this exchange who has any military experience in the field, backed up by enormous reading of military history, David Blacker’s word is the one I think we can take, unless someone with more expertise comes forward ( and not pseudonymously either).

    As fo Bundoora, the SLG website would hardly bill it as a debate if I hadn’t respondede, and I cried off once the alleged Indian researcher became incoherent. And if you find those lines you quoted from me on the 18th amendment debate a defence of the amendment, instead of a contextualisation and critique of the dominant critique from the explicit perspective of political science (the main point figured in a long quote in the New York Times), I am afaraid you have more problems wih your formal education and literacy than I can solve. Take some open university courses, even online.

    For the record, last December I was offered the ambassadorship to Tokyo, which I declined with thanks, and opted to accept the invitation by the NUS. If I tailored my views to my job or job prospects I would not have argued for a military victory while working with Premadasa and would still have been in Geneva or perhaps someplace even more exalted after my achievement at the UN HRC session. I accept job offers only if they are in broad consonance with my political line at the time. which is why– as David Gladstone, Brad weerakoon, Neville Jayaweera and Susil Siriwardhana would attest- I deferred and then declined my Foreign and Commonwealth Office schol to do my Phd either at Cambridge or the LSE, in order to continue to work with President Premadasa, though there too, I decined a National List ( leading to Cabinet) offer. I recall the Irida lankadeepa strap over te headline, with a photo which said “Dayan Mathi Sabhayata?”

  • TT

    MV,

    One who asserts must prove.

    Conclusions can be drawn upon the presentation of evidence only.

  • TT

    Heshan,

    1. Does the prevention of journalists from talking to IDP inmates in the barbed wire camps necessarily prove the use of cluster bombs and WP?

    Absolutely not.

    2. “We know very well that 30,000 people died in a very short amount of time.”

    There is absolutely no evidence to prove this.

    3. ” It is highly that that toll resulted from conventional weapons alone.”

    Outrageous! How many bullets do you think were used? A million, 10 million, 100 million, a billion? I’m not suggesting bullets alone killed Tigers, etc. but would have certainly played a key role. Certainly capable of taking down all the Tigers.

  • TT

    Government’s stated reason for not allowing anyone to certain areas is because there are landmines and hidden weapons. It may be true to some extent. But the real reason seems to be the construction of very large permanant army, navy and air force garisons.

  • @ TT
    I don’t give a rat’s a__ if the LTTE were bombed with cluster bombs. It’s the thousands of civilians who were told to go to a ‘so called’ “NO Fire Zone” and bombed into the stone age! That’s what I care about!

    And as for David Blacker…I did not think he would do a “Useful Idiots.”
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p008vd41

    “You can bend it and twist it… You can misuse and abuse it… But even God cannot change the Truth.”

    Thousands of civilians were killed in the “No Fire Zone.” One day in the future those responsible will have to pay for their crimes, just like Slobodan Milosevic, Radovan Karadzic, Ratko Mladic etc.

  • Dr Dayan Jayatilleka

    Yo Bundoora, what part of ” I agree with kalana Senaratne’s critique of 18A” did you not get?

  • anonymous

    HQUI (Highly Qualifies Useful Idiot) said,

    “I am afaraid you have more problems wih your formal education and literacy than I can solve. Take some open university courses, even online.”

    Temper, Temper. That little child in you is forever threatening to leap out.

    “I accept job offers only if they are in broad consonance with my political line at the time.”

    “Broad” I think is the keyword here.

  • TT

    Bean,

    Its a only matter of where they died – in the NFZ, outside the NFZ or without declaring a NFZ in Vanni. Civilian casualties are a fact of war. In every war civilians die.

    The point is did government troops target and kill civilians in contravention of the Geneva Convention and international law. What contains in the article above do not have anything towards that.

    The international community welcomed the NFZ and it does not contravene the Geneva Convention or international law to declare a NFZ. There are instances taking a life is not murder or culpabale homicide.

    That is why there is another list – McNamara, Eisenhower, Bush (Sr and Jr), Obama, Lt Gen Austin, Rumsfeld, etc.

    Killing someone in a well planned manner to avoid circumstances (if all were known) of murder or culpabale homicide sets the culprit/s free. Even if all the facts of the case were known.

    My point is even if it can be proven that “thousands” of civilians died in the NFZ, it still does not necessarily prove,

    1. government troops killed them.
    2. government troops/government is responsible for that under the applicable law.

    That’s the legal view.

    Here is the moral view.

    Obviously there are many moral views. One says if civilians died, that is morally wrong. No further considerations necessary. Another view says if civilain casualties were inevitable and was minimized, that is OK. Yet another view says anything is OK as long as Sri Lanka is safe. Unlike in the case of the law, when it comes to morals, everyone has their right to hold on to their own moral concept.

    So even from a moral point of view, not necessarily a wrong has been committed if civilians died depending on the moral view one holds. They are not rotten people to hold that view. It is their right as your right to hold your moral views.

    The bottomline – the fact that civilians died, both from a legal and moral view, does not prove anyone’s guilt. The above article does not carry evidence to show or contain a pointer where evidence is to show, that war crimes were committed.

  • Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka

    Here’s a radical idea: why not attempt to refute the technical arguments made by David Blacker and Observer, instead of throwing hissy fits? And if, instead of refuting their points, PresiDunceBean now chooses to re-classify Blacker as a useful idiot, what kind of idiot does that make Bean…a useless one?

  • rajivmw

    Dear Presidunce Bean,

    Try to understand what David Blacker is saying here before defaulting to your usual alolescent smarminess.

    He is NOT stating what kind of munitions were used or not used. He is NOT denying or supporting any casualty figure. He is simply saying that he is skeptical about the testimony quoted in the article, and provides reasons as to why so.

    If you think the testimony is accurate, or if you believe beyond any doubt that cluster bombs were used, then let’s hear your reasoning. You may think calling people ‘useful idiots’ is pretty darn clever, but it’s not how grown-ups win arguments.

    If there’s anything worse than a useful idiot, it’s a useless one.

  • anonymous

    HQUI says,

    “Bundoora, you are either illiterate or a bit of a moron.”

    And observer says,

    “On a side note, I guess lack of conviction and intellect leads to the ultimate hollow triumph for some of calling their adversary an idiot “

  • spin the yarn

    (Doctor) Dayan Jaayatilleke said<

    "As the only person in this exchange who has any military experience in the field, backed up by enormous reading of military history, David Blacker’s word is the one I think we can take, unless someone with more expertise comes forward ( and not pseudonymously either).

    As fo Bundoora, the SLG website would hardly bill it as a debate if I hadn’t respondede, and I cried off once the alleged Indian researcher became incoherent. And if you find those lines you quoted from me on the 18th amendment debate a defence of the amendment, instead of a contextualisation and critique of the dominant critique from the explicit perspective of political science (the main point figured in a long quote in the New York Times), I am afaraid you have more problems wih your formal education and literacy than I can solve. Take some open university courses, even online.

    For the record, last December I was offered the ambassadorship to Tokyo, which I declined with thanks, and opted to accept the invitation by the NUS. If I tailored my views to my job or job prospects I would not have argued for a military victory while working with Premadasa and would still have been in Geneva or perhaps someplace even more exalted after my achievement at the UN HRC session. I accept job offers only if they are in broad consonance with my political line at the time. which is why– as David Gladstone, Brad weerakoon, Neville Jayaweera and Susil Siriwardhana would attest- I deferred and then declined my Foreign and Commonwealth Office schol to do my Phd either at Cambridge or the LSE, in order to continue to work with President Premadasa, though there too, I decined a National List ( leading to Cabinet) offer. I recall the Irida lankadeepa strap over te headline, with a photo which said “Dayan Mathi Sabhayata?”

