Darusman Deconstructed: Godfrey Gunatilleke’s Critique

With the solitary, honourable exception of Sunday Times columnist Lasanda Kurukulasuriya, (‘Give a dog a bad name and hang him’, From the Sidelines, Sunday Times, Colombo, August 14, 2011), the Lankan media and Colombo’s commentariat completely missed the most important intellectual event in civil society in this post-war phase of our contemporary history.

A media accustomed to lionising the less distinguished among our retired senior professionals and intelligentsia, was either ignorant of or chose to ignore a symposium held by the oldest among our independent think tanks, the MARGA Institute, precisely on the most pressing subject of the day, the Darusman report or more accurately the UNSG’s Advisory Panel Report. Worse, the media and our commentators seem unaware of the extended analysis of the Darusman Report by the doyen of Sri Lanka’s intelligentsia, one of our most refined literary critics, most distinguished civil servant, and among a handful of our globally most respected minds, Godfrey Gunatilleke. Entitled ‘Truth and Accountability: The Last Stages of the War in Sri Lanka’, and subtitled ‘An Analysis and Evaluation of the Report of the UN Secretary General’s (UNSG’s) Panel of Experts on Accountability in Sri Lanka’, it is a Working Paper prepared by him for the MARGA seminar on ‘Accountability, Restorative Justice and Reconciliation’ (21/07/2011).

Let us assume the media simply missed the story. I eagerly await the reportage, and more crucially, the commentaries over the coming weeks, as that would give sufficient lead time for the texts to be sought out, digested and reflected upon. I await such developments especially keenly because Godfrey Gunatilleke’s evaluation of the Darusman Report’s critique of the Sri Lankan government and the armed forces, while a demonstrative deployment of and in perfect consonance with his own diamantine critical intelligence, refined methodology and liberal humanistic ethics, cuts completely against the grain of the neoliberal humanitarian/human rights discourse on Sri Lanka in the West, INGO-based ‘global civil society’, the Tamil émigré community and Colombo’s cosmopolitan ‘social networks’.

It strikes me that an encyclopaedically literate Lankan and towering intellectual figure such as Godfrey Gunatilleke, whose integrity, values and reasoned judgement have never been in question, has an evaluation of the war which is quite at variance with that of the intellectually dwarfish (by comparison) moralising denouncers of the Sri Lankan state. His, notably, is a penetratingly objective perspective that extends selective, critical support to the legitimate, democratic state authority on the historically defining, core complex of problems of the war, allegations of war crimes and accountability. Here is a microcosmic excerpt from Godfrey’s conclusion:

[…] The root of the problems in the report lie in their outrageous interpretation of the government’s military strategy as designed at the extermination of Tamils without any humanitarian intention or effort at rescuing hostages. With this interpretation the panel puts on the blinkers that distort all their perceptions of the government’s actions. The report also gives a deliberately truncated view of the government’s action by excluding what would have provided a different and more positive explanation of these actions. This deficiency is seen in every part of the report that deals with government actions.” (Conclusions, pp.28-29)

“…The LTTE had deliberately integrated the civilian population into their military effort and turned the NFZs to battle fields. By the mass conscription of civilians for military activity in the NFZ the building of fortifications with civilian conscripts and the use of all means available for military purposes, the LTTE had effectively blurred the distinction between civilians and combatants. How is intentionality and proportionality of army actions to be judged in such a situation? The LTTE was refusing to surrender. It was becoming clear that the defeat of the LTTE and the rescue of the hostages would entail heavy human cost- deaths of the LTTE combatants, conscripted civilians, soldiers and non combatant civilians. At this point the army after weighing the options available and their likely consequences had apparently decided that it could not halt the offensive and had to go ahead and put a speedy end to the resistance of the LTTE. It has to be noted that the government would have had to take into account that the LTTE in their desperation might resort to acts of the utmost brutality that might involve deaths of civilians on a massive scale.”(Conclusions, p 33)

Let me make a prediction. Godfrey Gunatilleke’s brilliant disquisition will be pretty much ignored. The foreign press corps, including those of the neighbourhood, will not pick it up. The media will not run it. The social media will black it out. The Embassies will turn a blind eye and a deaf ear. The pundits will not engage with it or even refer to it. Other luminaries, more pontifical but of lesser independence of mind and intellectual standing, will continue to be depicted with a halo. This is because it is ‘politically correct’ to adopt a pseudo-sophisticated sneer at state sovereignty, while it is ‘politically incorrect’ to fail to ooze rancour towards Mahinda Rajapaksa, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, and the conduct of the Sri Lankan military. An objective perspective such Godfrey’s will not help position any aspirant as a possible element in a successor or transitional government in the currently faddish scenario of West-induced regime change. It will not bring in any funds or secure applause from the sections of the Tamil émigré community that nurses an abiding sense of singular victimhood.

Godfrey’s text cannot be frontally critiqued either conceptually or concretely, because it is argumentatively impregnable and because the civil society critics just are not good enough. It cannot be dismissed as Sinhala Buddhist chauvinism or neo-conservative militarism because Godfrey is neither Buddhist (still less a ‘Sinhala-Buddhist’) nor a neo-conservative. It cannot be brushed aside as resulting from regime patronage or a wish for such, because Godfrey was never one for such patronage and at the age of 85 it is difficult to imagine he has picked up the habit.

Ironically, the chief contributors to the MARGA seminar, Godfrey Gunatilleke and David Blacker (a war veteran and award winning writer of English prose), who are neither Sinhala-Buddhist nor subscribe to such fundamentalist notions of Sri Lanka’s identity, have produced a far more serious and sophisticated critique of the Darusman report and a credible, analytically solid, alternative interpretative framework of the war’s last stages, than have any ideologue or spokesperson for narrow nationalism.

Having left the Darusman report in rubble, Godfrey Gunatilleke’s and David Blacker’s critical interventions delegitimize, by implicit extension, the even more tendentious Channel 4 productions by a realistic re-framing of context and events. For example, David Blacker says of Channel 4:

“…footage of identifiable Sri Lankan soldiers committing shocking but non-criminal activities is shown alongside footage of unidentified persons committing obviously criminal acts, thereby implying that all the acts shown are criminal ones committed by identifiable SL Army personnel.” (Holes in the UN Secretary General’s Panel of Experts Report: Examining the Probable Alternate Events)

This is intellectually all the more valuable and praiseworthy at a time when commentators pronounce judgment upon the counter-documentary of the Sri Lankan Ministry of Defence, ‘Lies Agreed Upon’ (ably narrated and presented by Minoli Ratnayake), without a single critical reference to the WMD-esque Channel 4 programmes, and while, in fact, parroting their more lurid nonsense.

  • Ravana

    “This is because it is ‘politically correct’ to adopt a pseudo-sophisticated sneer at state sovereignty, while it is ‘politically incorrect’ to fail to ooze rancour towards Mahinda Rajapaksa, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, and the conduct of the Sri Lankan military. ”

    How on earth do you conflate Godfrey Goonatilleke’s (correct) analysis of the Darusman report with a conclusion that heavily implies that he somehow favours the way “Mahinda Rajapakse and Gotabhaya Rajapaksa directed the Sri Lankan Military”?

    Th fact the pair of brothers utterly deserve our rancour has nothing whatsoever to do with the analysis of this (educated) gentleman. Furthermore, Sri Lanka Guardian, a bitter critic of GoSL under the Rajapakses has published an account of Goonattilleke’s (GG) analysis. Additionally, the rancour deserved by the Rajapaksas, is due to reasons far broader than the (relatively) small matter of alleged War-Crimes.

    In this conflation DJ commits the same crime that David Blacker (DB) accuses Ch-4 of (committing). Just because we accept the analyses (well made) by GG and DB does not mean that either these authors (privately) or the readership (publicly) believe tat the Rajapaksa brothers are not complicit in crimes.

    Here’s the crux. We (the public) can read between the lines and conclude that the Rajapaksas probably got into bed with the Indians and committed crimes in May 2009. No one has emphatically produced an analysis which refutes this conclusion (yet). We can also conclude that (because of this) MR and GR will never be brought to justice internationally, particularly because the level of evidence required simply would not be available. OTOH, the greatest mistake that the Rajapaksas ever made was, instead of allowing Sarath Fonseka to falter on his own at his newly chosen path (which he is clearly averse to) they decided to persecute him (their utter fear of him was their downfall here). The international community does not give a damn about either of these sets of crimes. But the Sri Lankan people do. In particular, the Rajapaksas appear to have made unnecessary enemies by persecuting Fonseka.

    The international community (already) and the Sri Lankan people (eventually) will forget about any crimes committed in May 2009 by Rajapaksas (because of the rationale of expedience- in the case of civilians and natural justice- in case of LTTE leadership) but those who are loyal to SF will never forget the crimes committed against him. I think that this would be what is topmost on Rajapaksas’ minds. It is like getting hold of the Tiger’s (in this case the Lion if we want to avoid an unnecessarily derogatory pun) Tail.

    While the Rajapaksas have unequivocal support of (at most) 30% of the Sri Lankan population, in the arena in which they move they only need perhaps a dozen committed enemies to meet their demise. It would be tragedy (for Sri Lanka) if this does happen in a violent fashion, and I wonder if it is not yet too late for the Rajapaksas to find a face-saving way out of this quagmire? I appreciate that this must be difficult when one is dealing with a wounded lion.

    • Dr Dayan Jayatilleka

      Hey Ravana, you are more than a bit deceitful are you not, you naughty fellow? You write:

      “How on earth do you conflate Godfrey Goonatilleke’s (correct) analysis of the Darusman report with a conclusion that heavily implies that he somehow favours the way “Mahinda Rajapakse and Gotabhaya Rajapaksa directed the Sri Lankan Military”?”

      How on earth indeed! How on earth did you get that impression and why are you purveying it?

      Where ‘on earth’ have I written in this piece about Godfry and ‘the Rajapaksa Brothers’?

      What I have said is: “…His [Godfrey's], notably, is a penetratingly objective perspective that extends selective, critical support to the legitimate, democratic state authority on the historically defining, core complex of problems of the war, allegations of war crimes and accountability.”

      ‘State’, Ravana, ‘State’.

      If you wish, however, I could pick out a great many references in Godfrey’s paper where he defends ‘the Government’ against the criticisms and implications contained in the UNSG’s Advisory panel Report.

      May I reproduce a sample paragraph that I have already quoted in the article?

      “[…] The root of the problems in the report lie in their outrageous interpretation of the government’s military strategy as designed at the extermination of Tamils without any humanitarian intention or effort at rescuing hostages. With this interpretation the panel puts on the blinkers that distort all their perceptions of the government’s actions. The report also gives a deliberately truncated view of the government’s action by excluding what would have provided a different and more positive explanation of these actions. This deficiency is seen in every part of the report that deals with government actions.” (Godfrey Gunatilleke’s Working paper Conclusions, pp.28-29)

      Would you think this warrants classification as a ‘ heavy implication’ or a ‘light insinuation’?

      • Ravana

        DJ,
        Hik Hik Hik. I do enjoy our little spars. And let me say I don’t mind the little games you get me to play. Please see my reply to your first comment. I was actually saying that you tried to conflate not that GG did anything of the kind.
        I must say that I am intrigued at the role you are playing here and have not entirely figured you out. OTOH I reckon I’ve figured out Sarath Fonseka’s game. If I am correct then I am amazed at his genius. If he did not plan this then there is a genius whose actions pushed him to do what he did. What ever the case, SF is either a genius or a prodigy.

        Rajapaksas simply aren’t in the same category. However, neither do I think they are complete fools either. They were simply caught in a trap laid by others and have had no choice but to behave the way they have.

        Despite the adolescent rhetoric of Wijayapala who asked “why is he in prison” to one my my earlier assertions that Fonseka is brilliant, it should be noted that the person who can be regarded as the most free in the current Sri Lankan political landscape is none other than Sarath Fonseka. He is free because he has no master and no assets to speak of. I know how he must feel because I also have no master nor assets of consequence. Additionally, he is utterly fearless and ready to die.

        I don’t admire SF not because he is some legendary conquering hero, but because of his genius that he has demonstrated time and time again. Now, I also admire you. That should be enough evidence that admiration should not be equated with adulation (that one is for Pee Pee :))

        One thing that intrigues me is why the two most capable men in Sri Lankan politics today are on different camps. As you can see I am still trying to understand you. Perhaps you can help me by telling me the history of these guys:

        Kelly Senanayake
        Vaas Thillekeratne
        Ranjit Peris

      • http://www.blacklightarrow.wordpress.com David Blacker

        “…it should be noted that the person who can be regarded as the most free in the current Sri Lankan political landscape is none other than Sarath Fonseka. He is free because he has no master and no assets to speak of.”

        “Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose.”
        — Janis Joplin Me and Bobby McGee :D

    • Dr Dayan Jayatilleka

      Hi Ravana, you wrote, did you not ( and not just this once) that “While the Rajapaksas have unequivocal support of (at most) 30% of the Sri Lankan population, in the arena in which they move they only need perhaps a dozen committed enemies to meet their demise. It would be tragedy (for Sri Lanka) if this does happen in a violent fashion, and I wonder if it is not yet too late for the Rajapaksas to find a face-saving way out of this quagmire?”

      Man, I really, really, think you need to read the CPA’s latest Social Indicators Survey ‘Democracy in Sri Lanka’ and, like, re-think that a bit…. :))

      You’d better pray every night that this never happens, Ravana. Given the overwhelming statistics, do you think that in such an event, anyone sharing your views, possibly even anyone you know, would survive the backlash of popular outrage?

      • Ravana

        DJ,
        Please read my reply to you on your article on the CPA report, you naughty man ;)

        You are getting a bit like Rajiva in quoting people out of context in the service of your argument. I didn’t think that was in your character. I concede that one as well. You know don’t you that I would not want Rajapaksas to meet a violent ending? It is better that they are brought to justice than to be dealt with extra-judicially. But that is just not in the interest of the Super Power is it?
        In fact I would have wanted Prabhakaran and crew brought to justice as well. But that was not in the interest of the regional power was it?

        You’d better pray every night that this never happens, Ravana. Given the overwhelming statistics, do you think that in such an event, anyone sharing your views, possibly even anyone you know, would survive the backlash of popular outrage?

        Are you kidding? Can you remember when Preme Ayya was assasinated? Didn’t the guys who previously sang Hosannas to him celebrate? Since 1983, there has been no room for “Popular outrage”in Sri Lanka. On the other hand you know better than I do that the “mob mentality” is prevalent in Sri Lanka ( :) ). Grease Yakka incidents also demonstrate that very well. However, mob mentality is also demonstrated in places around the World. Tottenham, Bronx, Brixton and Cronulla are examples. The difference is that mob-mentality is endemic throughout the island of Sri Lanka.
        Such mob-mentality is not the reason I think it would be tragic for Sri Lanka to face a violent demise to Rajapaksas. The mob that looks for Rajapaksa crumbs will just run to the next table if they were to vanish. No, you know as well as I do, that the tragedy would be civil war between factions of the security forces. The one responsible for politicising the Armed Forces many years ago is right now consolidating that. Fonseka would be totally against such an outcome and it appears to be his call for restraint that has held things together so far. I hope it will continue.

        Interesting that you would try to distract from the real reason for concern that I expressed. The fact that the Rajapaksas will not be brought before a judicial body outside the country (and certainly not inside if the current state of judiciary is to go by) is the very reason that the risk of extra-judicial action against them increases.

        Perhaps, we should wonder who stands to gain by such a situation. Eh, DJ ?

        With regard to the “majority of the majority”, I have already pointed out how the CPA has handed the last brick to the Eelam lobby. But regarding “parrot droppings”, I have to say that I developed an allergy to these in the early 1980’s. It is called Psittacosis, an affliction of the lung which makes you feel suffocated. At that time also there were many parrots in Sri Lanka. The Parrot droppings of racial hatred was so intense that I found my self unable to breathe let alone argue when I visited. It was so overwhelming that I found myself parroting some the crap on my return. Fortunately, with me it was not quite “Stockholm Syndrome”. Come on DJ, you know that parrots change masters very readily, don’t you?

        @DB,
        Janice was a great singer. And free. So was Gandhi and have you heard of Anna Hazare? Don’t let the Bling lead you astray, bro. Take it from the “richest man on earth” (not rich in the way you might aspire).

      • http://www.blacklightarrow.wordpress.com David Blacker

        Yes, I’ve heard of all of them, but none of them have anything in common with SF. SF is history, Ravana, in SL politics, for the foreseeable future. The only way he will change that is by reinventing himself. So far there’s no sign of that.

        As for you being the “richest”, if you think you are the “est” of anything, you certainly are the poorest in the things that count most.

  • sumith

    Its of the best of interest of the country all (tamil sinhala and muslim) to forget the past and look for the future

    • silva

      what has been going on in the last 27 months in the Northeast won’t allow us to forget the past – the past is being repeated with a vengeance.
      we can go on rattling from the safety of the South.

      • Hela

        Silva,

        What has been happening in the North during the past 27 months is that;

        majority of 300,000 IDPs returning to their places of living (a commendable achievement in a comparative sense among similar conflict situations around the world).

