LLRC Recommendations: Can the Rajapaksa Regime Digest?

Photo credit Ada Derana

Finally, the full report of the long awaited Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) is in public domain, after it was presented in parliament on Friday (16 December, 2011) by the Leader of the House, Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva. He in fact sounded very certain the recommendations would be carried out to the letter.

The report and its recommendations would not satisfy the Tamil Diaspora. There is no mention of war crimes, crimes against humanity and there is no mention of a need to investigate such crimes. The Sinhala Diaspora and the Sinhala racists here would not want  it either, for the report and its recommendations accept Tamil grievances and seeks political answers for them. For the moderates, though the Rajapaksa regime dropped their claim for “zero civilian casualties” and later accepted their could be “rogue” elements and a few who could not bear the pressures of the war, who committed excesses, the report and its recommendations are unexpected, to say the least and is worth the wait. To be fair by the Commissioners, let it be said, they have managed to bring out a reasonably good report with some clear recommendations though couched in very carefully phrased, cautious lingo.

What is now important is to know whether this Rajapaksa regime that shelved the “Interim Report”,  would honour even these moderate recommendations with an adequate political will and in full ? That, despite Minister Nimal Siripala’s promise in parliament, seems a far cry.

Commission’s recommendations have touched upon all areas and all aspects in a not so unfair manner and in careful language. They now have to be brought out for a good social discussion and strong lobbying to have them translated into action. That again is a difficult task, with a regime that has to date being moving in the opposite direction, depending more on militarising of society. Despite that choice of the regime, the following five issues at least, as taken by the LLRC in its findings and recommendations, have put the government in the dock.

  1. Responding to the Channel 4 programmes
  2. Armed groups in operation
  3. Heavy militarisation in North – East
  4. Land disputes and alienation
  5. Devolution of powers

The LLRC wants an investigation on Channel 4. An investigation would mean, if allowed for independent investigation, this government can not go about with its own version of “Lies Agreed Upon”. There is good reason given for their recommendation for an investigation on Channel 4 that would compel the government to leave aside their jibes and vibes.  The Report has it,

No. 4.374 – The Commission, having taken account of the above has the following observations/recommendations to make: a. The images contained in the footage are truly gruesome and shocking, irrespective of whether the incidents are ‘real’ or ‘staged’ ones.[unquote]

The report then says, on both sides, the Government’s as well as the UN Special Rapporteur’s experts, point to several technical ambiguities in the video which remain un-clarified. Though with more doubts cast on the Channel 4 video, the Report says, it wishes to recommend that the Government initiate an independent investigation (emphasis added) into this matter (No. 4.375) for two reasons. The reasons are, first, IF

“the footage reflects evidence of real incidents of summary execution of persons in captivity and of possible rape victims, it would be necessary to investigate and prosecute offenders as these are clearly illegal acts.[unquote] The second of course is to clear all accusations against the soldiers who fought the war “cleanly and professionally” if the footage is fake.

These were precisely the reasons why, the HR lobbyists both here and elsewhere requested for an “independent investigation” all this time. IF the footage is fake, get your name cleared, was the request, in plain language. NOW, will this regime do it the right way, because it is recommended by the LLRC, the President commissioned ?

So is it with the para military groups in operation. The Report calls them “illegal groups” in operation with State security forces, though the phrasing is not that per se. It says the EPDP activities need to be investigated, finding fault with the response given by Minister Devananda when questioned about accusations against the EPDP on abductions and extortions. The Commission is of the view, there should be a full investigation regarding these allegations as, absence of an investigation would create a sense of impunity

The report also clearly registers the Commission’s reservations in how law enforcement agencies deal with such “illegal” armed groups. Referring to “Major” Seelan’s group, accused of abductions, extortions and robberies, it records,

The Commission brought this to the attention of the DIG of the area. Consequently, an accomplice of Major Seelan was apprehended. However the alleged principal offender still remains at large.[unquote] Thus implies links these “illegal” armed groups have with State forces.

Referring to such “illegal” armed groups, the Commission says, it “reiterates the importance of giving full effect to all of its Interim Recommendations concerning illegal armed groups.” It says it “regrets that full effect has not yet been given to its Interim Recommendations”. That interim report was handed over to the President over one year ago.

That apart, the Report has two extremely good recommendations. One is to de-link the Police  from institutions dealing with the armed forces, as the

Police Department is a civilian institution which is entrusted with the maintenance of law and order.[unquote]. The second and more important is that which recommends an “Independent Permanent Police Commission” as a “pre-requisite to guarantee the effective functioning of the police.” This should be taken together with the observation, “an alarming phenomenon that was brought to the notice of the Commission was the high level of interference by politicians of the ruling party with regard to appointments, transfers etc of public officials. This is the very antithesis of good governance.” (No 8.209)

Can this regime dump Douglas and Karun Amman as para military leaders ? This is a regime that runs around even with Inayabharathi who has special mention in the Report as one “Bharathi” for alleged abductions, extortions and killings. Is President’s own Commission asking too much from this regime, wanting para military groups disbanded and recommending independent Police Commissions ?

