Sri Lanka’s Numbers Game

Sri-Lanka-war

Image courtesy Hill Post

On May 16 a seminar was held at the Marga Institute to launch  a publication by the Independent Diaspora Analysis Group – Sri Lanka (IDAG-S) – The Numbers Game: Politics of Restorative Justice. I was at the seminar and will here attempt to provide an impression of the ideas generated in the discussion. This is in no way intended to be a formal record or set of minutes.

The members of the panel leading the discussion of the publication were Dr Godfrey Gunatilleke, Chairman Emeritus of the Marga Institute, Asoka Gunawardena, Marga’s Executive Governor,  and Raja Korale, an international statistics consultant. The open forum was moderated by Dr Nimal Gunatilleke.

The IDAG-S Report

Dr Godfrey Gunatilleke, opened  the proceedings by answering the question: “Do numbers matter”. He acknowledged that, while even a low number of casualties was cause for anguish, citing large and inaccurate figures raised issues of the proportionality of the military response and the ethical position of the line of command. Continual recycling of spurious figures can only inhibit the healing process. Dr Dayan Jayetilleka agreed that the numbers do matter because the truth is a moral issue.

The Marga Institute had taken up this publication because it seemed authoritative enough to provide ammunition to persuade the UN to revisit its position on the numbers of civilian casualties in the final months of Eelam IV.

The provenance of the report encouraged confidence in its impartiality and competence. The IDAG-S is a think tank of academics, professionals and analysts from  the Sri Lankan diaspora in Europe, North America and Australia. The lead author is an aerospace engineer who was able to bring a wide range of multidisciplinary skills to the task.

Although Eelam War IV has been described as a war without witnesses, the authors of this report had managed, through thorough research, to assemble a logical and well-argued package which casts doubt on some of the calculations being peddled. Dr Gunatilleke found the high-resolution satellite images included in the report impressive. These had not been published so comprehensively elsewhere. These satellite images show that shells fired by the SLA from February to May mostly avoided concentrations of civilians and in the final weeks had used  hardly any artillery.

Remembrance and Amnesia

There was a strong theme at the seminar of the need to acknowledge the size of the catastrophe. Those who are citing inflated figures are making a demand for reckoning based on the assumption that we did not care. That exaggeration in turn prompts a bunker mentality among the victors who are reluctant to admit to a figure of civilian dead for fear of a litigious reaction.

Ernest Renan observed that nation-building requires amnesia as well as invention. In some countries memorials and commemorative days are seen as part of the healing process. Elsewhere, remembering is felt to be dangerous. In Rwanda, political parties are prohibited from appealing to group identity, and public statements promoting “divisionism” are forbidden. The authorities have used these limitations to imprison critics. Remembering might inflame old hatreds. Cambodia celebrates a Day of Remembrance on My 20 each year. It used to be called the National Day of Hatred.

How do we strike a balance between remembering and the infantile abuse that too depressingly often passes for comment on the websites of newspapers. How do we contrive a discourse that notes the mistakes of the past without allowing the armchair conflict junkies from forcing further mistakes to be made?

Victory parades are not a helpful form of commemoration despite claims that that there are no longer any minorities, only Sri Lankans. Michael Roberts warns against  “hegemonic incorporation” of this nature. “Constitutional fiat cannot transform minds, especially entrenched mindsets. Multiple strategies are required. Political imagination is called for, both from President Rajapaksa and his advisors as well as eminent minds attached to this their land.”

Accountancy and Accountability

The war arose from a constellation of issues, not just as a reaction to grievances. The government’s foreign service and highly-paid PR consultants have dismally failed to convey this and to let  the world know the true nature of the LTTE and the kind of war it fought. GOSL needs to convey the truth about battle. Jim Grant of UNICEF had commended the government for still continuing to provide services in conflict zones. The world was not aware of this. The government has allowed the LTTE rump to convince some sections of western opinion that GOSL was following a policy of extermination. GOSL has not made the case that it took 11,000 LTTE prisoners alive and rehabilitated many of them.

On the other hand, there was a consensus that civil society must engage with the GOSL  focusing on the LLRC recommendations on the  process of collective atonement and  that leadership on this needs to be given by the President.

It would have  been surprising if there had not been some atavistic and brutal reaction from some soldiers who witnessed horrible things happening  to their comrades and lived under traumatic fear themselves. The IDAG-S conclusion states clearly: “Nothing in this survey denies the probability and the evidence that some extra-judicial killings of high-ranking LTTE officers occurred during the last days of the war. These actions need to be impartially investigated by an independent body, and where possible criminal indictments pursued against the perpetrators.”

There is a strong case for accountability and recognition of the loss of life. The current situation does not hold out much hope for  genuine reconciliation. Naming and shaming on the basis  of exaggerated numbers is not the way to persuade the Sinhalese community to recognise  the loss of life amongst the Vanni Tamils.  Bludgeoning them with  inflated numbers could lead to a backlash.

In 2009, the Banyan column in the Economist said: “It is probably too much to hope the government might adopt a fresh approach to these familiar allegations. There were always at least three ways to tackle them. It could, early on, have argued brazenly that the benefits of ending the war outweighed the cost in human life. The Tigers were as vicious and totalitarian a bunch of thugs as ever adopted terrorism as a national-liberation strategy. Or the government could have insisted that its army’s behaviour was largely honourable, but that some regrettable abuses may have occurred, which would be thoroughly investigated.”

 IDAG-S consider that some critics , such as Frances Harrison and Alan Keenan have moved “into the realms of statistical fantasy in ways that raise questions about their integrity / morality”. “It would seem that such spokespersons are motivated by moral rage and retributive justice. They seek regime change in Sri Lanka – a form of 21st century evangelism that is imperialist in character and effect.”

In Sri Lanka’s case, controversial estimates of civilian deaths were introduced not as irrefutable facts, but as circumstantial evidence to lay the foundation for an international investigation and ultimately regime change.

Way Forward

At the conclusion of the seminar, the question was posed: “How can we engage in the international debate and how can civil society encourage  the implementation of LLRC recommendations on issues relating to humanitarian law and civilian casualties?”

Pradeep Jaganathan stressed the need to raise  public consciousness and  make people realise that we are all responsible and accountable for  what took place during the last 30 years – through sins of  commission and omission, hate, apathy, failure to speak up.

Dr. Dayan Jayetilleka proposed establishing a group to review the study and make necessary recommendations to GOSL which could be used  in the international debate. Dr Godfrey Gunatilleke thought it important that we address the moral responsibility and accountability of all actors in the conflict, including the TNA, and not solely the state. What is the universalist framework for an understanding of this whole tragedy of war and human suffering?

  • Usha S Sri-Skanda-Rajah

    Who is the author of this article, i can’t find the name anywhere?

    So if, as the author says the, “Marga Institute had taken up this publication because it seemed authoritative enough to provide ammunition to persuade the UN to revisit its position on the numbers of civilian casualties in the final months of Eelam IV,” then such doubts can only be revisited by the UN through an international independent investigation with the Sri Lankan government lending itself to independent scrutiny that’s credible and not just by merely listening to claims made by a publication produced by a Sri Lankan Diapora ‘think tank’, even if it brought “multidisciplinary skills to the task.” Just because it calls itself “independent Diaspora Analysis Group – Sri Lanka, doesn’t make it independent.

    The author of this article does not mention much about any fresh corroborative evidence that the publication has produced except:
    1. To say it contained some impressive satellite imagery that “show that shells fired by the SLA from February to May mostly avoided concentrations of civilians and in the final weeks had used hardly any artillery.”
    2. To trash Harrison and Keenan,
    3. And to make the pronouncement that, “Nothing in this survey denies the probability and the evidence that some extra-judicial killings of high-ranking LTTE officers occurred during the last days of the war. These actions need to be impartially investigated by an independent body, and where possible criminal indictments pursued against the perpetrators.”

    A publication casting doubt on numbers, purporting to provide critical evidence to support the claim the numbers were “spurious”, had better concentrate on providing evidence for it. On the 3rd point Fonseka has already incriminated himself and implicated high ranking political and military leaders for the executions and later recanted it through fear but he can’t lie under oath in a properly constituted court; so we don’t need to hear it from the authors of the publication.

    Numbers don’t matter, it is the truth that matters – it goes to the heart of whether civilians were killed. The International Criminal Court has started proceeding against Uhuru Kenyatta for crimes against humanity for orchestrating the killing of 1,200 civilians. Although the scale of civilian deaths could point to genocide.

    I must say I disagree with this reference below which is truly bizarre, cited in my view to find excuses for the heinous crimes committed against civilians – whether it appeared in the Economist is immaterial.
    “In 2009, the Banyan column in the Economist said: “It is probably too much to hope the government might adopt a fresh approach to these familiar allegations. There were always at least three ways to tackle them. It could, early on, have argued brazenly that the benefits of ending the war outweighed the cost in human life. The Tigers were as vicious and totalitarian a bunch of thugs as ever adopted terrorism as a national-liberation strategy. Or the government could have insisted that its army’s behaviour was largely honourable, but that some regrettable abuses may have occurred, which would be thoroughly investigated.”

    Some one even says with audacity that the war arose not due to grievances – definitely it was due to grievances that were not addressed for years since 1948 with the move to disenfranchise plantation Tamils to reduce the voting strength of Tamils, including among other:
    1.Persecution
    2.Discrimination in education and employment
    3.State sponsored terrorism of the vicious kind inflicted on Tamils
    4.And the refusal to devolve power to Tamil areas.
    It’s a shame that Sri Lankans still can’t admit that there were grievances going to the root of the ethnic conflict.

    The LTTE rebels were born out of the need for self- preservation.

    I know where these apologists for Sri Lanka are heading – to exonerate Sri Lanka, demonize the rebels and declare any civilian deaths were due to the rebels and collateral damage – Nice try!

    • Off the Cuff

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

      Would you rather have an “Independent” investigation by the likes of Yasmin Sooka and the Darusman Panel which prostituted the ICRC definition of Human Shields and created a loop hole by which the Terrorist LTTE and their supporters like your self to creep through?

      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!!!

      BTW madam you came out with all guns blazing and firing from the hip in your post of

      http://groundviews.org/2013/04/11/the-empty-findings-of-sri-lankas-military-court-of-inquiry/#comment-52181

      You went underground after I posted my 5 part reply never to be seen in that thread again.

      http://groundviews.org/2013/04/11/the-empty-findings-of-sri-lankas-military-court-of-inquiry/#comment-52242
      http://groundviews.org/2013/04/11/the-empty-findings-of-sri-lankas-military-court-of-inquiry/#comment-52286
      http://groundviews.org/2013/04/11/the-empty-findings-of-sri-lankas-military-court-of-inquiry/#comment-52287
      http://groundviews.org/2013/04/11/the-empty-findings-of-sri-lankas-military-court-of-inquiry/#comment-52322
      http://groundviews.org/2013/04/11/the-empty-findings-of-sri-lankas-military-court-of-inquiry/#comment-52361
      http://groundviews.org/2013/04/11/the-empty-findings-of-sri-lankas-military-court-of-inquiry/#comment-52381
      http://groundviews.org/2013/04/11/the-empty-findings-of-sri-lankas-military-court-of-inquiry/#comment-52607

      • J Fernando

        Please stick to the points being discussed, lets not use GV forums as an outlet for your racism !
        We are inching towards peace, we don’t want to go backwards ! It was people like you started the problem in the first place and now you want us to suffer again?

      • Dev

        Oh the usual 101 links posted !

        Ok so according to you only 3 people are credible and not separatists
        (I have previously given a long and extensive list of people who are not credible including the likes of Desmond Tutu/Mary Robinson/Jimmy Carter/Nelson Mandela/UN/AI/HRW)
        1) Mahinda Rajapakse
        2)Gota Rajapakse
        3) off the cuff

        Everyone else is a separatist?

        • George

          LOL you forgot one other person who is also very much a patriot-Wimal Weerawansa !

          • Dev

            Thanks for that, you are right, he should be included as well in the patriot list.

            Everyone else is jealous of SL and is out to get her LOL

        • Off the Cuff

          Hi Dev,

          “Oh the usual 101 links posted !”

          You seem to be allergic to links that expose the inability of Eelamist separatists to answer questions.

          The first link will lead you to a post AUTHORED by Usha herself.

          The next 6 links are my replies that she has FAILED to answer for over a MONTH. Since she could not answer them you were asked to answer them but true to form you could not answer them either. Perhaps your friend J Fernando can try his hand at making a coherent argument. If I added the posts that you ran away from, the list would have been longer.

          Your ONLY ability seems to be writing irrelevancies instead of a coherent counter argument.

          The Senator is silent and the dogs are let lose to bark.

    • http://www.avanke.com Amar

      I am quite sure that the objective of the report was not to exonerate the Sri Lankan Army though it may appear to you that way. A lot of well meaning crusaders of human rights are joining the band wagon to crucify this present government. I think we tend to miss the point in not working on a way forward to help the survivors of the war in the North. I have spoken to the author myself. He wishes to remain anonymous for various reasons. At the next seminar we could connect with him via skype and attendees could clarify matters with him. I have forwarded this link for “Citizen Silva” to respond
      What I am more interested in all this is the way forward. Let’s not engage on the debate on exact numbers.We have all suffered from this war. Yes Tamils who live in the north have suffered more than any other group. I have gone to the North on many occasions and spoken to farmers in the North. I have heard stories first hand. The fact remains that civilians WERE killed during the last stages of the war. How many? Too many and even ten calls for national day of mourning. That is how things are done in other countries.I don’t want to partake on any victory celebrations when I think of 100,000 plus Sri Lankans who were destroyed by the war during the last 30 years. They were all citizens of this country…

      I accept the fact that terrorism in Sri Lanka was born because of grievances of the Tamil people. There is no debate on that. I don’t want to debate on what became of the LTTE later and how it ended etc. We all have to accept our faults if we are interested in reconciliation.

      I would like your comments on the “way forward” proposed at the Marga Seminar
      My personal view on this whole matter is that one cannot have lasting peace and reconciliation unless there is collective atonement
      Admission of guilt
      Confession
      Repentance
      Forgiveness

      Forget the state, the Rajapakse’s
      Can you and I do this together?
      Are you interested?

      Amar

      • Thiruvarangan

        Truth must be told. After all, it is the truth that will set everyone free. But, for truth to be told, there needs to be a change in attitude

        • Manjula

          Yeah ! but when all parties involved claim to be the holders of truth, how do you find out who tells the truth? So called “independent international” investigations like the “Darusman” always end up uttering the word “may be”, or might be”, just to wash their hands clean. This is because in a war it is difficult to find “all the” facts and that is why you call it a war. Otherwise you could have called it a “match”.

          I am still to see a war which is “clean”, even the ones fought by so called western “supreme” clean forces. So why waste time?

          • Burning_Issue

            Why have the Geneva Convention then; it is “So why waste time”! It was especially aimed at conditions of war; those who formulated should have consulted you; the world would have saved many millions!

          • Manjula

            Yes, they should have. Thanks for the suggestion. Specially when the very architects and the supposed care-takers of Geneva Convention themselves utterly disregard their own convention when they killed millions of Serbs, Iraqis, Afghans, Kenyans and Libyans, and planning more in Syria too.

          • Off the Cuff

            “So called “independent international” investigations like the “Darusman” always end up uttering the word “may be”, or might be”, just to wash their hands clean”

            They have done more than that. They have redefined the ICRC definition of a Human Shield to be a “Human Buffer” to provide a loop hole for the terrorists and those who financed the Death and destruction to creep through.

      • Usha S Sri-Skanda-Rajah

        I am ready Amar to move forward – you and I together at least in this forum – but there are gaping holes in your offer.
        I’ll elaborate later in the day..

        • http://www.avanke.com Amar

          Looking forward to hear from you Usha, yes there may be so many holes in my offer. I don’t claim to have all the answers and neither I am I able to provide all solutions. One thing for sure I am aware that it will not be possible for me to work with extremists and hard liners who are on both side of the camp and I will not waste my time with them. Yet I am willing to do what I can do. Even if a small group of civil societies, private sector organizations and NGO’s involved in humanitarian work can make a difference in the lives of some of the people who were affected by the war, I will find peace and joy in my life by being involved with such group.

        • Padraig Colman

          Anything further from Usha?

          • http://www.avanke.com Amar

            Usha is still quiet, It will be interesting for the Tamil diaspora to hear what some Tamils in the North actually have to say. I can arrange that if they are interested. I will leave it at that. As a starting point maybe we should arrange that.

          • Padraig Colman

            @ amar

            I agree that it would be more constructive to listen to what Tamils in the North have to say and that people like Usha should listen to them.

      • Usha S Sri-Skanda-Rajah

        Amar

        I am tired of always having to argue and defend my position on a separate Tamil homeland – for which I have been called many names, a “Terrorist”, a Tiger and accused of preaching hate, harboring ill feelings towards the Sinhala people and according to the author of this article a “conflict junkie”, it’s not been an easy ride and I have been at this since the mid 70s; although the seeds were planted in my school days born and bred in Colombo, partly because I belonged to the first batch of “Swabasha” students and partly because of what I learnt studying “government”.

        I have a problem with “collective atonement” and any proposals for “moving forward” towards “lasting peace and reconciliation” which lacks commonality on certain fundamental issues:

        1. That “Truth telling” must include the present and go back to the period of independence at least, retracing our steps not merely from the last 30 years.
        2. The Recognition and acknowledgement of the right to self-determination of the Tamil speaking people and of their historical habitats

        I can’t be expected to blindly subscribe to the following four without agreement on the above 2.
        Admission of guilt
        Confession
        Repentance
        Forgiveness

        Usha

        • Padraig Colman

          “I am tired of always having to argue and defend my position on a separate Tamil homeland”.

          When Miles Davis was playing in the same band as John Coltrane, Coltrane was indulging in long raga-like solos, which reflected his intense spirituality. He once said to Miles, “Once I get started on a solo, often I do not know how to stop”. Miles rasped back at him: “try taking the horn out of your mouth”.

        • Off the Cuff

          Dear Usha,

          You have stated the following as a precondition.

          “The Recognition and acknowledgement of the right to self-determination of the Tamil speaking people and of their historical habitats”

          You have clearly outlined a Linguistic Division and not an Ethnic Division. Do you have a mandate from the Muslims to include them?

          Would the boundaries of that Historical Habitat coincide with the Eelam project?

          If so can you make a factual case for the boundaries?

          • Padraig Colman

            A war was fought and lost over this. Does Usha want Tamils living in Sri Lanka to shed their blood for her cause yet again?

        • http://www.avanke.com Amar

          Yes Usha I agree that for reconciliation we all have to retrace our steps back to the time of independence or even back to the time of the Kings.
          We have to recognize the self determination of the Tamil people and their historical habitat. Let me add one more – recognize that all ethnic groups wherever they live have the right for equality and justice.
          I am also tired of this debate so let’s take couple of steps together
          1. I will make a public confession on behalf of the Sinhala speaking community and then YOU make yours on behalf of the Tamil speaking people. (If it is not published on GV I will find some other way to communicate it)- If you want to suggest a list please go ahead but then accept my list as well unconditionally ( you and I are speaking on behalf of our entire ethnic group)
          2. I will adopt one more Tamil orphan who is living in an orphanage run by our church in Vauniya and you adopt a Sinhalese boy who has lost his Father ( now don’t say that you cannot support a boy whose Father may have killed Tamil LTTE solders. THIS IS UNCONDITIONAL). After that I will arrange for you to speak with some Tamils in the North who are now part of a Farmer Out-Grower programme. I am sure you can handle this.

          • Usha S Sri-Skanda-Rajah

            Amar,

            Thank you for reaching out with such candor and commitment – I am not sure of the implications behind your request; I have a genuine desire for peace and reconciliation after achieving “commonality on certain fundamental issues,” as mentioned in my previous comment, but can’t commit to anything on behalf of the Tamil speaking people; how can I or who am I to do that?. That would be improper and insane.

            Only thing I am prepared to do on my own behalf is to share the following paragraphs in my writings that reflect my views on some regrettable tragic events (among other)that shouldn’t have happened.

            The Metamorphosis from Satyagraha to Armed Resistance:

            The Tamil separatist struggle based on Self-determination, metamorphosed from a non-violent one, into an armed resistance, spearheaded by the LTTE, after all peaceful means were exhausted; and after nearly 28 years of unrelenting oppression beginning with the disenfranchisement of Indian hill country Tamils in 1949, who are the backbone of Ceylon’s world renowned Tea industry, the LTTE committed to preserving the territorial integrity of Tamil Eelam, the national identity of Tamils and their right to Self-determination.

            Regrettable Tragic Events:

            Lasting more than 30 years, the LTTE resisted the Sri Lankan army occupation of Tamil areas and the kind of ‘State Terrorism’ inflicted against Tamils and fought tooth and nail against it. Practicing ‘guerilla’ warfare and some unconventional methods such as on a few occasions resorting to suicide bombing that was indefensible, the LTTE successfully wrested control of nearly 70% of Tamil Eelam in wars they fought valiantly to defend the homeland and ran a ‘defacto’/ de jure state in the Vanni. The unfortunate assassination of Rajiv Gandhi alleged to having been carried out by the LTTE, the regrettable expulsion of the Muslims from the North due to the belief that they formed a fifth column, the failure of the peace talks despite the LTTE’s willingness to suspend its separatist agenda to a federal system, the defection of renegade Karuna and the banning of the LTTE as a ‘terrorist’ organisation, providing succour to the enemy, could be described as tragic events in the Tamil national struggle for Self-determination; and last but not the least the human cost.

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

            “but can’t commit to anything on behalf of the Tamil speaking people; how can I or who am I to do that?. That would be improper and insane.”

            Really, Usha? But doesn’t this Tamil government in exile profess to represent, and speak on behalf of, the Tamil people? As an official of that so-called government, aren’t all your words and actions on behalf of the Tamil people?

          • Off the Cuff

            Usha please stop lying.

            You wrote “beginning with the disenfranchisement of Indian hill country Tamils in 1949,”

            The Privy Council UK states “legislature did not intend to prevent Indian Tamils from attaining citizenship provided that they were sufficiently connected with the island”

            Why are you repeating this lie?
            Are you hoping that repeating this lie like you repeat the death toll will negate the Privy Council Judgement?

            You are trying to arouse Tamil sentiments and filibuster the chances for reconciliation.

            A generation of Tamil youth and children were destroyed with this type of rhetoric by power hungry Tamil elites. Are you trying a repeat performance?

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

      “A publication casting doubt on numbers, purporting to provide critical evidence to support the claim the numbers were “spurious”, had better concentrate on providing evidence for it”

      Usha, that seems at odds with your willingness to accept the Darusman Report’s findings despite its lack of evidence to support its conclusions.

      “On the 3rd point Fonseka has already incriminated himself and implicated high ranking political and military leaders for the executions and later recanted it through fear but he can’t lie under oath in a properly constituted court; so we don’t need to hear it from the authors of the publication.”

      I think by now it is abundantly clear that the UN and other international bodies are uninterested in investigating the extra judicial executions of known terrorist leaders, be they Sri Lankan or other, nor in prosecuting possible perpetrators. It is deliberate killing of civilians that will be the point of any interest, and so far there is no evidence whatsoever to support a claim that the SL armed forces carried out any large scale killing of civilians.

      “Numbers don’t matter, it is the truth that matters – it goes to the heart of whether civilians were killed.”

      Civilians are always killed in war; the point is whether it was deliberate, and on what scale.

      “The International Criminal Court has started proceeding against Uhuru Kenyatta for crimes against humanity for orchestrating the killing of 1,200 civilians.”

      I believe “orchestrating” is the key word there. Where is the evidence, or even indication of, such orchestration in SL?

      “Although the scale of civilian deaths could point to genocide.”

      Is that why the alleged numbers killed have been steadily inflated by the separatists since the war ended, culminating in such ridiculous figures as 140,000?

      “definitely it was due to grievances that were not addressed for years since 1948 with the move to disenfranchise plantation Tamils to reduce the voting strength of Tamils”

      But weren’t the Jaffna Tamils in collusion with the Sinhalese in disenfranchising the Upcountry Tamils?

      • Usha S Sri-Skanda-RajahSR

        TO MR. DAVID BLACKER – MY REPLY IN BLOCK CAPITALS:

        “A publication casting doubt on numbers, purporting to provide critical evidence to support the claim the numbers were “spurious”, had better concentrate on providing evidence for it”

        Usha, that seems at odds with your willingness to accept the Darusman Report’s findings despite its lack of evidence to support its conclusions.

        MY REPLY:
        READ THE EXECUTIVE SUMMARY AND FULL REPORT OF THE UN PANEL OF EXPERTS AND YOU WOULD FIND YOUR ABOVE SUPPOSITION IS FLAWED – THE PANEL ARRIVED AT THEIR CONCLUSIONS BASED ON “CREDIBLE ALLEGATIONS”:

        “THE PANEL DETERMINED AN ALLEGATION TO BE CREDIBLE IF THERE WAS A REASONABLE BASIS TO BELIEVE THAT THE THE UNDERLYING ACT OR EVENT OCCURRED….ALLEGATIONS ARE CONSIDERED CREDIBLE ONLY WHEN BASED ON PRIMARY SOURCES THAT THE PANEL DEEMED RELEVANT AND TRUSTWORTHY.”

        SO THE PANEL’S CONCLUSIONS WERE BASED ON THE REASONABLE BELIEF THAT THE SAID ACTS AND EVENTS OCCURRED, AND IF PROVEN AMOUNTED TO VIOLATIONS COMMITTED BY BOTH PARTIES AND RECOMMENDING THEY BE INVESTIGATED – KEYWORD INVESTIGATION.

        SEE: http://www.un.org/News/dh/infocus/Sri_Lanka/POE_Report_Executive_Summary.pdf
        ——————————
        “On the 3rd point Fonseka has already incriminated himself and implicated high ranking political and military leaders for the executions and later recanted it through fear but he can’t lie under oath in a properly constituted court; so we don’t need to hear it from the authors of the publication.”

        I think by now it is abundantly clear that the UN and other international bodies are uninterested in investigating the extra judicial executions of known terrorist leaders, be they Sri Lankan or other, nor in prosecuting possible perpetrators. It is deliberate killing of civilians that will be the point of any interest, and so far there is no evidence whatsoever to support a claim that the SL armed forces carried out any large scale killing of civilians.

        MY REPLY:
        SHOWS THAT YOU ARE A TYPICAL EX SRI LANKAN SOLDIER WHO HAS NOT BEEN EDUCATED ON THE GENEVA CONVENTIONS AND OF THE KIND WILLING TO CARRY OUT ILLEGAL ORDERS OF A STATE PARTY, READY AND WILLING TO EXECUTE SURRENDERING ENEMY COMBATANTS CARRYING WHITE FLAGS?

        “Numbers don’t matter, it is the truth that matters – it goes to the heart of whether civilians were killed.”

        Civilians are always killed in war; the point is whether it was deliberate, and on what scale.

        MY REPLY;
        YES I SAID NUMBERS DON’T MATTER, BUT THEY BECOME CRITICAL WHEN ACTUAL CIVILIAN CASUALTY FIGURES ARE DELIBERATELY AND MALICIOUSLY CONCEALED, WHICH BOTH THE UN REPORTS FOUND TO BE TRUE.

        PLEASE NOTE GENOCIDAL INTENT CAN BE INFERRED FROM THE “SCALE OF ATROCITIES”: PROSECUTOR V AKAYESU ICTR-96-4-T.

        THE UN INTERNAL REVIEW PANEL REPORT REVEALED THAT “A LARGE MAJORITY OF CIVILIAN CASUALTIES WAS CAUSED BY GOVERNMENT FIRE,” AND THE INFORMATION, “WAS VERIFIED TO A GOOD STANDARD.”

        “The International Criminal Court has started proceeding against Uhuru Kenyatta for crimes against humanity for orchestrating the killing of 1,200 civilians.”

        I believe “orchestrating” is the key word there. Where is the evidence, or even indication of, such orchestration in SL?

        MY REPLY;
        READ: http://dbsjeyaraj.com/dbsj/archives/12811

        -THE SRI LANKAN GOVERNMENT WAS INTENT ON ELIMINATING THE ETHNIC TAMIL POPULATION IT HAD WILY TRAPPED INTO SO CALLED ‘NO FIRE ZONES’ CAPITALISED ON THE BREAKDOWN OF THE UN SYSTEM THAT WAS SEEMINGLY ILL-EQUIPPED AND FALTERING, TO EXECUTE ITS PLAN -THIS IT DID WITH PRE-MEDITATION, BLOCKING ALL HUMANITARIAN AID AND ENSURING THERE WERE NO WITNESSES, USING HEAVY WEAPONRY, FIRING AT CIVILIANS FROM LAND SEA AND AIR, KILLING TENES OF THOUSANDS AND ISSUING ORDERS TO ITS MILITARY THAT WAS IN VIOLATION OF INTERNATIONAL LAW-

        “Although the scale of civilian deaths could point to genocide.”

        Is that why the alleged numbers killed have been steadily inflated by the separatists since the war ended, culminating in such ridiculous figures as 140,000?

        MY REPLY;
        THE ABOVE IS MISLEADING:
        BISHOP OF MANNAR: 146,679 MISSING
        UN PANEL OF EXPERTS: 40,000
        UN INTERNAL REVIEW PANEL: 70,000
        SL GOVERNMENT FIGURE FORCED ON THE UN: 7000?

        “definitely it was due to grievances that were not addressed for years since 1948 with the move to disenfranchise plantation Tamils to reduce the voting strength of Tamils”

        But weren’t the Jaffna Tamils in collusion with the Sinhalese in disenfranchising the Upcountry Tamils?

        MY REPLY;
        THAT WAS NOT COLLUSION, ALTHOUGH MR. G G PONNAMBALAM VOTED WITH THE GOVERNMENT. YES, THE SINHALESE GOVERNMENT DISENFRANCHISED AND RENDERED STATELESS, FAMILIES OF PEOPLE WHO WERE THE BACKBONE OF THE TEA INDUSTRY, CEYLON’S MAJOR EXPORT PRODUCT. TALK ABOUT THE MOST CRUEL ACT OF BETRAYAL OF THE PLANTATION TAMILS THAT SHOULD HAVE SENT ALARM BELLS TO THE INDIGENOUS TAMILS OF CEYLON IF THEY HADN’T WOKEN-UP TO SINHALA TRICKERY EARLIER, WHEN THE SIGNS WERE THERE AND SHOULD HAVE LIKE JINNA INSISTED ON SEPARATION AT INDEPENDENCE BUT OPTED NOT TO, BECAUSE THEY WERE ASSURED BY THE COLONIAL POWER THAT SECTION 29 WOULD SAFEGUARD THEIR RIGHTS, ALSO ACTING ON ASSURANCES GIVEN BY MR. D S SENANAYAKE. MR. CHELVANAYAGAM HOWEVER VOTED AGAINST THE BILL FEELING CHEATED BY THE D S SENANAYAKE GOVERNMENT, THEREAFTER FORMING THE FEDERAL PARTY CALLING FOR A FEDERAL CONSTITUTION.

        DESPITE YOUR COMMENTS HERE I SALUTE YOU FOR YOUR PIECE IN CT CONDEMNING BBS.

        • Padraig Colman

          The Darusman Report may have used the phrase “credible allegations” but sayin’ don’t make it so.

          • Gamarala

            Padraig,

            But the corollary is also true, is it not? I fail to understand why people are incredulous that govt. forces could have committed any number of atrocities when the track record thus far has been very poor.

            1. Upwards of 60,000 Sinhalese youth were tortured, decapitated, disemboweled and murdered in the late 80s
            2. Many reports of similarly brutal actions carried out in the North over the years (UTHRJ reports)
            3. The suspect circumstances at the conclusion of the war

            Given this track record, I find it both disingenuous and pointless to attempt to feign indignation. The probability of violations having occurred, is higher, than that of it not having occurred. The more logical course of action, is for he govt. to carry out a proper investigation, as opposed to a comical farce, and to bring the perpetrators to justice and cleanse the military’s and country’s record.

            My personal belief is also that, on the matter of deliberate targeting of civilians, Sri Lanka will be vindicated. But why not go ahead and at least make the attempt to rectify the case (not for others, but for ourselves)? The reason, I suspect, is the unfortunately uneducated, parochial and paranoid mindset of the prevailing regime. In much the same vein as the Taliban in the middle-east, they are terrified of the west, of human rights, and all things “foreign”, which are continuously misperceived as signs of a grand western conspiracy, not as categorial imperatives to which we as a nation are beholden. Anyone can be a bellicose thug, just ask the Prabhakaran’s and the Rajapakses, but it takes a little bit more smarts upstairs to chart a dignified course of action. Apparently, we aren’t ready for that yet! :-)

        • Padraig Colman

          @ Usha

          Other Tamil commentators came up with lower figures.

          Rajasingham Narendran asked: “how many coroners were available during the war in the area for recording deaths? “ Narendran had talked to IDPs who had fled the last No-Fire Zone in April 2009 and later with IDPs at Menik Farm and elsewhere. “My estimate is that the deaths — cadres, forced labour and civilians — were very likely around 10,000 and did not exceed 15,000 at most”

          Muttukrishna Sarvananthan of the Point Pedro Institute told Roberts “[approximately] 12,000 [without counting armed Tiger personnel] “.
          Dr. Noel Nadesan: ““roughly 16,000 including LTTE, natural, and civilians”. Note that Nadesan includes fighters and natural deaths. In any population, a number would die from natural causes of ill health or medical misadventure at child birth or operation. Roberts believes that 600 deaths from natural causes would be a reasonable estimate for the area and the time-frame, but it could be more because of stress and shortage of food.

