18 September, 2021

Blog

Changing Course

By Dharisha Bastians

Dharisha Bastians

Dharisha Bastians

Is the sudden announcement of a local war crimes inquiry including expertise from top foreign prosecutors intended to mount a legal defence for the Government against the UN investigation or will it be a parallel process against international moves unfolding in Geneva over the next few years?

The Presidential Proclamation came like a bolt from the blue. For one endlessly suspended moment, the world according to the Rajapaksa administration had turned topsy turvy.

After five years of stringent denials and rejections, zero casualty claims, military courts of inquiry and war censuses, President Mahinda Rajapaksa issued a proclamation last Thursday announcing the launch of a domestic investigation into alleged war crimes and the conduct of his armed forces in the waning days of the war.

He has sought the expertise of three of the world’s top war crimes prosecutors, all of them renowned for serving on UN tribunals and special courts to try political regimes accused of crimes against humanity.  Sir Desmond De Silva QC, Sir Geoffrey Nice QC and Dr. David Michael Crane confirmed this week that the Sri Lankan Government had appointed them to advise a ‘local commission investigating allegations of war crimes by all parties to the conflict.’. The three expert advisors are to be remunerated for their services by the Presidential Secretariat.

“As a practicing attorney, like all attorneys in practice, I am being compensated by the Sri Lankan Government for being a legal advisor,” Dr. Crane told Daily FT by email earlier this week.

The three experts are yet to receive their terms of reference, but they expect to go deep into material already available in the public domain regarding alleged violations that occurred in the final stages of the war, such as the UN Panel of Experts report, more commonly known in Sri Lanka as the ‘Darusman Report’. The appointment of a fourth advisor, likely to be Asian in origin, is also expected shortly.

The Proclamation issued last week, made it abundantly clear that in the highest corridors of power, the potential implications of a UN investigation into alleged atrocities committed during the war had ruffled more feathers than the Government was willing to admit. Outwardly, the regime has been full of bravado, bragging about the toothlessness of the UN Human Rights Council and rock solid support from Moscow and Beijing at the Security Council if the matter were ever taken up there.

Behind the scenes

But last Thursday’s announcement was the fruition of months of behind the scenes maneuvers to loosen the international bind in which it has found itself since the UN probe became an unshakable reality in March this year. For months now, countries supportive of Sri Lanka at the UNHRC and the President’s most senior legal advisors have been warning the Government about recognising the UN investigation for the threat that it poses to Sri Lanka’s political leadership in the future. These are far off dangers and threats unlikely to materialise. But for a political regime whose greatest fear remains losing its grip on power, the kick off of the UN probe has acted like a stimulant.

The Government has never shown itself willing to submit to a credible investigative process that may raise tough questions and dig up things about the last days of the war the regime would preferred to have buried forever.

Call after call internationally for a domestic investigative mechanism in the lead up to UN Human Rights Council sessions in March this year, were rebuffed by the Sri Lankan Government since the war ended in 2009. The measures already taken had been sufficient, the Rajapaksa Administration told diplomats around the world, they just needed time and space to take effect. Amid stoic Government denials, a voluminous body of evidence has been building, pointing to grotesque violations of human rights and international humanitarian law during the last days of the vicious battle between Government forces and the LTTE in the island’s northeast. Each time new allegations cropped up, the international community urged Sri Lanka to investigate. Every single time, the Government has sought to discredit the purveyors of evidence and insisted every shred of it was fabricated as part of a grand conspiracy to de-stablise the country. It has thumped its chest about sovereignty and principles of non-interference, refusing to accept that it is the 21st Century and not Westphalian Europe. In the post Srebrenica, post Rwanda world, the universality of the human rights doctrine is redefining these age-old concepts that have formed the bedrock of the Sri Lankan Government’s response to international calls for action.

Yet suddenly, soon after the wheels of international justice have begun turning in earnest, the Sri Lankan Government awoke from its stupor.

The suddenness of the move surprised even the Chairman of the three-member Commission, whose mandate had been broadened by the proclamation to include an investigation into civilian deaths in 2009. Maxwell Paranagama, a respected High Court Judge who has been leading the Commission of Inquiry was notified of the new scope of his mission the day before the Gazette was made public.

Realistically, it is mind boggling that the President’s move to launch a domestic inquiry has come about so late in the game. Established even six or eight months earlier, the investigation would have been in motion by March 2014, potentially stopping the US led resolution in its tracks in terms of setting up an UN inquiry.

The Paranagama Commission already has nearly 20,000 complaints of missing persons to investigate and report on. It must now also navigate the procedural morass of its expanded mandate, which if it is to include a full-fledged domestic level investigation, assisted by foreign experts, which could take years.

Too little too late?