        Large scale infrastructure projects being undertaken to re-create the destroyed economic base of the Northern society.

        For the first time in decades Northerners are able to exercise their democratic right of selecting their representatives at local and national levels.

        No restrictions of movements (except a very limited area of HSZ).

        And most importantly, no bombings, no shelling, no conscriptions to be cannon fodder!!

  • Dissanayake

    It is an excellent analytical and comrehensive reply to the biased Darusman’s report. I read up to 25 pages of it and I will finish it tomorrow. Thank you Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka for giving informations (links) of two articles by Godfrey Gunatilleke and David Blacker. I am ashamed why the GOSL does not use these freely available working papers to counter the undue pressure on it and its leaders. However, we need these papers or their summaries get published in international media like the Guardian, Telegraph, Newyork Times, etc.

    In addition, the appointment of Mrs Tamara Karunanaykam as the Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations Office at Geneva and other International Organizations in Switzerland is also a good belated move considering the upcomming UNHRC meeting in September. I think Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka may be instrumental in bringing right people to right place at right time. Finally, Sri Lanka needs a few more people like those mentioned above to counter the undue and selective allegations against her.

  • http://www.blacklightarrow.wordpress.com David Blacker

    Actually, the panel comprising Arjuna Gunawardene and myself were just a part of the seminar, and arguably not even the most interesting bit. The presentation on the IDPs and their care by Jeevan Thiyagaraja, and the panel on the legal aspects comprising Prof Lakshman Marasinghe and Gehan Gunatillake, were very interesting and informative, and sparked very vocal discussions.

    • Hela

      David,

      How can one gets access to all the submissions to the seminar?

      • http://www.blacklightarrow.wordpress.com David Blacker

        Well, everything discussed was recorded by Marga, but I don’t know if they will make this public. Certainly, many of the points of view would be included in the final review. You can contact them via their website.

  • silva

    Mhhh…. UN panel and Channel 4 …. perhaps circumstances of war-without-witnesses, journalists barred, dissenters attacked, residents under the boots of the army, etc shield the outside world from seeing the ”human shield”, ……..

    Six decades have rolled by.

    OK for the oppressing people.
    Unbearable for the oppressed people.

    http://transcurrents.com/news-views/archives/139
    National integration is still where it was when Prabhakaran’s body was found at Nandhikkadal, Somapala Gunadheera, 2 May 2011:
    ‘’…. If we are wise, we should first put our own house in order before we challenge the UN…. It is not yet too late to begin. The mission needs a powerful Presidential Task Force for National Reconciliation. Such a Force can cut the ground from under the feet of the ongoing controversy and many more to be expected.’’

  • Harshula

    Hi Dayan,

    I was looking for this document a few weeks ago. Does the MARGA Institute website have a press release? Is the document easily accessible from their website? I don’t think you provided a link to the document even in your article. A quick search and one can find the document on the website of the Sri Lanka embassy in France. Stealth marketing may not reap the desired results.

    Regards,
    Harshula

    • http://www.twitter.com/ThilinaRa Thilina Rajapakse

      You can view it here: http://www.srilankaembassy.fr/images/stories/headlines/Truth%20and%20Accountability.pdf

      Truth and Accountability : The Last Stages of the War in Sri Lanka

      An Analysis and evaluation of the Report of the UN Secretary General’s (UNSG) Panel of Experts on Accountability in Sri Lanka
      (Working Paper prepared by Godfrey Gunatilleke for the Seminar on “ Accountability, Restorative Justice and Reconciliation: A review of the Report of the UNSG’s Panel of Experts on Accountability in Sri Lanka

      21.07.2011

    • silva

      Dayan,

      Keep doing the necessary work for the government till the Northeast is pulped by the occupation army.

      • Dr Dayan Jayatilleka

        Hey Silva, so the ‘Occupation army’ stopped the ‘pulping’ so as to allow the occupied to vote massively against the pulpers at two elections?

  • Pingo

    What does the panel’s report state?

    That there are numerous, credible allegations that should be investigated.

    All that the panel is saying is that the allegations are credible, in the sense they are not of a frivolous, thoughtless type that can be dismissed out of hand. They recommend an investigation to verify if these allegations are correct.

    Would not that be the best way forward? Marga’s convoluted defense of the government’s position consists mainly of sophistry and smacks of sycophancy. Not something that I would have expected from a former Civil Servant.

    • Burning_Issue

      Spot on Pingo; DR DJ can write numerous articles using scholarly literature; can praise other scholars who have come in aid of the beleaguered MR regime; can quote other articles, books, and make comparisons but no one can get away from the reality that, possible war crimes and crimes against humanity occurred that requires further investigations. The panel was given a task to assess the alleged evidences and come with recommendations for the UN Secretary of General. It should only be viewed in this light and not more than that.

      Why, MARGA and “one of our most refined literary critics, most distinguished civil servant, and among a handful of our globally most respected minds, Godfrey Gunatilleke” cannot look into the final stages of the war that allegedly massacred thousands of innocent civilians? These civilians are Sri Lankans; your own country men, why critique a panel report that recommends that an investigation needs to be carried out to establish facts? If anything it should be welcomed by people like Godfrey Gunatilleke and he should endeavour to enhance such an investigation and not tarnishing it.

      • PitastharaPuthraya

        BurnningIssue,

        Ditto!

      • wijayapala

        Dear Burning_Issue,

        can praise other scholars who have come in aid of the beleaguered MR regime;

        So you are now saying that anyone criticising the credibility and professionalism of the Darusman Report is a MR supporter??

        no one can get away from the reality that, possible war crimes and crimes against humanity occurred that requires further investigations.

        Are you finally admitting that you are presuming Sri Lanka to be guilty and it has to prove its innocence, rather than the other way around?

        why critique a panel report that recommends that an investigation needs to be carried out to establish facts?

        As I told you before, the report’s sloppiness to the facts and clear bias has demonstrated the futility of having a truly “independent” investigation. If the Darusman Panel could not figure out the simple fact that the LTTE used Tamil civilians as human shields (with hardly a peep of protest from the Flag-Wavers), then what faith should we have in this entire process???

      • Burning_Issue

        Dear Wijayapala,

        It would be graceful if you were to explicitly state that you do not want the investigation on alleged War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity on the final stages of the war conducted for X, Y, Z reasons. Then we can constructively debate as to the merits of those reasons. But on the contrary you cite the lack of analysis and poor quality of the presentation as qualified reasons to oppose any investigation on this grave matter is very disappointing.

        “If the Darusman Panel could not figure out the simple fact that the LTTE used Tamil civilians as human shields”

        I have shown you that the report contain references to the LTTE keeping civilians as hostages. Despite it is a prejudgment, I am prepared to accept that it should be stressed as such; it is because, I believe that the LTTE had committed such a crime and would like it to be authenticated by an investigation. You claim that the MR Regimes is being prejudged; you forget conveniently that the LTTE is also being prejudged; you cannot advocate one rule for one and another rule for the other!

        “So you are now saying that anyone criticising the credibility and professionalism of the Darusman Report is a MR supporter??”

        This is simply a twisted statement! In the case of Dr DJ it rings true, I stand by that; it cannot be blankly apply to all who critique the report. By all means, one can have an opinion about the report as to its depth and lack of details; as to its remit and lack of coverage, one has to justify as to why one opposes an investigation that would seek truth in the mass killings of its own countrymen! Citing technicalities and procedural deficiencies as reasons to jettisoning an investigation is unfathomable and simply dishonest!

        “Are you finally admitting that you are presuming Sri Lanka to be guilty and it has to prove its innocence, rather than the other way around?”

        As with many people, you fail to distinguish between Sri Lanka and MR Regime. I place both the MR Regime and the LTTE at the docks; the “credible allegations” need to be investigated.

        “As I told you before, the report’s sloppiness to the facts and clear bias has demonstrated the futility of having a truly “independent” investigation.”

        If the panel report as you claim is sloppy, why not an investigation can put that right? The MR Regime can make representation and challenge the alleged evidences and why it should deny itself such an opportunity?

    • georgethebushpig

      Ping! Hit the nail on the head!

    • Pingo

      Wijayapala
      Page 65 of the Darusman report lists the war crimes allegations against the LTTE. This includes use of human shields.

      • http://www.blacklightarrow.wordpress.com David Blacker

        It does not. It says “human buffers”; and both Gehan Gunatilleke and Niran Anketell have argued lengthily here on GV that there is no evidence of the Tigers using human shields; which is exactly what the Darusman Report also says. So far Niran hasn’t provided a definition of the difference between the two, nor of the prohibition in IHL of the use of “buffers”.

      • Pingo

        This is what I refer to as hair-splitting or sophistry.

      • http://www.blacklightarrow.wordpress.com David Blacker

        I agree that it seems like hair-splitting, and common sense would dictate that there is no difference between a buffer and a shield. But legal definitions are legal definitions and nothing (it seems) to do with common sense. The Darusman Report, nevertheless, chooses to use the phrase “human buffer” instead of the more volatile “human shield”, arguing that there is no evidence of the latter.

      • niran anketell

        It’s actually a lot, lot more complicated than that. The difference between a human buffer and a human shield is that a human buffer as understood by the Panel is not deliberately moved to a military target to render it immune, but is rather placed between oneself and enemy belligerents to stall and/or impede enemy progress. The difference between intentional co-location to render a military objective immune, and placing a civilian population between two warring parties – and thus by definition not on or in a military objective – is critical here. The tactic described as the use of ‘human buffers’ is described in paras 237 and 177 of the report. In any case, matter is a mere technicality and any attempt to suggest that the use of human buffers as understood by the Panel is any less odious or morally culpable than the use of human shields only serves the agenda of those in the business of defending the LTTE’s criminal conduct. But this does not mean that legal precision is undesirable. Strict fidelity to the law is essential for a number of reasons even if the layman’s preference lies with a less rigorous approach. David, Gehan and I have been through these distinctions more than a few times, but this comment is in the hope of engendering a more nuanced and studied approach to these matters.

        Notably, the panel themselves concluded that there were credible allegations that the LTTE’s use of human buffers violated common article 3, and constituted war crimes and crimes against humanity.

      • http://www.blacklightarrow.wordpress.com David Blacker

        I think words and phrases such as “genocide”, “human shields”, “crimes against humanity”, etc have a higher currency in a media-driven world than their strict legal connotation, and it’s naive to disregard that fact. So the inclusion or exclusion of such terms in a public report, particularly given that I disagree with yours and the Report’s classification of the Tiger use of civilians, is significant.

  • Pingo

    Also would Marga’s time been better spent in the North and East attempting to discover what evidence exists that may support the government’s position that no war crimes were committed?

    Why accept the governments assertions unchallenged?

    • wijayapala

      Dear Pingo,

      Also would Marga’s time been better spent in the North and East attempting to discover what evidence exists that may support the government’s position that no war crimes were committed?

      Could you kindly explain how logically one can prove a negative? Here is a link that better explains the problem with your approach:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qWJTUAezxAI

      • Pingo

        Wijeyapala,

        I don’t think I am trying to prove a negative, although my wording may have suggested that.

        The Government denies everything that the Darusman report claims. If an investigation on the ground provides no evidence then the Darusman claims may be dismissed.

        That’s all that the Darusman reports asks for : an investigation to see if these allegations are correct, no more.

  • Dr Dayan Jayatilleka

    Hey Ravana, read the full text of the Working Paper, huh, before you rush to conclusions about what it is not. I came to mine having read it.

    • Ravana

      Hey DJ,
      So, I’ve read the paper. Do I change my mind that you have attempted to link a relatively neutral paper with an implied praise of the Rajapaksa brothers? No! In fact I would add that you have further reinforced the myth that they were somehow responsible for the War Victory. They may have provided valuable assistance, except for the end which is another matter.
      I also note that this author (GG), as others have, carefully avoided the issue of alleged war crimes in the last week of the War.

      If 1000 civilians per day died in comparison to the approximately 7700 in the entire Northern Operation then the comparatively low rate of civilian casualties is hugely inflated to more than 6000% (than expected) during the last week. GG does not refute this claim but does quite rightly refute the figure of 40 000 civilian deaths.
      Clearly Darusman report should have made the point of sudden Big-Bang like inflation of civilian casualties rather than depending on LTTE propaganda.

      Fact remains that whilst a majority of Sri Lankans (30% certainly) may want to forget these facts, some of us will always remember and will forever be disgusted by the Rajapaksa brothers. Inevitably, the facts which point to possible crimes in the last week keep accumulating to make it a probability. Everyone that the Government of SL employs to attack the weakness of the idiots who have sought to attack the whole Sri Lankan establishment (Ch-4, Darusman Panel, Gordon Weiss) carefully avoid the last week of the war. Their greed to implicate Sarath Fonseka makes it easy for GoSL to distract attention by attacking them on this weak point. Isn’t it ironic that the Rajapaksas have spent a lot money and resources in defending Fonseka, and the enemies of SL have provided the means? Poetic Justice!

      It’s a little bit like Emperor’s New Clothes. In this instance the difficulty is knowing who the emperor is!
      Both sides lie. We, the readers have to learn to read between the lines.

      BTW, have you read George Friedman yet?

  • Ward

    What is Marga Institute doing about:

    1.A compulsory programme for university entrants has been recently introduced at very short notice and it has alarmed the public and the teachers:

    http://transcurrents.com/news-views/archives/1190
    Friday Forum deeply concerned about leadership training outside university system, 10 June 2011: ‘’The curriculum of the training programme obtained by the Friday Forum after some effort reveals extremely problematic aspects. …. On the whole the curriculum seems to discourage tolerance for viewpoint difference, and sensitivities for the pluralism and diversity of our country.”
    2. http://234next.com/csp/cms/sites/Next/Home/5680782-182/story.csp
    Why education matters for global security, Irina Bokova(Director General, UNESCO) 1 March 2011: ‘’ Education must rise on the agenda of peace building. We know the wrong type of education can fuel conflict. The use of education systems to foster hatred has contributed to the underlying causes of conflicts, from Rwanda to Sri Lanka, but also in Guatemala and Sudan.’’
    3. A school honouring ex-soldiers in Vesak(the most important Buddhist festival in Sri Lanka) with student dancers in combat dress depicting guns and Vesak cards with roses on guns:
    The Changing face of Wesak in Colombo and Militarizing Sri Lanka, 15 May 2009 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WGhMIgnwZuA

    4. http://siteresources.worldbank.org/EDUCATION/Resources/278200-1121703274255/1439264-1126807073059/Paper_Final.pdf Respect for Diversity in Educational Publication – The Sri Lankan Experience, Ariya Wickrema, National Consultant Educational Publications Departmen and Peter Colenso, EducationSpecialist, World Bank, Colombo, 2003: ‘’…. The Government dominates the educational publications sector in Sri Lanka …. the textbooks encourage children to develop “apartheid attitudes” ….. Tamils are portrayed as “aggressors”; forces of the Tamil kings are “mercenaries’ , whereas forces of the Sinhala kings are “soldiers” …. War is shown as patriotic while peace is portrayed as cowardice.’’

    5.The Two Faces of Education in Ethnic Conflict: Towards a Peacebuilding Education for Children – Kenneth D Bush and Diana Saltarelli(2000) – published by Innocenti Research Centre, UNICEF:
    ”Ethnic intolerance makes it appearance in the classroom in many ways…… Textbooks have often been shown to contain negative ethnic stereotypes….. A review of the textbooks used in the segregated schools of Sri Lanka in the 1970s and 1980s, for example, found Sinhalese textbooks scattered with images of Tamils as the historical enemies of the Sinhalese, while celebrating ethnic heroes who had vanquished Tamils in ethnic wars. Ignoring historical fact, these textbooks tended to portray Sinhalese Buddhists as the only true Sri Lankans, with Tamils, Muslims and Christians as non- indigenous and extraneous to Sri Lankan history. This version of national history according to one commentator, has been deeply divisive in the context of the wider state.”
    6. Reggie Siriwardene, a well-respected Sinhalese writer, in a well-­documented analysis of the effects of school textbooks on ethnic relations in Sri Lanka(1984):
    “Millions of school children are taught, in the name of social studies, through text-books published by the state, the myths of divergent racial origins which will help to divide the Sinhalese and Tamils for more generations to come… What this lesson does is to evoke the child’s memories of being frightened by his parents with threats of the mysterious and fearful `billo’ to identify these bogeymen as Tamil agents, and thus to enlist the deep-seated irrational fears of early childhood for the purpose of creating apprehension and hatred of Tamils.”
    7. In the 1950s and 1960s Tamil and Sinhalese scholars vehemently protested this but the Education Department that produces the textbooks dismissed their concern.

    II. Education for Peace is suggested by eminent Sinhalese but ignored by the government:

    i. http://transcurrents.com/tc/2009/01/why_sirimavo_refused_to_visit.html
    Why Sirimavo refused to visit Jaffna after 1964 cyclone By Neville Jayaweera, 18 January 2009:

    ”…. Building a consciousness of nationhood is not a responsibility that can be left to politicians and constitutional lawyers. …. It is pre-eminently an educational task, to be initiated at the level of our schools. ….”

    ii.http://www.llrc.lk/images/stories/Justice__C_G_Weeramantry_-_29.11.2010.pdf
    Justice C. G. Weeramantry tells LLRC, 29 November 2010:
    ” Peace education is an imperative at this stage of our national history ….”

