21 September, 2020

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Arrest Sri Lanka’s Defence Attaché To UK: Tamil Diaspora Tells UK Government

A number of active Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora organisations around the world have urged the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs to declare Brigadier Sawrna Bothota a ‘persona non grata’ and curtail his diplomatic visa in order to allow the Met Police to arrest him and investigate him for war crimes.

“The first was Major General Prasanna Silva, named in three UN reports as a war criminal. Silva was asked to leave because of the threat of a judicial review. The second was Brigadier Priyanka Fernando, who threatened to decapitate peaceful protestors in front of the Sri Lankan High Commission in London. After he was asked to leave following the intervention of the APPG for Tamils among others and the threat of a judicial review, the FCO accredited Brigadier DBSN Bothota,” they said.

Brigadier Sawrna Bothota

We publish below the letters in full:

The Rt. Hon. Dominic Raab

Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

King Charles Street London SW1A 2AH

2 September 2020

Dear Mr Raab,

Sri Lanka’s Defence Attaché to the United Kingdom Brigadier DBSN Bothota

We are writing to you relating to Sri Lanka’s Defence Attaché to the United Kingdom, Brigadier Dappula Bandara Swarna Bothota. Please find attached a detailed legal representation letter along with supporting material. Below is a summary of our case against the Defence Attache’ and our request to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).

Sri Lanka’s military stands accused of committing grave atrocity crimes and genocide during the decades long civil war. According to UN figures released almost 6,500 ethnic Tamil civilians have been killed and 14,000 more injured in the fighting between the government and rebel forces since late January 2009. Respected human rights organisations estimate that at least 40,000 civilians were killed during the final stages of the war in 2009.

During the war, in February 2008, Brigadier Bothota was elevated to a Lieutenant Colonel and appointed as the commander of the senior most regiment of the Sri Lankan Army, namely 1st Reconnaissance Regiment Sri Lanka Armoured Corps. He served in this position until February 2009, playing a significant role in the Sri Lankan military during the final stages of the war.

In accrediting Brigadier BDSN Bothota, the FCO has not done the necessary due diligence to ensure that potential human rights violators are prevented from entering the UK and being allowed to hold office in the UK. Sadly, this would be the third time in succession, the FCO has accredited a war criminal as Sri Lanka’s Defence Attaché.

The first was Major General Prasanna Silva, named in three UN reports as a war criminal. Silva was asked to leave because of the threat of a judicial review. The second was Brigadier Priyanka Fernando, who threatened to decapitate peaceful protestors in front of the Sri Lankan High Commission in London. After he was asked to leave following the intervention of the APPG for Tamils among others and the threat of a judicial review, the FCO accredited Brigadier DBSN Bothota.

We call upon your office to to set out in clear detailed terms, supported by evidence of the actions taken by Her Majesty’s Government, exactly how it has met and continues to meet all of its obligations imposed by international and domestic law arising from the acceptance of Brigadier Bothota as a Defence Attaché. Additionally, we seek an immediate declaration from the FCO that in accordance with its international and domestic obligations the UK will declare Brigadier Bothota a ‘persona non grata’, curtail his diplomatic visa in order to allow the Met Police to arrest him and investigate him for the offences he has committed.

Yours Sincerely,

British Tamil Conservatives 

International Centre for Prevention & Prosecution of Genocide

PEARL

Tamil Coordinating Committee UK 

Tamils for Labour

Tamil Information Centre

Tamil Youth Organisation

Together Against Genocide

Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam

World Tamil Historical Society

Copies To:

Rt. Hon. Boris Johnson, Prime Minister

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, FCO Minister for South Asia


The Right Honourable Dominic Raab MP

Secretary of State for Foreign & Commonwealth Affairs

King Charles Street
London SW1A 2AH

30 July 2020

Dear Mr Raab,

SRI LANKAN MILITARY ATTACHE BRIGADIER DAPPULA BANDARA SWARNA NARAYANA BOTHOTA

We are writing to request you to declare Sri Lankan Military Attache, Brigadier Dappula Bandara Swarna Narayana Bothota, a “persona non grata”. We are of the view that the UK has under international law and domestic law, clear obligations to:

a) curtail the diplomatic visa of Brigadier Swarna Bothota;

b) declare Brigadier Swarna Bothota a ‘persona non grata’;

c) seriously consider the initiation of criminal investigations.

Those obligations arise in the context of the Sri Lankan government persistently and systematically breaching the “intransgressible” principles of International Humanitarian Law, arguably perpetrating war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide and committing gross violations of international human rights law during the war between the LTTE and the Sri Lankan government that ended in May 2009 and Brigadier Swarna Bothota playing a significant role in the Sri Lankan military during the relevant period of time.

The situation in Sri Lanka, particularly in the area of Vanni could not have been more serious. According to UN figures released almost 6,500 ethnic Tamil civilians have been killed and 14,000 more injured in the fighting between the government and rebel forces since late January 2009[1]. Respected human rights organisations estimate that at least 40,000 civilians were killed during the final stages of the war in 2009. On 21 April 2009, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the only aid agency with a permanent albeit restricted access to the warzone, described the situation as “nothing short of catastrophic” [2]with hundreds of civilians killed or wounded in the last few days[3]. UN Officials estimated that as many as 50,000 people remained trapped in the narrow stretch declared a no-fire zone by the Sri Lankan government despite tens of thousands fleeing the area[4]. The overwhelming majority of those killed were children[5].

During the war, in February 2008, Brigadier Bothota was elevated to a Lieutenant Colonel and appointed as the commander of the Senior Most Regiment of the Sri Lankan Army namely 1st Reconnaissance Regiment Sri Lanka Armoured Corps and served in this position until February 2009. Between August 2007 and January 2008, he was the Commanding Officer of the 6th Regiment of the Sri Lanka Armoured Corps.

In light of these facts relating to the final stages of the war, it is our view that the UK government’s refusal to declare Brigadier Swarna Bothota a ‘persona non grata’ and the UK Government’s decision to continue his diplomatic visa have in no way complied with its responsibilities under international and domestic law. In the face of such systematic and widespread violations of international humanitarian law and human rights standards by another state, the UK government has a number of obligations under international law. We are of the view that those obligations have not been met.