The UN probe will happen much faster and its consequences may be felt long before the local Commission begins to show progress. A more effective strategy for the Government may have been to cooperate with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and agree to take legal action against any persons against whom conclusive evidence emerged from the probe and attempt to stem the international pressure that way.

A different motive?

So the question that arises now is whether the purported launch of a domestic inquiry at this juncture, is in fact the execution of a slightly different strategy to combat the Government’s international challenges. The Paranagama Commission was a conveniently placed, independent body whose credibility has remained intact in the one year since it was established. The Government has been cautious in its public statements about enlisting the support of international experts, weaving the appointments into the Disappearances Commission and the broadening of its mandate. In the guise of setting up a domestic inquiry, the Rajapaksa Administration has managed to retain the world’s foremost international war crimes prosecutors to study the same evidence that will go before the UN probe. Why did the Sri Lankan Government that is so vehemently opposed to processes of international justice, pick three prosecutors with a history of indicting former Presidents and political regimes on war crimes charges in the Hague?

The De Silva-Nice-Crane team have taken up similar assignments collaboratively before. This year, the three prosecutors released a report on the torture of detainees in Syria. The report, that Dr Crane presented before the UN Security Council earlier this year, found that photographs and documents provided ‘clear evidence’ of systematic killing of 11,000 detainees in Syria. The report was commissioned by British Law firm Carter Ruck, which was funded by the Qatari Government to have legal and forensic experts examine the evidence.

They are, by all accounts eminently capable, credible, legal minds. But upon closer examination, the reasons for the Sri Lankan Government to choose these three experts become slightly clearer.

#1 Desmond De Silva, QC

Queens Counsel Desmond De Silva has his roots in Sri Lanka, being the grandson of George E De Silva, a member of Independent Ceylon’s first cabinet of Ministers. De Silva’s sentiments on the last phase of the war in Sri Lanka are already in the public domain. In Colombo to attend a Defence Ministry conference entitled ‘Defeating Terrorism, the Sri Lanka Experience’, De Silva expressed the view that blame for the civilian casualties during the final phase of the war ‘lies squarely at the door of the LTTE.’  The eminent lawyer noted that even Marzuki Darusman who had headed the UN Panel of Experts investigating the last phase of the war in Sri Lanka had acknowledged that towards the end of the conflict some 300,000 Tamil civilians were being held hostage by the LTTE, who shot those trying to escape in cold blood. “Therefore, this must be one of the biggest hostage dramas in the history of mankind. Accordingly, this would amount to one of the biggest war crimes to have been committed ever. The blame lies squarely at the door of the LTTE,” he remarked during the conference.

De Silva observed that no country when confronted with a hostage situation can guarantee that an attempt to free the captives will not result in some civilian casualties. “In fact, the death of some hostages has occurred in many operations that are directed against hostage takers. The crime therefore is not committed by the forces of law and order, but by the hostage takers, in this case the LTTE,” he noted.

#2 Geoffrey Nice, QC

Geoffrey Nice, QC, a professor of law at Gresham College presented a lecture on 14 May, entitled Head of State Immunity – A Useful Relic. In the latter part of his lecture, Nice noted that Libya was a case where the issue of Head of State immunity might have been raised, after the International Criminal Court (ICC) “cooperated in regime change” by indicting Libyan President Col. Muammar Gaddafi with greater speed than it has ever done in any other case. “Libya had not signed up to or ratified the Rome Statute.  He could challenge the referral in the ICJ – and he had nothing left to lose but his life.  Rodney Dixon and I were instructed – sadly too late – to appear to do just that.  Tripoli fell as did the Colonel.  The issue could not be argued.  (And here is the power of attorney we got as one of the last acts of the former regime),” Nice observed during his lecture.

Subsequently, Sir Geoffrey Nice QC and Rodney Dixon, filed an application with the International Criminal Court on 30 January 2012 asking that the Court grant leave for observations to be made concerning the violation of Saif Gaddafi’s human rights. Saif Gaddaffi is the son of deposed and assassinated Col. Gaddafi of Libya. The application was filed by the two senior lawyers upon the instructions of human rights advocate Mishana Hosseinioun, a close friend and confidant of Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi.

Nice’s position on the head of state immunity question, would find resonance with the higher echelons of the Rajapaksa Government.

#3 Dr David Crane

The third of the President’s experts, Dr. Crane, is an American professor of Law and former Chief Prosecutor at the Special Court for Sierra Leone who was responsible for indicting then President of Liberia, Charles Taylor. Taylor was found guilty of war crimes in 2012 and sentenced to 50 years in prison.