Militarisation in North – East is another serious issue the Commission Report has touched upon and rightly. Under many issues such as land, illegal armed groups, high security zones and human rights issues, the Report has recorded excesses committed by the security forces and the police, from selected submissions made by different organisations and persons. While it has recommended for the police to be brought under an independent commission, the report is clear the society has to be free of military interventions in its day to day life.

The report noted a submission made to the Commission by a former Sinhala politician Mangala Moonesinghe which says, “…there was a need to get Ministry of Defense clearance even for private civil functions like weddings which he stated denied the people of the North the freedom enjoyed by other citizens in the country. He also commented that the Army was running civilian businesses.”(page 277)

It is in that context, the Commission has taken a principle position that

The Commission, as a policy, strongly advocates and recommends to the Government that the Security Forces should disengage itself from all civil administration related activities (emphasis added) as rapidly as possible. [6.104(2.4) – p/237] Basing itself on that principled position, the Commission in its report notes,

8.211 It is important that the Northern Province reverts to civilian administration in matters relating to the day-to-day life of the people, and in particular with regard to matters pertaining to economic activities such as agriculture, fisheries land etc. The military presence must progressively recede to the background to enable the people to return to normal civilian life and enjoy the benefits of peace [unquote]

The report in fact also wants HSZ’s rationally reduced to enable people to have a normal life. It recommends re evaluation of HSZ’s along with civil administrative representations in the area in allocating land for the security forces. Therefore it says,

6.98 In this regard the Commission notes that it is desirable to formalize all HSZs according to existing legal provisions so that maximum benefits and compensation could be paid to affected persons promptly. It is also desirable to continue to review the HSZs with a view to reducing the areas of the HSZs further, (emphasis added) while being alert to national security needs.[unquote]

The fact is, this regime works the other way. It has brought security forces into all aspect of civil life in the North and East and is extending such military intervention now in the Sinhala South as well. It has militarised even the foreign service, appointing former combat and commanding officers as diplomats. This regime has unnecessarily (looking from the side of people) brought civil agencies under the MoD and thus controls Non Governmental activities keeping the NGO Secretariat under the MoD. It has Land Reclamation and Development, Coast Conservation, Registration of Persons and Urban Development under it and military officers sitting on decisions.

North – East is obviously far worse. Even the LLRC Report notes submissions made regarding security interventions in most trivial of events in daily life. The second situation report tabled in parliament on 21 October, 2011 by TNA parliamentarian M. A. Sumanthiran, probably while this LLRC Report was being written, details how deeply and brutally militarised the North – East is. Again the Trillion Yuan question with this Rajapaksa regime is, will it accept and implement the recommendations of the Commission in totally disengaging the security forces from civil life ?

Land for this Sinhala Buddhist regime is important to the extent it could control the economy in Tamil areas, along with its demography. This remains a very serious political issue from D.S. Senanayake era since independence with colonisation programmes effected as development. The Commission accepts in its Report, the same has been brought to its notice where demographic change is being effected in some areas.

Taking allegations on “Sinhalisation” as worthy of note, the Report has it,

It was also stated before the Commission that the Northern and Eastern Provincial Administration is being ethnically transformed. A Muslim party official referring to key administrative positions in the North and East Administrations stated that a former Trincomalee GA, was the Chief Secretary and ex-servicemen were in key administrative positions. He went on to state that the appointment of ex-servicemen to key administrative posts had been criticized by the members of the administrative service. He added, however, that the fact remained that the combination of retired administration and security officials were well equipped to implement the ‘Sinhalisation process in the East’ [unquote – No.8.106]

The Commission thus recommends,

6.104 (1) Any citizen of Sri Lanka has the inalienable right to acquire land in any part of the country, in accordance with its laws and regulations, and reside in any area of his/her choice without any restrictions or limitations imposed in any manner whatsoever. The land policy of the Government should not be an instrument to effect unnatural changes in the demographic pattern of a given Province (emphasis added). In the case of inter provincial irrigation or land settlement schemes, distribution of State land should continue to be as provided for in the Constitution of Sri Lanka.

It is therefore stressed as recommendations again and strongly too, that “an apolitical approach be adopted in the implementation of the programme (on land), combined with a strong political will”. It says, elsewhere in a very general statement about our present politicians, but very appropriately for land in North-East too,

The politicians and the political elite exercise the power of the State to the detriment of others. This has led to a high degree of corruption undermining the rights of the citizens.[unquote]

For such apolitical implementation of all recommendations the Commission also wants a civil administration that could function independently. This again is a social requirement the opinionated citizens demanded and still keep demanding. This requirement of an independently effective administration was met through the 17 Amendment to the Constitution, along with depoliticising of other State agencies like the Police, the Judiciary and the Elections Department, though with some drawbacks that should have been rectified. Instead this regime, totally negated the want of a de-politicised State apparatus and hurriedly brought the 18 Amendment to the Constitution, allowing the President to politicise the whole State. The LLRC Report now wants that turned round and recommends

8.210 The Commission strongly recommends the establishment of an Independent Public Service Commission without delay (emphasis added) to ensure that there is no political interference in the public service [unquote]

So is the recommendation for devolution, made through carefully selected phrases and in a very meek tone. It does accept that devolved power provides for local participation at a closer proximity in decision making on development. It does say, the present decision making process with the Presidential Task Force handling all affairs in North-East, is a “top to bottom” approach and does not take local needs, culture and confidence of the people, into its decisions.