We call upon the Foreign Secretary to set out in clear detailed terms, supported by evidence of the actions taken by Her Majesty’s Government, exactly how it has met and continues to meet all of its obligations imposed by international and domestic law arising from the acceptance of Brigadier Bothota as a Military Attaché. Additionally, we seek an immediate declaration from the UK Government / FCO that in accordance with its international and domestic obligations the UK will declare Brigadier Bothota a ‘persona non grata’, curtail his diplomatic visa in order to allow the Met Police to arrest him and investigate him for the offences he has committed.

It has now become clear that the UK government has clearly not done the due diligence to ensure that potential human rights violators are prevented from entering the UK and being allowed to hold office in the UK. The attached research from the ITJP shows that the Brigadier should have been asked to clarify what his role, if any, was during the last stages of the war in Sri Lanka. However, this had not been done in Brigadier Bothota’s case. There is regrettably no longer any information available online about Brigadier Bothota’s role in the war between February – May 2009. The Vetting authorities should have asked him to clarify this period in his career before he was offered a diplomatic position in the UK. In order to remedy this failure, we invite the UK Government/FCO to refer this matter to the War Crimes/Special Branch of the Met Police for immediate investigation.

Sri Lanka’s Violations of International Law

Throughout 2008, the conflict intensified in the LTTE-controlled areas of northern Sri Lanka, known as the Vanni and in September 2008 the government expelled international humanitarian agencies from the region citing security concerns. In its 2008 Human Rights Report for Sri Lanka, the US State Department Human Rights Report observed:

The government’s respect for human rights declined as armed conflict escalated. The overwhelming majority of victims of human rights violations, such as killings and disappearances, were young male Tamils, while Tamils were only 16 percent of the overall population. Credible reports cited unlawful killings by paramilitaries and others believed to be working with the awareness of the government, assassinations by unknown perpetrators, politically motivated killings, the continuing use of child soldiers by a paramilitary force associated with the government, disappearances, arbitrary arrests and detention, poor prison conditions, denial of fair public trial, government corruption and lack of transparency, infringement of freedom of movement, and discrimination against minorities. Pro-government paramilitary groups were credibly alleged to have participated in armed attacks against civilians and practiced torture, kidnapping, hostage-taking, and extortion with impunity. During the year, no military, police or paramilitary members were convicted of any domestic human rights abuse. The executive failed to appoint the Constitutional Council, which is required under the Constitution, thus obstructing the appointment of independent representatives to important institutions such as the Human Rights Commission, Bribery Commission, Police Commission, and Judicial Service Commission.[6]

In January 2009, Sri Lankan forces seized control of major areas that had previously been held by the LTTE. Since that time there had been rising international concern over the humanitarian situation of the thousands of civilians trapped in the Vanni region together with condemnation of the Sri Lankan government’s role in the worsening humanitarian crisis.

Breaches of the “intransgressible” principles of international customary law

The brutality of the actions of the Sri Lankan government against the civilian Tamils is well documented by the UN expert panel report, UN Human Rights Commissioner OISL’s report, US State Department report and reports by respected international human rights groups.

Civilian Deaths and Indiscriminate Attacks

As cited above, according to a United Nations document circulated among diplomatic missions nearly 6,500 civilians were killed and 14,000 wounded in fighting in Sri Lanka between January and May 2009.7 During the war, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights noted that “the current level of civilian casualties is truly shocking and there are legitimate fears that the loss of life may reach catastrophic levels in the fighting in this way”8. With rapid military successes the Sri Lankan army pursued an uncompromising military end game without any regard to the Tamil civilians caught in the crossfire. Calls for cease-fires to allow humanitarian access were repeatedly resisted and the 2 day ceasefire that was announced on 13 and 14 April 2009 was inadequate to allow in significant amounts of aid, or indeed to allow visits by humanitarian workers to the area. On 24 April 2009, hours after the UN announced the dispatch of a humanitarian team to the area and called for a pause in fighting to allow aid into the conflict zone, the Sri Lankan government stated that there would be no further breaks in its military offensive[9].

A high number of those civilian deaths had reportedly been caused by indiscriminate artillery attacks and aerial bombardment by the Sri Lankan forces including in the areas declared as “safe zones” by the government[10]. In a briefing published by Amnesty International in March 2009 it was noted “reports from the few remaining UN staff, aid workers and civilians able to contact the outside world speak of regular, heavy bombardment of the safe zone, including hours-long artillery barrages”[11]. The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), reported in a press briefing at UN Headquarters that it continued to receive reports of shelling, mortar fire and aerial attacks in the “no fire” zone in Sri Lanka[12].

In a statement published on 3 April 2009, the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon expressed deep concern at the continuing reports from the Vanni region that civilians were at extreme risk. At the same time the Secretary-General reminded the government of its responsibility to protect civilians, and, as promised, to avoid the use of heavy weaponry in areas where there were civilians.[13] Newspapers reports continued to report shelling in civilian areas on an almost daily basis[14] causing a high number of casualties. Medicins Sans Frontiere which was not allowed access to the war zone but treats those fleeing, reported in its press release on 22 April that:

“Busloads of patients are arriving from the conflict zone to the hospital and the government-run camps in Vavuniya. “The buses are still coming and they’re actually unloading dead bodies at times as some wounded people died on the way” says Karen Stewart, MSF mental health officer working in Vavuniya. More than 30 wounded people died on their way to the hospital on Monday 20th April.”[15]

There was round condemnation of the actions of the Sri Lankan government. On 22 April 2009, Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton said “I think that the Sri Lankan government knows that the entire world is very disappointed that in its efforts to end what it sees as 25 years of conflict, it is causing such untold suffering”[16].