    • Ward

      So when hatred wanes slightly( – Peacemaking with youngsters from various communities by NPC, etc), the government will see that it is topped up.
      Civil societies and academics should raise this with UNESCO, etc.

    • Ward

      Will DJ take this to UNESCO where he represents Sri Lanka?

      It’s his duty – tell them that this shouldn’t happen in any other country. He may appeal to all members of UNESCO to have their ”internal” checking of textbooks before UNESCO cjecks textbooks in member countries.

      • rodger

        DJ is capable of doing what other diplomats fail to do.
        So far what were our representatives doing at UNESCO?

      • sr

        Your Excellency

        It’s proper and fitting you are worried about the bad reputation others are giving Sri Lanka by their conspiracies.

        As you are our representative at UNESCO I appeal to you to raise the following at UNESCO so that other countries do not follow Sri Lanka in this respect:

        http://print.dailymirror.lk/news/front-page-news/31221.html
        Jaffna students forced to sing National Anthem in Sinhala, 28 December 2010:
        Jaffna Hindu College and the Vembadi Girls’ School students sang the National Anthem in Sinhala at Sunday’s National Safety Day celebrations held at the Weerasingham hall in Jaffna where Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne participated as the Chief Guest.
        Jaffna-based newspapers said although arrangements had been made to sing the National anthem in Tamil, students were hurriedly trained to sing it in Sinhala on instructions from higher-ups.
        According to some reports the students had complained they found it hard to pronounce the Sinhala words, as they were not familiar with the language and had always sung the anthem in Tamil.

        When Minister Douglas Devananda was asked by the TamilMirror website on the National Anthem being sung in Sinhala, he said it was an established practice to sing the anthem Sinhala in the presence of the President or the Prime Minister.

        Jaffna government agent Imelda Sukumar, when asked for her view, she said it was a central government function and that she had no option but to carry out the orders from the Centre.”

  • http://www.twitter.com/ThilinaRa Thilina Rajapakse

    UNSG Panel Report AKA Darusman Report / GoSL Factual Report / Godfrey Gunathileka’s Truth and Accountability : The Last Stages of the War in Sri Lanka’ = SPECULATION!!

    The strongest arguments prove nothing so long as the conclusions are not verified by experience. Experimental science is the queen of sciences and the goal of all speculation’~Roger Bacon

    verified by experience = Victim’s/Witnes Evidence in a Independent Judiciary

    Now do we have that in Sri Lanka?

    • Hela

      Thilina,

      Yes, Darusman Report may be speculation. How can the GOSL factual report be speculation? It is a submission by one of the key actors. I invite Thilina to peruse the annexes to the report if he/she wants to familiarise with some facts.

      • PitastharaPuthraya

        Hela,

        A man is accused of murder. He writes a report explaining that he is innocent. Should we accept his explanation and halt the legal proceedings against him?

        The civilized way to do things is to have a court trial, where both parties have equal rigt to present their case albeit the defence have slightly more leverage than the prosecution. But that is accepted as fair in our criminal justice system.

        The question is who has the will and ability to take that man before the court.

      • Hela

        PitastharaPutraya,

        The factual analysis contains quite reasonable arguments though you may not like to admit.

        I am not sure the approach (& report) of Darusman panel or C4 documentary is the civilised way. Though you might like it.

        There are number of fora where international arbitrations can be instituted in a civilised way though one might point out many flaws in those fora. They are UN General Assembly, UN Security Council, UNHRC, International Criminal Court etc. There is already a UNHRC resolution pertaining to the conflict in Sri Lanka. Wouldn’t it be civilised to accept a properly passed resolution?

        Or do you think it is more civilised for some priviledged section to arrogate the roles of the judge, the jury & the executioner?

      • http://www.twitter.com/ThilinaRa Thilina Rajapakse

        Hela

        You have answered your own questions here :)

        Your Question: ‘How can the GOSL factual report be speculation?’

        Your Answer: ‘The factual analysis contains quite reasonable ARGUMENTS though you may not like to admit’

        Ironically, in this instance you have also been the ‘judge, the jury & the executioner’

        So long ‘ARGUMENTS’ are not converted to FACTS, they will continue to remain as ARGUMENTS. That ought to be ruled out in an official judiciary. After all Citizens (and not LTTE proxies) should have their right to a fair trial.

        Being patriotic is one thing but being mislead by the government is another thing. I am no more foolish to buy the LIES of this regime who in it’s election Manifesto prommised;

        “ Steps will be taken to include the ‘Charter of Rights’ in to the constitution, based on the Declaration of the United Nations and other international treatise to uphold and protect social, cultural, economic, political, and civil rights of all Sri Lankans” 

        Mahinda Chintana 2005- STRENGTHENING THE PEOPLE’S WILL p97-98 available electronically on http://www.president.gov.lk/pdfs/MahindaChinthanaEnglish.pdf
            
        And we all know how the govt ‘STRENGTHENED THE GOVERNMENT’S WILL’.
        In case you still cant comprehend this, you should ask yourself “Who decides?’ and Who benefits?. But here’s the most important question to ask yourself ‘How are the institutions and actors arranged to perpetuate and guard the position of the powerful?

        Besides, what are we doing here? Splitting hairs? Blind leading the half blind? or is it Half blind trying to lead the blind?

        No offence to Dr Jayatilleka, but after all this is an opinion/analysis based on another opinion/analysis, that’s coming from a Government representative. So there is an obvious ‘bias’ as the author is a direct stakeholder. (in this scenario to ward off ‘foreign forces’). He is not a Human Rights activist, his duty is to ensure diplomacy and ‘state security/sovereignty'(based on the government’s definition of security). If he was a Rights activist with his excellent talent in verbiage, I suppose he would defend the Human rights side to this story. if he opined about, Say, the leadership qualities of Fidel Castro, I would consider that unbiased.

        Anyhow, my sympathies are with all the Sri Lankans who died as a result of state and/or non state organised, ‘Disproportional’ violence and with those who died trying to prevent it, not with anyone else.

  • PitastharaPuthraya

    What Dayan Jayatilleke (DJ) tried to do is to first project the image of Godfrey Gunatilleke (GG) as the ‘doyen of Sri Lankas intelligentsia, one of our most refined literary critics, most distinguished civil servant, and among a handful of our globally most respected minds’ and then give his views regarding the ‘UNSG’s Panel Report justifying the actions of the GoSL. By doing so he wants us to denounce the ‘UNSG’s Panel report’ and upheld the actions of the GoSL during the war.

    The reason is that GG also says so!

    We know the ways in which our ‘intelligentsia’ worked in the past. One time there was a professor in economics during JRJ’s regime who claimed that the ruppee had not devalued as there was still 100 cents for a rupee. (This is no insult to GG as I do not thing he is in his calibre). My point is just because some person with a history of integrity, intelligence, impartiality, says something it does not become the ‘truth’. Just because a person is intelligent, erudite, well-read, well-respected critique etc it does not invariably mean that he/she sees the truth.

    Since the issues of ‘tamil problem’, ‘orgin of terrorism, ‘unitary state of Sri Lanka’, ‘homeland of tamils’, ‘self-determination’,’war’, the way it was fought etc. are so complicated nobody, even GG and his admirers, can not calim that only they see the truth.

    However, there are two kinds of people in both sides of argument. There are people who genuinely beleive in what they preach in spite of consequences and without any benefit whatsoever from any body or any institution.

    The other type of people do so because of perks and previleges they get for being so. Some of them twist their arguments to justify themselves and to show the others that they truely beleive what they say.

    However, I beleive that GG is in the former category. Therefore, I respect his views although I disagree with him.

    • Pingo

      Well said Pitastharaputhraya.

    • Pingo

      Dayan J is quite right when he says:

      “Let me make a prediction. Godfrey Gunatilleke’s brilliant disquisition will be pretty much ignored. The foreign press corps, including those of the neighbourhood, will not pick it up. The media will not run it. The social media will black it out. The Embassies will turn a blind eye and a deaf ear. The pundits will not engage with it or even refer to it. Other luminaries, more pontifical but of lesser independence of mind and intellectual standing, will continue to be depicted with a halo. This is because it is ‘politically correct’ to adopt a pseudo-sophisticated sneer at state sovereignty”

      However he is right for entirely the wrong reason.

      What the Godfrey Gunatilleke Panel (GG) has set out to do is examine the validity of the Darusman report. In order to do so they have engaged in an exercise in sophistry focusing primarily on the terms of the appointment of the panel, its mandate, questions of accountability and the like.

      The result of this is a dense and indigestible document of esoteric legalese that is quite unintelligible to most people and therefore will be ready by few and commented on by fewer still.

      As it avoids discussion of the allegations except in passing references drawn from the interpretation of the GOSL military strategy. The few who read it are unlikely to be impressed by it.

      One can understand that spokesmen for the GOSL find themselves, beleaguered, besieged and largely friendless. While sympathising with their unhappy predicament one can only point out that this is a mess of their own making. Clutching at straws like the GG report will not help improve this situation.

      • Hela

        Pingo appears to be attempting to mislead readers.

        GG critique does not limit to the terms of reference and procedures. It coveres impartiality of the panel, methodoly, validity of the sources if information and their completeness etc etc.

        GG also is very specific on certain aspects, such as the notorious 40,000 deaths all anti Sri Lankan and anti GOSL comentators repeat.

      • Pingo

        Hela,

        the GG panel deals with the alleged atrocities only between pages 7-10 and that too only as their opinion as to how the Darusman Panel has interpreted the GoSL strategy.

        The GG panel does not deal with the allegations directly, most probably because they had no first hand information to offer.

        On civilian deaths the Darusman report concludes that there is no conclusive figure but that multiple sources indicate that a death range of upto 40,000 cannot be ruled out.

        Also refer to my first comment, above.

      • http://www.blacklightarrow.wordpress.com David Blacker

        Pingo, I am surprised that you think the Marga review and its panelists merely reviewed pages 7-10 of the darusman Report :D The panel I was on looked at GoSL strategy as a PART of our review of the Report’s narrative of events prior to the end of the war. I have explained in detail what we examined in an article a few weeks ago. I suppose you didn’t read it. You have assumed that just because I alone wrote about my involvement, that that was the only involvement. As already explained above, there were panels looking at the legal aspects, examining the care of the IDPs, restorative justice, and the question of reconciliation and what measures must be undertaken by the GoSL. It mirrored ALL the aspects of the UN panel report and not just pages 7-10 as you mistakenly claim.

      • Pingo

        David Blacker,

        you have misread my comment.

        What I said was that the Godfrey Gunatilleka panel (GG) deals with teh war crimes allegations between pages 7-10. The rest of the report is mainly on other aspects of the Darusman panel.

      • http://www.blacklightarrow.wordpress.com David Blacker

        Can you tell me what this Godfrey Gunatilleke panel is? I’ve never heard of it. The Positional Paper is put together chiefly by Dr Gunatilleke, and several panels elaborated on it at the seminar.

  • Ward

    All these arguments take away the urgently needed attention on the atrocities in the Northeast.

    Billions of rupees spent on Hambantota harbour may be a waste. But every cent spent on Dayan by the government is worth many cents.
    Dayan, keep talking and writing anything till the military finishes massacring the masses in the Northeast.

    Buddhist monks ask for GSP+. Do they ask for Justice for the ethnic minorities:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sinhala/news/story/2010/04/100423_mahanayake.shtml

    • silva

      ”All these arguments take away the urgently needed attention on the atrocities in the Northeast.”

      we may wait for another day for the investigation into the post-war atrocities in the Northeast.

    • silva

      UN Charter cannot do what the Buddhist clergy will not do:

      http://collections.europarchive.org/tna/20080205132101/fco.gov.uk/files/kfile/43896_conflict%20broc.pdf
      The Global Conflict Prevention Pool – A joint UK Government approach to reducing conflict:
      ‘’In December 2002, the Pool brought five senior members of the Sri Lankan Buddhist clergy to London, Belfast and Edinburgh to study devolved administrations. They met a wide range of politicians, senior officials, religious groups and community leaders. The delegates found the visit extremely valuable, and took back positive messages about the devolution process.’’

    • Panabokke

      There have been scores of reports with recommendations for successive governments by UN Human Rights Committee, Amnesty International, Human rights Watch, International Crisis Group, Minority Rights Group, etc in the last 3/4/5 decades that have nearly the same substance as in the UN Panel Report with slight variations in the verbs/predicates of sentences.
      The reaction of the governments was appointment of ”commissions”.
      Now there is an online nitpicking argument on the formation of sentences while the people of the Northeast have been treated inhumanely.

  • georgethebushpig

    Dear Dr. Jayatilleke,

    Although it is cherry picking season, it probably would have been useful if you had also included the final paragraphs of Mr. Godfrey Gunatilleke’s conclusion and discussed that as well. For those who haven’t seen it, here it is:

    “The government has not given an estimate of all deaths in the last stages of the war. An estimate of zero civilian casualties is meaningless in the face of incontrovertible evidence that there were
    a large number of deaths, unless it is argued that all those who died were combatants by virtue of the fact that they were conscripted for military work and resisted the advance of the army. These questions point to the indefinable plight of the helpless civilians caught in the battlefield and the humanitarian issues that are involved. The truth about the deaths of civilians is therefore vital to the process of reconciliation regardless of all other issues of accountability.

    It is within the conditions that have been described above that the issues of accountability as well as restorative justice may have to be framed and conclusions drawn. In that process the deaths of civilians and their plight in the battlefield have to be at the centre (p.34)”

    Many who have been writing to GV have been making this same argument albeit arriving at this conclusion through different lines of argument. We may disagree with the path that leads to the conclusion although not the conclusion itself.

    • Dr Dayan Jayatilleka

      Hiya Georgethebushpig,

      I’m cherry picking eh? Well, eat this cherry (and Ravana, ‘conflate’ this):

      “Recommendation 3 part A calls for initiating a process to inquire into the root causes of the conflict. It is not clear what the Panel means by “root causes”…The use of the term “root causes” which has become a catch phrase can also be misleading when dealing with the dynamics of the ethnic conflict. We need to take account of its changing character as it moved into the 1970s and the 1980s when a new generation took up the cause and the conflict sprung new roots in foreign countries with their support that enabled the LTTE to grow into a major terrorist organisation.” (Godfrey Gunatilleke, Working paper, Conclusions, p27)

      • silva

        ”It is not clear what the Panel means by “root causes”.

        Dayan, you can’t understand it because you don’t think legitimate member states can be questioned:

        http://www.srilankaembassy.fr/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=49&Itemid=102&lang=en&limitstart=32
        ”Newly appointed Permanent Delegate of Sri Lanka to UNESCO, Ambassador Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka participating in the International Symposium on the Freedom of Expression at UNESCO in Paris questioned the right of Reporters without Borders (RSF) to stand in judgment of legitimate member states.”

        By the way it is an aspect of democracy to be able to question a ”legitimate member state”.

        How can any UN organ accept you as a representative even though Rajapakses would try to send someone like you to represent them?

        OK, who else can better represent the Rajapakses than you?

      • georgethebushpig

        Dear Dr. Jayatilleke,

        In addtion to cherry picking you want to harverst red herrings as well now?

      • http://www.blacklightarrow.wordpress.com David Blacker

        Silva, it is Godfrey Gunatilleke who questions the meaning of “root causes” as stated by the Report, not Dayan Jayatillake. Dayan is simply quoting him. How can you debate this issue when you cannot comprehend what is shown to you in black and white, inclusive of author name, title, and page number? :(

      • georgethebushpig

        Dear Dr. Jayatilleke,

        I guess the best way out when someone that you put forward as a “towering intellectual figure” etc. contradicts your views is to studiously ignore the key conclusion and hype the rest.

        Step right this way Dr. Jayatilleke, mind the step, you are just entering the Fletcher Memorial Home…………

        Turn up the volume

    • Pingo

      Ha, ha, good one georgebushthepig.

      The GG report bemoans the fact that information from the side GoSL was sparse.

      We must remember that we are dealing with a GoSL has been caught lying and lying big. Let us take the subject of the number of IDP’s caught up behind the LTTE (its human shield).

      The GoSL consistently maintained that the number was no more than 75-100,000. In some instances even lower figures of 50-70,000 were quoted. Various statistics were produced to support this argument.

      The aid agencies estimated the numbers at 250,000-300,000.

      The final tally proved to be pretty close to the numbers estimated by the aid agencies.

      Given the GoSL’s arithmetic, whose statistics would you rather rely on?

      • http://www.blacklightarrow.wordpress.com David Blacker

        Jeevan Thiagarajah, who was on the panel dealing with the IDP questions, clearly showed that the GoSL wasn’t lying, but simply mistaken. A former GA in the audience also confirmed that the Tigers routinely falsified population numbers to get more supplies from the GoSL. For various reasons, including the above, the GoSL disbelieved the actual figures. But it wasn’t a lie; it was what they believed at the time.

