21 October, 2020

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Boston Bombing And Government’s Second Chance

By Jehan Perera

Jehan Perera

After the terror attacks on the United States that shook the world in 2001 and brought down the twin towers of the World Trade Centre, the US government has been frequently at the receiving end of criticism for violating the human rights of those suspected to be terrorists or supporters of organizations deemed to be a threat to US interests. There have been charges of human rights violations in relation to the capture, questioning and incarceration of suspected terrorists. The war against terrorism led by the US and its allies has claimed tens of thousands of lives, and the unmanned drone attacks that frequently lead to civilian casualties have become symbolic of the unacceptable collateral costs of this war.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa was among the first of world leaders to condemn the bombing of the Boston Marathon and condole with the victims. The government has utilized the occasion of the bombing to express its solidarity with the United States in the global war against terrorism. The terrorist bombing and the carnage it caused to innocent civilians serves as a reminder of the vulnerability of free societies to such outrages. The fact that the bombers were originally from Chechnya is certain to strengthen public opinion in the United States against those who promote or engage in violence for ethnic separatism.

The government’s Information Department stated that the Sri Lankan President was “the only leader in the world to eradicate the scourge of terrorism from Sri Lanka completely, has also called on all the countries to get together to eliminate the scourge of terrorism.” The attempt of the government to draw parallels with Sri Lanka’s own three decade long struggle to end terrorism, and the sufferings it underwent in the process, has to be seen in the context of US-led efforts to pass strictures on the government in recent times.

The problem for the government, however, is that while countries are sympathetic to the subjective logic of government actions during times of war, they are not equally sympathetic to non-action in the context of post-war which they see as a time for healing and reconciliation. The government has not been able to explain satisfactorily why it is unable or unwilling to implement those promises it made to the international community during the time of war, or even the recommendations in its own Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission that deal with governance and reconciliation. This is why the government is unable to capture the imagination of the international community, or in this case the United States.

Recent Criticism 

The US-led resolution on Sri Lanka at the UNHRC in Geneva in March of this year was stronger than last year’s resolution in the same forum. This year’s resolution was not only passed by a bigger majority of countries, it was also more forceful in demanding an independent probe into allegations of war crimes. The previous resolution in March 2012 was more focused on the implementation of recommendations by the government’s Lessons Learned and Reconciliation Commission. If the government had taken more visible measures to implement these recommendations, the demand for a probe into war crimes would likely have softened.

Instead of giving priority to implementing the LLRC recommendations that would lead to reforms in the structure of government, and also address the psycho-social needs of the war-affected people, the government has sought to defend its conduct during the war, and even afterwards, on the basis of protecting the civilian population from terrorism. The continued high level of militarization, especially in the former war zones of the North and East, has been justified as keeping the country safe from a revival of the LTTE. The government continues to insist that the last phase of the war was a humanitarian operation to rescue the 300,000 civilian population who were held hostage by the LTTE as human shields to protect themselves from the advancing Sri Lankan army.

By and large most Sri Lankans have accepted the government position that the Geneva resolutions are motivated by a desire to punish the government for having crushed the LTTE in war. The hand of the pro-LTTE Diaspora is seen to loom large in these resolutions. The perception of most Sri Lankan people is that there is an unnecessary international emphasis on war crimes in Sri Lanka in a world that is full of them. To them the real issue is that the LTTE, which was a terrorist organisation that wreaked havoc in the country, is no more. Getting rid of the LTTE was due to the government’s military action.

What is troubling to the government is the hardening of the US-led efforts to move resolutions at the UN Human Rights Council on the issue of alleged war crimes. But the real issue is that after the war, the government has failed to institute systems of democratic governance and ensure reconciliation. The most recent US criticism of the government has come in the form of the State Department’s annual Human Rights Report on Sri Lanka, and it brings the real issues out clearly. This report documents the multiple failures of the government to uphold human rights, ranging from the use of torture by the security forces to the self-censorship being practices by the media in the interests of their self-preservation.

Recent Emphasis

The international community’s emphasis on war crimes is a recent development. In the last phase of the war, and its immediate aftermath, those who spoke of war crimes were mostly human rights organizations. The majority of the countries represented in the UN Human Rights Council did not support such an emphasis at the end of the war. The first resolution on the Sri Lankan war that was passed in the UN Human Rights Council a few weeks after the war ended in May 2009 was actually one that was proposed by Sri Lanka itself. It commended the government for having ended the war and looked forward to the post-war reconciliation process that the government was promising to take forward.

