The empty findings of Sri Lanka’s Military Court of Inquiry

Sri Lanka war

Image courtesy RNW

Colombo’s contempt for the international community seems to be increasing. The recent media release on the findings of the Military Court of Inquiry stretch credibility.

While I have not had access to the full report and to the evidence presented to the Military Court of Inquiry, I am shocked by the Court of Inquiry’s findings. I was a member of the The Panel of Experts appointed by the United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon, to look into accountabilty for the final stages of the war. The Panel rejected with utter certainty the notion that the Sri Lankan Military mounted a “humanitarian rescue” and that the war was conducted with “zero civilian casualties”. The Panel’s work revealed “a very different version of the final stages of the war than that maintained to this day by the Government of Sri Lanka“. The panel found “credible allegations” which, if proven, indicated that war crimes and crimes against humanity were committed by the Sri Lankan military and the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (Tamil Tigers). The Panel concluded that “the conduct of the war represented a grave assault on the entire regime of international law designed to protect individual dignity during both war and peace”. It also found that as many as 40,000 civilians may have been killed in the final months of the civil war, most as a result of indiscriminate shelling by the Sri Lankan military. The Panel’s work was further vindicated by the report of Charles Petrie, the UN official appointed by the UN Secretary General to look into the role played by the UN agencies on the ground during the conflict. Charles Petrie suggested in his report that the number of civilian casualties is probably closer to 70,000. This figure is staggering and points to an enormous loss of life. The Catholic Bishop of Manner has suggested that more than 147 000 people remain unaccounted for.

The Panel rejected the notion that in any war there are casualties which are inevitable. The Geneva Conventions exist for a purpose to ensure that the lives of innocent civilians are protected at all time.

The findings of the Military Court of Inquiry exonerate the military of any responsibility and attest to the fact that the Government of Sri Lanka and the Military cannot be trusted to investigate the crimes committed during the final phases of the conflict.

That is why an independent international inquiry is needed.

  • Hikz

    [Edited out]

    “While I have not had access to the full report and to the evidence presented to the Military Court of Inquiry blah blah blah”

    No access to the report, no access to evidence, but still drawing conclusions.
    Amusing. Where have we seen this before?

    • Candidly

      Hikz@-

      “No access to the report, no access to evidence, but still drawing conclusions.
      Amusing. Where have we seen this before?”

      Many times before, sadly. For example. Stalin’s show trials of his opponents, Hitler’s trials of German democrats, Senator McCarthy’s hearings of alleged communists in the USA.

      Judges of this sort who first decide on the verdict, then go looking for the evidence to back up that verdict, have a long history in the legal profession, unfortunately. However, in this case the judge is powerless to see her verdict implemented.

      It’s worth noting that Yasmin Sooka is also an advisor to the self-styled Sri Lanka Campaign for Peace and Justice along with the notorious philosopher of the benefits of terrorism, Bruce Haigh. She’s in good company, obviously. The Campaign originally had as one of its aims the right to self-determination of the Tamils in Sri Lanka, although that demand seems to have disappeared from its website in recent months.

      • http://srilankacampaign.org Sri Lanka Campaign

        Sri Lanka Campaign here.

        We’ve been moving some things around on our website but rest assured that the Tamil right to self determination is something we believe in very strongly. We also believe in everybody else’s right to self determination.

        Indeed the right to self determination is a key principle enshrined in international law in various places. Notably: Chapter 1, Article 1, part 2 of the UN charter and Article 1 in both the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR.

        Its also implicitly in the Sri Lankan constitution in various places (article 3, article 12, article 14 etc…)

        Of course supporting self determination (which, I hope, every rational person does) is very different from supporting a separate state for Tamils. The issues are often confused but there is no necessary link. Tamil separatists argue that the right to self determination cannot be met within a unitary state, unionist argue that it can. The Sri Lanka Campaign has made no comment on this and never will – we wish to remain non partisan in this regard.

        • http://thecarthaginiansolution.wordpress.com/ Mango

          @ Sri Lanka Campaign:

          “The Sri Lanka Campaign has made no comment on this [Tamil right to self determination] and never will – we wish to remain non partisan in this regard.” Oh, please give us a break. You’ve made comments on everything else about Sri Lanka’s war against the LTTE, but suddenly get coy about commenting on ‘self determination’. Typical of the mealy-mouthed hypocritical blow-hards who run your campaign.

          Can you prove your self-proclaimed non-partisanship by telling us your position on whether the self-acknowledged child abuser and war criminal (i.e. recruiter of child soldiers) Adele Balasingham, now living in comfort and safety in London should be prosecuted in UK courts for crimes against children? And if you won’t why not?

          • http://srilankacampaign.org Sri Lanka Campaign

            @Mango. We very very very explicitly **do** have a view on self determination. That was precisely what our comment was saying. What we don’t have is a view on if there should or should not be a separate Tamil state. We don’t see that as our role – its a political question and the answer should come from a political process, we simply seek to nudge Sri Lanka towards the kinds of human rights and rule-of-law norms that make a lasting peace more likely and proper politics possible.

            As for the answer to your question for the millionth time: yes. All people against whom there are credible allegations of war crimes should be investigated and, if there is enough evidence, prosecuted.

          • Off the Cuff

            @Sri Lanka Campaign,

            Adele Balasingham is not a Sri Lankan.
            She has committed crimes against Sri Lankan Children.

            She Created the Baby Brigade of Sri Lankan Children, some as young as 9 years. Their training culminated by garlanding the children with a vial of the extremely lethal poison, Cyanide. These children were given weapons training and taught to kill and kill they did, getting killed in the process.

            There is no doubt about the existence of Evidence as she has confessed to the crimes.

            The crimes described above are Serious Crimes, that warrant the Death Penalty under the normal laws of ANY country. She now resides in the UK, which is a flag carrier for democracy, rule of law and Human Rights. Hence UK should not give refuge and safe haven to a self confessed criminal.

            You have declared that “All people against whom there are credible allegations of war crimes should be investigated and, if there is enough evidence, prosecuted”

            Please detail the action if any, that you have taken, to “NUDGE” the UK government, to prosecute this self confessed Criminal.
            If not why not?

  • Off the Cuff

    Dear Ms Yasmin Sooka,

    You say “Colombo’s contempt for the international community seems to be increasing”

    Are you referring to ALL the member countries of the UN or just a select few?
    Could you please name the members of this “International Community” that you aver to?
    Have they applied International Law to other conflicts and specifically to conflicts in which they are complicit in? If not, what is your position regarding “Selective Application” of International Law?

    Of course “The Geneva Conventions exist for a purpose to ensure that the lives of innocent civilians are protected at all time” but does the Geneva Convention exempt powerful countries from that obligation?

    Are you not SHOCKED to see small countries being brow beaten with the Selective Application of International Law? Are you not SHOCKED to see this obvious perversion of Justice?

    Is it surprising to observe contempt for such Brow Beating?
    Is it surprising to see contempt when the UN and its officers’ (including the UNSG, Ban Ki Moon and officers like yourself) act like puppets and pervert and prostitute Justice?Is it too much to expect the UN and her Agencies to uphold Natural Justice and the principle of Equality Before the Law?

    You declare that “I was a member of the The Panel of Experts appointed by the United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon, to look into accountabilty for the final stages of the war”

    Glad to know that. But before you, UN Special Rapporteur Philip Alston brought in his own Experts Daniel Spitz, Grant Fredricks etc, in support of the first “Killing Fields” of Ch4. These so called experts have been exposed as Charlatans by the courts in USA and Canada.

    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. 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.

    Watch the Video titled, “Rob Simpson Case – Daniel Spitz Integrity in Question”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DpL56wS_qZo

    And the video titled “Coverage of Daniel Spitz Questioning”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-3Oy76_nICc&NR=1

    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 furor 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.

    That is the History of the UN’s Experts and their Impartiality.

    You say “The Panel rejected with utter certainty the notion that the Sri Lankan Military mounted a “humanitarian rescue” and that the war was conducted with “zero civilian casualties”.”

    UTTER CERTAINITY?
    If it was not a Humanitarian Rescue and the Sri Lankan forces had no regard for the civilians, How do you explain the restraint of the SL forces that cost the forces in men and material?

    How do you explain what you saw on video of soldiers carrying the injured and the infirm to safety disregarding their own lives?

    It is childish to harp on the foolish assertion by the govt of “zero civilian casualties” in a war with live bullets and artillery flying around. It makes you sound as foolish as the govt that made that claim.

    You say “The Catholic Bishop of Manner has suggested that more than 147 000 people remain unaccounted for……Charles Petrie suggested in his report that the number of civilian casualties is probably closer to 70,000……The Panel concluded that “the conduct of the war represented a grave assault on the entire regime of international law designed to protect individual dignity during both war and peace”. It also found that as many as 40,000 civilians may have been killed in the final months of the civil war, most as a result of indiscriminate shelling by the Sri Lankan military”

    You have shot yourself in the foot by mentioning the known LTTE supporter, Rev Rayappu Joseph’s claim in the same breath as your own.

    You have forgotten to mention the earlier UN claim of 7,000 (I believe).
    You claim that it is 40,000.
    The original 40,000 dead claim came from the UN employee Gordon Weiss who now says “I have not dealt in close detail with the matter of figures of dead and wounded, how they are calculated and how reliable those sources might be. I make the point in the text that it is for others to get closer to that particular particle of truth.”

    Have you, as a member of the “Panel”, got closer to that particular particle of Truth?
    Could you please tell us your expertise in differentiating combatants clad in civilian clothes (including children pushed to war by the LTTE) and the REAL civilians in order to arrive at a final account? With 40,000 dead how many would have been wounded IF as you say the cause is ” ….. as a result of indiscriminate shelling by the Sri Lankan military?”

    What would be the casualty figure if you take the Petrie figure of 70,000 as credible?
    What would it be if the LTTE’s Rev Rayappu Joseph’s claim of 147,000 is given credit, as you have tried in this article on GV.

    Are you aware that the CH4 video shows the ONLY hospital under LTTE control in the combat zone without a SINGLE LTTE combatant in battle dress? ALL of the “Patients and Dead” were dressed in CIVILIAN clothes. Where were the LTTE wounded and dead?

    You say “The Panel concluded that “the conduct of the war represented a grave assault on the entire regime of international law designed to protect individual dignity during both war and peace”

    Yes we know what the panel concluded and it’s selective blindness to transgressions of International Law by the Rich and Powerful (who incidentally pay your salaries). This has earned contempt for the panel from Sri Lankans and those who expected you to uphold Natural Justice without Fear or Favour.