Attacks on Hospitals

Human Rights Watch compiled information from aid agencies and eyewitnesses of more than two dozen incidents of artillery shelling or aerial bombardments on or near hospitals in the Vanni Region from 15 December 2008 to 10 February 2009[17]. Including three shellings on a hospital on 1 and 2 February 2009 where according to the ICRC more than 800 people including 500 in-patients were sheltering[18]. In an extraordinary interview with Sky News, the former Defence Secretary of the Sri Lankan government and the current President Gotabaya Rajapakse stated that the shelled hospital[19] was not within the unilaterally declared ‘no-fire zone’ set up by the government and therefore a legitimate target. Two days later on 4 February another hospital was bombed[20]. On 22 April 2009, the Guardian carried eyewitness accounts of cluster bombs and artillery shelling having killed large numbers of civilians in a makeshift hospital[21].

Illegal Use of Weaponry

The concerns regarding indiscriminate attacks on the civilian Tamil populations were heightened by evidence that the government had used illegal weaponry or legal weapons in an illegal manner[22]. Human Rights Watch stated that they had received information that the Sri Lankan forces were using multi-barrel rocket launchers which could not target with sufficient precision to be accurate against military targets, rightly pointing out that their broad area effect made their use incompatible with the laws of war in areas where civilian or civilian objects (such as schools or hospitals) were located[23].

Accusations of the use of cluster bombs by the Sri Lankan army were widespread[24] and Karen Parker in her evidence to the US Senate stated that “there appears to be reliable evidence of the use of white phosphorous as weapons rather than tracers, or that white phosphorous was used with disregard for possible civilian casualties. There is also photographic evidence of the use of fire bombs against Tamils in camps for internally displaced people.”[25]

Internally Displaced Persons (“IDPs”)

The treatment of IDPs by the Sri Lankan government raised serious concerns by international agencies and human rights organisations. Instead of providing the internally displaced with the assistance and protection they were entitled to under international law it appeared that the Sir Lankan government were violating their fundamental human rights. Human Rights Watch, report:
“The government has arbitrarily detained people during screening procedures; subjected all internally displaced persons, including entire families, to indefinite confinement in military controlled camps; and failed to provide adequate medical and other assistance to displaced persons. The government has directly restricted the efforts of relief agencies seeking to meet emergency needs, and has deterred agencies from offering greater support through policies that the agencies rightly perceive as unlawful…

In October – December 2008, Human Rights Watch documented the plight of hundreds of civilians detained in de facto internment camps established by the government since March 2008…the situation has further deteriorated since the beginning of 2009 with the arrival of thousands of new displaced persons in government-controlled areas. The government continues to immediately confine all of them in existing and newly established camps.”

In a letter to the International Monetary Fund, on 23 March 2009, Human Rights Watch further noted:

“All internally displaced persons who cross to the government side, including entire families, are sent to internment centres, which are military-controlled, barbed-wire camps where there are no rights to liberty and freedom of movement. Humanitarian agencies have tenuous access, but do so at the risk of supporting a long-term detention program for civilians fleeing a war.”
The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs stated that up to the end of March 2009, 58,378 persons who have crossed form the conflict were being accommodated in camps for IDPs in the Vavuniya area while another 8,204 IDPs (including the injured and those who accompanies the patients) had gone to Tricomalee.

International bodies, including both the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and the UN Secretary-General’s representative on internally displaced persons consistently called upon the Sri Lankan government to honour its international legal obligations in relation to displaced persons.

Catherine Bragg, the U.N.’s deputy humanitarian chief, said in New York that appealed to the government for access to the refugees and for permission to be present at the initial screening of refugees received no response. With the Sri Lankan government estimating that over a 100,000 people had fled the conflict zone in the last weeks ensuring the cooperation of the Sri Lankan government on the treatment of IDPs was of the upmost priority.

Summary

The above only touches upon the human rights violations that the Tamil Civilians were enduring during the last stages of the war in Sri Lanka. The true scale of the humanitarian crisis and human rights atrocities occurring was extremely difficult to verify at that time because the Sri Lankan government restricted international humanitarian aid agencies from conducting relief operations in the Vanni region and refused any monitoring of the conflict by international actors and organisations. Furthermore, no independent journalists were allowed into the conflict zone and dissenting voices from the media were the subject of harassment, violence and even assassination.

However, despite the Government’s best efforts a clear picture emerged of gross violations of the intransgressible principles of international humanitarian law and internationally recognised human rights standards. Human rights law continued to apply in times of armed conflict save where derogations were applicable. The relevant instruments here included the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights including the first and second Optional Protocols; the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; the Convention on the Rights of the Child; the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racist Discrimination and the United Nations Convention Against Torture and the Genocide Convention.

The targeting of areas sheltering civilians, hospitals and unarmed individuals is utterly forbidden by Article 3 common to the Geneva Conventions of 1949 that binds both parties and the rules of customary international law. The wilful killing or infliction of harm on civilians through the use of indiscriminate weapons such as multi barrel rocket launchers in densely populated areas constituted grave breaches of international humanitarian law. The forcible displacement of civilians was also prohibited under international customary law and the Sri Lankan government’s treatment of the IDPs failed to adhere to the UN Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement and violated the prohibition on arbitrary detention under international humanitarian and human rights law. The deliberate and systematic denial of basic services and assistance such as health care and food is prohibited by international humanitarian law and where such action is calculated to bring about the destruction of part of the population constitutes a crime against humanity.

There is already clear prima facie evidence of ‘war crimes’ as defined by Article 8(2) and ‘crimes against humanity’ as defined by Article 7 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court . While Sri Lanka is not a signatory to the Rome Statute it is well established that the norms of international humanitarian law prohibiting war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide have the status of jus cogens norms . Jus cogens norms as defined in Article 53 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties are those rules “which are accepted and recognised by the international community of states as a whole as a norm from which no derogation is permitted and which can be modified only by a subsequent norm of general international law having the same character.” They are elementary considerations of humanity to which the conventions merely give expression.