In fact the UN Human Rights Council dropped a draft resolution calling for an investigation into possible war crimes during Sri Lanka’s recently-concluded war on terrorism and adopted Sri Lanka’s counter resolution. Of the 47-member Council, 29 voted for Sri Lanka’s resolution, 12 against and 6 abstained. The resolution that was passed condemned the LTTE and welcomed “the liberation by the government of Sri Lanka of tens of thousands of its citizens that were kept by the LTTE against their will as hostages.” Unfortunately, the government took this as a final victory. The promises the government made to the international community with regard to good governance, a political solution and reconciliation were not implemented.

The problem that arose thereafter is the one that Sri Lanka now faces. Without dealing with the issues of emotional trauma and political rights that has arisen due to the war, the government focused on material development. Government leaders placed confidence in the changes they were making to the country’s infrastructure. They saw the road network and reconstructed towns that arose like the phoenix from the ashes of war and began issuing invitations to the international community to come and see for themselves. Those who did and do come are impressed. They see a geographically united country that is being visibly transformed. But the outer change alone is not enough.

Right Focus 

Reuniting a divided country is not only a matter of what is visible. It is also a matter of reuniting hearts and minds. Despite the large proportion of displaced persons who have been resettled, the quality of their resettlement, and human rights problems, do not yet qualify the Sri Lankan experience to be cited as a model for international emulation. An unknown number of thousands, or is it tens of thousands, of families of those who went missing in the war, continue to be left in the dark about what happened to them. Many of them continue to hope that their loved ones are still alive, captive in some army camp or prison, and await their reappearance.

Post war reconciliation also continues to be at a low ebb with no political solution in sight, and with the military still playing a dominant role in the civil administration of the North. All the people who lost their loved ones in the war need to know what happened to them. A political solution that deals with the roots of the conflict, which gave rise to terrorism and war, also needs to be in place. Pressure for this must be put on the government by the political opposition. But this is not happening effectively. This adds to the problem in which the country is getting ever deeper enmeshed. It means there is no internal pressure coming from the electorate that prompts the government to change and adapt to the real needs of the post-war situation.

The Boston bombing, and the government’s immediate condemnation of it, is likely to make public opinion in the United States more sympathetic to governments, such as Sri Lanka’s, that fight or have fought terrorism. But to take this opportunity, and build on it, the government has to take on the challenge of achieving reconciliation based on international standards by instituting systems of good governance that ensure justice and equity for the war victims and ethnic minorities today. Unfortunately in the absence of domestic pressures it is left to the international community to contribute to long term reconciliation in Sri Lanka, by putting pressure on the government to do what needs to be done for good governance and reconciliation.

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Latest comments

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    The one and the only obstascle to peaceful existantance is the TNA, which is aided and abetted by the LTTE Rump , their various western Arms and the “Jokers” in Tamil Nadu.

    Out of the 11 %,Tamil population half live in the South, including the whole of the TNA outfit and the future CMs and the Cabinet.

    Most of the inhabitants who were captives are getting their lives back with the help of the GOVT and a handful of caring Tamils who are genuine humanaitarians who want to help their cousins who suffered untold misery , thanks to the financial assistance of their liberators living comfy lives in Foreign Lands,

    Jaffnasiders have been living under the protection of Sinhala soldiers, since the LTTE was chased out by the brave Military.

    Jaffna economy is growing in leaps and bounds and they are doing well.

    Kids are at school reading books and playing cricket.

    New health facilities including a spanking new Hospital.

    Tamil Women Brigade to protect the civilians who want to live peacefully and earn a living.

    What can the Boston Bombing add to the list?.

    Except giving us inhabitants,a real time warning that there will be Boston Type bombings if the GOVT oblige the TNA , under Western pressure.