    As the unofficial transslator of Dayanspeak please let me intervene and translate this into layman's language (please check my translation of teh doctor's "Vision Thing" articel also). The numbers denote paragraphs.

    1. We must listen to David Blacker because he has read lots and lots of stuff on war. And he is also an army man. If you want to prove he is wrong you must find somebody who has read as much as or more than him. (This is also why I constantly tell people how qualified I am. That should shut most people up.)

    2. Nobody can argue with me. Not even Indians. A couple of barks from me and they go weak at the knees. And while on barking, here is one for you Bundoora: You are not educated enough to understand what I am saying. You are an idiot so shut up!

    3. Some people seem to think that I am like a prostitute that sleeps with everyone. No way! I only say yes to those who can make me feel like their partner.

  • Sri

    Well! I have read the main article and the interesting comments.

    The only way to find out the truth is to have an impartial inquiry
    with the correct mandate to inquire and find out what had happened during the closing days of the conflict.

    We have 300,000 civilians rescued from the conflict area during the closing stages and the LTTE cadres who had surrendered and solders who had actually participated during the last stages of the war.

    We can have international experts who have previous experiences in this type of inquiries.

    Let us have a through investigation and punish the guilty according to national and international laws unlike the LLRC which have only a partial mandate!

    We have some lessons learnt in having investigation regarding the deaths of 5 students in Trincomale in Jan 2006 and 17 aid workers at Muthur the same year.

    Let us not do the same mistake!

    Let us have an impartial tranparent inquiry.

  • Observer

    sarath, i wasn’t taking any sides. just stated what i felt and it applies to anyone that fits. each be their own judge i say. as for the responsibility, i don’t know.. but anybody who wants to can step up to any level of responsibility as opposed to figuring out who has the greater responsibility. i guess that’s where the true character of a man lies.

  • Observer

    niranjan said,
    Observer,

    Lack of evidence does not mean that certain incidents did not happen.

    Maybe… but it definitely does not warrant willy nilly accusations!

    Some events mentioned above could have happened even though there maybe no evidence left to prove it.

    Highly doubtful! It’s a slippery slope now… What else could have happened? That aliens indeed have visited earth and held high level talks with the US military in area 51? 9/11 was a US gov conspiracy? Does Mr. Amhadinajad have some credibility into what he said at the UN recently? Where do you draw the line?

    The Government should keep an open mind on what actually happened during the conflict.

    I don’t get what you mean here… I don’t think there are any surprises for the government to be suddenly startled about. After all, they were the architects of this operation.

  • Observer

    PresiDunce Bean,

    funny thing is that you can do the same thing not? repeat your stance over and over with the expectation that it shall be moulded into the truth? in fact this is the bread and butter strategy of LTTE propaganda machinery. we have already seen few comments to this article with standard cut and paste “war crimes” quotes you see on other forums (they’re very easy to spot ;-). and how is that you’re so special that it is only you that cannot be fooled? quite a brave assertion! is it so unfair that we doubt these outlandish claims simply based on the fact that there is absolutely no evidence to back it up? is it such an outrageous position to hold?

    you can kindly gobble up your Goebbels quotes..

  • Observer

    Heshan said,

    There is absolutely no doubt that cluster bombs and phosphorous bombs were used against civilians.

    Really now? I completely without a shred of doubt in my mind believe that you’re completely wrong! Who’s right? Me or you? Can you back up your arguments without speculative insinuations? Nope… Thus what you say is quite inert

  • Dr Dayan Jayatilleka

    Spin the Yarn, interpret this or should I say psychoanalyse this!:

    The very week, if not the very day that CBK wrested back portfolios from Ranil, Dr Sarath Amunugama called me to ascertain whether I was home because they were about to dispatch a letter appointing me Presidential Advisor on Information and Media (and as small change, a Director of Lake House as well). Dr Tara De Mel will confirm this story, as she had correctly predicted that I wouldn’t accept. And I didn’t.

    Mr Mangala Samaraweera may also confirm – because he was at the table, as Foreign Minister– that the incumbent President wished to appoint me as head of the Peace Secretariat, but I decined, firstly because I didn’t believe in peace with theLTTE and secondly because I had to finish my book on Fidel.

    So, I accept posts only from those whose political project and stance intersect with my own perspective, and even from them, I don’t accept every offer.

  • Heshan

    Observer:

    Why not let neutral third-part observers verify for themselves? It doesn’t cost anything, except perhaps some startling revelations!

  • bundoora

    Dayan ,

    Oh ! at last sigh of relief , this time round no more name calling , but the insult is still there , never mind , I guess it is in your genes , you would not be able to have a constructive criticism without losing temper , is not that right my dear Doctor !
    well you mentioned I need to have a formal education from an open university or on line , only for your information I write this , not to brag about myself (unlike you of course )
    I did my Bachelors degree (Engineering) from CITY University London England and finished my post graduate studies in
    LaTrobe University Melbourne Australia ( Bundoora is the location of the Campus ) , now I believe you assume that I’m illiterate , just because I use layman’s English , well I use all the technical/non Technical jargon when It is appropriate i.e when I was writing my thesis , that of course to impress my supervisor , nothing else !
    in this forum I don’t have slightest idea of impressing any one, but to get my point loud and clear, of course your idea of writing is to confuse as much as possible with all the unwarranted /unwanted jargon, just to show off that you are a different cattle of fish, well I doubt majority of the readers will agree on your writing either.
    going back to original query , I asked “ why do you kill the messenger “ ( about the Sudar oli ) , for that there were so many deroutes and going round in circles , you asked me to show a single sentence which you backed the 18 th Amendment , I have quoted in my earlier post , you later claimed you agreed with Kalana ‘s article , then what about your own article ! Does it mean your original article is not valid any more?
    you seem to contradict your own statements , right ?

  • Heshan

    For the benefit of readers, here is a video of Sri Lanka Army blocking a journalist from investigating:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X-jCJC0bv7s (Refer to 2:35 in particular)

    Do you think a commission initiated by the President (whose brother is Defense Minister) will proceed any further than the journalist in the video? You have to separate all of these institutions and implement some kind of accountability policy, in order to ensure they comply with accepted norms. Letting several powerful institutions function under a single family umbrella will only set the stage for mismanagement.

  • Heshan

    *third-party

  • Zorro

    I have only one question.
    is it possible to rescue 300.000 civilians from a war zone, which is under the control of one of the most brutal terrorist organization, with zero civilian causalities? I doubt it. For me it is not at all plausible. The commission should start counting the dead by asking the 300.000 people who were rescued, at least for the purpose of census or delivering death certificates. Who argues that there was “zero civilian causality” is vehemently denying his intelligence! At least I know one Viktor Gnanapragasam, a retired railway guard returned from Toronto to help his daughter, a teacher, to move to a more safer zone. With this one dead the zero causality is not a valid statement anymore.

  • Sarath Fernando

    Observer,

    I can see you wanting to weasel out as that seems to be the only defense you have.

    My point is that if you say that Presidunce or any other non-claimants to intellectual superiority is less of a “man” and gained only a “hollow victory” for using the term idiot, that would imply that DJ is even lesser of a “man” and is even more “empty” in his claims, given his use of similar terms despite his many self-referrals to his own superior intellectual capacity.

    There is a saying “use a thorn to pick a thorn.” Since DJ has often resorted to such mean spirited personal condemnation (moron, illiterate etc.), I guess that is the language that DJ is capable of understanding, no matter the education. Given that, why is it not appropriate to resort to equitable language that seems to fall well within DJ’s comfort level?