    I am a Sri Lankan and I have no problem with an Independent Investigation as long as the Independence and Impartiality of the Investigative Regime is ensured and established. Please note that Dr Dayan Jayatilake made that offer at the UNHRC, long before your panel was even conceived.

    Prove to the world that the UN is able to hold the Rich and Powerful who transgress International Law to account by doing so with equal fervour, with which you pursue the smaller countries, that are accused of such transgressions. Then you would not see any objection to investigations.

    Do you have the Integrity to uphold Justice without fear?
    What is the value of your so called “Expertise” if you cannot be dispassionately Clinical in your analysis, instead of resorting to Sensationalism as you have done in this article?

    Are you not ashamed to act like a puppet and subvert Natural Justice?

  • Burning_Issue

    Whether the Author of this article is right or wrong is a matter of opinion. However, what is conclusive in terms of GOSL is that, no military involvement in the killings of the innocent civilians. Hence, no impediments present in complying with the UN Resolution requiring Accountability that will substantiate the conclusions of GOSL unequivocally. Instead prevaricating and indomitable attitude will get Sri Lanka nowhere!

    • Hikz

      Ah, the old “Well if you have nothing to hide…” :-)

      Furthermore the ones calling for ‘international investigations’ and the ones who in all likelihood will be appointed to carry these out (like our Yasmin up there) have already convinced themselves of the government’s guilt and are determined to reject outright anything which doesn’t line up with the airy figures and allegations they’ve conjured up (again, before any investigation and without even seeing evidence – good one Yasmin!). So you can almost see why the GOSL might be a bit apprehensive.

      But I say let’s have an investigation. Call in some experts from Russia and China to do it.

      • Myil Selvan

        The Sri Lankan govt has been caught lying when it said that there are only 120,000 people in the Vanni. Even after more than 120,000 ppl had come into the Menik Farm IDP concentration camp, the Govt kept saying there are only 120,000 ppl in the Vanni. Maybe you should help the GoSL get professionals to teach them how to lie properly.

        Even after the war no one was allowed to go into the Mullivaikal area except the military, Why? what were they upto?

        Besides, look at all what is happening now?

    • Off the Cuff

      Dear Burning Issue

      You say “However, what is conclusive in terms of GOSL is that, no military involvement in the killings of the innocent civilians”

      And how would you propose to identify the innocent civilians when

      1. There is conclusive evidence that the LTTE fought in Civilian Clothes thus making it impossible to use clothing to distinguish between an actual Civilian and a Terrorist?

      2. There is conclusive evidence that Children as young as 9 years were used on the battle front thus making it impossible to use even age to distinguish a Terrorist from a civilian?

      Could you please Educate the GV readers, of an infallible method, of identifying, the Innocent Civilian?

      You say “Hence, no impediments present in complying with the UN Resolution requiring Accountability that will substantiate the conclusions of GOSL unequivocally”

      A puerile argument.
      Inability to identify the impediment does not mean that it does not exist. When you look through a Red glass you don’t see the other colours do you?

      If your memory has failed you, please refer back to Dr Dayan Jayatilake’s speech at the UNHRC. Sri Lanka did not object to investigations but rather invited them. Sri Lanka objected to being SINGLED out, as any Law has to be equally applied to all, and not selectively applied. This is an inviolable principle of Justice.

      Ask yourself the following questions.
      Has the UN showed that it is capable of upholding the Law IMPARTIALLY?
      Has the UN ensured that ALL her members are treated equally before International Law?
      Has the UN called for investigations of previous and ongoing wars?
      What has the UN done to stop on going Drone attacks from killing civilians?
      What has the UN done to stop Israeli attacks on Palestine?
      Why did the UN use known charlatans like Dr Daniel Spitz and Grant Fredericks in an attempt to discredit Sri Lanka?
      Did the UN have control over the war it sanctioned on specious arguments of the existence of WMD?
      Is the behaviour of the UN akin to a puppet of the big powers?

      [Edited out]

      • Off the Cuff

        What the GV moderator has edited, is a reference to your long silence and an invitation for you to reply. The sarcasm used has not met with the moderator’s approval.

        • Burning_Issue

          My self-imposed refusal to debate with you is very evident; you can make any sort of reference to it; it makes no deference at all!

          I know who you are and what you are about! You can write pages and pages and project yourself as a benign being; one does not need to be a rocket scientist to work out as to your real camouflaged being! You grossly underplay the role of the Sinhala Buddhist nationalism and substantially overplay the Tamil nationalism especially pointing your fingers at the Jaffna elite as if to say that they are solely responsible for provoking the Sinhala Buddhists! [Edited out]

          • Off the Cuff

            Burning Issue,

            “My self-imposed refusal to debate with you is very evident; you can make any sort of reference to it; it makes no deference at all”

            I address my responses directly to you as I am not a coward who leaves it unaddressed while making degrading remarks within. I always give my opponent fair warning that my post deals with his/her comments by either addressing it or using the reply link. This curtsy is to enable my opponent to counter what I say. Though it is addressed to my opponent it is written MAINLY with the GV readership in mind. Whether you reply or not is immaterial. Either way I would have countered your claims and the intended propaganda.

            You state that you know me but I was not aware that you were a psychoanalyst.

            My first contact with you was when you challenged me, re the Thesawalami Law which I criticised. That debate ended when I found a Supreme Court judgement that showed that the Thesawalami is not what I thought it to be. Since then, I have not held it against the Tamils in any of my debates. If you deny this, I will challenge you to show a single instance where I have done so.

            Please note that it was I, who found the SC judgement and not you. I could have with held it from you if my intent was winning a debate but I didn’t as my intent was knowing the Truth. You did not have sufficient data to overcome my challenge of the Thesawalami. This was several years ago.

            Later you wrote about the Buddha statue in Trinco which was amongst 17 illegal religious places of worship. Out of the 17 illegal entities, the highest number were Hindu, followed by Christian and then Buddhist.

            You maintained that the Buddha Statue was not removed as it enjoyed protection under the Primacy status of Buddhism in the Constitution. I produced court reportage to show that it was not so and the priest who went before the SC was doing so under the Equality Clause under the Fundamental Rights of the Constitution. You were not prepared to except the court reportage and insisted that it was due to the Primacy Clause. You even went to the extreme of claiming that the then CJ, under who discussions were going on regarding this matter was BIASED and went to extreme lengths to show that Bias by claiming that he became a Buddhist Monk after retirement. Anyone in Sri Lanka will know that it is a LIE, as he is to date a layman.

            You were wiping up emotions by falsely claiming that the Primacy Status of Buddhism was to blame for the Trinco fiasco. I could not allow it to go unchallenged as much as I could not allow your claims to Jayalath about Sinhala Buddhists to go unchallenged. I have effectively checkmated your false claims of Sinhala Buddhist Nationalism.

            You have a thing about Buddhists and you will stoop to lying and slander to maintain what you say.

            The difference between you and me is that I accept what is proved and you dont

            My aim is to get at the truth and not winning debates at any cost.

            You say “You grossly underplay the role of the Sinhala Buddhist nationalism and substantially overplay the Tamil nationalism especially pointing your fingers at the Jaffna elite as if to say that they are solely responsible for provoking the Sinhala Buddhists!”

            I dont accept what you call “Sinhala Buddhist Nationalism”. For me to accept it, there should be reliable proof and you have been unable to produce that proof. Hence your statement about my underplaying is hogwash.

            Mr. Sebastian Rasalingam grew up in Jaffna. After WW2 he moved to Mannar and later to Hatton where he married an Estate Tamil Lady and thence to Colombo. He now lives in Canada. This is what he writes on DBS Jayaraj.com

            “The poor Tamils worked in the properties and homes of the upper-caste Tamils. We could not go in buses or attend school. Our very presence was ‘polluting’. When the buses were nationalized by SWRD, the CTB allowed anyone to travel in them. THAT angered the Tamil leaders. It was the Church that grudgingly opened doors very slightly to the oppressed Tamils by allowing them to learn English and read the Bible. In my young days I sat on the class-room floor or carried a low stool from class to class, as only the high castes could sit on chairs. The teachers treated me and another child like me as excreta and punished us for daring to be there. But, I thought that was the law – each had his station in life”

            Here is a low cast Tamil who is pointing his fingers at the High Cast Tamils of Jaffna, Is he LYING? This is just a small sample of what he says. Look him up on Tamil journalist DBS Jayaraj’s web site.

            I have reported the First Hand experiences of a Tamil in his own words. Is that overplaying? No rational person can accuse me of what you have accused me for verbatim reporting.

            I have also reported verbatim what the Hindu Organ, the Tamil newspaper of Jaffna said about the Ethnic harmony that existed before the advent of G.G. Ponnambalam. I have also reported verbatim how the Hindu Organ identifies G. G. Ponnambalam as the originator of Tamil Racist policies in the 20th Century and how he catalysed the first Tamil Sinhala riots in 1939 with his public hate speeches.

            My sources are Tamil and I have reported them Verbatim.
            And you say I am overplaying Tamil Nationalism (actually its Racism).
            BTW:I did not write about Provoking Sinhala Buddhists. I wrote about provoking the Sinhalese. It appears to me that you cannot write anything without unnecessarily dragging in the Buddhists.

            Since you are used to blaming all ills of Sri Lanka on the Sinhalese Buddhists the facts I revealed took you by surprise. I suspect that you were not aware of the shameful details of Tamil politics. Since you have no answer, you use slander.

            There is more detailed information in my posts on this web page and in my post addressed to you at this link http://groundviews.org/2013/04/11/northern-provincial-council-election-and-the-future-of-lankan-tamil-politics/#comment-52063

        • Burning_Issue

          The Groundview viewed my last sentence as a remark personal in nature; if it is so, I will take it back. However, I do not know as to your age but feel that vicissitude of recent violent history of Sri Lanka appear to have taught you no lessons at all. Sri Lanka can only mature as a nation on a foundation where everyone is equal. Equal means under a truly secular constitution where religious, language, ethnic freedom is underpinned both by constitution and statute. You will not succeed in building a lopsided social justice. You can attempt to bully, subjugate, and intimidate; no peace will prevail in such situations.

          • Off the Cuff

            Burning Issue

            You say “However, I do not know as to your age but feel that vicissitude of recent violent history of Sri Lanka appear to have taught you no lessons at all.”

            I do not know your age either but I do not lie to win a debate.
            I did not dessert my country despite the bombs.
            I have learnt that Lies propagate faster if unopposed.
            What are the lessons that you have learnt?

