23 September, 2020

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Delivering On Sri Lanka’s Promise Of Victim-Centered Transitional Justice

By Shreen Saroor

Shereen Saroor

Shreen Saroor

On 25th August, a mother who claims her son was abducted by military police seven years ago was visited by military officers. The officers told her that her son would be released after she signed some papers. They drove the mother for a long distance and kept her in custody while demanding the wife of the abducted person to meet with them. On 27th the old mother was dropped back near her home. The officers warned her not to talk about what happened and assured her that her son would be released in a couple of days. He has yet to be released.

On 19th September, a campaigner for the disappeared was stopped in Kilinochchi by two military men in an unmarked motorcycle while she was trying to visit a local family. The men pushed her from her bicycle, groped her chest, and threatened her not to continue her human rights work.

On 25th September, a military rape survivor who has bravely spoken out was arrested for allegedly selling beer. She was badly beaten while the police was trying to arrest her. When her son (age 16) tried to stop the police from assaulting his mother, he was also arrested and beaten. Both of them are now charged for assaulting police officers and locked up for 14 days.women-discussing-the-transitional-justice-processes

These are just three recent examples of the attempt to silence women who bravely stand to demand truth and justice in Sri Lanka.  They are the stakeholders transitional justice in Sri Lanka is supposed to reach out.  While the Consultation Task Force has increased women’s representation and allowed a range of perspectives to be heard, it has so far not been successful in getting the actual decision makers in the Government to adequately address the affected women’s security concerns.

For example, war-affected communities have long highlighted the lack of effective witness protection, a prerequisite for broad participation in transitional justice mechanisms. A victim and witness protection act passed in February 2015, and a protection authority has been established, but the authority lacks independence and includes senior government officials who are widely believed to have obstructed prosecutions in human rights cases in the past.

In co-sponsoring the resolution at the U.N. Human Rights Council in October 2015, the Government of Sri Lanka committed to a “comprehensive approach to dealing with the past” through mechanisms and processes to ensure truth, justice, reparations, and guarantees of non-recurrence. Moreover, the Government also committed to a victim-centered approach, promising “broad national consultations with the inclusion of victims and civil society, including non-governmental organizations, from all affected communities, which will inform the design and implementation of these processes.”

So far, the Government has failed to fully implement its own commitments. In mid August Parliament passed legislation establishing the Office of Missing Persons (OMP), but the bill was prepared in secret before the Consultations Task Force had even started consulting with victims and witnesses. The limited consultations that did occur before the bill was passed were problematic, allowing only a few victims to share their stories in an extremely short time period, not a chance to offer input on the OMP’s design in the transparent and inclusive manner required.

Similar patterns are emerging as the Government announced the establishment of additional transitional justice mechanisms. Mr. Mano Tittawella (Secretary General of the Secretariat for Coordinating Reconciliation Mechanisms) informed a select group of civil society members on 20th September 2016 that the Government now plans to have five mechanisms instead of four: in addition to the OMP, the Government is designing an Office for Reparations, Truth and Reconciliation Commission, a Forensics & Tracing Unit, and a Special Court—sequenced in that order. Sources close to the government indicate that the Government apparently already has a draft bill on reparations. The Forensics Tracing Unit was simply announced by Mr. Tittawella as a fifth mechanism (but sequenced before the special court), without any public discussion.

Even more damaging, there has been no consultation on the sequencing or ordering of the different transitional justice mechanisms with the survivors. The decision to place the accountability mechanism last is clearly contrary to what has been demanded by victims; war-affected communities have been unequivocal that accountability is an immediate concern. As one woman said in demanding justice, “How will those of us affected say ‘let them be happy’ after what they have done?” Another said simply, “I have lost two sons in the war and handed over my younger son at the end of the war. All three have been snatched away from me. Please give me justice.” Affected women have clearly articulated the need to see perpetrators stand trial for the atrocities they committed in order to begin to move forward.