  • Belle

    TT,

    Heshan said ““We know very well that 30,000 people died in a very short amount of time.”
    to which you replied, “There is absolutely no evidence to prove this.”

    There is no evidence because no investigation has been allowed. What is your evidence to disprove it? And please don’t cite government propaganda: that’s not evidence.

    The fact that the SL government had gone to great lengths to bar coverage of the war while it was taking place and then did their level best to prevent an inquiry is the best evidence available at present that something criminal happened in the course of the war, and that the LTTE weren’t the only criminals at the scene.

  • Heshan

    “As the only person in this exchange who has any military experience in the field, backed up by enormous reading of military history, David Blacker’s word is the one I think we can take, unless someone with more expertise comes forward ( and not pseudonymously either).

    Dayan J. does himself a great disservice in lieu of the above remark. Everyone here knows full well that the Sri Lankan Ministry of Defense is the least impartial body. It’s unhappy marriage with the government is probably the source of 95% of the problems on the island today. Therefore, any claims by one of its subordinates, e.g. Blacker, should be treated with extra skepticism.

    Simple logic: sustained, lasting peace begins when everyone puts their guns away. Which government-sanctioned institution has the most guns? The military, of course! Disbanding the military altogether is the optimum solution, in the SL case. In fact, SL can probably ask India to take care of its security needs. It would amount to India having a few military bases in SL. This is the type of arrangement that Japan has with the USA (Japan does not have its own military). Think of the larger picture – the SL military will never be anywhere close to the nuclear armed Indian military… in other words, it would not be difficult at all for any larger foreign nation to invade SL. If you cannot defend yourself from such invasions, why defend at all?

  • rajivmw

    Heshan,

    Japan doesn’t have its own military? Who are these people then:

    “The Japan Self-Defense Forces.. are the unified military forces of Japan that were established after the end of the post-World War II US occupation of Japan.”

    “The JSDF numbered 239,430 in 2005 with 147,737 in the Ground Self-Defense Force, 44,327 in the Maritime Self-Defense Force, 45,517 in the Air Self-Defense Force, and 1,849 in the Joint Staff Office. Reserves numbered 57,899.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_army

  • Heshan

    rajivmw,

    Try and differentiate between a self-defense force and an actual military. There is quite a difference. The self-defense force is equivalent to the National Guard that you find in the USA (I don’t know of any other way to explain it).

    After a period of U.S. occupation (1945–1952), Japan regained its independence. Japan was also forbidden to have a standing army or wage war by Article nine of its Constitution.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_history_of_Japan

    It is forbidden by their constitution to have a conventional military.

  • spin the yarn

    “Spin the Yarn, interpret this or should I say psychoanalyse this!:

    The very week, if not the very day that CBK wrested back portfolios from Ranil, Dr Sarath Amunugama called me to ascertain whether I was home because they were about to dispatch a letter appointing me Presidential Advisor on Information and Media (and as small change, a Director of Lake House as well). Dr Tara De Mel will confirm this story, as she had correctly predicted that I wouldn’t accept. And I didn’t.

    Mr Mangala Samaraweera may also confirm – because he was at the table, as Foreign Minister– that the incumbent President wished to appoint me as head of the Peace Secretariat, but I decined, firstly because I didn’t believe in peace with theLTTE and secondly because I had to finish my book on Fidel.

    So, I accept posts only from those whose political project and stance intersect with my own perspective, and even from them, I don’t accept every offer.”

    Thank you doctor for submitting this for our examination. Our psychoanalytic computer has returned the following:

    “I am so badly misunderstood. I have a constant need to prove my integrityjust like my qualifications. Take me seriously. Please.”

  • TT

    Belle,

    “There is no evidence because no investigation has been allowed.”

    This is the investigation you have been waiting for. Please present evidence.

    “What is your evidence to disprove it?”

    There is nothing to disprove because nothing has been proven yet! One who asserts must prove. So the burden of proving 30,000 (or whatever the number) deaths, rests with the one who says so.

  • wijayapala

    Try and differentiate between a self-defense force and an actual military. There is quite a difference. The self-defense force is equivalent to the National Guard that you find in the USA (I don’t know of any other way to explain it).

    So in other words, Field Marshal Heshan will be satisfied when the SL military renames itself “Sri Lankan Self-Defense Forces.”

  • Dr Dayan Jayatilleka

    Dear Spin the Yarn, Your silence confirms my hypothesis: you are mad at MR because he didn’t bend over and take it from the Tigers or the West unlike your boy Ranil, and he sin’t ashamed of being a Sinhalese either. Am I right or am I right?

    If ever I need to reassure myself about being taken seriously I only have to re-read the Economist of Aug 8, 2009, or the Chatham House journal International affairs, or the last ICG report a year after Sri Lanka’s war which had five rueful references to the failed EU attempt UN HRC special sessions. In the meanwhile, obviously someone is taking some people’s arguments seriously, and it sure ain’t those of your lot. Please see below. And I’m afraid i have to cry off now. You see , after a British reviewer at the University of London opened a review in the Political Science Quarerly (UK) of my book with a reference to Jacob Taubes and an assertion that my work belongs broadly in the same tradition, I’ve been borrowing books by Taubes and I have to get back to ‘Fragments Toward a Critique of Historical Reason’. Its real heavy, man. So, gotta run. Meanwhile, happy reading:

    NAVIGATE:Home » Editorial THE ISLAND

    Editorial
    A Jumbo U-turn
    September 28, 2010, 6:36 pm

    The UNP is where it is today with no prospects of winning elections in the foreseeable future because it chose to appease the LTTE and grovel before Norway and other LTTE backers in the international community. Having turned the tables on the Kumaratunga government in 2001 within seven years of its formation, the UNP made a costly blunder by catering to the whims and fancies of the LTTE at the behest of the western governments. The day it agreed to the so-called Oslo Declaration, which envisaged a federal solution, its fate was sealed. During their talks in Oslo, UNP-led UNF government and the LTTE agreed ‘to explore a political solution founded on internal self-determination based on a federal structure within a united Sri Lanka’.

    The LTTE made the most of the principle of ‘internal self-determination’––whatever it means––underpinning the Oslo Declaration to demand an ISGA (Interim Self-Governing Authority), which the UNF could not grant because it went beyond any known forms of federalism as pointed out by Richard Armitage and Chris Patten. By that time, the LTTE had already walked away from talks and was making preparations for war, though the Wickremesinghe government continued its policy of appeasement at the expense of the country’s national security.

    Eight years on, the UNP has rejected a federal solution! Its General Secretary Tissa Attanayake has told BBC that there is no need for a political solution now as the times have changed since the defeat of the LTTE. What needs to be done, he has said, is to solve the day-to-day problems of the people in the North and the East. Wasn’t it the UNP which said the war would not bring about any change?

    What does the UNP’s volte face signify? The UNP has now admitted that when it agreed to federalism, it did not have the Tamil people in mind; it did so only to appease the LTTE and the West. Else, its commitment to federalism should have survived the defeat of the LTTE. The UNP seems to be making an attempt to eat into President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s support base which is averse to federalism. It will be interesting to see the reaction of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), the NGO fraternity and those members of the international community advocating federalism, to Attanayake’s statement.