            You say “Sri Lanka can only mature as a nation on a foundation where everyone is equal”

            True and that’s my vision too.

            You say “Equal means under a truly secular constitution where religious, language, ethnic freedom is underpinned both by constitution and statute”

            You have to sew your garment using the cloth you have.

            When was Sri Lanka secular for the past 2500 years?
            The Tooth Relic of the Buddha was brought to this country in 371 AD and since then it was considered a royal treasure, the possession of which was the symbol of power.

            Sri Lanka is 70.19% Buddhist, 12.61% Hindu, 9.71% Muslim and 7.45% Christian.
            How do you propose to change the present Primacy status of Buddhism? Using violence?

            The inability to recognise the reality and campaigning to impose your will on a Buddhist population of 70+% will cause strife.

            If you were willing to live under a theocratic British Rule in Sri Lanka and is now living in a country which has Christianity as the state religion, what is the necessity to risk violent turmoil by clamouring for the impossible? Are you restricted in any way in practising or professing your religion?

            To me equality means that you and I have the right to an EQUAL per capita share of Lanka’s PUBLIC resources. An Equal right to everything PUBLIC. An equal right for the fruits of development. I dont want a piece of this Land and I dont want you to have a piece of this Land. I want you and I to have the WHOLE Land.

      • Myil Selvan

        “There is conclusive evidence that Children as young as 9 years were used on the battle front thus making it impossible to use even age to distinguish a Terrorist from a civilian?”

        If it is a child it is a child with or without a gun. These are excuses that genocidal racists make to excuse their shame. SL army had UAV which were able to point out cadres from civilians judging by their actions in directing and herding the people and by bringing in supplies. UAV footage was shown where LTTE were involved in their bund building activity and moving in the big guns. While I do agree it is difficult to figure out who is who in a war situation. But that does not mean you indiscriminately fire into the NO FIRE ZONE, remember that zone which was called NO FIRE ZONE by GOSL and then FIRED upon by the GoSL?

        “If your ………………………………………..and not selectively applied. This is an inviolable principle of Justice.”

        Once again a hackneyed argument. The UN is mainly paid for by the US, Germany, Japan, UK, etc. Hence it is thanks to these countries we have a semblance of some kind of justice even though somewhat unevenly applied. But even the West does not go about blantantly violating international laws like the Sri Lankan govt or other developing country. That is the sad reality. The US is a law abiding country for the most part. They have rectified problems they had regarding slavery and racism and are still working on it, because it is a work in progress. The US embraces multiculturalism unlike Sri Lanka which embraces Sinhala-Buddhism. In the US minority groups are growing because minorities can freely express themselves. But in Sri Lanka minority groups are dwindling. Multiculturalism has been somewhat of a failure in Sri Lanka.

        Ask yourself the following questions.
        Has the UN showed that it is capable of upholding the Law IMPARTIALLY?
        yes it has in a lot of cases, although not all.

        Has the UN ensured that ALL her members are treated equally before International Law?
        For the UN to ensure anything it needs to have the capacity to do it. And that capacity has been mainly provided by the main powers.

        Has the UN called for investigations of previous and ongoing wars?
        Yes, Yugoslavia, Cambodia come to mind.

        What has the UN done to stop on going Drone attacks from killing civilians?
        It is a war zone, hence the UN is not active in this particular war.

        What has the UN done to stop Israeli attacks on Palestine?
        In the same vein one can ask, What has the UN done to stop palestinian rocket attacks on Israel?

        Why did the UN use known charlatans like Dr Daniel Spitz and Grant Fredericks in an attempt to discredit Sri Lanka?
        ONly you call them charlatans. But these two a still respected and have good practices going.

        Did the UN have control over the war it sanctioned on specious arguments of the existence of WMD?

        UN did not sanction the Iraq war of 2003. The US went ahead unilaterally.

        Is the behaviour of the UN akin to a puppet of the big powers?

        In some cases yes. Just like when Russia and China prevent security council discussion of sri lanka to cover up their sins of breaking up countries like Georgia and Abkhazia and South Ossetia, Moldova and Trans-dniestre. And China invading Tibet.

        But at least the US does support the UN by funding its budget upto 25%, which Russia and China cannot compare to. Yet China and Russia have veto powers even though they don’t really fund the UN adequately.

        Also look at my reply to your argument on the Tamil civil society….- thread.
        thanks.

        BTW, what is your name? Why hide behind a phrase?

  • eureka

    @Kikz and @Candidly

    Pl note:

    ”The recent media release on the findings of the Military Court of Inquiry stretch credibility. While I have not had access to the full report and to the evidence presented to the Military Court of Inquiry, I am shocked by the Court of Inquiry’s findings.”

    Very clearly stated.

    I wish to see others’ language expressing the same message.

    • eureka

      Can anyone give a link o the full report please?

    • eureka

      After all who could drag themselves out of the battlefield came out (leaving behind who couldn’t do so) on 18 May 2009, ICRC was refused entry into the zone. A9 was closed to the public and a giant monument was built on it and President Rajapakse unveiled it on 9 December 2009:
      http://www.defence.lk/new.asp?fname=20091209_06

      How will anyone get evidence that would have given a lot of info on what happened in the war-without-witnesses (actually war-without-independent-journalists as the people who came out are potential witnesses)?

  • http://thecarthaginiansolution.wordpress.com/ Mango

    The numbers are getting ever more ridiculous and if you examine the numbers wounded, it shows a glaring hole in their calculations. The UN estimated approx 20,000 wounded and even if you double that to 40,000 wounded, it still doesn’t validate her claims.

    If 40,000 were killed, (using a conservative ratio of 1:3 dead to wounded) there should be at least 120,000 wounded, which there aren’t.

    If If 70,000 (according to Petrie) were killed, (using a conservative ratio of 1:3 dead to wounded) there should be at least 210,000 wounded, which there aren’t.

    And if 147,000 were killed, (using a conservative ratio of 1:3 dead to wounded) there should be at least 441,00 wounded, producing a total 588,000 people killed and wounded. This is almost double the number of civilians thought to be in the No Fire Zone area at the time.

    http://tinyurl.com/c65wd29

    Ms Sooka can’t count or doesn’t have a clue.

    But by the same token SLA can’t just say “we didn’t shell any civilians” without providing proof. They should be able to provide artillery fire mission records etc which would exonerate them from blame, unless of course, they deliberately shelled areas containing only civilians.

  • Piranha

    A clean chit to the military!! Not an unexpected result from the murderers who investigated themselves and came up with this laughable verdict.

    Over 14000 people are missing from the Vanni after the war and they all are unaccounted for and here are two apologists for the SL military trying to vilify the expert witnesses. I wish both the UN panels would release all the evidence they collected for their investigations to shut these apologists up. We already know what Gotabhaya was going at Matale with Shavendra Silva and Kamal Gunaratne during the JVP insurgency. The same three are implicated in the mass murder in the Vanni also thirty years later. You can’t lie and cover up your misdeeds for ever as shown by similar incidents all over the world.

    • http://thecarthaginiansolution.wordpress.com/ Mango

      Who are these “expert witnesses”? How have they arrived at their ridiculous civilian casualty figures of 70,000 and 140,000? Why did they ignore the lack of wounded civilians you’d expect to see on a 1:3 conservative ratio of dead: wounded? If the wounded don’t exist, then the death toll figures are wrong.

  • punchinilame

    Does size of a Country/Membership matter, when the question is about
    HR &IL. Dayans offer of an In-In-Iv was “personal” and did not have
    the Regimes backing for sure?

    In any case an Army`s Internal Inquiry is not published anywhere in the
    world – so the conclusion is what that Inquest says, whether we like
    it or not: Zero civilian Casualty by its Commander is Z E R O to the Army!!!!!!!!!

  • Ray

    UN wasn’t allowed into the detention camps in Vanni after the war ended with more than 70,000 dead according to the UN itself.
    Thousands of Tamils who were associated with the Rebels were assassinated and women were raped. Whole families of ex-combatants were murdered in these camps. While they were getting murdered, the UN was only going to these camps on guided tours. NGO’s were kicked out of the country to carry out these murders.

    Is this part of any war?

  • Laughter is the best medicine

    I suppose in future, (in Sri lanka), an accused can,deny everything first, play for time, carry out his/her own inquiry and acquit himself or herself and walk a free person!!Free to commit the same crime over and over again!!

    A land like no other!!

  • jansee

    Of course, the SL regime planned and executed this war in a way that it hoped and believed that whatever happened there would be outside the knowledge and purview of the outside world, except India. It is now both angry and dismayed that quite the opposite happened. So, it started its often played out charade of forming inquiries and commissions, hoping against hopes that these “ghosts” will simply fade away as in many other cases.

    Like many other reports, the inquiry conducted by the military would not be available to the public, relegating it as to another farcical publicity stunt. With a long and dubious history of deceit and cheat, just quite like Mahinda Samarasinghe whitewashes the world during his clownish acts in the UNHRC, the SL regime has picked up the tabs as a compulsive liar. How more comical can it be, the alleged perpetrator investigating itself. Notwithstanding what Mdm Yasmin Sooka has commented about this subject, or the deficit thereof. how would such a report inspire confidence when its independence itself is seriously questionable.

    That through the report the military has absolved itself, particularly when it has been accused of serious war crimes shows the depth of its excesses that the regime would like to keep under wraps, only that it is being gradually smoked out of its den that has obviously pushed it to a corner. Despite all the protestations, both by the regime and its supporters, the international effort to get to the bottom of this will not cease.

  • http://griscussionoundviews.org/2013/04/11 Srivanamoth

    Yasmin Sooka’s article is on Sri Lanka not on other conlicts where there has been evidence of its ethnic military executing a so-called zero civilian casualties war in its efforts to stamp out the Tamil Tigers as there has been ample evidence of overt killings en masse of civilians as well- men, women and children- in the closing stages in “Mulliywaikaal”. The LLRC Report contained little or no information or discussion on this aspect and left it to the government (in fact, the party accused of executing the final stages of the war) to carry out its own investigation into the matter! It is no wonder that the military entrusted the task has finally come up with this very convenient outcome! By any standard of impartiality or justice into a much vexed issue of whether mass killings of civilians took place or not the pointblank outcome woefully fails to meet the expected legal standards.