Given the slaughter of the Tamil civilians during the last stages of the war there is also a case for Brigadier Bothota and the Sri Lankan government to answer on the commission of genocide under the 1948 Genocide Convention. The definition of genocide contained in Article 2 of the Genocide Convention and Article 6 of the International Statute of the Criminal Court includes “any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: a) killing members of the group; b) causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; c) deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part….” And under Article 3, the acts which shall be punishable include genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide, attempt to commit genocide and complicity in genocide. Recent case-law particularly from the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia is instructive on the evolution of the law as relating to Genocide.

Conclusion

There are reasonable grounds for suspecting that Brigadier Bothota has been involved in violations of international law.

We are of the view that there are a number of clear actions that the UK government should have taken and must now take to comply with its obligations under international and domestic law. What follows are examples of our concerns (and this should by no means be taken to be an exhaustive list). It is the UK government’s responsibility to satisfy us and, if necessary the court, that it has met its legal obligations, not our responsibility to set out what those exact obligations are.

Declaring Brigadier Swarna Bothota a ‘persona non grata’

Under Article 9 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, a receiving State may “at any time and without having to explain its decision” declare any member of a diplomatic staff persona non grata. A person so declared is considered unacceptable and is usually recalled to his or her home nation. If not recalled, the receiving State “may refuse to recognize the person concerned as a member of the mission.” We note with concern that hitherto, you have failed to take any concrete steps to declare Brigadier Bothota a ‘persona non grata’.

The initial decision to accept his credentials and the continued recognition afforded to him requires urgent explanation and justification. We would like to understand how the UK government concluded that the continued accreditation of Brigadier Bothota as a diplomat would not violate the UK’s international and domestic obligations and indeed an explanation as to how the UK Government concluded that it would not hurt the feelings of the peace loving British citizens and Tamil citizens in particular if they continued to accept Brigadier Bothota as a diplomat. Brigadier Bothota presence in the UK would appear to be completely inconsistent with the UK’s duties arising under Article 41 of the ILC Articles.

In the circumstances, we urge that it would be appropriate in this case to declare Brigadier Bothota a ‘persona non grata’ in the light of the credible evidence of his complicity in war crimes and crimes against humanity and genocide.

We ask you to provide a response by close of business on 14th August 2020.

1 http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/apr/24/srilanka

2 http://www.icrc.org/web/eng/siteeng0.nsf/htmlall/sri-lanka-press-briefing-210409

3 http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/apr/22/civilians-sri-lanka-tamil-tigers

4 http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/8007465.stm

5 http://www.unicef.org/emerg/index_48791.html

6 http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2008/sca/119140.htm7 http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/apr/24/srilanka

8 http://www.unhchr.ch/huricane/huricane.nsf/view01/FFDE961C9D0236C5C1257578004B8E4B?opendocument

9 http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/8015818.stm

10 Human Rights Watch: War on Displaced, Sri Lankan Army and LTTE Abuses against Civilians in the Vanni. February 2009

11 Amnesty International, Stop the War on Civilians in Sri Lanka: a briefing on the humanitarian crisis and lack of human rights protection. March 2009

12 http://www.un.org/News/ossg/hilites.shtm

13 http://www.un.org/apps/sg/sgstats.asp?nid=3768

14 http://www.inthenews.co.uk/news/world/autocodes/countries/sri-lanka/60-killed-in-sri-lanka-as-civilian-safe-zone- shelled-$1286745.htm; http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/article- 23678425details/Thousands+flee+war+zone+as+T amils+defy+surrender+deadline/article.do http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/apr/22/sri-lanka-civilian-deaths

15 http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/press/release.cfm?id=3550&cat=press-release&ref=home-center-relatedlink

16 http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/tamil-rebels-surrender-ndash-but-hunt-for-their-leader-goes-on- 1672717.html

17 Human Rights Watch: War on Displaced, Sri Lankan Army and LTTE Abuses against Civilians in the Vanni. February 2009, see page 18.

18 http://www.icrc.org/Web/eng/siteeng0.nsf/html/sri-lanka-interview-020209

19 http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/World-News/Sri-Lanka-War-Hospital-In-Puthukkudiyiruppu-Shelled-Killing- Adults-And-Children/Article/200902115214899

20 http://www.guardian.co.uk/weather/2009/feb/04/srilanka-terrorism;

21 http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/apr/22/sri-lanka-civilian-deaths

22 See the written testimony of Karen Parker before the subcommittee on Near East and South and Central Asian Affairs, Committee of Foreign Affairs at the United States Senate, 24 February 2009.

23 Human Rights Watch: War on Displaced, Sri Lankan Army and LTTE Abuses against Civilians in the Vanni. February 2009.

24 http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/apr/22/sri-lanka-civilian-deaths; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zG- 9vCRi3-I

25 See the written testimony of Karen Parker before the subcommittee on Near East and South and Central Asian Affairs, Committee of Foreign Affairs at the United States Senate, 24 February 2009.

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Latest comments

  • 22
    63

    UK ..

    Hey guys I am looking for some toilet paper. Panchalingam can you get paper those clowns sent.

    yes shaib..

    Thank you.!

    • 27
      35

      Arrest Tony Blair first. This PEE-LAM, Dias-poda joking to the British Government

  • 22
    61

    Well, Priyanka Fernando who threatened to decapitate Tamils in London ended up getting compensation in the UK, popular and a promotion in SL!!

    Are you trying to make Swarna Bothota rich and promote him?

    SL has been cocky since 2009 deliberately posting top 2009 war winners to diplomatic posts. Guess what, no country has taken the war crimes allegation seriously 11 years later. Yamin Sooka recently apologized to an army officer!

    • 26
      16

      GATAM

      “Well, Priyanka Fernando who threatened to decapitate Tamils in London ended up getting compensation in the UK, popular and a promotion in SL!!”

      What it shows is that Lazy Bums don’t have to work hard/smart to get promotion or income. You are rewarded for being a war criminal, human rights violator, a thug, …. a crook, ….

      Could you cite reference for Priyankara was being awarded compensation (unearned income).