    The UNP under its present leaders has managed to project itself as a minority friendly party but its ties with the ethno-religious parties have not helped it win elections. Today, the TNA is on its own trying to reconsolidate its power in the North and the East and the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) is with the government to all intents and purposes. The UNP has fallen between two stools; it can muster neither the majority community nor the minorities to win elections! It apparently feels the need to win back the predominantly Sinhala electorate and reach out to the minorities direct without depending on the ethno centric parties, in keeping with a recommendation by the Panditharatna Committee, which probed the electoral setbacks of the UNP a few years ago. The UNP’s realisation that its dependency on minority parties and its advocacy of devolution will not help it win elections may have compelled it to abjure its commitment to the Oslo Declaration.

    Ironically, the UNP, which ridiculed the war against the LTTE claiming that military action would be counterproductive instead of helping solve the problem, to which, it said, only devolution would be a lasting solution, is now on the same wave length as the Rajapaksa government as regards federalism. It was only the other day that President Rajapaksa told the UNGA’s 65th session that his government did not believe in imported solutions.

  • MV

    Well folks, in the case of Sri Lanka, it is guilty unless otherwise proven – not the other way around. If they did not commit war crimes, let there be an impartial investigation to prove so.

  • That’s right, Heshan, the SL Army, Navy, and SLAF are part of the SL Security Forces. SECURITY, get it? Very similar to DEFENCE. So the SL Security Forces are not really a military, get it 😉 😉 nudge nudge.

    BTW the JSDF has tanks, APCs, artillery, jet fighters, ground attack aircraft, missile cruisers, and a marine amphibious force — the latter is for offense, not defence, since you don’t need amphib assault craft to defend your shores.

    Also, Israel has the IDF — the Israeli Defence Forces — which I guess, according to Heshan must, like the Japanese Self-Defence Forces not really a military.

    Does that also mean that the British Ministry of DEFENCE isn’t anything to do with the military? What about the US Department of Defence?

    Oh, and I’m not a subordinate of the SL Ministry of Defence either. Were you born retarded or did someone drop you on your head when you were a baby?

  • Just to reiterate my original comment — as Rajivmw said, I’m not arguing that WP or cluster bombs were or were not used — just that this witness has no evidence of these weapons being used — not even eye-witness testimony. By eye-witness testimony — sorry to have to explain this, but most of the commentators here seem to think that this means saying “there is life on Mars” — I mean a visual description of the said weapons in use — a description of the fragments or casings of the cluster munitions or the residual damage caused by WP, a description of the WP explosions (which are quite distinctive from HE weapons), a description of the injuries caused by WP (again distinctive). None of this is there in his statement. All he says is “the Army used cluster bombs and phosphorus bombs against innocent civilians”. This is not evidence or even eye-witness testimony.

    Only a tabloid or other sensationalist publication or website would even bother with reproducing this witness’ statement, unless they had an agenda to push.

  • rajivmw

    Dear Heshan,

    ‘Try and differentiate between a self-defense force and an actual military’

    What’s in a name? Are the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) not an ‘actual’ military then?

    ‘The self-defense force is equivalent to the National Guard that you find in the USA’

    No they are not equivalent. The National Guard is a reserve force. The JSDF is a proper ‘actual’ standing army with (mostly) full time active service personnel.

    ‘Japan was also forbidden to have a standing army or wage war by Article nine of its Constitution’

    Article 9 of the Japanese constitution is interpreted to mean a prohibition on waging offensive war against other countries, not a warrant to be sitting ducks.

    Hence:
    “…the Self-Defense Forces Law of 1954… states that ground, maritime, and air forces are to preserve the peace and independence of the nation and to maintain national security by conducting operations on land, at sea, and in the air to defend the nation against direct and indirect aggression.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_army#Missions_and_deployments

    In fact, Japan has the world’s 6th highest defense expediture.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_military_expenditures

    In other words, the Japanese have not totally outsourced their national security to an outside power. And their military is at least as ‘actual’ as Sri Lanka’s.

  • ‘Doctor’ DJ is a work of art! If Socrates was alive and debating on groundviews…he would have swallowed hemlock after reading ‘Doctor’ DJs ‘Double Speak.’ And then poor Plato would have to write a book called “Doctor’ DJs Utopian REPUBLIC of RajaPakistan!”

    …paradigm shifts…semantics…communication bypass…area denial munitions…physical persuasion…psychological deterrent…internment facility…aerial ordnance…extraordinary rendition…wet work…

    …in the world of ‘Doctor’ DJ and a few others, good becomes bad…bad becomes good…Que Sera, Sera, whatever will be, will be (that is if the Rajapaksa regime says so.)

  • spin the yarn

    Spin the yarn is a computer programmed to interpret and analyse the exceptionally thought provoking language of (Doctor) Dayan (or “The Yarn”) ayatilleke known as Dayanspeak. It is only programmed to analyse and intepret, not to engage in discussion.

    (Doctor) Jayatilleke has put the following question and statement for the computer’s scrutiny. Its interpretation appears below that. Please not that the numbers denote paragraphs:

    Dear Spin the Yarn, Your silence confirms my hypothesis: you are mad at MR because he didn’t bend over and take it from the Tigers or the West unlike your boy Ranil, and he sin’t ashamed of being a Sinhalese either. Am I right or am I right?

    If ever I need to reassure myself about being taken seriously I only have to re-read the Economist of Aug 8, 2009, or the Chatham House journal International affairs, or the last ICG report a year after Sri Lanka’s war which had five rueful references to the failed EU attempt UN HRC special sessions. In the meanwhile, obviously someone is taking some people’s arguments seriously, and it sure ain’t those of your lot. Please see below. And I’m afraid i have to cry off now. You see , after a British reviewer at the University of London opened a review in the Political Science Quarerly (UK) of my book with a reference to Jacob Taubes and an assertion that my work belongs broadly in the same tradition, I’ve been borrowing books by Taubes and I have to get back to ‘Fragments Toward a Critique of Historical Reason’. Its real heavy, man. So, gotta run. Meanwhile, happy reading:

    The computer says:

    1. My daddy is bigger than your daddy. What is more my daddy is Sinhalese and your daddy is not. (simplified, this means “Mine is bigger than yours”)

    At this point the computer informs that it is disappointed that a person of (Doctor) Jayatillek’s “cerebration and intellectual rigour” is asking rhetorical questions and expecting answers. It is beginniing to think that one whole computer is wasted on interpreting Dayanspeak. Perhaps half a computer would do.

    2. You are the only ones who are not taking me seriously. A lot of other people do. Look who I am compared with! Wil you, at least now, take me seriously?

  • Dr. Mervyn Silva

    Hello People ,

    I am Mervyn Silva, member of Praliament and Deputy Minister highways and all the by lanes. I am now giving evidence to the Commission about learning lessons and reconciliations. You have to take me seriously because I am doctor, like doctor Dayan Jyatilleke. But there is difference. Doctor Dyan getting doctorate from somewhere. I am getting from nowhere. But both doctors so you take me seriously. Don’t try to stop me. If you try my people will come with razor blade and cut you. Front side and back side. And police will only laugh and watch.

    What is this commission anyway? Lessons Learnt? Reconcilliation? I think this is nonsense. It must be Lessons Taught therefore no Reconciliation Needed commission. Just listen to my evidence.

    A lot of people say the Tamil problem start when Tamil people asking for separate state. That is not true. The problem start because Tamil people ask for separate state wrong way. With guns and bombs. This is one big lesson taught to Tamils. If you ask for separate state with guns and bombs you will die. This don’t mean that if you ask nicely you will get separate state. Then also you might die. But you can have separate state – if you ask the right way.

