22 March, 2019

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A Bout At Chandrikawewa, 29th April 2009: Miliband & Kouchner Vs Mahinda Rajapaksa

By Michael Roberts

Dr. Michael Roberts

Dr. Michael Roberts

The manner in which President Mahinda Rajapaksa withstood and totally deflated the imperialistic moves by Miliband and Kouchner, respective Foreign Ministers for Britain and France, in late April 2009 has been the stuff of salacious gossip in pro-Rajapaksa and Sri Lankan patriot circles. Any re-telling of this tale in solid detail on the foundations of direct witness will cast me into the same mould in the minds of those beyond that circle — whether sanctimonious, liberal and/or snooty. No matter: historical recording must trump popular polling and moral posturing. Meeting Lalith Weeratunga[1] enables me to present the story in vivid detail.

Preceding Context

Comprehending the circumstances of Miliband and Kouchner’s forcible imposition of selves into a country in the throes of a deadly war demands a summary recounting of pertinent facts.

  1. Within the broader context of Eelam War Four the LTTE had created the parametres of the battle theatre[2] in their declining land-area by (a) encouraging their mass of supporters to move east so as to serve as a defensive formation and body of hostages-cum-labour force as well as (b) the ground on which they could raise the spectre of “an impending humanitarian catastrophe” by utilising their efficient agit-prop machinery, Tamil migrants abroad and pliant/attentive Western media engines[3] so as to secure a rescue act from powerful quarters.
  2. This campaign drew strong interventions from human rights agencies such as Amnesty International Watch, Human Rights Watch and International Crisis Group, while attracting numerous liberals and radicals in the Western world – together constituting what was a third force impinging on Eelam War IV.Britain's foreign secretary David Miliband with President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Apr 29th, 2009 in Colombo
  3. It also drew increasing support from the Western powers who saw themselves as “the international community” and the moral pinnacle of the Good. The reference here is to what analysts refer to as “Neo-Con” thinking. One guide to this current was State Department staffer Samantha Power’s book, A Problem from Hell.[4] When Barack Obama became President and Hilary Clinton was made Secretary of State in January 2009, this impetus received a further boost as USA adopted a tougher line towards the government of Sri Lanka (GSL) and the UN bureaucrats in Geneva and New York took a more forceful interventionist line.
  4. The sum total of these lines of activity saw USA, Britain and EU seeking to protect the Tamil civilians caught in the Tiger corral by asking both sides to institute a ceasefire. Such a demand favoured the warring party on the defensive back foot: that is, it helped the LTTE.
  5. However, the pressure they could exert of the LTTE was limited. Ambassador Robert Blake put matters in a nutshell in a despatch (No. 133 via Wikileaks) to his superiors on the 5th February 2009: “the LTTE had refused to allow civilians to leave because the LTTE needs the civilians as human shields, as a pool for forced conscription, and asa means to try to persuade the international community to force a cease-fire upon the government, since that is the LTTE’s only hope.” Again, a memo from Tore Hattrem, the Norwegian ambassador in Lanka, to Basil Rajapaksa on the 16th February 2009 indicates that the international power-brokers were getting nowhere in their attempts to secure cooperation from the LTTE (see copy).
  6. This did not deter USA and these several agencies from pressurizing GSL to institute a ceasefire or cease military advances. Indeed, US ambassador Blake even waved the sword of “war crimes” over the government’s head at a meeting with Foreign Minister Bogollagama on the 18th March 2009.
  7. In the meanwhile, a key segment of the international power-cabal had got into bed with KP and other Tiger representatives at Kuala Lumpur in February 2009 to hatch a plan to rescue the Tiger leadership.[5] KP’s emphasis was on saving the LTTE leaders. In partial contrast the tale presented to the world by Solheim’s alter voice, Mark Salter, is about an international operation dedicated to the rescue of the Tamil civilians and a silencing of LTTE guns (2015: 348). USA was kept abreast of this conspiracy and even sent a PACOM team to Sri Lanka to explore possibilities. Salter is studiously silent about the date on which the plot was discussed at Kuala Lumpur and precisely when the PACOM team reached Sri Lanka.[6] I now believe that this exploratory visit may even have been in late February.[7]
  8. GSL side-stepped these pressures. The leading SL Army officers were men who had seen how the Vadamaratchchi operation had been stymied by imperialistic action from outside (by India under Rajiv Gandhi) and were determined to crush the Tigers. Gotabaya Rajapaksa blandly stonewalled when faced with Blake’s high-handed insistence in mid-April 2009 that the GSL should cease military advances. He must have had experience in poker-games.
  9. Within ten days of this ‘poker-match,’ commando forces penetrated the Last Redoubt of the LTTE (some 24-30 square miles in extent) on the 18/19th April, while the escape routes which the SL Army had devised enabled some 103-110,000 civilians (inclusive of some Tigers) to reach safe government-controlled terrain over the course of the next four days.
  10. This remarkable operation[8] seems to have been blanketed out in powerful strands of the Western media, though Reuters and the Indian press conveyed decent accounts of this marvellous outcome. Indeed, the strident tales in Western media outlets were only one notch below the histrionic agitation of Tamil migrants in Western cities who assembled en masse in striking demonstrations in April and May 2009.[9]

This background set the platform for strong-arm tactics from the self-appointed “international community.” Secretary of State Clinton verbally admonished GSL. On Wednesday the 22nd April she told the world that “a terrible humanitarian tragedy” was taking place in Sri Lanka, referred to “genocide” and demanded a halt to fighting so that “we could secure a safe passage for so many of the trapped civilians as possible.” Notice the arrogant “we.” USA was to call the shots.photo

USA’s sidekicks then entered the fray. David Miliband and Bernard Kouchner rushed to Sri Lanka at the end of April to exert full-frontal pressure on the government.[10] Their amateurish readings of the battlefield scenario appear to have blinded them to the difficulties of any military rescue operation by outside forces, however powerful (a perspective that contrasted with the US embassy’s realistic awareness[11]). Subsequent revelations from British administrative circles suggest that Miliband was driven in part by constituency considerations because of a number of Sri Lankan Tamil votes in his electorate of South Shields. In my surmise, however, his Left wing views and moral fervour – deepened further by his Jewish sensibilities[12] – inspired gullibility to the tales conveyed to him by Tamils as well as British media personnel swayed by the Tamil propaganda.