      • 27
        3

        UK has banned war criminals not only holding diplomatic posts but also entering the country on holiday. UN has listed the names of war criminals who will be denied this privilege by UK. Just because one was in armed forces or because he was stationed in the war zone, does not make him a war criminal. Only those who have actually committed war crimes or in command responsibility are declared war criminals. I am sure that UK would have checked before accepting this person for the diplomatic posting. Those who have sent the petition should have verified it before making this submission. If he had not committed war crime or had no command responsibility, then UK government will not act on this. In the two previous cases mentioned, there were justifiable causes to deport them.

        • 17
          2

          NV, GS

          Based on the frequency of his postings, the activist nature of his urging to vote for SJB, before the election, etc., I suspect GATAM is the same person who used to write under the same first name as a certain UNP minister who was responsible for Mahaweli development (later assassinated.)

          He was a staunch supporter of RW in his earlier incarnation, and wasn’t racist, certainly not like EE and a bunch of others. Along with many others in the UNP, he moved to the SJB in the recent elections

          After seeing SJB fall far short of expectations, and the Rajapaksas getting 2/3 majority, many in the SJB are frustrated and have started to think that the alliance with minorities and having to accommodate what they regard as the latter’s ‘over-assertiveness,’ contributes to the SJB losing support among Sinhalese. That is the electoral calculus in the South. I think it is better for the TNA leaders, CVW and GP to work behind the scenes with the GoSL and India to ensure Tamil rights are not rolled back than to make provocative speeches in parliament that only stir the pot without doing anything tangible for the people.

      • 12
        18

        Native Vedda,

        Just because he killed your cowardly terrorists you are butthurt, go cry about it derapamala.

        • 20
          9

          Jayasuriya

          “Just because he killed your cowardly terrorists you are butthurt, go cry about it derapamala.”

          He was a terrorist alright, but wasn’t he your terrorist, who helped MR to win a war and two elections and kicked IPKF out of my ancestral land and protected island’s sovereignty (whatever that is) while the armed forces were hiding behind women folks and VP’s fat bum.

          By the way it is still not clear why the public racist Anagarika Homeless Dharmapala was hiding in Sarnath, Varanasi, India until his death. He should have stayed in this island and fought your white master with his empty rhetoric.

          When the going get tough, hiding behind women folks get going. Shavendra was hiding in Presidential palace.

          • 6
            3

            Native Vedda,

            Hahaha what a joke you are, how did you pukabaran help us win the war, he was foolishly manipulated by rajapakshe then your “leader” started shitting his pants when no country came into save their precious “freedom” struggle. Also, in operation vadamarachchi it was your “brave” boys who called for the indians to intervene and save you from the army while the ltte was hiding behind the skirts of their malnourished women.
            _

            You people talk about your ltte saviors even though it was the army that smuggled in food and clothes for tamils under ltte, and govt. providing them with water and electricity but, still you idiots shit on the same hand that fed you, next time you pathetic lot rebel dont come crying to the Sinhalese for help.

    • 13
      10

      GATAM

      Priyanka Fernando is a convicted felon in the UK. I dare him to return to the UK

  • 43
    40

    ARREST THIS WAR CRIMINAL AND HANG HIM UNTIL HE IS DEAD.

    IF SADAM HUSSAIN WAS HANGED WHY CAN’T THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY HANG THIS SINHALA WAR CRIMINAL. FOR COMMITTING MASS MUDER OF TAMIL CIVILIANS IN SRI LANKA !

    • 26
      31

      If you compare Saddam Hussein, then TNA MPs must be hung. Remember Saddam Hussein (and Kadaffi) were losers of the war. Not winners.

      No winner was ever hung! Only losers.

      • 16
        9

        GATAM

        “If you compare Saddam Hussein, then TNA MPs must be hung.”

        So should have been Somawansa Amarasinghe, ………………………. Mahinda should have been hung by his clanging b***s many times over for his close relations with JVP from 1987 to 2008, while they were considered terrorists and after being rehabilitated and offered ministries and perks. In fact Mahinda and Vasu went all the way to Geneva to protect JVP.

        Aren’t you a confused lot, stupid and pathetic?
        Take a break come back refreshed and with facts.

    • 20
      29

      “ARREST THIS WAR CRIMINAL AND HANG HIM UNTIL HE IS DEAD”

      YOU CAN DREAM MAN, THAT’S ALL YOU CAN DO. SINHALAYAS HAVE BEEN APPOINTING THE SO CALLED WAR CRIMINALS ALL OVER THE WORLD. NO ONE WILL HEED THE CALL OF THE DEMALU. FIRST THINK OF A WAY TO DISPUTE THE REPORTS OF THE US AND UK DEFENCE ATTACHES.

    • 19
      30

      Dias-poda and Pee-lam barkers already dead dogs now. LTTE completely wiped out and their leadership also. Sri Lanka rule by Sinhalese Aryans and last Presidential Election 62% votes for Gotabaya and the General Election 151 MPs are for Gotabaya, in this 2 elections clearly showing to the world Sri Lanka belongs to Sinhalese Aryans.

    • 8
      7

      You guys never get this right. If anyone committed war crimes, first get a lawyer to prepare a submission to Court with evidences to ask UK GOV to act on. Just sending fancy letters would not do anything. If Diaspora is genuine, why not they ask UK Gov to prosecute Mrs Adele Balasingham as evidences are ample on her crimes against minors. Just stop joking and have wadai and a plain tea. Do you really think UK will side you and antagonize a country based on your letters. This will be dragged on next 25 years and by then all involved with war will be dead. Until such time you Tamils waste you next generation as well by making protests and complaints. You lost. Move on at least save next generation.

      • 5
        8

        Well said. The letter implies that the child soldiers were from the government’s side and not, as we all know, part of the LTTE, Yet another lie. Most of these Tamil organisations want to keep their claims alive partly because it helps Tamils when they apply for citizenship of other countries. The new generations are now whole heartedly citizens of other countries, which they prefer to living in SL.

    • 13
      8

      PIRABAKARAN,

      You should cry louder so your freedom fighters 6 foot deep can hear.

  • 65
    13

    If you’re going to oppress the other communities in your little island, don’t be surprised when you run into difficulties in today’s globalized world. You are bound to run into them outside your little unitary garrison state. Why not grant their legitimate political rights so that you can conduct your business in foreign capitals with dignity and respect? That way Sri Lanka’s sovereignty would also be made more secure.