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      The same blame game is repeated. First it was federal party, then it was TULF, then LTTE and now TNA. The root cause of the problems in Srilanka is Sinhala racism, which has always prevented a fair solution. World is fast coming to realise this and is not prepared to buy this type of propaganda anymore. Peace has to come with justice. Peace is not a mere absence of war. Tamils will have to be allowed to live in dignity and safety, not at the mercy of the Sinhalese. I was born, educated and lived in Colombo among the Sinhalese, and I can without any doubt say that vast majority of Sinhalese want Tamils to live as second class citizens accepting whatever they give and be satisfied. There is rampant racism in Srilanka at all levels – Legislative, Executive and Judicial and unless and until this racism is eradicated Tamils will continue to suffer, in most instances silently. Tamils in Srilanka are living stomaching insults and discrimination and will definitely give their verdict in a UN sponsored free and fair referendum for independence. All those saying that there is no racist problems for Tamils in Srilanka must agree for this exercise.

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    Here he goes again the same old platitudes – Jehan Perera singing for his supper to the international donors about how Rajapassa is top of the pops in Lanka – which is patently not the case with the CoL through the roof and electricity protests mounting!

    Jehan why don’t you say something new and stop your wretched doublespeak trying to equate Boston’s day of Terror with Lanka’s long war- Rajapassa style?

    Now the Rajapassa brothers have mooted the idea of another Commission – a Truth Commission of all things in this land with a massive truth deficit – to waste time and ensure that CHOGM aka the Commonwealth of Clowns hold their circus in Hambantota – the White Elephant environmental disaster zone!

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      Indeed we know what a Rajapassa style Truth Commission will be Ha, ha, ha, the biggest COMMISSION OF LIES ever imagined..

      Great idea – like playing with ourselves!
      Gota must have had a massive erection at the thought of a LIES COMMISSION for post-war militarization (opposite of reconciliation)!

      Jehan say something please :)

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        Gota the goon must be wetting himself laughing at the prospect of a TRUTH Commission!

        We will have lots of juicy and saucy Sex, LIES and Video Tape!
        The Rajapassa SPIN machine will be on overdrive!

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      What a joke! A truth commission, another commission in lieu of implementing the LLRC recommendations.

      God these Rajapassas are thick – and think the Lankans and the international community are morons!

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    Jehan, you so succintly state:

    “The government has not been able to explain satisfactorily why it is unable or unwilling to implement those promises it made to the international community during the time of war, or even the recommendations in its own Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission that deal with governance and reconciliation. This is why the government is unable to capture the imagination of the international community, or in this case the United States.”

    If the critical issues are addressed honestly and urgently, then there will be no need to spend millions on PR firms (and a shady taxi operator)in USA, to bolster Sri Lanka’s dented image.

    Who is trying to fool whom?

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    What really went wrong for Sri Lanka is listening to people like Jehan Perera who gets his high living from big donations from foriegn NGOs or currently Sri Lankan govt. These people use their great language skills and intelect for their survival will write, speak and engage in discussions just to get that big donation to their bank accounts. What he talks about is next to nonsense, US govt policies go much deeper and any impact to change them must be through proper planning and real ground action, not knee jerk reactions.

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    US will probably launch an inquiry into the reasons that motivated two young brothers to launch such a terrorist attack on their own country. They were people who fled from Russia to escape the insurgency in Chechnya and were granted citizenship in US. Yet they turned there guns against their benefactors.

    It is unlikely that US will be so overwhelmed in gratitude for the message sent by our president, as to execute a U turn in foreign policy as hoped for by the author.

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    http://www.globalresearch.ca/boston-black-ops-manufacturing-terror/5332223

    Boston Black Ops: Manufacturing Terror?
    Boston Black Ops: Manufacturing Terror?

    In addition, they are manufacturing Terrot to go After Countries and Leaders.

    Remember WMD, Lumumba, Allende, Mossdedeh, etc. etc.

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/boston-black-ops-manufacturing-terror/5332223

    Boston Black Ops: Manufacturing Terror?

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/boston-bombing-suspects-it-was-a-set-up-they-were-framed-by-the-fbi/5332227

    Boston Bombing Suspects: It was a Set Up. They were Framed by the FBI

    Listen to the Interview with the Aunt of the Boston Bombing Suspects.

    The Testimony of the Tsarnaev Brothers’ Mother as well as media reports confirm that the two brothers were on the FBI Radar, under FBI surveillance for several years.

    The Tsarnaev family had been the object of persistent harassment.

    Visit Global Research at globalresearch.ca for further coverage of the Boston bombing. (M. Ch.)