It is this gross misreading of the situation on the war front, besides outstanding arrogance, that emerges from the details of his encounters with two of the three key players in the Sri Lankan firmament. The first encounter of the two Foreign Ministers seems to have been on April 28th with Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the Defence Secretary. The Guardian (in UK) called it a “heated exchange” (2009). The editorial in the local newspaper, the Island, is more revealing:

[Rajapaksa] told him that the government would not stop its war on terror until the LTTE was crushed and its leader Velupillai Prabhakaran captured, dead or alive.… the Defence Secretary did not mince his words, when he said it was Sri Lankan troops and civilians who had perished in the conflict and therefore the government was determined to finish off the LTTE. He said humanitarian concerns were only a ploy employed by some people to extricate Prabhakaran and his top leaders from the mess they had got into. He said a truce would only help the LTTE to regroup.

“The only person who could stop this war,” a plain-spoken Defence Secretary told the British dignitaries, “is the President of Sri Lanka.”

So, the intentions of the European big-wigs now depended on their ability to persuade or overwhelm President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

The latter, however, had chosen a strategic playing field for this potential confrontation, one beyond the urbane environment of urban buildings. On the 29th April Miliband and Kouchner had been flown by government helicopter (with Palitha Kohona in attendance) to the detention centres at Manik Farm where the Tamil displaced were being catered for in what was a massive relief operation (see Roberts, Tamil Person & State. Pictorial, 2014: 185-203) . It was from thence that Miliband and Kouchner were flown by air force helicopter to the Presidential circuit bungalow at Chandrikawewa near Embilipitiya overlooking the irrigation tank at that location in the southern part of Sri Lanka – not quite jungle but near enough.

The meeting took place in the presence of Foreign Minister Bogollagama, Lalith Weeratunga (Secy to the President), Palitha Kohona (Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs), Ms Kshenuka Seneviratne, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and included the local British and French ambassadors. After the initial pleasantries, Miliband opened the ‘bowling’ aggressively with a fiery ‘bouncer’: “Mr President, we have a message from the international communityYour forces are threatening the annihilation of the Tamils. We want you to stop these attacks on Tamils immediately.”

Mahinda Rajapaksa’s response was as sharp as angry: “Remember, we are no longer a colony of yours. That ended in 1948. I will not stop until our forces will finish terrorism.” At this point Kouchner intervened: “we are your friends.” To which Rajapaksa retorted: “I know who my friends are.” Also Rajapaksa lambasted Miliband, “When people die here it’s just news for you, but it’s agony for me and my people. I am the elected leader of this country and we are very close to ending terrorism. We will not stop.”

It was a two-over match. The visitors were stymied, deflated. No further elaborations are required. Mahinda Rajapaksa’s fierce response on this occasion was on the same plane as the retort directed at Solheim in March 2006 when the latter told the President that the LTTE could not be defeated.[13] Now, on 31 April 2009 and on the cusp of a momentous military victory, Mahinda Rajapaksa was in no mood for polite responses to big power bombast – bluster rooted in gross magnification of the battlefield casualties and the gullible acceptance of media reports by highly-placed men with an abysmal awareness of ground realities. One could not have asked or a more amateurish reading of the battlefield situation (or its politics) than that postulated by David Miliband. That such idiocy reposed so firmly in such a powerful institution in the international firmament indicates serious deficiencies in the Britain’s Foreign Ministry.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Black, Chris & Edward S. Herman 2000 “An Unindicted War Criminal. Louise Arbour and the International Crimes Tribunal,” http://www.whale.to/c/unindicted_war_criminal.html

Black, Chris 2016 “Terrorism. A Matrix of Lies and Deceit,” http://journal-neo.org/2016/06/17/terrorism-a-matrix-of-lies-and-deceit/

Gamage, Daya 2008 “Barack Obama & Civil War in Sri Lanka; Robert Blake’s Mind-Set; Negating R2P Psychology Build-Up,” 2 November 2008,http://www.asiantribune.com/?q=node/14004.

Gamage, Daya 2009 “Rudrakumaran’s Role to promote LTTE contravenes US material support Laws,” 22 September 2009,http://www.asiantribune.com/news/2009/08/23/rudrakumaran%E2%80%99s-role-promote-ltte-contravenes-us-%E2%80%98material-support%E2%80%99-laws

Gamage, Daya 2011b “International Humanitarian Law – at all times – applicable to LTTE atrocities: Why was the West silent?” 6 July 2011,http://www.asiantribune.com/news/2011/07/05/applicability-ihl-provisions-ltte-violent-acts-why-was-west-silent

Gamage, Daya 2014 “The American Agenda for Sri Lanka’s National Issues, 1970s-2014,” 5 July 2014,https://thuppahi.wordpress.com/2014/07/05/the-american-agenda-for-sri-lankas-national-issues-1970s-2014/

Guardian 2010“Miliband in row with Sri Lankan defence minister,” 30 April 2009,

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2009/apr/30/sri-lanka-tamil-tigers

Guardian 2010“Wikileaks cables: David Miliband focused on Sri Lankan war ‘to win votes’,” https://www.theguardian.com/world/2010/dec/01/wikileaks-david-miliband-sri-lanka

Holmes, Maj-General John T. 2015 “Expert Military Opinion,” 28 March 2015, in Paranagama Commission, 2015, pp. 180ff.