Recommending devolution, the Commission says,

In addressing the question of devolution two matters require the attention of the government. Firstly, empowering the Local Government institutions to ensure greater peoples’ participation at the grass roots level. Secondly, it is also imperative that the lessons learnt from the shortcomings in the functioning of the Provincial Councils system be taken into account, in devising an appropriate system of devolution (emphasis added) that addresses the needs of the people. It should at the same time provide for safeguarding the territorial integrity and unity of Sri Lanka whilst fostering its rich diversity.[unquote – pages 307 and 308]

In an overall glance, the Commission wants the government to,

  1. Independently investigate Channel 4 footage for authenticity and also if authentic, to take             legal action to punish the “wrongdoers”.
  2. Disarm all para military groups including the EPDP, PLOTE, ENDLF etc., and investigate allegations against the EPDP
  3. Withdraw the military from public life and leave civil life to civil administration
  4. Devolve power to the peripheries, removing shortcomings there is, in the present PC system in a more meaningful manner.
  5. Establish independent Commissions for Police and Public Service.

These have been asked for by concerned Citizens and they were then labelled as “traitors or Tamil Tiger sympathisers” and often ridiculed and humiliated into silence. Now the LLRC wants the government to implement what these “traitors” have been asking for.

In a way, what the LLRC seems to say is, leave the MoD out of politics and civil life and provide an opportunity for the Tamil people to pick their lives from where the war concluded, by giving them enough elected power in their provinces through improved PCs. Can or will this regime ever have the political intellect to carry through the recommendations ? The wait for the LLRC Report was a politically inquisitive wait. A wait for this regime to implement these LLRC recommendations could be a politically constipated wait.

  • http://www.tamilresearchandnews.net, A. S. Uthayakumar

    Kusal Perera has touched some important emphasis and recommendations made by the LLRC. But, on one hand, some very important emphasis have been ignored and, on the other, Kusal Perera has failed to mention some very important matters that were not touched in the LLRC Report.

    The Commission has emphasized in the paragraph – 8.150:

    “The Commission takes the view that the root cause of the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka lies in the failure of successive Governments to address the genuine grievances of the Tamil people. The country may not have been confronted with a violent separatist agenda, if the political consensus at the time of independence had been sustained and if policies had been implemented to build up and strengthen the confidence of the minorities around the system which had gained a reasonable measure of acceptance.”

    Thus the LLRC accepts that the violent separatist agenda was the outcome of the failure of the successive Governments of Sri Lanka to address the genuine grievances of the Tamil people!

    Further, under “The Different Phases in the Narrative of Tamil Grievances” it has mentioned in para.8.163 of the Report:

    “The decisive rift in the inter-ethnic relationship came first with the riots of 1958, then in1977, and culminating in what is known as ‘Black July’ of 1983, and the heinous failure of the then Government to provide adequate protection to Tamil citizens. The problems pertaining to the Tamil Community and their grievances cannot be fully addressed without a fuller understanding of this culture of violence that marred the relationship between the Sinhala and Tamil communities.”

    Thus, the LLRC indirectly accepts that the “culture of violence” was introduced in the country NOT BY THE TAMILS, but by the Sinhalese and it was indirectly catalyzed by the Governments of Sri Lanka!

    At this juncture it is very important to note that the LLRC has not mentioned in its Report what actually caused the successive Governments of Sri Lanka to implement policies and actions that produced genuine grievances to the Tamils and other minorities of the country.

    Here the LLRC should have analyzed and come to a definite conclusion on WHETHER THE GOVERNMENTS OF SRI LANKA FORMULATED AND IMPLEMENTED POLICIES AND ACTIONS BASED ON SOME DOCTRINE OR NOT!

    Here the LLRC has either failed or conveniently got excused itself from talking about a very important question!

    Here only the Paragraph 28 of the UN Panel Report becomes very important. It states that:

    “After independence, political elites tended to prioritize short-term political gains, appealing to communal and ethnic sentiments, over long-term policies, which could have built an inclusive state that adequately represented the multicultural nature of the citizenry. Because of these dynamics and divisions, the formation of a unifying national identity has been greatly hampered. Meanwhile, SINHALA-BUDDHIST NATIONALISM GAINED TRACTION, ASSERTING A PRIVILEGED PLACE FOR THE SINHALESE AS THE PROTECTORS OF SRI LANKA,AS THE SACRED HOME OF BUDDHISM. THESE FACTORS RESULTED IN DEVASTATING AND ENDURING CONSEQUENCES FOR THE NATURE OF THE STATE, GOVERNANCE AND INTER-ETHNIC RELATIONS IN SRI LANKA.”

    The UN Panel Reports thus emphasizes that the ‘ROOT CAUSE’ of the problems of Lanka has been its Sinhala Buddhist nationalism based on SACRED DOCTRINE: Sinhala – Sinhalese – Buddhism – Lanka doctine with one to one correspondence.