          Navi Pillai said “as many as 2,800″.

          Data compiled by the South Asia Terrorism Portal, data “primarily based on figures released by the pro-LTTE Website Tamil Net”, put the casualty figure for civilians inside Mullaithivu at 2,972 until 5 April 2009.

          The Darusman Report, which you find “credible”, did not quote 147,000.

        • Padraig Colman

          Usha writes:
          “THE SRI LANKAN GOVERNMENT WAS INTENT ON ELIMINATING THE ETHNIC TAMIL POPULATION IT HAD WILY TRAPPED INTO SO CALLED ‘NO FIRE ZONES’ CAPITALISED ON THE BREAKDOWN OF THE UN SYSTEM THAT WAS SEEMINGLY ILL-EQUIPPED AND FALTERING, TO EXECUTE ITS PLAN -THIS IT DID WITH PRE-MEDITATION, BLOCKING ALL HUMANITARIAN AID AND ENSURING THERE WERE NO WITNESSES, USING HEAVY WEAPONRY, FIRING AT CIVILIANS FROM LAND SEA AND AIR, KILLING TENES OF THOUSANDS AND ISSUING ORDERS TO ITS MILITARY THAT WAS IN VIOLATION OF INTERNATIONAL LAW-“

          The government convincingly won the war but the Tamil population has not been exterminated. Does that not SERIOUSLY undermine your argument about their intentions?

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

          Firstly, Usha, there is no need to shout (ie write in block capitals) unless your plan is to make your comments harder to read. I am quite capable of reading upper and lower case. Caps are extremely tiring to wade through.

          “READ THE EXECUTIVE SUMMARY AND FULL REPORT OF THE UN PANEL OF EXPERTS AND YOU WOULD FIND YOUR ABOVE SUPPOSITION IS FLAWED – THE PANEL ARRIVED AT THEIR CONCLUSIONS BASED ON “CREDIBLE ALLEGATIONS”:”

          Thanks, but I have read both of the above, and contributed to the Marga Institute’s critique of it. Perhaps you should read that critique: “ACCOUNTABILITY, RESTORATIVE JUSTICE AND RECONCILIATION: REVIEW OF THE REPORT OF THE SECRETARY-GENERAL’S PANEL OF EXPERTS ON ACCOUNTABILITY IN SRI LANKA – 31 MARCH 2011” (http://www.margasrilanka.org/Darusman-Seminar%20Report.pdf) and/or my points on the Darusman narrative: Holes in the UN Secretary General’s Panel of Experts Report: Examining the Probable Alternate Events (http://groundviews.org/2011/07/26/holes-in-the-un-secretary-generals-panel-of-experts-report-examining-the-probable-alternate-events/)

          The Darusman Report doesn’t reveal the source of the allegations or what makes them credible, which was the point of my comment. You are prepared to accept the Darusman Panel’s conclusion at face value, but not that of the IDAG.

          <em"SHOWS THAT YOU ARE A TYPICAL EX SRI LANKAN SOLDIER WHO HAS NOT BEEN EDUCATED ON THE GENEVA CONVENTIONS AND OF THE KIND WILLING TO CARRY OUT ILLEGAL ORDERS OF A STATE PARTY, READY AND WILLING TO EXECUTE SURRENDERING ENEMY COMBATANTS CARRYING WHITE FLAGS?"

          Aside from the fact that you have the wondrous ability to accuse, try, and adjudge me guilty on the strength of my pointing out a historical reality, what has your above accusation got to do with the fact that the UN and other IHL advocates have shown no interest in prosecuting those alleged to have extra-judicially executed known terrorists? I am trying to be helpful by pointing out that you’re barking up the wrong tree if you hope that you can instigate investigations along that route. I’m sorry if this seems to annoy you, but it’s a reality.

          “YES I SAID NUMBERS DON’T MATTER, BUT THEY BECOME CRITICAL WHEN ACTUAL CIVILIAN CASUALTY FIGURES ARE DELIBERATELY AND MALICIOUSLY CONCEALED, WHICH BOTH THE UN REPORTS FOUND TO BE TRUE.”

          Firstly, neither UN report claims that, but suggests the possibility. The recent census and the IDAG Report prove this to be in fact untrue. Have you even read the IDAG Report? Secondly, how does something unimportant become critical when someone tries to conceal it? If it is unimportant, what does it matter?

          “PLEASE NOTE GENOCIDAL INTENT CAN BE INFERRED FROM THE “SCALE OF ATROCITIES”: PROSECUTOR V AKAYESU ICTR-96-4-T.”

          So you agree that just as there is something to be gained in concealing the numbers, there is similar advantage in inflating the figures in order to substantiate an allegation of genocide? If so, contrary to your previous statement, the numbers do matter.

          “THE UN INTERNAL REVIEW PANEL REPORT REVEALED THAT “A LARGE MAJORITY OF CIVILIAN CASUALTIES WAS CAUSED BY GOVERNMENT FIRE,” AND THE INFORMATION, “WAS VERIFIED TO A GOOD STANDARD.””

          What is this “good standard”, and how was it verified? Again I must point out that you seem to be willing to accept this verdict on faith, but refuse to accept the rather more transparent IDAG Report.

          “-THE SRI LANKAN GOVERNMENT WAS INTENT ON ELIMINATING THE ETHNIC TAMIL POPULATION IT HAD WILY TRAPPED INTO SO CALLED ‘NO FIRE ZONES’ CAPITALISED ON THE BREAKDOWN OF THE UN SYSTEM THAT WAS SEEMINGLY ILL-EQUIPPED AND FALTERING, TO EXECUTE ITS PLAN -THIS IT DID WITH PRE-MEDITATION, BLOCKING ALL HUMANITARIAN AID AND ENSURING THERE WERE NO WITNESSES, USING HEAVY WEAPONRY, FIRING AT CIVILIANS FROM LAND SEA AND AIR, KILLING TENES OF THOUSANDS AND ISSUING ORDERS TO ITS MILITARY THAT WAS IN VIOLATION OF INTERNATIONAL LAW-“

          Usha, I asked what evidence there is of GoSL orchestration of large scale civilian casualties, not what your opinion on the matter is. Do you have any evidence of such orchestration?

          1. How do you conclude that it was the SL Armed Forces that had trapped the Tamil population in the NFZs, when video evidence and eyewitness testimony establishes that it was the Tigers preventing the escape of the civilians by firing upon them and killing many?

          2. How do you come to the opinion that the GoSL capitalized on the breakdown of the UN system? In what way did UN failure add to civilian casualties from SL military fire?

          3. How have you missed out on the fact that the main reason there were no international witnesses (there were many local ones) was because the Tigers threw out the SLMM observers?

          4. Do you have any evidence that the SL military deliberately fired on civilians as you claim, killing tens of thousands?

          5. Which orders were given that violated IHL, and what evidence do you have that such orders were issued?

          Simply claiming things (which you seem to object to in the IDAG Report) is insufficient.

          “THE ABOVE IS MISLEADING:
          BISHOP OF MANNAR: 146,679 MISSING”

          My point exactly. Is the goal of making an allegation of genocide the motive behind such ridiculously inflated figures?

          “THAT WAS NOT COLLUSION, ALTHOUGH MR. G G PONNAMBALAM VOTED WITH THE GOVERNMENT”

          If it wasn’t collusion, what word you interject — betrayal?

          “DESPITE YOUR COMMENTS HERE I SALUTE YOU FOR YOUR PIECE IN CT CONDEMNING BBS.”

          I doubt you would be giving me quite the same salute had I been condemning the Tamil persecution of the NE Muslims instead of the Sinhalese persecution of the southern Muslims ;)

          I would appreciate it if you could read my questions and answer them if you can instead of simply cutting and pasting rhetorical statements from old articles of yours, thanks. Also, if you could restrain yourself to using italics instead of capitals, it would be less painful to wade through.

          • Usha S Sri-Skanda-RajahSR

            We don’t have a meeting of the minds in anything – I used block capitals because I though it would make it easier for the reader to pick out my reply from your reply and my initial comment.

          • Usha S Sri-Skanda-RajahSR

            Do you mind doing some home-work? – you will find all answers to your questions in both the UN reports and the links to my articles except the 3rd.

            1. How do you conclude that it was the SL Armed Forces that had trapped the Tamil population in the NFZs, when video evidence and eyewitness testimony establishes that it was the Tigers preventing the escape of the civilians by firing upon them and killing many?

            2. How do you come to the opinion that the GoSL capitalized on the breakdown of the UN system? In what way did UN failure add to civilian casualties from SL military fire?

            3. How have you missed out on the fact that the main reason there were no international witnesses (there were many local ones) was because the Tigers threw out the SLMM observers?

            Answer: It was SL that packed off the UN before the pre-meditated massacre! A report by Julian Vigo interviewing UN workers on the ground before the final stages of the war did say genocidal acts were committed by SL.

            4. Do you have any evidence that the SL military deliberately fired on civilians as you claim, killing tens of thousands?

            5. Which orders were given that violated IHL, and what evidence do you have that such orders were issued?

            ———————
            Question: 1.Who told the biggest preposterous lie that was ever concocted and 2. What was it?
            Answer:
            1. Sri Lanka
            2.”Zero civilian casualties, it was a humanitarian rescue operation; not a drop of blood was shed”

            —————————————
            You have taken one line from my reply: I was actually rejecting your claim that the numbers were made up by the “separatists” . It was misleading; I have again listed below the people and the numbers – note the Bishop is not a separatist:
            1.His Grace wants a solution under a unitary state
            2.But wants the Tamil nation to be recognized
            3.He spoke of the missing – based on credible numbers as per records kept by the government agent and the village headman.
            READ MY REPLY:
            BISHOP OF MANNAR: 146,679 MISSING
            UN PANEL OF EXPERTS: 40,000
            UN INTERNAL REVIEW PANEL: 70,000
            SL GOVERNMENT FIGURE FORCED ON THE UN: 7000?

            But equally numbers do not matter in proving genocidal intention – Example: Srebrenica – the killing of 8000 Bosnian men.

            If you want to know I have always criticized the regrettable expulsion of the Muslims from the North due to the belief that they formed a fifth column.

          • Padraig Colman

            “1.His Grace wants a solution under a unitary state
            2.But wants the Tamil nation to be recognized”.

            Can’t have both.

            “But equally numbers do not matter in proving genocidal intention – Example: Srebrenica – the killing of 8000 Bosnian men.”

            Surely genocidal intention is disproved by the fact that the SLA helped and fed survivors and did not exterminate them after scoring a resounding victory.

            You have not expressed your point about ethnic cleansing of Muslims very clearly – are you saying the Muslims were a “fifth column”? Is that why your boys slaughtered 147 Muslim men and boys while they were praying? Clarify please.

          • Usha S Sri-Skanda-Rajah

            A minor correction – The following should read:
            We don’t have a meeting of the minds in anything – I used block capitals because I thought it would make it easier for the reader to pick out my reply from your reply and my initial comment.

        • Off the Cuff

          Usha you said “READ THE EXECUTIVE SUMMARY AND FULL REPORT OF THE UN PANEL OF EXPERTS AND YOU WOULD FIND YOUR ABOVE SUPPOSITION IS FLAWED – THE PANEL ARRIVED AT THEIR CONCLUSIONS BASED ON “CREDIBLE ALLEGATIONS”:”

          Usha you forgot that they have more expertise.
          They redefined the war crime of what a Human Shield is.
          What do you have to say about that?

          Which version of the War Crime is correct?
          The ICRC definition or the prostituted version By Darusman?

          Still maintain that the Darusman utterances are Credible?

        • Off the Cuff

          Usha you said “THAT WAS NOT COLLUSION, ALTHOUGH MR. G G PONNAMBALAM VOTED WITH THE GOVERNMENT”

          What was it then?
          GGP’s political hate speeches prompted the Tamil Editor of the “Hindu Organ” to call him a Hot head playing to the gallery.

          He played the race card to wrest leadership of Tamils from the Arunachelems and Ramanathans. It was his Hate Speeches that led to the first Ethnic Riots of the 20 the Century.

          “YES, THE SINHALESE GOVERNMENT DISENFRANCHISED AND RENDERED STATELESS, FAMILIES OF PEOPLE WHO WERE THE BACKBONE OF THE TEA INDUSTRY, CEYLON’S MAJOR EXPORT PRODUCT. TALK ABOUT THE MOST CRUEL ACT OF BETRAYAL OF THE PLANTATION TAMILS THAT SHOULD HAVE SENT ALARM BELLS TO THE INDIGENOUS TAMILS OF CEYLON IF THEY HADN’T WOKEN-UP TO SINHALA TRICKERY EARLIER, WHEN THE SIGNS WERE THERE AND SHOULD HAVE LIKE JINNA INSISTED ON SEPARATION AT INDEPENDENCE BUT OPTED NOT TO, BECAUSE THEY WERE ASSURED BY THE COLONIAL POWER THAT SECTION 29 WOULD SAFEGUARD THEIR RIGHTS, ALSO ACTING ON ASSURANCES GIVEN BY MR. D S SENANAYAKE. MR. CHELVANAYAGAM HOWEVER VOTED AGAINST THE BILL FEELING CHEATED BY THE D S SENANAYAKE GOVERNMENT, THEREAFTER FORMING THE FEDERAL PARTY CALLING FOR A FEDERAL CONSTITUTION”

          Unfortunately Usha your rhetoric does not stand up to Facts.

          The Citizenship Act was tested in the Privy Council, UK.
          I have posted relevant extracts of the Privy Council Judgement in my first response to you.

          Are you saying that the Privy Council was COLLUDING with the Ceylon Govt in delivering that Judgement?

          You led the Tamils up the garden path and sold them down the drain chasing after an elusive dream of an unattainable Eelam.

          You are now using similar rhetoric to inflame passions and lead the rest of them to destruction in your GG like quest for power.

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

            “Do you mind doing some home-work? – you will find all answers to your questions in both the UN reports and the links to my articles except the 3rd.”

            Usha, I HAVE indeed read both reports, as I already told you in my last comment, and I have put these questions to you precisely BECAUSE the reports do NOT answer those questions. Have you even bothered to read my comment? Rather than telling me to find the answers you clearly are unable to, why don’t you then quote the relevant portions that answer my questions if indeed they exist.

            I look forward to you being able to answer questions 1, 2, 4, and 5 which the Darusman Report does not.

            “Answer: It was SL that packed off the UN before the pre-meditated massacre!”

            Firstly, the GoSL didn’t pack off anyone. How could they; the UN workers were in Tiger-controlled territory. The foreign UN workers left voluntarily when the GoSL refused to guarantee their protection, abandoning their local colleagues whom the Tigers kept as hostages.

            Secondly, if anyone was packed off, it was the SLMM observers who were indeed evicted by the Tigers. This in fact preceded the departure of the foreign UN workers. Are you unaware of this timeline, or are you intentionally ignoring it?

            “A report by Julian Vigo interviewing UN workers on the ground before the final stages of the war did say genocidal acts were committed by SL.”

            But you said that the UN workers were packed off and that it was a war without witnesses; so where did these “workers on the ground” witness these genocidal acts; and what were these acts; where have they been described? Can you quote them?

            “Question: 1.Who told the biggest preposterous lie that was ever concocted and 2. What was it?
            Answer:1. Sri Lanka 2.”Zero civilian casualties, it was a humanitarian rescue operation; not a drop of blood was shed””

            Firstly, both sides have told preposterous lies. Secondly, governments claim all sorts of things; example: calling the invasion of Iraq Operation Iraqi Freedom. Secondly, how does the GoSL’s preposterous claims about zero casualties make them guilty of, or provide evidence of, any of the crimes you allege?

            “You have taken one line from my reply: I was actually rejecting your claim that the numbers were made up by the “separatists” . It was misleading; I have again listed below the people and the numbers – note the Bishop is not a separatist:”

            I took the line from your reply on the bishop as an example of that preposterous inflation of numbers I pointed out. I didn’t say the bishop was a separatist. I didn’t even mention him; you did.

            “3.He spoke of the missing – based on credible numbers as per records kept by the government agent and the village headman.”

            But the government records do not tally with a figure of 140k; it reveals a figure in the region of 40k. Despite this, former GAs of the Wanni have described routine inflation of the population numbers by the Tigers in order to get extra supplies from the GoSL. You might recall that all the GoSL kept the NE supplied even under Tiger occupation.

            “SL GOVERNMENT FIGURE FORCED ON THE UN: 7000?”

            Thanks for repeating this; I overlooked it in my response: how did the GoSL “force” this number on the UN? Can you show any claim of this by the UN?

            “But equally numbers do not matter in proving genocidal intention – Example: Srebrenica – the killing of 8000 Bosnian men.”

            You’re contradicting yourself again, Usha. Previously you quoted Akeyasu as saying that numbers are useful in determining intent. You seem to be hopping from one hot spot to another, Usha. You say numbers are unimportant when I press you on numbers being important to your allegations, but seem obsessed with them when it is suggested that the numbers were in fact lower than your tally.

            “If you want to know I have always criticized the regrettable expulsion of the Muslims from the North due to the belief that they formed a fifth column.”

            While that is commendable, has your government-in-exile offered any apology for that war crime (ethnic cleansing is a war crime btw), made reparations to those affected, or sought to prosecute any Tamil war criminals involved in that act?

    • Padraig Colman

      “Who is the author of this article, i can’t find the name anywhere?”

      Your comment indicates, dear lady, that you have not read the article very carefully. I doubt if you have read the IDAG-S publication at all. I am the author of this article. My name is clearly shown. Your comments bear scant relationship with what the article actually says.
      Please read the article more carefully. No-one at the seminar said “with audacity that the war arose not due to grievances”. What it says in the article is: “The war arose from a constellation of issues, not just as a reaction to grievances.”

      Although you are yourself arguing about figures, you say: “Numbers don’t matter”. You say: “it is the truth that matters”. In the article I quote Dr Jayatilleke as saying that the numbers do matter: “ because the truth is a moral issue”.

      I do not “trash” Harrison and Keenan. I report what IDAG-S say about how they arrived at their figures. Please discuss that. They say Harrison and Keenan’s methods stray: “into the realms of statistical fantasy in ways that raise questions about their integrity / morality”. “It would seem that such spokespersons are motivated by moral rage and retributive justice. They seek regime change in Sri Lanka – a form of 21st century evangelism that is imperialist in character and effect.” Discuss.

      You have noticed that I quote this from IDAG-S: “Nothing in this survey denies the probability and the evidence that some extra-judicial killings of high-ranking LTTE officers occurred during the last days of the war. These actions need to be impartially investigated by an independent body, and where possible criminal indictments pursued against the perpetrators.” However, you do not make any comment.

      You say that the quotation from the Banyan column is bizarre but your comment has nothing to do with what Banyan actually writes. No-one in their right mind could interpret Banyan’s comment as a defence of the Sri Lankan government. What is truly bizarre is to interpret the quotation as meaning “to find excuses for the heinous crimes committed against civilians”. That is pure nonsense.

      The article says: “There was a strong theme at the seminar of the need to acknowledge the size of the catastrophe.” “How do we contrive a discourse that notes the mistakes of the past without allowing the armchair conflict junkies from forcing further mistakes to be made?” “There was a consensus that civil society must engage with the GOSL, focusing on the LLRC recommendations on the process of collective atonement and that leadership on this needs to be given by the President.”

      It seems that you, madam, might be one of those “conflict junkies”. How would you like to go forward? Do you want more war? Have we not had enough war?

      • Usha S Sri-Skanda-RajahSR

        TO: MR. PADRAIG COLMAN: MY REPLY IN BLOCK CAPITALS:IN HASTE

        “Who is the author of this article, i can’t find the name anywhere?”

        Your comment indicates, dear lady, that you have not read the article very carefully. I doubt if you have read the IDAG-S publication at all. I am the author of this article. My name is clearly shown.

        MY REPLY:
        1. I APOLOGISE FOR MISSING YOUR NAME, NOW I HAVE FOUND IT: 8 May, 2013 Padraig Colman Colombo, Jaffna, Peace and Conflict, Post-War, War Crimes

        MY REPLY:
        2. I HAVEN’T READ THE PUBLICATION, I WAS LOOKING FOR A LINK IN THE ARTICLE, BUT FOUND NONE, DON’T TELL ME IT’S HERE. HOWEVER MY RESPONSE WAS BASED ON YOUR ARTICLE.
        ——
        Your comments bear scant relationship with what the article actually says.
        MY REPLY:
        3. I DISAGREE THAT MY COMMENTS “BORE SCANT RELATIONSHIP WITH WHAT THE THE ARTICLE ACTUALLY SAYS. BUT I HAVE TO SAY I COULDN’T DISTINGUISH IN THE MOST PART YOUR COMMENTS FROM THE PANEL MEMBER’S COMMENTS MADE IN THE SEMINAR. I WAS AT A LOSS WHEN YOU EITHER FAILED TO USE QUOTATION MARKS OR DID NOT REFER TO A NAME AND HAD TO ASSUME THEY WERE YOUR REMARKS. I DID NOT KNOW WHICH WAS WHICH.

        4. EXAMPLE: TELL ME IF THIS IS YOUR COMMENT?: The war arose from a constellation of issues, not just as a reaction to grievances – I THINK IT’S YOURS BECAUSE IT DID NOT HAVE QUOTATION MARKS AND YOU DID NOT REFER TO A NAME? BUT YOUR ARTICLE CLAIMED THAT YOU WERE: “attempting to provide an impression of the ideas generated in the discussion,” AT THE OUTSET.
        ——————
        Please read the article more carefully. No-one at the seminar said “with audacity that the war arose not due to grievances”. What it says in the article is: “The war arose from a constellation of issues, not just as a reaction to grievances.”

        MY REPLY:
        5.I ALWAYS TRY TO READ ANY ARTICLE CLEARLY BEFORE I RESPOND.

        6. I AM THE ONE WHO SAID, “with audacity that the war arose not due to grievances,” BECAUSE I FELT IT WAS “GRIEVANCES’ IGNORED FOR YEARS THAT DROVE THE REBELS TO TAKE UP ARMS AND FELT IT WAS AUDACIOUS FOR THEM? OR YOU? TO SAY SO.
        ———-
        Although you are yourself arguing about figures, you say: “Numbers don’t matter”. You say: “it is the truth that matters”. In the article I quote Dr Jayatilleke as saying that the numbers do matter: “ because the truth is a moral issue”.

        MY REPLY:
        7. YES WE ARE MORE OR LESS SAYING THE SAME THING, HARPING ON THE IMPORTANCE OF TRUTH, HE AT A MICRO LEVEL AND ME AT A MACRO LEVLE.
        DR. JAYATILLEKE IS RIGHT IN A WAY, NUMBERS MATTER WHEN IT COMES TO THE TRUTH IN TERMS OF IT BEING A MORAL ISSUE, FOR EXAMPLE IN TERMS OF ACCURACY – CIVILIAN DEATHS MUST NEITHER BE INFLATED NOR DEFLATED.
        BUT NUMBERS (NOT IF THEY ARE MALICIOUSLY CONCEALED) DO NOT MATTER IN ANOTHER SENSE, WHAT’S IMPORTANT IS FOR THE TRUTH TO BE REVEALED IN ALL ITS FACETS. THAT INCLUDES ACCURATE NUMBERS – I WAS MAKING THE POINT THAT NUMBERS SMALL OR BIG DO NOT MATTER, BUT WHAT’S IMPORTANT IS WHETHER CIVILIANS WERE INTENTIONALLY KILLED IN BREACH OF INTERNATIONAL LAW, HOPE THIS CLARIFIES MY POSITION.
        ——————-
        I do not “trash” Harrison and Keenan. I report what IDAG-S say about how they arrived at their figures. Please discuss that. They say Harrison and Keenan’s methods stray: “into the realms of statistical fantasy in ways that raise questions about their integrity / morality”. “It would seem that such spokespersons are motivated by moral rage and retributive justice. They seek regime change in Sri Lanka – a form of 21st century evangelism that is imperialist in character and effect.” Discuss.

        MY REPLY:
        8. I SAID: “The author of this article does not mention much about any fresh corroborative evidence that the publication has produced except,” 1. To say….
        2. To trash Harrison and Keenan,
        3. And to …

        NOTE THE KEY WORD ” THAT PUBLICATION HAS PRODUCED”. THE PUBLICATION DID “QUESTION THEIR INTEGRITY AND MORALITY” – ALL IN ALL THE PARA ABOUT THEM AMOUNTED TO A VIRTUAL CHARACTER ASSASSINATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS LIKE HARRISON AND KEENAN.

        —————
        You have noticed that I quote this from IDAG-S: “Nothing in this survey denies the probability and the evidence that some extra-judicial killings of high-ranking LTTE officers occurred during the last days of the war. These actions need to be impartially investigated by an independent body, and where possible criminal indictments pursued against the perpetrators.” However, you do not make any comment.

        MY REPLY:
        9. MY SHORT RESPONSE TO THIS QUOTATION: THIS WE ALREADY KNEW ABOUT THROUGH FONSEKA, THE PUBLICATION NEEDED TO CONCENTRATE ON GIVING EVIDENCE TO PROVE THE CASUALTY NUMBERS WERE EXAGGERATED.
        —————————
        You say that the quotation from the Banyan column is bizarre but your comment has nothing to do with what Banyan actually writes. No-one in their right mind could interpret Banyan’s comment as a defence of the Sri Lankan government. What is truly bizarre is to interpret the quotation as meaning “to find excuses for the heinous crimes committed against civilians”. That is pure nonsense.

        MY REPLY;
        10. AT THIS POINT I AM TRULY IRRITATED BY YOUR MIXING UP THINGS. YES THE BANYAN COMMENT WAS BIZARRE, BUT I AM SAYING ALSO THAT YOUR BRINGING A SILLY VIEW INTO THE ARTICLE HAD A MISCHIEVOUS PURPOSE. WHEN THE PANELISTS I AM ASSUMING HADN’T MENTIONED THE BANYAN COMMENT OR HAD THEMSELVES QUOTED FROM IT, I ASK YOU WHY IT NEEDED TO BE BROUGHT IN, OTHER THAN TO CITE THREE REASONS THAT THE SL GOVERNMENT COULD HAVE LEGITIMATELY GIVEN – I THOUGHT IT WAS BIZARRE THAT THE ECONOMIST EVEN PUBLISHED IT. JUST BECAUSE THE ECONOMIST(BANYAN) SAYS SO DOES NOT MAKE THOSE REASONS/EXCUSES LEGITIMATE.
        IT’S OBVIOUS YOU DID NOT STICK TO WRITING ABOUT THE PANEL DISCUSSION BUT BROUGHT YOUR PERSPECTIVE.
        ——————-

        The article says: “There was a strong theme at the seminar of the need to acknowledge the size of the catastrophe.” “How do we contrive a discourse that notes the mistakes of the past without allowing the armchair conflict junkies from forcing further mistakes to be made?” “There was a consensus that civil society must engage with the GOSL, focusing on the LLRC recommendations on the process of collective atonement and that leadership on this needs to be given by the President.”

        It seems that you, madam, might be one of those “conflict junkies”. How would you like to go forward? Do you want more war? Have we not had enough war?

        MY REPLY:
        11. I’LL IGNORE WHAT YOU HAVE SAID ABOUT ME. BUT YOU HAVE THE CHEEK TO ACCUSE, WHO YOU CALL, “ARM CHAIR CONFLICT JUNKIES’OF FORCING FURTHER MISTAKES TO BE MADE (BY THE GOVERNMENT). AS FOR MORE WAR, YOU SHOULD BE ASKING THESE QUESTIONS FROM THE SL GOVERNMENT. WHO DO YOU THINK IS EXPANDING ITS ARMY AND BUILDING CANTONMENTS AT A DANGEROUSLY AND DISPROPORTIONATELY HIGH RATE, WHO IS OCCUPYING MY HOMELAND AS THOUGH READY FOR WAR?

        • Usha S Sri-Skanda-Rajah

          Padraig Colman,

          I need to articulate MY REPLY NO:6 better, SO HERE IT IS:

          6. YOU HAVE GOT IT WRONG PADRAIG – I AM THE ONE WHO SAID THE ARTICLE HAD THE AUDACITY TO SAY THAT THE WAR AROSE NOT DUE TO GRIEVANCES: “Some one even says with audacity that the war arose not due to grievances – definitely it was due to grievances that were not addressed for years since 1948 with the move to disenfranchise plantation Tamils to reduce the voting strength of Tamils, including among other:
          1.Persecution
          2.Discrimination in education and employment
          3.State sponsored terrorism of the vicious kind inflicted on Tamils
          4.And the refusal to devolve power to Tamil areas.
          It’s a shame that Sri Lankans still can’t admit that there were grievances going to the root of the ethnic conflict.

          I SAID SO BECAUSE I FELT IT WAS “GRIEVANCES’ IGNORED FOR YEARS THAT DROVE THE REBELS TO TAKE UP ARMS AND FELT IT WAS AUDACIOUS FOR THE PANEL OR YOU? (I DON’T KNOW WHO ) TO SAY THAT “The war arose from a constellation of issues, not just as a reaction to grievances.

          • Padraig Colman

            Usha: I have tried several times to read this but the screaming capitals give me a migraine. J Fernando thinks I am trying to censor you when i reply to you so I will let you have the last word and not comment on this.

        • Padraig Colman

          “I HAVEN’T READ THE PUBLICATION, I WAS LOOKING FOR A LINK IN THE ARTICLE, BUT FOUND NONE”.

          Have you ever heard of Google?

          Here are some links to help you out.

          http://www.satp.org/satporgtp/countries/shrilanka/document/TheNG.pdf

          https://www.dropbox.com/s/gy5ezimf8jzrx8r/The_Numbers_Game.pdf

          Full Report: http:http://www.scribd.com/doc/132499266/The-Numbers-Game-Politics-of-Retributive-Justice

          Images only:http://www.scribd.com/doc/135427212/The-Numbers-Game-Figures

          References/Footnotes only:http://www.scribd.com/doc/135427646/The-Numbers-Game-References

          How can you comment so vehemently about the IDAG-S report without reading it?

    • Off the Cuff

      Dear Ms Usha – Senator, TGT Eelam (sic),

      What a Load of Lies.
      Why do you indulge in such deliberate Lying?
      Don’t you have any shame?

      You have even accused the Privy Council of the UK of colluding with the Sri Lanka Govt, in disenfranchising the Indian Tamils.

      You say “with the move to disenfranchise plantation Tamils to reduce the voting strength of Tamils”

      Extract of Judgement, delivered by LORD OAKSEY, May 11, 1953

      PRIVY COUNCIL APPEAL NO. 7 OF 1952
      Present : Lord Normand, Lord Oaksey, Lord Tucker, Lord Asquith of Bishopstone and Lord Cohen
      S. C. 368-Application for Writ of Certiorari

      It was suggested on behalf of the appellant that this Act might itself be ultra vires as conferring a privilege upon Indian Tamils within section 29 (2) (c) of the Constitution Order-in-Council and that therefore it was inadmissible to rebut the inference that the legislature had intended by the Citizenship and Franchise Acts to make Indian Tamils liable to disabilities within the meaning of section 29 (2) (6) but their Lordships cannot accept this argument. If there was a legislative plan the plan must be looked at as a whole and when so looked at it is evident in their Lordships’ opinion that the legislature did not intend to prevent Indian Tamils from attaining citizenship provided that they were sufficiently connected with the island.

      The cases which have been decided upon the British North America Act, 1867, and the Australian Constitution have laid down the principle which their Lordships think is applicable to the present case although it is true that in those cases the question was as to the construction of legislative subjects assigned to the Dominion or Commonwealth Parliaments on the one hand and to the legislatures of the Provinces or States on the other, whereas in the present case the question is as to the construction of a constitutional limitation upon the general sovereign power of the Ceylon legislature to legislate for the peace, order and good government of Ceylon. But in their Lordships’ opinion the question for decision in all these cases is in reality the same, namely, what is the pith and substance as it has been called or what is the true character of the legislation which is challenged (see Attorney-General for Ontario v. Reciprocal Insurers 1[(1924) A. C. 328-337.] ; and Prafulla Kumar v. Bank of Commerce Khulna 2[(1947) 34 A. I. R. (P. C. ) 60.]).

      Is it in the present case legislation on citizenship or is it legislation intended to make and making Indian Tamils liable to disabilities to which other communities are not liable ? It is as the Supreme Court observed a perfectly natural and legitimate function of the legislature of a country to determine the composition of its nationals. Standards of literacy, of property, of birth or of residence are as it seems to their Lordships standards which a legislature may think it right to adopt in legislation on citizenship and it is clear that such standards though they may operate to exclude the illiterate, the poor and the immigrant to a greater degree than they exclude other people do not create disabilities in a community as such since the community is not bound together as a community by its illiteracy, its poverty or its migratory character but by its face or its religion. The migratory habits of the Indian Tamils (see paragraphs 123 and 203 Soulbury Report) are facts which in their Lordships’ opinion are directly relevant to the question of their suitability as citizens of Ceylon and have nothing to do with them as a community.

      For all these reasons their Lordships have come to the conclusion that the Citizenship and Franchise Acts are intra vires of the Ceylon legislature and they therefore humbly advise Her Majesty that this appeal ought to be dismissed. The appellant must pay the costs of the appeal.

      Appeal Dismissed.

      BTW did the Jaffna Tamils treat the Indian Tamils with respect? No they did not.

      They even treated the majority of even Jaffna Tamils like excreta, let alone having camaraderie with Indian Tamils who were considered even below these untouchable Jaffna denizens. You can read about that in the writings of Sebastian Rasalingam, a member of these untouchables from Jaffna, who writes today from Canada about his first hand experience at the hands of the Jaffna Tamils.