Hull, C. Bryson 2009 “Sri Lanka opens eye in the sky on war zone,” 20 April 2009, http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSCOL450259

Hull, C. Bryson & Ranga Sirilal 2009 “Sri Lankan War in Endgame, 100,000 escape rebel zone,” 23 April 2009, http://www.reuters.com/article/us-srilanka-war-idUSTRE53J0IZ20090422

Hull, C. Bryson & Ranga Sirilal 2009 “Sri Lanka’s long war in bloody final climax,” 17 May 2009, http://mg.co.za/article/2009-05-17-sri-lankas-long-war-in-bloody-final-climax

Island 2009 “War won’t stop until Prabhakaran is taken, dead or alive
Gota tells Miliband and Kouchner,” 30 April 2009, http://www.island.lk/2009/04/30/news18.html

Jeyaraj, D. B. S. 2009 “Fraudulent concept of a “fire-free, no-fire, safe zone,” 18 April 2009, http://dbsjeyaraj.com/dbsj/archives/343.

Jeyaraj, D. B. S. 2011 “KP’ Speaks Out. An Interview with Former Tiger Chief, Vavuniya: NERDO.

Jeyaraj, D. B. S. 2015 “The Life and Death of Velupillai Pirapāharan,” 9 May 2015, https://thuppahi.wordpress.com/2015/05/09/the-life-and-death-of-velupillai-pirapaharan/

[Mango] “Amnesty International reveals its Flawed Tunnel-Vision in Sri Lanka in 2009,” 10 Aug. 2011, https://thuppahi.wordpress.com/2011/08/10/amnesty-international-reveals-its-flawed-tunnel-vision-on-sri-lanka-in-2009/

Melvern, Linda 2011 “A response to Stephen Wertheim’s ‘A solution from hell: The United States and the rise of humanitarian interventionism, 1991–2003’,” Journal of Genocide Research, 13: vol. 1 & 3, pp. 153-157

Nessman, Ravi [of Associated Press] 2009 “French, British ministers in Sri Lanka for talks,” 28 April 2009, http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/2009/apr/28/sri-lanka-civil-war-042809/

Peiris, Gerald H. 2010The Doctrine of Responsibility to Protect: Impulses, Implications and Impact,” 30 June 2010, http://www.slguardian.org/2010/06/the-doctrine-of-responsibility-to-protect-impulses-implications-and-impact/

Roberts, Michael 2009 “Dilemmas at War’s End: Thoughts on Hard Realities,” 10 Feb. 2009, http://groundviews.org/2009/02/10/dilemmas-at-wars-end-thoughts-on-hard-realities/, rep. in Roberts, Fire and Storm, Colombo: Vijitha Yapa Publications, pp. 267-74.

Roberts, Michael 2009 “Dilemma’s at War’s End: Clarifications and Counter-offensive,” www. groundviews.org, rep. in Roberts, Fire and Storm, Colombo: Vijitha Yapa Publications, pp. 275-87.

Roberts, Michael 2010 “Simpletons at the World’s Peak: Sri Lankan Situation Stumps the World,” in Roberts, Fire and Storm, Colombo: Vijitha Yapa Publications, pp. 289-302.… originally in Frontline under a different title in May 2009

Roberts, Michael 2011a “People of Righteousness target Sri Lanka,” 27 June 2011, https://thuppahi.wordpress.com/2011/06/27/people-of-righteousness-target-sri-lanka/

Roberts, Michael 2013 BBC-Blind: Misreading the Tamil Tiger Strategy of International Blackmail, 2008-13,” 8 December 2013, https://thuppahi.wordpress.com/2013/12/08/bbc-blind-misreading-the-tamil-tiger-strategy-of-international-blackmail-2008-13/#more-11221

Roberts, Michael 2014 “Generating Calamity, 2008-2014: An Overview of Tamil Nationalist Operations and Their Marvels,” 10 April 2014, http://groundviews.org/2014/04/10/generating-calamity-2008-2014-an-overview-of-tamil-nationalist-operations-and-their-marvels/

Roberts, Michael 2014 “Winning the War: Evaluating the Impact of Api Wenuwen Api,” 1 September 2014, https://thuppahi.wordpress.com/2014/09/01/winning-the-war-evaluating-the-impact-of-api-wenuwen-ap/

 Roberts, Michael 2015 “The Realities of Eelam War IV,” 27 October 2015, https://thuppahi.wordpress.com/2015/10/27/the-realities-of-eelam-war-iv/

Roberts, Michael 2014 ““BBC-Blind: Misreading the Tamil Tiger Strategy of International Blackmail, 2008-13,” in Roberts, Tamil Person and State. Pictorial, Colombo: VijithaYapa Publications, pp. 210-29.

Roberts, Michael 2014 Tamil Person and State. Pictorial, Colombo: Vijitha Yapa Publications.