War-affected women are not passive recipients of transitional justice. They are active stakeholders and need to be treated that way. In June 2016, women’s groups held discussions in the north and east to gather views of affected women on the proposed transitional justice mechanisms. Participants gave nuanced proposals to advance gender justice through these mechanisms and address the root causes of past and continuing human rights violations. They also noted ongoing security threats and expressed deep reservations about justice being sidelined as other mechanisms are developed and prioritized. These are stakeholders the Government should be consulting to deliver on its commitment to victim-centered transitional justice.

There is a real cost to ignoring these stakeholders. Civil society members who served on the Consultations Task Force’s Zonal committees in the north and east encouraged the communities they live in to revisit their pain in order to make their voices heard. In complying, victims clearly articulated the urgent need for justice. Now those same civil society members must return to their communities and state that although input was received, it had no effect because the Government predetermined that justice would come last. By paying mere lip service to consultations, the Government has discredited local civil society members willing to engage in good faith and encouraged increasing numbers of disillusioned individuals to support resolutions on genocide and ethno-nationalist alternatives. Is this how the Government hopes to heal divides and deal with the past? Besides, there is a genuine concern that by putting the special court last, it may not happen, because it could come after the UN Human Rights Council has ceased monitoring Sri Lanka.

When asked why the government had unilaterally sequenced justice last, an individual involved in designing the transitional justice mechanisms offered the excuse that “war heroes cannot be transformed to war criminals overnight.” Such glib responses not only ignore victim demands, they run counter to the Government’s recognition in co-sponsoring the Geneva resolution that a fair accountability process would actually shift blame from whole groups to individual perpetrators and thereby “safeguard the reputation of those, including within the security forces, who conducted themselves in an appropriate manner.”

The Government has so far sent mixed messages on accountability, raising distrust among war-affected communities. The Government in 2015 committed to a special court with “Commonwealth and other foreign judges, defence lawyers and authorized prosecutors and investigators.” Yet, President Sirisena told the BBC in January 2016 that he would never agree to international involvement, and the Prime Minister has made similar remarks. The promotion of Major General Jagath Dias as the Army Chief of Staff and the nomination of former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka to be a Member of Parliament and his subsequent appointment as a Minister raise further questions as to whether the Government’s commitment to accountability is genuine.

The Government did not just promise accountability to the international community. It made that promise to the Sri Lankan people, including the thousands of war survivors who risked their lives under the previous regime to push for justice. In February 2015, Foreign Minister Samaraweera stated, “Unlike the previous government we are not in a state of denial, saying such violations have not happened. We believe such violations have happened.” He claimed that “ensuring accountability in the New Sri Lanka, will feature as a key component of the reconciliation process.” A year later, Minister Samaraweera told a Jaffna audience that the Government was not appeasing international pressure but rather “embarking on this difficult journey because we owe it to the people of our nation.” If the Government means what it says, it has fallen short. If Sri Lanka is to move forward, there must be justice, sooner rather than later, and informed through meaningful public consultations, in which victims voices are heard and listened to.

Today, the focus has shifted to constitutional reform. A new constitution promises a way forward, offering an opportunity to address structural deficiencies that led to past human rights violations to ensure that they do not recur. Indeed, many war-affected women in the north and east appeared before the Public Representations Committee on Constitutional Reforms to voice how constitutional reform could address structural ethnic and gender inequality and marginalization. While constitutional reforms are an important part of the process, however, such reforms should not undermine accountability.

Faced with mixed messages on accountability and inadequate consultations, civil society must stand united. In some ways, we were more united in our stance against the prior Government, viewing victims’ demands for truth and justice as interconnected with threats to democracy, press freedom, religious freedom, and the rule of law. As a united front, we lobbied and pushed through three successive Human Rights Council resolutions in Geneva in 2012, 2013, and 2014 to counter the congratulatory 2009 resolution that praised the handling of the war. Today, our civil society coalition is at risk of fracturing, leaving victims unsure which group to join or what to say. We must remember that we are stronger together and that our legitimacy and power come from amplifying victims’ unfiltered voices. Recognizing that victims – including victims of LTTE crimes and the families of those disappeared by government forces in the 1980s – have agency and differing demands, we should push for meaningful consultations and truly victim-centered transitional justice mechanisms. We must join war-affected communities and prioritize their demands for justice as we navigate how we as a collective deal with our past.