    Then, a very important question arises here.

    The Commission would have been well aware of the statement in paragraph – 28 of the UN Panel Report. Then Why it failed to find out and mention in its Report why the successive Governments of Sri Lanka formulated and implemented policies and actions that produced grievances to the Tamil minorities of the country?

    A logical analysis only would make us to come to the correct conclusion.

    Had the Commission analyzed and mentioned why the successive Governments of Sri Lanka formulated and implemented policies and actions that produced grievances only to the Tamil minorities,that would become proof for the intentional violations of the humanitarian and human rights laws at the last stages of war and after the war by the Government and its forces!

    However, the recommendations made by the LLRC in Reports indirectly confirm that the Sri Lankan Governments have been basing their policies and actions under Sinhala – Buddhist nationalism based on the imaginary doctrine: Sinhala – Sinhalese – Buddhism – Lanka with one to one correspondence.

    We have to wait and see how the Sinhala – Theravada Buddhist nationalist, the Government and the armed forces react to the Report of the LLRC.

    • Kusal Perera

      Yes Uthayakumar,
      I did skip most that would keep us discussing the past. I do agree with what you have posted. But I was only interested in what the Report held for the future. That was why I picked on what the Report provided as recommendations for militarisation, devolution, civil life and administration issues and Channel4 as one that would lead to the issue of war crimes.
      My concern now is, will the R regime honour them, given their track record as a Sinhala power bloc. Here I have my doubts. And I feel the Tamil Diaspora would also drop the whole LLRC Report and stick to their “Hang the war criminals” shout.
      That would be what this R regime would also prefer. Because that would not hold this regime responsible in implementing what the Tamil people living here on the ground most need for their life. Here in North-East, if the R regime can be pushed to at least honour the recommendation on de-militarising, then half the problem would be over.
      So the issue now, as I see is, (while we could discuss those issues that relate to the past) can we get a good advocay campaign/lobby off the ground to compel this R regime to implement those recommendations. After all, it not us who say they are necessary solutions, but the very reliable Commissioners appointed by Rajapaksa himself.
      Kusal

      • http://www.tamilresearchandnews.net, A. S. Uthayakumar

        Dear Kusal Perera,

        Thanks for your reply.

        However, without identifying the ‘Root Cause’ of the problems that our country has been facing since its independence, it would not be possible for the LLRC to give correct and full advise on RECONCILIATION.

        On the other hand, without finding out whether the successive Governments of Sri Lanka have been basing their policies and actions with a certain doctrine or not, it would not be possible for the Commission to judge correctly whether the modes of military actions(using heavy weapons, Shelling hospitals, civilians, shelling no war zones etc causing deaths), methods of handling of the civilians, surrendered LTTE fighters with or without weapons during the war and post war mishandling of civilians and the surrendered LTTE fighters by the Government of Sri Lanka and the forces WERE INTENTIONAL OR NOT.

        The paragraphs 8.150 and 8.163 of the LLRC Report and some others confirm that the Governments of Sri Lanka have formulated and executed policies and actions based on a CERTAIN DOCTRINE.

        Thus,Had there been any proven mass killings of both civilians and the surrendered LTTE fighters, and mishandling of the civilians and surrendered LTTE fighters, it would automatically confirm that they were carried out intentionally and human rights and humanitarian laws were violated intentionally. This is a war crime.

    • John Wayne

      The LRRC report has rightly pointed to the arrogance of political power and the failure of successive government to address the grievances of the minorities. Civil society must now call for and start a serious campaign to clean up the deteriorating political culture within ALL the main political parties in Sri Lanka and address the lack of democracy within the UNP and SLFP.
      The political parties need to be held accountable for the lack of internal democracy and deterioration of democratic institutions and new rules for leadership succession need to be devised. Also civil society should boycott Ranil Wickramasinhe who is a disgrace for clinging to power after so many electoral defeats and for not grooming a successor who adheres to the multicultural values of the founders of the party, even as it is critical of the Rajapakse dictatorship. Something must be done about the deterioration of democracy within political parties and the country at large! This is also the cry of the LLRC and the only way to do this would be to press for accountability for war crimes of the Rajapakses and for the resignation of Ranil Wickramasinghe who has blocked democratic change within the UNP in his greed for power he is exactly like the Rajapakses.

  • Fourier

    ITN / Channel 4 News-

    Kusal mentions observation point (a) but very conveniently skips over the following:

    (b) Several technical ambiguities in the video which remain unclarified.
    (c) Electronic tampering and the artificial construction of the ‘blood effect’ in the video.
    (d) The non-availability of a copy of the broadcast footage.
    (e) Troubling technical and forensic questions of a serious nature that cast significant doubts about the authenticity of
    this video and the credibility of its contents.
    (f) The Broadcaster did not respond positively to the request made by the Commission to provide more comprehensive information. Greater cooperation by the organization that provided to the television stations these video images and by the Producer/Broadcaster that aired this footage is essential to establish facts of this case.