    It is well known that there were independent UN, ICRC and possibly other personnel present in the run up to the final massacre. It seems their evidence had not been recorded by the Military Tribunal. And then what of the many thousands of civilians who were trapped and traumatised and managed to escape into the open air and other prisons kept by the government? Was their evidence recorded? In any case given the deeply flawed governance and revenge seeking nature of the government and its executing agents how can one expect any sense of impartiality or fairness by such a Tribunal? To the contrary goeverments, and this one is certainly no exception, the disposition is one of cover-up! The examples are legion and need no description.

    The Author is absolutely right and fair in calling for an independent impartial and full investigation into the conduct of the end of war calamity sufferd by Tamil civilians and into the nature of the conduct of such military operations against its own citizens, so-called! The vicious cycle under cover of the PTA needs to be broken for human survival!

  • http://thecarthaginiansolution.wordpress.com/ Mango

    The random casualty numbers are getting ever more ridiculous and if you examine the numbers wounded, it shows a glaring hole in their calculations. The UN estimated approx 20,000 wounded and even if you double that to 40,000 wounded, it still doesn’t validate her claims.

    If 40,000 were killed, (using a conservative ratio of 1:3 dead to wounded) there should be at least 120,000 wounded, which there aren’t.

    If If 70,000 (according to Petrie) were killed, (using a conservative ratio of 1:3 dead to wounded) there should be at least 210,000 wounded, which there aren’t.

    And if 147,000 were killed, (using a conservative ratio of 1:3 dead to wounded) there should be at least 441,00 wounded, producing a total 588,000 people killed and wounded. This is almost double the number of civilians thought to be in the No Fire Zone area at the time.
    http://tinyurl.com/c65wd29

    Ms Sooka can’t count or doesn’t have a clue.

    But by the same token SLA can’t just say “we didn’t shell any civilians” without providing proof. They should be able to provide artillery fire mission records etc which would exonerate them from blame, unless of course, they deliberately shelled areas containing only civilians.

    • jansee

      mango:

      Why all this silly talk? There are allegations and I will be forthright with you and the regime. I, too, am not certain to what extent the evidence, that has been placed in the public and that has evoked so much of suspicion, emotion and anger, will withstand scrutiny. At the same time, the SL regime ought to have a fair chance to prove itself that it cannot be assigned with the blames for what the alleged evidence has shown. Being one of the party alleged to have committed the offences, how more ludicrous can it get to investigate itself of the alleged crimes. Both the adversaries of the war need to be made to answer the allegations levelled at them. Despite its loud protestations, the international effort towards this objective will continue. If an independent international investigation absolves the SL regime of what it has been blamed of, this would certainly assuage the minds and hearts of many and tremendously boost the reconciliation efforts. No amount of talk, statements and commissions conducted by this regime on this matter would ever resolve this nagging issue. An implicated party cannot investigate itself. The talk of disregarding the international efforts and the resolutions passed by UNHRC and then faithfully sending Mahinda Samarasinghe year after year to defend itself is not only comical in itself, it also shows the double game it plays, one for the international community and the other to stay relevant in its home ground.

      • http://thecarthaginiansolution.wordpress.com/ Mango

        Jansee,
        Let’s stick to the numbers and drop the polemics, shall we? Where are the wounded which would be expected to correspond to a conservative ratio of 1:3, dead to wounded?

        • jansee

          mango:

          Stop being a joker. May be in SL there may not be the rule of law but it is trite law that a party accused of crimes cannot investigate itself. Just answer that first. The rule of law in SL has become the butt of jokes. An international independent investigation will be the only way to ascertain the truth. You can then present all your “facts and figures” there and justify them to your heart’s content. And wish you well, too.

      • Off the Cuff

        Dear Jansee and Ms. Yasmin Sooka (Member, Expert Panel) ,

        Jansee you say “Being one of the party alleged to have committed the offences, how more ludicrous can it get to investigate itself of the alleged crimes”

        When did you wakeup Jansee?
        Were you sleeping all the time the following incident (a small sample of the many) happened?

        A 14 year old child is GANG raped by 5 men taking turns.
        The child is then shot and her body burnt to hide the evidence.
        They shoot her 6 year old sister, the 35 year old mother and the 45 year old father to eliminate witnesses. Two other children are Orphaned.

        This did not happen during the heat of war.
        It was carefully premeditated and preplanned by 5 American soldiers.
        This premeditated crime is committed in Iraq on a civilian family by US soldiers.

        The names and ranks of the 5 men are SGT Paul E. Cortez, SPC James P. Barker, PFC Jesse V. Spielman, PFC Brian L. Howard, and PFC Steven D. Green

        The crime was committed in Iraq and should have been prosecuted in Iraq. But that did not happen.

        Instead, the perpetrators are taken to the USA.
        Investigated by US agencies without ever visiting the crime scene.
        Prosecuted in US courts.
        Sentenced in US courts.

        A child is raped then shot and burnt.
        Another younger child is shot.
        The Parents are shot.
        The House is set on fire.
        Two other children are orphaned.
        But no one gets the death sentence and most of them will be eligible for parole after 10 years.
        No compensation for the orphaned children.

        And that Jansee, is “Justice” delivered for a Real War Crime, curtsey the USA. The UN’s officers’ blowing hot on Sri Lanka has got cold feet when dealing with the Rich and Powerful.

        Justice Raped?

        Dear Ms Yasmin Sooka,

        What was detailed is a War Crime where evidence exists.

        What have you done within the UN to uphold the much vaunted Geneva Convention that you have talked about?

        Did you not write that “The Geneva Conventions exist for a purpose to ensure that the lives of innocent civilians are protected at all time” or was that just rhetoric to impress your masters that feed you?

        Did any within the UN system call for an Independent investigation?

        There are many abominable crimes such as this committed during war, where actual evidence exist. But those involved are Big Powers whom you would call the International Community.

        Do you see why we have identified you and your Masters’ as puppets?

        You have no integrity to stand up for Justice when the perpetrators’ are powerful (you might lose your cushy job) though you are ever ready to pass Judgement on the weak.

        Watch the Aljazeera report

        • jansee

          Off the Cuff:

          There are really no shortage of jokers like you. Try telling any court that you murdered someone because another person in another place too did it? The instant subject we are discussing is about the findings of a military court in SL. My argument is that a party to an alleged commission of crime cannot investigate itself. Can you please answer that instead of “beating around the bush”.

          • Off the Cuff

            Dear Jansee and Ms Yasmin Sooka,

            You say “My argument is that a party to an alleged commission of crime cannot investigate itself”

            I expected you to have the foresight to see the underlying problems, but I see that I have been mistaken, sorry about that. But the fact is, there is already a precedent, established in the International domain, of a party to Crime, investigating and passing Judgement of their own crime (please see my previous post and the Al Jazeera video)

            You say “Try telling any court that you murdered someone because another person in another place too did it?”

            Think hard about what you have written above.
            Does it have any relevance to what I have written?
            I think not.

            Hmm, you are very bright. Which court are you referring to?
            The Supreme Court of USA?
            The Privy Council of UK?
            The Supreme Court of India?
            The Supreme Court of Canada?
            Who?

            And who is supposed to investigate?
            The FBI?
            Scotland Yard?
            The Police of some country?
            Who?

            Then who will be the prosecutor?
            The AG of USA?
            The AG of UK?
            The AG of Canada?
            Who Jansee, WHO?

            We are discussing International Law, transgressions of which, are decided by an International Court. That court derives it’s authority from the UN.

            There are Principles of Justice that cannot be flouted.
            The Investigator, the Prosecutor and the Court has to be impartial.
            The Law is Supreme and everyone is EQUAL before it.

            Any Court that cannot uphold the Principle of Impartiality and the basic principle of the Supremacy of Law and Equality of everyone under its jurisdiction, cannot dispense Justice. It then becomes a Kangaroo Court.

            Any institution that does not uphold the fundamental principles of Law and shows partiality or chooses to apply the Law selectively has no more currency, than a lynch party of the US wild west.

            You see Jansee, ONLY one Court deals with International Law. The investigators and prosecutors are officers’ of that same court. They are REQUIRED to UPHOLD the BASIC principles of Law. Equality, of all those who come under the courts Jurisdiction and impartiality are fundamental amongst them. It cannot dispense with any of them.

            If this Court and or it’s officers, allows one or more countries, to transgress the Law with IMPUNITY and thus, prostitute a basic principle of Justice, of Equality, of all under it’s jurisdiction, then that Court forfeits its authority to sit in Judgement of others.

            Could you please give ONE reason why Sri Lanka should submit to a Kangaroo Court?

            The foregoing are some of the reasons, that Ms. Yasmin Sooka, who proudly declared that she was a Member of Ban Ki Moon’s Expert Panel and who declared her dedication to uphold the Geneva Convention by stating that “The Geneva Conventions exist for a purpose to ensure that the lives of innocent civilians are protected at all time” has gone SILENT, despite several attempts by me to elicit a reply from her.

            Ms Yasmin Sooka has no answer to give. She has no excuse for the apparent attempt by her and the other members of Ban Ki Moon’s expert panel, as to why, they are perverting the UN system, by acting partially. It may be possible that She and her fellow experts have been arm twisted, behind the scenes, to fix Sri Lanka, for not towing the line.

            I have given just one example of it’s violation and many more that has PROVEN EVIDENCE exists.

            Now please explain how, the UN can ensure, the Principal of Equality, if it is partial and or selective in applying the Law?

            You say “There are really no shortage of jokers like you.”

            Name calling, cannot win you arguments, it only succeeds, in displaying your ignorance and incompetence.

          • http://thecarthaginiansolution.wordpress.com/ Mango

            Dear Jansee,
            I’m sorry that you’re unable and unwilling to grapple with the issue of numbers of wounded civilians. If 40,000 or more ‘civilians’ were killed, there should be at least 120,000+ wounded survivors. Where are they? These aren’t “my” figures or ratios, but taken from a BMJ study of wars since 1940.

            http://tinyurl.com/c65wd29

  • warforpeacehypocrite

    military court or kangaroo court?

    • Srivanamoth

      Kangaroo’s behave better! It is more like a Dingo court.

  • Rita

    @mango

    ”if you examine the numbers wounded”

    On medical grounds they estimate the number of people who cannot move by themselves from the people who can (with or without help) move. From the wounded seen in the camps by non-Tamil doctors, they were able to guess a (shocking) figure. Tamil doctors were allowed in with greatest reluctance in later stages. The battlezone was closed to the international community including ICRC after 18 May 2009 and soon after a massive memorial was built and unveiled by President with the Vanni closed to the public.

    You seem to be a bery intelligent person. The good you can serve the world if you take off your blinkers!!