      What Hypocrisy Usha, what hypocrisy.

      Better luck next time with your deception project.

      Like Thiruvarangan says at 05/28/2013 • 12:51 pm above

      The Truth must be Told.

      • J Fernando

        Please stick to the points being raised in the article without using this as a forum to bash people and show your racist views !

        • Off the Cuff

          Dear “J Fernado”,

          Unless you get a job with GV as a moderator or replace Sanjana as her Editor, you will have no success in controlling what anyone writes. Hence it is better to make factual counter arguments and enrich this discussion like a honourable man, if you are indeed honourable.

          The matter that matters between the ears is required to understand the written word. If you posses that, reread Usha’s post and explain how the Privy Council decisions on the Citizenship Act is irrelevant in countering Usha’s assertion of “disenfranchise plantation Tamils to reduce the voting strength of Tamils,”

          What is your position regarding the purported disenfranchisement of the plantation Tamils?

          Hope you are not afraid to air your position.

          Kind Regards
          OTC

    • Off the Cuff

      Dear “J Fernando”,

      Are you afraid of my Challenges to Usha, a Tamil Eelamist Separatist, who has avoided answering responses to her own queries? Is it your wish that she be allowed to peddle her Racism unopposed on GV? Or is it your view that Usha does not write Racist Tripe?

      Usha is the equivalent of a Minister, in the Govt of the Eelam Dream.
      Her utterances therefore projects policy of the Eelam project.
      Are you in full agreement with this self declared Tamil Eelamist Separatist’s post?

      Can you list anything that you find objectionable and not conducive to reconciliation in what she has written?

      Can you identify the Lies that she has written?
      Why have you not challenged them if there are any?
      Is it because you are an Agent of her’s or the Tamil Eelam Project?
      Is it because you lack a backbone to challenge them?
      Or is it because you are not what you project yourself to be?

      Do you find what I have written about the Independent investigation conducted by the UN (the Darusman investigation) UNTRUE?

      If so why have you not identified them and made a counter argument?

      Or is your intellect limited to making Ad Hominem attacks similar to Dev?

      You claimed to be a Sinhalese (and a Buddhist).
      I do hope you will respond to this post and give me an opportunity to UNMASK the REAL you.

      Kind Regards
      OTC

  • eureka

    Do the participants at the meeting realise that the LLRC website was hacked in late January/early February?

    Do the authors of the report know what has been happening in the country in the last 4/5 yrs: 65-yr oppression continues unabatingly: the last phase of asphyxiation of the North is nearly complete.

    An appropriate satellite survey will show that SriLanka has nearly become a ”Hillsborough” for Tamils.

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

      How is that relevant in the discussion on the numbers killed?

    • Padraig Colman

      What is a “Hillsborough” in relation to Sri Lanka? At the Hillsborough football ground 96 people were killed in 1989. I don’t think anyone would claim that only 96 civilians were killed in the last months of Eelam War IV.Hillsborough Castle was the venue for part of the northern Ireland peace talks. Eureka please explain your gnomic reference.

      • Burning_Issue

        ”Hillsborough” is only relevant in terms of an organised cover-up by those in the authority . There is no other parallel one can see.

        • Padraig Colman

          I see! Hillsborough stands for ‘cover-up’. Well, the Brits are good at that. Look how long it took to get something like the truth about Bloody Sunday. They have only just apologised about Amritsar. Still digging their heels in about paying compensation to Kenyans they castrated and raped.

          Talking about war dead you might have a look at my article:

          http://pcolman.wordpress.com/2013/04/21/deadly-accountancy-part-1/

          Historians are still arguing about how many died in the Thirty Years’ War which ended in 1648. Talking of cover-ups, the US refuses to divulge numbers of civilian casualties in Afghanistan.

          @ burning issue no I am not asking for all western wars to be investigated just trying to put some perspective on the hypocrisy.

  • Gehan Gunatilleke

    I have very little to contribute to this discussion, except perhaps one or two thoughts:

    1. As a starting point, we should bear in mind that no analysis in the absence of a thorough independent investigation is 100% sound. All analyses (the UN POE, the LLRC, the Military Court of Inquiry, this new Citizen Silva Analysis) are ultimately compelled to speculate to some degree. We need to be honest about what a thorough independent investigation really looks like.

    2. Perhaps we should also ask a more fundamental question: what’s the point of an investigation? To answer this question, we must grapple with the issue of truth-telling and its relationship to reconciliation.

    If the object of truth-telling is sustainable reconciliation, the victims of the conflict need to accept the version of the truth that is ultimately agreed upon. I use the terms ‘agreed upon’ deliberately. So it is not merely a case of ‘discovering’ the truth. It is also a case of ‘negotiating’ it. This is why a victim-centred approach is critical. However sophisticated a report’s methodology might be, it will fail to contribute to sustainable reconciliation if it doesn’t resonate with the victim in terms of their lived experience.

    Independent investigations may be a sound victim-centred approach to negotiating the truth, simply because it has the potential to turn victims into witnesses, thereby empowering them to some degree.

    This might be perceived as a Western model. But those who whinge about how accountability processes are an imposition of Western ideals of retribution ought to think carefully about how Eastern notions of reconciliation are still victim-centric.

    So if there is an alternative approach to investigations, we should be willing to consider it – as long as it is also legitimately victim-centred.

    Whichever version of the truth we settle on in the end, the people of the North and East and the widows and mothers of the South must be willing to accept it.

    Without getting into a dogfight about whose incomplete analysis is least suspect, we should accept a more fundamental realty: any analysis that is unsuccessful in negotiating a truth acceptable to the victims cannot lead to sustainable reconciliation.

    • Burning_Issue

      Dear Gehan Gunatilleke,

      I whole heartedly agree with what you said. I can bet with a million dollar that there will be people asking questions as to what is “independent”; they will tell you to investigate the all Western wars first!

      David Blacker for instance, will tell you that the Tamils have lost the war and they have to put up and shut up! The Tamils should have thought about the consequences before taking up arms; this is what he will tall you. As far as he is concerned, both the LTTE and the Tamils collectively are the same; lost the war and accept the victors will. What do you say to this? Where do you see telling the truth fits in this scenario?

      • Keynes!

        Burning Issue,

        “As far as he is concerned, both the LTTE and the Tamils collectively are the same”

        David Blacker’s mother is a Tamil. Does that mean he is half Tiger?

        Maybe he’s a tiger in the morning and a chicken at night.

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

          “David Blacker’s mother is a Tamil. Does that mean he is half Tiger?”

          Assumptions based on lies lead nowhere.

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

        BI (or rather BS), please don’t misrepresent me by making up stuff and claiming I said it. I have never said that Tamils and Tigers are the same. Nor have I said that because the Tamils lost the war there should be no investigations. I challenge you to quote me having said either instead of slandering me with lies in this forum.

        I am not against investigations per se, but I am against them being used as a political tool by those who see SL as the enemy. Also to “investigate the war”, as BI suggests, implies that there is something questionable about the war itself, which there isn’t. It is the allegations that must be investigated. I think any allegations should be credibly investigated by SL itself. Some may say that no SL investigation will be credible, but I think that’s the wrong attitude to take, because it suggests that SL is guilty already.

        • Burning_Issue

          “BI (or rather BS)” very interesting indeed; you can dwell in such low-levels; it would not affect me.

          “please don’t misrepresent me by making up stuff and claiming I said it.”

          On the contrary; I did no such thing! You clearly stated to me that the Tamils lost the war and they should accept the consequences. You made references to the western wars to point out that the victors’ will prevailed. I am not one who keeps all the links to disprove others; I would leave OTC to do that. Unless I can search the Groundviews, it is going to be difficult to Quote you.

          I said:
          “As far as he is concerned, both the LTTE and the Tamils collectively are the same; lost the war and accept the victors will.”

          What was implied in your argument that the victor’s will should prevail, is that the Tamils were collectively responsible for taking up arms!

          • Off the Cuff

            Dear Burning Issue,

            David has put you on the spot by challenging you to quote him.

            Your sorry response is “I am not one who keeps all the links to disprove others; I would leave OTC to do that”

            Interesting comment (BI or as David says BS).
            Why drag me in to this? Are you unable to stand on your own two feet?

            When you are challenged to prove what you say, hiding behind your ineptitude is not the answer a man with honour should give.

            I don’t keep links either but I know how to search the Internet.

            What you should do if you can’t prove what you say, is to refrain from putting pen to paper, every time you hallucinate.

            Before you shoot from the hip, make sure you have the Facts. You have been doing that about the SL Constitution for about 5 years. Shooting from the hip without the Facts that is.

            You say “Unless I can search the Groundviews, it is going to be difficult to Quote you”

            In other words, you admit to lying and slandering David.
            Ducking when challenged is getting to be second nature with you.

            If you can’t quote the person you accuse, best to keep your mouth shut (or hands off the keyboard).

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

            “On the contrary; I did no such thing! You clearly stated to me that the Tamils lost the war and they should accept the consequences.”

            Yes, but that isn’t what you claimed I had said. You claimed that I said that because the Tamils lost the war there should be no investigations. I have not said any such thing. You seem unable to be consistent even in your slander.

            “You made references to the western wars to point out that the victors’ will prevailed.”

            It did, and it does. What has that got to do with your misquoting me above?

            “I am not one who keeps all the links to disprove others; I would leave OTC to do that. Unless I can search the Groundviews, it is going to be difficult to Quote you.”

            There certainly is a search feature on GV, so unless you can quote me saying the above, or claiming that Tamils and Tigers are the same, you should withdraw that slander and apologize, or stand revealed as a liar and slanderer.

            “I said:“As far as he is concerned, both the LTTE and the Tamils collectively are the same; lost the war and accept the victors will. What was implied in your argument that the victor’s will should prevail, is that the Tamils were collectively responsible for taking up arms!”

            Certainly the Tamils collectively do hold a responsibility for the actions taken by the Tigers in their name, just as the SL population is responsible for what its government does. That doesn’t make the Tamils and the Tigers one and the same, and I have never claimed that. I have also never said that the victor’s will should prevail; but that it will, based on history.

            Wherever I have discussed will it has been in the context of the post-war NE, not in the context of investigation of war crimes.

          • Burning_Issue

            The war concluded 4 years ago. A few years back you and I exchanged views on what solution appropriate to resolve the ethnic issues in Sri Lanka; we were not far apart in terms of what should happen in Sri Lanka. Now 4 years on, I have lost confidence in the MR regime and the Sinhala collectively. I see a few positive signs here and there and that is about it. Nevertheless, what I see conspicuously, the likes of you go extra length to justify what the MR regime has been doing!

            “Yes, but that isn’t what you claimed I had said. You claimed that I said that because the Tamils lost the war there should be no investigations. I have not said any such thing. You seem unable to be consistent even in your slander.”

            The Darusman report was centred on examining the alleged evidences in order to give advise to the Secretary General whether there was a need to set up an investigation. It was not a full investigative document but mere an examination of the alleged evidences. You wrote a refute-article belittling the document as if to say that it was a piece of worthless document. What does one deduce from this? Why not you allow an investigation to decide that it was a worthless document? The document did not call for an investigation of the war but rather focused on the alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity on account of both sides. You were dead against it. Unless you play with semantics I have no other way to understand your stand!

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

            “Nevertheless, what I see conspicuously, the likes of you go extra length to justify what the MR regime has been doing!”

            Where have I justified what the regime is doing? You persist in accusing me of various statements, but seem unable to quote me saying those things. Is it your intention to simply repeat falsehoods in the hope that I will eventually tire of calling you out on them?

            “The Darusman report was centred on examining the alleged evidences in order to give advise to the Secretary General whether there was a need to set up an investigation.”

            Erm what? What are “alleged evidences”?? There are allegations and there is evidence. As far as the Darusman Panel goes, they have not revealed ANY evidence, and since they didn’t visit SL it is unlikely that they examined any evidence. They have only claimed that there are credible allegations.

            “It was not a full investigative document but mere an examination of the alleged evidences. You wrote a refute-article belittling the document as if to say that it was a piece of worthless document.”

            You have clearly not read my article, or you have failed to understand it. If you had indeed read my article based on my points at the Marga seminar on the Darusman Report, you would recall that it was I that pointed out that the said report wasn’t meant to be an investigation, but one comparable to a policeman’s application for a search warrant. If the Darusman Report is worthless, it is worthless as an investigative report, which is what the Tamil separatist lobby is attempting to use it as. It is in that context that it is worthless. As a preliminary to an investigation its worth can only be determined by the results it has engendered. I have not given an opinion on it, but the fact that its recommendations were not acted on by the UNSG. In addition, the US-sponsored UN resolution that came out shortly after pointedly ignored the Darusman Report and used the LLRC Report as the basis for subsequent action by the GoSL.

            “What does one deduce from this? Why not you allow an investigation to decide that it was a worthless document?”

            Shouldn’t you put that question to the UNSG who commissioned the report, and the US and UN bodies who chose to ignore it when drafting the subsequent resolution? The Marga Report definitively established that huge holes in the Darusman Report; I can only imagine that those holes were sufficiently numerous and yawning for the UNSG and the US to dismiss it as unreliable.

            “The document did not call for an investigation of the war but rather focused on the alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity on account of both sides.”

            The tone of the document was that the war itself was genocidal, so that doesn’t match with your above claim that it only focused on individual acts within the war. It used individual allegations to give the impression of an overall act of illegality, namely the war. Also, contrary to your claim that it focused on crimes on both sides, this is clearly untrue. What the Darusman Report in fact did was acknowledge certain Tiger war crimes while focusing almost totally on those of the SL military and the GoSL. In fact the Darusman Report actually attempts to downgrade the one Tiger war crime on which there is irrefutable proof, that of the use of human shields, dismissing it as a use of “human buffers” (a phrase that doesn’t even exist in IHL as far as I know).

            “You were dead against it. Unless you play with semantics I have no other way to understand your stand!”

            I am against the Darusman Report being held up as evidence of war crimes, yes. Who wouldn’t be?

          • Burning_Issue

            You have short memories!

            I said:

            http://groundviews.org/2013/02/14/a-simple-experiment-to-highlight-ingrained-racism-in-sri-lanka/

            “So, GOSL (MR regime) does not represent all communities does it? What does colonisation programs with exclusively with Sinhala mean?”

            You replied:

            “Colonising the NE (if that is happening) is nothing to do with selective representation. It is to prevent a possible future separation via plebiscite. It is also to prevent popular support for any future ethnic-based revolt.”

            Since we have discussed this issues, R Sampanthan had raised the issue of land grabbing in parliament. Your response clearly justified the MR regime. I do not slander people knowingly; I gain nothing by it! If you want to prevent future ethnic tension, implement the LLRC fully and agree a final settlement with the Tamils. This is the way to resolve ethnic issues and not by colonizing exclusively with Sinhala! If you think that such activities would placate the Tamils, you understand nothing whatsoever.

          • Padraig Colman

            @ Burning Issue

            Who replied?

          • http://www.avanke.com Amar

            On behalf of the organizers of the Numbers Game Seminar I wish to thank Padraig Colman for writing this article and GV for moderating this Forum.
            As usual the so called moderates, the Tamil speaking elite, who were good 400 km if not 4500 km away from the war zone and had the privilege of living off the victims of the war, were the first to set the tone of voice in this Forum by expressing their political views and attacking the very ideas presented in this article.Fortunately for us (Those of us who are determined to live in peace in this country with all ethnic groups)they were quickly exposed as they side stepped all suggestions to work together and became silent like Satan who tempted Jesus in the wilderness for a season. ( I am sure they will be back because hypocrites have a thick skin)I was quite tempted to quip many a time politely “Madam your underwear is showing…” when more than their underwear was exposed through their comments. Fortunately I didn’t have to, because others did it for me. Whilst Sinhala speaking chauvinists still hold on to “Sinhala only” mindset,the Tamil Elite who do not view themselves as part of Sri Lanka are no better.
            We are all entitled to have our own political ideology, view point etc but as rational human beings we should at least listen to others without insulting them or challenging their right to express their views. I found that good 25% of the comments were childish and personal and makes me wonder if moderates who are educated are like this, what would it be like to work with hardliners, hard core LTTE supporters, BBS etc?- May God help us.
            I strongly suggest that next time around, please take the time to read the material presented, do your homework before commenting because if not, hundreds of people who read this column will conclude that you are an idiot and will not bother to tell you and you will never know. (That is if people like David Blacker misses your idiotic comment)-
            David you must be tired….
            After going through 142 comments I could see only a handful of suggestions regarding the way forward posted by those who were not present at the Seminar. Gehan commented about a victim centered approach which must be pursued.
            It is quite clear that reconciliation work has to be taken to the villages and carried on at that level.
            And there is always something that each one of us can do. Mother Theresa once said that God doesn’t expect us to always do great things but little things with great love.
            God bless you all.

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

            “Your response clearly justified the MR regime. I do not slander people knowingly;”

            It does not, BI. It explains the thinking behind an action. Explaining and understanding are not the same as justifying. If one fails to understand properly the motives that drive actions, one comes to false conclusions (as you have). I can justify the GoSL’s decision to militarily defeat the Tigers; that doesn’t mean I am justifying the GoSL. You need to snap out of this blind opposition to everything connected to the GoSL.

            “I gain nothing by it!”

            No one gains anything by these debates. But setting up an ad hominem attack is a lame attempt to devalue someone’s opinion.

            “If you want to prevent future ethnic tension, implement the LLRC fully and agree a final settlement with the Tamils.”

            The decision to implement the LLRC or not is not my decision, contrary to popular opinion. A final settlement with the Tamils must come from engagement with the SL Tamils, and not with external forces such as self-appointred governments in exile whose motivations are questionable. The TNA and other local entities are the parties the GoSL must engage with.

            “This is the way to resolve ethnic issues and not by colonizing exclusively with Sinhala! If you think that such activities would placate the Tamils, you understand nothing whatsoever.”

            I have never suggested that colonization will placate the Tamils. But colonization is an obvious result of a community attempting to secede. Obviously direct measures will be taken to prevent such a possibility in the future.

      • Padraig Colman

        I know that some find it tiresome when one refers to the hypocrisy of other nations who presume to judge Sri Lanka. But really! Does Britain have the moral standing to criticise Sri Lanka? Some might argue that it was a long time ago that British soldiers, police and civilians were torturing Kenyans and tipping them into mass graves. However, they are still refusing to pay compensation to a man now in his 80s that they castrated.

        In more recent times, has justice been done to civilian victims of British actions in Iraq? See Sadakat Kadri’s review of A Very British Killing: The Death of Baha Mousa by AT Williams:

        http://www.lrb.co.uk/v35/n09/sadakat-kadri/the-five-techniques

        “Complainants assert that they were gratuitously tasered and bayonetted by British troops; one alleges that his elderly mother was driven away in an army vehicle and later found dumped on the street in a body bag; another that his father was so badly beaten up he lost an eye. Several describe being made to simulate oral and anal intercourse, and some say they were ejaculated on or sprayed with urine. At least 247 identified individuals are said by the complainants’ lawyers to have been killed during poorly recorded encounters with British patrols and prison guards. That figure excludes the subjects of another investigation that convened in March to look into claims that more than twenty Iraqis were tortured, mutilated or summarily executed following a 2004 firefight known as the Battle of Danny Boy. The armed forces, for their part, have consistently refused to estimate how many people they may have unjustly killed, injured or mistreated during their six-year occupation of Iraq.”

        Baha Mousa himself was an innocent hotel receptionist who had been disfigured by 93 visible injuries and asphyxiated while in military custody. In 2006, seven soldiers were put on trial. The only man to be punished for Mousa’s horrible death was Corporal Donald Payne who went to jail for 12 months, but only because he had pleaded guilty before the trial to a charge of inhuman treatment.

        • Krish

          Dear Burning_Issue

          You should pardon me if you think I am biased. But here are a few thoughts!

          Regarding David Blacker…he seems very sincere, honest, very straight-forward guy (probably even blunt). And I seriously think that you don’t have to beat him based on peripheral semantics. From my own observation of him, in responding to one of the posts on GV earlier he used the word “Indian racism”. I understood that to mean Indian hegemony or interference or open support for armed groups. It’s easy to pick on such trivial things in a discussion, but it is good to put that aside. And to be fair to David, he has been critical of some of the politics in SL (favouring Buddhism) and has taken part in the recent demonstrations (against Govt or something like that). Again, he doesn’t even know me but I am making my judgement based on what I read here.

          You raise several valid points, Burning_Issue. However, I think that creating a consensus based on reconciliation on forums like these would help. I am sure David or even OTC know that you are not one of those LTTE sympathisers. And as a minority Tamil, you have your own grievances/complaints 4 years after the defeat of LTTE. Your disappointment is understandable. I am sure a lot of people comprehend that. But you can impress upon the majority (not that you need to necessarily) if you can express your opinion without restoring to constant fighting or criticism. And to that extent talking about war crimes constantly (or constantly criticising David) doesn’t even create a starting point for discussing issues. In order to impress the extremists of the other side, you must first impress the moderates/rational people. Just a thought!

          And again, I respect your opinions much like how I respect Wijayapala’s (where is he these days?) or David Blacker’s. Your optimistic viewpoints have always added value here. But, spending hours on a disagreement doesn’t quite help. Sorry again if my viewpoint disappoints you. :)

          • Padraig Colman

            “I think that creating a consensus based on reconciliation on forums like these would help.”

            Excellent point. i hope Burning Issue takes note.

          • Off the Cuff

            Dear Krish,

            Yes I do not think BI is an LTTE supporter but he does write things which he cannot prove. This contributes to inflamed feelings amongst the Tamils and the Sinhalese. This is not conducive to the creation of an environment supportive of reconciliation.

            If something cannot be proved, it is better left unsaid.

          • Burning_Issue

            Dear Krish,

            I thank you far taking the time to write to me and I appreciate it very much.

            Yes, I am rather short with people these days. Sri Lanka needs to change course; this is for the betterment for all and not just for the Tamils.

            David Blacker is one I can get on with no issues there. However, lately, I find his views are rather casual and nonchalance in terms of the Tamil sensitivities. Yes, the Tamils collectively are responsible for their violent path; we are now a defeated people who completely at the mercy of the majority. Someone like David Blacker who had had military involvement in the quest of defeating the LTTE must now stand up and be counted. He needs to project and promote the rights and should not sit on the fence as he is doing now. It is easy to shift the blame on to the Tamil Diasporas; the Diasporas are not aliened to any particular recourse. Rather there are several confused groups not knowing where to turn. I also do recognize that there are hardcore LTTE sympathizers who intent on carrying aloft the Tiger flags. This should not distort the general Tamil antipathy towards the MR Regime. I am more than convinced or know for sure that the vast majority would accept a solution endeavoured between the GOSL and TNA along with other minority groups. This is a fact.

            I reiterate that people like David Blacker points his fingers at the Tiger flag carrying Diasporas and say that no remedy would be forthcoming if this persists. But he forgets that when the Sinhala rose against the LTTE, the group consisted of the Sinhala Buddhist Chauvinists and moderate Sinhala. The voice was resolutely One that wanted the LTTE obliterated. Only when the obliteration was complete one has started to see the moderate move away from that group. The same scenario applies to the Tamils. The Antipathy towards the MR regime is one at the moment consisting of many diverse groups of people and vast majority are moderates. I have had futile discussions with number of Tamils about the Tiger flags. Every one of them said that this is not the time we can talk to them about it. In effect, I completely in agreement with them as there is no platform on which we can project a different view at the moment. The moderate cannot break away from the Tiger elements at present in the context of Diaspora antipathy. This can only happen if the MR Regime were to fulfill their moral and international obligation to implement the LLRC Recommendation is full and endeavor a sincere reconciliation process encompassing a viable solution for the Minorities. This is a moral obligation for the Sinhala and their polity and there should be any room for the International Community to get involved if the regime were act responsibly.

            I agree with you that I must conduct myself better by not being pedantic on certain issues. But the fact is that, Defeated People have very little to choose from.

          • Burning_Issue

            Dear Krish,

            On the point about war crimes and investigation; I do feel strongly about establishing the truth. It is very important for the dead and those who survived not to mention the reconciliation process.

            I watched a TV program about Reeva Steencamp’s parents two days ago. Their grievances for their daughter is heartbreaking. Everyone knows that Oscar Pretorias had shot Reeva but the parents want to know the truth in terms of how she died.

            The infamous death of the 96 Liverpool football fans and subsequent coverup; the people never relented and pursued it over 24 years to find the truth.

            The truth may not achieve anything tangible but it is important to reconcile and have a sense of closure.

            Having said that, the international intention to finding the truth has been set in motion; it will take it’s course but it will happen way down the line. I agree with you I do not need to harp on about it for now. Thanks for pointing this out to me. One’s senses sometime gets obscured!

          • Off the Cuff

            Burning Issue,

            You are wrong.
            The Tamils were not defeated, the Terrorists were.

            The Tamils are definitely not a defeated people.
            They go about their day to day business with respect.

            Please don’t confuse that Tamil polity with the separatists and the terrorists.

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

          “David Blacker is one I can get on with no issues there. However, lately, I find his views are rather casual and nonchalance in terms of the Tamil sensitivities.”

          I can assure you, BI, that it is not nonchalance or casualness that I am expressing, but rather pragmatism. I would like to see Tamil dissatisfaction changed, and for Tamils to be as happy as the rest of SL (which isn’t necessarily that happy either). But the Tamils need to take a good look at what has led them to the place they are in and stop repeating the mistakes that got them there and disassociate themselves from people who got them there; people who do not have their best interests in mind. The waving of Tiger flags in international capitals was directly instrumental in preventing foreign governments from interfering. So why do the very same damaging things and think that now it’ll be different? That self-examination is not happening.

          “Yes, the Tamils collectively are responsible for their violent path; we are now a defeated people who completely at the mercy of the majority. Someone like David Blacker who had had military involvement in the quest of defeating the LTTE must now stand up and be counted. He needs to project and promote the rights and should not sit on the fence as he is doing now.”

          Firstly, I am not sitting on any fence. I am quite clear in my mind on where I stand; and that is on the middle ground. While equal rights for all is something important to me, I see a difference between that and equal community rights. That will have to wait. When Germany was defeated and divided in 1945, it would have been fatal for the Germans if they had made reunification their primary goal rather than rebuilding and realigning their goals as people. Reunification eventually came, two generations later. It would have been equally fatal for Japan if they had focused on evicting the Allied powers and prosecuting them for the war crimes of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. There are more important things.

          The time for Tamils to look for equality as a people has past for now; perhaps one day it will be possible again; perhaps not.

          “I reiterate that people like David Blacker points his fingers at the Tiger flag carrying Diasporas and say that no remedy would be forthcoming if this persists. But he forgets that when the Sinhala rose against the LTTE, the group consisted of the Sinhala Buddhist Chauvinists and moderate Sinhala. The voice was resolutely One that wanted the LTTE obliterated. Only when the obliteration was complete one has started to see the moderate move away from that group.”

          The point you fail to grasp is that the inclusion of Buddhist chauvinists in the anti-Tiger chorus did not have a detrimental effect on that voice; in fact, it was barely noticed. The Tiger flags had a huge effect in changing international opinion about those protests. What do you gain by polarizing opinion when polarization is the opposite of what you need?

          “The same scenario applies to the Tamils. The Antipathy towards the MR regime is one at the moment consisting of many diverse groups of people and vast majority are moderates.”

          To reiterate, the flags are hindering the effort and changing its colour. Why stubbornly persist in doing that which is most damaging to your own cause?

          “I have had futile discussions with number of Tamils about the Tiger flags. Every one of them said that this is not the time we can talk to them about it.”

          This is precisely the moment to talk about it. The urgency was in 2008-09, and the window was lost out of stupidity. Now, why not learn from those mistakes rather than repeating them?

          “In effect, I completely in agreement with them as there is no platform on which we can project a different view at the moment. The moderate cannot break away from the Tiger elements at present in the context of Diaspora antipathy. This can only happen if the MR Regime were to fulfill their moral and international obligation to implement the LLRC Recommendation is full and endeavor a sincere reconciliation process encompassing a viable solution for the Minorities. This is a moral obligation for the Sinhala and their polity and there should be any room for the International Community to get involved if the regime were act responsibly.”

          But what if that moral obligation is being ignored? Do you think waving Tiger flags will impress that obligation? My question is why do you want to be ineffective when you know that what you are doing has been ineffective in the past, and that there is no sign of it being effective now or ever? The Tigers brought the Tamils to catastrophe; disassociate yourselves at least now from the Tigers, for the good of the SL Tamils. Nothing will change until you do; absolutely nothing; and it is the SL Tamils who have the most to lose from the status quo being maintained.

          “I agree with you that I must conduct myself better by not being pedantic on certain issues. But the fact is that, Defeated People have very little to choose from.”

          So why not make the right choices on the few choices you have?

          • Burning_Issue

            Dear David,

            As I said before, four precious years have elapsed since the end of war. All concerned including the International Community and a vast majority of the Tamil Diasporas were hoping President Mahinda Rajapaksa would act honorably and embody a sense of magnanimity towards the minorities in Sri Lanka. Evidently, the opposite has been happening. The International Community did not look at the Tamil Diaspora but eagerly waiting to see what MR would do; he is the elected president of the country and expected him to honour his promises and act responsibly building a nation after the end the devastating war. This responsibility was squarely at the hands of the president and his government and not at the hands of the confused Tamil Diaspora.

            If MR had been acting responsible and had manifested magnanimity and in response if the Tamils Diaspora were to be non-responsive, indifferent, and disruptive by demanding Tamil Eelam, I would hand it to you and will join hands with you to fight such a situation. To me this is much more pragmatic than expecting the confused Diasporas to put its house in order when it does not even know where its house is!

            You said:

            “But what if that moral obligation is being ignored? Do you think waving Tiger flags will impress that obligation? My question is why do you want to be ineffective when you know that what you are doing has been ineffective in the past, and that there is no sign of it being effective now or ever? The Tigers brought the Tamils to catastrophe; disassociate yourselves at least now from the Tigers, for the good of the SL Tamils. Nothing will change until you do; absolutely nothing; and it is the SL Tamils who have the most to lose from the status quo being maintained.”

            I am not sure whether you are opposing the protesting all together or just flying the tiger flags. If you are against the Tiger flags; I agree with you that the Tiger flag waving protestors are not helping bearing in mind that these people who are just waving the flags as a result of their own sense of guilt. By doing so they are providing the MR regime a platform that is being used internally justifying tougher regime and hiding their disastrous management of the economy. Assume a situation where the Tamil Diaspora admitted complete subjugation and left everything to the mercy of the MR Regime. Do you think that the regime would act any differently?

            Please read this article authored by Tisaranee Gunasekara who talks about Rajapaksas’ political project:

            http://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/disembowelling-the-13th-amendment/

            A Quote from the article:

            “The 13th Amendment still exists because the Rajapaksas have some concerns about Indian/Western reactions to its abrogation.”

            It is evident that the Tamil protestations and the international/Indian pressures are obstacles to the MR Regime such that, it cannot complete its political project, which is to establish a total power strangle-hold. The greatest paradox is that, the very Tamil Diasporas, that the many Sinhala dislike, whether they are carrying aloft Tiger flags or not; along with other actors who have put hurdles along the way of the Rajapaksa juggernaut from further damaging of the democracy. This will also give time for the opposition to get organized. You may argue that if external pressures do not exist, the regime would have any excuse and be totally answerable to the Sri Lankan public. But so far, evidently, the regime has shown that it is unscrupulous in dealing with any sort of dissent.

            The International Community put pressure on Sri Lanka on Resettlement of the displaced. The Americans put pressure on Sri Lanka on Accountability leading to the regime setting up the LLRC Commission. The American led UN Resolutions have been putting pressure on Sri Lanka to implement the LLRC recommendations. India has been pilling pressure on Sri Lanka to implement the 13th Amendment and hold the regional election in the North. The Commonwealth gathering in Colombo is being used as a tool to push Sri Lanka on Human Rights and progress on post-war activities. I do not know if the Tamil Diaspora activities play any part in inducing these actors but certainly there is an appetite on the part of International Community pushing Sri Lanka to comply with International Obligations. Do you blame all these bodies for putting pressure on Sri Lanka? Where would Sri Lanka be now if such pressures do not exist and giving free hand to the MR regime?

            Dr DJ’s article:

            http://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/devolution-and-sri-lankas-global-vulnerability/

            In debate with Dr GL P, he outlined 5 points; I quote here second, fourth and fifth points to underline a point:

            “Secondly, if a society does not engage in the necessary reform by its own internal process, it either self destructs through rupture or decay, or invites external agency which imposes such reforms.”

            “Fourthly, the problem however remains and if unresolved it is likely to invite external intervention. If aggravated by the unilateral abrogation or drastic diminution of the 13th amendment as recommended by the JHU, NFF and BBS (and Prof Peiris), that likelihood is greater.”

            “Fifthly, given the current and evolving balance of forces in the concentric circles of Sri Lanka’s immediate and far flung environs, we stand in danger of losing our present borders. If we persist with a paradigm and in a policy of Sinhala Buddhist domination, we stand in danger of being shrunk to precisely the contours of those areas in which the Sinhala –Buddhist constitute a majority and shall be shorn of our periphery by external agency, reducing our state to a position it has retreated to for not insignificant periods of its history, to some point that is not coextensive with our borders as an island.”