    • 13
      31

      But nothing happened for 11 years!

      No war crimes investigations.
      No one was punished for war crimes.
      No sanctions.
      No restrictions.
      No warning not to visit SL.
      Nothing!
      (Very few army personnel faced temporary travel restrictions.)

      On the other hand, USA, Japan, UK, Belgium, Australia, France, etc. are donating warships to SL military as never before.

      Surely SL did something right!!

      (I fully support Tamil Eelam with Sinhala Only Elam in the 7 provinces.)

      • 30
        11

        GATAM

        “No war crimes investigations. No one was punished for war crimes. No sanctions.
        No restrictions. No warning not to visit SL.”

        Priyankara was kicked out of UK.
        Chagi Gallage sneaked out of UK
        Single handed General Shavendra is an undesirable unwelcome alien in the USA.
        Mahinda was banned from lecturing Oxford Union.

        Send all your war criminals to Tirumala where they can beg Venkateswara (Vishnu) to forgive them. However Gota believes “Sacred Tooth Relic protected Nation right throughout”. In the past he had visited Sai Baba of Shirdi and Vatican for blessing.

        • 9
          25

          Those are nothing compared to allegations AND the military benefits SL military gets from those countries since 2009. Just count the number of warships donated. The number of army and navy personnel awarded scholarships in the UK, Australia, USA, Japan, etc. Even a new branch called Sri Lanka Marines was formed with US and UK training in 2018!!!

          You lost!

          • 6
            22

            Forgot to add – and military deal after deal with USA and US allies.

            ACSA, SOFA, MCC, etc. I say heck sign MCC and bring down US troops to Trinco, KKS and Jaffna. Military infrastructure including HSZs is already there. IPKF experience also helps.

            And SL quietly got GSP Plus back.

            What is going on? War crimes? No one believes it.

            (Being factual here. Not confrontational. Check it out.)

        • 12
          9

          Mahinda was allowed into UK in 2010 because he was head of state. Now he will not be able to enter UK or countries which cherish human rights. US official in a telephone call to Gota told him to uphold human rights and achieve reconciliation, to which order that cardboard veeraya listened like a servant. Kamal Gunaratne was denied entry to Australia to visit his daughter living there. Jagath Dias was kicked out of Germany and Jagath Jayasuriya fled from Brazil wearing different coloured socks. Even Cardinal Ranjith was not given visa to enter UK in 2016 because of his support to cover up war crimes. List goes on and where will this shame end.

          • 5
            7

            What a joke talking about the UK, US and NATO countries valuing human rights, tell that to the Iraqi’s who were bombed to kingdom come or most of the middle eastern countries and Vietnam who have directly or indirectly had their rights violated by western and NATO counties. There are no humanly fought wars, it goes against the very nature of war. What happened in SL was a war, both sides had fighting forces with weapons.

    • 11
      29

      “If you’re going to oppress the other communities in your little island, don’t be surprised when you run into difficulties in today’s globalized world. “

      We expect you demalu to toe our line in our country. We will do what we want to do in our country and we have shown you demalu this with a combination of determination and cunningness.

      • 14
        6

        RAVI PERERA the Sinhala Speaking Demela

        “We expect you demalu to toe our line in our country.”

        Please tell us your line, is it “Cutting off the nose to spite the face” ?
        Being a born petty minded bigot makes you not only a stupid but also an …………………

  • 44
    12

    The war criminal army along with rest of the armed forces/police are full of swabasha specialists who have only one objective in their sordid uncouth unsavoury lives to me the Yakko members of the puss wedilla kLU Klux clan.
    \
    One has to have the right political clout in the sad sorry shittiest of them all bankrupt to the colony of beggar-land to obtain any form of posting or promotion.
    \
    When the head of the state himself is an alien of a Kalla kallathoni of a much painted/tainted original war criminal who cunningly made use of the lopsided constitution to stay on in power.
    \
    His only desire in his powerful position is to –

    1. rule the sad beleaguered island with an iron fist with the aid of his fellow war criminals.

    2. he does not give a tuppence as to how the starving suffering MODAYA in capital letters survive.??

    3. on this score he is aided and abetted by the members of his extended family who unfortunately has the unqualified blinded support of fellow racist crooks who will even sell their beloved’s for a dollar or two.

    • 39
      7

      His only desire in his powerful position is to –

      1. rule the sad beleaguered island with an iron fist with the aid of his fellow war criminals.

      2. he does not give a tuppence as to how the starving suffering MODAYA in capital letters survive.??

      3. on this score he is aided and abetted by the members of his extended family who unfortunately has the unqualified blinded support of fellow racist crooks who will even sell their beloved’s for a dollar or two.

      4. the most vexed query on this planet plaguing on the lips of every decent human being is why did the gods allow the misguided creation of the much-loathed Rajapuk jarawama low classed pariahs who whilst filling their shop soiled amudes are only interested in filling them with others lawful possessions.

      5. will India or any other decent democracy-loving honourable members of the military junta have the balls in them to stage a coup de tat and get rid of these undesirables.?

  • 17
    53

    The letter submitted by Tamils is full of lies fabricated by Tamil Diaspora who are all out to take revenge from the Government of Sri Lanka and its Armed Forces for eliminating Tamil terrorists who slaughtered tens and thousands of Native Sinhalayo to grab North East of the country based on a bogus claim ‘Traditional Homeland’ to create a separate State called Elam. Tamils claim they are the original settlers in Sri Lanka which is a blatant lie.
    Tamils in Sri Lanka are a hochpoch of Dravidians brought from Hindusthan by Portuguese, Dutch and British as slaves to work in their plantations. Their history in Sri Lanka is less than 500 years. During British rule, a small section of Malabar Tamils called Vellala cooperated with British rulers to oppress Native Sinhalayo and managed to enter the Administrative Service in large numbers. At the time Sri Lanka gained Independence, the Administration and Universities were dominated by Tamils.
    After Independence, when Sinhalayo made their language Sinhala spoken by 75% of the people, these Vellala Tamils started killing Sinhalayo. When the privileged position held by Vellala Tamils consisting about 3% of the population started to decline after Independence, they gave the impression to the International

    • 3
      17

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      • 10
        6

        GATAM

        Thanks for keeping it brief.