      • Pingo

        David Blacker,

        perhaps you are right.

        It may have been a mistake on the GoSL part, but we now know that this Government lies. In the recent past they have lied about contaminated petrol, they seem to be doing them same with substandard cement, they have even lied about power cuts.

        Sure, these are minor matters but of GoSL chooses to lie about these why not lie when big things are at stake?

        I remain skeptical of GoSL claims.

      • http://www.blacklightarrow.wordpress.com David Blacker

        The GoSL has lied as all governments and politicians lie. The GoSL has also often told the truth. Therefore, your skepticism is subjective. The Tamil mouthpieces, the UN, and many other organisations have also routinely lied about many things. CH4 lied when it claimed that the Darusman Report states it has credible evidence. So why should we be less skeptical of the anti-SL voices?

      • Pingo

        Why do people lie?

        To protect their interests?

        Who has a deep and abiding interest in keeping a lid on the excesses ? THe GoSL. This does not automatically mean that they are lying but of all the actors they have by far the best motive for doing so. C4 others may have their biases or their incentives, but I their incentives are far less than the GoSL.

        The GoSL actions before and after the war, restricting access to media and most other observers (except for limited carefully controlled guided tours), lends credence to the theory that they were deliberately lying.

        If not for the media, I’m sure we would have had ‘zero casualties’ at the FTZ protest, eh?

      • http://www.blacklightarrow.wordpress.com David Blacker

        When a person is accused of a crime, it is of course in his interest to state his innocence. Therefore to assume that this interest will spur him to lie is to presuppose that he is guilty already. So the assumption is subject to the supposition of guilt. If, however, you do not assume him guilty, but innocent until proven guilty, you will not assume him to be lying.

        It is far more useful to first check if the accusers have a vested interest in making the accused look guilty, and whether that interest is strong enough for the accusers to lie.

  • Ward

    Hope DJ is not focused on protecting the President but uses his time at UNESCO towards the good of the country.

  • silva

    Hope our representative at UNESCO will reap something from UNESCO for equitable and quality higher education to help us towards peace and prosperity in Sri Lanka:
    http://www.unesco.org/new/en/media-services/single-view/news/director_general_joins_the_university_spirit_in_shenzhen-2/
    Director-General Addresses World University Presidents’ Forum
    Addressing some 170 university presidents from 80 countries gathered in Shenzhen, China on 13 August, UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova called for active collaboration to develop equitable and quality higher education systems, a vital condition for meeting the Millennium Development Goals.
    “Globalization means rising competition. We must build world-class education systems and not only world class institutions – systems that are matched to the development of societies and the needs of labour markets, that foster critical thinking and individual dignity, that train teachers and provide for the scientific progress necessary to tackle the challenges of today and tomorrow,” said Mrs Bokova. She stressed higher education is a public good that is strategic for all countries and carries a strong ethical responsibility towards society.”

    • silva

      ”strong ethical responsibility towards society”

      http://www.ambafrance-lk.org/spip.php?article839
      Address by Christine Robichon, Ambassador of France, at the Peradeniya University Research Sessions (PURSE) – 2010, 16th December 2010 :
      After almost 30 years of conflict, it also has to rebuild a Nation, a Sri Lankan Nation united in its diversity, where communities and individuals feel at ease. For this, there is not much foreign friends can do. This is the responsibility of Sri Lankan people, their political leadership, in the government and in the opposition, and also their civil society, and this is where academics and researchers have an important role to play, particularly those who are working in the fields of history, law, economy, sociology and political sciences.

  • civilian

    “…The LTTE had deliberately integrated the civilian population into their military effort and turned the NFZs to battle fields. By the mass conscription of civilians for military activity in the NFZ the building of fortifications with civilian conscripts and the use of all means available for military purposes, the LTTE had effectively blurred the distinction between civilians and combatants. How is intentionality and proportionality of army actions to be judged in such a situation?”

    How True!

    http://a.yfrog.com/img683/2497/civilians2.jpg

  • silve

    Hela, what has been happening in the Northeast:

    http://groundviews.org/2010/09/23/submissions-before-lessons-learnt-reconciliation-committee-llrc-by-chandra-jayaratne/
    Submission before Lessons Learnt & Reconciliation Committee (LLRC) by Chandra Jayaratne, 23 September 2010:

    ‘’…….. IDP’s being denied access to their former places of residence
    Challenging the right to title of the properties traditionally owned and /or occupied persons living in conflict affected areas
    Large tracts of previously occupied lands being demarcated as high security zones
    Unjustified land acquisitions on security considerations but allocated for non security related purposes
    The publicly announced resettlement benefits to internally displaced persons not being distributed equitably and in line with the announced scheme
    Lack of basic amenities like water, sanitation, power and proper housing for the newly resettled families
    Resource allocation not determined on community priorities and allocated without consultation and outside the need base and at times missing the most vulnerable and in need, possibly due to identity based biases
    Some areas like Jaffna receiving more than necessary resource allocations and peripheral areas lacking in even basic allocations
    Preventing willing and capable NGO’s/INGO’s, international community and Diaspora from helping people in need at their most vulnerable moment of need
    Building of new permanent military cantonments with residential facilities for military personnel and their families
    Plans to settle majority community families in order to change the traditional area demography otherwise than by natural development oriented migration
    Arbitrary arrests and detention in the post war period as well
    Continuing active engagement of unauthorized armed groups
    Continuing disappearances of civilians
    List of persons in custody, camps and detention centres not being made public
    Failure to assist families in tracing missing persons
    Negative impact on civilians during the conflict due military excesses
    Unease of single women headed families fearing for their safety in the presence of large number of armed personnel of the forces
    Removal of burial sites of persons affected by the conflict
    Some important cultural, religious and remembrance sites being damaged and destroyed
    Disrespect shown by visitors to holy sites and sites held in high esteem by resident communities
    Free availability of liquor, cigarettes and narcotics
    Emerging consumerism promoted by business houses who fail to participate in adding value to the civilian communities
    Savings of the region being channelled to other areas whilst unmet needs of area community remain
    Decision making in the hands of the military or officials from the Central Government. .…’’
    (Jayaratne a member of the Board of Directors of the International Centre for Ethnic Studies)

  • Vino Gamage

    Mhhh…

    The last phase of the war might have killed tens of thousands in a few days/weeks/months.

    But what is much worse is the President of a country crying ‘HALT’ to investigations of crimes that occurred outside the warzone in the years of his rule.

    People discussing the ”last phase” are either ignorant of the seriousness of the crimes of 2005/6/7/8 or obfuscating it by dwelling on the ”last phase” – proactively or reactively.

    Conversations in a Failing State, Patrick Lawrence(2008):
    ”It is this collapsed consciousness that accounts for one of the strangest characteristics of the Sri Lankan people. Amid all the wreckage, amid all the murders and disappearances and abuse, this macabre silence prevails. No atrocity seems to stir them. If anything, the greater the atrocity the deeper the silence. …. One must consider whether it is not the silence of the living that is most truly unattractive.

    Absent its institutions, absent its voices, Sri Lanka is rendered incapable of resolving any of its conflicts and difficulties and faces, instead, the prospect of disintegration, for in reality there is no working entity called “Sri Lanka.” Raymond Aron, the French philosopher and social critic, once wrote that France during the radical polarizations of the 1930s ?no longer existed except through the hatreds French people bore one another.? There must have been many fine, well-intentioned French people alive at that time, just as there are many such Sri Lankans living now. But we learn from Aron just how a nation can destroy itself nonetheless: It is first destroyed in people?s minds.”

    • georgethebushpig

      Dear Vino Gamage,

      Thanks for the reference to the book Conversations in a Failing State by Patrick Lawrence. Sounds like a book worth buying.

  • PitastharaPuthraya

    First comes the ‘UNSG’Panel report. Then comes the GG’s 30 page crticism of that report. One set of intellectuals shout ‘down with the Darusman Report’ whereas the others shout ‘long live Darusman report’.

    This is the clash of the ‘intellectuals': One would say!

    Forget about these arguments.

    The qeuestion before us is are these allegation raised by the ‘panel’s report’ and other of war crimes true?

    It does not matter whether the ‘panel’ was appointed wrongly or the members of the panel had something to do with the Sri Lanka in the past or the panel has not disclosed the their sources or the UNSG does not have a mandate appoint panels or he shuould not have published the report etc.

    They are hair-splitting, dry, boring, quasi-legal arguments, of which most or us are not interested. We have heard the same argument many times, probably from ‘less-intelligent’ intellectuals before.

    Are these ‘war crimes allegations’ true?

    That is what I want to know.

    • wijayapala

      PP

      Are these ‘war crimes allegations’ true?
      That is what I want to know.

      A good way to start would be to ask, “What evidence is there that these allegations are true?”

      They are hair-splitting, dry, boring, quasi-legal arguments, of which most or us are not interested.

      Are you aware that investigating war crimes is a legal affair, that most certainly involves “hair-splitting” and “boring” arguments?

      • PitastharaPuthraya

        Wijayapala,

        What are the facts of the case?

        By its own admission GoSL forces have killed number of innocent civilians. They say that they were inevitable death. The tamils diaspora, human rights activists, and UNSG’s Panel accuse the GoSL of killing them with intention in other words committing war crimes.

        A police officer killed a man by shooting during a raid. He accepted that he killed the man but denied any wrong doing. The man’s wife accuses the police officer for killing her husband with malicious intention.

        How are we going to decide who is correct in these two situation? Wijayapala would definitly agree with me that the latter should be dediced by some form of an inquiry. But when it comes to the former he loses his common sense. Why? Becuase he is prejudiced against the former.

  • Panabokke

    rodger
    please note:

    http://firstlanka.com/english/news/international-scholarly-symposium-at-unesco-paris-to-mark-the-sambuddhatwa-jayanthi/

    ”….Given the significance of this year’s Vesak Day, the most sacred day of the Buddhist Calender, coinciding with the 2600th anniversary of the Enlightenment of the Buddha, the focus would be on the contribution of philosophy to some of UNESCO’s fundamental beliefs, those of peace, dialogue among civilizations and the rapprochement of cultures.

    Initiated and coordinated by the Permanent Delegation of Sri Lanka to UNESCO, with the endorsement of the Director General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, the event would place emphasis on the contributory role of Asia to universal values, humanism and the realm of philosophy, with centrality being accorded to the great Asian thought–leader and philosopher, Gauthama the Buddha, whose Teachings possess Universalist aims and values.”

    • Panabokke

      http://www.srilankaembassy.fr/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=49&Itemid=102&lang=en&limitstart=14
      UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon’s message to the UNESCO Symposium on The Buddha’s Teachings, 20 May 2011
      “Let us remember above all, the Buddha’s message of Tolerance.”
      Acknowledging the importance of holding a scholarly Symposium on “The Contribution of The Buddha’s Teachings to Universality, Humanism and Peace”, Mr. Ban Ki-Moon, the United Nations’ Secretary-General noted that the Buddha’s “observations of 2,600 years ago still apply today” and that “His timeless teachings can help us as we seek to overcome the many problems facing the world today.”

  • Panabokke

    Ward, I’m confused.
    You found this:

    http://234next.com/csp/cms/sites/Next/Home/5680782-182/story.csp
    Why education matters for global security, Irina Bokova(Director General, UNESCO) 1 March 2011: ‘’ Education must rise on the agenda of peace building. We know the wrong type of education can fuel conflict. The use of education systems to foster hatred has contributed to the underlying causes of conflicts, from Rwanda to Sri Lanka, but also in Guatemala and Sudan.’’

    I’ve just found this:

    http://www.srilankaembassy.fr/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=49&Itemid=102&lang=en&limitstart=18
    Assistant Director General welcomes Sri Lankan education initiative,11 May 2011
    ‘’The Assistant Director General of UNESCO in charge of Education welcomed the efforts being made by Sri Lanka to establish a Teacher Development Institute in Sri Lanka which would serve as a hub for the region in catering to national needs while reaching out to countries in the region to support their teacher networks and strengthen their professional capacity. ….
    The Assistant Director General also stated that Sri Lanka was the only country with a national action plan for education for peace and sustainable development. …..’’

    Please call Justice Weeramantry and others who are worried about our education.

    What’s going on? Please tell me, anybody.

    • Ravana

      Ward,
      Please don’t bother answering Panabokke. When you say “Koheda Yanne?” , he’s says “Malle Pol”.

      However, I must say that I grew up and learnt at the onset of the Sinhala only era. Whilst what you say may have some bearing which requires sombre reflection about how racism can be subtly introduced through literature and history (as well as by teachers), I must say that I cannot recall experiencing such brain-washing. Nevertheless it always behoves us to look critically at how the curriculum could shape children.

      Let me cite a very clear historical fact that most kids of my era knew (I mean the ones who listened or bothered reading):
      Do you know of Weediya Bandara who attempted to make a pact with the King Sankilli of Jaffna? Legend says that he was killed through treachery of Jaffna people. Weediya Bandara was certainly not a likeable guy (the misogynist murderer that he was) and changed sides with several of the brothers who were each attempting to become emperor whilst fighting the Portuguese. It is likely that he was a xenophobe as well. Interestingly, why would a xenophobe go to Jaffna for assistance if the people there were considered foreign? But what is stated in history is that “heroic” Weediya bandara was attacked by a mass of Jaffna soldiers and died of a knife wound, fighting bravely to the end. It should also be noted that when Jaffna was sacked and Sankili II (almost a century later) signed over the authority of Jaffna to the Portuguese (if I have read correctly), he signed in Sinhala.

      We were taught then that Weediyabandara was a hero. Through adult eyes I can see that he was a power hungry, murdering mysogynist who probably had a massive problem with impulse control. We cannot necessarily say that this is an example of education creating racist attitudes as it is up to the teachers to help kids develop critical thinking. I left Sri Lanka as I was about to enter senior years. I cannot say how critical thinking would have developed in those years.

      But let us examine this further. LTTE/Tamil nationalist history would have us believe that Sankili II was the last “Tamil” king. Whilst the Aryachakravartis could possibly be attributed foreign status, Sankili certainly could not be considered. such. Besides how do you call Aryachakravartis foreign if one considers the Nayakkars local?

      Can you see that history needs critical examination? In my view, Jaffna was always a region of Lanka and part of the national identity. But the most rebellious and violent province of Lanka was always Ruhuna. In fact this rebelliousness was such that several of the emperors of Lanka came from there. Not even the Aryachakravartis wielded enough power to become the supreme ruler of Lanka. The fact that Jaffna people adopted Tamil as their language is historical but they have just as much right to claim rights to Sri Lankan heritage as one from Ruhuna.

      It is indeed true that the creation of the Tamil/Sinhala racial mythology in the 19th century has caused the Tamil-speaking Sri Lankans to be dispossessed of their inalienable right to Sri Lankan history in the eyes of the so-called Sinhalas.

      BTW, some of the princes of the time have various honorifics including “Periyar” , “Vanniyar” etc. Makes a mockery of the “race” thing doesn’t it?

      Let us come to a compromise. Let history be taught through historical records, but via critical guidance by teachers. But ensure that all Sri Lankan kids learn the sister languages Siyabasa and Taymoli as compulsory subjects. Let the medium of instruction be both languages when it comes to literature and history!

    • Panabokke

      I am lamenting, lamenting, lamenting the horrible state of education and the country:

      ”Sri Lanka to establish a Teacher Development Institute in Sri Lanka” is a ploy to hoodwink the international community and UNESCO, esp. because of all what Ward has listed about the textbooks (esp, the Defence Ministry curriculum for university entrants) and all the war crimes investigations and the army of occupation of Northeast, Devolution failures- Institute of Constitutional Studies report, submissions to LLRC by conscientious Sinhalese, etc.

      PR companies and DJ are working at full throttle:

      http://www.srilankaembassy.fr/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=49&Itemid=102&lang=en&limitstart=20
      Education Minister stresses importance of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development, 9 May 2011

  • Ward

    Internal colonialism(oppression of one section of people by another) has been in the history of man for millennia. There would have been external interference in some cases. But ours is internal colonialism in UN era – human rights violators gang up together and block solutions that should be coming out of UN Charter. Initially there was ”sovereignty of state” preventing interference to protect oppressed ethnic minorities. But though recently our thinking has evolved to give rise to R2P, human rights violators coupled with geopolitics are still in the primitive mindset – numerically strong people rule numerically weak, esp if there are additional reasons. In our case it’s mahavamsa mindset.

    Ours is a case of internal colonialism in an island in a geopolitically strategic location and hence the decay of the Northeast has gone very fast in 63 years. There is no change in the political horizon inside the country or outside it. It won’t be long before it is compost unless a miracle happens and the Malwatte and Asgiriya Chapters ask for justice for ethnic minorities just as they asked for GSP+ last year.

  • wijayapala

    PP,

    How are we going to decide who is correct in these two situation? Wijayapala would definitly agree with me that the latter should be dediced by some form of an inquiry.

    But who will conduct the inquiry? The same Darusman Panel that produced such a poorly-written and biased report?