            The whole article is very relevant and interesting read. The longer Sri Lanka dither in terms of resolving the ethnic question and reconciliation there is a greater danger of a solution with greater inimical to Sri Lankan territorial integrity will be imposed by the outside actors. For this reason alone, Sri Lanka should act unilaterally spearheading towards an acceptable solution with the minorities. The Tiger flag waving confused Diasporas are irrelevant and GOSL must rise above the Diaspora politics and build a nation to the envy of the West. This is what someone like you should be promoting rather than pointing your finger at the confused Tamil Dispora.

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

            “As I said before, four precious years have elapsed since the end of war. All concerned including the International Community and a vast majority of the Tamil Diasporas were hoping President Mahinda Rajapaksa would act honorably and embody a sense of magnanimity towards the minorities in Sri Lanka.”

            BI, it is hard to be magnanimous and honourable towards someone who refuses both to accept defeat nor to act honourably themselves. Even before the end of the war, the Tamil nationalists/separatists in the diaspora began shouting about war crimes. When the war ended, and it was clear that the GoSL was doing its best under extreme circumstances to clothe, feed, and house the refugees, all the diaspora did was accuse the GoSL of running concentration camps. When the GoSL repatriated the IDPs in record time (fast tracking them past even Muslim IDPs ethnically cleansed from the NE), the diaspora (without even acknowledging their false accusations) then switched to accusing the GoSL of not rebuilding the homes of the IDPs. First the diaspora cried wolf about the GoSL systematically abducting and murdering Tigers from the IDP camps; then when it was revealed that thousands of Tiger POWs were in fact safe and well and gradually being rehabilitated and repatriated, the diaspora simply switched to another tack. This utterly dishonourable strategy has alienated the GoSL and polarized opinion in this country to the point where moderates such as myself cannot ever even broach the subject of magnanimity. You are using these accusations as a weapon against my country, and as long as you approach us with weapons, we will fight you. If you want magnanimity and honour, behave with honour. Stop lying, and inflating the casualty figures and trumping up charges such as use of banned weapons. This strategy will not get you magnanimity. You are fighting like stray dogs; you sneak in and bite and when we kick you, you whimper and ask for magnanimity. Stop what you are doing before you destroy whatever small hope the SL Tamils have left.

            “This responsibility was squarely at the hands of the president and his government and not at the hands of the confused Tamil Diaspora.”

            So you feel no responsibility for the damage you are doing to the SL Tamils by your continuing attacks on the GoSL?

            “If MR had been acting responsible and had manifested magnanimity and in response if the Tamils Diaspora were to be non-responsive, indifferent, and disruptive by demanding Tamil Eelam, I would hand it to you and will join hands with you to fight such a situation. To me this is much more pragmatic than expecting the confused Diasporas to put its house in order when it does not even know where its house is!”

            The GoSL was never given the chance. The accusations started before the war even ended, and has gone on unabated. I’m not asking the diaspora to do anything. If you’re confused, that is your problem. But you’re expecting us to allow for your confusion and childishness; that’s not how it works, so grow up. If you want peace and reconciliation, stop attacking us. It’s not rocket science.

            Stop looking to retributive justice, but instead understand what the Germans and Japanese did, that the ultimate justice is success. Right now, you’re hindering all hope for the SL Tamils.

            “I am not sure whether you are opposing the protesting all together or just flying the tiger flags.”

            I have nothing against protests. I would like to see more intelligence and effectiveness from the self-proclaimed diaspora leadership, instead of the nonsensical thinking of people like Usha, well demonstrated in this thread. Why not wave the SL flag for a start? Just imagine the impact that would have both here in SL and over there in the west if those protestors identified themselves as Sri Lankans demanding better governance from their government rather than Eelamists futilely screaming at a foreign regime they can’t even scratch.

            “Assume a situation where the Tamil Diaspora admitted complete subjugation and left everything to the mercy of the MR Regime. Do you think that the regime would act any differently?”

            No one’s asking everything to be left to the GoSL either. Why does it have to be one extreme or another? All that is needed is disassociation from the Tigers and violent separatism, and a cessation of the threat of investigations, boycotts, sanctions, and prosecutions. Remove the perception of siege that strengthens the Sinhalese paranoia. Engage with the GoSL. It will be a very long engagement, and a lot of hard work, and perhaps there will be disappointments and the rewards will take time. But it is the ONLY way. Think of the generations of hopeful Tamils waiting to come into this world rather than the old men and women with their bitterness and revenge. To whom do you have the greater responsibility? The hard work must be done because results will not be easy or quick. That is the legacy of a lost war.

            “Please read this article authored by Tisaranee Gunasekara who talks about Rajapaksas’ political project:”

            It is also a mistake to set up Stalingrads (or Kilinochchis) over which we must hold or die. The 13th is both a devolutionary tool as well as an impediment to devolution, and that is because it is being used as a symbolic bastion. Again, take the long view rather than looking at the next hill. There are many mountain ridges beyond the 13th.

            “Dr DJ’s article:”

            There are many factors necessary before external intervention is likely, and whichever way you slice it, it will have to become horrendously bad for the Tamils first; and if you wonder how bad horrendous has to be, we’re talking conditions worse then the last stage of the war which did not bring about intervention. Should the SL Tamils be subject to that; should they be sacrificed once more on that altar of politics; should the embers in SL be fueled and fanned to create a conflagration that will burn the Tamils painfully enough for the world to react? You can see how little reaction there is against Syria, in spite of all predictions. What do you think it will take for intervention in SL? Remove the external pressure and the people of SL themselves will start questioning its government on its failures to deliver. Keep the people distracted and agitated with your accusations and threats, and we will stand with the only leadership we have.

            “Tiger flag waving confused Diasporas are irrelevant and GOSL must rise above the Diaspora politics and build a nation to the envy of the West. This is what someone like you should be promoting rather than pointing your finger at the confused Tamil Dispora.”

            In a world of perception and paranoia, the flags are certainly relevant. SL is nowhere near perfect, and even in a perfect world we don’t know if we can build a nation to the envy of the west. This regime is not the ideal leadership, and eventually we must replace them, but your external pressure will not allow us that introspection. Your twisted leadership is using your diaspora’s confusion just as the GoSL is using the SL people’s paranoia. So what do you think needs to be done to change confusion and paranoia? Think about it.

          • Keynes!

            David Blacker,

            “Why not wave the SL flag for a start? Just imagine the impact that would have both here in SL and over there in the west if those protestors identified themselves as Sri Lankans demanding better governance from their government rather than Eelamists futilely screaming at a foreign regime they can’t even scratch.”

            1. How do you explain the lack of SL flag waving at the Rally for Unity held six weeks back?

            2. Did you attend the Rally for Unity or the BB vigil? If so, were you wavin’ your Sri Lankan flag?

            3. The Muslims have largely identified themselves as Sri Lankan. So, how come they are being screwed?

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

            “1. How do you explain the lack of SL flag waving at the Rally for Unity held six weeks back?”

            Keynes, you seem to believe that flags are a necessary requisite at protests. I don’t. I don’t think protests of this nature (diaspora or local) require any flags. But if you are going to wave a flag as a sign of identity, why not the SL flag?

            “2. Did you attend the Rally for Unity or the BB vigil? If so, were you wavin’ your Sri Lankan flag?”

            Yes I was at both, and nobody waved any flags, national or other. Why would you need a flag?

            “3. The Muslims have largely identified themselves as Sri Lankan. So, how come they are being screwed?”

            Racists will always ignore what is inconvenient to their prejudices

          • Burning_Issue

            Dear David,

            I do not want to be pedantic but there should be conspicuous distinction between the LTTE supports and the president of the Sri Lanka. MR is the president for all and not just for the Sinhala Buddhists.

            “BI, it is hard to be magnanimous and honourable towards someone who refuses both to accept defeat nor to act honourably themselves.”

            No one has asked the president to be honourable towards the Diasporas; it was incumbent on the president to honour his own wards. He made a victory speech wherein he spoke, not only to the Sri Lankan public but also to the world, about winning the hearts and minds of the Tamil people. He spoke about 13th A plus and subsequently a home grown solution. As you said there were protests during and immediate aftermath of the war, yet MR uttered those words. He failed to honour his own undertakings.

            The Tamil body or bodies that matter are those that reside within the island. Every single Tamil representation has made it utterly clear that they stand of a united Sri Lanka; they have publicly undertaken that they have denounced violence. The Tamil people overwhelmingly voted for TNA that stands for a solution within one country. The parliamentarian and TNA representative Sumanthiran has been speaking about many issues affecting the democracy in the country that impinge on everyone not just on the Tamils. What other indications that the Sinhala require or the regime requires to change course?
            We can argue about this endlessly, but I believe that whatever the Tamil Diasporas do or don’t do will have no bearing on the MR regime. The regime’s political objective is abundantly clear that is to establish perpetuity of their family dynasty.

            “When the war ended, and it was clear that the GoSL was doing its best under extreme circumstances to clothe, feed, and house the refugees, all the diaspora did was accuse the GoSL of running concentration camps.”

            David, we will never know the real truth as to what went on unless all the facts are independently established. I previously acknowledged that there were Sinhala troops and some officials showed kindness and humanity. I heard that some even offered their rations to the hapless people. However, I also heard about some gruesome human cruelties perpetrated by the Army. There were international NGOs that were willing and ready to go in and support but they were prevented. If indeed GOSL did benevolence I commend it unreservedly but you cannot blame incredulity on the part of the Tamils. Especially; when the president who claimed zero casualties and subsequently conceded to 8,000 civilian deaths. It is a remarkable turnaround for an elected statesman to concede.

            “First the diaspora cried wolf about the GoSL systematically abducting and murdering Tigers from the IDP camps; then when it was revealed that thousands of Tiger POWs were in fact safe and well and gradually being rehabilitated and repatriated, the diaspora simply switched to another tack.”

            How sure are you that the abductions and murders did not take place? I personally know of people who paid vast sums of money to the unscrupulous army and other agents to buy their freedom. Those people after being lull for a while have started spilling the beans. There are many such people who are waiting for an opportunity to tell their stories. However, I recognize the efforts to rehabilitate the former carders. You should recognize that it is not just the Tamil Diasporas but also other world-renowned Human Rights NGOs who are on this subject. They cannot all be wrong!

            “You are using these accusations as a weapon against my country, and as long as you approach us with weapons, we will fight you. If you want magnanimity and honour, behave with honour. Stop lying, and inflating the casualty figures and trumping up charges such as use of banned weapons. This strategy will not get you magnanimity. You are fighting like stray dogs; you sneak in and bite and when we kick you, you whimper and ask for magnanimity. Stop what you are doing before you destroy whatever small hope the SL Tamils have left.”

            I am sorry you have written rubbish here rather an emotional outburst! I rather not respond. From zero casualties figure to 8,000 what a trump up that is! No one is asking you to show magnanimity but a state should behave responsibly to its subjects though some exhibit ambivalence.

            “So you feel no responsibility for the damage you are doing to the SL Tamils by your continuing attacks on the GoSL?”

            You said it right; attack on GOSL and not attacking Sri Lanka as a county. Why should it damage the SL Tamils? Aren’t they not subjects of SL? What are you trying to say? The Opposition in SL is abysmal and the external forces are doing its job at the moment until the SL Opposition gets its act together. If this is damaging the SL Tamils, it is a reflection on the regime than anything else. This is why SL is fast loosing friends within the international arena. It is more then evident during the passage of the second UN Resolution.

            “The GoSL was never given the chance. The accusations started before the war even ended, and has gone on unabated. I’m not asking the diaspora to do anything. If you’re confused, that is your problem. But you’re expecting us to allow for your confusion and childishness; that’s not how it works, so grow up. If you want peace and reconciliation, stop attacking us. It’s not rocket science.”

            MR made his victory address after the war and not before! It is in the interest of SL to build peace and reconciliation and it should not depend on outside forces. Your complete dislike of the Tamil Diasporas is very evident but I feel that you allow this to obscure your rational thinking I am very sorry to say. Also implicit in your writing that the MR regime will not change and you accept that it will have to be dislodged at some point. But you are blinkered to the fact that it is entrenching for a long, long whole and staggering towards a total dictatorship.

            India may have an issue with TN and its political undercurrent; it certainly cares less about the Tamil Diasporas beyond its shores. However, the Americans have a different agenda. They have strategically shifted focus from Middle East to South East Asia. Their focus is on Indochina; they have passed two UN Resolutions on Sri Lanka; it is not out of love for the SL Tamils but to force the MR Regime to change course towards democracy and to keep China out of Sri Lanka. As DR DJ said in his article, the geopolitics is changing and that will be inimical to the Sri Lankan territorial integrity. The Tamil Diasporas should be an irrelevant factor in the context of SL security and propriety. These are the choices that SL have. By the way, I am in complete agreement with you that the Tamils collectively within and beyond SL should distance themselves from the Tigers. A just SL will ensure that this happens for good. I have nothing more to add.

          • Off the Cuff

            Burning Issue,

            “The Tamil people overwhelmingly voted for TNA that stands for a solution within one country.”

            Did they?
            How?

            I mean did the Tamil people Really vote for the TNA Overwhelmingly? It’s often so claimed but is it true or just an exceedingly deceptive overstatement?

            More than half the Tamil people reside outside the North and East and are not electors of the TNA. The Tamil People are not just those who reside in the North and East are they?

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

            “I do not want to be pedantic but there should be conspicuous distinction between the LTTE supports and the president of the Sri Lanka. MR is the president for all and not just for the Sinhala Buddhists.”

            Why should there be? We are all equal in the realm of politics. I also find it strange that those who no longer consider themselves Sri Lankans but citizens of the non-existent land of Eelam suddenly seem eager to be treated equally with Sri Lankans and by our president when it comes to prejudicial action.You can’t have it both ways. If you’re Sri Lankan, behave like it; if you’re not, don’t expect to be treated as such. The same applies to the hackneyed line about SL being particularly evil for bombing its own people.

            “No one has asked the president to be honourable towards the Diasporas; it was incumbent on the president to honour his own wards.”

            Sure, when SL elects a man with the heart of Christ to the presidential office, it might happen, but until then we have men who are influenced by attacks on them both personally and officially. Even Obama hasn’t stuck to his word of closing Guantanamo down, and it’s unlikely he will as long as the US feels threatened by Islamic extremism.

            “The Tamil body or bodies that matter are those that reside within the island. Every single Tamil representation has made it utterly clear that they stand of a united Sri Lanka; they have publicly undertaken that they have denounced violence.”

            Be that as it may, as long as the international community in the form of UN bodies gives both ear and credence to organisations that claim to speak for the SL Tamils, and as long as those organisations continue their strategy of vindictiveness, it is unlikely that progress will be seen here in SL.

            “We can argue about this endlessly, but I believe that whatever the Tamil Diasporas do or don’t do will have no bearing on the MR regime. The regime’s political objective is abundantly clear that is to establish perpetuity of their family dynasty.”

            The point is as long as the diaspora actions continue to take center stage, it will be a shield for the MR regime.

            “David, we will never know the real truth as to what went on unless all the facts are independently established.”

            So now you want the former IDP camps investigated as well? Have you no sense of reality?

            “I previously acknowledged that there were Sinhala troops and some officials showed kindness and humanity. I heard that some even offered their rations to the hapless people. However, I also heard about some gruesome human cruelties perpetrated by the Army.”

            The fact is, BI, that as soon as the camps were closed, all the hue and cry ceased because it was clear that it was just nonsense and that the overwhelming majority of IDPs had been cared for satisfactorily. Your unwillingness to acknowledge this even now is the lack of honour I’m talking about. No doubt here were occasional cruelties, but the accusations of rape and torture on an industrial scale, the systematic extermination of Tiger suspects, the labeling of the camps as “concentration camps” were just fabrications created for political gain by the separatists.

            “There were international NGOs that were willing and ready to go in and support but they were prevented.”

            There was some restrictions at the initial stages, perhaps heavy-handed, but understandable, but eventually the NGOs were given almost unfettered access.

            “If indeed GOSL did benevolence I commend it unreservedly but you cannot blame incredulity on the part of the Tamils. Especially; when the president who claimed zero casualties and subsequently conceded to 8,000 civilian deaths. It is a remarkable turnaround for an elected statesman to concede.”

            Being incredulous is one thing, making up stuff is quite another. Politicians will always say what is convenient to them. That doesn’t mean you counter that by making up lies of your own.

            “How sure are you that the abductions and murders did not take place? I personally know of people who paid vast sums of money to the unscrupulous army and other agents to buy their freedom.”

            Having evidence of corruption isn’t evidence of murder, is it? Personally, I think the repatriation of IDPs who wished to leave the country, etc, should have been done faster, and obviously people who could bribe their way out (including some Tigers) did so, but that doesn’t in any way build a case for murder. The fact is that thousands of Tiger POWs are alive and being repatriated, is it not? So where is the evidence that there was a campaign to pick out Tigers and murder them?

            “You should recognize that it is not just the Tamil Diasporas but also other world-renowned Human Rights NGOs who are on this subject. They cannot all be wrong!”

            Wrong about what? Neither politicians’ lies about casualty figures nor experiences with corrupt military officials indicates a campaign of genocide, does it? The fact that the vast majority of civilians survived the war (and survived at times at the cost to life and limb of the accused soldiers themselves), were cared for and rehabilitated, and that the vast majority of Tiger POWs were similarly repatriated proves the opposite. You’re pointing to apples and claiming they are orange.

            “You are using these accusations as a weapon against my country, and as long as you approach us with weapons, we will fight you. If you want magnanimity and honour, behave with honour. Stop lying, and inflating the casualty figures and trumping up charges such as use of banned weapons. This strategy will not get you magnanimity. You are fighting like stray dogs; you sneak in and bite and when we kick you, you whimper and ask for magnanimity. Stop what you are doing before you destroy whatever small hope the SL Tamils have left.”

            From zero casualties figure to 8,000 what a trump up that is! No one is asking you to show magnanimity but a state should behave responsibly to its subjects though some exhibit ambivalence.”

            Given that some elements of the diaspora are still claiming as many as 140,000 dead, who is the bigger liar here? Sure, we all wish the GoSL had acted responsibly since independence, but is your solution to trump that irresponsibility with your own? How is any of this helping the SL Tamils?

            “You said it right; attack on GOSL and not attacking Sri Lanka as a county.”

            The people of SL see the GoSL as its legitimate and democratically elected government. In the matter of the conduct of the war, the vast majority believe the GoSL did what was necessary — and more importantly, correct — to win the war. So when you attack the GoSL, you are attacking the country. Now, you can argue as much as you like that it is not so and it will not matter because the people of SL stand with this government on this matter. That is the reality.

            “Why should it damage the SL Tamils? Aren’t they not subjects of SL? What are you trying to say?”

            Hello? We’ve been discussing this for a week now, and you’re now asking me how this is damaging the SL Tamils? To reiterate, your continued attacks on the GoSL will make it and the SL people less likely to make concessions to the Tamils. Isn’t this obvious?

            “The Opposition in SL is abysmal and the external forces are doing its job at the moment until the SL Opposition gets its act together.”

            But I thought you said that the GoSL should ignore the external forces; now you’re saying that the latter are standing in for the opposition? The opposition in SL isn’t opposing the GoSL on the matter of war crimes. It stands with the GoSL on this matter of national interest, as it should. No opposition in SL will take any other stand in the foreseeable future.

            “If this is damaging the SL Tamils, it is a reflection on the regime than anything else. This is why SL is fast loosing friends within the international arena. It is more then evident during the passage of the second UN Resolution.”

            Whatever it is a reflection of, the fact is that it is your actions that are causing the damage and maintaining the status quo. Is the diaspora more interested in opposing the GoSL and toppling it, or in helping the SL Tamils? For the foreseeable future, you can’t do both. The only legitimate opposition can be by Sri Lankans IN Sri Lanka. SL will lose and gain friends, but that won’t do anything concrete for the SL Tamils.

            “MR made his victory address after the war and not before!”

            What is your point? Would you be happy if he had not made that speech? The pressure has been unrelenting and governments (and families) are made up of many factions from various ends of the spectrum. Even if MR had been feeling magnanimous in ’09, it’s quite understandable if he isn’t anymore. I consider myself a moderate, but it’s hard even for me to scrape up some magnanimity in the face of these vengeful attacks.

            “It is in the interest of SL to build peace and reconciliation and it should not depend on outside forces.”

            Of course it is, but it is in the greater interest of the Tamils; they have the most to gain, and the most to lose. Shouldn’t they be your first priority?

            “Your complete dislike of the Tamil Diasporas is very evident but I feel that you allow this to obscure your rational thinking I am very sorry to say.”

            Your analysis is incorrect. The majority of my Tamil relatives are in that diaspora, as well as several close friends. My dislike is for the self-appointed leadership of the diaspora that is uninterested in the well-being of the people they profess to speak for.

            “Also implicit in your writing that the MR regime will not change and you accept that it will have to be dislodged at some point. But you are blinkered to the fact that it is entrenching for a long, long whole and staggering towards a total dictatorship.”

            Yes, I believe that ALL governments must eventually be changed for the good of the country. No one should be too comfortable. I believe that this regime will eventually be democratically removed or transformed. If it has to be removed by revolution, that too must come from the people of SL and not external forces whose motives are questionable.

            “However, the Americans have a different agenda. They have strategically shifted focus from Middle East to South East Asia. Their focus is on Indochina; they have passed two UN Resolutions on Sri Lanka; it is not out of love for the SL Tamils but to force the MR Regime to change course towards democracy and to keep China out of Sri Lanka.”

            It is important that the Tamils don’t find themselves in the same predicament as the Tibetan nationalists who banked on geopolitics solving their problems. Traditionally, the Tamils have handed over their problems to Messiahs who haven’t delivered. When necessary, SL will make the incremental changes to survive. The US isn’t interested in democracy; it is interested in its own interests. MR is the supreme survivor, and has no real ideology, and he will adapt to survive. The US isn’t going to get itself involved militarily in South Asia, so if you’re waiting for the Marines to storm in and save the Tamils you’ll have to tell it to the Marines.

            “By the way, I am in complete agreement with you that the Tamils collectively within and beyond SL should distance themselves from the Tigers. A just SL will ensure that this happens for good. I have nothing more to add.”

            The Tamils can’t afford to wait for a just SL before changing themselves. Be the change you want to see.

        • Padraig Colman
          • Manjula

            Brits took 61 years to that step. One thing Sri Lanka can do is to take a leaf out of British book of lessons in this instance and to start its own investigation into the allegations raised by the tiger flag waving diaspora sponsoring western nations and to conclude the investigation in 2070 (i.e. 2009 +61 years).

            You only have to say sorry then (in 2070) and to pay compensation to any victims if found based on strict formula as the Brits are doing. There is no need to punish anyone who did anything wrong just like the Brits didn’t punish anyone for the torturing in 1952. Money will do the job in 61 years time.

            I am only trying to learn from the Brits since for an unknown reason they always like us to learn from them.

          • Burning_Issue

            What is your point Padraig? What are you trying to show here in the context of Sri Lanka and Accountability?

            Do you think that the Britis would have got away with such issues four years back?

          • Padraig Colman

            @ Burning Issue

            Two points I would hope, although it may be a vain hope, you might understand from this:

            1. As Dayan Jayatilleka and David Blacker have pointed out, it usually takes governments a long time to make restitution for bad things they have done. A lot longer than four years. We are not saying this is commendable. It is the way the world is. In Britain’s case it has taken over half a century to do the right thing about the bad things they did in Kenya. And my god, they did some bad things. British civilians committed horrific acts, as well as police and soldiers. See: http://pcolman.wordpress.com/2011/07/21/obama-tortured-by-british-shock/

            2. Although these acts were committed more than four years ago the UK government has, within the last four years, strongly resisted doing the right thing by people they castrated and raped. Perhaps they were hoping these poor people would die so they didn’t have to pay them. I don’t know why they changed their minds but if they had done this a long time ago one man whom they castrated, who is now in his 80s, might have had a better life.

    • Padraig Colman

      Much food for thought there.

    • Off the Cuff

      The question is who are the victims?

      Are they only those who were killed and maimed in the war in the North? In the NFZ and in the Human shield etc?

      Or are we to include those who were killed and maimed in bus bombs, train bombs, Bank bombs, attacks on pilgrims, massacres in mosques, massacres in temple grounds, night raids on villages, attacks on school buses, the list is endless.

      Both groups have the living maimed and the grieving bereaved.

      Do we concentrate on the first group to the exclusion of the second?
      If so why?

      I hope the complexity is clear.

      • Gehan Gunatilleke

        No, the question is whether we can build a process which permits those who self identify as victims to engage in truth-telling. This could be an independent investigation or it could be some other victim-centred process. I don’t think anyone should be excluded at the outset merely because of the circumstances of their victimhood.

        • Off the Cuff

          Yes I too don’t think anyone should be excluded merely because of the circumstances of their victim hood.

          This is the complexity I mentioned and which must be addressed. The current dialogue is not inclusive.

          After all, in the final analysis, the citizens of Lanka have to be convinced that the solution is Just.

          • Padraig Colman

            @ Gehan Let us not forget the Sinhalese and Muslim victims of the LTTE and also the Tamil victims of the LTTE – the members of other militant Tamil separatist groups, the Tamil politicians, the Tamil Tigers that Prabhakaran did not trust or those he had executed “pour encourager les autres”. Many victims.

          • Burning_Issue

            Padraig Colman,

            I am sure you as a Southern Irishman can empathise with the English when the IRA was blowing up in mainland Britain and killing many innocent people not to mention the killings in Northern Ireland and not withstanding what the British did to the Irish as a whole! You can also empathise with the Tamils in Sri Lanka drawing parallels with the Irish.

            By the way, when the Bloody Sunday took place, there were IRA gunmen clearly shooting at the army; yet, the army managed to kill many innocent people. This incident angered the Irish including yourself evidently! You talk about hypocrisy liberally on these forums but you fail to see your own shortcomings! I know you are not against an investigation of the last stages of the Eelam war but you have been endeavouring empirically to discourage it, why?

          • Padraig Colman

            @ Burning Issue

            “You talk about hypocrisy liberally on these forums but you fail to see your own shortcomings!”

            I have only posted two articles on this forum. Have you read the previous one?

            If you think I support IRA terrorism you are even more of a moron than I thought.

            See:

            http://groundviews.org/2012/03/17/martyrology-martyrdom-rebellion-terrorism/

            Read what I actually say and don’t make unwarranted assumptions based on your own prejudices.

          • Burning_Issue

            Padraig Coleman,

            “If you think I support IRA terrorism you are even more of a moron than I thought.”

            Isn’t pathetic that you think that I accused you of being an IRA supporter? Where in my post that you saw of this ridiculous aspect? No wonder you see me as a moron! I worked in Cabra, Dublin over a year back in 2002; I know what the Southern Irish republicanism is all about! I also know that only 3% of the Southern Irish supported the IRA methods though a vast majority was sympathetic to their cause. I am pretty sure that you are not one of those of 3%.

            Nevertheless, the Southern Irish nation was angered by the Bloody Sunday including yourself; I know this because you took a swipe at the Brits about the length of time taken for them to apologies! It only happened after many investigations and you know it. I am sure many in the Northern Ireland; Loyalists in particular, cited much hypocrisy and argued against or discouraged any form investigations. This is exactly what you have been doing in the context of last stages of the Eelam war. Do you now see the parallel? Do you now recognize your own hypocrisy?

            I never supported the LTTE nor I contributed in any shape or form to encourage the LTTE modus operandi; this does not mean I can overlook the killings of the vast number of innocent people. I need to know as to why it happened; I need to know whether the GOSL deliberately targeted the civilians; what did the LTTE do; did they shoot at the escaping Tamils? These are questions that need to be answered and I would expect a man of your caliber, a man with the first-hand experience back home, to encourage such an investigation. This is my point. If I look a moron doing that so be it!

          • Padraig Colman

            @ Burning Issue.

            “I am sure many in the Northern Ireland; Loyalists in particular, cited much hypocrisy and argued against or discouraged any form investigations. This is exactly what you have been doing in the context of last stages of the Eelam war. Do you now see the parallel? Do you now recognize your own hypocrisy?”

            In a word- “no”.

            I must be the moron because I just do not understand your point. Where have I argued against investigations of the last stages of the Eelam war? I think an investigation would be a good idea. You even admit this yourself:

            “I know you are not against an investigation of the last stages of the Eelam war but you have been endeavouring empirically to discourage it, why?”

            What on earth does that mean?

            Hypocrisy is a serious charge and you have not substantiated it.

            BTW in dealing with Ireland one has to be careful of terminology. When I was on business at the General Register Office in Dublin, the official I was dealing with studiously used the term “the north eastern counties” to refer to the statelet generally known as “Northern Ireland”. The northernmost county of the island of Ireland is in the Republic of Ireland. “Ulster” is often used by Loyalists as a term for their statelet. That is a definite no-no as the ancient province of Ulster includes territory that is part of the Republic of Ireland. Citizens of the Republic of Ireland do not relish being called “Southern Irish” – to call them mere Irish would cause no offence.

            Also it would be a courtesy if you could endeavour to spell my name correctly.

          • Off the Cuff

            Burning Issue,

            you wrote “I need to know whether the GOSL deliberately targeted the civilians;”

            If they did, how did 300,000 + survive?
            How did 10,000+ known terrorists get rehabilitated and released after getting caught which included the LTTE Female wing Head Tamilini who is about to be released?

            you wrote “what did the LTTE do; did they shoot at the escaping Tamils?”

            Not only they shot the escaping Tamils, they suicide bombed those who reached safety.

            Not stopping there they even amputated Tamil Civilians who tried to escape to govt held areas seeking safety.

            Anna Marie Loos from MSF – Medecins Sans Frontieres “I’ve had one person that I’ve known for a long time who tried to escape from that area six nights in a row and she only managed on the sixth attempt. The other five times they would bump into Tamil Tigers, who would start shooting at them. There was even an instance when somebody’s leg was cut off to prevent them from fleeing” (http://www.sbs.com.au/dateline/story/transcript/id/600020/n/Hunting-the-Tigers)

            Ask yourself would you seek safety amongst govt forces that deliberately targeted you?

            That is exactly what Tens of Thousands of Tamil civilians who escaped from the LTTE Human Shield did.

            you wrote “These are questions that need to be answered”

            Don’t you have that answer already staring in your face, though you chose to ignore it?

          • Burning_Issue

            Padraig Colman,

            Apologies for getting your name wrong; it was not intentional.

            My beef with you is about your rather casual view of the Tamils’ predicament. Yes, you never objected to an investigation but you wrote plenty discouraging it by making comparisons, pointing out hypocrisies, and blaming the Tamil Diasporas.

            You exhibit hypocrisy because you do not see parallels between the Tamils at the hands of the Sinhala Buddhists to the Irish at the hands of the British. With regards to the Bloody Sunday; an apology was forthcoming even after a 30 year period, because there were political pressures both from within the UK and beyond. This is exactly what has been happening in the context of Sri Lanka and the last stages of the war. Unlike in Britain, the local actors in the Sri Lanka cannot exercise dissent for obvious reasons. This responsibility is rest with other actors; why do you see this is as a problem for you? The Irish Americans played a major part in both funding the IRA and bringing about change of attitudes all around. You of all people should know this.

            By the way, the other post is aimed at David Blacker.

          • Padraig Colman

            @ Burning Issue

            I still do not recognise myself in the hypocrite you describe. Are you confusing me with someone else? Perhaps you are thinking of that other person – Padraig COLEMAN!

            You are being offensive calling me a hypocrite and you will have to provide better evidence to support the charge. Can you cite specific articles? Does it not seem odd that someone hiding behind a silly name has the Galle Face to tell me what I should be writing?

            Thank you for your lecture on Irish history. Have you read my previous article on Groundviews? I think I display there a more nuanced interpretation of the Irish fight for independence and its consequences today than the cliché version you trot out.

            You say: “You exhibit hypocrisy because you do not see parallels between the Tamils at the hands of the Sinhala Buddhists to the Irish at the hands of the British.”

            That is not hypocrisy. It is rational analysis. Try it. The road to hell is paved with false analogies.

            Here is what I wrote in my Groundviews article on Martyrdom:

            “In the 1960s in Northern Ireland there was a legitimate, non-violent, civil rights movement dedicated to addressing the grievances of the Catholic population. The movement was hijacked by the hard men of the Provisional IRA. Although they assumed for themselves the role of protectors of the Catholic population, their agenda was to emulate the republican martyrs of yesteryear and to fight for a united Ireland. This degenerated into atrocity and criminality. Despite the undoubted success of the Good Friday Agreement a handful of unelected die-hards do not want peace. They want to create new martyrs for Ireland. Is there an inevitable regression from Northern Irish Catholics suffering discrimination, to innocent English (and Irish) people being blown to giblets while enjoying a drink with friends?”

            I quote my friend, distinguished Irish historian Ruth Dudley Edwards:

            “With another generation of intransigents murdering in our name, isn’t it time we contemplated the heresy that the 1916 rebellion was misconceived and without justification, and that the physical force tradition in the 20th century has been an unmitigated disaster?”

            Sri Lanka is fortunate (for the time being) that the intransigents were thoroughly defeated. However, some among the diaspora seem determined to carry on the fight and have more blood (that of innocent civilians rather than their own) spilt in the pursuit of the chimera of Eelam.

            I cannot find anything in my writing to suggest I am against an investigation. You are unable to present any evidence.

            You say: “The Irish Americans played a major part in both funding the IRA and bringing about change of attitudes all around. You of all people should know this.”

            What has that got to do with me and Sri Lanka. The closest parallel surely would be that the members of the Tamil diaspora who funded the Tigers should now be working towards and funding reconciliation. Is that what Usha is doing?

          • Off the Cuff

            Dear Padraig,

            You wrote “Does it not seem odd that someone hiding behind a silly name has the Galle Face to tell me what I should be writing?”