Roberts, Michael 2015 “Targeting Sri Lanka by playing ball with Tamil Extremism,” 24 July 2015, https://thuppahi.wordpress.com/wpadmin/post.php?post=17127&action=edit&postpost=v2

Roberts, Michael 2015b “Ambassador Blake in Never-Never-Land: Misreading LTTE Capacity in Early 2009,” 26 August 2015,https://thuppahi.wordpress.com/2015/08/26/ambassador-blake-in-never-never-land-misreading-ltte-capacity-in-early-2009/

Roberts, Michael  2016 “Speaking to Gotabaya-I: Plans Afoot in 2009 to Rescue the Tiger Leadership,” 8 March 2016, https://thuppahi.wordpress.com/2016/03/08/speaking-to-gotabaya-i-plans-afoot-in-2009-to-rescue-the-tiger-leadership/#more-20092

Roberts, Michael 2016 “Saving Talaivar Pirapāharan,” 5 April 2016, https://thuppahi.wordpress.com/2016/04/06/saving-talaivar-pirapaharan/

SMH 2009 “Tamils protest outside Kiribilli House,” 27 April 2009, http://www.smh.com.au//breaking-news-national/tamils-protest-outside-kirribilli-house-20090427-aknf.html

Tamil Guardian 2009 “Diaspora Tamils protest, fast in increasing numbers; call for ceasefire,” 15 April 2009, http://www.tamilguardian.com/article.asp?articleid=2281.

Telegraph 2009 “Britain and France fail to persuade Sri Lanka to end war,” http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/srilanka/5242076/Britain-and-France-fail-to-persuade-Sri-Lanka-to-end-war.html

US Embassy 2014 “Ball-by-Ball through Wikileaks: US Embassy Despatches from Colombo, 2009: ONE,” 27 August 2014, http://thuppahi.wordpress.com/2014/08/27/ball-by-ball-through-wikileaks-us-embassy-despatches-from-colombo-2009-one/#more-13481

Washington Post 2009 “Clinton & self-styled peacemakers obstructing Tiger defeat,” 27 April 2009,http://www.priu.gov.lk/news_update/Current_Affairs/ca200904/20090427clinton_self_styled_peacemakers_obstructing_tiger_defeat.htm

Wertheim. Stephen 2010 “A solution from hell: the United States and the rise of humanitarian interventionism, 1991–2003,” Journal of Genocide Research, 12: vol. 3 & 4, 149 -72


[1] We met in Colombo 14th June 2016.

[2] These contentions have been spelt out in detail in Roberts, “Generating Calamity” 2014 and “Realities,” 2015.

[3] One example is Nessman 2009.

[4] Printed by Perennial, in New York in 2003. For these trends se Wertheim 2010.

[5] See Salter 2015; Jeyaraj 2011 and Roberts, “Saving Talaivar,” 2016b.

[6] Such silence can be read as deliberate. Temporal markings are central to delineation of cause and effect. KP’s account too lacks some critical details; but DBS Jeyaraj did indicate to me tentatively (by email) that Pirapaharan’s rejection of the faxed rescue plan was in early March.

[7] I have not got very far in my efforts to extract details about the PACOM visit and its outcome. Gotabaya Rajapaksa denied any knowledge of such a visit when I contacted him on Skype telephone from Australia (Roberts, “Speaking to Gotabaya-I,” 2016).

[8] From the position of an amateur person of office background, I ventured to argue that the penetration and capture of the LTTE’s “Last Redoubt” matched the victory of the Viet Minh at Dien Bien Phu in being one of the marvels of modern warfare (Roberts, “Evaluating the Impact of Api Wenuwen Api,” 1 September 2014,). This evaluation has been subsequently given indirect support by the Memorandum from former SAS officer J. T. Holmes appended to the Paranagama Commission Report (2015: 180ff).

[9] See the images in Roberts, “One-eyed Zealousness,” 2015. Also see “Tamils protest outside Kiribilli House,” Sydney Morning Herald, 27 April 2009 and Tamil GuardianDiaspora Tamils protest, fast in increasing numbers; call for ceasefire,” 15 April 2009.

[10] The Norwegian Foreign Minister was to be part of this team, but his application was turned down by GSL.

[11] When an American reporter met a staff officer in the US embassy in Colombo in pursuit of information relating to grapevine gossip about a possible international rescue act, he found that the Embassy officer believed that the circumstances did not lend themselves to intervention. In this reporter’s view Miliband was far more optimistic and gung-ho about the prospects of an international humanitarian rescue act.

[12] Many Jews, especially those of Liberal or radical political leaning, incline towards sympathy for peoples who they believe (whether mistakenly or validly) to be threatened by a more powerful force. Gordon Weiss, an Australian of Polish Jewish lineage, falls into this category. With the Miliband brothers there was the added inspiration of their father’s intellectual engagement in fostering the New Left Review in circumstances where the Miliband family were only too aware of their good fortune to escape from Europe in the 1930s. Ralph Miliband was born in Belgium to Polish Jewish immigrants as “Adolphe Miliband” (1924–1994) and became a sociologist of repute. He has been described as “one of the best known academic Marxists of his generation”, in this manner being compared with E. P. Thompson, Eric Hobsbawm and Perry Anderson

[13] Information from Lalith Weeratunga (to be related in separate account)

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Latest comments

  • 15
    5

    Now you will have the Tiger Fascist Expatriate community of clowns in a tizzy. I can predict the pseudonyms of those who will post stuff in hate and in trained Tigerspeak now. USA wanted to save the LTTE leadership so they can have leverage for their own ends. No one in the West wanted an absolute end to the LTTE leadership because they had their own agendas. Of course now with Ranil and Mangy they have met those goals. Have you noticed how prominent the US Indian American Ambassador is since 2015? He is like the Viceroy Dixit now. From appearing and claiming Gay marriage rights support(they will never have the balls to do that in Arab oil rich nations)to fomenting trouble with Muslims in case RW does not give them what they want their machine is 110% active now.

    USAID which is the State department arm of foreign policy is very active everywhere, specially in Muslim and Tamil areas. Why is that? USAID is there to promote US Interests both military and economic and also to promote US values. That is their official policy. So just because they are not the CIA or DOD do not be fooled by what they do.