    Look at me. I am also having separate state now. In Kelaniya area. Very ancient land. Buddha also coming and polishing up. Now I am also doing it. I am like king there. I am doing anything I like. Taking tribute, banning liquor, banning processions. Tying people to trees also. Nobody saying anything. Last time I am tying man to mango tree and only one woman shout. Police say nothing. Only laughing and watching. Government saying nothing to do because tied man not complaining. President saying nothing also. He likes me. He think I am obedient. So I can do anything. Just to prove this very soon I am going to tie the IGP also to tree, maybe tamarind tree this time. He will just wait like idiot. Government will say no complain and police will also laugh and watch.

    This is what I am saying. I am having separate state in Kelaniya. How I get it? I am obedient. I am falling on knees before president anytime, crawling along drain also if he tell me. I am like tyrant to opposition people but like puppy to president. This is why I am different to Prabhakaran and why I get separate state and Prabhakaran get big wound in head. Prbhakaran ruthless. I am shameless.

    I think it is wrong to say we must give something to Tamils t stop another war coming. We give nothing to Sinhalese and where is war? I think we must give something to “A Tamil”. Like KP I think. KP also like me. Shameless. He crawl anytime anywhere to survive. No wound in head for him. We give him something, like the Jaffna area like I am getting Kelaniya and he will be good puppy also. Maybe he can give Tamils there something but what is important is what he can give president. I am hearing that long ago Vanniyar giving king of Kandy two elephants every year to show he is good puppy. KP can give more than two elephants.

    That is the best way to solve Tamil problem. This is how we stop war with Sinhalese. Give something to puppy-like people. They will keep ordinary people like puppies also. If complain cut with razor. If obey build a road and cheap house. They will sit and watch teledrama even without food. What for reconciliation? I say give Ranil also some small area to control. Maybe Colombo Seven. He can tie anybody to trees there. Colombo seven is full of trees and some are very big ones. Maybe Colombo Seven people even liking that kind of thing. They are naughty.

    So this is my testimony to Commission. Thank you very much for listening. Anytime you are in Kelaniya area come to my house. Don’t forget to bring little tribute. I am king there.

  • Dr Dayan Jayatilleka

    Dear Bundoora,

    Here’s what you wrote: “…just to show off that you are a different cattle of fish…”.

    “CATTLE OF FISH”? That can’t be a typographical error, because if it were so, the first letter of the word should have been something other than that which it is. I shan’t tell you what that letter is 🙂

    Is that what you call “layman’s English”?

    You did say you studied at the ‘CITY University London England and
    LaTrobe University Melbourne Australia’.

    Well done!

  • Sarath Fernando

    Dayan – a corrected repeat of the earlier message, since I found an inadverant “been” in the previous one, and in case you decide to make judgment based on that!

    C’mon Dayan, “Cattle of fish!”; “Cattle of fish!!” — That is what you found to base your judgment on?! Don’t be so knit-picky. It is so unbecoming given the multitude of credentials you have laid claim for thus far. “Please grow up” comes to mind.

  • Observer

    Sarath Fernando said,

    Observer,

    I can see you wanting to weasel out as that seems to be the only defense you have.

    First of all Sarath, what am I defending my self from? I’m still scratching my head trying to figure out if I have anything to defend my self from you. All pointers indicates… No! I made a non attributed remark that you decided to attribute to your self and respond to me. So I believe you’re sort of tangled your self in a cob web. So you need to work it out…not me.

    My point is that if you say that Presidunce or any other non-claimants to intellectual superiority is less of a “man” and gained only a “hollow victory” for using the term idiot, that would imply that DJ is even lesser of a “man” and is even more “empty” in his claims, given his use of similar terms despite his many self-referrals to his own superior intellectual capacity.

    Ok here we go again. I did not directly accuse anyone. It is you who have attributed a remark I made in an earlier post in a quite personal way. It is rather unfortunate and really unnecessary…

    I actually neither know nor tried to gauge DJ’s “man”liness or whatever you’re going on about here. It is of no interest to me. I do not hold him as a reference point to affect me in anyway. He seems to know what he is talking about and that’s all I can really attest to. Look I am not in the business of judging intellectual capacities of people. I believe that is why educational institutions are there…for people with intellect to shine. DJ seems to have got him self through ample of such challenges of such institutions going by his rap sheet. Enough said!

    There is a saying “use a thorn to pick a thorn.” Since DJ has often resorted to such mean spirited personal condemnation (moron, illiterate etc.), I guess that is the language that DJ is capable of understanding, no matter the education. Given that, why is it not appropriate to resort to equitable language that seems to fall well within DJ’s comfort level?

    Hey you’re absolutely right! They say you can’t roll in the mud without being a pig your self! hahaha oh dear….

  • Observer

    Heshan said,

    Observer:

    Why not let neutral third-part observers verify for themselves? It doesn’t cost anything, except perhaps some startling revelations!

    Oh right, because in other wars there are neutral 3rd party observers right? Who was the 3rd party that observed the initial shock and awe bombing campaign leading into the Iraq invasion? Who observed the bunker busters landing in Afghanistan? Other than recon units confirming the kills. Who observed vietnam war? War is not something, you can sell ring side tickets to. Also I’ve had enough life experiences to know one thing, neutrality seldom exists…everyone has an opinion that usually bias them one way or the other. Anyway my view is that monitoring really only works for peace keeping missions.

  • Observer

    haha dear Dr. Mervyn Silva, I am so glad you didn’t have to write a paper or even read going by that English to obtain your doctorate. It would have been too painful to read for whoever the assessor would have been!

    —–on a more lighter note—–
    What is Dr. Mervyn’s largest constituency now?
    Hippies…
    Why??
    Because he loves to tie them to trees… (dum di dum!)

    good joke? no? need more work on it before my next stand up session? yeah probably…just came up with it impromptu..

  • bundoora

    Dear Doctor DJ,

    well well, what we have here now , is that all you could come up with now , cattle of fish to kettle of fish , , , big deal , now don’t tell me that you have not made a grammar/spelling slip-up before ( of course you wouldn’t , otherwise you won’t be the iniquitous high profile hot shot Doctor Dayan jaytilake , is not it ? )
    I am overwhelmed with mean spirited names, insult and now to subtle sarcasm, what is next up in your sleeve? I’m politically naive?
    is not this your first line of defense , not to answer the matter , but to linger about one’s socio /economic/academic /Language skills etc etc… , if you are not succeeded then you dodge the question with hazy answers.
    if one analyses your strategy , it is very palpable you almost all the time try to intimidate the person , and divert the question to some where else , this is exactly what is happening at this juncture , I kept on asking “ why did you kill the messenger , ( Sudar oli )” not the substance , is not this simple question , I asked you the very first time Doctor ?

  • Gowri Rajendran

    bundoora,

    Dr. Jayatilleka is a brilliant thinker and political analyst in my opinion. Sure, there are many others out there, but Dr. Jayatilleka understands the changing realities of Sri-Lanka; he brings a fresh perspective to political life unlike those “academics” that are stuck in a rut.

    Putting aside all your half-baked theories, can YOU bring a creative solution to the table?

  • Sarath Fernando

    Ah ha – not that easy Mr. Observer.

    When your esteemed DJ called someone a moron and illiterate, you were quite mum, but when someone referred to DJ as UI, you were all up in arms, with wisdom to spare. That, and that alone, was my bone of contention (I wrote: As you state “lack of conviction and intellect leads to the ultimate hollow triumph for some of calling their adversary an idiot ” — could indeed be a valid point, if only the presumed intellect were to desist offering declarations such as “Bundoora, you are either illiterate or a bit of a moron.”).