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/chechen-terrorists-and-the-neocons/

    But the lies and disinformation that go into the confusing and ever-morphing notion of “terrorism” result from the U.S. Military Industrial Complex (and its little brother, the “National Security Surveillance Complex”) and their need to control the mainstream media’s framing of the story

    Coleen Rowley is a retired FBI agent and former chief division counsel in Minneapolis. She’s now a dedicated peace and justice activist and board member of the Women Against Military Madness.

    Manufactured Terrorism.

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/boston-set-up-tsarnaev-brothers-mother-my-sons-are-innocent-this-is-a-setup/5332209

    Boston Set Up? Tsarnaev Brothers’ Mother: My Sons are Innocent, This is a Set Up

    GR Editor’s Note: The Testimony of the Tsarnaev Brothers’ Mother as well as media reports confirm that the two brothers were on the FBI Radar, under FBI surveillance for several years. The Tsarnaev family had been the object of persistent harassment. (M. Ch.)

    Zubeidat Tsarnaeva maintains her younger son is innocent and like so many of the brothers’ acquaintances, claims they were good, courteous kids and model students – especially the younger 19-year-old Dzhokhar. A US citizen who is presently in the Russian Republic of Dagestan, she revealed to RT some suspicions of her own.

    Grief-stricken at the latest developments in the case, Zubeidat expressed her dismay at the allegations, recounting Dzhokhar’s life in the US and talking of his status among his peers and friends: he was an honors student, loved by many of his friends and teachers. And his older brother Tamerlan was a star athlete and student, whose ambition was to one day appear on the US Olympic wrestling team.

    But her biggest suspicion surrounding the case was the constant FBI surveillance she said her family was subjected to over the years. She is surprised that having been so stringent with the entire family, the FBI had no idea the sons were supposedly planning a terrorist act.
    “They used to come [to our] home, they used to talk to me…they were telling me that he [the older, 26-y/o Tamerlan] was really an extremist leader and that they were afraid of him. They told me whatever information he is getting, he gets from these extremist sites… they were controlling him, they were controlling his every step…and now they say that this is a terrorist act!Never ever is this true, my sons are innocent!”

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      One can no longer believe anything that is coming out of USA, for they have lied to us farrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr too much. All the same,
      no one can go on lying forever either, because God has destined only the TRUTH to prevail.

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    Jehan Perera

    Did you ever wonder part of the reason why “there is no internal pressure coming from the electorate that prompts the government to change and adapt to the real needs of the post-war situation” could be that the electorate agrees by and large with the government’s handling of the post-war situation. Maybe the majority of Sri Lankans are not blind to the regrouping of the LTTE remnants and other proponents of ethnic separatism and feel the military should remain in the north until any possible revival of the LTTE and Tamil Eelam project in the island is foreclosed. Maybe they believe a political solution and true reconciliation in the long run can only be achieved by building a new overarching Sri Lankan identity where all people are equal citizens who can live anywhere in the island with security and dignity. Maybe they agree with the government’s view that there should be no political autonomy based on ethnicity as it would threaten the security and sovereignty of the country.

    And do you really believe the US is genuine in its concerns about good governance and reconciliation, or are these notions merely tools to force Sri Lanka’s hand in its own governance and in its search for a homemade political solution that doesn’t infringe upon its sovereignty and is acceptable to all communities?

  • 0
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    Remember WMD, Lumumba, Allende, Mossdedeh, etc. etc.

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/boston-black-ops-manufacturing-terror/5332223

    Boston Black Ops: Manufacturing Terror?

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/boston-bombing-suspects-it-was-a-set-up-they-were-framed-by-the-fbi/5332227

    Boston Bombing Suspects: It was a Set Up. They were Framed by the FBI

    Listen to the Interview with the Aunt of the Boston Bombing Suspects.

    The Testimony of the Tsarnaev Brothers’ Mother as well as media reports confirm that the two brothers were on the FBI Radar, under FBI surveillance for several years.

    The Tsarnaev family had been the object of persistent harassment.

    Visit Global Research at globalresearch.ca for further coverage of the Boston bombing. (M. Ch.)

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/chechen-terrorists-and-the-neocons/

    But the lies and disinformation that go into the confusing and ever-morphing notion of “terrorism” result from the U.S. Military Industrial Complex (and its little brother, the “National Security Surveillance Complex”) and their need to control the mainstream media’s framing of the story

    Coleen Rowley is a retired FBI agent and former chief division counsel in Minneapolis. She’s now a dedicated peace and justice activist and board member of the Women Against Military Madness..