            I agree with what you wrote about BI trying to dictate what you write. But I disagree with your attempt at ridiculing him on account of his pseudonym though there are instances when that is appropriate, such as someone calling himself Rational while writing irrational comments. The better thing would be to disprove his arguments, which is easily done.

            On the Internet, all of us are anonymous, whether the name is real or fictitious, unless the website in question, vets the identity, with official documents.

            What is important is what a commentator writes not his name, real or otherwise.

            I have posted as M.N.I.N. Perera (to make a point about anonymity). The name looks real but it is not. I chose those initials with a purpose. They are the first letters of the phrase “My Name Is Not”. My pseudonym is also chosen with a purpose and many have thought they can attack that rather than what I write.

            You are a writer of integrity. Don’t let people like J Fernando, Dev, BI, Usha etc get under your skin with their irrelevancies. If they want to make a fool of themselves let them.

          • Padraig Colman

            @ Off the Cuff

            I have only just seen your comment about anonymity and pseusonyms. I take your point. While I understand why some people would prefer to remain anonymous, it does give problems when people take it as license to be irresponsible.

            I should not have called Burning Issue a moron. I will be more dignified in future.

            I always find your comments helpful . Please feel free to contact me in your own name at [email protected].

            Thank you.

  • Piranha

    The numbers game will continue with both sides giving their own versions of how they arrived at their figures. An independent investigation to find out the true figure will not happen as long as the Rajapaksa regime is in power. The so called independent investigations that were conducted in the past were a sham and the results were not published or the investigations were abandoned due to government interference with the conduct of the investigations. Witness statements by videoconferencing was prohibited and witnesses not provided with protection or were threatened or made to disappear.

    The climate for an independent investigation is not there under the present regime. Sarath Fonseka’s loose talk about the culpability of some of the senior commanders and political leaders in the war crimes committed on the field cannot be brushed aside because he recanted it later – under threat of treason charge from the mega villain of all, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa.. The UN, India and the US knew very well how the Sri Lankan military fought the war and also there are thousands of tamil civilian witnesses to what exactly happened. But, will they be given an opportunity to bear witness at an independent investigation is doubtful considering that there is no witness protection afforded under the law in Sri Lanka.

  • Spring Koha

    Another interesting article by Padraig Colman. A couple of points.
    Pradeep Jeganathan points re collective responsibility ie the need to raise public consciousness and make people realise that we are all responsible and accountable for what took place during the last 30 years – through sins of commission and omission, hate, apathy, failure to speak up. To what end? The clamour has been to identify those in command – on both sides – and the orders they gave and moreover instances where those orders were ignored or compromised. The ‘war’ ended in a flurry of blood and guts, with six-of-one-half-a-dozen-of–the-other, and with the annihilation of the Tiger’s fighting high command, the GOSL ended in the unfortunate situation of having to face the music; a fine how-do-you-do given that it is the victors who have the honour of writing the definitive history of bloody events. Eelam War IV was meant to be a war without witness – not true. Nearly every Banda or Bala on those blood-soaked battlefields carried some sort of recording device. Umpteen times over the years we have, firstly, in the early years, seen photographs, and then in the later stages seen digital images and videos, captured by combatants, of every carnage inflicted – by both sides.
    Dr Dayan Jayetilleka has proposed yet another report. For what? The GOSL has assembled enough ammunition to defend itself but what it sorely lacks is people of the right calibre and gravitas to present its case. For two years running, we have seen some rank second-raters manning the lecterns in Geneva and New York and only providing a cure for insomnia for the great and good gathered to try and judge SL. The erudite Gamini Peiris may be many things but he is not the man for this hour.
    Since 1948, the Tamils of SL needed their best and brightest to come forward to lead their community through the inevitable challenges and turbulent times that they faced; what did they end up with? a bunch of thugs who led them every which way and finally into the bitter saline waters of Nandikadal lagoon. Meanwhile a vociferous Tamil diaspora formed of men who took the opportunity to run away to calmer, prosperous climes. And now they cry like women for a cause they couldn’t defend like men. Perhaps, they feel guilty that, in their absence, the Tigers had to use women and children to fight their cause. What do the men who ran away tell their children when asked ‘what did you do during the war, appachchi?’ The act of abdication of those Tamil should be leaders of the 70’s and 80’s have now come home to roost. There is a dearth now of Tamil leaders – to lead reconciliation and guide the disoriented to take the opportunities that will surely come their way. Many unsung heroes are battling against odds; and many of these heroes are younger Tamils of the diaspora who are now returning to try and repair the damage of the past.
    The Tamils in the diaspora have one important decision to make at this critical juncture; assimilate into, and play a full part, in their adopted communities, or return to SL and work with the community they left behind. Sri Lankans, of all races and political hues can well do without the current long-distance parading, posturing and politicking that goes on. What must stop now, once and for all times is the incessant finger pointing as to who was responsible for doing what and when.
    The GOSL learned one very important lesson out of all this; that there must never, ever, be another no-go area in SL that will allow any group who wishes to divide SL, unhindered opportunity. Expect our armed forces to spread themselves around the island and make themselves at home for a very, very, long time.

    • Padraig Colman

      I would be interested to see Usha’s response to this:

      “Meanwhile a vociferous Tamil diaspora formed of men who took the opportunity to run away to calmer, prosperous climes. And now they cry like women for a cause they couldn’t defend like men. Perhaps, they feel guilty that, in their absence, the Tigers had to use women and children to fight their cause. What do the men who ran away tell their children when asked ‘what did you do during the war, appachchi?’ The act of abdication of those Tamil should be leaders of the 70’s and 80’s have now come home to roost. There is a dearth now of Tamil leaders – to lead reconciliation and guide the disoriented to take the opportunities that will surely come their way. Many unsung heroes are battling against odds; and many of these heroes are younger Tamils of the diaspora who are now returning to try and repair the damage of the past.

      The Tamils in the diaspora have one important decision to make at this critical juncture; assimilate into, and play a full part, in their adopted communities, or return to SL and work with the community they left behind. Sri Lankans, of all races and political hues can well do without the current long-distance parading, posturing and politicking that goes on. What must stop now, once and for all times is the incessant finger pointing as to who was responsible for doing what and when.”

      • J Fernando

        Interesting point, but as an Irishman I am wondering what your role/agenda is in all this?

        I for one am a strong believer that when you look in your passport and if your passport says it was issued by the SL government then you have a say in the internal affairs of the country if it does not then I don’t think you should comment. This is my personal view !

        To me there is no difference between foreign passport holding diaspora shouting themselves hoarse from Europe or an Irishman shouting himself hoarse from SL !!!

        • Off the Cuff

          Dear “J Fernando”,

          What has the Passport got to do with Padraig expressing a wish to see Usha’s comment?

          Why do you want to deny him that?

        • Padraig Colman

          J Fernando says: “Interesting point, but as an Irishman I am wondering what your role/agenda is in all this? I for one am a strong believer that when you look in your passport and if your passport says it was issued by the SL government then you have a say in the internal affairs of the country if it does not then I don’t think you should comment. This is my personal view !To me there is no difference between foreign passport holding diaspora shouting themselves hoarse from Europe or an Irishman shouting himself hoarse from SL !!!”

          “Interesting point, but as an Irishman I am wondering…”

          Are you an Irishman, J Fernando? That is what you are saying. You probably don’t mean that though do you?

          You are of course entitled to your personal view even if it is stupid. Good luck with making a fool of yourself by expressing stupid ideas in a public forum. I hope for your sake you are not using your real name.

          I am not shouting myself hoarse. I am engaging in calm discourse. I have no agenda or sinister purpose. You are the one using an excess of exclamation marks. Do you really think that someone who has chosen to live in Sri Lanka and has lived there for over ten years, should be prohibited from writing anything about Sri Lanka? I acknowledge that I still have much to learn about Sri Lanka and am always open to correction and civilised debate.

          In the past, I have found that people who say I have no right to discuss Sri Lanka because I am a foreigner are people who have themselves, unlike me, chosen to live outside Sri Lanka. Where do you live, Mr Fernando?

          • J Fernando

            I am very much in Sri Lanka my boy, don’t you fret about that !
            My point is if a a foreigner like you can comment on the affairs of Sri Lanka what makes you feel that people like Usha cannot? Its fair game I think, your argument for commenting is that you have lived here for a mere 10 years and Usha’s argument is that she has family here, so she is entitled to comment.
            While I disagree with her comments I don’t try to stop her using racist language and harsh commentary as you and your likes have done.

          • Padraig Colman

            What do you mean by “you and your likes”? What makes you say that I have tried to stop Usha stating her opinion? How would I be able to do that if I wanted to? Disagreement is not the same as censorship. It gives me great pleasure to be able to demolish her arguments. Bring it on!

          • Keynes!

            Padraig,

            1. Is Sri Lanka your adopted country?

            2. Which nationality do you belong to?

            4. What passport do you hold? Irish? British? Sri Lanka?

          • Padraig Colman

            What business is that of yours? What relevance does it have to this discussion? I will answer anyway. My passport is Irish. Sri Lanka has been my home since 2002 and I intend it to be my home for ever. Happy?

          • http://www.groundviews.org Groundviews

            Padraig, thank you for your response – and we hope this matter is now settled to all those who have raised it directly. We encourage commentators to stick to more important points and debate substance, instead of endless discussions on the marginal, the trivial and in cases, the downright nonsensical.

          • Padraig Colman

            Thank you Sanjana. I quite agree. You generally manage to conduct a more grow-up debate than Colombo Telegraph.I would just like to add that I live eight-hours’ drive from the fleshpots of Colombo, surrounded by Tamils and Muslims with whom I get on well. The nearest white face belongs to a 92-year-old Englishman who lives an hour and a half’s drive from us.He has lived here since 1956. I have not set foot outside Sri Lanka for seven years. I say this not to boast about anything or to justify myself but just to indicate that I may have a distinct perspective.

          • Off the Cuff

            Dear “J Fernando”

            You wrote “My point is if a a foreigner like you can comment on the affairs of Sri Lanka what makes you feel that people like Usha cannot?”

            Strange logic when the same objections are not raised when Gordon Weiss, Yasmin Sooka and a host of other foreigners commented on GV Peddling SPURIOUS death figures amongst other lies, in support of Tamil Separatists like Usha, without a MURMUR of dissent from you.

            Please cure your Myopia before you comment.
            Where has Padraig stated that Usha cannot comment?

            Of course Padraig has a right to comment as his countrymen have been Killed by the LTTE in Sri Lanka. If you don’t like it, contest it, without resorting to spurious Ad Hominem arguments (which seems to be your forte).

            You wrote “While I disagree with her comments …”

            Where have you expressed that Disagreement? Not on GV you haven’t. Can you provide a LINK to a single comment you have made on GV challenging her?

            If you can tolerate a person Lying through her teeth and arousing Tamil emotions, that is inimical to reconciliation, without one word of challenge what makes your bile boil, reading Padraig’s comments? Has he being lying like Usha?

            Is Usha telling the TRUTH about the Citizenship Act or is she fanning Hatred by lying about Ceylon Citizenship and peddling it as a DISENFRANCHISEMENT of a TARGETED Indian Tamil Community?

            Do you not recognise Usha’s hypocrisy when she writes about the Indian Tamils as their comrades and social equals when victims of that “camaraderie” say they were treated like Excreta by the Jaffna Tamils? Please read Sebastian Rasalingam to be enlightened. He states that the South was a different world to Jaffna and the Sinhalese would sit with him and his Indian Tamil wife to enjoy a cup of tea together (some of his writings are available on DBS Jayaraj.com).

            Usha is a Senator of the TGT Eelam whose members have been financing the Tamil Terrorists in Sri Lanka to the tune of US$ 200 million annually. Hence she and all others who supported the LTTE, Murdered NON COMBATANT CIVILIANS in Lanka, by PROXY.

            Those Civilians included members of her own community (men women and children). It included citizens of Sri Lanka belonging to EVERY Ethnic community and Foreigners from Japan, UK, France, Pakistan and others.

            She along with like minded persons are responsible for the Bus bombs, Train bombs, Bus and Rail station bombs, Hotel bombs, Bank bombs, Shopping mall bombs, Mosque massacres, Village massacres, Temple massacres etc. She is also responsible for Civilian Aircraft attacks in which many foreigners died (the Lionair attack killed 52 all 48 passengers were Tamil, the crew of 4 were Russian, Air Lanka Flight 512 killed many foreigners bound for Maldives from Gatwick).

            Usha does not show any repentance for her actions in supporting Terrorism. Even today she addresses the Terrorists who TARGETED unarmed Civilians by placing BOMBS in Public places as Rebels and not as Terrorists.

        • Padraig Colman

          And btw J Fernando, I am not your “boy”. I am an elderly person. Show some respect for my grey hairs, my creaking joints and my extreme wealth of worldly experience!

          • Padraig Colman

            I realise now that Burning Issue is making the same point as Nihal/Heshan/Observer made many times. Are they the same person? Because my passport was issued in Cork City, he holds me responsible for every action perpetrated by an Irishman over the several past centuries. In spite of the fact that I have been stringently critical of Irish terrorists, Irish criminals, the Irish church, Irish governments and MEPs, not to mention Irish entries in the Eurovision song Contest, I am a hypocrite purely because of my genes.

    • Padraig Colman

      Reading Usha’s articles on Colombo Telegraph a phrase came into my mind. “The pornography of vicarious victim-hood”.

    • CINCINATTUS

      Spring Koha:
      You hit the nail on the head or many nails on the head– particularly re your comments on the irresponsible and mendacious,and at times and emotionally overwrought, diaspora Tamils.They seem incapable of any kind of rational analysis and practical wisdom.
      The suffering of the Tamils in Sri Lanka is occasioned both by the policies of successive sri lankan governments and foolish theories of the Tamil leadership and the self-defeating strategies that they fostered.The diaspora cannot avoid responsibilty for this suffering by adopting new postures after having uncriticaaly supported the delusional and murderous tactics of the militants.

      • Gamarala

        I don’t understand this fascination with the extremist fringe of the Tamil diaspora. The fact remains that they’re largely a defeated group, and other than rubbing salt in their wounds, I fail to see why the present moment is a good time to change calcified minds, even if such a thing were possible, when the prevailing climate is hardly conducive to it? And even if such a feat could be achieved, a long shot indeed, what difference would it make?

        The problem isn’t the irrelevant diaspora, but the relevant facts on the ground. The relevants facts are that we’ve concluded this war with a dishonourable “peace”, a disinterest in the LLRC, an increase in ethno-religious fanaticism (e.g. the Bodu Bala Sena) and the entrenchment of a semi-feudal autocratic ruling mindset. Honestly, how much worse can the diaspora make this situation? Haven’t we got bigger fish to fry?

  • Dr Dayan Jayatilleka

    If the recent and utterly laudable convictions of Rios Montt( Guatemala) and Videla (Argentina) demonstrate anything it is that it takes (a) a domestic process issuing from a domestic consensus and (b) that in turn, often takes decades.

  • Kuthrguvilakku

    Padraig Colman.
    Thanks you for your observations of the discussions at the Seminar. I have no access to the IDAG-S Report. Is it available in the Web? You observe that the report said that,

    “These satellite images show that shells fired by the SLA from February to May mostly avoided concentrations of civilians and in the final weeks had used hardly any artillery.”

    There is Video evidence I have seen that shells/bombs were falling in areas of civilian concentrations up to May 13. There is ground evidence available for those who wish to travel to Mullivaikal where the last camps of civilians were and inspect the area. Up to Nov 2012 any visitor can see the remains of the meager belongings left behind by the displaced campers including clothing and photo albums. They may still be there. If you are going from Mullaitivu, the last camps come into site as soon as you cross the Vadduvaikal.

    Most of all you can count the shell/bomb craters where the civilians camped in blocks of land. You can take pictures of them and thumb through the fast fading water damaged photo-albums. But it is best for you to leave them behind. You can also talk to the survivors and listen to the shells and bombs falling and their families dying instantly blown to pieces or bleeding to death. I have asked some of the survivors to visit with me to the last camps they left, hoping that such a revisit and mourning may help them. None of them wanted to. Many of them left their dead or dying behind to escape with the living. For them revisiting would be too painful to bear. May be the authors of the Report should visit the scene of the last camp and count the craters and talk to some of the displaced families to corroborate with the satellite images.

    • Padraig Colman
    • Manjula

      But none of the things you are talking about suggests that all those shells were certainly fired by SLA and intentionally to kill civilians. They are only very easy and cheap knee-jerk type assumptions.

    • Hikz

      Can you share this video evidence you claim to have seen with us? It’ll go a long way towards nailing Sri Lanka at The Hague, because evidence has been the missing piece of the puzzle so far.

  • Jayalath

    I can imagine the intention of people to speak about this matter at the size of comments . If you go down to other articals has been published recently that you will see still a significant courage of people to write about Sri lankan war and post war . Which I do not say should disregarded .

    However , the artical is already filling up with contentious comments As it seems to me the very first artical on this site has taken a distinctive side of state , therefore, I believe , this is as an effort of state slightly slip off from previous allegations which formally made by various institutions in the world .
    But said like , every dog has own day , the state is heading to positive stance after horrible abuse of authority .
    I personally would not agree neither Ltte Nor the State , but eventually the guns are silence which is a relief .
    AND I do not Also disregard the capabilities of a state to craft any thing to their interest .
    Therefore , it is our duty to determine in the future to attend any thing with every body’s benifit , interest and participation .

  • George

    Funny a Irishman talking about Sri Lanka where are our reporters?

    • Manjula

      Is it relevant whether it is an Irishman or an American? Is this another display of “race” card on everything?
      If an Irishman cannot talk about it then none of the US or Canadian or UK guys should talk about it too, including all the foreigners in Amnesty, HRW etc etc.

      • Padraig Colman

        Manjula, my impression , I could be wrong, is that, unlike, J Fernando, Heshan/Nihal/Perera/Observer and Ajith Randeniya, George is not objecting to an Irishman writing about Sri Lanka.

        • Manjula

          Michael (or Padraig), please include my name also in that list of those people who don’t object you talking about Sri Lankan affairs. As you rightly explained you are more entitled to it than those who live outside.
          I have noticed you as one who always discuss things sitting at the middle. The other contrasting difference in you is that you don’t viciously attack using very low filthy language, to those who oppose your views. I have been to and expressed my views in some other forums where the author or the owner of the form only wants “yes men” and they used very filthy language to discourage others who oppose the view in the article, displaying they are closely related to Hon. Mervyn Silva. The funny thing is that they swear in the forum that they are “open minded” but attack viciously when opposition views were expressed. I simply keep away from those filthy forum sites and the authors. I have noticed the name of that particular author participating in this form too. I will never reply to that guy regardless of what he says. That is exactly what I will do to Hon. Mervyn Silva and also to my neighbor’s pet dog and the like.

  • Kuththuvilakku

    Padraig Colman.
    http://www.satp.org/satporgtp/countries/shrilanka/document/TheNG.pdf

    Thanks for sharing the pdf for the groundviewers. I shall study it. I wished it was published in the groundviews with your observations. I see that the website in which it is published is “Forbidden” for accessing other documents that the South Asia Terrorism Portal (satp) has. I trust you have permission to share the SL document.

  • Spring Koha

    This is re comments by J Fernando. I am intrigued at your questioning the right of Padraig Colman, or anyone not unquestionably Sri Lankan, to write on matters Sri Lankan. Fernando sounds very Iberian to me. Generously assuming you are Sri Lankan (goigama would be best), you take a typically SL parochial approach as to who can get involved in our affairs. Consider that we managed, all by ourselves, for over sixty years, to transform what was a very parish affair into a messy international ‘problem’. I know of a time when we could present ourselves with head held high at immigration counters anywhere in the world and be treated as welcome guests. Not anymore. We let ourselves down by our own failure to solve our problems and the upshot of it all was the flooding of the five continents with a slew of our political refugees (post the April ’71 JVP uprising) followed by a surge of asylum seekers since the 80’s. Then those others who have had to take ‘temporary’ refugee; the journalists, the politicians who ‘fell out of favour’, the many officer class who left ‘because their ‘families were in danger’ et al. So, having internationalized our problems, it is a bit rich to ask the rest of the world to keep out. Perhaps if we listened to the well-intentioned, considered and constructive opinion that comes our way – the quicker we might be at clearing up the unholy mess we have bequeathed to our children and the world.

  • fed up

    I have a question for usha and all those supporters of a tamil eelam….how many tamil doctors and engineers and other professionals living in the west have contributed anyhing more than a few bucks for the cause? Have any of you sent your sons and daughters to die for it??? NO! Since we are talking about numbers here, how easy it is to go around throwing words like genocide and holocaust without looking atthe real situation. I am really fed up, as a tamil, to be told by those of you who livein the west in your comfy postcodes that you represent me. Non of you do,because during the war when you all left, it was the poor tamils without exit options who died…and it was their sons and daughters, who were either conscripted by force or went willingly, who died. Duringthe final days of the war, in the west, it was quite the rage to walk around with wrist bands and banners saying ‘free tamil eelam’and there were lots of professionals who kept talking fondly of this tamil eelam that they wanted to create…but no one among them sent heir children back to fight…oh no,it was all ok or some poor mothers son to die, but not their precious offspring.
    I think we tamils need to take a good look at ourselves before throwing stones at the sinhalese. For reconciliation, theremust be truth. But before trying to take on the government aboutany atrocities, let us look at what the tigers did to our own people….as a teenager, i was enamoured with the tigers,but i later realised how they treated our own people and the countless other sinhalese and muslim civilians. A n atrocity is an atrocity, no matter who commits it..
    Yes,i too feel that instead of a victory parade, it would have been great if the government declares may 19 a day of peace so that we can all commemorate our dead…..but without the tiger flags please. As a tamil living in sri lanka, i do not want a seperate state. All i want is the right to be me and live with dignity. I enjoy the sights of vesak and eid celebrations of my neighbours. I do not want to live in an exclusively tamil state. Surely, you livng in canada know how great multiculturalism is…
    Yes there are grave problems faced by us, but why dont you and all the gtge and global tamil forum people come down to sri lanka and take on the govwrnment head on????
    Wihout arguing with off the cuff, david blacker and the rest, come to sri lanka, and see the realities of our lives. There are many issues faced by tamils, but let us resolve them through dialogue. Let us turn away from calls for separation, but instead look for ways to ensure equal rights for sinhalese, tamils, muslims and burghers and Please help us celebrate our diversiy instead of going behind pipe dreams.

    • Usha S Sri-Skanda-Rajah

      Mr.fed up

      That’s right blame it on the Tamil diaspora!

      With all due respects can you tell me what the SL government has done to ensure equal rights to everyone; please tell me what they have done so far? I certainly will shut-up (enjoying life like normal people do and dying peacefully, possibly in the land of my birth)and will be the happiest if power is devolved in such a way that Tamils will enjoy the same right to self determination as the Sinhalese have always enjoyed since independence – only their governments have been ineffective and inefficient and have done very little towards making Ceylon our once beloved country – a leading, rich, island paradise in Asia, which they could have done – if they were not busy since independence figuring out and finding ways on how they can crush the Tamils by legislation and policies intended to marginalize and persecute them – instead of moving forward and allowing each province to blossom into thriving economic power centres (then there would have been no youth revolts in the South either). Now that the government has, going full blast “killed” all dissent from the Tamil side, they are still pursuing a Sinhala Buddhist agenda, not catering to diversity at all, but busy lining their own personal pockets, building a dynasty and concentrating power within a family, not to mention changing the constitution for the family to remain in power in perpetuity while most Sinhala people are below the poverty line and are in eternal slumber (little knowing what is happening to them)except for the racist forces who are still delirious under triumphalism – turning their hatred towards the Muslims and concentrating on how they could crush the Muslim people’s entrepreneurial skills and take over their Gem trade, so that they could have the island all to themselves. No lessons have been learned, that’s for sure.

      We need statesmen with vision.

      It’s my homeland too, let me remind you.

      Please read the following from my writings:

      “The Tamil NorthEast is an occupied zone. Four years after the war ended it was expected that in the name of peace and reconciliation the Sri Lankan government would have dismantled the High Security Zones, closed all army cantonments, removed army check points, given back the lands it stole from the people and would leave the NorthEast, paving the way for a political solution that devolved substantive powers to the NorthEast, the Tamil homeland.”

      “Self-determination would mean as a nation, we can become the architects of our own destiny and herald a new era of freedom and self governance. We can then put Tamil Eelam first; put the people first; their security, prosperity and happiness first. It boils down to having the freedom to determine our affairs and not be dictated to by another nation. Taking a leaf from Abe Lincoln, at last we can say with certainty that ours will truly be “a government of the people, by the people, for the people.” It will free us from enslavement and subjugation: from a Sinhala dictatorship devoid of checks and balances that has no mandate to rule over us; from strangulation by Sinhala majoritarian parliaments known to legislate in its interest not in ours; from an Sinhala army of occupation; from diminishing boundaries due to forced Sinhala settlements intended to change the demography; from systematic structural genocide: At last we shall have control over our resources and our finances, enabling us to determine our own taxes, negotiate our own contracts and foreign investment deals and to develop our economy with our people in mind, giving us the best opportunities to realize our own potential.”

      • fed up

        Aiyo usha! Im not for a minute trying to white wash this goverment…since the end of the war they have squandered many an opportunity and have caused more problems than offered solutions….but as a tamil livin here in sri lanka, i do have an issue with the diaspora waving ltte flags. Why dont the diaspora just stand for tamil rights and not tiger rights? At each vigil to commemorate those who died during the last days of the war, why dont the diaspora make it more dignified, sans any political affiliation…i.e. th tigers???? The ltte morphed into something i never expected. Initially, i hought of hm as freedom fighter…but look at what they did to us usha…i have met a 9 year old child who was conscripted…it is not a memory i will evr forget. You hav to understand that though the tigers became hugely popular at one time, toward the end hy were total dictators who did not tolerate any opposition. I too thought of them as ‘our boys’…..but they wanted nothing short of eelam at the cost of democracy for us tamils! Remember, u oppose them, you get shot! It is your homeland too, but hat will you do when u gt it, will you chase h muslims out again??? I think as the tgte should at least apologise to the muslim community who were given 24hrs to leave behind everyhig they loved. Please understand usha, that i would love to see tamil activists committed to ensuring our rights within a unified country. My concerns for this separate state is that even if you get it, how will tamil treat fellow tamils, let alone thoseof other ethnicities??? The caste system is alive and well in th north, so will low caste people b allowed into top positions? If you are fihting against racism, will you allow a muslim or sinhalese into top positions in tamil eelam? Usha, practically speaking, why dont the tgte conduct a survey amongst the tamils who live in sri lanka, to find out wht we really want….dont claim that you speak for all of us without finding out what we who liv here, really want. So again i say, come back to sri lanka all of you and take on the government head on. As for the land grabbing, only mp sumanthiran has done anyhing concrete for us, he has helped those people file a case….you can talk bout it, but lets have practical action please.

      • Off the Cuff

        Usha,

        Why did you obliterate, with your rhetoric, the most important question that Mr Fed up asked you?

        “….but no one among them sent their children back to fight…oh no,it was all ok or some poor mothers son to die, but not their precious offspring.”

        Did you or Did you not play the poor Tamils for a sucker?

        Did you not use this same rhetoric to fool the Tamils of Lanka living in the Vanni to sacrifice their Lives, their Children’s Lives and their freedom so that a bunch of power hungry and greedy Tamil Elites, some of who now call themselves the Transnational Govt of Tamil Eelam, to live in Luxury with power?

        Mr Fed Up is an example of a Tamil who refuses to be hoodwinked by your pseudo concern for them.

        You whip up Tamil emotion with a lot of Hog Wash. The pseudo concern and camaraderie you now show the Indian Tamils, is trashed by the writings of Sebastian Rasalingam who was a recipient of that Kindness and Camaraderie.

        You ask what the SL govt did for the Tamils. But you should have asked what the Elite Tamils did for the Tamil polity.

        Prior to the Prevention Of Social Disabilities Act No. 21 of 1957 the members of the Tamil Community could not even travel in buses in Jaffna (they were owned and operated by Tamil Elites). Could not sit in class at a table with his peers and had to study sitting on the ground or a low stool (even the blacks of America did not have such degrading treatment in school. They sat at table on chairs as their peers did). They could not draw water from a well as that would defile the water to the High Cast Elites like yourself. They had to get down in the drain when the High Casts passed them on the roads. And they could not worship their religion as equals.

        And that was the state of Jaffna even 10 years after Independence. The so called Sinhalese Parliament had to intervene by enacting laws to prevent this social apartheid practiced by the likes of you and prosecute people like C Suntheralingam (a Tamil Elitist Leader) to emancipate the Tamil polity from your strangulating inhuman grip. Suntheralingam even appealed to the Privy Council UK, in an attempt to perpetuate this segregation. If you need more proof, it’s available as a Privy Council decision.

        I note that unlike your earlier posts, you did not write about disenfranchisement this time around. Did the Privy Council Interpretation have anything to do with that Lie?

        Here is Sebastian Rasalingam in his own words.

        “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”

        Source dbsjayaraj.com

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

        Usha, you say that the GoSL has killed all dissent on the Tamil side; but isn’t it true that it was the Tigers that destroyed all other Tamil voices? Isn’t it a fact that this action ensured that once the Tigers were destroyed that there was no other Tamil voices? Isn’t it also true that by destroying all other representatives of the Tamils and usurping the role of sole representation the Tigers ensured that any voice of Tamil dissent in the foreseeable future would be bound to the Tigers by association?

        Also, do you not see the TNA as a voice of Tamil dissent? Or do you believe that your so-called unelected government in exile is the sole representative of the Tamils now?

        You also say that you expected that after four years the GoSL would withdraw the SL military from the NE. Given that you and the other Tamil separatists have for four years unswervingly attempted to overthrow the current administration by prosecuting its leaders for alleged war crime, in which universe did you expect that the GoSL would reciprocate by withdrawing the military? Do you not understand that your actions are one of the primary reasons for a large military presence in the NE? Do you not realize that opposition to you and your organisation’s actions are the most unifying of factors amongst Sri Lankans; that you actions and words strengthen and feed the regime you hate?

        The Northern and Eastern Provinces of SL are part of this country and will be defended and protected by our armed forces. There will be a military presence in the NE as there is a military presence throughout SL regardless of war. There will be a large military presence in the NE for at least another generation, and rightly so, just as there was an Allied one in Germany and Japan. Your rhetoric and threats will only prolong that presence.

        I am still hoping that you will have the integrity your position in your organisation requires and answer the questions I have put to you in my previous comments instead of fobbing it off on the Darusman Report which has failed to answer the crucial issues in this debate.

        • Usha S Sri-Skanda-Rajah

          David Blacker
          Writing in haste…
          Sadly you are the one making the threats – trying to muzzle us with the threat that the SL army will be occupying our homeland for generations if we continue to ask for an international investigation – and in your words, “your threats and rhetoric will prolong it,” is a real threat indeed – to think you say that with authority as though you are speaking for your military, makes me conclude that I shouldn’t be talking to you, there’s no point!

          Thanks to Groundviews for allowing me to air my views.

          About the casualty figures, if you care, please read the UN Internal Review Panel Report or my article on the Panel’s findings on UN’s failure to correctly “present data” on casualties caused by the Rajapaksa Government at the crucial time the war was in progress: http://dbsjeyaraj.com/dbsj/archives/12811

          Also please Google Julian Vigo’s Independent report and you’ll have the answer to your question about what the UN workers said!

          I can’t access my e-mail or the net – I am using another computer to write this! No one has hacked into my computer – I just need to repair/change my computer.

          Thank you everyone for your replies to me!

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

            “Sadly you are the one making the threats – trying to muzzle us with the threat that the SL army will be occupying our homeland for generations if we continue to ask for an international investigation – and in your words, “your threats and rhetoric will prolong it,” is a real threat indeed “

            Lol what? If I tell you that jumping off a cliff will probably kill you, do you consider that a threat? It’s a statement of fact. You have after four years of crying wolf found not a single iota of evidence, and yet you persist in polarizing opinion and alienating the people of SL regardless of the consequences to the Tamils in the NE. None of you volunteered yourselves or your children to the war; you sat in safety in the west while the poor Tamils of the NE fought for the cause; and now, you show the same disregard for the well being of those people and the generations to come by pursuing a campaign of revenge that has no hope of succeeding.

            “to think you say that with authority as though you are speaking for your military, makes me conclude that I shouldn’t be talking to you, there’s no point!”

            I am very authoritative on the law of gravity too, but I do not speak for it. The lack of a point in your argument is the fact that you don’t have any evidence to back up your claims, rather than my stand. I am quite open to conversations (even pointless ones), because I have the facts at hand. I’m surprised that you as an appointed official in your organisation is instead attempting to bluster your way through this debate. Surely the topic warrants a bit more effort.

            “About the casualty figures, if you care, please read the UN Internal Review Panel Report or my article on the Panel’s findings on UN’s failure to correctly “present data” on casualties caused by the Rajapaksa Government at the crucial time the war was in progress: http://dbsjeyaraj.com/dbsj/archives/12811

            I do care, and as I HAVE TOLD YOU TWICE BEFORE, I have indeed read the report and find no evidence to back up the conclusions on casualties. Can you quote the portion of the report that presents such evidence, if indeed it exists as you claim :D As for your writing, you too present no evidence to back up your claim that the UN falsified the figures or were pressured into falsifying figures. I have asked you repeatedly to prove your claims, but you only point to the same report which everyone agrees has no evidence. I’m disappointed at this lack of any substance in your argument. I do hope there are others in your organisation with more skill at this.