    • http://thecarthaginiansolution.wordpress.com/ Mango

      Hi Rita,
      If we stick to the numbers of wounded we know about (approx 20,000 according to the UN) and even if we double it to 40,000 to allow for a large margin of error, it still doesn’t validate the 40,000 to 140,000 ‘civilian’ dead figure. As I’ve written above, even the dead:wounded ratio is conservative to allow for a very large margin of error.

      In every war, every death produces a certain number of wounded persons, which can be expressed as a ratio. My question is, where are the wounded to substantiate the huge casualty figures?

      p.s. thanks for your undeserved compliment :)

    • Off the Cuff

      Dear Rita,

      You said “On medical grounds they estimate the number of people who cannot move by themselves from the people who can (with or without help) move”

      Rita, if you are not bluffing, please provide an authoritative reference.

      “From the wounded seen in the camps by non-Tamil doctors, they were able to guess a (shocking) figure”

      Why don’t you share these SHOCKING guesstimate with GV and provide a reference to it’s source?

      “Tamil doctors were allowed in with greatest reluctance in later stages”

      When were they allowed in?

    • Candidly

      Immediately after the war in Sri Lanka ended hundreds of doctors and nurses went to Sri Lanka from Europe, India and other areas to help with caring for the wounded. This was widely reported by the world’s media at the time and included medical staff from Doctors Without Borders and Medecins sans Frontieres as well as many smaller Asian-based organisations.

      To my knowledge only one doctor, an Indian, has made claims of deliberate killings of civilians or combatants, although details of the large number of wounded have been widely and publicly reported. It seems to me inconceivable that if killings on the scale alleged by Yasmin Sooka and others had taken place some of those medical people from outside Sri Lanka would have broken ranks and given some details by now. But that has not happened despite the resources of the UN and the International Criminal Court being available to get such evidence, if it exists.

      I suggests Yasmin Sooka, and others who are waging a campaign of vilification against Sri Lanka, look deep into their own minds and ask themselves if they are not motivated by irrational prejudices and hatred towards a small nation that defeated one of the world’s most vicious terrorist organisations that was funded largely from outside its borders, viz, Europe, the UK, Canada and India. Sri Lanka has as much reason to be distrustful of those nations for what they did in providing a safe haven for the financers and organisers of the LTTE than the US had for suspecting Afghanistan of helping al-Qaeda and Osama bin Ladin. By Ms Sooka is apparantly not interested in such realities.

      Finally, if Ms Sooka’s panel really did reject “the notion that in any war there are casualties which are inevitable” then the panel would appear to have been carrying out its task in a world of make-believe. War is dreadful and should be mankind’s last resort as a method of solving conflicts, but to say that there can be justifiable wars without unavoidable casualties is unrealistic, to say the least.

      • jansee

        Candidly:

        If you are so sure of your facts, then there should be no problem in placing this in front of an independent international investigation. After all, with doctors from such reputable agencies presumably giving a clean chit, this will be best chance and opportunity for the SL regime to vindicate itself, instead of fighting losing battles with international players like the UNHRC.

        Finally, I see your point. War is always horrific and I am yet to find any country that has chided the SL regime for winning the war against the terrorists. Their picking point is the way the regime conducted the war. It kept on misleading that there were zero civilian casualties. It steadfastly maintained that it did not employ heavy shelling which UN based reports say is not true. If the regime had explained right from the beginning of the civilian casualties, then the situation might have been different today. So, there are hanging issues and SL is a signatory to a number of international covenants. Whether these issues have any truth could and should be ascertained by an independent international investigation. As I mentioned, if you, the regime or the army are very certain of not being culpable then SL should quickly place these facts and figures to prove its innocence. By doing this, it can put a questionable past behind and everyone can then move forward.

  • raj swamipillai

    off the cuff, hikz – thanks… you have eloquently put forward some valid points.

    yasmin sooka, navi pillai et al – please go away and leave SL alone… we just want to rebuild our nation. yes, post war reconciliation has been difficult and we have leaders who are probably incapable of thinking in the way us progressive youth do, but there is no blueprint for any nation emerging from what we have, so let us forge our own path because it will work itself out. on the ground, we’re hopeful.

    just quit meddling.

    Raj.

    • jansee

      raj swamipillai:

      Unfortunately raj, not many share your sentiments. There is a much simpler and better way to do this and, perhaps, this may not only be to your tune but would further enhance your standing. Ask/Tell Mahinda Samarasinghe or others representing SL not to attend any more the UNHRC sessions. You see, there are much better ways to leave SL alone.

  • Usha S Sri-Skanda-Rajah

    Dear Off the Cuff

    You have shown little respect to this forum by not revealing your real name and identity. You have no credibility to question the integrity of Ms Yasmin Sooka or Dr Daniel Spitz or Grant Fredericks when you are masquerading under a false name. Besides your conclusions lack substance and merit just like your name suggests:’ Off the Cuff’.

    Don’t have hopes of Ms Yasmin Sooka or Dr Daniel Spitz or Grant Fredericks degrading themselves by responding to your swipes at them.

    You have questioned Ms Sooka’s integrity and her findings as flawed and have called the experts in questions as “charlatans.”

    Except for your government and military and some Sri Lankans like you, no one who’s been objective, has called the findings of the UN Panel of Experts of which Ms Sooka was a member, flawed. I googled the name of the two forensic experts and added “charlatans’ and not surprisingly this GV link came up – which means you are the only one who has referred to them by that name.

    The fact that Dr Daniel Spitz is still the Medical Examiner for Macomb County Michigan should tell you something. He is also described in the very same video you shared as, “as a well educated Forensic Pathologist and is highly respected in this field.”

    As for Grant Fredericks if you visit this link you would find he is still well sought after as a forensic video expert: http://www.forensicvideoexpert.com/ and has many testimonials to his credit (one calling him a genius) and from his itinerary he does seem to have a busy schedule.

    Colombo has the audacity to think its ‘Army Court of Inquiry’ can pass for a “credible and independent” body to inquire into “credible” allegations of mass atrocity crimes, such as war crimes and crimes against humanity made against its own senior officers including the President, the Commander in Chief.

    It’s like asking a murderer to try his own case.

    And true to form the army has exonerated itself and you are still shamelessly justifying its actions by repeating your government’s lame excuses that they killed civilians because they couldn’t distinguish LTTE from civilians as the LTTE cadres were wearing civilian clothes. That’s a flimsy excuse that won’t stand in court when there is stacks of evidence, numerous items of video and pictorial evidence of women, seniors and children taking cover in bunkers and those in ‘no fire zones’ shelled, bombed, rocketed and massacred in cold blood. The scale of atrocities committed, the heavy weapons used, the denial of food, medicine and humanitarian aid and the senseless executions that has been documented can’t be denied.

    The Sri Lankan army did not treat the dead or the captured with dignity, so many were found stripped naked with their hands tied behind their backs and also allegedly sexually abused, even gang raped and subjected to mutilation before they were brutally executed. And fully naked bodies were stacked into vehicles and transported in the most degrading and inhuman manner;we have seen a prisoner interrogated, tortured and then the body burned in the latest ‘no fire zone’ documentary.

    Colombo’s handling of issues of accountability and impunity for serious crimes shows utter contempt not only for the international community but for the tens of thousands who perished.

    The Rajapaksa government’s behavior is nothing but contemptuous when the UNHRC yet again was soft on Sri Lanka hoping that by giving it the time and space it would come up with a credible domestic mechanism. To those members that deliberated to further dilute an already weak resolution that still centered on the LLRC, only taking a baby step from the resolution passed at the 19th session, the findings of this Army Court of Inquiry must be a slap in the face.

    But sadly to those countries that stood and will stand with Sri Lanka no matter the crimes committed, none of the Rajapaksa government’s tom foolery would register as contemptuous. That is indeed selective application of international law in favour of the Rajapaksa government. Fortunately these countries are in the minority now.

    And Tamils whose land is being occupied, who have lost their sovereignty and right to self determination are the victims here and not Sri Lanka.

    It’s the Tamil people who are being subjugated by Sri Lanka. It’s not about powerful countries bullying Sri Lanka.at all; it’s about the Rajapaksa government engaged in a major cover-up of Genocide committed against the Tamil people; it’s about the continuing structural genocide of the Tamil Nation to destroy the Tamil national identity, obliterate the traditional homeland of the Tamils, culture, religions, and fundamental social, civil, political, democratic rights; it’s about a people held captive by an occupying army in the ratio of 1 soldier to 5 civilians and in Vavuniya 1 soldier to 3 civilians. .

    Don’t even mention the UN’s casualty figure of 7,000, which was later found to be entirely inaccurate. The UN Internal Review Report reveals how the Rajapaksa government manipulated the casualty figures that resulted in the UN’s failure to publish more accurate casualty figures in a timely manner which could have stopped the carnage.

    It was the Rajapaksa government that did not uphold natural justice. It acted as judge jury and executioner of the LTTE and so many who were arrested by the government have been disappeared without trace.

    The UN Panel did invite submissions from everyone, from all quarters, so it won’t be fair for you to say the principles of natural justice were not upheld, the government did not allow the Panel into Sri Lanka. Even if it did, would it have given unfettered access to the Panel? The Rajapaksas even muzzled the Army Commander, Sarath Fonseka who had to retract his earlier pronouncements regarding the executions of the LTTE members who surrendered.

    It’s the Army Court of Inquiry that has been the “judge in its own case” and hasn’t conducted a fair hearing and should be accused of breaking the rules of natural justice.

    Dr Dayan Jayatillake was also the person who claimed credit for the resolution that praised Sri Lanka soon after the war. Whether he called for an international investigation is of no consequence for his government won’t listen to him.

    This is a prime example of a small country outdoing the brutality of the more powerful countries, thinking it could get away with it and crying foul when it was found out.

    Ms Sooka is not part of the UN system. In fact the UN Panel of Experts is independent of the UN and called for the UN to put its house in order which the UN Internal Review Panel found was valid. To blame the failures of the UN or the transgressions of other Nations on Ms Sooka would be out of order in my view. She and her fellow panelists were given a specific task and they did it admirably within the mandate given. They were not asked to look into the actions of other countries.

    The same suspects behind mass killing of Tamils, namely Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Shavendra and Jegath Dias are implicated in the recently discovered mass graves found in Matale. The JVP wants an investigation. I would be curious to know your reaction. Do you think the JVP will be satisfied with an Army Court of Inquiry?