Dr. Crane’s role in a war crimes probe commissioned by the military regime in Guinea in 2010, has been widely criticised after it allegedly played down the violence and the regime’s role in the incident. International media reports said Crane was one of two war crimes specialists who were hired as consultants by Guinea’s former military leader, President Moussa Dadis Camara who stands accused by a U.N. commission of inquiry of responsibility for the 28 September 2009, murder and disappearances of more than 156 civilian protesters in the country’s national soccer stadium. The report found no evidence that crimes against humanity had been committed at the stadium. But perhaps more interestingly, the Crane report places responsibility for the violence on a commander of the elite Guinean presidential guard accusing the guards of violating orders by President Camara.

“The report places most responsibility on the unit’s commander, Lt. Aboubacar Cherif Diakite (a.k.a. Lt. Toumba), noting that President Camara had instructed the military to stay out of the stadium. “Those military personnel who responded to the stadium were in violation of a direct order issued by President Camara,” the report stated.” (Foreign Policy Magazine, 24 February 2010)

From the perspective of the ruling Government, the most dangerous aspect of launching a war crimes investigation either locally or with external assistance has been exposure of the chain of command. Vindication of the political leadership in any of the alleged atrocities, if the facts merit such a vindication by an expert team would make the ruling powers infinitely more comfortable with a probe.

Counter narrative

However their opinions may differ from other international experts, and whatever positions they may have adopted in the past, the advisors chosen by President Rajapaksa are men of international stature. Under the circumstances, they would be loathe to compromise their credibility by rubber stamping a flawed process of inquiry. Advocacy groups both locally and internationally will impress upon the team of foreign experts, the need to ensure a transparent, credible process. These groups may also call upon the three experts to define their role – whether it is to advocate the Commission undertakes an independent, rigorous process to ascertain the facts of what happened in the last months of the war or conversely, whether its intention is to present a legal case for the Sri Lankan Government.

Either way, President Rajapaksa would seem to have played his hand well. It is his Government’s first acknowledgment that it requires a professional defence against mounting allegations of major violations of international humanitarian law during the execution of its war. If this is the ultimate goal of the three appointments, then the Government has done well to hire three of the best war crimes prosecutors in the world.

For the longest time, the Sri Lankan Government has been striving to draft a counter-narrative to the growing international storyline about post-war Sri Lanka and the allegedly brutal way in which it fought the last days of its war. Glimpses of this counter narrative have already emerged in several Government documents, including the LLRC report, which concedes that there may have been firing and civilian deaths in the NFZ but persists in laying most of the blame at the LTTE’s feet for using civilians as human shields.

Given their record and previous positions, these three high powered experts offer the Government an unique opportunity to fully develop that counter narrative and build a comprehensive legal argument against the international humanitarian law challenges the administration is facing overseas.

Less ferocious bite

Whatever conclusions the three experts reach therefore will prove highly useful to the Sri Lankan Government going forward. Even if the advisors do not find the Government to have been entirely blameless in its conduct of the war, the bite will almost certainly be much less ferocious. Their legal arguments will be solid . And despite the fact that they have been retained by the Government of Sri Lanka, the experts could make a case that they were working with an independent, credible Commission of Inquiry.

From the point of view of the Government, it could be the strategic masterstroke that has been some time coming. Simply having a legal brief in its arsenal as it goes up against a major UN inquiry, by high powered Western lawyers gives the Government major international leverage. Next year at the UNHRC, armed with this legal brief, the Government could sway member states of the Council that were already feeling arm-twisted into voting for an intrusive resolution by Washington and other major powers this year.

The pinch of skipping Glasgow

President Rajapaksa, as chair in office of the Commonwealth, was unable to make the trip to Glasgow in Scotland this week to attend the Commonwealth Games. Sri Lanka played a major role in ensuring Fiji, which had its membership from the grouping suspended, would be allowed to participate in the colourful sporting event. Yet with international opinion building against the Sri Lanka and Tamil lobby groups mobilising in frenzied fashion the moment visits by President Rajapaksa are announced in Britain and across Europe, attendance at the Glasgow games proved too risky for the Commonwealth Chairperson.

Sri Lanka is a long way from any prospect of prosecution at international tribunals. The country is too small and geo-politically insignificant to merit that kind of sustained attention for the length of time it would take to execute international criminal cases. But the sustained international action and a growing reputation for autocracy and disdain for human rights, still has ways of clipping the regime’s wings. After the UN investigators release their report, the regime may find its movements even more restricted as pressure for action against Sri Lanka builds on both multilateral and bilateral levels.

Having to forego Glasgow for instance, hurts the administration much more than it cares to admit. Last Thursday’s proclamation to finally allow a domestic inquiry to play out, could be a last ditch attempt by the Rajapaksa administration to alter the course of its international destiny.