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Latest comments

  • 7
    1

    Budu Bala Sena has now invaded the north, protesting against the Chief Minister’s inviting all Tamils to Arise and claim their full rights as Citizens of Sri Lanka.

    BBS complements efforts of the Military to terrify and prevent Tamils from demanding their democratic rights.

    • 4
      1

      Today is the birthday of Balachandran, the 10 year old little boy who was murdered by the ‘great army’. People who murdered him, and ordered to murder him are still among us, preaching us about peace.

      :-)

  • 1
    9

    These are CIA projects for keeping the govt subjugated because they want to get goals accomplished.

    Tamils are the pawns there.

  • 11
    2

    Srilanka is Buddhist Country. Sri Lanka is a Sinhalese Country, Srilanka’s Miliary is Sinhalese only Military and Srilanka’s Police force is Sinhala only Police. Srilanka’s government is Sinhalese only Govt. What do you expect from them. They make the law, They make the evidence. They make the justice, They make everything. As former President once openly said, they can do everything other than changing a man into woman or vice versa. This is a culture that has been developed over the six decades and even Buddha couldn’t do much, what can innocent Tamil civilian do? A former Justice just mentioned some of these recently and the law makers said he should be arrested. This is a country where a chief Justice was charged in courts, evidences was there and justice was delivered and she was removed from the post and after few months another court, another evidence, another justice and she was back to the post. This is the beauty of justice system and law and order. We are patriotics, not to people, not to Nation, but to Power.

    • 3
      0

      Well said Ajith.Sinhala Buddhists can and could ONLY rule Srilanka in the name of Buddha but Great Buddha never set a foot in Srilanka and never knew the Sinhalese and the Singhala language.

  • 1
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    Shreen Saroor

    RE: Delivering On Sri Lanka’s Promise Of Victim-Centered Transitional Justice

    “On 25th August, a mother who claims her son was abducted by military police seven years ago was visited by military officers. The officers told her that her son would be released after she signed some papers. They drove the mother for a long distance and kept her in custody while demanding the wife of the abducted person to meet with them.”

    “The officers warned her not to talk about what happened and assured her that her son would be released in a couple of days. He has yet to be released.”

    So what is the solution to be given by Yahapalanaya, headed by Gamarala President Maitipala Sirisena?

    The proposed amendment to the Code of the Criminal Procedure Act, will deprives arrested suspects access to lawyers.

    The Protection of Victims of Crime and Witnesses Act No. 4 of 2015, grants an aggrieved party a right of representation at the police station from the inception. However a suspect’s right to be represented will be limited by the proposed Bill resulting in unequal treatment.

    What the Gamarala President of Yahapalanaya, in the 2,500 year- old Para-Sinhala, Para-Buddhist “civilization” wants to do is deny basic human rights. SRI LANKA: Proposed amendment to the criminal procedure code is a blatant encouragement to torture and degrade suspects.

    http://www.humanrights.asia/countries/sri-lanka

    The hasty passing of laws and emergency regulations particularly with the intention of encouraging law enforcement officers to commit acts which amounts to serious crimes is not an unfamiliar practice in Sri Lanka.

  • 0
    0

    [Edited out]

  • 4
    1

    Thanks for this nicely worded article and a true description of the ground situation.

  • 2
    6

    The version of justice being promoted by this writer is known as Transitional justice (TJ). It is yet another ‘gundu’ being promoted by the WEST through NGOs in developing countries.

    TJ was an attempt of the Indigenous peoples in Canada, US and Australia to fight the racist use of the judicial systems in these countries to incarcerate their peoples. The majority Blacks in South Africa and the US Black civil Rights Movements later adopted it.

    No one knows its meaning in situations like Sri Lanka’s where issues of justice are totally different. No one can accuse our legal system of being biased against the minorities (CJ is a Tamil!) to put more of them in jails.

    Our problems are inadequate money for the efficient operation of the courts and the exploitation of poor people by the legal profession.