    • 10
      21

      Also accept a fact that Tamils are hardworking people. That is why Europeans took them as slaves around the world along with Africans.

      Sinhalse were lazy people. Their symbol the lion which is a lazy animal sleeping 16 hours a day. Will a Sinhala person get up at 5am in freezing cold, walk to plantations and collect tea leaves, bring them down to the factory? No. Too lazy.

      Show some gratefulness to Tamil women who sustain Sorry Lanka. Otherwise more Sinhala women will be in the middle east to pay for Rajapaksas helicopters, cars and other luxuries.

      • 22
        6

        GATAM

        “Otherwise more Sinhala women will be in the middle east to pay for Rajapaksas helicopters, cars and other luxuries.”

        Don’t worry about Rajapaksas, they pray to Thamil Kadavul Murugan.
        Mahinda visited Kataragama on Saturday did a pooja.

        • 3
          22

          Kataragama is Sinhala.

          They rarely go to Tamil kovils.

          • 14
            5

            GATAM

            “Kataragama is Sinhala. They rarely go to Tamil kovils.”

            Since when did Murugan convert to Sinhala/Buddhism?

      • 23
        2

        G, hold it.
        How come that the too lazy Sinhalese women go to the Middle East and earn hard currency for out lazy middle classes to have their comforts in life?
        *
        Do Arab masters and madams let housemaids sleep 12 hours a day?

        • 3
          17

          What is harder – housework in mostly comfortable houses where there is a strict law to protect everyone or work in the fields with leaches, poor pay, abuse, living under horrible conditions and where there is no law?

      • 5
        10

        GATAM,

        “Will a Sinhala person get up at 5am in freezing cold, walk to plantations and collect tea leaves, bring them down to the factory? “

        Why would we when we have tamils doing it for us?

        • 12
          3

          Jayasuriya

          “Why would we when we have tamils doing it for us?”

          Isn’t why you send your women folks to middle east medieval kingdoms to feed you, clothe you, …. working under terrible conditions, you lazy bums?

          • 1
            4

            Native Vedda,

            “Isn’t why you send your women folks to middle east medieval kingdoms to feed you, clothe you, …. working under terrible conditions, you lazy bums?”

            Types the derapamala in a computer imported to the country by a Sinhalese man, using the internet provided to him by a Sinhalese company while living under the protection of a Sinhalese army.

      • 5
        1

        Mind your words Sinhalese racists and remember that most the present day Sinhalese , may be even you , are descended from low caste Tamil who were imported into the island from South India a few centuries ago, by the Portuguese and Dutch. . By the time of the British slavery was abolished and people went as indentured labour and not as slaves and other than to Sri Lanka and Malaysia , the Indian indentured labour that the British imported to their other colonies , were not Tamils but from North India and Bengal. Get your facts correct before posting racist rubbish . Sinhalese racist

      • 0
        2

        This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.

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  • 17
    48

    (cont…)
    During the military operation against Tamil terrorists some collateral damage might have occurred but no ‘WAR CRIMES’ were committed by Sri Lanka Armed Forces. All the ‘WAR CRIMES’ and slaughtering of Sinhalayo were done by Tamil terrorists. Their behavior was worse than animals. For example slitting the tummies of pregnant Sinhala women, pulling out unborn babies, throwing up and pointing the bayonet is barbaric.
    Just ignore what these liars tell.

    • 21
      9

      Eager less Punakapuntak –
      #
      In your young age of 92, you must be suffering from amnesia or dementia?
      #
      Have you conveni9ently forgotten that on how many occasions since 1956, you uncouth Yakko’s have been on the warpath against the hapless Muslims/Tamils.?
      #
      There’s a famous saying in English what clearly states – what goes around must come around.
      #
      Be patient, in a few months when the RAJAPUK’S begin messing around with your beloved next of kin in every possible way, your buggers will be crying and yearning for the resurrection of VELU PIRBHA to save you nitwits
      =
      A stupid lot of petty racist dingo’s you lot are, a living disgrace to the whole wide world and to the good name – CEYLON.

      • 6
        4

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        • 8
          3

          Eagle Brain Dead Blind Eye

          Thanks for keeping it brief.

      • 11
        4

        Mahindapala, I was medico-legal officer in the war zone and I am a witness to war crimes committed by Sri Lanka security forces on non-combatant Tamils. Atrocities had been committed since 1982 when the law not to hold judicial inquiry on dead in war zone was passed. All crimes were absolved by racist Sinhala judges as either justifiable homicide or collateral damage and the perpetrators were absolved. As for the last stage of war where large scale massacre took place, there are eye witness accounts, mobile phone pictures and satellite images. Also documents about import and use of cluster bombs, poison gases, incinerators and sulphuric acid drums. This is why there is antagonism by Sinhalese for international war crimes inquiry.

    • 20
      5

      Collateral damage like killing a little boy, raping the odd woman, ‘disappearing’ a few known unarmed LTTE personalities, bombing a children’s home etc. I wonder!

      • 19
        3

        S.J,
        At least Eagle concedes “collateral” damage now. And he concedes 500 years of Tamil history. A little improvement.

        • 11
          3

          old codger

          “At least Eagle concedes “collateral” damage now.”

          He did not understand what “collateral” meant.
          That’s all.

  • 15
    12

    Though this comment is not directly related to the subject it gives an idea about how reliable our governments are. Because of Covid relaxation throughout world I was interested in reading the recent Forbes list for countries which are safe to travel , expecting Lanka to be first and if not within ten. To my disappointment I found Lanka at 92 position out of hundred countries. Countries below us are Guinea, Nigeria,Serbia and Grenada. Even India, Brazil and Venezuela are above us. Immediately I decided to call a friend of mine who is close to the current Govt.. When asked he shot back “dont you know Forbes is a U.S magazine ?”.Feeling the irritation in his voice , I hesitatingly replied “but China is placed at 7 th and US is at 55.” He took few minutes to digest and replied, “oh is it so, those jealous Americans hate us more than China”. I just put the phone down , and told my family “lets plan a visit to Singapore where my close relative lives, whom I have not met for a long time.