  • wijayapala

    Dear Ravana,

    OTOH I reckon I’ve figured out Sarath Fonseka’s game. If I am correct then I am amazed at his genius. If he did not plan this then there is a genius whose actions pushed him to do what he did. What ever the case, SF is either a genius or a prodigy.

    Could you please educate us lesser-educated folk what Fonseka did that was so genius/prodigy? How such a “genius” could be currently stewing in prison?

    If you don’t mind, could you also point out the statements of genius from this clip:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JeIn1ckaQB0

    See, to my ears he comes across as a foul-mouthed buffoon, but clearly you are able to decipher in between the words right?

  • wijayapala

    Pingo

    Why do people lie?
    To protect their interests?

    It depends on the lie. With regard to MR’s original lie that there were zero casualties, he was motivated by pure idiocy since it is impossible to see how that lie protected his interests.

    Who has a deep and abiding interest in keeping a lid on the excesses ? THe GoSL. This does not automatically mean that they are lying but of all the actors they have by far the best motive for doing so.

    On the other hand, MR might have kept a lid on what happened (or what didn’t happen) because some people like CH4 would be selective about their reporting. The Darusman Report is a masterpiece of selective editing.

    • Pingo

      Wijeyapala

      but its not just C4 that is making some of these claims is it? The BBC, Al Jazeera, HRW, Amnesty International the UN and many others have raised a lot of disturbing questions.

      Could all of these possibly be in the pay of the LTTE?

    • Pingo

      Have a look at the full UN POA report here:

      http://www.ejiltalk.org/un-panel-of-experts-report-on-the-sri-lanka-conflict/

      There is a link on the above page that leads to the report.

      • wijayapala

        I already read the report. Why else do you think I am questioning its quality?

        but its not just C4 that is making some of these claims is it? The BBC, Al Jazeera, HRW, Amnesty International the UN and many others have raised a lot of disturbing questions.

        The UN is making a big deal only because 1) the human rights groups and media outlets are and 2) MR & Brothers are worse than useless when it comes to international PR. The human rights groups and int’l media in turn are hyping this up not because they’re being paid by the LTTE, but because they have a grudge against MR for locking them out during the war.

        Some incidents such as the Trinco 5 and ACF 17 killings are credible and deserve investigation, and I wouldn’t blame outsiders for raising these given that the govt has tried to cover them up. But I haven’t seen convincing evidence that similar atrocities took place in the final battle.

      • Burning_Issue

        “The UN is making a big deal only because 1) the human rights groups and media outlets are and 2) MR & Brothers are worse than useless when it comes to international PR. The human rights groups and int’l media in turn are hyping this up not because they’re being paid by the LTTE, but because they have a grudge against MR for locking them out during the war.”

        Wow Wijayapala! Is it as simple as that? So these Human Rights Groups are acting out of grudge; not because they believe that war crimes committed by the MR regime. It is amazing that you go at any length to simplify the issues in order to wittingly or unwittingly mitigate the war crime allegations. May I ask; are you on MR’s propaganda payroll?

        “Some incidents such as the Trinco 5 and ACF 17 killings are credible and deserve investigation, and I wouldn’t blame outsiders for raising these given that the govt has tried to cover them up. But I haven’t seen convincing evidence that similar atrocities took place in the final battle.”

        What was so convincing about Trinco 5 and ACF 17 and so not convincing about the summary executions?

      • http://www.blacklightarrow.wordpress.com David Blacker

        “What was so convincing about Trinco 5 and ACF 17 and so not convincing about the summary executions?”

        For a start, eyewitnesses, bodies, ballistic evidence, and names of suspects in the Trinco 5 and ACF killings, and lack of all of the above in the summary executions. Still don’t see a difference?

  • wijayapala

    Burning_Issue

    It would be graceful if you were to explicitly state that you do not want the investigation on alleged War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity on the final stages of the war conducted for X, Y, Z reasons.

    I tried to explain but you ignored my last message to you. You said that the war against the LTTE was illegal but that war in Iraq was “legal.” When I asked you to explain you did not reply.

    I would better understand if you could give X,Y,Z reasons why the Tamil diaspora should not be similarly investigated to determine its role in sustaining the LTTE all these years and why it did little or nothing to stop the LTTE’s atrocities. Personally, I believe that such an investigation would produce equally nothing as investigating Sri Lanka and would be a total waste of time. What do you think?

    But on the contrary you cite the lack of analysis and poor quality of the presentation as qualified reasons to oppose any investigation on this grave matter is very disappointing.

    I found the Darusman Report to be even more disappointing and a sign that an actual “investigation” would have similar lack of analysis and poor quality.

    I have shown you that the report contain references to the LTTE keeping civilians as hostages. Despite it is a prejudgment, I am prepared to accept that it should be stressed as such;

    What “prejudgment???” Why else were the Wanni Tamils so overwhelmingly angry with the LTTE after the war, and not angry at the “war-criminal” SLA (before they became disillusioned with the internment camps)? It is precisely this “see no evil, hear no evil” approach to the LTTE’s misdeeds over the last two decades that renders the current call for investigations hollow. Why were these same flag-wavers so silent all this time??? By what moral authority do they have to condemn this regime?

    Here is what DBS Jeyaraj said at that time:

    “As I’ve written many times the LTTE wants the civilians to remain for their own protection as some sort of human shields. As Mao Ze Dong said guerillas are the fish who swim in an ocean of people. If the ocean dries up the fish flounder.
    Likewise if the conflict zone is drained of civilians the tigers become sitting ducks.
    The LTTE wants a ceasefire for the ostensible purpose of ensuring civilian safety and security. It would be easier to do that by evacuating the civilians but the tigers will not agree because if the people go the tigers are vulnerable.
    When the LTTE and pro-tiger lobby calls for a ceasefire the international community counters it by saying-let’s have a temporary one to get the people out.
    To this the LTTE wont agree. If there’s a permanent ceasefire there is no need to evacuate the civilians is the counter argument.
    If necessary the LTTE will go down fighting to the very end and also take down a large number of civilians with them. But they wont let the people go.”
    http://dbsjeyaraj.com/dbsj/archives/235

    Were you aware of any of this????

    As with many people, you fail to distinguish between Sri Lanka and MR Regime.

    As it turns out, many of those many people who do not distinguish between Sri Lanka and MR are calling for war crimes investigations. They include the flag-wavers.

    If the panel report as you claim is sloppy, why not an investigation can put that right? The MR Regime can make representation and challenge the alleged evidences and why it should deny itself such an opportunity?

    Again, because the investigators can be the same type of biased unprofessionals as the Darusman Panel!

    • Burning_Issue

      Dear Wijayapala,

      “I tried to explain but you ignored my last message to you. You said that the war against the LTTE was illegal but that war in Iraq was “legal.” When I asked you to explain you did not reply.”

      Your try was not convincing enough I am afraid; in fact, I charge you do not want the MR regime investigated because you fear that, other leaders will cave into federalism or power devolution along that line. You claim that you are not a fan of MR, but implicit in your messages that you endeavour to protect his racist tenure.

      “I would better understand if you could give X,Y,Z reasons why the Tamil diaspora should not be similarly investigated to determine its role in sustaining the LTTE all these years and why it did little or nothing to stop the LTTE’s atrocities. Personally, I believe that such an investigation would produce equally nothing as investigating Sri Lanka and would be a total waste of time. What do you think?”

      No one knows how many perished; all those who lost loved ones are left to mourn in silence. There are claimed that between 7,000 to 40,000 people were perished. The Bishop of Mannar cited far more casualties; his concerns have been willfully obscured! There are allegations that the MR regime knowing targeted civilians and summarily executed both combatants and civilians alike and if these circumstances do not warrant investigations I do not know what is! Your idea of investigating the Tamil Diaspora is to mitigate this grave situation; you, by convoluting and applying multiple dimensions, attempt to dilute the gravity of the war crimes allegations. What is your view on this?

      “I found the Darusman Report to be even more disappointing and a sign that an actual “investigation” would have similar lack of analysis and poor quality.”

      Obviously, your standards are very high. Instead of advocating for no investigations, you should push for GOSL to conduct its own investigations and prove it to the world that GOSL employ higher standards than the UN. It is amusing that you hurriedly bought into the report that GR produced; no critical analysis!

      “What “prejudgment???”

      Hold you horses Wijayapala. During the final stages of the war all accusations against both the GOSL and the LTTE are allegations and none have been proved. There are claims and counter-claims and none have been proved; hence, prejudgment.

      “Why else were the Wanni Tamils so overwhelmingly angry with the LTTE after the war, and not angry at the “war-criminal” SLA (before they became disillusioned with the internment camps)?”

      You may well be correct but what is your proof?

      “It is precisely this “see no evil, hear no evil” approach to the LTTE’s misdeeds over the last two decades that renders the current call for investigations hollow.”

      Same applies to the Sinhala; 60 years of “see no evil, hear no evil approach” rendered that the Tamils worthless and being treated like doormats. Calls for investigations into alleged 40,000 + violent deaths are no way “hollow”!

      “Why were these same flag-wavers so silent all this time??? By what moral authority do they have to condemn this regime?”

      What moral authority that do you have to block the investigation? For you information, there are several Sinhala Folks call for investigations on these forums alone; they are not Tiger flag-wavers!

      “As it turns out, many of those many people who do not distinguish between Sri Lanka and MR are calling for war crimes investigations. They include the flag-wavers.”

      Likewise, many of those people who oppose war crimes investigations include avid supports of the racist MR Regime!

      “Again, because the investigators can be the same type of biased unprofessionals as the Darusman Panel!”

      Please show to the world a professional approach and prove that no war crimes and crimes and humanity commited.

      • Off the Cuff

        Dear Burning Issue,

        Here is an answer to you from a Tamil of integrity, who himself underwent the trauma of the 1983 riots. Dr Noel Nadesan wrote this open letter, to Australia Broadcasting Corp.

        As a Tamil domiciled in Australia I served the Tamil community by editing the only Tamil community newspaper, UTHAYAM. I ran it for 14 years My experiences in dealing with the Tamil community, both in Australia and in Sri Lanka, make me feel sad about the callous way in which the media is exploiting the suffering of our Tamil people for self-serving ends. I think I could speak as an independent voice with no allegiances to the politics of either community or political parties. My main concern has been to help our Tamils in Sri Lanka who had to face the brunt of all attacks from the Indians soldiers, Sri Lankan forces and, above all, the so-called Tamil liberators, the LTTE. I have just completed building a small hospital in the island of Eluvaitivu, in which I grew up and, sooner or later, I plan to go back to serve our Tamil people who are desperately in need of help.

        It is against this background that I thought of forwarding my comments to you after viewing the re-broadcast of Channel 4 programme, The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka. I must confess I felt depressed and I could not sleep that night. I have recovered since then and I feel I must send you my comments for your consideration because I feel that you aired it to exploit the suffering of our people whose need of the hour is not to rake up the bloody past but to find a way out of the past.

        I fail to see how your programme could help the victims of the war – if that was your intention – when their immediate and long-term needs are to regain a future free from these. The sensationalism certainly may help the ratings of Channel 4 and ABC but how will it help our people?

        Our people who lived through the horrors of the futile war know that this is only one side of the story. Our Tamil leaders have informed the world that the LTTE has killed more Tamils than all the other forces – Indian, Sri Lankan and rival Tamil parties – put together. The moralizings of the media lacks credibility because our people who lived through the horrors of the war know who killed whom in what manner. Leaving aside the die-hard partisans, our people know that the LTTE was a cruel and beastly outfit they had never encountered in living memory – and do not want to encounter in all their lives to come.

        Undoubtedly, there are Tamils who are jubilant about this broadcast because they are aligned politically to the side (i.e., the LTTE) that perpetrated the worst crimes against the Tamils. If Channel 4 produced a film of the atrocities committed by the LTTE against their own people and the other communities throughout the 33-year-old war – the longest running in Asia – it would shock the world beyond belief.

        Then there is the documented story of Velupillai Prabhakaran herding nearly 300,000 Tamil civilians to serve as his human shield when he was retreating. In the last stages he shot the Tamils who were running away from him into the arms of the Sri Lankan forces who were commended or their humanitarian services by the Ban Ki-moon’s expert panel and even by Gordon Weiss. Any Tamil who was in Prabhakaran’s human shield will tell you that the Sri Lankan force treated them humanely than the LTTE cadres.

        The atrocities committed by the LTTE are numerous. Why didn’t Channel 4 balance their story with the other side? Yes, there were passing references to LTTE atrocities but you will agree that the blame was put entirely on the Sri Lankan government. Is this fair journalism?

        It was a controversial document in which the best of experts disagreed on the authenticity and the accuracy of the contents. For instance, Channel 4 showed images of a young man who was tied to a tree, threatened with a knife and subsequently killed. I was told by sources in the Wanni that this was an LTTE operation and pictures were taken for propaganda purposes by LTTE. Have a close look and you will find among the so-called soldiers a man in slippers. Sri Lankan soldiers never go about in slippers when they go out on operations.

        Those who know both sides of the story were appalled by your decision to air a partisan video. Despite occasional references to the LTTE the main thrust of the video was to blame the Sri Lankan government. You were aware of this gross distortion and you went ahead because it fitted into your biased political agenda. As stated by the London Sunday Times, it was shoddy journalism unworthy of a reputed media institution like the ABC.

        Take the case of Suthanthirapuram which was declared as the first No-Fire Zone for the civilians. The LTTE moved their radio station and artillery unit to fire at Army points from NFZ. They were also firing at the advancing army from close proximity to the hospital or make-shift hospital. The AGA Parthipan and Dr Shanmugaraja can confirm this. I will quote another incident. When former EROS leader Balakumar and his family , who worked with LTTE for many years, tried to flee in a boat in Mullaitivu in 29th April 2009, the LTTE, knowing very well who he was, fired at them. His young daughter was critically injured and the bullets tore her forearm. Her hand is yet to heal.

        These are facts

        How do I know all this? I travelled Sri Lanka seven times last two years widely in war zones in Wanni and talked to the victims who were trapped in the war zones. They knew that they were targeted both sides and they could not comprehend why the LTTE should expose to retaliatory fire in the NFZ. They could not understand why the LTTE turned the NFZ into a war zone.

        The agents of LTTE in the Tamil diaspora also shed a lot of crocodile tears about the 300,000 IDPs. They described the IDP camps as concentration camps. Knowing the general conditions under which Sri Lankans live I can assure you that the conditions of the Tamils, particularly in the in the IDP camps, were far superior to the slums of Colombo or even the conditions of the Sinhala villagers and hill country Tamils in remote areas.

        Even the Tamil MPs of Tamil Nadu and Indian journalists who visited the camps were convinced that the Sri Lankan authorities had done a very good job under trying conditions. Besides a comparison with the manner in which the government treated the Sinhala JVP rebels who took up arms in 1971 will reveal that the LTTErs received far better treatment than the JVPers. Most of them were incarcerated for more than four years.

        However, I wish to emphasize that at this stage the government has to accept responsibility for their share of the civilian casualties and apologise for that and compensate the next of kin. In calling for justice it is fair and just to hold the leaders in the Tamil expatriate groups who financed, lobbied, and gave moral and material support to the LTTE to prolong their futile war. They too are liable for aiding and abetting a banned terrorist group. Justice demands that these leaders, posing as human rights activists in Western bases, too should be tried for the crimes committed by the LTTE against their own people.

        On balance, it must be conceded that the elimination of the ruthless LTTE outfit was commendable. What Prabhakaran did to Sri Lanka was 100 time worse that Al-Qaida and Osama bin Laden did to America. Like America any democratic country had the right to eliminate threats to its sovereignty, peace and stability, transgressing, if necessary, international humanitarian law and international law.

        India did it in Punjab and continues to do so in Kashmir. Russians did it in Chechnya. NATO allies are doing the same thing in Libya. America has done it in their war against Al Quaeda since 9/11.

        At the end of it all Sri Lankan Tamils now realise that their destiny is inextricably linked with Sri Lanka and Sinhala people. Violence is not the way out. It was the LTTE who sought the military solution and started the war- they have reaped the bloody harvest they sowed. Now we must genuinely commit themselves to the paths of peace, reconstruction and rehabilitation because violence will not lead anywhere except to the destruction of the remaining Tamils in the north and the east.

        Dr. Noel Nadesan is Editor
        of the UTHAYAM.
        http://print.dailymirror.lk/opinion1/49984.html

      • http://www.blacklightarrow.wordpress.com David Blacker

        It is the accuser who must prove.

  • wijayapala

    Dear Burning_Issue

    Same applies to the Sinhala; 60 years of “see no evil, hear no evil approach” rendered that the Tamils worthless and being treated like doormats.

    I completely agree, which is why I don’t believe there should be “investigations” on either side which will never be impartial.

    Please show to the world a professional approach and prove that no war crimes and crimes and humanity commited.

    As I told Pingo above, it is impossible to prove a negative. Please watch the below clip:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qWJTUAezxAI

    It is amazing that you go at any length to simplify the issues in order to wittingly or unwittingly mitigate the war crime allegations. May I ask; are you on MR’s propaganda payroll?

