29 October, 2020

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Amnesty Wants U.N. Probe Into Sri Lanka War Crimes

By S. Vijay Kumar

An impartial investigation led by the United Nations is the only way to render justice to those affected by war crimes in Sri Lanka, Amnesty International Chief Executive in India G. Ananthapadmanabhan has said.

G. Ananthapadmanabhan, Chief Executive, Amnesty International, during an interview with “The Hindu” in Chennai. Photo: R. Ravindran

The island nation will soon be in the international eye thanks to the impending Commonwealth Heads of Governments meeting and the U.N. Universal Periodical Review of Human Rights practices in countries, he pointed out. There was no doubt there were gross human rights crimes in Sri Lanka, but they were not one-sided. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam was also responsible for violations such as recruitment of children into the force, he said.

“Nevertheless, there is a huge responsibility on the Sri Lankan government to ensure impartial investigation, followed by justice for these crimes. There have been lots of promises and some efforts with the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission [LLRC]. But we know that the latest report released in July on the progress in LLRC was cosmetic,” he told The Hindu.

Mr. Ananthapadmanabhan said Amnesty felt a U.N.-led investigation was the only way to ensure justice. “There should be punishment based on the findings of the investigation. Officially, Amnesty is not welcome to Sri Lanka at this time … but we have our own ways to find out what is going on there.”

Since the people of Tamil Nadu were very concerned about the Tamils in Sri Lanka, the State government had a responsibility to safeguard the interests of refugees and ensure that they were treated in accordance with the U.N. Convention on Refugees.

Mr. Ananthapadmanabhan expressed concern at pretrial detentions, saying 65 per cent of prisons in the country were filled with undertrials. The jails were overcrowded, making it difficult to administer them. “Several hundreds of prisoners are imprisoned for tenures that are much more than what is prescribed as punishment under law for the offence charged against them. With the existing laws and Supreme Court rulings, we can get many of them released.”

Amnesty would continue to work for protecting the rights of adivasis. “We realise that human rights are not well framed or understood by a majority of the people. We think we have a role in creating human rights-friendly schools. Efforts are on to transform about 30 schools on those lines in Bangalore.”

India, he said, was far from realising the constitutional dreams. Many rights guaranteed by the Constitution remained only on paper. “Human rights activists or whistleblowers are framed on arbitrary charges. The latest and the most prominent example is the case of Kudankulam [nuclear plant in Tamil Nadu] where protesters were accused of all kinds of things … charges were framed against them.”

Mr. Ananthapadmanabhan, who will be addressing the TESO (Tamil Eelam Supporters Organisation) conference in Chennai, said the Eelam issue was politicised in a very narrow way in Tamil Nadu. “There is no doubt that it [the conference] is a political meet. Yes, it is a platform that is political and politicised, but also a platform to raise the issue. The truth is also that there is a genuine empathy and feeling among the ordinary public in the State for the plight of Tamils in Sri Lanka.”

The Government of India had a phenomenal influence because of geographical proximity and its relationship with the Sri Lankan government. There was a great opportunity to make public opinion count. “What we want to remind the Government of India and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is that the relationship with Sri Lanka is just not a relationship between the governments but between the people of both countries,” he said.

The Hindu

 

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Latest comments

  • 0
    0

    Quite right the UN which is guzzles $$$ and does very little should be charged with an investigations because the Rajapakse regime will not investigate itself as the President and his brother Gota the white van goon have command responsibility. It is very clear that for justice to be done the UN will have to hold an inquiry in Lanka – sooner or later!

  • 0
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    An investigation is very necessary and this must be done without delay.
    This is not a question of Sri Lanka or Eritrea.
    It is not a question of the Sinhala or Tamil or Hindustani.
    This is a question of “defending defenceless people”
    Let alone International law, let alone the local law, it is a question of the dignity of mankind.
    Mankind must not be allowed to treat another man with scorn and injustice.
    When the Pol Pot regime was finally defeated thousands of remains of human skeletons were discovered, they were identified and and there was a respectable ending to these people.

    Likewise here in Sri Lanka we have to get these bodies out, they should be identified and given a decent burial by whosoever.

    This is the last thing any respectable Nation can do to the dead.
    Whether the LTTE, the Government or a third force did these atrocious acts can be decided by law.