    Similarly, when it comes to recommendations by the commission, point (b) below is not mentioned at all.

    The Commission shares some of the significant doubts expressed on the integrity of the video and feels strongly that if that were to be the case, whoever constructed the video and the organization that broadcast it should be held responsible for a serious instance of
    gross disinformation.

    BTW, what a brilliant stroke of inspiration to use Prof. E. A. Yfantis* as a technical expert to shut the low tech mob: the ones who first screamed Siri Hewavitharana was not competent enough and soon change their rant to one of bias!

    * Ex Vancouver police constables, who needs to brush-up their Signal Processing theory are welcome by the good Professor to join his lectures …

    • Burning_Issue

      Notwithstanding the entire submission, there are many important issues with clear recommendations, I feel that on the point of Channel 4 Documentary, the Commission dithered and contradicted itself. On one hand it has asked for an independent investigation and on the other hand it cast doubts on the credibility of the programme. It should have projected a balance stance with open mind when calling for an independent investigation.

      I have not read the submission in full yet, but think that it is an important documentation; the Commission was constituted with predominantly Sinhala, and the poignant admissions and clear recommendations of several grievances of the minority communities is very significant. I am sure that the Sinhala Chauvinists would go into overdrive to counter this fresh impediment to their unabated progress. The Tamil Paramilitaries must be done away with. The question is, whether the MR Regime has the back bone to sincerely implement the recommendations; I very much doubt it!

    • Off the Cuff

      The Channel 4 documentary (sic) has again resurfaced.

      Was it a Documentary or a Fabrication?

      Was Alston’s so called Experts that were used to “Authenticate” the Fabrication, Experts on the Subject matter or Experts at Falsification?
      How reliable are these “Expert Opinions”?

      Not according to Judicial Officials in USA and Canada.

      Here are some FACTS about these so called “Experts” and their integrity.

      Dr. Daniel Spitz

      Dr Spitz found that the footage (Ch 4 Video) appeared authentic, especially with respect to the two individuals who are shown being shot in the head at close range. He found that the body reaction, movement, and blood evidence was entirely consistent with what would be expected in such shootings.

      Forensic Pathologist and medical doctor, Daniel Spitz is the current Medical Examiner for Macomb County, Michigan.

      Watch the Video titled, Rob Simpson Case – Daniel Spitz Integrity in Question

      Spitz could not find any Entry bullet wound or the Bullet that killed a Banker, shot on the back of the head, “Execution Style” and had concluded that the Death was a Suicide. Or DID HE SUPPRESS THE EVIDENCE?

      Watch the two videos below and form your own opinion.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DpL56wS_qZo

      Watch the video of Spitz stuttering on Cross Examination on why he FAILED to find the Bullet or the entrance wound of a Man Killed EXECUTION STYLE with a bullet to the Head

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-3Oy76_nICc&NR=1

      Is his opinion for Sale?

      Grant Fredericks

      Mr. Fredericks, who has testified as an ‘expert witness’ in numerous cases was in the spotlight in Canada when he appeared as a witness for four policemen who tried to cover up their involvement in the death of an immigrant at the Vancouver airport in October 2007. The Mounties maintained they used a Taser gun on Robert Dziekanski because he was violent and refused to cooperate. However, a bystander’s video contradicted that version.

      At a public inquiry held in 2009 into the killing, which drew public furore and demands for the police to stop using Tasers, Fredericks, in support of the cops, said his analysis of the video showed Dziekanski moving toward the officers shortly before he was jolted.

      First, Fredericks was caught in a lie about his contacts with the manufacturers of the guns, Taser International. Don Rosenbloom, a lawyer retained by the Polish government to represent Dziekanski’s interests, pointedly questioned Frederick about his organization’s (LEVA) affiliation with Taser. Frederick denied that there was any connection.

      “Let me suggest to you, sir, that one of the major sponsors of that laboratory and that program under LEVA is Taser International. Do you agree?” asked Rosenbloom.
      “No, I don’t think Taser even knows it exists and I’ve never had any involvement with Taser International,” Fredericks replied.
      But as Rosenbloom pressed on, Fredericks’ answers changed.
      “I believe I saw Taser as one of the vendors at our conference last year,” Fredericks eventually admitted.
      Taser was and still remains one of LEVA’s corporate sponsors.

      Fredericks’ credibility and professional expertise got a further hammering when he was questioned about his forensic analysis of the video.

      Fredericks supported the RCMP police officers’ defense that Mr. Dziekanski stepped toward them while clenching the stapler in his fist. He even testified that from his repetitive viewing of a three-second segment of a stabilized version of the Pritchard video, he identified Mr. Dziekanski take three distinct steps forward (right, left, right), based on his analysis of shoulder movements, although he could not say how far – whether an inch or a foot . He acknowledged that he could not see Mr. Dziekanski’s legs or feet, and had no special expertise in biomechanics or the study of human motion.

      Mark Hird-Rutter, a certified photogrammetrist who was called by the Braidwood Commission that inquired into the Robert Dziekanski killing to analyze the methodologies used by Fredericks, described the methodology as ‘flawed.’ Hird-Rutter said:

      The methodologies that were used in Mr. Fredericks’s report do not follow the rigours of the Science of Photogrammetry and it would be wrong to use them to determine the movement of Mr. Dziekanski either forwards or backwards.