    Given your unshakable faith and respect for DJ for such intellect (which you now reaffirm with “DJ seems to have got him self through ample of such challenges of such institutions going by his rap sheet. Enough said!”) I merely asked you wouldn’t it automatically be the responsibility of the intellect to hold the higher ground. Alas, you opted to weasel out with “as for the responsibility, I don’t know..”. So there – guess you can now stop scratching your head.

    I am glad you agree that it is fine to “use a thorn to get a thorn” – thus confirming that the idiot-call was indeed apt and the victory was not hollow – there are indeed exceptions to the rule!

    Hopefully this lesson would help DJ’s future use of language and avoid similar bounce-backs. I endorse your delightful, reaffirming analogy, that, inclusive of DJ, “one can’t roll in the mud without being a pig one self! Hahaha!” – I had not heard that one before!

  • Heshan

    Dr. Jayatilleka is a brilliant thinker and political analyst in my opinion.

    What has he predicted thus far, that has turned out to be correct? Absolutely nothing. All he does is blindly defend the appalling behavior of his ex-masters, the Rajapakses, using vague, irrelevant Marxist aphorisms mixed in with technical jargon, in order to confuse the judgment of readers. On another note, I find it amusing that he has yet to condemn the Rajapakses, despite being sacked after the much vaunted “Geneva Victory.” The 13th Amendment that Comrade Dayan vouched so passionately for has failed to materialize… all in all, Dayan is left grasping for straws, not very much unlike his delusional mentor of yesteryear, Stalin.

  • Heshan

    Observer:

    Oh right, because in other wars there are neutral 3rd party observers right? Who was the 3rd party that observed the initial shock and awe bombing campaign leading into the Iraq invasion? Who observed the bunker busters landing in Afghanistan? Other than recon units confirming the kills. Who observed vietnam war? War is not something, you can sell ring side tickets to. Also I’ve had enough life experiences to know one thing, neutrality seldom exists…everyone has an opinion that usually bias them one way or the other. Anyway my view is that monitoring really only works for peace keeping missions.

    All of the above and much more has been well-documented. All you have to do is go to Youtube, enter “bunker buster afghanistan” in the query box, and multiple results will come up. Welcome to the Digital Age, my friend. It’s quite a few miles from Taprobane, where tamilnet is banned, and unfriendly journalists are given white van rides. I know you want to desperately believe every country in the world is as corrupt and ruthless as Taprobane, alas, that is not the case. Democracy has actually evolved, and accountability is not just about what you need to convince the IMF to give you a trillion. It all goes back to that piece of paper called the “constitution.” Unlike in Taprobane, Western politicians don’t dare touch their constitution.. you can figure out the rest.

  • Heshan

    Blacker,

    Read the following very carefully:

    Under the terms of the Mutual Security Assistance Pact, ratified in 1952 along with the peace treaty Japan had signed with the United States and other countries, United States forces stationed in Japan were to deal with external aggression against Japan while Japanese forces, both ground and maritime, would deal with internal threats and natural disasters.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japan_Self-Defense_Forces

    This means that if any foreign nation wages war against Japan, the USA is obliged to defend Japan. Considering that the US Army is probably the best in the world, the Japanese “defense forces” are pretty irrelevant. That is what I meant by optimum security arrangement.

    That’s funny how you compare the IDF with Japan’s self-defense force. The IDF has loads of nukes – not only that, but the IDF has an mission to secure Israeli borders from a global Islamic threat. I don’t know why you even bring Israel into the argument when the very location of Israel – surrounded by a multitude of hostile Arab nations – mandates a major investment in defense. S. Lanka does not suffer from any such threat. The only “threat” it suffers from are the paranoid delusions of Tamil separatism which ensue from the mythological Mahavamsa Mindset. Even the LTTE never posed a real threat; the threat seemed large because S. Lanka was too dumb to properly consolidate its resources into a military-style economy.

    Yes, your opinion is invariably biased because you are an ex-soldier and therefore highly unlikely to turn on your former buddies. I know from elsewhere that you also happen to be a buddy of D. Fernando, the buffoon behind the tamilnet.tv website. “Tell me who your friends are, and I shall tell you who you are.”

  • Rama

    Dr. Mervyn Silva said,
    September 29, 2010 @ 3:33 pm

    Brilliantly funny !! Thanks 🙂

  • Lol, Heshan, so your definition of a “domestic forces” (ie the JSDF) vs a “military” (ie the SLSF) is whether the former requires an ally to defend its shores? Dude, were you also repeatedly banged against a wall by your parents? The NATO treaty ensures that the US, Britain, and other nations would defend Germany against threats from Eastern Europe. Does that mean that the German armed forces (currently fighting in Afghanistan) are not really a military? Under NATO, the US based ballistic missiles in the UK for use against the USSR, taking over that role from the British Forces. Does that then make the British Forces a “self-defense force”? 😀 FYI the JSDF also has troops in Afghanistan — are they defending their shores against the Taliban? Also, what’s all this rambling about nukes? Do you have to have nukes to be a military now?

    Ha ha Heshan, how much deeper are you gonna dig this hole before you realise what we already know — that you are an ignoramus?

    Also, I’ve no idea who “D Fernando” is. Did he say he knows me? 🙂

  • Also, Heshan, what you’ve quoted is the original is the original 1951 Treaty of Security, which was amended in 1960 to become the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation & Security, which is a mutual defence treaty — I’m not sure if you understand what this is (I’m told you’ve had trouble in the past distinguishing between per capita income and GDP), but try Google. Under the 1960 amendment, “both parties assumed an obligation to maintain and develop their capacities to resist armed attack in common and to assist each other in case of armed attack on territories under Japanese administration.”

    The United States maintains similar mutual defence treaties with at least 31 other sovereign nations, under the terms of which all signatories are obliged to come to the defence of any other signatory under external threat, namely:

    Spain
    Germany
    Turkey
    Greece
    UK
    Portugal
    Norway
    Netherlands
    Luxembourg
    Italy
    Iceland
    France
    Denmark
    Canada
    Belgium
    South Korea
    Australia
    Japan
    Philippines
    Czech Republic
    Hungary
    Poland
    Bulgaria
    Estonia
    Latvia
    Lithuania
    Romania
    Slovakia
    Slovenia
    Albania
    Croatia

    Under the terms of these treaties, several of the above nations have obliged by by sending combat troops to Iraq and Afghanistan. Japan, too, has sent non-combat troops of the JGSDF to Afghanistan. So, Heshan, do all these nations not have militaries since a portion of their national defence responsibilities have been shared with a foreign power?

    Now, is there anything you wish to say about the witness’ statement that indicates any evidence, or am I to understand that you are as ignorant of domestic matters as you are of foreign ones?

  • Observer

    Sarath, it is very easy! What I said applies to anyone that fits that category. I left it as an open remark precisely maybe because it applies to multiple people 😉
    You’re all up in arms about that remark probably because you see your self fitting that description and feel rather uneasy. That’s your prerogative. Let each be their own judge eh? They say that the puhul hora karen dane kiyala. reach over your shoulder and see if you can feel anything sticky 😉 I feel this is the case here. Anyway I hope you find peace and solace from what ever that is making you all hot and bothered at the moment.. I feel that you also have a burning desire to have the last word. I’m done with you.. so go for gold! haha good day Mr. Sarath Fernando!

  • Observer

    All of the above and much more has been well-documented.

    Heshan I like your sense of humor…., Well The SL war is well documented too. But some of it is classified information. What is not classified is available at MOD, Army, MCNS and multiple web site for you to access. Or you should have attended news briefings by the army media spokesman. Let’s get the Pentagon and CIA to declassify all the documents on current engagements. Ok leave current engagements aside, even past engagements? Would be rather stupid if they did that! They won’t!