    Soon there will be a Ukraine like situation in SL created by the US. it was the US that created the coup and violence in Kiev that led to the overthrow of the Russia leaning democratically elected President. Victoria Nuland was at the barricades giving out bread to the violent anti goverment demonstrators. So IF Ranil does not abide it is likely in Sri Lanka’s future. Look at Libya. Look at Syria. Look at what happened in Egypt. Look at how the Ukraine plot backfired on them when Putin retook Crimea and supported Russian Eastern Ukraine to secede. Soon the US will start ethnic problems between Muslims and Sinhalese.

    • 4
      10

      Syphillis:

      “Soon the US will start ethnic problems between Muslims and Sinhalese.”

      Don’t be such a stupid nut. You should turn your attention on Gnanasara. Bogeys won’t help. Mahinda and Gotabaya gave a helping hand for this gangster’s free run. In the end all of them bit the dust. Instead of dimming your faculties let some light shine on it.

      • 2
        0

        You need to read “bala peraliya” by Ashoka Abeygunasekara, the then sidekick of Champika Ranawaka who seem to have switched sides directly to Sirikotha now. In his book he clearly outlines how UNP sponsored BBS with the hope of dividing Sinhala votes.

        and although Gnanasara is still active, Dilantha Withanage the famous NGO character is strangely inactive now after the Jan 08th regime change.

        I smell something here, and fear that Gnanasara thero and Asaad sali are acting to a script to ignite racial tensions again. Remember that a constitution referendum is coming soon and Ranil needs to alienate all muslim votes from sinhala votes if he has any hope of winning it.

    • 0
      0

      This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2/

      • 0
        0

        This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2/

        • 0
          0

          [Edited out]

          • 1
            1

            Why does not [edited out] Michael Roberts write about “A Bout at Oxford,05th December 2010: Mahinda & his criminal gang Vs Tamil Diaspora”.
            “Medamulana marawaraya passa dorin penala giya” – a damn shame!.

          • 0
            0

            Oh! I give up.

            Have a nice day. :))

  • 4
    12

    His Storian,

    He told one thing to international community and did something else.

    “Lanka fulfilled only 11 % of pledges to UNHRC and 20% of pledges to LLRC”, says study
    http://www.newindianexpress.com/world/%E2%80%9CLanka-fulfilled-only-11–of-pledges-to-UNHRC-and-20-of-pledges-to-LLRC%E2%80%9D-says-study/2016/07/03/article3512016.ece

    Your hero Killed many thousands of innocent Tamils.

    War criminal Rajapaksa boasted that his “troops went to the battlefront carrying a gun in one hand, the Human Rights Charter in the other”

    The UN said up to 40,000 civilians may have died in the last months of the civil war; and possibly up to 70,000, according to a 2012 UN Internal Inquiry. The majority of the killings were attributed to government forces, directly under the control of the President’s much-feared brother, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Sri Lanka’s Defence Secretary.

    • 5
      2

      Very credible figures: 40000 MAY have been …. and POSSIBLY 70000. from what the IDPs have revealed the 70000 PROBABLY have been killed by the LTTE itself

  • 4
    8

    His storian

    Mangala samaraweera
    “I really do not agree that there was genocide. But having said that there were extremely serious cases of human rights violations. Some may amount to war crimes, we don’t know”.

    “I think the time has come for Sri Lanka to know the truth. In the process of seeking the truth, we may also find out / if there were allegation of genocide we are willing to look into it,” the Sri Lankan Foreign Minister told at the government’s side event well attended by members of the Tamil diaspora groups and local and international human rights activists.

    Truth will come out.

  • 14
    8

    Dr. Michael Roberts, expect a bombardment of abject comments for your factual article from various lickers of Tamil racism and yahapalana band wagon who see everything black when it comes to MR and his efforts to eradicate the LTTE menace – at least in the military front.

    Let the dogs bark. Make sure the cart moves forward. Good Luck!

    • 6
      6

      max,

      A better leader than MR would have handled this better.
      Diplomacy is also required, and that doesn’t mean bending to the
      will of others.

      • 3
        0

        From 77 we had leaders who are ever so willing to back down as soon as you see some white skin. That is the only reason terrorism existed in this land for 30 odd years. The current regime bends backwards to foreigners.

    • 4
      1

      max:

      The various lickers of Tamil racism had turned MR/BR/GR upside down. They need your unflinching help to turn them back. Indeed the cart will move forward but sadly not on yours or MR’s terms. The relentless licking Tamils are notching up to continue squeezing the balls and you do need the good luck to save them.

      • 4
        0

        Tamil nationalists may eventually win self governance and progress only god knows where but it isn’t the fault of Rajapakshe. It’s the ungratefulness and jealously of Sri Lankans which will eventually undo the country we call home.

  • 10
    11

    What a leader !
    The people in the country will certainly remember this day

    And thanx Roberts, now expect the verbal abuse

    • 5
      2

      sach:

      Sure, lest you forget the panic button always goes crazy when they go shopping at UNHRC. They will certainly remember that day. Why do you think the govt first acceded to the UNHRC resolution but later backtracked in swimming in a whirlpool of excuses? They have to remember the day, as you have generously pointed out.

      • 0
        2

        Bu±± hurt ? Then die..

  • 9
    6

    This is a good reminder for the ungrateful people who forgot the past.

    For the people who bring up every month about 2 murders forgetting 60,000 murders from 1986 to 1989 (Batalanda Commision)

    Biggest mistake Rajapaksa did was to finish Prabakaran. Our ungrateful people (Singalese, Tamil and Muslims) need some one like Prabakaran to keep them reminded how it was to live in Sri Lanka.