      Another expert Duane McInnis called by the Commission also criticized Fredericks’s analysis and methodology. McInnis, a mechanical engineer and founder and senior engineer in MEA Forensic Engineers and Scientists, Canada’s largest forensic engineering and scientific firm concluded that Mr. Fredericks’ opinion (that Mr. Dziekanski moved toward the officers) is not technically supportable because of measurement errors.

      The Commissioner’s final opinion on Grant Fredericks:
      His verification methodology was flawed — while I accept that his measurement of the fixed object (the counter) showed a decrease in size as the camera zoomed out, he could make no comparable measurement of the movable object (Mr. Dziekanski’s jacket), because he was not able to measure the entire length of the jacket, as it extended below the level of the counter. I accept the opinions of Mr. Hird-Rutter and Mr. McInnis on this issue.

      He has no special expertise in determining steps from shoulder movements — without the verification referred to above,Mr. Fredericks’ opinion of three distinct steps forward is based entirely on his repetitive viewing of the three-second segment of the Pritchard video and his interpretation of Mr. Dziekanski’s changing shoulder movements. I am not persuaded that his expertise as a forensic video analyst extends to this type of human body movement. In the absence of such expertise, his opinion deserves no greater weight than the opinion of any other careful observer. I have watched this segment of the Pritchard video many dozens of times, and I have been unable to detect the three methodical step movements Mr. Fredericks described. Even if I am wrong and Mr. Dziekanski did take three distinct steps forward, Mr. Fredericks’ opinion is of questionable significance, since he repeatedly refused significance, since he repeatedly refused to estimate distance, even a distance as small as one inch.

      When the Experts’ integrity is in question what they say become worthless.

      You should read Dr. Noel Nadesan’s open letter to ABC Australia TV. Dr. Nadesan is the Editor of the Tamil Newspaper Uthayam and has been its Editor for 14 years.

      Here is an excerpt.
      … Ch 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 out in slippers when they go out on operations.
      end excerpt.

      He has also written about Suthanthipuram, the first NFZ. He says the LTTE moved their Radio station and Artillery units in to it, to fire at Army points.

      He has also described how the LTTE was firing from the close proximity of the Hospital and makeshift hospitals and cites as witnesses the AGA Parthipan and Dr. Shanmugarajah.

      The full letter is available at http://www.lankaweb.com/news/items/2011/07/14/media-and-the-suffering-of-the-tamil-people/

      When you view these together with the observations of Dr Noel Nadesan and the conspicuous absence of Injured or Dead LTTE from the ONLY hospital available to the LTTE in the War zone, the charge of Gross Fabrication is standing a mile above Ch4.

  • Ward

    Sri Lanka Spring would be the demand by the public to implement the recommendations.

  • http://- Sam Thambipillai

    Glaringly obvious truth with the lawyers and judges in Sri Lanka(SL) is that even when they know the law they do not seem to know justice. Justice requires wisdom.

    A priveleged class, created not on merit but on unearned legal privilege, controls the writing of rules and how they are applied in SL.

    Lawyers with expertise in international law know with certainty that SL is an illegal country- like the former Southern Rhodesia of Ian Smith- declaring itself as a republic in 1972, making Tamil Eelam(TE) as its colony, at a period of decolonisation of coutries, following a UN resolution that all the colonies should be handed over to the native owners.

    Internal justice has become an impossibility in most of the former and present colonies, compelling affected citizens to seek external justice.

    During the third week of October 2011, the 9th US Court of Appeal in San Francisco, under a US law known as the Alien Tort Statute, decided to proceed with a lawsuit filed on behalf of 10,000 of present and former residents of the South Pacific island of Bougainhville, where a late 1980s uprising led to the use of military force and many deaths.

    In this litigation, non US residents have filed a lawsuit against a non US company based in Britain, without even an office in the US.

    Rio Tinto is accused of racial discrimination, crimes against humanity and covering up complicity in war crimes and genocide.

    The US appeal court Judge Mary Schroeder said “The complainant alleges purposeful conduct undertaken by Rio Tinto with the intent to assist in the commission of violence, injury and death, to the degree necessary to keep its mine open”.

    A lawsuit against the GOSL and its allies is imminent in the US courts, alleging the military, the GOSL and its allies of violence, injury and death of Tamils, with the intent to keep TE as its colony.

    • Off the Cuff

      Pity that they overlooked the plight of the Chagoseans who were expelled from their land by the British acting in collusion with the USA.

      Did US interests in Diego Garcia take precedence over Human Rights?

  • Nagalingam Ethirveerasingam

    Kusul Perera points out that The LLRC report is finding fault with successive governments for not solving the “ethnic problem”. He and the LLRC are partially right. Sri Lanka Governments are elected by a majority of the people. The majority are Sinhalese. Within the Sinhala majority is a substantial majority of Sinhala-Buddhist. The fact remains that without a Sinhala-Buddhist vote no party will gain a majority in parliament. It was brought home to me by two leading UNP politicians.