    How would you feel if I ask the stupid question “are you on Prabakaran’s propaganda payroll?” whenever you disagree with me?

    What was so convincing about Trinco 5 and ACF 17 and so not convincing about the summary executions?

    Evidence?
    http://www.uthr.org/SpecialReports/Spreport30.htm
    http://www.uthr.org/SpecialReports/spreport33.htm

    Your idea of investigating the Tamil Diaspora is to mitigate this grave situation; you, by convoluting and applying multiple dimensions, attempt to dilute the gravity of the war crimes allegations. What is your view on this?

    My view is that you only want Sinhala people to be prosecuted and any LTTE supporters abroad to be exempt. Why else do you get so defensive when I suggest that there were some Tamils in the diaspora who contributed to the deaths in Sri Lanka? Do you hold a double standard?

    If you are really upset about “summary executions,” why not investigate the murder of S. Sabalingam in Paris in 1994?

    “Why else were the Wanni Tamils so overwhelmingly angry with the LTTE after the war, and not angry at the “war-criminal” SLA (before they became disillusioned with the internment camps)?”
    You may well be correct but what is your proof?

    http://www.uthr.org/SpecialReports/Special%20rep34/Uthr-sp.rp34part1.htm

    “When the war reached its terminal months there was a curious contrast as well as agreement in lack of concern for the people among both groups of expatriates. The LTTE supporters refused to accept that it was holding the people hostage, abducting their children and shooting at those who attempted to escape. They campaigned one-sidedly, with cries of genocide and a humanitarian catastrophe caused by government missile attacks and deprivation of food and medicine, but avoided any demand that the LTTE should let the people go.

    “The expatriates’ implicit backing for LTTE holding the civilians hostage, reinforced the absence of any process to separate civilians from combatants. Consequently, the international community gave up on the civilians. Combined with testimonies in the international media of the LTTE firing at escapees, the expatriates’ propaganda became so discredited that it allowed the Government additional opportunity to hide its criminal misconduct.

    “Interestingly, persons who were in the Vanni and believed in the LTTE’s cause and witnessed the harrowing final days placed much of the blame on the LTTE’s overseas supporters’ failing to say in time what they can and cannot do. In the first place the overseas support base was assiduously built and managed by the LTTE and was its mere shadow. Expecting them to be a strong force in world affairs, which could stop the war when the LTTE’s diplomatic and military fortunes were rapidly eroding, was misplaced.

    “The expatriates’ role in making life hell for the Vanni folk was more subtle. They had swallowed the LTTE’s rhetoric that it would somehow carve out a separate state, and for various reasons blindly invested in the project. The LTTE had itself become a lopsided organisation, which had only a tenuous political base among the people and had come to rely heavily on its overseas mafia-like operations. Changing course would have meant pricking the balloon of its Eelam project and letting go its only source of material support.

    “Further, overseas Tamils have long preferred to embrace heroic myths rather than concern themselves with the real plight of people back home. What LTTE supporters have done to their people is so horrendous that they dare not face up to the truth. Living with myths is far easier. One recalls expatriate propaganda in the 1990s, praising Tamil children at home who should have been at school with their geometrical instruments, taking a gun instead in the cause of the liberation of their nation. Knowing what their children needed, they did not want to ask by what deceitful means these children were taken from their mothers and made to carry guns.

    People who need to hold on to myths to justify themselves, would also refuse to see the depravity involved in conscripting all and sundry and sending them to the battlefront to protect the leaders’ skins and, over their dead bodies, negotiating safe passage for themselves.

    “The dangers are apparent and would be greatly reinforced by the Government’s actions. For tens of thousands in IDP camps, whose initial anger against the LTTE flowed like water through a breached dam, are now beginning to say that it would have been better had they fought with the LTTE and died. Like all expressions of this type, this is largely hyperbole, but their anger and desperation are real enough and can be easily manipulated.”

    • Burning_Issue

      Dear Wijayapala,

      The more I read your contributions the more convinced I am about your mental-makeup in reference to the Tamil question. I am more than convinced that you wittingly advocate subjugation of the minorities than endeavouring a form of reconciliation based on equality and empathy!

      MR claimed that, his security forces carried UN Human Rights Charter in one hand and gun on the other. He claimed zero civilian casualties. He claimed that he conducted a humanitarian operation rescuing the Tamils from the clutches of the LTTE. Most of all; he publicly announced that he would look after the Tamils. Two years on, the Tamils know where their place is in Sri Lanka; their demographical strength is being systematically decimated with absolute precision. Their language rights, whatever they had, is being eroded with belligerence. They are being humiliated on a daily basis; their lives have become mere existence rather than living. It is crystal clear that the MR regime is not interested in reconciliation; they are in it for the kill – complete and utter subjugation of the Tamils. It is this racist regime that you ardently protect!

      I raised before about the state sponsored erections of Buddha statues within N&E; your response was that they are needed for solders to worship. You conveniently forgot that, Jaffna was taken back from the LTTE back in 1995; 14 years later, after the fall of the LTTE, there were sudden needs for the solders to worship!

      I raised before about the artificial manipulations of demography within N&E; your response was, it will not happen; you simply diluted the impact of this by saying that force migration will not work or to this effect! But all evidences point to a planned manipulation of the demography coupled with the proposed reduction the parliamentary representation!

      All this afoot in order to establish the Sinhala Buddhist Hegemony that you knowingly support; I make this charge in no uncertain terms.

      An Effective Reconciliation:

      A meaningful reconciliation is only possible after establishing the facts especially during the later stages of the events that wiped out a lot of people. People need to share their experiences; they need to empathise with each other; they need to empathise with the Sinhala counterparts. Likewise the Sinhala need to empathise with the Tamils. This is the only way people can bridge the obstacles. This situation can only come about by carrying out a thorough investigation and establishing the facts and accepting respective responsibilities. I am not advocating that people should be personally held to account, but accept responsibility and empathise with one and another; this is why I Advocate a mechanism to establish facts.

      “My view is that you only want Sinhala people to be prosecuted and any LTTE supporters abroad to be exempt.”

      This is rather a pathetic statement! Many Sinhala people also call for an investigation. It is not about prosecuting the Sinhala, rather it is about establishing the facts! It is you who is defensive and not me!

      “Why else do you get so defensive when I suggest that there were some Tamils in the diaspora who contributed to the deaths in Sri Lanka? Do you hold a double standard?”

      Sri Lankan Sinhala regimes created the Tamil Militancy; The Tamils Diaspora helped the LTTE to grow; The Sinhala Diaspora helped to spread spacious history. But at the end of the day, whoever commits crimes will be held accountable. Recently, England was facing riots in her major cities; many say that, some people have been excluded from the mainstream as a result of the government policies. Are you saying that, the British Government must face charges along with the rioters? You loath the Tamil militancy; do you also want its creator to also face charges along with the LTTE for their crimes? You wittingly convolute the call for war crimes investigation with multiple dimensions in order to protect the racist MR regime.

      “If you are really upset about “summary executions,” why not investigate the murder of S. Sabalingam in Paris in 1994?”

      You are at it again! Are you not upset about the “summary execution”?

      I have always said even during the CFA time that the Tamils were caught up with two evils; LTTE and GOSL! They decided to back the better of the two; the LTTE. The LTTE was only better because, they spoke the same language and a known entity as opposed to GOSL that they did not trust. So it is not surprising that many Tamils who were caught up in the final battle expressed displeasure about the LTTE. However, if you were to ask them about what they think about the MR regime, I am sure you will get the responses that you would not like!

      • wijayapala

        Dear Burning_Issue

        The more I read your contributions the more convinced I am about your mental-makeup in reference to the Tamil question.

        You are free to pass whatever judgment on me, if it makes you feel better. However I will not say similarly negative things about you simply because we disagree.

        If there is one judgment I would make, it would be that I think you are a little naive. You believe that the war in Iraq was “legal” despite the hundreds of thousands of people who died. You do not appear to be very familiar with the Trinco 5 and ACF 17 killings and the cover-up attempts, nor with UTHR’s findings. So I do not see you as a bad person, just misinformed.

        It is this racist regime that you ardently protect!

        How am I protecting the regime? I simply told you that you are going about it the wrong way. You are criticising the ONE thing most Sri Lankans think MR did right- ending the war. I added that the people who were silent about the LTTE’s atrocities have no moral right to criticise MR. And you are now equating this with defending MR?

        I raised before about the state sponsored erections of Buddha statues within N&E; your response was that they are needed for solders to worship. You conveniently forgot that, Jaffna was taken back from the LTTE back in 1995; 14 years later, after the fall of the LTTE, there were sudden needs for the solders to worship!

        And if you recall, I changed my views when you told me that the builders of Buddha statues were citing the Constitution to defend their actions. Have you forgotten?

        I have not heard about Buddha statues in Jaffna, only the Wanni. I think Tamilnet mentioned something about Jaffna, but a friend of mine who recently went there said that he saw no statues.

        I raised before about the artificial manipulations of demography within N&E; your response was, it will not happen; you simply diluted the impact of this by saying that force migration will not work or to this effect!

        Yes, and I cited research by a scholar of displacement who was clearly sympathetic to the Tamils. The Weli Oya colonisation scheme was a failure. Hence I am not confident that a future attempt will be successful.

        But all evidences point to a planned manipulation of the demography coupled with the proposed reduction the parliamentary representation!

        What is the evidence? As far as the reduction of parliamentary representation, what else should the GOSL do when there are fewer voters for the seats available? In any case the reduction will not take place until the next election which might be 5 years from now. Is that not enough time to sort things out?

        This situation can only come about by carrying out a thorough investigation and establishing the facts and accepting respective responsibilities. I am not advocating that people should be personally held to account, but accept responsibility and empathise with one and another; this is why I Advocate a mechanism to establish facts.

        Then why do you disgaree with such a mechanism for the diaspora for the LTTE supporters to accept responsibility?

        But at the end of the day, whoever commits crimes will be held accountable.

        So why not hold the LTTE supporters accountable?

        You loath the Tamil militancy; do you also want its creator to also face charges along with the LTTE for their crimes?

        Correction: I loathe the LTTE, which was the creator of MR, but it is gone so there are only the flag-wavers to loathe. I will most enthusiastically and unconditionally support international or any other investigations of Ranil Wickremasinghe and all other UNPers from the era of the 1983 riots. How come none of you are calling for this, but only for MR’s head?

        Are you not upset about the “summary execution”?

        Who had a “summary execution?” Are you talking about B. Nadesan, the LTTE police chief who never fought against the SLA because he was too busy torturing and killing Tamil dissidents? How does he compare with S. Sabalingam, one of the elders of the Tamil Manavar Peravai whom the LTTE murdered simply for researching Prabakaran’s history?

        The LTTE was only better because, they spoke the same language and a known entity as opposed to GOSL that they did not trust.

        I did not understand. Are you saying that MR is better for the Sinhala majority because he speaks the same language and is a known entity?

      • Burning_Issue

        Dear Wijayapala,

        “You are free to pass whatever judgment on me, if it makes you feel better. However I will not say similarly negative things about you simply because we disagree.”

        I do not easily pass judgment on others; your quandary over the Sinhala Buddhist Insecurity and at the same time endeavouring equality for all; manifestly mutually exclusive thus rendering your mental makeup as one that is protecting the racist MR regime. It is because you do not know what is in stall if moderates were to come into power!

        “If there is one judgment I would make, it would be that I think you are a little naive. You believe that the war in Iraq was “legal” despite the hundreds of thousands of people who died.”

        I do not claim that I am not naïve; I followed the Iraqi war very well; I watched many televised debates and read many articles. I have also spoken to many antiwar protestors. I do not lose sleep over the removal of Sadam in the same way as the removal of VP. I am fully aware of the thousands of people perishing in Iraq; would you care to tell me the level of civilian casualties during and up until the point of removal of Sadam? What happened afterwards were not as a direct result of warfare; suicide bombings and car bombings are all coordinated and orchestrated by Al-Qaida. I am very critical about the Americans, particularly of Donald Ramsfeld, who was reckless and arrogant. Against the advices of the many European countries, he hurriedly dismantled the Iraqi security infrastructure rendering the police, army and other guards jobless overnight. This belligerent and short-sited act exacerbated the situation and played directly into the hands of the unscrupulous Al-Qaida.

        On the point legality; the gentleman I sat next to at the test match would have said, I said; the war did not contravene international law; the British military commanders would not proceed with the warfare until the British Attorney General rendered the war was legal; this was my point. I never claimed that the war against the LTTE was illegal; both wars were legal, but if either party were to commit war crimes and crimes against humanity during cause of the warfare, they then contravene certain international covenants! The Iraqi war was conducted with the full view of the international media. Those gruesome incidents that were leaked about the prisoner abuses have been dealt with within the respective countries’ judiciary. By contrast, the war against the LTTE was prosecuted in total secrecy; this is why a lot of attention is being directed at the allegations! If you still think that I am naïve on this subject, please be my guest!

        “You do not appear to be very familiar with the Trinco 5 and ACF 17 killings and the cover-up attempts, nor with UTHR’s findings. So I do not see you as a bad person, just misinformed.”

        I may be misinformed; I agree that I may not be privy to all the details of the Trinco 5 and ACF 17. But my question was about as to why the summary executions with recorded alleged evidence, did not warrant as credible that require further investigation; this is my point. In the case of Iraqi prisoner abuses; there were pictures and they alone were enough to send alarm bells in the respective administrations. They quickly moved and set up mechanisms that investigated and prosecuted the culprits. In the case of Sri Lanka; a complete denial and cover up; people like you to add substance to it!

        “How am I protecting the regime? I simply told you that you are going about it the wrong way.”

        By prolonging the culture of impunity! The MR regime operates on the basis that it is untouchable. The war crimes allegations are credible and they are here to stay until they have been appropriately dealt with. Your attempts to simplify the alleged war crimes by adding other dimensions are a deliberate ploy to mitigate the severity of the issue.

        “You are criticising the ONE thing most Sri Lankans think MR did right- ending the war. I added that the people who were silent about the LTTE’s atrocities have no moral right to criticise MR. And you are now equating this with defending MR?”

        I have not criticised MR for ending the war; I have said many a times that the demise of the LTTE should be welcome. This does not prevent me or anyone for that matter from questioning the methods employed that allegedly resulted on mass civilian killings. I am entitled to know whether the MR regime targeted the no-fire zones deliberately; it is within my rights to know whether the MR regime summarily executed civilians; it is my right to know whether the surrendered women were sexually assaulted and raped. I do not think that you, an insecure Sinhala, can understand as to what I am saying!

        May I point out about the General Belgrano affaire; during Falklands war, the British torpedoed the General Belgrano, and Argentine ship that was claimed to be sailing away from the seclusion zone. This prompted a heated debate in the British parliament and it prompted an inquiry.

        http://belgranoinquiry.com/?p=443

        The issue is that, it is the morality of war over and above the international covenants. Sri Lankans should be pleased with the end of war but everyone should be cared to know whether crimes were committed or not. It doubly imperative as the ultimate objective is to form reconciliation with affected community. Reconciliation should be based on trust and empathy; how can the Tamil community trust the MR regime when they know that it has been lying through its teeth. This is why it is important to establish facts and all concerned accepting responsibility! It is not necessarily important that anyone needs to stand trial, but the regime should publically acknowledge the alleged offences and sincerely empathise with the Tamil community. If this had happened soon after the end of the war, the mileage on the war crimes cry would have dwindled.

        “And if you recall, I changed my views when you told me that the builders of Buddha statues were citing the Constitution to defend their actions. Have you forgotten?”

        No I have not forgotten at all; I needed to mention in the overall context showing that your attempts to simplifying the issues when they have grave effect on the race relations.

        “I have not heard about Buddha statues in Jaffna, only the Wanni. I think Tamilnet mentioned something about Jaffna, but a friend of mine who recently went there said that he saw no statues.”

        I am afraid; your friend did not see Jaffna properly!

        “Yes, and I cited research by a scholar of displacement who was clearly sympathetic to the Tamils. The Weli Oya colonisation scheme was a failure. Hence I am not confident that a future attempt will be successful.”

        Whether such schemes fail or not is irrelevant; the fact that the state is orchestrating and funding such schemes is the question. It is pure and simply racism of highest order! It is this aspect that the Sinhala should oppose.

        “What is the evidence?”

        http://www.lankasrinews.com/view.php?2b4dUX84b4bn67R24b3LCSN3e23y0FEecd35coAce0dg6PtIce0dh2Do2cd0Ghs830

        There are several Tamil sources that I do not want give; I will endeavour to find more independent sources. The state of emergency and prevention people movements present obstacles for independent verifications.

        “As far as the reduction of parliamentary representation, what else should the GOSL do when there are fewer voters for the seats available? In any case the reduction will not take place until the next election which might be 5 years from now. Is that not enough time to sort things out?”

        Then why not wait for 5 years before making such a move; isn’t insensitive to talk about such a move when the Tamil community already feels being shot down. It would have been appropriate for this move to take place after an agreement is reached with Tamil representation as to a suitable political model.