    The adversarial, common law justice system provides perfectly good justice for us, provided the court system and legal aid is adequately funded. You only have to look at the budget situation to see that it is a general money problem rather than an issue limited to the justice system.

    NGOs should find better issues to work on, now that the war is over.

    • 0
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      “You only have to look at the budget situation to see that it is a general money problem rather than an issue limited to the justice system.”

      Did not the US Govt. give an outright grant of USD 46 million to fight
      corruption – has the Ministry of Justice done anything about it? It is a lame
      excuse against this Writers context too.

  • 11
    0

    Thank you Shreen for standing up so bravely. I am shocked that Gestapo-style suppression is still rampant and that women face sexual harassment even under the new government.

    The new government which we elected to set things right has a duty to take serious note of what you testify to, and act decisively.

    • 1
      1

      S.R.H. Hoole

      “I am shocked that Gestapo-style suppression is still rampant and that women face sexual harassment even under the new government.”

      Do the People Fear the Govt. or is it the Govt. that fears the People?

      WW II Survivor Warns of Nationalist SOCIALISM (Nazis) and GUN CONTROL! (MUST WATCH)

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-awkYhtey50

      Published on Aug 4, 2016 Kitty Werthmann, an Austrian World War II survivor, gives her account of Hitler’s takeover of Austria. The similarities to today’s left and their “progressive agenda”, are staggering! This is a MUST WATCH!

  • 4
    5

    There are hundreds and thousands of Tamils who have applied for asylum in the West. Their cases are based on false stories of disappearance and military harassment. That is how they move courts in those countries to get asylum. This woman is just writing and sensationalising hearsay. There are 25,000 LTTE terrorists died in combat all of them are now classified as missing. On top of that many left by boat to India and other countries. They are classified missing too. This is a big LTTE diaspora funded hoax where Ranil and MY3 hoping for Western aid fell into. Now they are upto their noses in muck. There is no future for them. So accountability my posterior. Ask Sambanthan and Sumanthiran for the lost ones they are the ones who said Prabha is the sole representative of Tamil.

    • 5
      3

      Patriot:

      “There are hundreds and thousands of Tamils who have applied for asylum in the West.”

      Don’t be such a donkey. Since you seem to know so much, show the proof or the list of those hundreds and thousands. And how many Sinhalese are in your list?

      “This woman is just writing and sensationalising hearsay.”

      You are donkey forever. Make it simple. Get the Govt to deny her story instead of sensationalising yourself.

      “So accountability my posterior.”

      Since you are so sure of plucking figures here and there, send them with proof to the Govt and the UN instead of peeing in your pants. Proof that you are not a donkey.

      “Ask Sambanthan and Sumanthiran for the lost ones they are the ones who said Prabha is the sole representative of Tamil.”

      Which lost ones are you talking about?

    • 6
      1

      Patriot pathetic

      “There are hundreds and thousands of Tamils who have applied for asylum in the West.”

      So are many Sinhalese. I have not heard of any Sinhalese applying asylum in China or North Korea.

      “Their cases are based on false stories of disappearance and military harassment.”

      Were you part of the Home Office team which processed those applications for seeking asylum?

      ” This woman is just writing and sensationalising hearsay.”

      Here is another male chauvinistic pig who only sees the bump on her chest.

      “On top of that many left by boat to India and other countries. They are classified missing too.”

      You knew it for sure it is because Namal and the Navy provided the logistics?

      ” There is no future for them. So accountability my posterior.”

      Not only accountability has been in your posterior but also your head.

      “Ask Sambanthan and Sumanthiran for the lost ones they are the ones who said Prabha is the sole representative of Tamil.”

      Did Sumanthiran too tell you Prabha was the sole representative of Tamil? Pull your head from wherever it is and come back to civilisation.

      • 2
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        Dumb Native Vedda is cleaning Tamil – dirty laundry.

        • 5
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          jimsoftly:

          Well, you can clean the Sinhalese dirty laundry. Is anyone stopping you doing that?

          • 0
            4

            It is our country HIndians and Tamils want their way.