    Lalith Athulathmudali, on Feb 4th 1985, when I asked him why UNP, with their more than two-thirds majority, introduce a federal constitution to solve the problem, replied that, “It would be political suicide.”

    Ranil Wickremasinghe, in the presence of Mahinda Samarasinghe and Tyrone Fernando (Both then UNP.) on May 13th 1997, when asked, would UNP support a Federal Constitution, told me that, “We are a political party and we will not do anything that will not bring back to power or do anything when we are in power that would unseat us from power.”

    All the failed Pacts and Reports of many APCs, PSC proposal of 2000 (which the SLFP and UNP rejected) and APRC can be explained by the statements of the two Sinhala leaders mentioned above. That is, in short, no Sinhala political party will go against the political will of the Sinhala-Buddhist voters. That will was manifested in 1956 and continues up to date. The fault lies with not only the Sinhala political leaders but equally with the majority Sinhala-Buddhist voters.

    The ethnic problem, starting from 1921 is the making of the Sinhala-Buddhist majoritarian democracy. Successive governments, irrespective of the colour of their flags, since 1948, were obedient servants of that majority. Even after the end of the war, it can be seen that the Tamils are not willing to succumb or compromise to the will and whims of the Sinhala-Buddhist electorate. If the current government, assuming it has the Will, which it does not, tries to implement the 1987 13th Amendment of the constitution, as a solution to the ethnic problem, there will be demonstrations and riots by the majority community until they are removed from Office. That is, an Arab Spring in reverse.

    Unless otherwise there is external pressure to entrench in a new constitution a just solution, the ethnic conflict will have no chance of ending. Reconciliation will only be a mirage in the North-East.

    • Kusal Perera

      That’s not always Right Ethiri.
      IF the LTTE did not bloc the Jaffna vote, at the 2005 November Presidential elections history would have been much different. MR won by a whisker – 186,000 only. IF the Tamil voter was allowed to vote,they would have decided the winner. Also remember, running against the mast rabid Sinhala campaign ever since independence, put together by MR with all Sinhala parties, groups and individuals on his platform and the Old left adding their two pennies worth, Sinhala South voted RW who stood for a power sharing “united” SL as against a “Unitary State” by MR, a total of 4.2 million.

      Even at the 1994 August elections, the majority Sinhala voted CBK who openly canvassed for a negotiated settlement, despite the UNP calling her an Eelamist and putting up “Pottu” in her forehead in all her posters on walls.

      Again,in 2001 elections, RW who stood for a negotiated solution and was accused of a secret deal with Prabhakaran was voted into government by the Sinhala South.

      SO, its not always true, that Sinhala South had been voting anti Tamil and only voted for those who stood for Sinhala supremacy.

  • http://msn Don Henrik

    LTTE may be responsible for most of the atrocities, but they are now non-existant.
    Some can be prosecuted, but they are protected by the Paksas !

    The govt. and military on the other hand remains largely in tact.
    While the conduct of our military was good upto the last stages, some of the criminals of the final few weeks should certainly be held accountable.
    (A lesser penalty could be applied as they were war heros at least upto then).

    The (international) ‘Rights’ agencies must also be held accountable for abandoning the civilians caught between, leaving them to the mercy of the Tiger and the Lion.

  • Nagalingam Ethirveerasingam

    Kusul.
    I can counter every point you made and your conclusion. But that will only add to the confusion. Suffice to say that SL is continuing the war by other means. How the Tamils will respond will determine peace or continued conflict

    You probably read Justice Wigneswaran’s interview in 16 December 2011 Daily Mirror. I wish Groundviews will publish that interview. It will be interesting to read the comments on his interview.

    Changing Governments, with or without Tamil votes, nor peace talks with violent or non-violent Tamil negotiater solved the ethnic problem that existed for centuries and manifested in 1948 long before any of the Tigers or for that matter any of their parents were born.
    Will there be an “Arab Spring” by Tamil, Sinhala and Muslims? I doubt it. If Tamils Start an “Arab Spring” will BBC, CNN, Al Jazeera will be there to cover the blood letting. I doubt it.

    • wijayapala

      Dear Nagalingam

      How did this conflict you speak of last for “centuries?” What do you propose that we do about the situation.

      • Nagalingam Ethirveerasingam. Ph.D.

        Wijeyapala,
        Read Justice Wigneswaran’s interview in 16 Dec Daily Mirror.

      • wijayapala

        Naga, I read the interview and saw nothing about a conflict lasting for centuries. The furthest back that Wigneswaran went was 1919. 2011 – 1919 = 92 years which is less than a single century.

        Wigneswaran’s basic argument makes no sense. He says that there will be no solution to the ethnic conflict unless it is imposed from outside. If a solution is imposed from outside, then why/how would the Sinhalese accept it in the long term?

    • Off the Cuff

      The Arabs could not change their government with the ballot.
      Sri Lanka did so many a time and it will continue to do so when the people decide.

      Under the circumstances, what relevance does the Arab Spring hold for Lanka?