Courtesy Daily FT

NOTE: Right of Reply by Desmond De Silva QC
With reference to the Daily FT’s FT Politics column titled ‘Changing course!’ published yesterday, the Chairman of the Advisory Board to the Commission to Investigate Into Complaints Regarding Missing Persons Sir Desmond de Silva QC said that the reference in the article that he attended and addressed a Defence Ministry conference titled ‘Defeating terrorism: The Sri Lanka experience’ was factually incorrect.
He said that the suggestion that he attended such a conference and spoke the words alleged on that occasion is incorrect. He said that he was never invited for the conference, hence reference to attending and addressing is false.
The Daily FT apologises to Sir Desmond de Silva QC for the inaccurate reference. However, the Daily FT wishes to clarify that the reference in the Daily FT’s FTPolitics column was based on contents in an article published in mainstream English media on 2 June 2011 which is still publicly available online and remains uncontradicted.
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Latest comments

  • 7
    1

    Both UN and SL Govt investigations should be held at the same time. At the end when the reports come out it will give us an opportunity to find out who is telling the truth and what actually took place during the war and who are those responsible for any human right violations. This parallel investigations will also keep both investigations honest.

    • 6
      2

      Park

      “At the end when the reports come out it will give us an opportunity to find out who is telling the truth and what actually took place during the war ..”

      Who is telling the Truth? UN Investigators

      Who is telling the lie? Sri Lanka State and the Rajapaksa Administration,

      Who is telling the Truth on Aluthgama BBS Buddhist Terrorism? Eyewitnesses and the reporters.

      Who is lying? The state and the Sinhala “Buddhists”, aka BBS.

      • 1
        1

        [Edited out]; I mean the trio MR has selected. World events are changing at a high speed rate into an unknown area. In this modern climate and thinking era, Mahinda the Gobbastan President devicing a old trick (He’s 70+ yrs old) is laughable.

        On behalf of the Tamils, Christians, Muslims & innocents Sinhala’s whom were killed and maimed by Mahinda Rajapakse & his gang of thieves….I give below a nice quote of Muhammad Ali – the Heavyweight Champion….

        “”Success is not achieved by winning all the time. Real success comes when we rise after we fall.” -Muhammad Ali (The Soul of a Butterfly)

        So, Mahinda’s days are numbered no matter what plans he device. Let the World the celebrate the fall of a tyrant who has murdered humanity in thousands and plundered the wealth of the nation for his own benefit.

        Thank you voters of UPFA for electing a rascal from your community which has made into to the list of MASS MURDERER of the modern world in the 21st century.

        • 3
          3

          So, Mahinda’s days are numbered no matter what plans he device. Let the World the celebrate the fall of a tyrant who has murdered humanity in thousands and plundered the wealth of the nation for his own benefit.

          Cinzano,
          Do your own research and come back with the following figures:
          Number of Sri Lankans killed between (a)1980 to 1989; (b)1990 to 1999; (c) 2000 to 2009 and (d) 2010 to date. Exclude deaths due to natural cauuses and natural disasters.
          I put to you that the annualised rate in (d) above is less than 1% of (a)to (c).

          If so, the credit for this 99% reduction must go to the so called tyrant. And the blame for the higher number of deaths and destruction prior to year 2010 must go to your saint who bit the dust in Nandikadal.

      • 2
        3

        “Who is telling the Truth?
        UN Investigators
        Who is telling the lie?
        Sri Lanka State and the Rajapaksa Administration”

        I salute you @marasiri for being the Judge, the Jury and the Executioner ;-)

      • 1
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        Tee Jarapassa regime is an international pariah.

        Sinhala Modayas will have to come to terms with the fact that their kurakkan criminal WAR HEROES are really a bunch of corrupt and criminal crooks – sooner of later!

    • 4
      4

      “De Silva’s sentiments on the last phase of the war in Sri Lanka are already in the public domain. In Colombo to attend a Defence Ministry conference entitled ‘Defeating Terrorism, the Sri Lanka Experience’, De Silva expressed the view that blame for the civilian casualties during the final phase of the war ‘lies squarely at the door of the LTTE.’ The eminent lawyer noted that even Marzuki Darusman who had headed the UN Panel of Experts investigating the last phase of the war in Sri Lanka had acknowledged that towards the end of the conflict some 300,000 Tamil civilians were being held hostage by the LTTE, who shot those trying to escape in cold blood. “Therefore, this must be one of the biggest hostage dramas in the history of mankind. Accordingly, this would amount to one of the biggest war crimes to have been committed ever. The blame lies squarely at the door of the LTTE,” he remarked during the conference.”

      In view of the above facts, Queens Counsel Desmond De Silva should have excused himself from the investigation team, let alone its chairmanship, if he has impartiality, or integrity for that matter.

      This is like asking Rohan Gunarate, the so-called terrorism expert, whose Sinhala racist views are well known, to lead the war crimes investigation team.

      With this man at the helm, the report is a foregone conclusion: Sri Lanka is not at fault! It’s the LTTE! This will be the mother of all investigations by the Mara regime to pull the wool in the world’s eyes.