    • Usha S Sri-Skanda-Rajah

      I need to add 3 more points to my reply to ‘Off the Cuff’:

      1. In a reply to Ms Sooka ‘Off the Cuff’ asks,”How do you explain what you saw on video of soldiers carrying the injured and the infirm to safety disregarding there own lives.” I say the ‘humanitarian rescue operation’ was actually a “hostage taking operation”, as nearly 300,00 people were put in ‘internment camps’ tightly packed with poor facilities for months, in conditions that were less than human; quite a number died there and the youngsters were taken as LTTE affiliates and disappeared, some were raped and abused; there are allegations that items of jewelry were taken by the soldiers.

      2. Bishop Rayappu Joseph has been mentioned as a “known LTTE supporter” by ‘Off the Cuff’. He is talking like the govt which brands anyone raising their voice against govt atrocities as LTTE supporters and siding the “terrorists” including the UN Panel and INGOs. The Bishop got his casualty figures from the GA’s records, it was his duty, he has to look after the safety and concerns of the Tamil people; there is no one of his religious standing that is a voice of authority for the Tamils. He has spoken out yes, but been equally outspoken of the LTTE, when he heard of the government’s claim (emphasis on “govt’s claim”)that the LTTE was holding people as ‘human shields’.

      I like to remind the readers of how the Rajapaksa govt is spending Billions of rupees of the people’s money on lobbyists to in my view to improve its (criminal) image in the US and to stay in power.

      • Anpu

        Excellent reply Usha.

        • Off the Cuff (M.N.I.N. Perera)

          Ha ha haa Anpu,

          Counting chickens before they hatch is not wise.
          Part 1 of my reply has been posted.
          Part 2 will be another eye opener.

          Please dont believe in the adage “Sinhalaya Modaya Kavun Kanna Yodaya” You will be disappointed, big time.

          I hope Aacharya would help out the floundering Usha by throwing her a life line. She must have already found that my posts are not in keeping with my pseudonym! It’s better to counter my writings than attempting to mess about with my handle. Ha ha.

          Only jokers ask for real names in an Internet forum.
          My real name is M.N.I.N. Perera.

          I hope this post will open the eyes of the jokers who think they can score brownie points in a debate by attempting to ridicule the pseudonym instead of contesting the contents of a post.

          The initials of my name stands for the following

          “My Name Is Not” so I am not Perera.

          Funny isn’t it?

          Ha ha ha haaa

          Sincerely

          Off the Cuff

        • Usha S Sri-Skanda-Rajah

          Thank you Anpu.

    • Off the Cuff

      Dear Ms Usha S Sri Skanda-Rajah,

      I am happy that the TRUTH has got under your skin, Madam Senator, of the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam(sic). Are you looking for my identity to send your goons to silence me?

      My writings contain copious references that are authoritative. Such as the British Historian Dr. Jane Russel, University Teacher’s for Human Rights (Jaffna), renowned Historians such as Prof. K.M.D.Silva, The Hindu Organ (a Tamil Newspaper of Jaffna in the 1930s), Writings of Sebastian Rasalingam (a low cast oppressed Tamil from Jaffna, probably an octogenarian now, living in Canada), Moderate Tamils such as (Dr Pradeep Jeganathan & Dr. Noel Nadesan), The Hansard (the Report of Parliamentary proceedings), Acts of Parliament, Court proceedings of the United States, The UK, etc, Official Census Statistics, Sir Emmerson Tennant (the former Colonial Secretary), etc. I try to avoid the Mahavamsa as much as possible and instead use TAMIL sources extensively. Hence I fail to see, how what I write, depend on my Identity. What matters is what I write, my real name is irrelevant. If you can, contest them with facts. I welcome it.

      Strangely, I have never seen you question the many Eelamists and Separatists, who write under pseudonyms here on GV or elsewhere. Prominent among them is a Tamil Lawyer, a teacher of Law, at a Lankan University, who is listed as a member of the so called “Tamil Civil Society” (sic) and writes under many pseudonyms such as Aacharya / Tamil Chanakyan / Manimaaran / etc I have refrained from revealing his Identity, in order to respect his desire for anonymity.

      It proves to me, that you find my writings irksome and damaging to your cause. The Truth, always is, a bogey to Liars!

      It prevents you from continually hoodwinking foreigners and even straight thinking Tamils, like Raj Swamipillai, who has posted on this web page and is now being attacked, in order to intimidate him and discourage him from writing again. I sincerely hope, for the sake of Tamils in particular and Sri Lankans in general, that he would refuse to be intimidated.

      You are worried that my writings and the information they provide, will catalyse Independent Thinking as I have been successful in making at least a small dent, in the web of Lies that organisations such as yours and their predecessors have woven around the History of Lanka, to brain wash the Tamil polity and the Foreigners.

      Twentieth Century Lanka did not have ANY ETHNIC strife between Tamils and Sinhalese until the advent of virulent Tamil Nationalists such as G. G. Ponnambalam, whose public hate speeches, vilifying the Sinhalese, precipitated the first Sinhala Tamil Riots in 1939. The riots are reported in full, in the “Hindu Organ”, the Tamil Newspaper from Jaffna, written and edited by Tamils, in their issue of 1st Nov 1939.

      “Hindu Organ” of June 22, 1939, page 4 carried the Headline “Mr. Ponnambalam’s N’pitiya speech” and beneath it a strap-line “Mr. Bandaranaike’s challenge” and followed it up with an Editorial titled “THE WRITING ON THE WALL” which stated among other things “Communal differences, though there existed hardly any, during the time of the last generation of leaders, have now been multiplied and intensified, thanks to the hot-heads and irresponsible talkers in the country, who care more for the plaudits of the mob, than for the welfare of the people.”

      Very clear proof, from a Tamil Newspaper and her Tamil Editor as to who is responsible for the Modern Tamil Sinhala strife. Mr G. G. Ponnambalam. This is a fact that the Separatists Lobby has carefully covered up and swept under the carpet

      Prior to 1939, the 20th century saw only Tamil vs Tamil Riots (1923, 1929 and 1931). ALL of which was due to the DENIAL of BASIC HUMAN RIGHTS to the Tamil Polity by the Tamil High casts. Mr. Sabastian Rasanayagam, a victim of the Tamil Elitists, is one of the few Brave Lankan Tamils, still amongst the living, who is unafraid to tell the Truth and expose the animal like treatment the oppressed Tamils received at the hands of the Jaffna Elite Tamils. It is these very same self centred Elite Tamils who are yet misleading the Tamil polity by playing the Pied Piper and is now intent on scuttling attempts at reconciliation in Sri Lanka.

      Dr Jane Russell writing in her book “Communal Politics under the Donoughmore Constitution” observes, “….. the more and more rapacious demands of the Tamils” (page 240).

      You, the oppressor, has carefully presented your self, to the Tamil polity and the World, as Pure White Lambs, while at the same time painting the Sinhalese as brutes.

      Are any of the facts I have presented above dependant on my Real Name?
      Only a complete Fool would answer in the affirmative.

      I can understand your desire to shut me up anyway you can. Hence you have now launched an attack on my Integrity, rather than counter my writings factually, which you find difficult to do.

      What you could do however, is to present convincing arguments that stand up to searching questions. I have no problem in apologising if I am proved wrong, on any matter that you can convince me with facts. Then you will find me an ally rather than an opponent. I have done that before, as Burning Issue, a Lankan Tamil now living in the UK and who contributes to GV under a pseudonym, can testify.

      Unlike you, I do not make use of deception.
      Here is an example of a deliberately deceptive post from you.

      On 02/04/2013 • 12:00 am you wrote

      “Would the US really be pushing for another resolution if the Chief Justice had not been impeached?”asks Bateman. Wasn’t 40,000 (70,000? 146, 000 died?) deaths “reason enough” asks Kenneth Roth (HRW) and I wondered about it too!!!

      I noticed the deception and asked you the following question on 02/04/2013 • 12:39 pm.

      Are those numbers within brackets authored by Kenneth Ross or Dishonestly introduced by you? Can you give us a link to prove Kenneth Ross wrote what you claim he wrote?

      (http://groundviews.org/2013/01/31/another-us-resolution-on-sri-lanka-the-road-to-nowhere/#comment-50636)

      Despite a reminder on 02/07/2013 • 1:39 am, you have failed to respond to date.
      And you have the shameless audacity to question my integrity!

      I will proceed to analyse the rest of your post in Part 2 of my reply.

      • Usha S Sri-Skanda-Rajah

        Dear Off the Cuff

        Kenneth Roth (Executive Director)and James Ross (Legal and Policy Director)are two different people – both are from HRW. I referred to Kenneth Roth – Director HRW who did tweet: Wasn’t 40,000 deaths “reason enough”…

        As to (70,000? 146,000 died?) those numbers were mentioned by the UN Internal Review Report and Bishop Rayappu Joseph respectively – that’s why they were put in brackets as the numbers are even now more than 40,000!

        I don’t deceive people! Kenneth Roth (not Ross) can attest to his tweet if he sees this!

        Usha

        PS: I have things to do, can’t always reply, sorry I don’t mean to be rude. I can debate you fair and square but don’t wish to – I was a debater in school you know!

        • Off the Cuff

          Dear Ms Usha S Sri Skanda-Rajah,

          Of course you were practising deception Usha and now that you have been found out, you are trying to squirm out.

          I did not question the 40,000 figure, hence Kenneth Roth attesting to his tweet or not attesting to it is irrelevant.

          I questioned the figures you introduced within brackets, OMITTING the source.

          You used Kenneth Roth’s name and more importantly, the name of HRW, hoping to give currency to the more dubious figures.

          That Usha is deception.

          Sorry about the typo but that does not mitigate your deception.

          You say “I have things to do, can’t always reply, sorry I don’t mean to be rude”

          Ha ha already getting cold feet?
          You are not being rude Usha. You are being a coward.
          Where is the respect and responsibility towards the GV Readership that you were pontificating about?
          Are you now preparing to jump ship, forsaking your duty?
          Talk is easy Usha. Living up to it is not.

          You say “I can debate you fair and square but don’t wish to – I was a debater in school you know!”

          Too late in the day to back down If You Want To Preserve Your Credibility.

          You initiated this debate from a moral vantage point, of a High Horse.
          This is not your school Usha, its the real adult world.

          Why have you avoided the question about Pseudonym use by Tamils?
          Are you only concerned with Sinhala writers using pseudonyms?
          Is your view of morality based on Ethnicity?

          Is the Tamil Newspaper of Jaffna, the Hindu Organ, wrong in identifying the Tamil politician G. G. Ponnambalam as the originator of Racist Politics of 20th century Sri Lanka?