    Manufactured Terrorism.

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/boston-set-up-tsarnaev-brothers-mother-my-sons-are-innocent-this-is-a-setup/5332209

    Boston Set Up? Tsarnaev Brothers’ Mother: My Sons are Innocent, This is a Set Up

    GR Editor’s Note: The Testimony of the Tsarnaev Brothers’ Mother as well as media reports confirm that the two brothers were on the FBI Radar, under FBI surveillance for several years. The Tsarnaev family had been the object of persistent harassment. (M. Ch.)

    Zubeidat Tsarnaeva maintains her younger son is innocent and like so many of the brothers’ acquaintances, claims they were good, courteous kids and model students – especially the younger 19-year-old Dzhokhar. A US citizen who is presently in the Russian Republic of Dagestan, she revealed to RT some suspicions of her own.

    Grief-stricken at the latest developments in the case, Zubeidat expressed her dismay at the allegations, recounting Dzhokhar’s life in the US and talking of his status among his peers and friends: he was an honors student, loved by many of his friends and teachers. And his older brother Tamerlan was a star athlete and student, whose ambition was to one day appear on the US Olympic wrestling team.

    But her biggest suspicion surrounding the case was the constant FBI surveillance she said her family was subjected to over the years. She is surprised that having been so stringent with the entire family, the FBI had no idea the sons were supposedly planning a terrorist act.
    “They used to come [to our] home, they used to talk to me…they were telling me that he [the older, 26-y/o Tamerlan] was really an extremist leader and that they were afraid of him. They told me whatever information he is getting, he gets from these extremist sites… they were controlling him, they were controlling his every step…and now they say that this is a terrorist act!Never ever is this true, my sons are innocent!”

    So there was westerm Imperialisam and Terrorism all along, well before Al Quesda was formed with CIA funds?

    See

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/boston-truth-the-chechen-connection-al-qaeda-and-the-boston-marathon-bombings/5332337
    BOSTON TRUTH: The “Chechen Connection”, Al Qaeda and the Boston Marathon Bombings

    Global Research Editor’s Note
    Global Research will be publishing a series of articles and reports with a view to promoting “Boston Truth”. The underlying objective is to confront and challenge the official version of events concerning the Boston bombings as well as the twisted and convoluted interpretations of the mainstream media.
    We invite our readers to endorse “Boston Truth” and spread the word on social media, independent media and blog sites.

    Prior to the conduct of a police investigation, the 19 year old student has already been designated as “guilty”. The fundamental legal principle of “innocence until proven guilty” has been scrapped. In the words of President Obama (a graduate of Harvard Law School), the Boston 19 year old student is “guilty” of heinous crimes (without evidence and prior to being charged in a court of law):
    “Whatever hateful agenda drove these men [suspects] to such heinous acts will not, cannot, prevail. Whatever they thought they could achieve, they’ve already failed…. Why did young men who grew up and studied here as part of our communities and our country resort to such violence?”

    The fact of the matter is that the jihadist movement is a creation of US intelligence, which has also led to the development of “political Islam”. While the role of the CIA in support of the Islamic jihad (including most Al Qaeda affiliated organizations) is amply documented, there is also evidence that the FBI has covertly equipped and incited would be terrorists within the US. (See James Corbett,The Boston Bombings in Context: How the FBI Fosters, Funds and Equips American Terrorists,Global Research April 17, 2013)
    The CIA’s agenda starting in the late 1970s was to recruit and train jihadist “freedom fighters” (Mujahideen) to wage “a war of liberation” directed against the pro-Soviet secular government of Afghanistan.

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    US is unable to rectify its constitutional mistake of gun ownership even after a spate of gun crimes including that in Sandybrooke primary school. Now after Boston incident they know how hard it is to contain terrorism even with all the state of the art resources they have. Poor countries had to face this scour of terrorism for decades without any aupport from international community. It is easier to comment from ivory towers which is basically what US and other countries are doing.

    Sri Lanka will emerge victorious if these countries let her heal the wounds in her own pace with a home grown solution that is good and fair for everyone. President should not lose time in doing that without leaving a slack for chauvinists from both sides to exploit the situation. If we can solve our domestic problems amicably and equitably, no room for any outsiders to poke their nose. MR and only MR can do this.

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