    Look if you take what CNN has reported as gospel and consider that as documented then my friend you’re a naive little child. Then you should also have no qualms accepting Saman Kumara Ramawickrama’s brilliant reporting from the war front as gospel either! Get real…

  • Heshan

    Blacker,

    Go back and read your history books. The treaty made with Japan came as a direct result of WWII and the ensuing US occupation. The date of the treaty does not matter.

    . As a result Japan has never spent more than one percent of ts GDP on military expenditures (Englehardt, 2010). In return for allowing the US military presence in Japan, the United States agrees to help defend Japan against any foreign adversaries, such as North Korea. In addition to military support, the military presence in Okinawa provides a much needed economic boost to Japan’s poorest prefecture. As of 2004, 8,813 locals worked on bases, in addition to numerous others who work in shops and bars where the main customer base is US service members. Altogether, the US presence accounts for about 5 percent of the Okinawan economy (Fukumura, 2007).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_of_Mutual_Cooperation_and_Security_between_the_United_States_and_Japan

    The 1960 treaty is basically a stronger version of the older one.

    The fact that Japan spends only 1% of its GDP on military expenditure (equivalent to 100 billion USD, using 2008 Japanese GDP figure) annually proves my point that defense is not a priority on the Japanese agenda. The USA alone spends more than 500 trillion annually on defense – more than 500 times what Japan spends.

    Thanks for denying your association with Fernando. It is not difficult to dig up your correspondence with him, as well as the many defenses you have made of the SLA. Did I not say from the start that your opinion is biased? Of course, if you continue in your blatant denials, I shall have no doubt but to bring your correspondence into the open. It’s the digital age, man… you’re not in the army anymore. No more throwing corpses into lavatories and expecting Emergency Regulations to save your soul. The Digital Age has exposed you and your beloved SLA buddies even on this front – decomposed bodies are found practically everyday all over the Jaffna Peninsula, as per tamilnet, which your Defense Ministry buddies have taken great pains to ban from Taprobane.

  • Heshan

    Blacker,

    I found this comment made by you in a different venue rather interesting:

    Comment by David Blacker
    2010-04-26 00:42:26

    Oh and Sri Lankan crab is still Sri Lankan crab — it won’t taste bad if it’s picked out of a lagoon by an alcoholic Sinhalese fisherman, or grilled over the ashes of dead Tamils. It’s still bloody good crab, and that’s all.

    http://indi.ca/2010/04/the-ever-present-quest-for-crab/

    The above comment is relevant, as the great Dayan Jayatilleka himself has vouched for the “expertise” of Blacker.

  • Heshan

    Observer:

    Heshan I like your sense of humor…., Well The SL war is well documented too. But some of it is classified information.

    Yes, we know how well the Sri Lankan war is documented. That’s why mass graves, bodies in lavatories, decomposed bodies washing ashore from the sea, etc. are never big news in SL. Anyone trying to publicize these things will go for a (final) white van ride, courtesy of Gothabaya and his Defense Ministry. We all know about the press restrictions that prevent journalists from going to the North without “approval” from the MoD. And we all know about the torture and other abuses that go on behind so-called High Security Zones. We know about this NOT because GOSL tried to correct the problems but because former victims leaked the info to foreign NGO’s… unfortunately, people such as yourself consider all such testimony to be “LTTE-propaganda.” Basically, any unfriendly perspective on SL that does not emanate from a government approved Sinhala-Buddhist source is “LTTE-propaganda.” This is the tune you have been singing for 30 years, and it has remained exactly the same.

    What is not classified is available at MOD, Army, MCNS and multiple web site for you to access. Or you should have attended news briefings by the army media spokesman.

    By classified do you mean the use of cluster bombs and phosphorous? We don’t need such documents when there are people like Sarath Fonseka willing to reveal the truth… or 200,000 Tamil victims that were witness to Gothabaya’s thumbs up to bomb hospitals and schools.

    Let’s get the Pentagon and CIA to declassify all the documents on current engagements. Ok leave current engagements aside, even past engagements? Would be rather stupid if they did that! They won’t!

    I guess you haven’t heard of Wikileaks.

    Look if you take what CNN has reported as gospel and consider that as documented then my friend you’re a naive little child. Then you should also have no qualms accepting Saman Kumara Ramawickrama’s brilliant reporting from the war front as gospel either! Get real…

    I remember once that CNN aired a report about former Gulf War vets inhaling noxious gases. When the report was found to be inaccurate, the reporters were quickly fired. CNN definitely has standards – that is why it is shown in every part of the world. Saman Ramawickrama is a joke – do you think his 30 second clips in which he talks to soldiers amount to anything? Real journalists risk their lives to get the truth out. Saman is a propaganda tool working for State media. It doesn’t get any lower than that.

  • Ha ha, Heshan, I love it when you wriggle and squirm and eventually threaten people. So the dates of the treaties don’t matter, do they???? Ha ha, machang, you’re a laughing stock.

    The 1960 amendments do NOT strengthen the original treaty — is English comprehension not being taught in your school anymore? The 1960 amendment put the US and Japan on an equal footing, with both parties obliged to defend the other when attacked. How did you manage to miss that? All of the countries I have listed above have had their defence budgets reduced due to their mutual defence treaties with other nations (even a cursory scan of the NATO treaty will reveal this, but of course you’d need English comprehension, Heshan). Whether defence is a priority or not has nothing to do with whether the armed forces of a nation constitute a military or not, though in Japan’s case percentage of GDP isn’t indicative. I commented earlier that you’re a bit sketchy on what GDP actually is, and what its significances are, and this just proves it.

    While Japan’s defence spending maybe less than 1% of its GDP, but Japan’s defence budget is the sixth largest in the world (US$51 BILLION), larger even than India, which is down in ninth place with US$36 billion which, however, comes to 2.4% of its GDP. Do you therefore think that India isn’t very serious about its defence?

    South Korea, which is also in a mutual defence treaty with the USA that is very similar to Japan’s, and which is heavily dependent on the US for defence (to the point where it has agreed to consult the US on ALL military matters involving North Korea) spends less than Japan on defence (US$24.1 billion). Are you suggesting that South Korea isn’t serious about defence?

    China, the second-largest defence-spender, still only spends (US$100 billion) twice as much as Japan, at 2% of its GDP. Shouldn’t it have been spending at least five times Japan’s expenditure in money and GDP percentage if we’re to follow your “logic”? Or is China too uninterested in defence?

    As for your pal “Fernando”, is he the one in the Abba song (Can you hear the guns, Fernando?)? Lol, please do go ahead and “dig up” whatever you like. If you’re as successful at that as you’ve been at “digging up” stuff on Japan, it should be very entertaining.

    Any other wide and wonderful subjects you’d like to discuss, Heshan? My parentage, race, sexuality — I’m sure those will all come up as you retrest further and further into this hole you’re “digging up”. I suppose it’s not possible to steer you back to the subject of this post either — you remember, the eye-witness statement on cluster bombs? But wait — maybe it was Japan that bombed the civilians with all their cheap 1% of GDP white phosphorous. Whatcha think, Sherlock?

  • rajivmw

    Dear Heshan,

    “The USA alone spends more than 500 trillion annually on defense – more than 500 times what Japan spends.”

    Really? If that’s the case, not only is the American military budget more than 500 times the size of Japan’s, it is over 35 times greater than the entire US economy (US GDP 2009 = $14.5 trillion).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_the_United_States

    In fact, it’s 9 times larger than the entire world economy! (World GDP 2009 = $58 trillion)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_economy

    This staggering expenditure is possible only if the US is running a deficit of truly catastrophic proportions. Or, as is far more likely, you have once again got your facts wrong.