          Mr. Sebastian Rasalingam, a low cast Tamil, has accused the Tamil Elites of Jaffna of oppressive and degrading behaviour (including rape with impunity) against the the majority Tamil polity (the peasantry). His opening paragraph contain the following words “Here, I present another aspect of the tragedy of the Tamils then, and even now ” His letter appeared in dbsjayaraj.com on 28 Nov 2012. Apparently the separatists who are shouting about Human Rights are still violating them amongst their own. What are your comments?

          BTW. I have provided my “Real Name” in my response to Anpu. It appears above your thank you, to Anpu, for patting your back. I do hope it will be enlightening and help you to concentrate on what’s written instead of looking for cheap brownie points running after pseudonyms.

          You said I write off-the-Cuff as my pseudonym implies. That should make it easy for you to counter what I write without trying to avoid parts of it.

  • Usha S Sri-Skanda-Rajah

    Off the Cuff
    “The same suspects behind the mass killings of Tamils, namely Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Shavendra and Jegath Dias are implicated in the recently discovered mass graves found in Matale. The JVP wants an investigation. I would be curious to know your reaction. Do you think the JVP will be satisfied with an Army Court of Inquiry?”

    How about answering my question posed to you earlier?

    • Off the Cuff

      Dear Ms Usha S Sri Skanda-Rajah,

      Patience Madam, here is Part 2 of my response.
      Part 3 will follow later.

      You say “Don’t have hopes of Ms Yasmin Sooka or Dr Daniel Spitz or Grant Fredericks degrading themselves by responding to your swipes at them”

      I KNOW that none of them will dare challenge me as Dr Daniel Spitz and Grant Fredricks have degraded themselves in US and Canadian Courts. Are you telling the readers here at GV that the US and Canadian Courts don’t deal with the TRUTH and that their conclusions are BIASED?

      Your attempt at whitewashing two people who have been discredited in US and Canadian courts don’t hold water as once they have been proven to have perjured themselves in a court of Law what they say is always suspect and will not carry weight in any court of Law, as expert witnesses. A Liar can Lie at any time. You could of course ask Bruce Fein about that!

      As for Madam Yasmin Sooka, she has degraded herself by associating herself with speculative death figures emanating from the LTTE supporter Rev Rayappu Joseph in an attempt to give authenticity to Rev Rayappu’s claim. In addition she has shown her PARTIALITY by making unsubstantiated accusations (please see my individual post to her and the posts addressed to jansee and her). If you want to contest anything that I have written there you are welcome to do so.

      Dear Ms Yasmin Sooka

      The Darusman Experts of Ban Ki Moon

      The ICRC states

      1. the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia qualified physically securing or otherwise holding peacekeeping forces against their will at potential NATO air targets, including ammunition bunkers, a radar site and a communications centre, as using “human shields”

      There is no requirement of DELIBERATE MOVEMENT.

      2. It can be concluded that use of human shields requires an intentional co-location of military objectives and civilians or persons hors de combat with the specific intent of trying to prevent the targeting of those military objectives. (http://www.icrc.org/customary-ihl/eng/docs/v1_cha_chapter32_rule97)

      Item 1 is an ICRC Decision
      Item 2 is an ICRC Conclusion

      A human Shield does not require movement of civilians to military targets but COLOCATION of civilians and targets.

      Here is an extract from the report that Ms. Yasmin Sooka has subscribed to.

      1. Using civilians as a human buffer

      237. Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions: Credible allegations point to a violation of Common Article 3’s ban on the taking of hostages insofar as they forced thousands of civilians, often under threat of death, to remain in areas under their control during the last stages of the war and enforced this control by killing persons who attempted to leave that area. (With respect to the credible allegations of the LTTE’s refusal to allow civilians to leave the combat zone, the Panel believes that these actions did not, in law, amount to the use of human shields insofar as it did not find credible evidence of the LTTE deliberately moving civilians towards military targets to protect the latter from attacks as is required by the customary definition of that war crime (Rule 97, ICRC Study)

      End Extract

      Note the sub heading used.

      Rule 97 of the customary IHL is titled Human Shields not human buffer.
      Darusman report redefines the Human Shield as a human buffer?

      We have TWO definitions of a Human Shield

      The ICRC – COLOCATION of Civilians at Military targets constitutes a Human Shield.

      Darusman Expert panel – deliberately MOVING civilians towards military targets to protect the latter from attacks is a Human Shield.

      The Experts have become a Law on to themselves.

      Yasmin Sooka and her Colleagues have toned down the Human Shield to a Human Buffer and then ignores the ICRC definition and provides there Own Definition to absolve the LTTE.
      Hilarious!!!


      What would you call these people?
      Can you respect them?

      International Law seems to have slipped through the fingers of the Darusman panel of experts.

      Do you have anything to say Madam Usha S Sri Skanda-Rajah?

    • Off the Cuff

      Dear Ms Usha S Sri Skanda-Rajah,

      Here is Part 3 of my response.
      Part 4 will follow later.

      You say “You have questioned Ms Sooka’s integrity and her findings as flawed and have called the experts in questions as “charlatans.” ……. I googled the name of the two forensic experts and added “charlatans’ and not surprisingly this GV link came up – which means you are the only one who has referred to them by that name. ”

      Definition of CHARLATAN from Merriam-Webster

      1 : quack
      2 : one making usually showy pretenses to knowledge or ability : fraud, faker

      The Part 2 of my reply to you gave details of their conclusions.
      Unless Ms Yasmin Sooka can counter those details, the Darusman Experts that include Ms Yasmin Sooka certainly fits the definition given by Merriam Webster above.

      Please continue with your Googling.
      I sure hope that you won’t contest a Standard English Dictionary!

      You say “Colombo has the audacity to think its ‘Army Court of Inquiry’ can pass for a “credible and independent” body to inquire into “credible” allegations of mass atrocity crimes, such as war crimes and crimes against humanity made against its own senior officers including the President, the Commander in Chief”

      Well well Usha they must have learnt that from the World’s only super power!

      If you want a reminder please re read this comment of mine.
      http://groundviews.org/2013/04/11/the-empty-findings-of-sri-lankas-military-court-of-inquiry/#comment-52163

      you say “The Sri Lankan army did not treat the dead or the captured with dignity,..”

      I would agree with you about SOME of the dead but you have a habit of using a half truth to cover a down right canard. I can see that you are trying very hard to demonise the SL Authorities by suppressing the real Truth. And is using the TACTICS perfected by the TAMIL politician G. G. Ponnambalam, the creator of RACISM of the 20th Century and is writing to inflame Tamil Sentiments and filibuster reconciliation. You are carrying G.G.Ponnambalam’s Torch for him. Wont he be proud?

      Even the captured combatants received Humane treatment. If you want a reminder please go and watch the BBC’s Hardtalk program hosted by Stephen Sackur here.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KuW9c0ufiHY
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=txpRqAKgyd0

    • Off the Cuff

      Dear Ms Usha S Sri Skanda-Rajah,

      Here is Part 4 of my response.
      Part 5 will follow later.

      You say “there is stacks of evidence, numerous items of video and pictorial evidence of women, seniors and children taking cover in bunkers and those in ‘no fire zones’ shelled, bombed, rocketed and massacred in cold blood”

      You mean evidence such as these?
      Tamilnet carried a photo depicting and artillery shell attack from which stressed “civilians” were running for cover for “Fear of their lives”

      Later when the SLA advanced and took control of former LTTE held areas, they discovered this photo that had been used by the LTTE to publish that picture on tamilnet. The photo published by Tamilnet did not contain the 5 people that you see encircled in red on the right.
      It was a stage managed photograph, a FAKE.
      http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/190/image002cvl.jpg/

      Note the five persons within the red ellipse.
      Three of them are standing still unconcerned of the raining artillery shells. Two other two are in a calm conversation with one man with his back to the running actors. All five are unconcerned for their own lives, from the purported Artillery attack!

      You say “we have seen a prisoner interrogated, tortured and then the body burned in the latest ‘no fire zone’ documentary”

      Are you not ashamed to call the CH4 productions documentaries?
      Like Tamilnet, these productions use LTTE’s embedded cameramen’s (the Truth Tiger’s) films and photographs extensively. The sample photograph I have linked to above shows how “truthful” they are.

      You say “Colombo has the audacity to think its ‘Army Court of Inquiry’ can pass for a “credible and independent” body to inquire into “credible” allegations of mass atrocity crimes, such as war crimes and crimes against humanity made against its own senior officers including the President, the Commander in Chief”

      Please see my post to jansee on this page for my answer, regarding this “credible and independant” body as it is too tedious to repeat.

      http://groundviews.org/2013/04/11/the-empty-findings-of-sri-lankas-military-court-of-inquiry/#comment-52202

      It was posted at 04/14/2013 • 9:16 pm, four days ago. Jansee has failed to provide an answer, perhaps you can give an intelligent answer to that off the cuff post.

      You say “And true to form the army has exonerated itself and you are still shamelessly justifying its actions by repeating your government’s lame excuses that they killed civilians because they couldn’t distinguish LTTE from civilians as the LTTE cadres were wearing civilian clothes”

      Thank you for raising that question.
      Please refer to the CH4 Video where the Puthukkudiyiruppu PTK Hospital is shown.

      This was the ONLY hospital that was available to the LTTE, in the battle Zone. Yet in the CH4 video not a SINGLE LTTE casualty or corpse is seen within the Hospital or its environs. All the casualties and dead were in civvies. The implication was clear, the dead and wounded were CIVILIANS and was as a result of SLA attacks.

      This was a battle zone and the ONLY hospital available to the LTTE.
      Where were the LTTE wounded and dead of battle?
      Was the LTTE immune from injury and hence had Zero Casualties?
      Did the LTTE magnanimously reserve the ONLY hospital in the battle zone for exclusive civilian use?

      Affirmative answers to the last two questions are LUDICROUS.
      There is only ONE plausible explanation. The LTTE casualties had morphed into civilians by the simple tactic of shedding battle fatigues and donning civvies.

      The scenes of the 100% “civilian” filled PTK hospital was obviously video graphed by the LTTE “truth tigers” as no outsider had access to the PTK hospital during the war.

      Who had access to the “Truth Tiger” videos?
      LTTE members obviously had that access (and some fell into the hands of the SLA and I have linked to one of them within this post).
      Who smuggled out these “Truth Tiger” videos?
      LTTE escapees could have done that.
      Who has access to these smuggled “Truth Tiger” videos now?
      Obviously the CH4 has and possibly those who have contacts with the escapees (such as the TGT Eelam and those who led campaigns supporting the LTTE) have.