            “Also please Google Julian Vigo’s Independent report and you’ll have the answer to your question about what the UN workers said!”

            Why should I google for what you can’t find? If there’s anything in that report that substantiates your claims, please have the common courtesy to quote it rather than expect others to help you build an argument.

            “I can’t access my e-mail or the net – I am using another computer to write this! No one has hacked into my computer – I just need to repair/change my computer.”

            Well, I hope you can get it repaired in time to provide the evidence you claim exists.

            “Thank you everyone for your replies to me!”

            You’re welcome, but it would have been nice if you had answered our questions.

          • Usha S Sri-Skanda-Rajah

            David Blacker

            Blacker: “Lol what? If I tell you that jumping off a cliff will probably kill you, do you consider that a threat? It’s a statement of fact. You have after four years of crying wolf found not a single iota of evidence, and yet you persist in polarizing opinion and alienating the people of SL regardless of the consequences to the Tamils in the NE.”

            Are you saying your threats are statements of fact and what I say aren’t?

            Are you telling me that there isn’t a single iota of evidence against your government, the Rajapaksa regime??? This smacks of the same, preposterous lie of the century told by your bosses:”zero civilian casualty, not a drop of blood shed”

            Are you threatening me yet again that my opinions will have consequences???

            Enough is enough; there’s none so blind as they that won’t see! (Please see links further below on the EVIDENCE you wanted, this is my last reply as this should answer all your questions, so don’t claim ignorance.)

            However please note your threats are not going to silence me – your government can’t go on harming my people – you should be ashamed to issue threats like this; you are no different from your government.

            Blacker: “Why should I google for what you can’t find? If there’s anything in that report that substantiates your claims, please have the common courtesy to quote it rather than expect others to help you build an argument.”

            I could easily get the link, I know it too well – and you too can access the link if you are savvy – you don’t want to I can see and the reasons are obvious – I asked you to checkout the link because I was having a problem accessing the net (now I also find my e-mail was blocked by Microsoft as they noticed some unusual activity???!!! – some one has tried invade my mail)

            Here is the link to Julian Vigo’s report:
            http://endoplasm.org/independent-report-on-sri-lanka-and-united-nations-human-rights-violations/

            As though you didn’t know, here below are some links to the EVIDENCE you were asking!
            ——————————
            Sri Lanka: Evidence of War Crimes
            Links to evidence of Sri Lankan War Atrocities amounting to War Crimes, Crimes Against Humanity and Genocide:
            Video Evidence and Articles:

            Sri Lanka: The Hidden Massacre

            http://www.mefeedia.com/watch/29498116

            http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article6383449.ece

            Slaughter in Sri Lanka:

            http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/leading_article/article6382706.ece

            http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/leading_article/article6276147.ece

            Sri Lanka never killed any civilians as such

            http://www.tamildaily.net/2010/12/02/sri-lanka-never-killed-any-civilians-as-such-rajapaksa-tells-the-times/

            Actual short video footage showing Killings by Sri Lanka Army of unidentified Tamils – by courtesy of TamilNet

            http://www.tamilnet.com/img/publish/2009/08/killings_by_SLA.3gp

            “Kill everybody and finish them off”: Orders came from the top

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vdFKlQT_Ta8&feature=related

            Sri Lanka execution video: new war crimes claims – Channel 4 News exposes longer video which suggests Tamil women were bound, undressed and sexually assaulted before they were shot dead:

            http://www.channel4.com/news/sri-lanka-execution-video-new-war-crimes-claims

            Actual unedited version of long video: viewer’s discretion advised
            http://www.lobbyforpeace.com

            With apologies to Isaippriya for including this gruesome un-edited video – Isaippriya a television reporter, a non- combatant, who has been identified as one of the Tamil women in the video who was allegedly gang raped and killed by Sri Lankan troops)

            Getting away with Genocide: Headlines Today – in association with India Today: “In Isaippriya the clamor for justice found a definitive face, a Tamil Television Journalist, an unarmed non combatant, stripped and in all probability gang raped and shot with her hands tied at the back.”

            http://headlinestoday.intoday.in/site/headlines_today/ProgrammesShow?catName=Ground%20Zero&video=0&counter=null&contentId=121916&catId=45

            Channel 4 News can name a woman journalist as one of the victims in the Sri Lanka execution video along with damning new details of the date and location where the video was filmed.

            http://www.channel4.com/news/sri-lanka-war-crimes-video-womans-body-identified

            Revelations that Sri Lanka can’t deny – The rape and murder of Issaippriya

            http://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/sri-lanka-cant-deny-colombo-telegraph-revelation-turns-sri-lankas-war-crime-in-to-a-new-chapter/

            A leading war crimes lawyer tells Channel 4 News the video apparently showing men taking part in executions in Sri Lanka is “astonishing evidence” and the United Nations must act.

            http://www.channel4.com/news/sri-lanka-video-is-astonishing-evidence

            Identified LTTE leaders who were killed on 18 May 2009 by 53 Division troops:

            http://www.defence.lk/new.asp?fname=20090621_02_TerrList

            Wiki Leaks: US memo accuses Rajapakse of war crimes
            http://www.channel4.com/news/wikileaks-sri-lanka-leadership-responsible-for-crimes
            http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/us-embassy-cables-documents/243811

            GENOCIDE: LEAKED FOOTAGE OF EXECUTION OF TAMIL CIVILIANS BY SRILANKAN GOVERNMENT

            http://www.youtube.com/verify_age?next_url=http%3A//www.youtube.com/watch%3Fv%3DK7leSySfn0A
            Sri Lanka Executions Video from CNN

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eksn5X7lT6s&feature=related
            War crime evidence in Sri Lanka

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZODCxStdHg&feature=related

            Authentication of video by experts: call for international investigation – channel 4

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ikqp4u-fmtA&feature=related

            SHOCKING LEAK: SRI LANKAN ARMY MASS RAPE AND EXECUTION OF TAMIL WOMEN (REPORT BY AUSTRALIAN MEDIA)

            http://en.kendincos.net/video-hndhvvp-shocking-leak-sri-lankan-army-mass-rape-and-execution-of-tamil-women-report-by-australian-media-.html

            War crimes during the Sri Lankan war? Video

            http://www.pakistan.tv/videos-war-crimes-during-the-sri-lankan-%5BsGGwyMeLs70%5D.cfm

            SECRET CAMERA – CHANNEL 4 NEWS REVEALS SCENES AT SRILANKA GOVT CONCENTRATION CAMPS

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lDSsEXjsbhQ&feature=related

            War crimes in Sri Lanka

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IF0fJJn6oi0&feature=related
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iaPf1RxQ4f4&feature=related

            UN – Deeming Sri Lanka execution video authentic, UN expert calls for war crimes probe

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R7zaSJMkXuE&feature=related

            Miliband in stand-up row with Sri Lanka defence minister over civilian deaths

            http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article6197466.ece

            UK urges Ban to sack Nambiar, appoint full-time Burma envoy

            http://www.mizzima.com/edop/commentary/4680-uk-urges-ban-to-sack-nambiar-appoint-full-time-burma-envoy.html

            WIKI LEAKS: SRI LANKA: GSL COMPLICITY IN PARAMILITARY
            – Robert Blake

            http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/us-embassy-cables-documents/108763

            Up to 30,000 ‘disabled’ by Sri Lankan shells – Telegraph
            http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/srilanka/5378047/Up-to-30000-disabled-by-Sri-Lankan-shells.html

            Prageeth missing due to ‘chemical weapon probe’

            http://www.bbc.co.uk/sinhala/news/story/2011/01/110128_prageeth_galle.shtml

            Nadesan’s son provides damning testimony against the army killers which constitute “war crimes”

            http://www.tamildaily.net/2010/12/25/nadesans-son-provides-damning-testimony-against-the-army-killers-which-constitute-war-crimes/

            Video of Col. Ramesh being interrogated – definitive proof that he was captured alive

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WSfR5IFFUIw&NR=1

            Col. Ramesh’s wife wants UN to inquire into her husband’s whereabouts: “…CD (Video) … is definite proof that he was captured alive….if anything happened to him then the UN should investigate over his death. It is a war crime if my husband is no longer alive.”
            Testimony of Col. Ramesh’s wife, submitted by TGTE to the UN Panel of Experts:

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WSfR5IFFUIw&NR=1

            GORDON WEISS, FORMER UN SPOKESMAN IN SRI LANKA – Interview with ABC April 26, 2011
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CIJav9HgEwc

            Credible Allegations of war crimes during the Sri Lankan Civil War – UN Panel
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alleged_war_crimes_during_the_Sri_Lankan_Civil_War

            http://www.un.org/News/dh/infocus/Sri_Lanka/POE_Report_Full.pdf

            Jayalalithaa slams Gotabaya Rajapaksa

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

            Ban forwards report on Sri Lanka war crimes to top UN human rights body
            http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=39520&Cr=Sri+Lanka&Cr1

            Sri Lankan president under investigation – ABC
            Prime Minister Gillard makes statement about the Australian Federal Police investigation of three prominent Sri Lankans including the country’s President:
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GoAnh1_u4CA&feature=share

            Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields – Channel 4 UK

            http://www.channel4.com/programmes/sri-lankas-killing-fields

            No Fire Zone trailer
            http://nofirezone.org/trailer

            Photographic evidence of war crimes in Sri Lanka, or not? (Updated)

            http://groundviews.org/2011/07/02/photographic-evidence-of-war-crimes-in-sri-lanka-or-not/

            The end of war in Sri Lanka, captured for posterity by Google Earth

            http://groundviews.org/2012/09/12/the-end-of-war-in-sri-lanka-captured-for-posterity-by-google-earth/

            Sri Lankan General Admits War Crimes; US May Hold Crucial Supporting Evidence

            http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/6187:sri-lankan-general-admits-war-crimes-us-may-hold-crucial-supporting-evidence

            UN Leaked – UNOSAT satellite imagery analysis implicates Sri Lankan Government of War Crimes

            http://www.warwithoutwitness.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=133:un-leaked-unosat-satellite-imagery-analysis-implicates-sri-lankan-government-of-war-crimes&catid=39:by-war-without-witness&Itemid=62

            http://www.warwithoutwitness.com/images/stories/PDF/UNOSAT_Report_Damage_IDP_analysis_19April2009_v6.pdf

          • Padraig Colman

            This is madness! This is no way to conduct a debate. Good job you don’t need to persuade people to vote for you.

          • Usha S Sri-Skanda-Rajah

            Cont…reply to David Blacker:
            I missed out the testimony in my previous posting… so here it is!
            Please read testimony of Col. Ramesh’s wife below – and view ‘No Fire Zone’ trailer to know how Col. Ramesh’s body was burnt by the perpetrators to cover-up the extra-judicial killing of Col Ramesh in custody.

            Vanakam

            My name is Vathsala Devi, I have three children. The eldest daughter is 11 years old called Meliha. The second is a son called Prathban nine years old. The third one is a girl four and a half years old. My husband is called Thuraisingham born 1964 Sept 18th. He got involved with the LTTE in 1984. He was given a higher post in the organization. The name he was given by the LTTE is Ramesh. He was given a position as Cornel. We were living in the open, because the war had escalated and the territory we lived was under the occupation of the SLA (Sri Lankan army). As the army was occupying our land we had to leave. I was a bit poorly and evacuated along with the other civilians along with my three children. We left on 28th April. I was forced to live in various places due to the conflict for nearly one month. I was in contact with my husband all the time.

            Q: Which year did you leave?

            A: 2008 April 28th we left to Batticoloa in the East. I had contact with my husband, however the authorities got to know that Cornel Ramesh’s family have left the zone (escaped). We couldn’t stay there anymore and therefore left to South Africa. My husband last spoke to me on 15th May 2008 for the last time.

            Q: 2009?

            A: Yes 2009. My husband spoke to me on 15th May 2009. (Which was the last time) he said that the authorities have got to know that we have escaped and to leave the country in possible way. He also said that he will join us some time in the future. We will have to fulfill our duties and will join you soon. Here may be a period of silence or quietness from our side, but we will be in touch after that period of silence. However I have not heard or received any information in the last one and a half years. I hear and believe my husband is still alive and the UN is too aware of this episode by the leaked video. At the same time I am living with my children here and my request is to get my husband freed from prison and also away from Sri Lanka.

            Q: Do you think that your husband is still alive in captivity by the SLA?

            A: I am not sure if he is alive, but the CD (Video) which is definite proof that he was captured alive. I am not sure how old this Video is but the SLA should know that he is in captivity and is still alive. I hope and pray that my husband is still alive. SLA will have to inform me of my husband’s whereabouts. The UN must intervene and urge the SLA to submit reports of my husband’s situation. The UN must investigate. My husband has been arrested for such a long time without any communication what so ever. We are living in suspense and in horror over my husband’s safety. The UN must get a reply from the SLA. I have the right to know if my husband is still alive or not. If my husband is alive I demand that the UN gets him released and also get him out of Sri Lanka. People are telling different stories and I need to know the truth.

            Q: If the SLG (Sri Lankan Government) says he was killed in battle what are your thoughts?

            A: If my husband was killed in battle we would have got to know. When I was there, there were news reports that my husband was killed, but no corpse was shown, therefore I didn’t believe that. Now I am aware and have proof that my husband was arrested by the SLA thanks to the leaked video. This video which is circulating shows my husband’s surrender therefore he didn’t die in battle. He was captured alive.

            Q: So if he is dead, do you believe the SLA killed him and there is reasonable evidence that this is a war crime?

            A: I agree fully. If a prisoner dies in custody then it is a matter for the UN to investigate.

            Q: If your husband is alive, you will want him released and if he is dead, you demand a war crimes investigation, is it right to assume so.?

            A: Yes of course. The SLA did arrest him and it is evident in the video, I need to know what happened to him. What happened during investigations etc. The SLA had arrested him and remanded so it is their responsibility to explain. There is proof for his arrest and if anything happened to him then the UN should investigate over his death. It is a war crime if my husband is no longer alive.

            Q: We hope the UN will investigate and hope they will be in touch with you. This may not be the only crime there are many others that the SLG which is answerable. Do you give your consent for the UN authorities to contact you in the event of any further investigation into your husband’s well-being?

            A: Surely I am ready to answer any questions in regard to my husband and willing to testify at any time to save my husband’s life.

            Q: Thank you for this interview and we will do our best and hope the UN will take your husband’s case seriously and do all it can to release him.

            A: Sorry to interrupt I want the UN to intervene into my husband’s whereabouts and let me know immediately as a matter of urgency and get back to me ASAP.

            Q: I sincerely hope your request will be met by the UN and you will soon hear from the UN. Thank you.

          • Gamarala

            Usha,

            I agree with Padraig and David here. You need to provide a reasoned rebuttal. What you’ve provided so far, doesn’t really pass muster. And this is coming from a person who is generally sympathetic to an investigation. Why not take some time, establish the points on which you and David agree, and the ones on which you disagree, and have a civilised discussion on this very important issue? I’m sure we’ll all benefit from it.

          • Padraig Colman

            @ Usha

            I agree with Gamarala.

            “You need to provide a reasoned rebuttal. What you’ve provided so far, doesn’t really pass muster.”

            You need to be more concise and stop posting these migraine-inducing screeds of links. You need a good editor. My rates are very reasonable.

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

            “Are you saying your threats are statements of fact and what I say aren’t?”

            I haven’t made any threats. You saying so will not make it a fact. The latter requires evidence. Gravity is a law, and its existence is a proven fact. The SL military presence in the NE is a fact. The continuation of that presence is a prediction I am making based on the fact of observed political precedents. I am asking you for the evidence to substantiate your claims. Why are you threatened by my questions?

            “Are you telling me that there isn’t a single iota of evidence against your government, the Rajapaksa regime??? This smacks of the same, preposterous lie of the century told by your bosses:”zero civilian casualty, not a drop of blood shed””

            Try and control yourself, Usha, and read what I have written above. Bluster and exaggeration is quite unbecoming in a politician (even a self-appointed one). And please don’t destroy whatever shred of credibility is left you in this debate by making childish accusations about me having some “bosses” in the regime. I do not work for the GoSL and my opinions are my own. I know this is inconvenient and prevents you making the usual ad hominem attacks that we are so familiar with in this forum, but that too is a fact.

            Now, here is what I am saying (repeated, since you seem to be having difficulty getting this): I am saying that there isn’t a single iota of evidence of the GoSL or the SL military deliberately targeting or killing Tamil civilians on a scale that would indicate genocidal motives. There isn’t a SINGLE frame of video, not a SINGLE photograph of an SL military person deliberately killing, maiming, torturing, raping, or otherwise abusing a Tamil civilian. Not a single frame of video or a single photograph. NOT EVEN ONE. Surely, after all these years, and the hundreds of thousands you allege were killed, there should be ONE photo or frame of video? Why isn’t there?

            “Are you threatening me yet again that my opinions will have consequences???”

            Don’t be silly :D Where have I threatened you? I am pointing out the foolishness of your actions, just as I would if I were to tell a little child not to go swimming in rough weather. That doesn’t mean I am Neptune God of the Sea who can control the waves and kill him. So why not drop this silliness about threats and actually look at what I am saying objectively. I am half Tamil, I have many friends and relatives who are Tamil, and I wish nothing but the best for the SL Tamils. Which is why I believe you and your actions are inconsiderate of those people, just as the Tigers were.

            “Enough is enough; there’s none so blind as they that won’t see! (Please see links further below on the EVIDENCE you wanted, this is my last reply as this should answer all your questions, so don’t claim ignorance.)”

            Oh please. More links to long tomes where you expect me to hunt for evidence. Please do your own homework and quote the evidence that answers my questions. If you can.

            “However please note your threats are not going to silence me – your government can’t go on harming my people – you should be ashamed to issue threats like this; you are no different from your government.”

            It is you who should be ashamed to try and derail this debate and falsely accuse me of threatening you to avoid the fact that you cannot answer these pertinent questions which are crucial to this debate on war crimes. As for “my” government, there are some things I agree with it on and some that I disagree. That’s as far as it goes. making ad hominem attacks on me just shows off the bankruptcy of your arguments.

            “I could easily get the link, I know it too well – and you too can access the link if you are savvy – you don’t want to I can see and the reasons are obvious – I asked you to checkout the link because I was having a problem accessing the net (now I also find my e-mail was blocked by Microsoft as they noticed some unusual activity???!!! – some one has tried invade my mail)”

            What a conspiracy you live in, Usha. Are you going to accuse me of now invading your email account too? :D And how exactly are you carrying on this debate without internet access? As for accessing links, I am asking you questions regarding evidence, not asking you for places that I may research. If you are too lazy to actually come up with the evidence or unable to, please say so; posting a bunch of links is pointless. I can assure you I’m not going to pore through pages of online stuff to find some evidence that you are unable to.

            “Here is the link to Julian Vigo’s report:”

            Please quote the portion of the report that substantiates your claim that UN workers in SL witnesses genocidal acts by the GoSL. I am not going to spend hours looking for evidence you pretend is tere. Quote the evidence. It’s dead simple. Why are you refusing to? If you were to claim you had discovered a new planet, and I asked you to prove it, would you tell me to look at the sky and find it? Don’t be ridiculous, Usha.

            “As though you didn’t know, here below are some links to the EVIDENCE you were asking!”

            Again, I am not looking for links; I am looking to you to prove your claims.

            “Sri Lanka: The Hidden Massacre http://www.mefeedia.com/watch/29498116

            That link leads to a collection of videos with titles varying from Vampire Weekend to Trampoline Fails. While these may be more interesting than your claims about video evidence, they are not relevant. Can you post the actual video that shows Tamil civilians being murdered on a large scale by the SL military?

            The Sunday Times pages you have linked to are password protected. Can you post any pix they might contain of the SL military massacring Tamil civilians? I assume that’s what the articles contain.

            “Sri Lanka never killed any civilians as such: http://www.tamildaily.net/2010/12/02/sri-lanka-never-killed-any-civilians-as-such-rajapaksa-tells-the-times/

            That link redirects to a page advertising a mobile ringtone and game called Chicken 2. Is that relevant to this debate?

            “Actual short video footage showing Killings by Sri Lanka Army of unidentified Tamils – by courtesy of TamilNet http://www.tamilnet.com/img/publish/2009/08/killings_by_SLA.3gp

            Oh dear, you are a bit behind the times, Usha. The killers in that video cannot be identified as SL Army troops. They wear no unit badges or flashes, their uniforms are generic US pattern woodland camouflage (the most common on the planet), and the prisoners can’t be identified as Tamils. There is no indication that the voices speaking Sinhalese are from the original video. The same video is available on Youtube with Tamil voices.

            “Kill everybody and finish them off”: Orders came from the top http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vdFKlQT_Ta8&feature=related

            Youtube says: This video is no longer available because the YouTube account associated with this video has been terminated. Can you provide one that actually exists?

            “Sri Lanka execution video: new war crimes claims – Channel 4 News exposes longer video which suggests Tamil women were bound, undressed and sexually assaulted before they were shot dead: http://www.channel4.com/news/sri-lanka-execution-video-new-war-crimes-claims

            Same video as the one on Tamilnet. Again no evidence on it of SL soldiers killing Tamil civilians. All the dead seem to be young, fit, and of military age, like the killers.

            “Actual unedited version of long video: viewer’s discretion advised http://www.lobbyforpeace.com

            Sigh. Again parts of that same video, and some shots of dead bodies. No evidence whatsoever of the deliberate killing of civilians.

            “With apologies to Isaippriya for including this gruesome un-edited video – Isaippriya a television reporter, a non- combatant, who has been identified as one of the Tamil women in the video who was allegedly gang raped and killed by Sri Lankan troops)”

            First the allegation was rape, now it’s gang rape is it? :D These things seem to have a life of their own, like the numbers! Again, absolutely no evidence of rape. Forensic “expert” claims to be able to judge rape by looking at a grainy video of a dead body. Either he’s a magician, or this is not evidence; you decide. All bodies and/or POWs are stripped for search. Both sides did it. Nudity doesn’t mean rape. Issipriya looks like she was executed, but she held the rank of colonel in the Tigers, and regardless of noncombatant status, is not a civilian. While executing POWs is a war crime, and there’s no doubt some Tigers were executed, the numbers captured who survive to this day proves that executions were not on a large scale, nor could they be termed genocide any more than the Tiger execution of 600 policemen in Batticaloa and 243 soldiers at Mullaitivu.

            “Getting away with Genocide: Headlines Today – in association with India Today: “In Isaippriya the clamor for justice found a definitive face, a Tamil Television Journalist, an unarmed non combatant, stripped and in all probability gang raped and shot with her hands tied at the back.” http://headlinestoday.intoday.in/site/headlines_today/ProgrammesShow?catName=Ground%20Zero&video=0&counter=null&contentId=121916&catId=45

            That page says “Oops page not found”.

            “Channel 4 News can name a woman journalist as one of the victims in the Sri Lanka execution video along with damning new details of the date and location where the video was filmed.”

            I have addressed this above. Issipriya wasn’t a civilian, nor is there evidence of rape.

            “Revelations that Sri Lanka can’t deny – The rape and murder of Issaippriya http://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/sri-lanka-cant-deny-colombo-telegraph-revelation-turns-sri-lankas-war-crime-in-to-a-new-chapter/

            Again, the same old pix of Issipriya with a bunch of allegations by Tim King, a journalist who has never even been to SL. No evidence there of any civilian killings nor of Issipriya being raped. This is what I said on Colombo Telegraph when King’s piece was posted over a year ago: “Nothing in this so called evidence is new. We’ve already seen these or similar pics of Issapriya and other dead Tigers. Nothing here shows any evidence of rape, just as with the earlier pics. Men and women are all naked. King just gives it new commentary. You can post a hundred stories about what was done to the Tigers and nothing will change. In the end they were Tigers and they were killed. No one cares.”

            “A leading war crimes lawyer tells Channel 4 News the video apparently showing men taking part in executions in Sri Lanka is “astonishing evidence” and the United Nations must act.”

            Regardless of what this “leading lawyer” says the Ch4 video doesn’t show a single act of abuse by a SL soldier against a civilian. The executions do not prove the killers are SL military personnel or that the dead are Tigers, or even Tamils.

            “Identified LTTE leaders who were killed on 18 May 2009 by 53 Division troops: http://www.defence.lk/new.asp?fname=20090621_02_TerrList

            Er… yes, the SL military killed a lot of Tigers. That’s their job. How does this prove a war crime? You really need to pay more attention, Usha.

            “Wiki Leaks: US memo accuses Rajapakse of war crimes http://www.channel4.com/news/wikileaks-sri-lanka-leadership-responsible-for-crimes

            This is what the cable says: Responsibility for many of the alleged crimes rests with the country’s senior civilian and military leadership, including President Rajapakse. ALLEGED war crimes, Usha. In other words, IF these crimes happened, the GoSL is responsible. IF. What I’m asking you to do is PROVE these allegations true. I’m not sure how much clearer to make this. Are you not paying attention?

            “GENOCIDE: LEAKED FOOTAGE OF EXECUTION OF TAMIL CIVILIANS BY SRILANKAN GOVERNMENT http://www.youtube.com/verify_age?next_url=http%3A//www.youtube.com/watch%3Fv%3DK7leSySfn0A
            Sri Lanka Executions Video from CNN”

            Youtube says that video doesn’t exist. Again.

            “http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eksn5X7lT6s&feature=related
            War crime evidence in Sri Lanka”

            Youtube says that vide is “private”. Dear oh dear.

            “http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZODCxStdHg&feature=related”

            A video of uniformed dead Tigers. Where’s the war crime in this?

            “Authentication of video by experts: call for international investigation – channel 4 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ikqp4u-fmtA&feature=related

            The experts authenticate the video as untampered but do NOT comment on whether the audio track is genuine, ie from the original incident. Again, NO evidence of SL military personnel deliberately killing civilians.

            “SHOCKING LEAK: SRI LANKAN ARMY MASS RAPE AND EXECUTION OF TAMIL WOMEN (REPORT BY AUSTRALIAN MEDIA) http://en.kendincos.net/video-hndhvvp-shocking-leak-sri-lankan-army-mass-rape-and-execution-of-tamil-women-report-by-australian-media-.html

            That site no longer exists. How unfortunate.

            “War crimes during the Sri Lankan war? Video http://www.pakistan.tv/videos-war-crimes-during-the-sri-lankan-%5BsGGwyMeLs70%5D.cfm

            Links to the home page of pakistan.tv, and tells us that the site is for sale; not sure what that is supposed to indicate. Usha, can you actually post some useful links instead of this bunch of nonsense that you have obviously not even bothered to check before spamming us with.

            “SECRET CAMERA – CHANNEL 4 NEWS REVEALS SCENES AT SRILANKA GOVT CONCENTRATION CAMPS http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lDSsEXjsbhQ&feature=related

            Video not available anymore. I’m embarrassed for you, Usha. You remind me of a guy called Heshan who used to hang around here.

            “War crimes in Sri Lanka http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IF0fJJn6oi0&feature=related

            Youtube says it has removed the video because it is shocking and disgusting. Obviously they don’t do that with war crimes evidence.

            “http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iaPf1RxQ4f4&feature=related”

            A video of wounded refugees and civilians. NO evidence of SL military troops targeting them deliberately or actually killing or wounding them on purpose.

            “UN – Deeming Sri Lanka execution video authentic, UN expert calls for war crimes probe http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R7zaSJMkXuE&feature=related

            We’ve dealt with this already. No evidence of crimes against civilians by the SL military.boy, this is getting repetitious.

            “Miliband in stand-up row with Sri Lanka defence minister over civilian deaths http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article6197466.ece

            Miliband’s opinion isn’t evidence anymore than yours is.

            “UK urges Ban to sack Nambiar, appoint full-time Burma envoy http://www.mizzima.com/edop/commentary/4680-uk-urges-ban-to-sack-nambiar-appoint-full-time-burma-envoy.html

            How is this evidence of war crimes?

            “WIKI LEAKS: SRI LANKA: GSL COMPLICITY IN PARAMILITARY
            – Robert Blake http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/us-embassy-cables-documents/108763

            Accuses the Karuna Group of extra judicial kidnappings and killings of Tiger suspects. NO evidence of large scale murder of civilians by the GoSL. Why are you wasting everyone’s time, Usha?

            “Up to 30,000 ‘disabled’ by Sri Lankan shells – Telegraph http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/srilanka/5378047/Up-to-30000-disabled-by-Sri-Lankan-shells.html

            Provides no substantiation for these figures and NO evidence that it was deliberate.

            “Prageeth missing due to ‘chemical weapon probe’ http://www.bbc.co.uk/sinhala/news/story/2011/01/110128_prageeth_galle.shtml

            What has this to do with war crimes. Scraping the barrel, Usha?

            “Nadesan’s son provides damning testimony against the army killers which constitute “war crimes”
            http://www.tamildaily.net/2010/12/25/nadesans-son-provides-damning-testimony-against-the-army-killers-which-constitute-war-crimes/

            Links to tamildaily.net homepage. No sign of anything related to this debate.

            “Video of Col. Ramesh being interrogated – definitive proof that he was captured alive http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WSfR5IFFUIw&NR=1

            Ramesh was a Tiger officer and not a civilian, so how does this provide evidence of large scale crimes against civilians?

            “GORDON WEISS, FORMER UN SPOKESMAN IN SRI LANKA – Interview with ABC April 26, 2011
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CIJav9HgEwc

            Weiss was never in the NE and is not an eyewitness. Neither his book nor interviews provide anything beyond his opinion.

            “Credible Allegations of war crimes during the Sri Lankan Civil War – UN Panel
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alleged_war_crimes_during_the_Sri_Lankan_Civil_War

            As was explained to you in my first response, the Darusman Report provides no evidence of GoSL crimes against humanity; quote it if you believe otherwise.

            “Jayalalithaa slams Gotabaya Rajapaksa”

            Jayalalitha’s opinion isn’t evidence; it’s barely reality.

            “Ban forwards report on Sri Lanka war crimes to top UN human rights body
            http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=39520&Cr=Sri+Lanka&Cr1

            Good for him; but where is the evidence you claimed?

            “Sri Lankan president under investigation – ABC
            Prime Minister Gillard makes statement about the Australian Federal Police investigation of three prominent Sri Lankans including the country’s President:
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GoAnh1_u4CA&feature=share

            Let us know when they find some evidence, Usha.

            “Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields – Channel 4 UK”

            Lol, same old video, NO evidence.

            “No Fire Zone trailer http://nofirezone.org/trailer

            Lol really? You couldn’t find evidence in the actual programme so you thought the trailer might have it?

            “Photographic evidence of war crimes in Sri Lanka, or not? (Updated) http://groundviews.org/2011/07/02/photographic-evidence-of-war-crimes-in-sri-lanka-or-not/

            One picture of a dead woman and child; NO evidence of any war crimes, ie deliberate killings.

            “The end of war in Sri Lanka, captured for posterity by Google Earth http://groundviews.org/2012/09/12/the-end-of-war-in-sri-lanka-captured-for-posterity-by-google-earth/

            This article was a particularly nonsensical one devoid of even the basics of analysis, and provides absolutely no evidence of war crimes.

            “Sri Lankan General Admits War Crimes; US May Hold Crucial Supporting Evidence http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/6187:sri-lankan-general-admits-war-crimes-us-may-hold-crucial-supporting-evidence

            We don’t even know if this fantasy general exists; so his claims haven’t even a modicum of credibility. Please stop making a fool of yourself, Usha and read the articles you’re linking to.

            There are a couple more links but I doubt they’re any better. So Usha, I have humoured you by wading through that load of crap which you were too lazy to look through yourself. THERE IS NO EVIDENCE AT ALL IN IT. Not an iota. If there is, quote the relevant portions.

            You said that this is your last reply, and I’m not surprised you are abandoning the fight; your lack of any substantiation to your claims proves that you’re quite incapable of holding up your argument.

          • Off the Cuff

            Dear Usha,

            Thank you for giving me the opportunity to expose the Times story in detail once again.

            These are the stories in question.

            1. Times photographs expose Sri Lanka’s lie on civilian deaths at beach
            By Catherine Philp and Michael Evans datelined May 29, 2009
            http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article6383477.ece

            2. The hidden massacre: Sri Lanka’s final offensive against Tamil Tigers By Catherine Philp in Colombo, date lined May 29, 2009
            http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article6383449.ece

            3. Slaughter in Sri Lanka Evidence gathered by The Times has revealed that at least 20,000 Tamils were killed on the beach by shelling as the army closed in on the Tigers Date lined May 29, 2009. There is no byline but the video carries a commentary by the Foreign Editor Richard Beeston. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/leading_article/article6382706.ece

            The first thing that one notices is that there are THREE stories on the SAME DATE with different headlines, using the same data.

            Three pictures are used in their video presentation
            1. a part of the NFZ
            2. Picture of an LTTE grave yard (not from the NFZ)
            3. another part of NFZ showing earth mounds (possibly graves)

            This is a transcript of Foreign Editor Richard Beeston’s commentary

            “In the first photograph you can see the remains of what was a refugee camp for some 100,000 Tamil civilians. In the center you can see the destroyed dwellings these wretched people were trying to live in. To the South out of the shot is the sea. Between them and the sea are Tamil Tiger gun emplacements you can see them they are mortar pits circular, bottom center, bottom right you can see what we believe is a command center, ammunition trucks, so effectively you had a population, the size of a large football stadium packed with civilians trapped here for weeks upon weeks under the merciless bombardment of the govt offensive”

            Usha, this is direct proof from your own source that the LTTE Terrorists you Financed, knowingly endangered the Tamil Civilians in the NFZ, by establishing Military Command structures and Gun emplacements WITHIN the NFZ. Contrary to ICRC definition contained in the IHL, Darusman says this is not a Human Shield but a Human Buffer and is hence not a War Crime.