    And whaddya know, you have. Total US annual defence spending actually amounts to $685 billion – less than 500th of your imagination.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_budget_of_the_United_States

    It’s the digital age man. Your BS stinks but it just won’t stick.

  • rajivmw

    Oh, and Heshan,

    “The fact that Japan spends only 1% of its GDP on military expenditure (equivalent to 100 billion USD, using 2008 Japanese GDP figure) annually proves my point that defense is not a priority on the Japanese agenda.”

    That was not your point. Your point was this:

    “Japan does not have its own military”

    (Some of us do indeed know how to use the scroll function – ain’t digital grand!)

    Anyhoo, so the Japanese are spending 100 billion USD on a military that, according to you, doesn’t actually exist? Gosh, and I thought our politicians were corrupt…

  • What’s your next theory for discussion, Heshan — that the earth is flat? Or maybe that the moon is made of cheese? Lol.

  • Sarath Fernando

    Easy? – my foot! Easy to dodge, perhaps, Mr. Observer.

    Here is your chance for the Final Word, as that seems to be your concern.

    The UI terminology irked you somehow (the “puhul hora” analogy to apply here?) and prompted your observation that the use of idiot term was some how inappropriate and self-defeating. Now, I am glad you have conceded, in the “thorn-by-thorn” context it was apt, and (DJ) was indeed deserving.

    Here is the one outstanding issue.

    In reference to your absolute faith in DJ’s intellect (substantiated by your later “nuff said” comment) I asked if the society should hold intellects to a higher standard in appropriate use of language in communication.

    There are three possible responses that seem exhaustive:
    • Yes, intellects have that higher responsibility of leading by example
    • No, it is wrong for the society to expect that higher ground from the intellects
    • Or your initial meek, knee-jerky response, “as for responsibility, I don’t know…” which I charachterise as weaseling-out: unable to take a stand, having had the initial bravado to offer unsolicited wisdom. “All talk – but no …”

    Of course you do have a fourth option – dodging having to take a stand using some excuse or other and not take this golden opportunity for your coveted “final word”.

  • wijayapala

    Field Marshal Heshan

    I see that these heathens David Blacker and rajivmw are doubting your proven military genius. They clearly do not appreciate that you are part of the Lord’s Resistance Army. Fear not- Singularity strikes down all non-believers, such as the fig tree.

  • Belle

    TT,

    “There is nothing to disprove because nothing has been proven yet! One who asserts must prove. So the burden of proving 30,000 (or whatever the number) deaths, rests with the one who says so.”

    In a court of law, yes, the burden of proving rests with the prosecution. That “burden” can only be taken up if facilities of investigation are provided. That is why prosecution of crime is linked to police facilities. If investigating facilities are dammed up, then the “burden” reverts to those who make objective investigation impossible. In particular, where those who control facilities of investigation are precisely the ones being accused, then these accused must be presumed guilty until proven otherwise.

  • longus

    Heshan

    Good if you consider taking ‘comprehension lessons’ as this Blacker guy suggested. I too came to the same conclusion after reading your posts on the thread on “Peace and Reconcilliation…..”. Sudden disappearance seems to be your favourite tactic when you have no argument to offer..like an Octopus! Then you slowly come back into the scene and repeat the same old stuff! I think the reason for your apparent brain damage is the lack of Oxygen at birth (Birth Asphyxia) rather than physical injury to the brain as Blacker suggests! Were you born at a very high altitude?

  • Observer

    I guess you haven’t heard of Wikileaks.
    …..
    We don’t need such documents when there are people like Sarath Fonseka willing to reveal the truth…

    haha Heshan, is that the method through which US provide transparency to its conflicts? by means of scandals? that was a good joke. and i’m pretty sure i have brought up the wikileaks case here before to point out how they jailed the person responsible for wikileaks. Bradley Manning. so I guess the lesson from the story is, who ever dares shed some transparency into US engagements can expect to be jailed? Deja Vu? Did I hear someone say SF? Except the only difference is that SF leaked nothing. He has nothing to leak! He admitted that he had no first hand knowledge of any war crimes but only some information provided to him by a journalist. Allegation from a journalist? But, but I thought all the journalists were banned from the conflict zone. Hey you can’t have it both ways when it’s convenient for your narrative 😉 I find that very hard to believe provided that he was the freaking army commander! How can there be any information regarding violations of rules of engagement that is not privy to him?? Was he not in control of his forces? Straight away shows his disingenuity and that he was simply lying to serve his political ambitions at the time. YES this may come as a surprise to you, but politicians do LIE! he deserves what came his way. I believe even his one time media ally Fredrika Janzs who helped stir up the pot later had said a thing or 2 about the validity of his allegations bringing serious doubt into the whole fiasco…I suggest you go and check the sunday leader editorial archives.

    CNN definitely has standards

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/09/excnn-reporter-network-censored-footage-iraq-war-crime/

    hmmmm……

  • Observer

    Oh and add to that remark about CCN and standards.. They did have Rick Sanchez as a news anchor until very recently when it became almost unbearable to ignore his stupidity…

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rick_Sanchez

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_upshot/20101001/bs_yblog_upshot/cnn-fires-host-rick-sanchez-over-controverial-remarks

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eh1ef3DM76s
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=laptaCg0BHA

    lol standards…. You probably think Fox news is really “fair & balanced” as well! LMAO…

  • Mango

    The cluster bomb lie propogated by Tamilnut (and repeated in this article) was comprehensively refuted by January 2009.

    http://www.lankanewspapers.com/news/2009/1/38096_space.html

    “The bomb casings exhibited as belonging to Russian Cluster Bombs do in fact belong to a different class of Russian munition. This range of bombs are called `Low Drag Blast Fragmentation` weapons. `OFAB` in Russian stands for `Oskolochno-Fugasnaya`, `Fragmentation/HE` (H).

    The markings on one of the bomb casings shown on Tamilnet.com reads as О Ф А Б -500Ш Р , which stands for OFAB-500ShR in English. This weapon comes with a parachute which is attached to the rear section of the bomb as shown in the above image.

    Comparing the two sets of images (I & J) clearly show that the weapon recovered is a Russian `OFAB` series `Low Drag Blast Fragmentation` munition, and not a Russian Cluster Bomb. The second unexploded bomb is a Russian Fuel-Air Explosive.

    This range of bombs are called `Fuel-Air Explosive` weapons. `ODAB` in Russian stands for `Ob`emno-deto-niyushchaya`, `Area Detonation` (K). This weapon comes with a parachute which is attached to the rear section of the bomb as shown in the above image.

    Comparing the two sets of images (L & M) clearly show that the weapon recovered is a Russian `ODAB` series `Fuel-Air Explosive` munition, and not a Russian Cluster Bomb.”

    Salient points from the Geneva Convention regarding civilian casualties, applicable to our little war:

    1. “The presence of a protected person [i.e. civilian hostages] may not be used to render certain points or areas immune from military operations.“4th Geneva Convention, Article 28.

    2. The armed forces are not liable where injury to civilians results from unavoidable collateral damage, provided it is proportionate to the military gain expected of the attack.
    The military gain was the total destruction of the LTTE. A very necessary and laudable aim, no?

    3. “Civilians do not enjoy absolute immunity. Their presence will not render military objects immune from attack for the mere reason that it is impossible to bombard them without causing injury to the non-combatants.” Oppenheim’s ‘International Law’.