      The Puthukkudiyiruppu PTK Hospital was over run by the SL forces on 12 March 2009 and at that time, LTTE cadres were defending from WITHIN the hospital. Bodies of about 10 cadres were found after it was overrun. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YHjvZ3Mh9VQ

      Here is a film captured from the LTTE, showing LTTE terrorists fighting in civvies inside the NFZ. Tamil civilians building defences and LTTE armoured vehicles inside the NFZ with the “Truth” Tigers, the unit that captures LTTE operations on camera, for propaganda in attendance.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=h2T1FiwRmQo

      Do you still think that the charge the LTTE were in CIVIES, Lame?
      In that case, it will be you, who will be disappointed.

    • Off the Cuff

      Dear Ms Usha S Sri Skanda-Rajah of TGT Eelam (sic),

      This is Part 5 of my response.
      Part 6 will follow later.

      You say “And Tamils whose land is being occupied, who have lost their sovereignty and right to self determination are the victims here and not Sri Lanka”

      When was the last time the Tamils as a separate entity (separate from the collective Sri Lankan entity) had sovereignty where they exercised the Right to Self determination?

      What was the AREA in which that sovereignty was exercised?

      Are the Tamils OCCUPYING Land OUTSIDE that area today?
      If so why are they doing that?

      Usha please stop writing to the gallery and substantiate your claims with facts instead of Rhetoric designed to fool the Foreigners and the uninitiated Tamils.

      What is your agenda?
      Continuation of the Tamilisation of Lanka that started in the 1840s using subterfuge?

      In 1911 there were 528,000 indigenous Tamils and 531,000 foreign Tamils from Tamil Nadu (Official Census). Foreign Tamils exceeded by 100+% the indigenous Tamils of Lanka.

      Where did these Foreign Tamils live and work?
      Certainly not in the North and East.

      According to History they were domiciled in Land STOLEN from the Sinhalese by the Govt of the day which dispossessed and evicted the Sinhalese from 90% of the Sinhalese Hinterland Lands and made homeless over 40% of Sinhalese Agricultural Peasants.

      This was the equivalent of settling the TOTALITY of the indigenous Tamil Population of Lanka inside the Sinhala Hinterland by dispossessing the Sinhalese of their homes, livelihood and lands.

      Tamilisation of Sinhala Lands occurred on such a massive scale that even today, many Sinhala peasants are Landless.

      Please read the Crown Land Enforcement Ordinance of 1840
      Crown Land Encroachment Ordinance in 1840
      Waste Land Ordinance Act of 1897
      Land Settlement Ordinance of 1889

      And the works of the following Historians to get a real understanding of the adverse effects of Tamilisation of the Sinhala Habitat.

      Farmer 1957:90-91
      Herath 1995:77
      Roberts 1979:233
      Obeysekara 1967: 98-100
      Obeysekara 1967:101
      Mendis 1951:166
      Mendis 1951:85.
      Codrington 1938:63
      Herath 1995:79

      It is the Sinhalese Lands that are being occupied by the Tamils.
      The Sinhalese have not asked for the return of their land by evicting the Tamils.

      You can read more details of Tamilisation of Lanka in my post addressed to the so called “Tamil Civil Society” (sic) at this link (it is still without a response from them). http://groundviews.org/2013/03/14/appeal-from-the-tamil-civil-society-to-the-international-community-regarding-the-upcoming-resolution-in-the-unhrc-on-sri-lanka/#comment-51360

      You say “It’s the Tamil people who are being subjugated by Sri Lanka.”

      Is that why the Diaspora Tamils are buying property in Sri Lanka and seeking citizenship that they forsook earlier, when they acquired foreign citizenship?

      The Tamil people were subjugated by the Tamils themselves.

      First by the High Cast Tamils who denied Education, Drinking Water, Religious Freedom, Travel in Public Transport, treating the oppressed Tamil polity as chattel and raping Tamil women with impunity. They even attempted to get this oppressive cast system written into Law to enable them to carry on these despicable and degrading behaviour in perpetuity.
      Fortunately for the Tamil Polity, the British refused that.

      There are a few, of those who were subjected to degrading and sub human treatment at the hands of the Tamil Elites, who are still amongst the living that have the courage to write about it.

      “The poor Tamils worked in the properties and homes of the upper-caste Tamils. We could not go in buses or attend school. Our very presence was ‘polluting’. When the buses were nationalized by SWRD, the CTB allowed anyone to travel in them. THAT angered the Tamil leaders. It was the Church that grudgingly opened doors very slightly to the oppressed Tamils by allowing them to learn English and read the Bible. In my young days I sat on the class-room floor or carried a low stool from class to class, as only the high castes could sit on chairs. The teachers treated me and another child like me as excreta and punished us for daring to be there. But, I thought that was the law – each had his station in life. When I moved to Hatton and later to Colombo, I found a very different world. It was a transforming experience for me and my wife to find that our workmates, mostly Sinhalese would actually sit with us and share a cup of tea. We found that we could go to night school and study without being threatened, beaten up, or go and borrow books, and do things that would bring swift retribution ‘back in the North’; our dwellings would have been torched and our women raped with impunity ” (Sebastian Rasalingam, http://dbsjeyaraj.com/dbsj/archives/12770)

      Secondly by the LTTE, who strung dissident Tamils up on Lamp Posts with Barbed Wire.
      Abducted a generation of Tamil children and turned them into killing machines and caused the Death of a majority of them.

      Did you campaign against this OPPRESSION Usha? Is the past bogey of the Tamil Polity lurking behind your current campaign? Is the Racism of Tamil politician GG Ponnambalam raising it’s head again?

      (Please read my post to Jansee here which she did not respond to date and my first post to you in this series
      http://groundviews.org/2013/04/11/northern-provincial-council-election-and-the-future-of-lankan-tamil-politics/#comment-52072)

      You say “It’s not about powerful countries bullying Sri Lanka.at all; it’s about the Rajapaksa government engaged in a major cover-up of Genocide committed against the Tamil people; it’s about the continuing structural genocide of the Tamil Nation to destroy the Tamil national identity, obliterate the traditional homeland of the Tamils, culture, religions, and fundamental social, civil, political, democratic rights; it’s about a people held captive by an occupying army in the ratio of 1 soldier to 5 civilians and in Vavuniya 1 soldier to 3 civilians”

      Usha I am not interested in defending the govt but I am most certainly defending my country. And there is no doubt about my country being bullied.

      However you are indulging in deception and rhetoric designed to fool foreigners and to inflame the feelings of the unsuspecting Tamil polity. You want to project yourself as the underdogs, the pure white lambs who are getting brutalised by the Sinhala brutes but the facts are different.

      Kindly prove the boundaries of this mythical Traditional Homeland of Tamils.
      History proves that there was no Tamil Kingdom in the East. History also proves that the Sinhala Kingdom of Kandy extended up to Elephant Pass at the extreme Northern end of the Main Land.

      If there was any Genocide of Tamil People that was done by PROXY, by the Separatists in the Tamil Diaspora.

      Kindly enlighten us how Tamil culture, religions, and fundamental social, civil, political, democratic rights is under assault with facts supported by authoritative references.

      Please explain how the army of the land can be described as an occupation army of their own land.
      Then every Army of every country I an occupying force of their own land. Great Logic.

      I don’t intend to contest your ratios as they are irrelevant and a Red Herring.

      Sri Lanka overcame a terrorist organisation described as the World’s most dangerous, which was funded by the overseas Tamil separatists, after 30 years. The terrorist LTTE dominated the North and parts of the East during that time with the complete absence of any security presence of the govt. This allowed the terrorists to build many underground facilities and hide arms and ammunition all over that land. The area in question was at war with the rest of the country. There is a price to pay for going to war. Normalcy will return with time but that wont be overnight.

      The North is just a few km from TN which is currently seeing activism supporting the terrorist LTTE. No sane person can expect the SL govt to jeopardise a hard earned victory over terrorism by reducing the security presence and allowing the terrorists still within the country to become active again.

  • Off the Cuff

    Dear Selvan,

    You say “If it is a child it is a child with or without a gun. These are excuses that genocidal racists make to excuse their shame.”

    A child without a Gun is an innocent child.

    A child with a Gun and trained to KILL, is a Lethal Child and has lost it’s innocence, courtesy the Terrorists who trained, armed and brainwashed it to KILL humans.

    The shame therefore, is with those who took away that child’s innocence and brainwashed it to Kill Human beings and with shameless and immoral people like you, who are condoning such despicable behaviour, by making irrational excuses in support.

    You have made it clear who you are, a Brain washed genocidal Terrorist or a Terrorist supporter or fund raiser who is beyond redemption.

    BTW, my name is M.N.I.N. Perera but asking for my name was foolish. Check out my reply to Anpu here and you will realise why.

    http://groundviews.org/2013/04/11/the-empty-findings-of-sri-lankas-military-court-of-inquiry/#comment-52253

    Just like M.N.I.N. Perera, for all I know, Myil Selvan can also be a dishonest pseudonym.

    Hope you will learn to respect a honest pseudonym in the future, without asking foolish and irrelevant questions.

  • Candidly

    When a judge or someone with investigatory powers has personal opinions that could affect their judgement or investigation, the ethical standard is that they recuse or excuse themselves from involvement in the proceedings. In view of Sooka’s involvement with the Sri Lanka Campaign and the latter’s stated commitment to separation for Sri Lanka’s northern and eastern regions, that is what she should have done.

    We can all draw the obvious conclusion from this regarding Yasmin Sooka’s professional and ethical standards.

    • Off the Cuff

      Absolutely right.

    • Sri Lanka Campaign

      “In view of Sooka’s involvement with the Sri Lanka Campaign and the latter’s stated commitment to separation for Sri Lanka’s northern and eastern regions”

      ??? !!!

      We have never ever said this. Or even anything like this. In fact we have repeatedly emphasized that we are a “Sri Lanka” campaign, and a nonpartisan one at that

  • Off the Cuff

    Dear Ms Usha S Sri Skanda-Rajah of TGT Eelam (sic),

    On 04/16/2013 • 12:30 pm you asked “How about answering my question posed to you earlier?”

    On 17/April I posted the second part of my reply which was followed by parts 3, 4 and 5.

    Other than your attempt at covering up your deceit of using the HRW name to provide currency to your dubious death figures, you have gone completely silent just like Ms Yasmin Sooka and Ms Jansee before you.

    One week has now elapsed. Are you still busy with other work?