      • Nihal Perera

        Off the Cuff,

        The Arabs could not change their government with the ballot.
        Sri Lanka did so many a time and it will continue to do so when the people decide.

        What makes you so sure Rajapakse Ltd. will not rig the next election? It is a simple matter of handpicking the election commissioner, who will then overlook irregularities, come voting day. I don’t think this is a difficult task at all for our friends in high places; after all, they managed to cover up the mass murder of 40K Tamils by hoodwinking the UN.

      • Off the Cuff

        Nihal Perera,

        There were many such doomsday prophets before you.
        All of them have been proven wrong.
        I doubt whether you will be an exception.

        The Universal Franchise has operated as intended from the time it was introduced to Lanka.

        I think that tradition will not be broken. What makes you think otherwise?

        Day dreams and rhetoric similar to the 40k?

      • Nihal Perera

        Off the Cuff,

        The Rajapakses are doing everything possible to tighten their grip on power; only a real simpleton can think that they will let a single election take away the Empire which they are building over a span of decades. The Rajapakses have full control of the military and the Supreme Court, both of which have the power to oppose any election result not favorable to the Rajapakses/SLFP. I suggest you take a look at the latest election results in Iran and Russia. Your assumption that every election is an exercise in democracy, simply by virtue of the definition of “election”, is a gross oversimplification of the facts.

        http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2078285/Russian-protesters-streets-Moscow-Putin-vote-rigging-claims.html

        http://pjmedia.com/blog/massive-fraud-alleged-in-iranian-vote/

      • Off the Cuff

        Nihal Perera,

        Does Russian and Iranian electoral behaviour effect UK electoral behaviour?

        Such an argument would emanate only from an intellectually bankrupt imbecile.

        Lanka has always respected electoral verdicts.
        Holding Russia and Iran as examples is an imbecile argument.

        In Lanka, Govts have changed every time the Govt in power lost an election. There are no exceptions.
        Even the Christian led Military coup failed to change a Govt.

        Hence Nihal, provide relevant facts if you want to prove a point.
        Irrelevancies will only prove your ignorance.

      • Nihal Perera

        Off the Cuff,

        Try to keep the government school brain cells focused. There is no difference between Putin, Ahmadinejad, and Rajapakse. All three rule with an iron fist. All three are corrupt to the max and will stay in power at any cost. This is not about democracy; it is about dictators and the laughable elections they hold to fool the sheep, such as yourself.

      • Off the Cuff

        Niahl Perera,

        Back to the private school rhetoric?

        You say “This is not about democracy …”

        In that case why did you respond to my post about the ballot?

        extract from my post
        The Arabs could not change their government with the ballot.
        Sri Lanka did so many a time and it will continue to do so when the people decide.
        End extract

        Who is unable to keep focus?

        You see Nihal, to the intellectually bankrupt, the ONLY refuge is empty rhetoric.

    • Off the Cuff

      You say “Kusal, I can counter every point you made and your conclusion. But that will only add to the confusion”

      What adds to confusion are untruths, innuendo and half truths not factual counter arguments to well made points that counter your own absurd generalisations.

      Your arguments, attempting to vilify the Sinhalese and the Buddhists, are similar to stating that ALL Tamil Hindus and Christians are murderess LTTE Terrorists, which of course is untrue.

      • MV

        Off the Cuff,

        I think you miss the larger point that Naga made.

        All the Sri Lankan leaders came into power saying they will resolve the national question, along with number of other promises, but did they ever materialize beyond words? The reason being majoritarian politics.

        Take for example MR – before he came into power, he was a defender of democracy and human rights and promised to devolve power but what happen now? What happened to all the recommendations of committees set up in the past?

      • Off the Cuff

        MV,

        You are missing the Factual and Larger Point that Kusal made which Naga conveniently side stepped as he has no answer to Kusal.

        I brought Naga’s attention to his attempted vilification of the Sinhalese and Buddhists.

        Is it justified for me to call you and ALL Tamil Hindu’s and Christian’s Murderous Terrorists just because the LTTE were Murderous Terrorists? I don’t think so, not unless I have justifiable factual reasons.

        Hence I have asked Naga to counter Kusal with Facts instead of Empty claims about his ability to do so.

        I doubt he will ever be able to Counter Kusal’s analysis with FACTS.

        Can You?

  • Nagalingam Ethirveerasingam. Ph.D.

    Wijeyapala and off the cuff.
    Thank you for your observations.No point continuing this discussion.

    • Off the Cuff

      Nagalingam Ethirveerasingam. Ph.D.

      You claimed “Kusul, I can counter every point you made and your conclusion”

      But as expected you are unable to make good on your Empty Claims.

      Thanks for displaying your true colours to your peers on GV.

  • MV

    Wijayapala,

    “If a solution is imposed from outside, then why/how would the Sinhalese accept it in the long term?”

    I am keen to know how the Sinhalese take IMF, something that Rajapakse has no qualms about imposing.

    But then all that patriotism and beating around the bush about soverignty is just for local consumption. Isn’t it?

    • wijayapala

      MV, could you kindly explain what exactly the IMF is imposing /w Rajapaksha collusion?