  • 9
    2

    [Edited out] Michael,

    Thank you for writing this article that reveals some very interesting things that happened during the last stage of the operation to eliminate LTTE.

    As others have pointed out those who get paid in Green Backs will be after you like a pack of wolfs. They do not like to hear the truth. Anpu has repeated the usual BS.

    The Government should agree to bring international judges on the condition that they first investigate the crimes committed against Tamils, Muslims and Sinhalese by Tamil terrorist groups. The SL Army did not start a war against Tamils. They responded to atrocities committed by Tamil terrorist groups.

    As Sri Lankans we should be proud that we had a President who did not bow down to pressure from outsiders. We thought JR was a tough guy but instead of telling Indians to mind their own business he signed the Indo-Lanka accord. If he did that probably LTTE would have been dead long time ago and Rajiv Gandhi could be still alive!

    Churchill won the war but lost at the election. But later British people recognized his contribution. There is a possibility that same thing will happen in Sri Lanka. I went to my home town (close to Galle from where you hail) and spend a couple of days and talked to villagers. One chap told [Edited out]

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      Galle Kollek:

      “The SL Army did not start a war against Tamils. They responded to atrocities committed by Tamil terrorist groups.”

      Even donkeys have bigger ears. Well, what happened to the 70,000 sinhalese butchered by the army? Were all of them terrorists?

      “The Government should agree to bring international judges on the condition that they first investigate the crimes committed against Tamils, Muslims and Sinhalese by Tamil terrorist groups”

      This is by far the most sensible statement coming from a donkey’s mouth. Isn’t this what your MR refused? Did you ever ask him why, and as you readily point out, this would have offered a golden opportunity to exonerate himself from all these lies swirling around him. Of course when they investigate the Tamils, they will also investigate the Sinhalese regime. The problem is the sinhalese are running scared of now bringing international judges. Instead of being hoodlum, it will be better to convince the sinhalese for such an investigation with international participation. Let then this matter be settled once and for all.

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      Galle Kollek

      “The Government should agree to bring international judges on the condition that they first investigate the crimes committed against Tamils, Muslims and Sinhalese by Tamil terrorist groups.”

      Lets not go into your disorder of priority.

      I agree we need to have an independent commission that could put some trust back into judicial investigation and unearth all truth, irrespective of the perpetrators’ race, religion or region.

      The investigation must cover every armed conflict that started on 5th April 1971 and ended in May 2009. There had been many parties to the conflict that lasted almost 45 years.

      Lets start with JVP/state, continue through various paces Sri Lanka/LTTE, Hindia/Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka/LTTE, Hindia/LTTE, JVP/Sri Lanka, LTTE/Sri Lanka, International Community (Hindia)/LTTE, ……

      Let us deal with Hindia first for escalating the local conflict into a regional conflict in its own interest then going to war with the LTTE. IPKF was responsible for many atrocities and had committed war crimes.
      I think you should deal with India first then the rest. Premadasa and his army commanders who were supposed to fight the foreign invaders and protect its own people but failed to do what is expected of while supplying money and armed to LTTE.

      Then of course JVP and the state security forces had committed war crimes and crimes against humanity in 1971 and between 1987 and 1991.

      MR lavishly paid a large sums of money to the LTTE in return for a favourable outcome in Vanni area during 2005 elections.

      Then the 30 years of war and the fate of innocent civilians.

      You got just about every type and size of atrocities which can be attributable to all section of the society without exception.

      By the way, what did Jaffna library do to deserve the way it was burnt down by the armed forces, police and Dutta Gamini’s thugs?

      You have bale full of history to deal with. Get on with it and come back and report us the progress.

      I have a sneaky suspicion that you are not really interested in pursuing the LTTE diaspora.

      Are you one of the secret admirer of VP?

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    Check footnote 10
    I believe it was the Swedish Foreign Minister, Carl Bildt (?)who wished to come to Sri Lanka with Milliband and Kouchner not the Norwegian Foreign Minister.His application was turned down by GSL.

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    The war was won, but at what cost?
    Not sure whether war crimes were committed or not by the Govt forces, but
    lack of transparency and diplomacy by the MR regime has condemned Sri Lanka to the present situation.

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      This is not lack of diplomacy ….this IS diplomacy

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      Certainly the cost is lower than suicide bombs continuing in the south and artillery falling on the houses in north. We are much much better off than an illegal terrorist organization running 1/3rd of country.

      There were only two choices when Rajapakshe took over the country. Be the good boy of every one and then let our citizen slaughter each other or defeat the separatists and risk the wrath of the West and India.

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        Illiberal One

        “We are much much better off than an illegal terrorist organization running 1/3rd of country.”

        What was the Sri Lankan armed forces doing while the LTTE took control of 1/3, don’t you think its too much, perhaps hiding behind their women folks?

        “There were only two choices when Rajapakshe took over the country. “

        There was no choice for him. Hindians have already made up their mind. Being a simpleton MR had to obey Hindians’s order, he just went along with the big sister.

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    Roberts is overly straining to potray the Rajapaksas as angels. The gimmick in his writings is that the sleeping cat thinks that the whole world is asleep. Only when it gets a kick does it realise that the world is wide awake.

    If as much as he believes that a paradise prevailed during and after the war, why resist so much for an international investigation? If the slate is clean, why this hide and seek? The pristine time-table of events and the “humanitarian” operation ought to receive respected accolades. Roberts should take the initiative to help the Rajapaksas in their effort to the claim of humanitarian angels and shut the mouths of all those scoundrels who heap unsavoury and painful accusations against them instead of beating around the bush to the extent that possibly appear as losing his balls. The international scoundrels are at the doorstep of Sri Lanka. A learned person like Roberts should press home to the Rajapaksas – tell the truth and shame the devil. Will Roberts be up to that or will he lose his pants?