  • 8
    9

    Chiv, it doubly confirms the bigoted Srilankans.

  • 8
    7

    What is the point in arguing over this? The UK government is never going to arrest the defence attache, or for that matter Mrs Adele Balasingham.

    • 10
      3

      Stanley

      “The UK government is never going to arrest the defence attache, or for that matter Mrs Adele Balasingham.”

      Seriously, why hasn’t the Sri Lankan state demanded UK to have her arrested and deported to Sri Lanka?

      Perhaps Mahinda doesn’t want her to expose his deals with LTTE/VP.

      • 3
        2

        Vedda, perhaps Mahinda doesn’t want to embarrass a powerful nation. Perhaps he doesn’t want to bite the hand that feeds him. Perhaps…..

        • 6
          3

          Stanley

          Perhaps we are wasting time talking about …….

          • 5
            2

            …………Seriously, why the Sri Lankan state hasn’t demanded UK to have her arrested and deported to Sri Lanka

  • 9
    0

    Until the present regime, accepts responsibility, acknowledges their crimes, be honest about their participation in the terrible massacre of civilians during the last stages of the war, and stop treating war criminals like heroes, even rewarding them with top jobs with cushy perks, Sri Lanka will always be dogged by endless investigations, and world wide criticism. Thousands of Sri Lankan families up North want answers, and desperately want closure, and behaving like guilty criminals by evading and refusing to cooperate, only makes it worse, and makes us look like a land of war criminals.

    • 6
      7

      ok you sickening LTTE goon prepare to wait forever

  • 5
    12

    Sinhalese believe Kataragama is their god before Buddhism came to the country. Only Hindus believe it has any connection to Murugan. Others have their own beliefs. Muslims believe Kataragama is the place of an Arabic holy man. Greeks believed it was their war god Dionese.

    All are respectable beliefs.

    Kataragama shrine was built by King Dutugamunu after god helped him get rid of Ellan and his people. So when you worship Kataragama, think you are worshiping King Dutugenumu too.

    • 8
      5

      Racist rubbish. It is an ancient prehistoric shrine venerating Lord Murgan who is also the god of the Vedda as his consort Vali Amma is a Vedda lass. The Vedda were highly influenced by ancient Dravidian culture. Dutugemunu never built this. Another new additional concocted Mahavamsa fairy tale , now being made up at a rate to claim ancient Hindu shrines as Sinhalese Buddhist. This shrine was there long before Buddhism arrived in the island or a people called Sinhalese originated. Dutugemunu lived 2300 years ago and there no such people called Sinhalese or the Sinhalese language existing then. Buddhism had just arrived in the island. The so called Dutugemunu had a Tamil father called Kaavan Theesan ( Meaning the king who guards or the great protector) of Kaakai Vanna Theesan meaning the black king . Both Tamil names or titles. A Tamil king has a Sinhalese son, when a people called Sinhalese never existed . Try a better story. You may not have been a racist or did not display this here but like most Sinhalese opportunistically jumped on the racist bandwagon , just like your Hero Sajit and his party

    • 7
      2

      Opportunistic racist Chingkalla Kurungu ,who was pretending to be moderate in order to get the Thamizh and Thullukans to vote for your opportunistic leader Sajith , who also is now showing his true opportunistic Chingkalla racist colours , as he wants to win the Chingkalla votes by showing he is even more racist than the Rajapakses. Now that the election is over , you are showing your true racist colours. Stop posting lies . Kathirkamma is an ancient Thamizh/Vedda Hindu shrine venerating the Thamizh god Lord Murgan . Now Chingkalla kurangus are creating new stories to call it ancient Chingkalla Buddhist shrine. Are you aware how old this shrine is and it is shrouded in prehistory. Very soon a committee of Chingkalla racists and war criminals have been set up by Kottapayam war criminal , to create new fairy tales about ancient Chingkalla Poutha shrines and stories , set in east of the country , to be used as a tool to claim the east for Chingkallams. More and more ancient Thamizh Hindu/Buddhist temples , shrines , in the east will be claimed and declared as ancient Chingkalla Poutha places of worship . Once these fairy tales written by these Chingkalla racists and war criminals are published.

    • 3
      3

      Yes Sinhalese believe in a lot of fairy tales and myths . This is the problem. They believe they are pure Aryans , descended from a part lion part human who originated from the jungles of Bengal or Odisha. Lord Buddha visited this island not once but thrice by air and promised the land to them, how come? there were no such people called Sinhalese or the Sinhalese language 2500 years ago . To whom did he make this promise? To the Tamil speaking Dravidian Naga and Yakka? Now they are also descended from the ten headed mythical Raavana , who also had an aeroplane. Now Tamil Lord Murugan is a Sinhalese god and the Tamils borrowed it from them. What else. Please go on believing in fairy tales , lies and myths and create havoc and mayhem in the island based on these , fairy tales , lies and myths.

  • 9
    1

    Agnos, thanks for clearing that doubt which was nagging me for a while. Just like the namesake musical instrument this guy was playing from all sides. Priyankara never got compensated in UK , if at all the civil courts found him guilty. Yasmin did apologize for using the wrong portrait. That goes to show the integrity of the person/ organization , when made a mistake did not hesitate in apologizing instead of making more.

  • 3
    1

    In that case Met also should charge Balasingam’s wife who may be living in UK.

  • 1
    1

    Ashan, in the ongoing court hearing in Hague , two of the military personal from Myanmar , has admitted to junta raping, killing and burying thousands of Rohingya Muslims. They have handed a long list of people including the higher ups who gave the orders and included their names too (lower rank who executed).They were ordered to shoot at sight and bury the dead. Lets wait for the outcome.

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