      The Sri Lankan investigation team is biased and flawed from the start: It should be rejected by the international community and Tamils.

      Let the UNHRC proceed and find an unbiased conclusion.

      • 3
        2

        This Sir De Silva [Edited out] does not not know from 1948, 4 Million Tamils are held as the hostages by rowdy GOSL? He does not know, Time to Time, to keep them under control, many are being shoot and thrown out as warning?

      • 0
        0

        So only people who have swallowed your terrorist propaganda hook, line and sinker should be on the panel, right Thiru :D

        • 2
          1

          Sarma,

          Why does it bother you,
          why not let the UN do the job impartially instead of putting a Sinhala man with possible vested interests do it?

          The UN has not appointed a Tamil, do you notice?

          Look at your sham Sri Lankan justice now headed by a shameless man!

          Tamils have lost faith in Sinhala people ever dishing out fair verdicts when Tamils are the victims.

          Have all the of perpetrators of the several pogroms against Tamils been investigated and culprits punished by the SL courts?

          Look what justice Aluthgama/Beruwella Muslims are getting, BBS culprits are roaming free while the victims suffer! This is Sinhala justice.

          This is not racist propaganda, it’s the truth.

    • 2
      3

      This MPCS commission has already investigated Jeyakumari’s case and has sent her and the 13 years old child to the prison. Another 14,000(19,000-5000 missing army complains) have registered to be volunteering for to be investigated and go to prison. These tiger mothers are trying to revive the LTTE that is why they are complaining of their children and husbands are arrested and by army and missing

    • 3
      2

      At the dinner organised by Association of Professionals of Srilankan origin in connection with their AGM, held on April 2012 at Grange City Hotel, Tower Hill, London, Sir Desmond de Silva who was the guest speaker said, Killing of 40,000 Tamils by Security forces in order to liberate 300,000 Tamils held by LTTE, cannot be considered a war crime.
      How can such a person with a biased racist view be expected to act in a fair manner in advise about war crimes committed by security forces.
      If he does not step down from this post, I will take up this with the British government which may result in stripping off his knighthood. There are several Tamils who were present at the dinner when he made this public statement, are prepared to testify against his behaviour.

      • 2
        1

        “If he does not step down from this post, I will take up this with the British government which may result in stripping off his knighthood. There are several Tamils who were present at the dinner when he made this public statement, are prepared to testify against his behaviour.”
        Definitely he will not step down.
        I challenge you to carry out your so call legal action.

        • 1
          2

          Leela,

          You can challenge, but this Sir Desmond de Silva’s reputation, impartiality and integrity in investigating Sri Lankan war crimes has been tarnished by many already.

          As such, he is not a fit and proper person in the investigation panel, let alone be the leader of the advisers.

          To be ethical, he ought to decline to be part of it.

          If he still insists on staying despite doubts created, that implies he has a vested interest in saving Sri Lanka from alleged war crimes. After all he is a stereotype Sinhalese, with anti-Tamil views already expressed and in public domain.

          He will be like Mohan Peris, our chief Justice dishing out injustice!

        • 0
          1

          Leela,

          You can challenge, but this Sir Desmond de Silva’s reputation, impartiality and integrity in investigating Sri Lankan war crimes has been tarnished by many already.

          As such, he is not a fit and proper person in the investigation panel, let alone be the leader of the advisers.

          To be ethical, he ought to decline to be part of it.

          If he still insists on staying despite doubts created, that implies he has a vested interest in saving Sri Lanka from alleged war crimes. After all he is a stereotype Sinhalese, with anti-Tamil views already expressed and in public domain.

          He will be like Mohan Peris, our chief Justice dishing out injustice to Tamils!

          • 1
            2

            Nice to see you being so consistent in your calls for “justice” Thiru. I remember how you so vehemently called for NaviBillay to recuse herself from dealings with Sri Lanka after she’d exposed herself as a stereotypical Tamil with anti-Sinhalese and anti-Sri Lankan views already expressed and in public domain :D :D

        • 1
          2

          The issue here is a moral one and not legal. UK is a democratic country where is freedom of expressing ones view. Therefore the views expressed by Sir Desmond de Silva cannot be an illegal one. However it is totally immoral, as it is not concerned about the truth or the lives of the innocent people lost. If this statement had come from an ordinary citizen, there is no problem. But Sir Desmond de Silva is a Knight Commander of the British Empire, an honour bestowed on him for the work he had done in prosecution of war crimes in Sierra Leone. Such title holders are expected to maintain the integrity and honour of the country. Across the political divide in UK, they are convinced that war crimes have taken place in Srilanka. Also there is ample evidence that they have been committed, such as deliberate shelling into civilian targets, use of banned weapons to kill and execution of those who surrendered. I can only bring this matter to the notice of the British Government, but I have no influence of what action they are going to take. If Sir Desmond de Silva is an honourable person, he should politely decline to take up the position, but if he is a third grade individual and sits in the panel, no one can help. He has the option of not accepting the offer or make an exit citing the lame excuse of bad health. Let us wait and see.