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      A State Department officer has told that SL Army did not commit war crimes. SL resist international investigation because there is a hidden agenda behind it. The pay masters for international judges will choose the judges who are likely to deliver foregone verdicts. If one study the way UNHRC doing things this is pretty obvious. They collected evidences from 40 odd ghosts against the Sri Lankan army but nothing against Tamil terrorists.

      After the WW2, war crimes charges were brought against the Nazis, not against the Allied forces who liberated Germany from Nazis. In Kampuchea, the UN Tribunal tried Pol Pot regime leaders for war crimes. They did not try the Kampuchea army that liberated the country from Pol Pot butcher. In Sri Lanka, the SL Army liberated the country from Prabhakaran’s (also known as Pol Pot in Sri Lanka)butcher army. If one follow the previous cases, war crimes charges should be brought against LTTE carders and not against the Sri Lankan army. This Government is releasing hard core LTTE terrorists who have committed grave crimes. They should be tried and punished. Hunt down those LTTE leaders hiding in safe havens. Try Adale for promoting suicide bombers. Try TNA politicians for supporting LTTE terrorists.

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        SL Citizen:

        “A State Department officer has told that SL Army did not commit war crimes.”

        Where did you get this information from? I believe it was the military attache (MA) at the US embassy in Colombo who made that statement. However, the US State Dept in denying this, had explained the attache did so in his personal capacity.

        “SL resist international investigation because there is a hidden agenda behind it.”

        You have to wash your brain and hang it to dry. SL neither resisted nor considered of a hidden agenda when it co-sponsored the last UNHRC resolution. I am really baffled you donkeys are so ignorant and stupid. The selection process of international judges will have to be considered by all the stakeholders, including SL. Of course, unlike the phony investigation by the army investigating itself, there will be established standards. You can open your stupid wide mouth to complain about the Tamil terrorists, as the LTTE also is implicated in the UNHRC report.

        We have reached a point in history where insofar as the atrocities and alleged crimes have become public knowledge and today there is little SL can do to stop the continued investigation. While it may claim, just like stupid donkeys like you, that this is purely an internal matter, it knows it has little choice and that is why it acceded to the resolution to be co-sponsored. You can scream as much as you want, but this problem is not going to go away and will continue to haunt. You may be an imbecile, ignoring the fact that about 70,000 sinhalese were brutally finished off by the very army you think are heroes and that is your problem but this time you would realise no matter how hard the Rajapaksas tried, they bit the dust.

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    Micheal Roberts the hero maker of the most degenerate is once again giving a high approval tick to his hero.

    The facts are stubborn. Thousands of Tamils were butchered unnecessarily. Those who surrendered were tortured and murdered. thousands of young women were raped. Thousands of people were made to disappear. Journalist were gunned down in abandon. Hundreds of thousands had to seek refuge overseas. White vans appeared and disappeared with so many people who MR and his coterie of Mafiosi thought were a threat to them. The country was plundered mercilessly. Lands were taken over not only for military use but the enrichment of the MARA mafia. Saffron robed thugs were allowed to roam freely intimidating, harassing and finally murdering minority communities.

    Michael,the litany of woes against your hero MARA will run into encyclopaedic volumes. Yet you chose him as your unmitigated hero. What does it mean to the people what kind of man (or inhuman) you are.

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      Thousands were butchered by the LTTE ..

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        Yes Sach agreed.

        However we are talking about Michael Roberts making a hero out of a villain.

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    If you ever dig into any problem in Asia there will be a white hand. It is time Asia unites to defend itself against this kind of neo colonial interference. Asia will never be stable until India and China unite. Unfortunately Indian and Sri Lankan have got the taste of white ass licking . They have yet to see the repercussions the Diarrhoea.

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    Robert’s says above “It was a two over match.The visitors were stymied,deflated”The guy if he had an ounce of intellectualism in him would have gone on to say how this Embilipitiys meeting set the tone for Rajapaksa for dragging little Sri Lanka through the mud via Geneva until he himself ended in the dust bin of history on January 8th 2015,The card board Tarzan of an ex President simply went berserk after Embilipitiya,spinning out of control,taking on the whole of the West and what a price he got our country to pay,until it was eventually saved by the bell by our voters in 2015.

    Basically Rajapaksa thought that the help the West and India gave him in the last stages of the war which was crucial in ending it was an open license to act with impunity there after.Palita Kohonna his chief foreign affairs advisor was the one who gave the rope to hang by encouraging this thinking.It was quickly supported by morons with little or really no knowledge of the practical or theoretical aspects of international affairs such as Lalith ” Sil Redda” Weeratunga, Gota Rajapaksa etc, who are absolute racists.Shenuka Seneviratne a mediocre woman would have of course supported anything that MR wanted to do because she was wanting to be Ambassador to the UN in New York.It is widely known that Kohonna was a failed UN guy who headed a petty sub Section that housesTreaties as a mere Director and was never in the major league which had people like Jayantha Dhanapala as Under Secretary General etc.His performance as Secretary to the ministry of external affairs was that of a square peg in a round hole, to be very brief.Bogollagama was the best of this horrible mediocre gang but he had no great skill or voice as MR and Lalith W set Kohonna and Boggols to have acobra fight in the External ministry with Shenuka S playing both ways.Although absolutely mediocre as a diplomat she had plenty of skills in this department,employing unprintable methods.She even hoped that MR would remain in office after his defeat together with others like Maheshini Colonne and Majintha Jayasinghe also officials at External ministry.