            Note “the mortar pits, command center and ammunition trucks are highlighted by graying out the background but they fail to highlight any ground impact bomb crater or any “Burnt Out Tree Stumps” that they claim were “one of the sights seen frequently in The Times photographs” Very strangely this allegedly frequent sight, is no where to be seen in ANY of the three photos used by them (see story 1 para 19). In fact you can see that ALL vegetation is intact and still standing.

            Transcript continues…
            “In the second picture we can see what looks like a strange crop in the center of the photograph these are in fact we believe Tamil tiger graves, hundreds of them neatly laid in the fields buried presumably near where they fell.

            Note “This picture is not of a LTTE grave yard WITHIN the NFZ. It is an LTTE graveyard far removed from the NFZ. Observe the COMPLETE absence of any war damage. There are no bomb craters. Even the vegetation is intact, not a single bush, let alone a tree, shows signs of ANY damage. This UNRELATED photograph has been surreptitiously introduced to hoodwink the reader.

            Transcript continues… (focus moves now to the third photo)
            “In contrast to the Tamil Tiger dead, in this photograph is what we believe are the civilian mass graves down to the right these will be men women and children killed in the fighting and hurriedly buried by their relatives in between lulls in the onslaught”

            End of transcript

            Note the use of the words “In contrast to the Tamil Tiger dead” Mr Beeston is DELIBERATELY misleading the reader into believing that the LTTE buries their dead in “Lines and Columns” even during “weeks upon weeks of merciless bombardment by the govt offensive” which forces civilians to bury their dead “in between lulls in the onslaught” haphazardly, but allows the LTTE to bury their dead at leisure, in ordered rows and columns, completely unaffected by the same bombardment of the same area!

            The Times states
            “It looks more likely that the firing position has been located by the Sri Lankan Army and it has then been targeted with air-burst and ground-impact mortars,” said Charles Heyman, editor of the magazine Armed Forces of the UK” (see story 2 para 7)

            “Air-burst and ground-impact mortars can cause wide destruction and reduce trees to burnt stumps ”one of the sights seen frequently in The Times photographs” (see story 1 para 19)

            This statement means that this intense bombardment creates an intense HEAT capable of burning down LIVE trees to Burnt Stumps.

            Strangely, such an intense heat had failed to burn down the FLIMSY TENTS. The story teller wants you the reader to believe that Plastic and Cloth tents cannot be burnt even by an inferno that can burn “Live trees to Stumps”

            The Times stories contradicts itself big time. Someone some where has been on the uptake and has become Rich. LTTE millions at work.

            I have dealt with CH4, Philipe Alston of the UN and his so called experts in an earlier post addressed to Ms Yasmin Sooka (http://groundviews.org/2013/04/11/the-empty-findings-of-sri-lankas-military-court-of-inquiry/#comment-52027) to which you responded. I have also dealt with the improprieties within the Darusman report on the same page.

            Dr. Daniel Spitz declared that a Banker Rob Simpson committed suicide, when it was actually a murder. Rob was shot in the BACK of the head Execution Style similar to the CH4 but Dr Spitz could not find the Entry wound or the Bullet. How strange!

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DpL56wS_qZo
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-3Oy76_nICc&NR=1

            You can watch the US court proceedings in the above videos

            Mr Grant 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 Final Report of the Canadian Commission of inquiry states thus.

            “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”

            You can read more details here
            http://groundviews.org/2012/11/19/the-vanni-depicting-the-end-of-sri-lankas-war-through-a-graphic-novel/#comment-49486

            Instead of presenting discredited evidence ad infinitum please present an original argument that we can debate.

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

            Usha, on the point of Tiger Col Ramesh; it is likely he was executed. It is quite likely that other senior Tigers were executed too. The IDAG Report (which you still refuse to read) also acknowledges this likelihood. But even among the Tiger ranks there was no phenomenon of large scale executions. The majority of captured Tigers survived captivity. As I told you before, the UN and and other international judicial bodies have shown no historical interest in prosecuting the killers of confirmed terrorists and war criminals. So trying to build a case for investigations based on Issipriyas and Rameshes is futile. You need to show a large scale deliberate killing (or at least targeting) of civilians that will indicate genocide or genocidal motives. So far you and your compatriots have failed in this. Pretending you haven’t failed will not bring you success!

            On the subject of crimes against civilians; I have no doubt that there have been crimes; rapes, murders, etc. It invariably happens in war. But my contention is that the scale of such crimes are pretty much consistent with most wars in the modern era. There is no evidence to support the theory that such crimes were on a scale that indicates genocide or other crimes against humanity. The numbers that survived (both Tiger and civilian), the efforts of the military to rescue civilians under fire (sometimes incurring death and injury amongst the soldiers in the act), the care IDPs received, and the relatively speedy return they have had to their original villages, all fly in the face of the accusations of genocide. The facts just don’t tally, Usha. I think you know this, and this is evidenced in your agitation and anger. If the wellbeing of the SL Tamils is really a priority for you, rethink your strategy. The hate and vengefulness you feel towards the GoSL is clouding your collective judgement and actually harming the cause of the SL Tamils.

        • Usha S Sri-Skanda-Rajah

          David Blacker
          I posted the links to war crimes evidence I had compiled before – after posting I find some videos have been removed – Please google the title and you will find alternate links in some cases!

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

            For the umpteenth time, Usha, I am not interested in helping you find something that is in your imagination. Substantiate your claims yourself. If you can’t, we’ll take it as understood that you have no evidence.

          • Usha S Sri-Skanda-Rajah

            Ramble on David Blacker, Padraig Colman and Off the Cuff – we have a Tamil proverb – can’t hide a whole pumpkin in a plate of rice – nice try gentlemen – you’ve wasted all your eloquence on defending the Rajapaksa regime who targeted and killed Tamil civilians even in ‘no fire zones’ that they themselves designated; your love for the Rajapaksas, given unconditionally, showing your blind loyalty to them does not impress me one bit – how fortunate they are to get away with murder so far – they sure have some great supporters who are willing to go the full length to defend their actions. Would you go so far as to supporting yet another cover-up and prevent any investigation on the Matale mass graves – the victims were your own blood and the alleged perpetrators some of whom are those you are valiantly defending. Would you say the victims deserved to die because they were alleged JVP insurgents(for whom by the way your President shed crocodile tears fighting for their human rights and used it to advance his political career?)

            Are you so blind not to see what is happening to your country which you want to selfishly have all to your self but in name only? You have a family of autocrats ruling you, controlling 70% of the country’s budget and all the top jobs, kicking out the legitimate CJ and installing themselves for life with a future heir in the person of Namal already anointed and waiting in the wings – compare that to Prabharan – he did’t have a house to call his own not even for his family!

            No I don’t want a regime change, I want them to be investigated while in office!

            And why may I ask 25 members of the UN Human Rights Council having noted the recommendations made by the OHCHR for an independent and credible international investigation, encouraged Sri Lanka to implement the recommendations made by the OHCHR?

            If you are convinced there is no evidence why do you fear an independent international inquiry? Don’t tell me the Army Board of Inquiry which exonerated itself is good enough and meets your standards.

            David Blacker even spoon feeding won’t help you see the truth! At least the A1 champion on quoting authorities and links Mr. ‘off the cuff’ (I beat him last time)was able to find alternate sites to the links I gave. Either you are lazy and want me to the leg work while you sit and reject them even when the evidence is staring in your face!

            David Blacker the conveniently lazy man – I suggest you read the whole report – it’s revelation!

            http://endoplasm.org/independent-report-on-sri-lanka-and-united-nations-human-rights-violations/

            Here are some extracts:
            ———————————————
            On Genocide and War Crimes

            A UNICEF staff member does not hold back in evaluating the UN’s role in the Sri Lankan government’s acts of genocide and the UN’s failure to act: “Were these organisations complicit in covering up the governments actions? Well yes, I think so. I think they were in a position to make such stronger statements about what was happening and to apply much more pressure and leverage on the government while the conflict was happening. And the Sri Lankan government did what it wanted to end the war and that is because there was not enough pressure applied to them and they disregarded human rights because of this. They can use the mechanisms from the Human Rights Commission to the Security Council…The Tigers see the UN’s presence as an agency to witness. Maybe in Haiti the situation is desperate, there are huge humanitarian needs, so they decide not to confront the government on child trafficking. Particularly if your mandate is to protect the rights of displaced people or children—you don’t get to decide what is the institution’s mandate. It is your job to follow through on it. Do I think that what went on there amounted to genocide? I am not sure that I would say that. I would say that the Sri Lankan government did not care if the Tamals lived or died and they showed disregard for a civilian population. If the cost was the death of the Tamals, so be it. They simply didn’t care. I don’t know if their deliberate strategy was to annihilate the population. But there were war crimes and there is evidence for it. I want to believe that good things happens in the end and I think a war crimes case will be brought against the Sri Lankan government.”

            Of the twelve participants eight questioned if the UN were not complicit with the Sri Lankan government by virtue of its silence the human rights abuses mentioned here and its complicity with the starvation tactics used by the government of those in the Vanni. This is definitely a question which needs to be addressed for there is reason to believe that the UN’s failure to act made it an accomplice in the Sri Lankan government’s human rights abuses and possibly various acts of genocide.
            ———————————————–

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

            “Ramble on David Blacker, Padraig Colman and Off the Cuff – we have a Tamil proverb – can’t hide a whole pumpkin in a plate of rice – nice try gentlemen – you’ve wasted all your eloquence on defending the Rajapaksa regime who targeted and killed Tamil civilians even in ‘no fire zones’ that they themselves designated; your love for the Rajapaksas, given unconditionally, showing your blind loyalty to them does not impress me one bit”

            No one’s trying to impress you, Usha; speaking for myself, I am only urging you to put forth the evidence you claim is there. Your stubborn refusal to do so suggests that you are aware that there is no evidence, but are attempting to shout us down. This rarely works, and and I would expect a far higher quality of debate from a self-declared representative of the Tamils.

            I myself have NOT ONCE defended the Rajapakses in this thread. Using ad hominem attacks reinforces your position as someone without any integrity, who has nothing substantial with which to argue your point. You have clearly not even bothered to check the links you have spammed us with, leave aside bothering to actually read them. Who does your research — your typist?

            “how fortunate they are to get away with murder so far – they sure have some great supporters who are willing to go the full length to defend their actions.”

            If they are getting away with anything, it isn’t because of their supporters, but rather because of the abject laziness of their enemies who are unwilling to do even the most basics, who expect a solution to fall out of the heavens. This is symbolic of the Tamil diaspora’s total lack of commitment to the cause that their SL brethren died for; you threw some money at the problem and got on with your lives over there in the west. Now, you are bitter at the defeat, but still are unwilling to actually do what is necessary. The SL Tamils deserve better than such charlatans. As for the Rajapakses, with enemies such as you, who needs supporters? :D They can rest easy knowing that — just as with Ranil W in the opposition — as long as the attacks are led by people like you, they are as safe as bugs in a rug.

            “Would you go so far as to supporting yet another cover-up and prevent any investigation on the Matale mass graves – the victims were your own blood and the alleged perpetrators some of whom are those you are valiantly defending.”

            Even if they are of my blood (they are not — I’m not Sinhalese, and I know that’s inconvenient for you), why should that matter? Should we be only concerned with those of are own communities? This is a display of the selfishness and narrow mindedness that contributed to the defeat of the separatist cause; you don’t give a damn about any other community but your own; and even persecute smaller minorities when given the opportunity, as the ethnic cleansing of the Jaffna Muslims clearly shows. I am not supporting any cover up, be it in the north or south. We know what happened during the JVP revolt, but no one really cares. The JVP was a bunch of psychopaths and had to go. It’s a pity that many innocents died, but if the SL population wants an investigation, we will call for it.

            “Would you say the victims deserved to die because they were alleged JVP insurgents(for whom by the way your President shed crocodile tears fighting for their human rights and used it to advance his political career?)”

            I don’t think anyone deserves to die (except maybe the Tiger leadership and the JVP politburo). Isn’t it rich that a self-appointed leader of the Tamils is talking about crocodile tears while not even making the effort to move a finger to even win an online debate?

            “Are you so blind not to see what is happening to your country which you want to selfishly have all to your self but in name only? You have a family of autocrats ruling you, controlling 70% of the country’s budget and all the top jobs, kicking out the legitimate CJ and installing themselves for life with a future heir in the person of Namal already anointed and waiting in the wings”

            What is happening in our country is our business, not yours, and we will decide who we want in government, not you. The majority of SL supports this government; until that changes, it will remain. That is democracy; not what you separatists had in the north where you killed off every other voice but your own. Even now, your silly government in exile hasn’t even been democratically elected. Who are you to tell me about democracy?

            In addition, you are confusing the present situation with the war crimes issue, and are attempting to use the weapon of prosecutions to change a situation you don’t like. That is not an attempt at justice as you barefacedly claim, but an act of transparent political expediency, no different to MR’s visit to Geneva.

            “compare that to Prabharan – he did’t have a house to call his own not even for his family!”

            And now, neither do many of the NE Tamils, thanks to him; not to mention, limbs, lives, and children. What a great achievement to hold up as a shining example. Bravo, Usha.

            “No I don’t want a regime change, I want them to be investigated while in office!”

            So why don’t you find the evidence. No one is going to investigate a fantasy, as has been ably proven.

            “And why may I ask 25 members of the UN Human Rights Council having noted the recommendations made by the OHCHR for an independent and credible international investigation, encouraged Sri Lanka to implement the recommendations made by the OHCHR?”

            The OHCHR isn’t calling for an international investigation; it is calling for the LLRC Report to be implemented. Have you even read the OHCHR Report; or do you want ME to give YOU a link?

            “If you are convinced there is no evidence why do you fear an independent international inquiry? Don’t tell me the Army Board of Inquiry which exonerated itself is good enough and meets your standards.”

            Why do you call it fear? This isn’t some playground confrontation. A nation’s sovereignty cannot be simply discarded because a bunch of bitter and dissatisfied exiles haven’t the gumption to get their constituents what they need. There are no credible grounds for international intervention. I have asked you to show me any; but you cannot.

            The reconciliation that the OHCHR speaks of cannot be forced on the concerned parties; it must come from a natural desire for it amongst the people. But as long as people like you choose to polarize opinion and alienate moderate opinion leaders, that desire for reconciliation will be pushed back. You are hindering the process, Usha, with your blinkered actions and lack of vision.

            “David Blacker even spoon feeding won’t help you see the truth! At least the A1 champion on quoting authorities and links Mr. ‘off the cuff’ (I beat him last time)was able to find alternate sites to the links I gave.”

            Yeah, give yourself a medal for beating OTC and proving you’re a man, but you need to take a good look at the disservice you’re doing your cause. Providing the evidence to substantiate your accusations isn’t spoon feeding; it’s the logical way to get at the truth (if you are interested in the truth at all). I’m not asking to be fed; I’m telling you that if you want me to eat, give me dinner. Your version is “Ooh there’s the kitchen, cook yourself dinner.” I’m not interested in your food; if you want me to be interested, serve it up. I know these similes usually go over your head, but I’m hoping that they will at least be within your grasp unlike abstract thought.

            “Either you are lazy and want me to the leg work while you sit and reject them even when the evidence is staring in your face!”

            Lol, yes, I DO expect you to do the legwork to prove your own theories. I’m sorry if that surprises you, but generally one doesn’t expect one’s opponent to defeat himself while you go for your beauty sleep. Is that something you picked up from the Prabhakharan Defence Academy?

            “David Blacker the conveniently lazy man – I suggest you read the whole report – it’s revelation!”

            Yes, I’m very uninterested (not lazy) in helping you substantiate your own arguments. I am not going to invest my time reading through stuff you can’t be bothered with. When you provide the evidence instead of demanding I find it myself, we’ll evaluate it. Until then we’ll have to take it as confirmed that you’re talking nonsense.

            “On Genocide and War Crimes”

            Para one that you have quoted merely has an unnamed UN staffer saying he thinks that the UN could have made stronger statements. At best it’s an opinion, NOT BASED ON ANY FIRST-HAND ACCOUNT as you spuriously claimed.On which planet this constitutes evidence I don’t know; certainly not on planet earth.

            The second para discusses whether the UN was complicit in alleged war crimes such as starving the population. This presupposes that such an act took place, but does nothing to provide evidence of the allegation, the latter having now been largely dismissed as non-deliberate. Chalk up another abject fail to your chit, Usha.

            When exactly are you going to show us evidence instead of spamming us with stuff you clearly either haven’t read in the first place or simply not understood?

        • Usha S Sri-Skanda-Rajah

          correcting a typo in my reply to David Blacker..

          Either you are lazy and want me to do the leg work while you sit and reject them even when the evidence is staring in your face or you are typically in denial!

          David Blacker the conveniently lazy man – I suggest you read the whole report – it’s a revelation!

          http://endoplasm.org/independent-report-on-sri-lanka-and-united-nations-human-rights-violations/

          • http://www.groundviews.org Groundviews

            Dear Usha, please refrain from calling other commentators names, which results in reciprocal name calling and a general decline in the timbre of conversations here from what we expect. Thank you.

          • Padraig Colman

            Many thanks to Sanjana for the way this conversation has been refereed. Although a civilised debate might devoutly be wished we need to know where Usha is coming from. Another moderator might have been tempted to shut her up but she needs to be given the opportunity to expose herself.

          • Padraig Colman

            @ Usha

            It is amusing to be accused by Usha of “rambling”. We a have a proverb in the west about pots and kettles. Here is another one: “people who live in glass houses should undress in the dark”.

            Please assist Groundviews readers by providing a link to any article, just one, in which I have defended the Rajapaksa government.

      • Off the Cuff

        Dear Usha,

        You wrote ” at last we can say with certainty that ours will truly be “a government of the people, by the people, for the people.”

        You had Tamil governance within the Municipal Councils, Urban Councils and Village Councils. What exactly did you do for the Tamil people using those governing powers?

        You wrote “It will free us from enslavement and subjugation: from a Sinhala dictatorship devoid of checks and balances that has no mandate to rule over us; ”

        You are very free with rhetoric but does that rhetoric stand up to inquiry?

        For 30 long years the North was ruled EXCLUSIVELY by a de facto TAMIL govt that was financially supported by you and the Flag waving Tamil Diaspora to the tune of US$ 200 million annually.

        With such Huge funds at it’s disposal, did that Tamil govt FEED the Tamil population under it?

        Did that Tamil govt provide Schooling for the Children under it?

        Did that Tamil govt provide Medical Care for the Tamil population under it?

        Did that Tamil Govt provide any public service to the Tamil people of the North?

        Did that Tamil govt pay the Public Servants that provided services to the Tamil Public under it?

        The answer to ALL the above questions is Absolutely Nothing and you have no way of disproving it because it is recorded Fact.

        But did that Tamil govt TAX the Tamil Population under it?

        Did that Tamil govt use Kangaroo Courts to subjugate the Tamils under it?

        Did that Tamil govt use an illegal para military Police force to subjugate the Tamils under it?

        Did that Tamil govt summarily execute Tamils suspected of dissent and put them on Public display by stringing them up on Lamp Posts with barbed wire?

        Did that Tamil govt ABDUCT 9 year old’s from their Mother’s grasp and send them to War and a certain Death?

        The answer again is yes and you have no way of countering it.

        You wrote “…from strangulation by Sinhala majoritarian parliaments known to legislate in its interest not in ours; ”

        The Central govt did not legislate in your interests but it did legislate in the Tamil polity’s interest, to provide that Tamil Polity, with the Basic Human Rights that were denied them by Tamil Elites like yourself and those in the TGTE, BTF, WTF etc.

        You wrote “from an Sinhala army of occupation; ”

        Firstly the Army is occupying Sri Lankan Land. Of course you would like nothing better than an unprotected North to allow you to restart Gun Running operations that took place during the 30 year rule by your Contractors.

        Secondly the Army was multi ethnic in nature until your 30 year Tamil govt started threatening, with Death, serving Tamils and aspiring Tamil recruits.

        Thirdly, the forces and the police had members from the minority communities commanding them and within it’s higher ranks.

        For 40 years since 1948, The Chief Prosecutor, the Attorney General of Lanka was a member of the minority community. Sinhalese held this position for only 25 years.

        For 18 years of that 40, your legal advisor, Shiva Pasupati held that position as the 18th AG of Sri Lanka (1975-1988). At the time of his retirement he had been in office for more than ALL the Sinhalese AG’s put together.

    • Off the Cuff

      Thank you for the balanced post. The Victory parade is a lost opportunity of a foolhardy govt.

      “Duringthe final days of the war, in the west, it was quite the rage to walk around with wrist bands and banners saying ‘free tamil eelam’and there were lots of professionals who kept talking fondly of this tamil eelam that they wanted to create…but no one among them sent heir children back to fight…oh no,it was all ok or some poor mothers son to die, but not their precious offspring.”

      That Sir, was the real test that the LTTE Flag waving Diaspora failed. I have posed this very question from them and had never got a straight answer.

  • Burning_Issue

    This link for OTC to digest:

    http://www.dailymirror.lk/opinion/172-opinion/30100-unity-with-power-sharing-answer-to-national-problem.html

    May be Dr. Vickramabahu Karunaratne also a lier and a LTTE supporter!

    • Dev

      Not only Dr. Vickramabahu but the following but NON exhaustive list of people/organizations are LTTE supporters according to ‘off the cuff’
      1)Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu
      2) Nimalka Fernando
      3)Nelson Madella/Desmond Tutu/Jimmy Carter/Mary Robinson (elders group)
      4) The UN specilaist panel Darusman and the 2 others
      5) Navi Pillai
      6) UN Sec Gen Ban Ki Moon
      7) Hilary Clinton
      8) John Kerry
      9) Obama
      10) Tony Blair
      11) Miliband brothers
      12) David Cameron
      13)HRW
      14) AI
      15) International Crisis group
      16) Asian Human Rights Commission
      Do I need to go on and on ?????

      • Padraig Colman

        Do you need to go on? In a word –“NO”!

        • Dev

          I agree, I think seeing it in black and white as list (though not exhaustive) really hits home about my claim that you guys think everyone is out to get you !

          • Padraig Colman

            “You guys”. Which guys?

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

      Isn’t that a separate debate from the one on war crimes and the numbers that might indicate guilt or innocence? It is unlikely that the concessions suggested by the above individuals and organisations will be elicited as long as the threat of war crimes investigations is maintained.

    • Off the Cuff

      Dear Burning Issue and Dev,

      You wrote “May be Dr. Vickramabahu Karunaratne also a lier and a LTTE supporter!”

      In this Video, Dr Karunaratne himself, would answer most of your questions.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=spBXxT5dVf0

      Dr Karunaratne is not a participant on GV and hence I cannot engage in a debate with him in order to test his arguments.

      Hence why don’t you use what he has written and argue your case. I believe you have the intelligence to do so, though your compatriot Dev, will just carry a load of irrelevant names sans an argument. He has proven time and again, the wisdom encapsulated in the Sufi saying “A donkey that caries a load of Holy books is still a Donkey”.

      There is another Sinhalese you can use viz Brian Seneviratne.

      The Left always supported the minorities (I believe your farther was a leftist – forgive me if I am wrong but that observation is not a slight) but the Tamils rejected the left in favour of Racists Parties that had a racist name in Tamil but a different and deceptive name in English.

      But the fact remains that my arguments are supported by verifiable references and you have been unable to break them down with similar factual arguments.

  • Usha S Sri-Skanda-Rajah

    “1.His Grace wants a solution under a unitary state
    2.But wants the Tamil nation to be recognized – Can’t have both.”

    Padraig Colman, who said can’t have both. The Quebecers are a nation of people same as the Scots and the Welsh.

    • Padraig Colman

      @ Usha

      The road to hell is paved with false analogies. The examples you cite have nothing in common with the project of Tamil Eelam in whose pursuance you have exhausted yourself.

      Nationalism, nationhood, national identity are complex subjects about which much has been written by cleverer people than myself or yourself. You might try reading Eric Hobsawm or Benedict Anderson on the subject.

      I made a humble effort to cover it here:

      http://pcolman.wordpress.com/2011/07/15/a-nation-once-again-%E2%80%93-invention-and-amnesia/

      Professor Michael Roberts thought my essay was dilettantish and lacking in academic rigour.

      In a Marcusian spirit of repressive tolerance some unitary states bend a little and give anodyne concessions to take the wind out of separatist campaigns. In response to a very low-key and somewhat eccentric independence campaign (nothing like the atrocities committed by your boys in the LTTE) Wales has long been allowed to have road signs and official documents in the Welsh language. More recently Wales has been allowed a toothless parliament.

      Wales does not have its own army or foreign policy. Tamil Eelam, even if theoretically part of a unitary Sri Lanka, would have had Trincomalee and a lot of coastline and an endless supply of arms with which to undermine the unitary state.

  • Padraig Colman

    @ Burning Issue

    “I would expect a man of your caliber, a man with the first-hand experience back home, to encourage such an investigation.”

    I thought I had responded to burning Issue on this point but I cannot find my comment.

    Can you point to any evidence that I am against an investigation?

    You yourself say:

    “You talk about hypocrisy liberally on these forums but you fail to see your own shortcomings! I KNOW YOU ARE NOT AGAINST AN INVESTIGATION OF THE LAST STAGES of the Eelam war but you have been endeavouring empirically to discourage it, why?”

    I must be the moron because I just don’t understand that!

  • Padraig Colman

    Dr Colin Irwin of the University of Liverpool with his Peace Polls made an important contribution to the Northern Ireland peace process. He surveyed reactions to the APRC proposals throughout Sri Lanka. I will leave to others to discuss the fate of the APRC. Irwin’s conclusions are still interesting.

    His key findings were:

    • The preliminary APRC proposals have gained more Sinhala support after the war so that they are now equally acceptable to the Sinhala, Tamils, Up-Country Tamils and Muslims.
    • Although the majority of Tamils and Muslims across Sri Lanka want a unitary state a significant minority of Tamils from the Northern Province still want to keep the ‘right to secession’. However most of them will give this up for the complete ‘package’ of APRC reforms.
    • The President, political and religious leaders can all influence support for these preliminary APRC proposals but although Eastern Tamils will follow their politicians on this issue Northern Tamils ‘Don’t Know’ how to respond to theirs.
    • Although all communities strongly support language and fundamental rights Tamil concerns about the special status of Buddhism has increased after the war as a political issue.

    Irwin comments: “Throughout the years of similar negotiations in Northern Ireland there was a considerable lack of understanding of what was really going on in Northern Ireland in the USA. There many Americans of Irish descent continued to support the Irish Republican Army (IRA) and their aspiration for a united Ireland with little knowledge or appreciation of the power sharing arrangements being negotiated under the terms of the Belfast Agreement.

    Similarly, it seems to be the case that the Tamil diaspora are not fully aware of the efforts of the APRC to find a constitutional solution to their country’s problems.

    In contrast to the detailed APRC proposals tried and tested here (i.e. in the Peace Poll survey) the members of the Tamil community around the world were recently provided with the following statement in what they called a Tamil Referendum:

    ‘I aspire to the formation of the independent and sovereign state of Tamil Eelam in the contiguous north and east territory of the island of Sri Lanka on the basis that the Tamil speaking people in the island of Sri Lanka make a distinct nation, have a traditional homeland and have the right to self determination.’”

    This “referendum” produced a combined result of 99.68% for the Tamil Eelam proposition and only 0.32% against.

    As a scientist, Irwin is not impressed with this “referendum”.

    “It was very important that the Belfast Agreement was put to the people of both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland (the South of Ireland) in a referendum to give the peace agreement political legitimacy. In that referendum held on May 22nd 1998, 71% of the people of Northern Ireland voted ‘Yes’ and in a public opinion poll conducted on behalf of the parties in the negotiations, just 2 weeks before the agreement was signed by the British and Irish governments on Good Friday 1998, 77% said they would support the agreement. The opposition of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), who were able to get their members to vote against it, can explain the drop of 6% between the results of the poll and the referendum. So the poll was very accurate.

    The results for the test of the APRC proposals in Sri Lanka are certainly as good as if not better than the results for the Belfast Agreement poll, and in Northern Ireland the people there were able to make peace on the strength of those results. Hopefully, now that the elections are over in Sri Lanka the new government will take steps to bring the APRC proposals into constitutional law. With effective implementation all the people of Sri Lanka can reasonably expect to share in all the benefits that will inevitably flow from the peace and stability that these reforms can bring.

    Referendums that only offer the options of independence for Tamil Elam or the status quo can’t achieve this. Neither of these two options is what is wanted in Sri Lanka now. The people there are prepared to move on. However, it remains an open question as to whether or not the political leadership in Sri Lanka will take this opportunity to resolve the ‘national question’ once and for all.

    As far as the people are concerned this door is open. Given the unprecedented electoral mandate handed to the President and his government by the people they are now in an exceptionally strong position to lead them through.”

  • Padraig Colman

    @ Burning Issue

    You accuse me of being casual and nonchalant about the fate of Sri Lankan Tamils. I have in fact written a great deal on this subject and am working on updating it. Usha’s contributions to this thread will form an important part of what I write in future. I would be particularly interested to hear more from the commenter calling himself “Fed Up”.

    Your own contributions would also be welcome. The Agonist site has done some peculiar things to the typography.

    See:

    http://agonist.org/the_tamil_question_in_sri_lanka_part_1/
    http://agonist.org/the_tamil_question_in_sri_lanka_part_2/
    http://agonist.org/the_tamil_question_in_sri_lanka_part_3/
    http://agonist.org/the_tamil_question_in_sri_lanka_part_4/

    Contact me at [email protected]

  • Padraig Colman

    This is for Burnin Issue and Usha.

    Peter Roger Caement Brady died last week. This is what the Irish Independent wrote about him.

    Like Robespierre, O Bradaigh was incorruptible, utterly rigid and thought terror intrinsically virtuous when employed on behalf of the republican ideal.

    Robespierre, however, had the excuse of being only 36 when he was executed. O Bradaigh was 80 when he died last Wednesday, as obdurate as ever. Ill-health had caused him to hand over the leadership of Republican Sinn Fein in 2009, but he was still its inspiration. Maybe now this charismatic fanatic has died, some of his followers will come to their senses.

  • Padraig Colman

    @Usha
    @Burning Issue

    I note that Usha is still not answering direct questions. She might do well to respond to the point that David Blacker put to Burning Issue:

    “The fact that the vast majority of civilians survived the war (and survived at times at the cost to life and limb of the accused soldiers themselves), were cared for and rehabilitated, and that the vast majority of Tiger POWs were similarly repatriated proves the opposite.”

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

      We will wait in vain for that, Padraig. You have to understand that people such as Usha, Donald, etc are not interested in solutions. They are looking for platforms from which to spout rhetoric. When facts and actual invitations to action (such as Amar’s) are put down before them there will be either a deafening silence, or mumbled excuses. These people are charlatans, peddlers of snake oil, living off a diaspora desperate for hope.

      • Padraig Colman

        Sad but true, David. I have written about the difficulty these spouters have with engaging in honest debate with grown-ups.

        See:

        http://www.transconflict.com/2013/06/the-numbers-game-and-reconciliation-in-sri-lanka-136/

        • Burning_Issue

          Interesting indeed. The more Padraig writes the more he reveals his agenda. I am sure he will ask what his agenda is; I suppose it is about earning one’s crust!

          Does he know the total number of people who got caught up in the last stages of the war? I know and accept that the LTTE forced the people to go with them. Of course some went voluntarily and a vast majority would have crossed over to Jaffna had they been given the choice. It was evident that the sheer number people overwhelmed the GOSL and the NGOs after the final assault. How many had perished needlessly? Do you know the number Padraig? I suppose you are inclined to believe the MR’s version from zero to 8,000 perished. Have you ever wondered as to what had happened to those bodies? Why no one was allowed to make an assessment? What do you say to the fact that the war was conducted with total blackout of the media? Does that bode well with your ethics of journalism? Please save your breath; you are beginning to annoy me.

          A real Grownup Gentleman called Gamarala made two postings on this debate; one was directly addressed to Padraig. May be Gamarala is not grownup enough for a replay! I hope Gamarala would not mind me quoting him here.

          “Gamarala
          05/30/2013 • 7:08 am

          I don’t understand this fascination with the extremist fringe of the Tamil diaspora. The fact remains that they’re largely a defeated group, and other than rubbing salt in their wounds, I fail to see why the present moment is a good time to change calcified minds, even if such a thing were possible, when the prevailing climate is hardly conducive to it? And even if such a feat could be achieved, a long shot indeed, what difference would it make?
          The problem isn’t the irrelevant diaspora, but the relevant facts on the ground. The relevants facts are that we’ve concluded this war with a dishonourable “peace”, a disinterest in the LLRC, an increase in ethno-religious fanaticism (e.g. the Bodu Bala Sena) and the entrenchment of a semi-feudal autocratic ruling mindset. Honestly, how much worse can the diaspora make this situation? Haven’t we got bigger fish to fry?”

          This is exactly my line of argument with David Blacker. I have nothing more to add.