      • 0
        0

        Dr Croak-et!! Hows zat??

        “If he does not step down from this post, I will take up this with the British government which may result in stripping off his knighthood. “

        ICC’s Chief the Argentinian was a supporter of Pedo catholic priest but he was allowed to carry out the Judgement of Gaddafi.
        When Lobbyist Ian Paisley recommends the head of church will listen.
        When Cameron still sells arms to Russia saying it’s not part of the embargo items but France is wrong in selling then who is wiser??

        Conservatives’ first Asian female MP M/s Patel confirms that Brits are Bigots. Miss Patel wrote in a book she co-authored in 2012 with other Tory MPs that British people in the workplace are ‘among the worst idlers in the world’.

        Her father Sushil Patel caused a storm last year when he stood as a Ukip council candidate in Hertfordshire.

      • 0
        3

        Excellent, a man with an impeccable reputation and track record who’s not afraid to tell it as it is. I’m sure he’s shaking in his boots about your threat to run to mummy and tell on him, LOL :D

        By the way, what he actually said was:

        “..this must be one of the biggest hostage dramas in the history of mankind. Accordingly, this would amount to one of the biggest war crimes to have been committed ever. The blame lies squarely at the door of the LTTE.. In fact, the death of some hostages has occurred in many operations that are directed against hostage takers. The crime therefore is not committed by the forces of law and order, but by the hostage takers, in this case the LTTE..”

        100% correct, and a little different from your “paraphrased” account :D

      • 0
        1

        the liberation of nearly 300,000 Tamils (Civilians and LTTE terrorists in civilian garb) is fact. The 40,000 figure mentioned is a figment of imagination put out by racists and grabbed by those who wanted to enrich themselves by writing about a ‘great human tragedy’.

  • 5
    10

    Tamil war crimes by Tamil political parties must also be investigated.

    • 4
      5

      Fat Fuk trying to bring credibility to his bullshit with a borrowed picture. He is under the impression that the rest a foolish like him.

    • 2
      1

      Pukasimba,
      What do you got to say about this link. Listen to the most comical answer to a simple question raised at the parliament.

      This is what we have today in the country thanks to your Gonraja.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c5V87xGJins

      Aba Saranai Lankawata.

    • 0
      2

      @Fuku ; Wild monkeys in the Fukushima region of Japan have blood abnormalities linked to the radioactive fall-out from the 2011 nuclear power plant disaster, according to a new scientific study that may help increase the understanding of radiation on human health
      Read;
      http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/jul/24/japanese-monkeys-abnormal-blood-linked-to-fukushima-disaster-study?CMP=fb_gu

    • 0
      1

      Lorenzo (Fathima)
      Nice pic.
      Don’t think readers at CT are stupid and ignorant as the ones at LW
      Lorenzo- keep trying mate

  • 3
    1

    but I want Vellala chieftain K A Sumanasekera (LEELA) and Jim Nutty in the panel too…….as their findings and comments will enlighten a dull n dreary day!

  • 3
    3

    How independent and credible are the legal luminaries appointed as advisors to the three men Paranagama Commission of inquiry on the disappeared? Especially the appointment of Desmond De Silva? It appears Mahinda Rajapaksa has appointed 3 cronies who will be ever willing to white wash the crimes committed by the armed forces. The pronouncements attributed to Desmond De Silva is really frightening. “In Colombo to attend a Defence Ministry conference entitled ‘Defeating Terrorism, the Sri Lanka Experience’, De Silva expressed the view that blame for the civilian casualties during the final phase of the war ‘lies squarely at the door of the LTTE.’ He has noted that even Marzuki Darusman who had headed the UN Panel of Experts investigating the last phase of the war in Sri Lanka had acknowledged that towards the end of the conflict some 300,000 Tamil civilians were being held hostage by the LTTE, who shot those trying to escape in cold blood. “Therefore, this must be one of the biggest hostage dramas in the history of mankind. Accordingly, this would amount to one of the biggest war crimes to have been committed ever. The blame lies squarely at the door of the LTTE,” he remarked during the conference.

    De Silva concluded “In fact, the death of some hostages has occurred in many operations that are directed against hostage takers. The crime therefore is not committed by the forces of law and order, but by the hostage takers, in this case the LTTE,” he noted.

    It is abundantly clear that Desmond De Silva has already made up his mind that the armed forces are innocent of killing civilians and all blame should be laid at the door of the LTTE.