  • 0
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    @Walter.. Made good points.
    However General Fonseka, Colonel Gotabaya Rajapakse were steps ahead of the whole world and us. They secretly imported incinerators from China so that they can eliminate all evidence of war crimes.

    Tamils are unable to get the bones of the dead to give them a decent burial.

    The Sinhala State Terrorist would not even allow the Tamils to even have a memorial for the dead in cemeteries or public places among the Tamils. Instead they want to rub it in to the Tamils and build Buddhist Temples every 3-4 miles on A 9 and elsewhere when there are no Sinhalese living.

    Then they have the temerity to talk about reconciliation and humanitarian operations.

    The President admitted 9,000 Tamil civilians died after claiming ZERO casualties.. What happened to those bones???

    Demining operations took so long is that the army were looking for bones and buried GOLD of the civilians and stole them… That will be bad Karma…

    THIEVES.

    Gov. Can build any amount of memorials for the soldiers in the South and the Sinhala tourist can visit them without driving hundreds of miles to Mullivaikal..These are seeds of dissension Rajpakses are sewing which will cause serious problems with future generations in the North-East.

    These monuments are all temporary built against the will of the LOCAL TAMILS there. For the moment there are NO Tamils living there.. It is a HSZ protecting everybody from the spirits.. lol.

  • 0
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    I guess within the next few months, we can expect the Rajapaksa regime to start their verbal attacks on Amnesty, linking it to Tamil lobbies, and evil western influences. This is predictable.
    The more the Rajapaksa’s stall, avoid, deny, and hide, the more guilty they look.
    There are a lot of unanswered questions about the final stages of the war, and many families are still looking
    for missing family members, it is time the government, responsible for protecting all people, did the honest thing, by cooperating with international investigators. This should not be an issue, if they are upfront and honest in what they say. This is no way to promote communal harmony among the people. This will surely leave many Tamil families with anger – an anger that could manifest itself again, and cause problems for the entire country, once again. The Rajapaksa’s just don’t seem to get it, sometimes.

  • 0
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    Gnanakones instigated and Walter is after defending defenceless people.
    What a comedy…. How wazzz That ???? What do you rasie to this appeal ? The middle finger ?

    Amnesty has already been exposed to malpractices & double standards. A mouth piece for the diaspora.
    Who cares what they say …….

    • 0
      0

      hey dick
      put your middle in side moons and lick it,
      contract killing babarians, merceneries .

      never had any rspect as born to prostitutes, not knowing the fathers

  • 0
    0

    Navanethan Pillai(UNCHR),Anadapathamanadan(Amnesty International),LTTE Supporters,Who are they? They all are Like, Karunanidi,Viko Jaylalitha,Brithish, European Politicians all are Depending Voters other are depending on Jobs.LTTE created by whom,Supply
    all arms by all this jokers.India is worried about Separation of South Indian state from their main land.RAW -CIA- UK- France all are playing in this game.LTTE money Still millions are poring in to this business.
    Most of the Asylum seekers are living in the Western countries are not Sri Lankan Tamils.They are Tamils lived in the various parts of the world.Most of them are now Citizens of this Countries.Because of this war. They are paying interest for this Game now.All of them are guilty what they have done.
    To claim Asylum Tamil lawyers prepared ground work using their skills.
    Bogus Documents are freely available for this purpose.Birth certificate, Medical Certificates(Torture,Rape),ID cards,Police complains,any documents.Please that’s enough now.War is end now.Don’t start again.Tamil, Muslims,Sinhalese all have to live peacefully in this tiny beautiful,country.Before you do any thing think carefully.

    Kumar Senadirajah.

  • 0
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    At some stage an inquiry has to come about, due mainly in the Regime
    hiding facts, ensuring the war to be without witnesses and denying each
    and every allegation downright.
    The MOD archives will have the video by Ramawickrema the Army embedded
    Vedio Cameraman, whose verbal version of events has to be stated. He
    made some money selling the Video clips in Mobile formats and is held
    by MOD in a “golden cage” like KP, awaiting the International Inquiry.
    Either these two become State witnesses or confess, it is only an
    Independent Inquiry at International level will reveal the truth.
    The Army is supposed to be Inquiring into the Ch.4 releases, but no
    one will know the outcome!

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