          “Gamarala
          05/30/2013 • 1:24 pm

          Padraig,
          But the corollary is also true, is it not? I fail to understand why people are incredulous that govt. forces could have committed any number of atrocities when the track record thus far has been very poor.
          1. Upwards of 60,000 Sinhalese youth were tortured, decapitated, disemboweled and murdered in the late 80s?2. Many reports of similarly brutal actions carried out in the North over the years (UTHRJ reports)?3. The suspect circumstances at the conclusion of the war
          Given this track record, I find it both disingenuous and pointless to attempt to feign indignation. The probability of violations having occurred, is higher, than that of it not having occurred. The more logical course of action, is for he govt. to carry out a proper investigation, as opposed to a comical farce, and to bring the perpetrators to justice and cleanse the military’s and country’s record.
          My personal belief is also that, on the matter of deliberate targeting of civilians, Sri Lanka will be vindicated. But why not go ahead and at least make the attempt to rectify the case (not for others, but for ourselves)? The reason, I suspect, is the unfortunately uneducated, parochial and paranoid mindset of the prevailing regime. In much the same vein as the Taliban in the middle-east, they are terrified of the west, of human rights, and all things “foreign”, which are continuously misperceived as signs of a grand western conspiracy, not as categorial imperatives to which we as a nation are beholden. Anyone can be a bellicose thug, just ask the Prabhakaran’s and the Rajapakses, but it takes a little bit more smarts upstairs to chart a dignified course of action. Apparently, we aren’t ready for that yet! ”

          What do you say to this Padraig?

          • Padraig Colman

            @ Burning Issue

            To quote the immortal words of Ronald Reagan “There he goes again!”

            What do you know about my agenda? What business is it of yours how I earn my living. It sure as hell isn’t from the Sri Lankan government or writing for Groundviews. I am not a journalist and my ethics are personal ones based on my own conscience not on a professional code of ethics.

            “Does he know the total number of people who got caught up in the last stages of the war?”

            Do you? I do not claim to know the number. I have merely set out arguments made by different people who speculate about the numbers of civilian deaths – from “as many as 2,800” by Navi Pillay to 147,000 claimed by Frances Harrison and Alan Keenan.

            As David Blacker has patiently tried to tell you – a common fallacy in these blog discussions is the inability to distinguish between EXPLANATION and JUSTIFICATION. When I wrote an article setting out the grievances of Tamils which led to war, I was accused of regurgitating terrorist propaganda. When I explain the government’s viewpoint I am called a government stooge.

            I have no idea how many civilians were killed. Frances Harrison may be right. How do I know? I have quoted many people who think they know how many people were killed. I do not know myself. I have no bets on the correct number.

            “How many had perished needlessly? Do you know the number Padraig? I suppose you are inclined to believe the MR’s version from zero to 8,000 perished.”

            How dare you be so presumptuous! Please stop imagining my agenda. Can you point to anything that I have written that gives you the right to say that I believe MR’s version?

            I am happy to respond to Gamarala. I did not see his comment before.

            He said, and I don’t see this as a direct question that I was required to answer: “I don’t understand this fascination with the extremist fringe of the Tamil diaspora.” I am personally not at all fascinated with the extremist fringe of the Tamil diaspora. In this particular context, the discussion was intended to be about reconciliation but was distorted right from the get-go because the very first comment came from a prominent member of the extremist fringe of the Tamil diaspora who made it perfectly obvious that she had read neither my article or the IDAG-S paper. Throughout the thread she makes it clear that she is not interested in debate or in meeting anyone else halfway but only wants to rehash old arguments.

            I would much prefer to engage with the Tamil commenter who calls himself Fed Up. It would be good could if Usha also could engage with him.

            Gamarala says: “My personal belief is also that, on the matter of deliberate targeting of civilians Sri Lanka will be vindicated.” I myself would not go as far as to say that. I am not privy to any special information and I do not have a crystal ball. My BELIEF does not matter. I have no way of KNOWING the government’s intentions. What I am prepared to do is quote people like Gamarala who are prepared to say what they BELIEVE. It is not my responsibility to believe or disbelieve.

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

            “This is exactly my line of argument with David Blacker. I have nothing more to add.”

            As Padraig has already pointed out, the above post isn’t about the diaspora, but about the numbers. The first comment in this thread is by a self-proclaimed leader of the diaspora attacking an article about a report she hasn’t even read. It is this insistence of the diaspora in pushing itself into the conversation and shouting everyone else down that has led to them being discussed; and no perceived “fascination”.

            Your cheap comment about Padraig’s motives once more underlines the dishonourable way you and many Tamil nationalists choose to fight. What has Padraig’s motives got to do with this? WHat are Usha’s motives? What are yours? Who cares? Deal with the argument instead of tying yourself up in knots about the writer’s motives.

          • Off the Cuff

            Dear Burning Issue,

            You wrote “How many had perished needlessly? Do you know the number Padraig? I suppose you are inclined to believe the MR’s version from zero to 8,000 perished.”

            We don’t know the number dead but we know that approx 300,000 lived through it.

            Did you ever wonder about the injured amongst them?

            Does the numbers injured correlate with the claimed numbers of dead?
            Can the living injured amongst the near 300,000 who survived the ordeal, correlate with the incredulous 147,000 death figure in a war that employed only conventional weapons and not WMD?

            Not every one is a fool Burning Issue.

            Keep your emotion aside as otherwise your thinking powers becomes the first casualty.

            If we assume a ratio of 1:1 injured to dead we should have half the number of the survivors injured.

            If that ratio becomes 2:1 then ALL survivors would be injured.

            If the ratio is 3:1 then we should have had 441,000 injured which exceeds the actual number of survivors.

            WW2 civilian dead to population are as follows (I have taken the highest estimates)

            Japan……………… 1m : 71.38m
            Germany………….. 3.5m : 69.85m
            France & colonies… 0.35m : 41.7m
            Italy…………. 0.1532m : 44.394m
            British India…….. 2.5m : 378m
            UK……………. 0.0671m : 47.76m
            USA…………… 0.0017m : 131.028m

            Japan………….. 1.4% (attacked with TWO atomic bombs)
            Germany………… 5.01% (includes exterminated Jews)
            France & colonies.. 0.84%
            Italy………….. 0.35%
            British India…… 0.66%
            UK…………….. 0.14%
            USA……………. 0.0013%

            Vanni with civilian deaths as a % of population

            If 147,000 died… 32.9% Rev Rayappu Joseph
            If 70,000 died…. 18.9% UN
            If 40,000 died…. 11.8% Gordon Weiss
            If 20,000 died….. 6.25% Times of London
            If 7,000 died…… 2.23% UN
            If 2,800 died…… 0.925% Navi Pillai

            In comparison to WW2 even Navi Pillai’s looks an over estimation.

            Is there anything left to speculate?

          • Off the Cuff

            “Your cheap comment about Padraig’s motives once more underlines the dishonourable way you and many Tamil nationalists choose to fight. What has Padraig’s motives got to do with this? What are Usha’s motives? What are yours? Who cares? Deal with the argument instead of tying yourself up in knots about the writer’s motives.”

            Very succinctly put David.

            Congratulations.

          • Burning_Issue

            David,

            Whatever the article said, the point of discussion was indeed centred on the Tamil Diaspora and Tiger flag waving. Was it not? Gamarala’s posting to this effect was to point out “fascination” on the Diaspora when there is a dishonorable peace is being conducted on the grounds!

            “Your cheap comment about Padraig’s motives once more underlines the dishonourable way you and many Tamil nationalists choose to fight. What has Padraig’s motives got to do with this? WHat are Usha’s motives? What are yours? Who cares? Deal with the argument instead of tying yourself up in knots about the writer’s motives.”

            The word “cheap” is relative! I am not one of those who object to westerners taking interest on Sri Lankan maters. In fact I welcome someone like Padraig taking interests in these debates. However, those who do should know that both sides harbor deep mistrust and sentiments; one needs to be sensitive it them.

            I do not know Usha; I understand that she is very active in Diaspora activities. I do not know her views about the LTTE. I know from what I read on these forums that she favours the concept of Tamil Self-Determination. I for one do not put emphasis on such concepts. I believe that if Sri Lanka were to improve its democratic institutions and constitutionally safeguard the minorities respecting diverse cultures and languages, all communities will prosper. If this could be achieved through devolution of power or through a form of centralized governance, I would go along with that.

            That said, I do strongly feel that there must be a form of justice for those unfortunate innocent people who needlessly perished. We can talk about numbers whether 8,000, more or less; we must not forget they were human beings just like you and I. In fact, we should have asked these questions when the Sinhala youth in numbers were slaughtered during the nineties. It is this failure that led to history repeating. If no such probe and no truth established, I can bet that the same would be repeated.

            As regards to Padriag, I get the feeling that he feels such investigations are not important for the time being. He has pointed to many past such events in terms of length of time taken for apologies and compensations for forthcoming. In his view, he has put the Sri Lankan episode in perspective. He may be right but times have changed; the affected people may not have a voice at the moment; there are a large number of people who can stand up on their behalf outside the country. It is disappointing that such people allow some to blemish their activities by carrying Tiger Flags. I am sure that if no Tiger Flags, there will be many Sinhala who would also participate. Padriag, had a swipe at the Brits for their past but I do not feel that he shows similar sentiments towards the MR regime. OK, I understand that he has not been directly affected whereas the Irish had suffered under the Brits. However, he should know what its feel like to be a second class I am sure he does but I do not see any such expressions. The term such as “spouters” is disingenuous. He can disagree with people and counter them with facts but he should understand their sensitivities.

            I have now explained my position and would like to take back what I said about Padraig:

            “I suppose it is about earning one’s crust!”

            I apologise to Padraig that I implied that he is being paid for his activities.

            Allegations against the GOSL and the LTTE during the last stages of the war are allegations alone until they are established as facts by an investigation. The UN clearly view that they had failed the people and conducted a thorough review of their activities. There were vast amount of people who got caught up in the battle; there were allegations and counter allegations. It is right and proper that all dead should be accounted for and rightfully dead certificated issued. A situation should be created where the affected people should feel that they can publically and freely express their experiences. This will not only allow truth to be established but also would give them confidence knowing that others care.

          • Padraig Colman

            @ Burning Issue

            “Padriag, (sic) had a swipe at the Brits for their past but I do not feel that he shows similar sentiments towards the MR regime. OK, I understand that he has not been directly affected whereas the Irish had suffered under the Brits. However, he should know what its feel like to be a second class I am sure he does but I do not see any such expressions. The term such as “spouters” is disingenuous. He can disagree with people and counter them with facts but he should understand their sensitivities. I have now explained my position and would like to take back what I said about Padraig”

            Apology accepted.

            I do not feel second class. I have had swipes against the Brits for their actions worldwide, not just in Ireland. That is on a different scale entirely from what the Rajapaksa regime has done.

            You continue to conflate people like Usha with Tamils in general. Because of that conflation, you continue to accuse me of insensitivity towards Tamils in general. I gave you links to four lengthy articles in which I try to explain to myself and to a foreign audience the situation of Tamils in Sri Lanka. If you continue to accuse me of insensitivity to Tamils, I must assume that you have not read the articles.

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

            “Whatever the article said, the point of discussion was indeed centred on the Tamil Diaspora and Tiger flag waving. Was it not?”

            Exactly my point. The discussion always is dragged off into a discussion of the diaspora because of the diaspora’s insistence on making its voice heard, regardless of your occasional contention that the diaspora is irrelevant and should be ignored. I will be happy to discuss the actual subject matter, such as the numbers, if possible. A start to that is to actually read the reports.

            The problem even now is your inability to separate the war (and the allegations) from the post-war situation. You attempt to use the allegations as a tool to change the GoSL’s current behaviour. If justice was indeed your only concern, the current scenario will be immaterial.

            “The word “cheap” is relative!”

            Yes, it is relative. A cheap person will not think a cheap thing to be necessarily cheap.

            “I am not one of those who object to westerners taking interest on Sri Lankan maters.”

            No one accused you of that, so why bring it up?

          • Manjula

            BI and Gamarala,

            I quote Gamarala’s comment below which was highlighted with love by BI:

            “But why not go ahead and at least make the attempt to rectify the case (not for others, but for ourselves)? The reason, I suspect, is the unfortunately uneducated, parochial and paranoid mindset of the prevailing regime. In much the same vein as the Taliban in the middle-east, they are terrified of the west, of human rights, and all things “foreign”, which are continuously misperceived as signs of a grand western conspiracy, not as categorial imperatives to which we as a nation are beholden.”

            Sounds very true. But the problems is neither Gamarala nor BI is saying exactly the same thing on USA’s and UK’s human rights abuses in Iraq, Libya and Afganisthan and of their refusal to an “Independant International” investigation. The “International Community” is crying out for that too. So is Gamarala and BI is saying that USA and UK also suffering from the “unfortunate uneducated, parochial and paranoid mindset of the prevailing regime in UK and USA? In much the same vein as the Taliban in the middle-east, they are terrified of the “East”, of human rights, and all things “outside western world”, which are continuously misperceived as signs of a “grand Chinese and Eastern” conspiracy, not as categorical imperatives to which them as a nation are beholden.”

            If not, why not?

          • Burning_Issue

            Padraig Colman,

            “I do not feel second class.”

            It is manifestly obvious that you do not feel “second class”!

            “I have had swipes against the Brits for their actions worldwide, not just in Ireland. That is on a different scale entirely from what the Rajapaksa regime has done.”

            How many British actions that you can point to as illegal, controversial, and contravened international law since they decolonised? Have they been accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity? I am not here to defend the Brits by the way. What do you know about what the Rajapaksa had done? How can you make such comparison?

            “You continue to conflate people like Usha with Tamils in general. Because of that conflation, you continue to accuse me of insensitivity towards Tamils in general.”

            Where have I done this? Please provide evidence.

            “I gave you links to four lengthy articles in which I try to explain to myself and to a foreign audience the situation of Tamils in Sri Lanka. If you continue to accuse me of insensitivity to Tamils, I must assume that you have not read the articles.”

            I talked about sensitivity because I felt that you were oblivious to the Irish circumstances and unable to draw parallels to the Tamils’ predicament. On one hand you are happy to accuse the Brits liberally, with your other hand; you were painstakingly endeavouring establishing perspectives. This is why I made the comments I made and have no regrets.

            I have read your links to a certain extent but feel that, you need to learn more. Please read the following; this was authored by T Sabaratnam, who has passed away a few months back and a relation of mine.

            http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/10320601-pirapaharan

          • Padraig Colman

            @ Burning Issue

            I will never deny that I need to learn more. even though I am an elderly gent, I intend to go on educating myself until the day i fall off the twig.

          • Padraig Colman

            @ Burning Issue

            “I talked about sensitivity because I felt that you were oblivious to the Irish circumstances and unable to draw parallels to the Tamils’ predicament.”

            I have been studying Irish history for about sixty years. I still have much to learn, but your choice of phrase – “oblivious to Irish circumstances’” – is odd.

            “How many British actions that you can point to as illegal, controversial, and contravened international law since they decolonised? Have they been accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity?”

            Have you heard of Iraq, Afghanistan?

            I must stress again that I have no wish to defend the Sri Lankan government. Just to get some perspective- has Sri Lanka ever invaded another country?

          • Padraig Colman

            @ Burning Issue

            “I have read your links to a certain extent but feel that, you need to learn more.”

            I am always willing to learn more but how can you say, on the evidence of the articles I told you about, that I need to learn more when you admit have only read my articles “to a certain extent”. What does “to a certain extent” actually mean?

          • Gamarala

            @Manjula

            I’m quite happy to say that about any nation that fails to follow a dignified course of action in the face of adversity, America in particular. However, America concerns me less, while Sri Lanka is the country I have grown up in. If you hang around for the rest of the world to clean up their acts before we clean up ours, we’ll have a long wait I’m afraid. And I can only speculate that it is some sort of subservient mentality that leads one to believe that the west must lead before we are capable of doing the right thing.

          • Manjula

            @ Gamarala,

            “And I can only speculate that it is some sort of subservient mentality that leads one to believe that the west must lead before we are capable of doing the right thing.”

            I appreciate if overwhelming majority of Sri Lankans who voted for their own government believes that the current government must clean-up of any acts, then they must do it. The people will act in the next election if it is the case and there is no need for you and I to argue about it, or the west to worry about it.

            But it must not be advocated by those handful of dirty countries in the west who appoint themselves as the “international community”. We have a larger world of over 165 countries on earth than those half a dozen in the west.

            Also if you think they (the west) want Sri Lanka to do the right thing before they themselves do the right thing, then those western states also fall into your so called “subservient mentality”.

            Basically if you expect a government to be 100% clean, while you (or any other individual) is obviously not, then you got to have a subservient mentality, because you expect other to perform before you do it. Weren’t you ever like that?

            I was basically talking about a widely accepted social value called “setting an example” before you preach or wag your finger at someone else. Sorry if you couldn’t understand what I was getting at.

            I stand by my argument; it is up to the Sri Lankan residents (and overwhelming majority of them) to demand for whatever, not anybody else.

          • Burning_Issue

            Padraig Colman,

            “Have you heard of Iraq, Afghanistan?”

            First you should know the distinction between illegality of war in terms of invasion of another country congruous with international law as opposed to war crimes and crimes against humanity. If you fail to understand this, you have no hope of understanding anything of this nature!

            If the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan are illegal in nature; Tony Blaire for example would be answerable to the British courts let alone to the international courts! The issue with the legality of invasion was thoroughly debated by the international and local media. Where have you been?

            War crimes and crimes against humanity I believe are being governed by the Geneva Conventions. A war may be legal but it must be conducted in accordance with the confirmed conventions. This is the point.

            Did Britain violate Geneva Conventions?

          • Padraig Colman

            “First you should know the distinction between illegality of war in terms of invasion of another country congruous with international law as opposed to war crimes and crimes against humanity. If you fail to understand this, you have no hope of understanding anything of this nature!

            If the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan are illegal in nature; Tony Blaire for example would be answerable to the British courts let alone to the international courts! The issue with the legality of invasion was thoroughly debated by the international and local media. Where have you been?”

            You have left me speechless. Good night!

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

            I think the crux of it is whether a country must be forced to do something its citizens don’t wish it to by outsiders unwilling to do that very thing themselves. Seems hypocritical to me.

          • Gamarala

            @Manjula

            You do not appear to understand the difference between democracy and majoritarianism, hence your insistence that an overwhelming majority’s desires are what count, and not the act of “doing the right thing”.

            Secondly, the rest of your post covers the same hackneyed ground – as I asked before, why don’t we set our own example?

          • Manjula

            @ Gamarala,

            Are you saying only what you think is the “right thing”?

            What is the definition of the “right thing”?

            Everybody thinks (including you) what they think is the right thing. What if I say “not to investigate” is the right thing?

            How you decide right thing is what is thought as right by the “majority”. Regardless of the word game you do like “majoritarianism” or what ever, that is the truth. I am no easy push-over by “words”, sorry to say. Bring in the facts. After all, asking to investigate when there is no hard and fast facts behind rather than rumors, is the same old “”the same hackneyed ground” from you too.

            Democracy is exactly what I want in this case, i.e. not half a dozen western countries to dictate to Sri Lanka, but at least 51% of the total world stated (out of 165 or so) to request from Sri Lanka.

          • Burning_Issue

            Manjula,

            Gamarala’s post on 06/15/2013 • 11:45 pm

            He outlined the following:

            “1. Hammering a nail in the diaspora’s coffin by actually carrying out an investigation, bringing criminals to book, and closing this chapter in a dignified way, instead of covering it up, as the govt. is doing, in a veil of sanctimonious humbug. Is this not a better way, than endless speculation about war casualty figures, a figure we don’t even really know?
            2. Steps towards carrying out the LLRC recommendations.
            3. Diffusing ethno religious fanaticism and working towards a unified Sri Lankan identity
            4. Less feudalism and nepotism, more democratic institutions. Better governance.”

            For time being, let’s leave the point 1 aside; do you agree with the rest of the points?

          • Manjula

            @ BI

            “Steps towards carrying out the LLRC recommendations.”

            I think it is a good idea. But it is only my individual feeling. Before the government thinks about launching such a thing, I guess it is fair if they find out:
            a.)whether it is the case with overwhelming majority of the “Sri Lankan resident” population. If not the case it is better if they spend that money on a highway or a hospital or a school.
            b.) Whether there are any hard evidence or any such direct complains with sufficient details to start certain investigations (at a large cost) or is it just rumours and gossips or tamilnet / channel 4 type sensational news items without giving any real support for investigations. I rember channal 4 for example even refused to give a copy of the original video to SL government for investigation. People ask from GOSL why fear of investigations if you have nothing to hide. I guess that question is valid to ask from channel 4, why afraid if you have nothing to hide?

            “Diffusing ethno religious fanaticism and working towards a unified Sri Lankan identity”

            This is also a great idea. I don’t have any hard evidence that the government is “actively” promoting “ethno religious fanaticism” at the moment. Instead I can see some organisations like BBS or TNA are actively promoting ethno religious fanaticism.

            “Less feudalism and nepotism, more democratic institutions. Better governance.”

            This is also a great idea that any government, not just GOSL should do. I note the words here “less”, “more” and “better”. That is therefore subject to judgement. It depends on who decides what the level of “less”, “more” and “better”, whether it is Tamil tiger flag waiving diaspora or the Sri Lankan resident population or GOSL.

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

            Those who continue to publicly wonder why the GoSL won’t allow an investigation if indeed they are innocent, are ignoring a system of thought that has long been replaced in western society. In Honour: a History, James Bowman points out the fact that many Americans still believe Saddam Hussein to be guilty of having WMDs (in spite of there being absolutely no evidence of any) simply because he resisted inspections so stubbornly. Bowman suggests that this was the result of an honour system that required Saddam to defend his country and his rights even though he was innocent, even to final defeat. This system which is now largely defunct in the west (though Bowman suggests that the US invasion was also a throwback to that system), is alive and well in the east.

            The parallels between Mahinda and Saddam in this matter are strikingly similar. The former cannot be seen to be weak and cave into pressure from the west, and he will not. SL will suffer rather than give in, simply because we have the right to say no.

            It is also very likely that, just as many Americans believe Saddam in fact sent his WMDs to neighbouring countries before the invasion, enemies of the GoSL will not be satisfied by an investigation that reveals no large scale war crimes. They will claim that the GoSL has had enough time to cover it up. Mahinda will not risk his position on that gamble.

  • Padraig Colman

    @ Burning Issue

    “Deal with the argument instead of tying yourself up in knots about the writer’s motives.”

    Thanks to David Blacker for that.

    It is no surprise to me that Usha has not responded to my challenge:

    “Please assist Groundviews readers by providing a link to any article, just one, in which I have defended the Rajapaksa government.”

    I addressed a similar challenge to Burning Issue:

    “Can you point to any evidence that I am against an investigation?

    Burning Issue accused me of being “nonchalant” about the plight of Sri Lankan Tamils. I gave links to four very lengthy articles in which I give a detailed description of Tamil grievances (including July 1983), a history of the rise of Tamil separatist militancy, an account of IDPs and the immediate post-war scenario, and an assessment of current Tamil issues including resettlement, colonisation and militarisation of the north.

    I invited Burning Issue to comment on these articles and contribute to what I might write on the subject in future. I even gave him my personal e-mail address.

    He did not respond but went off on another tangent attempting to undermine my integrity.

    That seems to be what Burning Issue and Usha think of as debate. Sad.

  • Padraig Colman

    @ Usha

    “Please assist Groundviews readers by providing a link to any article, just one, in which I have defended the Rajapaksa government.”

  • Padraig Colman

    @ Burning Issue

    “Can you point to any evidence that I am against an investigation?”

  • Padraig Colman

    @ Burning Issue

    You accused me of “nonchalance” towards Sri Lankan Tamils. I referred you to these articles as evidence that I had thought about the matter a great deal.

    http://agonist.org/the_tamil_question_in_sri_lanka_part_1/
    http://agonist.org/the_tamil_question_in_sri_lanka_part_2/
    http://agonist.org/the_tamil_question_in_sri_lanka_part_3/
    http://agonist.org/the_tamil_question_in_sri_lanka_part_4/

    You did not respond. Why?

  • Candidly

    @Gamaral, quoted by Burning_Issue:
    “I don’t understand this fascination with the extremist fringe of the Tamil diaspora.”

    In my view it is extremely important to be aware of what people in extremist fringes are thinking and doing, because in certain circumstances fringes can become mainstream and dominant. What Gamaral called “fascination” others would call “wise interest”, but such wise interest needs to be proportionate. One reason for keeping up with the thinking of fringe groups is that though they may be very small now they can morph into larger and menacing mass movements if their activities, propaganda and underlying grievances are not dealt with. All extremist groups began is tiny sects that the majority initially laughed at.

    In dealing with the grievances that extremists feed upon we have to carefully look at the details of those claimed grievances to see how genuine they are. For example, someone may say that Tamil language grievances in Sri Lanka were ignored for many years and there is still quite a lot to do to deal with those grievances. This can be demonstrated with evidence, both in terms of the grievance and in terms of the actions taken to deal with the grievance.

    An example at the opposite end of the evidence-based spectrum is when people claim that there were tens of thousands of civilian deaths, and even genocide, in the last few months of the Sri Lankan civil war. Even some United Nations employees and reports have claimed vast numbers of casualties on the basis of allegations originating both from Tamilian Sri Lankans now in the West and various individuals such as Gordon Weiss, Frances Harrison as well as the UK’s Channel 4.

    Naturally people then ask, ‘OK, where is your evidence to back up these claims?’ In the case of the authors of the UN’s Darusman and Petrie reports all we got to substantiate the allegations of mass civilian deaths was the phrase “allegations from credible sources”, but no names or references to substantive evidence. Others then try to dress up such anonymous allegations as UN “findings”. They cite evidence for individual atrocities that may have taken place and then throw in references to census figures and statistics to try to create a general feeling that mass killings of vast numbers took place. Having created such a panicky, hysterical atmosphere, others then come along and say ‘OK, all these allegations can only be resolved by having an international independent inquiry.’

    But now someone has come up with a more detailed examination of some of the arguments that might have backed up the allegations against the Sri Lankan armed forces and has cast considerable doubt on those allegations. This has been done by means of detailed examination of actual physical evidence such as photographs and other documents.

    Given the hysterical atmosphere in which allegations and rumours are presented as facts by fringe groups and disgruntled individuals, unless such detailed rebuttal of their allegations are carried out, their exaggerated claims and outright lies will become repeated and accepted as truths. This is especially true where mass media around the world are always looking for something sensational to use to sell their stories and to ignite the interests of their audiences.

    In this respect it is noticeable, and greatly significant, that of those in this very long thread making allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity supposedly by the Sri Lankan government and armed forces in the last stages of the civil war , not a single critic above actually addresses either the evidence or the methodology employed by the Independent Diaspora Analysis Group in the report cited. We should be thankful to them, and the Marga Institute, for bringing some real evidence and rational thinking into the debate in place of the screaming and shouting based only on rumours, gossip and anecdotal stories that comes from the extremist fringe and South Indian and Western individuals who share their views.

    • Padraig Colman

      @ Candidly

      Excellent comment!

    • Gamarala

      Candidly,

      I agree, excellent comment. While I agree that it is important to nullify warrantless assertions on this matter – I would re-raise the question – is this the primary problem that is preventing us from making genuine progress on this issue?

      And what I see as genuine progress are:
      1. Hammering a nail in the diaspora’s coffin by actually carrying out an investigation, bringing criminals to book, and closing this chapter in a dignified way, instead of covering it up, as the govt. is doing, in a veil of sanctimonious humbug. Is this not a better way, than endless speculation about war casualty figures, a figure we don’t even really know?

      2. Steps towards carrying out the LLRC recommendations.

      3. Diffusing ethno religious fanaticism and working towards a unified Sri Lankan identity

      4. Less feudalism and nepotism, more democratic institutions. Better governance.

      It is in this context that I find the diaspora irrelevant – their help or agreement is not necessary to do any of the above.

      • Padraig Colman

        @ Gamarala

        I would agree with all your recommendations.

  • Off the Cuff

    Burning Issue,

    You ask “Did Britain violate Geneva Conventions?”

    Camp Nama: Baghdad’s secret torture facility
    British soldiers and airmen served at a secretive US detention facility that was the scene of some of the worst human rights abuses of the Iraq war (The Guardian UK, 1 April 2013)

    Apparently you have not heard of Camp Nama and similar establishments
    UK was a partner in. Aiding and abetting in these activities makes UK complicit.

    Human Rights Watch in a concluding statements to one of their reports makes the following observation.

    Many of the crimes detailed in this report are violations of international humanitarian law, U.S. military law, and U.S. federal criminal law. The U.S. government’s failure to properly investigate these violations is an affront to the victims of the abuses, and a violation of U.S. obligations under the Geneva Conventions, which obligate states to prosecute serious violations of the conventions’ provisions (“grave breaches”). The accounts in this report are further evidence that detainee abuse was an established and apparently authorized part of detention and interrogation processes in Iraq for much of 2003-2005. The cases also show that U.S. military personnel have faced systemic obstacles to reporting or exposing abuses, that the U.S. military in numerous cases has not taken adequate measures to stop reported abuses. The report also shows that the U.S. military has often failed to properly investigate and prosecute perpetrators, including officers who allowed abuses to occur on their watch.

    Then you make a statement “War crimes and crimes against humanity I believe are being governed by the Geneva Conventions.”

    Article 14 of the second protocol of the Geneva Conventions, specifically forbids the denial of water to civilians during conflict.

    Starvation of civilians as a method of combat is prohibited. It is therefore prohibited to attack, destroy, remove or render useless for that purpose, objects indispensable to the survival of the civilian population such as food-stuffs, agricultural areas for the production of food-stuffs, crops, livestock, drinking water installations and supplies and irrigation works.

    Electricity and water were cut off to the city just as a fresh wave of strikes began Thursday night, an action that U.S. forces also took at the start of assaults on Najaf and Samarra. (The Washington Post 16 Oct 2004 referring to Fallujah).

    Note by me:- This was after Bush made his mission accomplished (the invasion of Iraq) speech in May 2003. It was a repeat performance of what happened during the invasion when taking Baghdad.

    The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) told IRIN that they haven’t been given authorisation to deliver supplies to the city and that the US have blocked delivery. But they have been informed that the refugees around the town are in need of water, food and medicine.

    The main city hospital was reportedly hit by a US air strike on Sunday morning and 10 houses were damaged, media reports said. Medical officials said that they didn’t have any choice but to treat the injured in their homes or in the poorly equipped emergency room prepared at the main Hadra’a mosque.

    Doctor Rafa’ah al-Iyssaue, director of the main hospital in Fallujah had already been complaining for some time that they were short of medicine. They have now appealed for antibiotics, surgical items and intravenous drugs needed for post-operative care, he said. He also said that the government had not sent any kind of support to the hospital and US troops had prevented the entrance of aid sent by the Islamic Relief NGO from reaching the hospital.

    UNHCR, which has no international presence on the ground in Iraq, is part of a joint UN/ICRC and NGO emergency group based in Amman(UNHCR). Is this a diplomatic way of stating that the Iraq war had no Independent International witnesses?

    CASI is a registered society of the University of Cambridge, UK.

    They state

    Awareness of this issue remains extremely limited among the British public. The British government denies involvement. Despite inquiries from CASI and others, they appear not to have raised the issue with their American counterparts. UK Armed Forces Minister Adam Ingram has denied knowledge of US action to cut off water supplies in Tall Afar, despite coverage in the Washington Post.

    Similarly Hilary Benn, the UK Secretary of State for International Development, says he has not discussed the issue with his American counterparts. This lack of communication with the American side suggests a lack of concern for the humanitarian implications of the conflict in Iraq, and an unwillingness to comment on American activities.

    CASI calls on Members of Parliament to raise this issue with ministers as a matter of urgency. The UK government must use its influence with our US ally to ensure that all military operations are conducted within the bounds of international law. In addition to the suffering caused to the civilian population, use of these tactics by US forces puts our own troops at risk from rising insurgency.

    We hope that the issue will be taken up by international NGOs such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. Deliberate disruption of civilian water supplies should be a matter of concern for all who are promoting human rights in Iraq.

    Objectivity gets lost when irrationality reins supreme.

    • sabbe laban

      Off The Cuff

      You are engaging in a priceless battle in taking on the ‘time honoured lies’!

      The bottom line is, be it Sri Lanka or Iraq or Japan, the civilian casualties are collateral damage, because nobody has found a way of eliminating them!

      • Off the Cuff

        Sabbe Laban,

        Terrorists terrorise Civilians, period.
        Without threatening and killing civilians terrorism will not succeed.
        Hence anyone who supports Terrorism is guilty of a Crime against Humanity.

        Terrorists target and attack unarmed Civilians.
        Rebels attack governments not civilians.

        Hence anyone who targets Civilians is a terrorist.

        The logic behind terrorism is that they are safe from a govt’s counter measures, if they mingle and hide amongst civilians. If terrorists are allowed to hide behind the very people who they terrorise and use as sand bags, terrorism can never be eliminated. Consequently, civilian costs will rise exponentially with time.

        Going after terrorists holding civilians at ransom is hence an extremely hard decision for any government to take but it is an unavoidable one in the face of intransigent terrorists.

        Every modern day government faced with terrorism has no alternative but to accept the loss of civilian life when fighting terrorism. Whether it’s a Theatre full of civilians or a school full of children or a hijacked civilian airliner attempting a 9/11, the decision or indecision by a govt to take action, will cause loss of civilian life.

        A govt will try to minimise civilian casualties. This is universally true when the civilians are your own countrymen but not necessarily true when the civilians are not your own.

        Their isn’t a single govt that has gone after terrorists that has not killed civilians as collateral damage because it is simply impossible to do so.

        It is easy to be sanctimonious and point fingers by conveniently ignoring reality but the responsibility for the loss of civilian life rests squarely on the shoulders of the Terrorists and those who support them and no one else.

        Hence your observation “civilian casualties are collateral damage, because nobody has found a way of eliminating them!” is absolutely correct.