    It should be recalled that during the war whenever the Sinhala army advanced Thamil civilians ran to areas held by the LTTE for safety. There is not one instance people welcoming the advancing Sinhala army as saviours or liberators. The people distrusted the marauding Sinhala army notorious for killing hundreds of Thamil civilians. In most cases meeting out collective punishment for the killing of a few soldiers by the LTTE. The killing of 13 soldiers in Jaffna on the 23rd of July triggered random revenge killing of 51 Thamils on the following day by the soldiers who went berserk. This is the sordid history of the Sinhala armed forces right through out the 26 years long war. Out of the 89,000 war widows in the Northeast, a substantial number lost their husbands to army bullets. Naturally the people followed the LTTE voluntarily for reasons of safety. The LTTE did not want the people to surrender to the army knowing what fate awaits them. Such apprehension on the part of the LTTE was justified by the disappearance of hundreds who surrendered to the army after May 17. The Thamil people then or now never considered the Sinhala army as their saviours or liberators. If that was the case why did Mahinda Rajapaksa sufferred ignomous defeat at all the elections held in the North since May 2009? The occupation of the Northeast by 16 divisions out of 20 reveals the fact that the Sinhala army has zero trust in Thamil people. And the people in turn consider the Sinhala army as not liberators but foreign oppressors. The appointment of Desmond De Silva as an advisor is a portent omen of the type of report he will produce after going through a sham inquiry.

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      Sir De Silva, the New Liam Fox will see his path soon. [Edited out]

      Bell Pottinger seem to be aware of all the international Black Artists. [Edited out]

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    How independent and credible are the legal luminaries appointed as advisors to the three men Paranagama Commission of inquiry on the disappeared? Especially the appointment of Desmond De Silva? It appears Mahinda Rajapaksa has appointed 3 cronies who will be ever willing to white wash the crimes committed by the armed forces. The pronouncements attributed to Desmond De Silva is really frightening. He has already formed the opinion that “In Colombo to attend a Defence Ministry conference entitled ‘Defeating Terrorism, the Sri Lanka Experience’, De Silva expressed the view that blame for the civilian casualties during the final phase of the war ‘lies squarely at the door of the LTTE.’ He has noted that even Marzuki Darusman who had headed the UN Panel of Experts investigating the last phase of the war in Sri Lanka had acknowledged that towards the end of the conflict some 300,000 Tamil civilians were being held hostage by the LTTE, who shot those trying to escape in cold blood. “Therefore, this must be one of the biggest hostage dramas in the history of mankind. Accordingly, this would amount to one of the biggest war crimes to have been committed ever. The blame lies squarely at the door of the LTTE,” he remarked during the conference.

    De Silva concluded “In fact, the death of some hostages has occurred in many operations that are directed against hostage takers. The crime therefore is not committed by the forces of law and order, but by the hostage takers, in this case the LTTE,” he noted.

    It is aboundantly clear that Desmond De Silva has already made up his mind that the armed forces are innocent and all blame should be laid at the door of the LTTE.

    It should be recalled that during the war whenever the Sinhala army advanced the people ran to areas held by the LTTE. That shows the people distrusted the marauding army. That has been the sordid history right through out the 26 years long war. The Sinhala army was ruthless in torturing and killing hundreds of innocent Thamil civilians. Out of the 89,000 war widows in the Northeast, a substantial number lost their husbands to terrorism by the army. So the people followed the LTTE voluntarily for reasons of safety. The LTTE did not want the people to surrender to the army knowing what fate fate will awaite them. The apprehension of the LTTE is justified by the disappearance of hundreds who surrendered to the army. The Thamil people then or now never considered the Sinhala army as their saviours. The occupation of the Northeast by 16 divisions out of 20 reveals the fact that the Sinhala army never trust the people. And the people in turn consider the Sinhala army as not liberators but oppressors. The appointment of Demond De Silva as an advisor is a harbinger of the type of report he will produce after going through sham of an inquiry.

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      Excellent, Desmond seems to be capable enough to separate the facts from We Thamizh lies and propaganda – who better to lead the team?

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    Gnanasara’s abitthiya with a muslim name….Tamils are much cleverer than you. Go and get a life you looser.

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      This is in reply for Fathima Fukashima

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    “Given their record and previous positions, these three high powered experts offer the Government an unique opportunity to fully develop that counter narrative and build a comprehensive legal argument against the international humanitarian law challenges the administration is facing overseas.”

    Royal Government has spent a lot on foreign consultation. Bell Pottinger earned lot out for “Lies Agreed Upon”. Even kings Goliya Ban-Ki-Moon did not like that movie. So what is point of this new SIR directing a movie? There are some activists trying to file a case against Brother Prince in America. If that goes through then what is point of hiring Thomson Group, Majority Group like 4 companies. It is not just Mahavamsa Modaya paying for these games. Up to Jeyakumari who children killed by Royal government and her 13 years old girl are paying for these games. These are not Mahanuvara car race games.