        “Then why do you disgaree with such a mechanism for the diaspora for the LTTE supporters to accept responsibility?”

        The mechanism that should investigate the alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity must encompass the roles played by the various other actors including the Tamils Diaspora and the UN. I have no problems for the investigation to authenticate the funding sources of the LTTE and present a very critical analysis of the role played by the Tamil Diaspora. I think that, if the UN were set the remit, this aspect will be included, I have no doubt.

        “I will most enthusiastically and unconditionally support international or any other investigations of Ranil Wickremasinghe and all other UNPers from the era of the 1983 riots. How come none of you are calling for this, but only for MR’s head?”

        I know that you are not a fan of RW; he was one of the architects of the CFA! I do know that you genuinely remorseful of the 1983 episode. Tamils have been calling for an inquiry and compensation for years. MR allegedly had presided over a possible massacre of over 40,000 people. He allegedly targeted self-declared no-fire zones knowing there were mass civilians sheltering; his forces allegedly have summarily executed both combatants and civilians alike.

        “Who had a “summary execution?” Are you talking about B. Nadesan, the LTTE police chief who never fought against the SLA because he was too busy torturing and killing Tamil dissidents? How does he compare with S. Sabalingam, one of the elders of the Tamil Manavar Peravai whom the LTTE murdered simply for researching Prabakaran’s history?”

        The LTTE murdered many people; it was a terrorist organisation founded on blood. Is GOSL equal to the LTTE? Obviously, you did not see the video of the summary executions! There is no footage of the Nadesan’s murder; only his dead body was shown after the white flag surrender! This is another issue that the UN needs to investigate as the surrender was coordinated by the UN personnel!

        “I did not understand. Are you saying that MR is better for the Sinhala majority because he speaks the same language and is a known entity?”

        The Sinhala did not have to choose between MR and VP; whereas, the Tamils had to!

  • http://thecarthaginiansolution.wordpress.com Mango

    Regarding truth, innocence and accusations, my guide in these matters is Amnesty International’s Jim McDonald (country specialist for Sri Lanka) who said:

    Anyone can make a charge at any time against anyone; that doesn’t require the person being charged to have to prove their innocence.”

  • wijayapala

    Niran Anketell,

    Notably, the panel themselves concluded that there were credible allegations that the LTTE’s use of human buffers violated common article 3, and constituted war crimes and crimes against humanity.

    Given that the Panel did not even know that Gotabaya, not Basil is the Defence Secretary, I hardly think it would really know what a human shield is more or less know enough to determine that the LTTE did not use humans as shields.

  • wijayapala

    Ravana, did you miss my earlier message to you on this thread?

    Can you remember when Preme Ayya was assasinated?

    Yes, Premadasa was killed by Tigers not grease yakkas. Now the Tigers are dead, so who will kill MR?

    The one responsible for politicising the Armed Forces many years ago is right now consolidating that.

    Who was that?

    Fonseka would be totally against such an outcome and it appears to be his call for restraint that has held things together so far.

    When did SF call for restraint? Was it in the youtube link I sent you?

    • Ravana

      Dear Wijayapala,

      When did SF call for restraint? Was it in the youtube link I sent you?

      How are you mate. Yes I did miss your comment. And I have seen that Youtube video. C’mon , I don’t approve of everything that Fonseka has done. In regard to his genius (I am not certain of this but assume it if he has been responsible for engineering not only what happened in the war but also what has occurred in the past two years. As it’s all public I won’t elaborate). With regard to restraint, it was stated by one of his alleged admirers/supporters.

      Yes, Premadasa was killed by Tigers not grease yakkas. Now the Tigers are dead, so who will kill MR?

      I hope that such an eventuality will not come to pass. You can read why in my reply to DJ and DB. If MR and GR are not brought to justice, such risk increases. You need to read what some anonymous enemies, particularly of GR say to be mindful of this.

      “The one responsible for politicising the Armed Forces many years ago is right now consolidating that.”

      I am sure you read as well as I. Spat between Sf and the Rajapaksas threw a lot of information out.

      • wijayapala

        Ravana

        I am not certain of this but assume it if he has been responsible for engineering not only what happened in the war but also what has occurred in the past two years. As it’s all public I won’t elaborate).

        What is public?

        “Yes, Premadasa was killed by Tigers not grease yakkas. Now the Tigers are dead, so who will kill MR?
        I hope that such an eventuality will not come to pass. You can read why in my reply to DJ and DB. If MR and GR are not brought to justice, such risk increases. You need to read what some anonymous enemies, particularly of GR say to be mindful of this.

        If the enemies are anonymous, then how can they be dangerous when they are too afraid to even show their faces?

        “The one responsible for politicising the Armed Forces many years ago is right now consolidating that.”
        I am sure you read as well as I. Spat between Sf and the Rajapaksas threw a lot of information out.

        What information?

  • Ravana

    DB,
    Yes, I’ve heard of all of them, but none of them have anything in common with SF. SF is history, Ravana

    Oh! I thought you were quipping with me and this turns out to be about SF! Now I am a bit concerned. He was an officer in Army was he not when you were a NCO? Is it appropriate for a former NCO to publicly comment on a former Commander, especially as he is employed by the enemies of that commander?

    Now that you have gone beyond your brief and made political commentary, it makes me wonder if it is wishful thinking on your part. Now I have to reflect on your previous comments about “we were only 18 or 19 and made such comments- referring to naked female bodies-…”

    [Edited out. Dear Ravana, please provide evidence to buttress these claims about 'Kumar Moses'. Thank you. GV]

    I would suggest DB that you and Kumar Moses and DJ should be careful about your wishful appeal to the Sinhala-Buddhist chauvinist set. When you are not one of them it makes us very suspicious of what you are up to. Ask DJ about the Silindus. Watch that they don’t wake up!

    One more thing, I’d like to know what you (a guy who clearly had a penchant for the pen) was doing as an NCO in an obscure Army in the era we are talking about. I heard a few derisive comments about you on the site once frequented by Moshe Dyan. You’ve got to give the Silindus the credit for being able to join the dots.

    Good Luck on your project and thanks for alerting us!

    • http://www.blacklightarrow.wordpress.com David Blacker

      “Now I am a bit concerned. He was an officer in Army was he not when you were a NCO? Is it appropriate for a former NCO to publicly comment on a former Commander, especially as he is employed by the enemies of that commander?”

      Ravana, firstly, I’m touched by your concern for the appropriateness of my behaviour. I’ve often found that commentators here and on Transcurrents suddenly get very concerned about language, behaviour, appropriateness, and other red herrings when the fishing in their own particular pool dries up. Please don’t concern yourself with such worries. SF and I are both civilians and have all the rights of civilians to free speech. Even if we were still soldiers, a glance over the past couple of years’ newspapers will reassure you on your heartfelt concerns about military and civil officials commenting on each other.

      Secondly, I am not in the employ of anyone connected with SF; be they friends or enemies.

      “Now that you have gone beyond your brief and made political commentary, it makes me wonder if it is wishful thinking on your part.”

      Which brief would that be, and by whom?

      “Now I have to reflect on your previous comments about “we were only 18 or 19 and made such comments- referring to naked female bodies-…””

      I don’t doubt that you often reflect on naked female bodies, but what has that to do with your claim that SF is a political genius for getting himself locked up while still remaining the freest man in SL?

      “I would suggest DB that you and Kumar Moses and DJ should be careful about your wishful appeal to the Sinhala-Buddhist chauvinist set.”

      Which appeal would that be?

      “When you are not one of them it makes us very suspicious of what you are up to.”

      Yes, I know it is highly inconvenient when non-Sinhalese non-Buddhist members of minorities disagree with you guys. Bit hard to call us racist Sinhala Buddhists when we’re not, no? :D

      “One more thing, I’d like to know what you (a guy who clearly had a penchant for the pen) was doing as an NCO in an obscure Army in the era we are talking about.”

      As a Sri Lankan teenager in the late ’80s, it was one of two armies open to me, and I chose this one. It was certainly not obscure to me, since it was my country’s army.

      “Good Luck on your project and thanks for alerting us!”

      Oh, I think your own paranoia would suffice in place of me.

      • Ravana

        DB,

        Just because I am paranoid doesn’t mean that you’re not out to get me! :)

        Playing Dumb doesn’t cut it, but maybe you’re not pretending.

        Yes, I know it is highly inconvenient when non-Sinhalese non-Buddhist members of minorities disagree with you guys. Bit hard to call us racist Sinhala Buddhists when we’re not, no? ,/i>

        Not at all.You could just delete “Sinhala Buddhist”, couldn’t you?

        I don’t doubt that you often reflect on naked female bodies,

        I feel a bit concerned for you with this comment. I am not a necrophiliac. Beside please don’t think that I have not been exposed to traumatised, naked human bodies. I was never trained not to treat them with respect. Come to think of it I recall the naked bodies of black tigers being paraded on a trailer in Anuradhapura. I guess both you and SF have a lot to answer for here. But then I understand that he had to battle “commands from above” even during the War.
        I think that making a lewd necrophiliac comment is one thing. It is quite another thing to make light of it when it is revealed to the World. You really are digging a hole here.

        Ravana, firstly, I’m touched by your concern for the appropriateness of my behaviour.

        Well there goes your resume.

        SF and I are both civilians and have all the rights of civilians to free speech.

        I would absolutely fight for the right of both of you to do this (But look at my comment above). What have you done to fight for SF’s rights?
        BTW, let us look at some one we could both respect with regard to his conduct (as opposed as I am to his wily politics), DJ.

        DJ had no qualms in criticising SF and warn of a military dictatorship if he came to power. This was at the hight of the Presidential elections and when SF could be considered a potential winner. He made these comments despite the fact that MR had discarded him after the Geneva victory. I think that he was very naughty in bringing up the “Military Dictatorship” spectre as SF was clearly not attempting this. However, if we are to read the article on “Modern Dictators” by Weliamuna on this site, we can see how a so-called “Democratically elected Dictators” function. I think DJ had his own reason for specifically undermining SF.

        However, after SF was incarcerated and trumped up charges (a child could figure out) levelled against him, there has been no eagerness on DJ’s part to insult him. Perhaps that is because DJ realises that the “idiots” are undoing the work that had been done up to then. I note many “patriotic heroes” who were silent before the elections but are very vociferous against him after his incarceration.

        I tell you DB, it is a great mistake to do that.

        @GV:
        Dear Ravana, please provide evidence to buttress these claims about ‘Kumar Moses’. Thank you. GV

        There was an avatar (as mentioned) in a defence analysis site called http://defencewire.blogspot.com/ at which he admitted to having written an article. The author of this public article was none other than Kumar Moses. It rang true because of the allusion to Jewish cultural connections. But interestingly this guy also communicated with another avatar in Malay! His many comments on this defence blog accorded with articles of Kumar Moses which are nothing but racist rants against Tamil people moderated with some logical comments. After the end of the War this avatar was the first to start a hate-campaign against SF, well before Asian Tribune got into the act. Once again, his comments were repeated in detail later by Kumar Moses. Interestingly though, the rabid Sinhala chauvinists on this site are said to have ostracised him at some point. He now writes regularly for the rabid site http://www.lankaweb.com/, the latest being a rant about Tamilnadu fishermen. A careful reading of the comments by the avatar I have mentioned and Kumar Moses would reveal similarities.
        Interestingly, the other avatar who wrote Malay on that site called himself “Sam Perera”. I am sure he was not your friend :)
        Furthermore, Wijayapala of this site, I am sure was the Wijayapala of that site (based on style) and carried out a lone fight against the rabid Sinhalas as well as guys like the Avatars I mentioned above. Wijayapala may appreciate that he was paradoxically (through debate) and subtly supported by a group that was carefully watching these other guys, some of whom were just simply racists but others (like the avatars I mentioned) were probably ex-SLA or SLA-intelligence.
        I have implied here that there is very dangerous undercurrent within the Sri Lankan security services and we should be shielding the Tamil people against such a force. The question is, how best to do it. For once, are we willing to sacrifice our lives to protect Tamils?

      • http://www.blacklightarrow.wordpress.com David Blacker

        “Just because I am paranoid doesn’t mean that you’re not out to get me!”

        You flatter yourself, Ravana.

        Playing Dumb doesn’t cut it, but maybe you’re not pretending.

        “Not at all.You could just delete “Sinhala Buddhist”, couldn’t you?”

        How could I be racist to myself?

        “I feel a bit concerned for you with this comment. I am not a necrophiliac.”

        If you say so.

        “I guess both you and SF have a lot to answer for here. But then I understand that he had to battle “commands from above” even during the War.”

        You seem to think that having to follow orders from above was something unique to SF.

        “I think that making a lewd necrophiliac comment is one thing. It is quite another thing to make light of it when it is revealed to the World. You really are digging a hole here.”

        I make light of your hole as well.

        “Well there goes your resume.”

        Which resume?

        “What have you done to fight for SF’s rights?”

        Why am I obliged to fight for SF’s rights? Did you miss the bit about us both being civilians? Besides, if he had enough support to think he could win an election, shouldn’t he also have enough people to fight for him?

        “BTW, let us look at some one we could both respect with regard to his conduct (as opposed as I am to his wily politics), DJ.”

        Whatever your issues with DJ should be addressed to the man himself. I cannot speak for him.

        “I note many “patriotic heroes” who were silent before the elections but are very vociferous against him after his incarceration.”

        It is a common SL trait (both at home and abroad) to back a winner rather than create one.

        “I tell you DB, it is a great mistake to do that.”

        What is even worse is to blindly follow someone who has obviously no plan other than to gain power.

        I note you are unable to answer my question (and Wijayapala’s) as to what was so ingenious in SF getting himself arrested and out of politics for the foreseeable future; especially since there is no groundswell of feeling to free him.

  • http://none WINSTON DE VALLIERE

    Wijayapala…

    Quote : A good way to start would be to ask, “What evidence is there that these allegations are true?”

    Agreed ..and having spoken to over 500 suffering Tamils, who know not what’s happened to over 40,000 [ or more? still counting?]of their loved ones,I’d say, if you multiply that on th4e basis of 4 per family, that there are at least 200,000 family members crying out for the answer because in all probability it is they who ensured that the “credible allegations” reached the UNSG’s panel via the diaspora, and in at least several cases, many of them are possibly within that diaspora itself having fled after bribing guards at the open prison camps which were euphemistically called humanitarian refugee centers, with none other than Palitha Kohona justifying that wholesale incarceration of men, women and kids who had suffered intolerably over a near 30-year war of attrition during which the Tigers were whittled down into near extinction.

    That’s, to my reckoning, 200,000 directly involved fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, wives, children who have a right to be heard and their grievances redressed by an independent authority through an impartial,transparent probe.

    What evidence is there that these allegations are true? What evidence is there, I would ask, that these allegations are trumped up? That was the evidence that the UNSG”s panel wanted to have a look at , evidence that the media was not allowed access to, evidence that even Ban ki-Moon and his media entourage were allowed only a brief and distant glimpse at as he was whizzed past by Helicopter over terrain that, as far as he was concerned, could have been anywhere over Jaffna or Timbuctoo.

    Let’s not forget the very real human pain of those who still, to this day, want to know why their loved ones were killed , now reluctantly admitted by the military and government which initially denied such deaths,[ read Tisarane Gunasekera on Transcurrents]that as ‘collateral’ damage.

    Let’s keep our focus on that: that this is basically a probe wanted by the loved ones of the thousands allegedly killed during the closing months/weeks of the final assault. Let’s separate this from the LTTE equation for the sake of defining it more clearly: THIS IS A PROBE DEMANDED, VIA THE UNSG’S PANEL, NOT BECAUSE THAT PANEL HAS TRUMPED UP FALSE ALLEGATIONS BUT BECAUsE IT HAS RECEIVED CREDIBLE ALLEGATIONS WHICH DEMAND THE RIGHT TO AN OPEN AND COMPREHENSIVE PROBE TO ESTABLISH THE CAUSE AND MANNER OF THE DEATHS VISITED UPON THEIR LOVED ONES.

    Having proceeded with attempts to obfuscate issues, cloud up the skies and muddy the waters, the government now seeks to bolster the weak-kneed response to the panels report with the Godfrey Goon-a- tilleke study deftly, but stupidly embellished by DJ, the government’s man for all seasons.

    To my mind, the drama of this human tragedy, this incredibly painful, this agonising prospect of having to reconcile themselves to the deaths of over 40,000 loves ones, is being reduced to the defilement of a never ending bawdy harangue by pseudo-intellectuals whose wrath spills over at the mention of an LTTE crime. These are filthy double standards.

    The panel has received credible allegations of these mass deaths being
    the result of criminal actions and they want a probe. That’s it in a nutshell.To me, that was what the UNSG’s panel was in essence appointed and tasked to perform. It did its job to the best of its abilities but was blocked from a comprehensive probe by the Lankan government itself. A civilized world stood stunned by the antics of the government driven public spectacle of Wimal Weerawansda’s fast unto death to prevent the panel even entering Sri Lanka let alone having access to the wherewithal needed for a comprehensive, fair and transparent probe. So, in the overall context if you should ask me who authored the panel report I’d say “The Government’s actions authored it”.