    Ultimately MR who did the unthinkable by winning the war which no expert believed could be done was hounded out of office due a)greatly to his ignorance of international affairs and power play been a man with the Medamulana chena cultivator mentality.b) He was at heart a racist c)he was surrounded by a gang of incompetent people who were racists,d)He did not have any proper advisors in international affairs.

    So come 8th January 2015 Percy Mahendra Rajapaksa meekly gave up,rolling his mat and took flight to his chena land in Medamulana.His advisors just decamped .Rajapaksa who roared like a lion in May 2009 even though he was only a mouse, just went without a wimper. So Roberts there is no point in celebrating what Rajapaksa did or say to Miliband or Kouchener for the embilipitiya meeting was precisely the beginning of his end.Fortunately his end heralded a new beginning for our Sri Lanka.By the way Roberts does the air and water in Australia dim intellectual ability?That may be subject that could interest people like you because History or international affairs seems to be out of question, although you were once good at it.

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    What is thing with the likes of HLD and Dr Roberts? Regurgitating old vomit just to fill column inches and remind us that they are still alive. The bloody war ended a long seven years ago. The country is now searching for new ways of bringing together communities, a new dawn where we can enjoy a better life in our Island Paradise. AND all we get from two ageing expats is this revisiting of long-forgotten events. Write a book and see whether it will sell.

    Our new worries are the evil and odious BBS, Gandasara and his Golum surrogates and other divisive bastards looking to kindle fresh divisions. As if that was not enough, we now have a national cricket team in the doldrums.

    When will the Great Gods of Sri Lanka forgive us and send us some respite?

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      Spring Koha

      “When will the Great Gods of Sri Lanka forgive us and send us some respite?”

      Don’t you believe in KARMA, well it is catching up with us?

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    [Edited out]

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    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2/

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    MR may seem like a giant in front of Sirisena or Ranil but he is too small to stop western ambitions. He is lucky he got away with a regime change, if somehow he had won his 3rd term he may have been rooted out in Gadaffi style.

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    From him to Sirisena! Yeah that’s right, don’t laugh at us please.

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    Palingu Menike! Isn’t your name Pongu Menike? Your name reminds me of a beautiful saying in Sri Lanka ” Namin kapuruhapmy; numuth kata gandai”.

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    This ongoing debate/argument about what happened especially during the last weeks of the war, could be determined only by a so-called hybrid court of law with international judges and counsel included in the process.

    Roberts cannot testify, as he was not there.

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    “Mahinda Rajapaksa’s fierce response on this occasion was on the same plane as the retort directed at Solheim in March 2006 when the latter told the President that the LTTE could not be defeated.”

    Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha

    In March 2006, even Mahinda Rajapaksa thought that the LTTE could not be defeated.

    In April 2009, Mahinda could not believe the fact that the war would be over so soon.

  • 2
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    The laborious lead-up to the essence of the article made me expect brilliant verbal sword-play, marked by repartee and wit (“wit” in the earlier sense of sharp intelligence) but all I read was an exchange that was as brief as it was blunt. Roberts has laboured over much chaff for very little grain forgetting the maxim, Brevity is the essence of wit.
    But there is something much more grave and unfortunate in his article. I quote:
    “After the initial pleasantries, Miliband opened the ‘bowling’ aggressively with a fiery ‘bouncer’: “Mr President, we have a message from the international community. Your forces are threatening the annihilation of the Tamils [emphasis in the original]. We want you to stop these attacks on Tamils immediately.”
    Mahinda Rajapaksa’s response was as sharp as angry: “Remember, we are no longer a colony of yours. That ended in 1948. I will not stop until our forces will finish terrorism.”
    It is significant that while the foreign visitors speak of “the annihilation of the Tamils” (admittedly an exaggeration) the Rajapakse brothers retort by asserting they will “finish terrorism”. By a Machiavellian sleight-of-words, the entire Tamil civilian population is equated with terrorism. In order to kill the Tigers, then reduced to a ragged few hundreds, thousands and thousands of innocent civilians (including little children, women and the aged) were slaughtered.
    What is shocking and distressing is the lack of humanity, of compassion and principle. Roberts holds up for admiration something that one should be ashamed of. What is called for is not laudation but regret and sorrow.

  • 0
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    Michael Roberts seems to hate anyone showing sympathy to the plight of Eelam Tamils. In a previous article he attributed Gordon Weiss’ opinion as inspired by his Polish-Jewish ancestry.

    In this article he says that David Miliband has “Jewish sensibilities”. By the way Bernard Kouchner was a founder of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). In 1999 MSF was awarded Nobel Peace Prize. Mahinda ordered MSF out just before the final offensive.

    Bernard was in the International Independent Group of Eminent Persons (IIGEP), a group of individuals nominated by international donor countries and the government of Sri Lanka, vested with a wide mandate to observe all investigations and inquiries conducted by and on behalf of the Commission of Inquiry into alleged human rights abuses in Sri Lanka. IIEGP just could not work and disbanded itself.

    Michael, Bernard and David knew what they were talking. It is unfair to call them “USA’s sidekicks”.

    In 2001 the “Marga Institute” put out a series of booklets on “A History of Ethnic Conflict in Sri Lanka”. Michael Roberts contributed. Should he read them he will be surprised by the change in his thinking and reasoning. Michael now hopes a Mahinda comeback. Good luck.

  • 0
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    Dear Ms / Mr K. Pillai

    May I remind you that it’s only the truly “noble” wines that mature and mellow with age?

    Sarvan

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      Mr. Sravan:
      Sometimes however wines can turn sour and bitter and even become vinegar!

  • 0
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    Michael Roberts is the most perfect example of that adage Money Talks!

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