    “Having to forego Glasgow for instance, hurts the administration much more than it cares to admit. “

    King put his friend Chandrapuspa in prison to obtain a visa from British government to go to the Glasgow games. Now that is wasted. That is how even after many Army Commanders are punished, the war crime inquiry is not going to go away. They started the LLRC to defeat UNSG’s Expert Panel. But, it did not get anywhere. Now this MPCS(Multipurpose cooperative Society) Commission going to punish some UNP side Army commanders. Ranil will not be able save his gang even though he keeps claiming that he is the one saved the Army.

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    The games small men, with small but tricky minds, big egos and of course no moral scruples play!

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

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    Excellent piece. GOSL has a march over the UN.

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    Bastian woman forgets to write without Indias corperation the UNHRC is just an american joke . [Edited out] .

    Cheers

    Abhaya

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      [Edited out] Abhaya is confused being unable to chose the proper end of talking about the issues. So long he has been using the other end defending the criminal regime and Jaliya Wicram the cloth salesman turn Ambassador of the stupid regime, anyway, all these will not last longer .. is crytal clear to the many. UVA election will show them a lession.

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        Sama, Please don’t remind Uva to the alter boy.
        He would have a nervous breakdown so we will lose him.
        We need jokers in the forum too to amuse us time to time.

        Someone must write in CT about that Mattala plane less port is making Rs 16000 profit a month.
        How much a Threewheel making a month?

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          What about the Fukushima joker with a his new picture. I couldn’t stop laughing.
          One must appreciate him for his tireless efforts protecting IRCs, Well known rogues, Rapists, Criminals, Kudu Moghuls, Swindlers, embezzlers etc.
          That seems to be only job apart from white washing Lime kiln murderer Mara, Serial killer Gota, Praisng Champaka and the BBS.

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      Indian game is more elaborate than this UNHRC game. Modi getting ready another Indy Comedy. Another “Poomlai” and another free Parippu Curry. Abhaya, book a hotel in Jaffna in time, you will be getting your Parrippu too. God for the Paan.

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    Thank you Darisha.

    Mara is totally confused. He believes in his lies. Gone mad? How I wish.
    The man with no diplomacy or any decency thought that he is a genius.
    Someone finally has pointed out that he is an idiot thus he taking a U turn. Now the famous Dobies (apullano) Keheliya/Dallus/Dinesh/Weerawansa so on will appear to fool the idiotic gallery.
    Lets see what Gonraja is gonna say about it.
    wonder where is that electric chair.
    Bugger actually deserves it.

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    Dharisha has written well – as per usual.

    Our Prez and his closest confidantes have indeed taken advice and soundings, before making their move. Let us all sit back and admire the meanderings of these eminent men as they gravely examine the evidence; give lessons in obfuscation without the ordinary man even knowing it; take a master class in alternative points of view, and, after a long and protracted deliberation, present a report, that safeguards their professional credibilities. A report that we all will examine in its wonder, and spend hours trying to decipher. In the end, it will provide a template for all who would wish to imitate our Prez – our forever local hero to the Sinhala-Buddhist electorate. Well, I might be dead and gone before all this comes to pass – so fell free to call me a cynical old bugger who has lived too long and seen too much.

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    Dharisha has analyzed the issue very well….It is amazing to understand the extent to which a man goes and the tactics uses for cover up his sins…!!!! .but he has no escape ….He is very well caught..

    Even if the UN bite would become less ferocious …the President has already booked his position to be amongst his favourites…. Hitler… Gaddafi… Pinochet…. Assad… Noriega… Mubarak… Idi Amin…Kim Il Sung …

    As Dharisha very well sees the punituve measures will be ..a kind of isolation…with travel restrictions and of freezing foreign wealth of the Regime… because Sri Lanka as a country is too small a Country with 90% illiterate population without any resources for the west to get directly involved…..whatever they do will get done through India…. the prized possession TRINCOMALEE will be another Hambantota…

    This regime has ruined Sri Lanka

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    We come to know, after this article, that Sir Desmond De Silva is denying he speaking the matters mentioned in this article. But his website is saying this is what our Sir Desmond De Silva is doing for living:

    1.Available for direct access

    2.Representing individuals indicted before international criminal courts and persons and companies before courts in the UK and overseas

    3.Advising clients who are or may become the focus of investigation over genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.

    3.Representing clients who are indicted for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.

    Then I do not see the point of denying this article.

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    “The report places most responsibility on the unit’s commander, Lt. Aboubacar Cherif Diakite (a.k.a. Lt. Toumba)”

    Who will be Lt Toumba in this case? Will it be one Toumba?

    Thanks Darisha

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