    Again, in your post of August 19 you ask PP “Are you aware that investigating war crimes is a legal affair, that most certainly involves “hair-splitting” and “boring” arguments?. No man is and island, we are all part of the whole and every man is a brother….
    And so I take this liberty of entering your dialogue with PP to place some quotes from an article in the World Socialist Website, which I’m sure will be an eye opener to many whose eyes are as yet not opened to hard reality in this wicked world of realpolitik. Truly , any man with a heart and soul that has an iota of compassion will not fail to be grieved by this reality : Draw you own conclusions:” from these quotes from that commentary:

    Quote : However, the expressions of concern from the US and Europe have nothing to do with any genuine sympathy for the victims of the war. For the past three years these same powers have backed Rajapakse’s renewed war and maintained a studied silence over the army’s blatant breaches of the 2002 ceasefire, its bombardments of civilian targets and the abuses of democratic rights, including the operation of pro-government death squads.

    Headed by Britain and France, 17 members of the UN Human Rights Council have pushed for a special session this week to consider Sri Lanka. These same members will not, of course, call for a special session to discuss the war crimes carried out by the US in Iraq, or in Afghanistan, where the European powers are also either directly responsible for, or complicit in, the slaughter of civilians and gross democratic rights violations.

    The US and European powers are simply exploiting threats of a war crimes investigation, as well as to block a much-needed IMF loan, as levers to bolster their political influence over the Rajapakse regime. The prime concern is that rival powers—above all, China—have used the war to increase their standing in Colombo. Western commentators have rather bitterly noted that Rajapakse was able to thumb his nose at US and British calls for a ceasefire, confident he had Chinese support.

    For instance, a comment entitled “Sri Lanka takes a step to the East” in last weekend’s Sydney Morning Herald asked how Rajapakse was able to ignore Western pressure. “Enter the dragon and a host of other new friends,” it explained. “Chinese aid last year amounted to nearly $1 billion, mostly on big visible projects like a highway, two power stations and a new international shipping port at Hambantota in the island’s south, which happens to be Rajapakse’s home town.”

    So then, will not the UNSG’s feints also not die a natural death in this scheme of things? So much then for justice and fair play. In the ultimate essay, it’s the underdog that will have to fashion out for his own survival , his own dignity, his own rights, a mechanism with which he can hold at bay any attack on those facets of life.

    It was this sense of deja vu that persisted perhaps since the early teen years and the majority’s insensitive responses to their sufferings that finally birthed the Tamil rebels into seeking that mechanism which unfortunately mutated into what Sansoni predicted years before would be the bloody trails of a lost Eelam.

    The thing of the moment therefore is fashioning that mechanism, an effective mechanism, that will establish a place of honor for the Tamil nation through a new paradigm for social equity.. and that can only be through a reasonable program of progressive power devolution.

    Hitherto, all eyes and minds have been on a once-for-all devolution package. I don’t agree with that. I think, [and one has to be fair by the sensitivities rubbing raw against the Sinhala majority too] the way to go is by a gradual process of devolution that can and must build respect, acceptance and trust between the major communities, and that includes the Muslims too.

    But one thing is certain, while all this happens, those 200,000 people will still want to cry for justice. That, I am afraid, will, as far as they are concerned, be not negotiable. Any solution must first eliminate all sociopolitical irritants.That is the crux of this enduring racial crisis, that the irritants have either been denied or neglected. Simplistic ? No! all you’ve got to do is look into the reasons why all earlier efforts at reconciliation have failed. THE IRRITANTS STAYED PUT ON BOTH SIDES. THAT’S THE KEY TO A SUCCESSFUL MECHANISM.

  • Off the Cuff

    Dear Burning Issue ,

    You state “………. I raised before about the state sponsored erections of Buddha statues within N&E;”

    Wijayapala states “And if you recall, I changed my views when you told me that the builders of Buddha statues were citing the Constitution to defend their actions.”

    Burning Issue, in Dec 2009 you argued with me about the Trinco Buddha Statue when we discussed the Primacy accorded to Buddhism in the Constitution.

    Quote
    Let me tell you that, you have got it at the wrong end of the stick! I personally loath any religious prominence exhibited in public places. That said, I am not objectionable to the existence of that statue, but have major reservation for the manner in which it was erected and subsequent constitutional authentication. You mentioned about other religious symbols; I am sure that the people who erected those places would have obtained appropriate permissions prior to those erections. This is what those who erected the Buddha Statue in Trincomalee should have done. The purpose of that erection was to challenge the people of Trincomalee, the local authorities and Judiciary emphasising the power of Sinhala Buddhist Authority in Sri Lanka. You cannot simply explain it away by comparing it with other religious monuments in the country. The fact that it was deemed as constitutional speaks volumes.
    Unquote
    http://groundviews.org/2009/11/30/why-should-tamil-speaking-communities-give-critical-support-to-sarath-fonseka/#comment-11609

    I personally do not support the erection of Buddha statues other than at a place where the respect due to a great human being can be accorded to him. Road sides, bus stands and Taxi stands hence, do not fall in to that category.

    However I do object to false propaganda and especially to divisive propaganda that fans hatred.

    Since 2009 you have been claiming that the Trinco Statue was held to be Constitutional and you claimed it as a FACT

    However you have failed to this day, to prove with Authoritative references that your Emphatic Claim is the Truth.

    1. You state “…… have major reservation for the manner in which it was erected”

    I agree with you on this.

    2. You state “……… and subsequent constitutional authentication.”

    That statement is FALSE. It has NEVER been Constitutionally AUTHENTICATED.

    Your continued reiteration of this False Claim for over two years is abominable.

    There are 17 illegally erected religious statues or places of worship on State lands in Trincomalee.
    7 are Hindu Kovils
    6 are churches or Christian statues
    4 are Buddhist (includes the Buddha statue that caused the controversy)

    Yet you had nought to say about the 7 Kovils and 6 Christian structures other than provide an excuse for their existence.

    Quote
    I am sure that the people who erected those places would have obtained appropriate permissions prior to those erections.
    Unquote

    While you make excuses for the multitude of illegal Hindu and Christian structures 13 in total, you have been making a Hue and Cry about the Buddha statue giving false reasons.

    Making matters worse, you Fraudulently misrepresent facts and tries to drum up dissension by claiming that the Buddhist are erecting statues and claiming protection under the Constitution (rather “Authenticated” by the Constitution).

    As far as the Trinco Statue is concerned, this is a blatant and Foul claim. It is a complete lie that you have oft repeated for nearly 2 years at every opportunity.

    However much you repeat it, a Lie will still remain a Lie but unfortunately, it will continue to damage the chances for reconciliation.

    You stated on July 25, 2011 • 1:45 pm
    “I closely followed the Tinccomalee issue with Buddhist statue and was able to demonstrate as to how it was protected using the article 9 of the constitution at that time. I will certainly research again”
    http://groundviews.org/2011/07/15/a-sri-lankan-identity-and-race-relations/#comment-34688

    It has been a month now but the proof that you boasted about, is not forthcoming. It will never be forthcoming as it is a Lie.

    Here is the TRUTH

    A statue of the Buddha had been erected under cover of darkness on 16 May 2005 which replaced a smaller statue that existed near the 3 wheel taxi stand, without permission from any authority, on land belonging to the State/Urban Council,Trincomalee.

    The AG filed a plaint in the Trincomalee courts seeking removal of the Buddha statue.

    Subsequently a fundamental rights plaint was filed in the Supreme Court by Dehiowitta Piyatissa Thera, chief priest of the Chinabay Sri Bodhirajamaha Vihare invoking section 12(1) & (2) of the Constitution ‘Fundamental Right for EQUALITY’ against the AG, alleging that the AG had directed the UDA to take steps under Section 28 of the UDA Act to remove the Buddha statue, which has been SINGLED out amongst 17 illegally erected religious statues on State lands in Trincomalee, out of which, seven were Hindu Kovils and six churches or Christian statues.

    The petitioner further stated the AG and his department had instituted a case in the Trincomalee District Court seeking the declaration that the statue was an illegal structure in order to have the statue removed on that basis.

    The petitioner had alleged that the selective and discriminatory conduct was in violation of Article 12 (1) and (2) of the Constitution, the ‘RIGHT to EQUALITY’

    Right to equality.

    12.

    (1) All persons are equal before the law and are entitled to the equal protection of the law.
    (2) No citizen shall be discriminated against on the grounds of race, religion, language, caste, sex, political opinion, place of birth or any such grounds:
    (http://www.priu.gov.lk/Cons/1978Constitution/Chapter_03_Amd.htm)

    As such it is Dishonest and MISCHIEVOUS to claim that Section 9 of the Constitution was invoked when it was not. If it was, Dehiowitta Piyatissa Thera would have lost the case.
    (http://www.priu.gov.lk/Cons/1978Constitution/Chapter_02_Amd.html)

    Section 9 is very clear. It cannot accord a special place to Buddhism without providing protection to other religions and their followers.

    Buddhism in the Constitution Cannot Override the Rights of Other Religions and still retain the special place.

    I challenge you or anyone else for that matter, to provide authoritative evidence (such as court records or main stream media reports) that prove that the Lankan Courts have provided Legal cover to the erection of any Buddhist structure that has been illegally constructed, by invoking the Primacy provided to Buddhism by Section 9.

    If you are unable to do so and still continue to make this abominable claim you would be reducing yourself to nothing but a Liar and Trouble maker intent on denigrating the secular Judiciary and the Buddhist to satisfy a hidden agenda and an ulterior motive.

    Please stop spreading Lies.

  • wijayapala

    Dear Burning_Issue

    I had missed this comment of yours:

    So it is not surprising that many Tamils who were caught up in the final battle expressed displeasure about the LTTE. However, if you were to ask them about what they think about the MR regime, I am sure you will get the responses that you would not like!

    NOW they do not like MR- but what about in May 2009? Why were they so overwhelmingly anti-LTTE if it was the SLA that had brutalised them more??

    manifestly mutually exclusive thus rendering your mental makeup as one that is protecting the racist MR regime. It is because you do not know what is in stall if moderates were to come into power!

    Who exactly are the “moderates” who can replace MR, and what will they do if they come to power?

    I do not lose sleep over the removal of Sadam in the same way as the removal of VP.

    Why not?

    The Iraqi war was conducted with the full view of the international media.

    Then how do you explain this:

    Pulitzer Prize-winning Photojournalist Completes One Year in U.S. Military Custody in Iraq
    http://harpers.org/archive/2007/04/horton-photojournalist-in-custody

    They quickly moved and set up mechanisms that investigated and prosecuted the culprits.

    Who was punished, and what punishments did they receive?

    May I point out about the General Belgrano affaire; during Falklands war, the British torpedoed the General Belgrano, and Argentine ship that was claimed to be sailing away from the seclusion zone. This prompted a heated debate in the British parliament and it prompted an inquiry.

    And what was the result of that inquiry?

    For both the US and UK examples you provided, was there an “impartial” investigation imposed by an outside body?

    The MR regime operates on the basis that it is untouchable.

    As long as it is in power, it IS untouchable. If you want to “touch” MR then you’ll have to first get him voted out of power. Why not pursue that strategy?

    This does not prevent me or anyone for that matter from questioning the methods employed that allegedly resulted on mass civilian killings.

    Here is a question then- if the civilian deaths were deliberate, then how come more civilians were not killed? Why were there so many survivors?

    The mechanism that should investigate the alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity must encompass the roles played by the various other actors including the Tamils Diaspora and the UN.

    I am glad you finally acknowledge that the diaspora should be investigated as well, although I still am unconvinced that any “impartial” investigation can really be conducted based on the lousy performance of the “impartial” Darusman Panel. How can you expect such a wide, sweeping investigation covering every aspect of this very long war to be trusted to a bunch of clowns who could not even tell the difference between Basil and Gotabhaya???

    Then why not wait for 5 years before making such a move; isn’t insensitive to talk about such a move when the Tamil community already feels being shot down.

    How did the Tamils “feel” when the LTTE was running around not even allowing them to vote??

    The LTTE murdered many people; it was a terrorist organisation founded on blood. Is GOSL equal to the LTTE?

    According to the flag-wavers who are driving these war-crimes calls, the LTTE was not a terrorist organisation. And according to the CFA, the answer is YES the GOSL was equal to the LTTE. That is precisely how MR came to power! All the “international conflict resolution” crowd were delighted to have Prabakaran as a partner in peace. Hence I am quite surprised how these same people were shocked and awed when MR came to power! Why do they advocate a confrontational approach to SL when they earlier were calling for appeasing the LTTE? Could you explain this double standard please?

    Obviously, you did not see the video of the summary executions!

    I did see the video which provided absolutely no names or identities as to who was involved. Do you not find that rather bizarre??? If you were a CH4 executive, would you not have asked for some very basic information, such as which unit was involved, before acquiring and airing this video so that its credibility could be established?

    There is no footage of the Nadesan’s murder; only his dead body was shown after the white flag surrender!

    And yet there were eyewitnesses to Sabalingam’s murder in Paris, but absolutely no appeals for his murder to be investigated. Why is B. Nadesan more important than Sabalingam?

  • Nihal Perera

    According to Wikipedia, the average IQ of the typical Sri Lankan is 79:

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

    No, this is not some colonial conspiracy, as the top 7 spots are taken by East Asian nations. Anyway, I am wondering if there is some correlation between lack of intelligence and lack of war crimes investigations. It would also explain why, since 1948, Sri Lanka has favored radical solutions to virtually all of its major conflicts: SWRD’s language policies, Sirimavo Bandaranaike’s standardization policies, and most recently, MR’s total war.

    • wijayapala

      Nihal, thank you for sharing your Wikipedia Wisdom.

      [Edited out]

  • Dr Dayan Jayatilleka

    Ravana writes: “However, after SF was incarcerated and trumped up charges (a child could figure out) levelled against him, there has been no eagerness on DJ’s part to insult him. Perhaps that is because DJ realises that the “idiots” are undoing the work that had been done up to then.”

    C’mon Ravana, you should do better than that.

    On Feb 15th 2010, the Daily Mirror and the Island carried my article on the arrest entitled A PERFECT BLUNDER, which listed 10 reasons as to why it was, in my view, a counterproductive overkill.

    That being said, there is no point whatsoever in asking why David Blacker isn’t campaigning for SF or anyone else’s freedom from incarceration. Someone in that situation should ‘lawyer up’… look at DSK! When I was indicted and on the run, I was not yet thirty years old, but my comrades and I had far better lawyers, starting with Bala Tampoe. And I do not think that SF doesn’t have topnotch talent in legal heavyweights because of fear of white vans or grease demons!

    • Ravana

      Yes DJ, I read that article. I enjoy reading between the lines and you are one of the best! :)

      BTW the Ambassador to Geneva. I also recall you praising her when she was in Brazil. What are her educational credentials? I have no doubt she is a postgraduate (even a post doctoral) like you.

      That being said, there is no point whatsoever in asking why David Blacker isn’t campaigning for SF

      Come on that was rhetoric! hik hik

      As for those who keep asking me to provide evidence of SF’s genius, I am not going to use a comments column to post volumes of information. They can go back and look at many comments I have made on these columns so far and see. Further they can also read what I have read both during the war and afterwards (google it!).

      Anyone who does not believe that SF is a genius are just as welcome to that opinion as I am to mine. Don’t forget I said either SF is a genius or a genius pushed him on this path after the war. I also suggested that he works prodigiously and is often unpredictable to his enemies except well after the fact.

      Here is a crumb:
      Just as an example of his wit, you might like to view the video of Karannagoda being interviewed by a state employed Gobbles (hilarious!). This occurred just before Xmas 2009. Two days later SF is interviewed and takes his opportunity to drop a devastating blow. Simply brilliant but I saw this before I saw the Karannagoda interview and was alarmed at what I thought was unnecessary. Watching the first interview in retrospect was pure entertainment. Just because the man is not a master of the English language one must not mistake him for being an idiot. In siyabasa, his fluency is wonderful and his wit utterly devastating.

      We must not forget that there is a great power in the World surveying everything it owns and can do so at whim. That power is to some extent predictable. OTOH it also likes predictability.That is, it prefers any small country which is not squarely behind it to be in a state of chaos or propped up with exceedingly corrupt dictators. It would be hard to believe that such a power would not have agents in the most surprising places. And one has to wonder what agents it would choose if it wanted to keep a close eye on greatest of its ideological enemies. How would it actually go about turning those agents?

      In the context of the above paragraph, I invite readers to consider how the Sri Lankan people lost out on an opportunity with SF and his allies who were well placed to counterbalance him if necessary? Who stood to gain more from having the Rajapaksas in power as opposed to SF? Was it the Sri Lankan people? What ever was the outcome there was one power in the World which would not lose. It just wanted to win with more opportunity.

      • http://www.blacklightarrow.wordpress.com David Blacker

        Lol, DJ, there is no cure for religious fervour.

  • amused reader

    GG is in his dotage and DJ is His Masters Voice, serving the master.
    No need for others to waste time on them