            What is this “War Affect community” they were LTTE – hostages for years. they, even pregnent women and children, were digging trenches and building bunkers.

            • 6
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              jim softy dimwit

              “It is our country HIndians and Tamils want their way.”

              You are not one of us.

              Your ancestors must have come from Erivirar Pattinam (urban centres for mercenaries) or Venga. Whether your ancestors were from North or South India does not matter as history has clearly shown you are the descendant of Kallthonies.

              Even an isolationist like Gunadasa Amarasekara would consider you as too right wing for his taste.

              For your own safety don’t visit this island again. Gnanasara would be looking for you. As you know he doesn’t like competition from another dimwit.

            • 2
              0

              jimsoftly:

              Can you be that stupid? Are you talking from within a banana plantation? What do you mean by “our” country? Have you even read the Constitution? What do you mean by “Hindians and Tamils want their way”?

              So, a donkey like you with a twisted mind can only see “they were LTTE – hostages for years. they, even pregnent women and children, were digging trenches and building bunkers” as the war affected community. You mean to say you are such a dumb that you do not know there were Sinhalese and Muslims who were also affected by and during the war?

            • 1
              0

              jim softly:

              “they, even pregnent women and children, were digging trenches and building bunkers.”

              while you were dropping your pants. Lie goes on doesn’t it?

  • 3
    1

    It is thanks to people like Shreen Saroor that we have some idea of the continuing incidents that this government was voted in to put an end to.

  • 0
    3

    Minister Samaraweera told a Jaffna audience that the Government was not appeasing international pressure but rather “embarking on this difficult journey because we owe it to the people of our nation.

    What Mangala Samaraweera doing is bending to the west and paying back to LTTE – rump from whom he got humongous political donations.

    So, for him the govt is he himself. No one else knows what he is doing. The whole country is in the dark.

  • 1
    4

    Tamils were only the Pawns.

    West and India lost the eelam war. So, all this crap.

    After World War II ended in 1949, several countries got together to debate the issue of war. This gave them the opportunity to outlaw war and create agencies to settle future conflicts peacefully through negotiation. Instead of doing this, they `legalized` warfare through the `Geneva conventions.` Armies could shoot and kill each other These countries then enlarged the scope of lawful war to include wars within states (civil wars). They announced that `national-liberation-movements-fighting-against-alien-occupation-and-racist-regimes-in-the-exercise-of-their-right-of-self-determination` were entitled to take arms and use force. This gave the green light to both genuine and bogus liberation movements.

    The western powers saw civil war as a useful political tool for intervening in sovereign states, partitioning them and controlling the segment useful to them, such as the east of Sri Lanka with access to the Bay of Bengal. These internal wars were therefore labeled `conflicts between sovereign states`, making the existing government an aggressor instead of the legitimate ruler. The `liberation movement` was permitted to engage in terrorism. Terrorists were `lawful combatants`. International law said terrorism was outside its scope and wriggled out of the issue. Thanks to all this, rogue secessionist groups could now seize territory by force and get it recognized as a separate state in the UN, using `friendly countries`

    It is now suspected that the Eelam war was not a home grown war. It was masterminded by outside forces. A group of Jaffna boys who had never left Jaffna and who did not know English styled themselves `Liberation Tigers` and said they were seeking `self determination` for their `nation`. They went to war with little training but somehow managed to get territory and hold it. How did they do it?

    The LTTE did receive some sporadic training. India trained them in the 1980s. Norway had provided training at the Special Forces training camp in Rena on weapons tactics and military strategy (2003). Norwegian ex -Special Forces had trained Sea tigers in underwater demolition in Thailand. Instruction on conducting the war could have come from abroad. The VSAT high frequency equipment acquired by the LTTE in 2002 could transmit voice, pictures, video without any interception from anybody.

    But the main reason LTTE was able to defeat the army was because they had superior weapons and explosives. They had a continuous supply . of highly sophisticated weapons sent by a weapons procurement network operating from a foreign country. They were able to procure armaments from all over the world and transfer them across borders without any difficulty.

    LTTE had a formidable array of weapons, far superior to those owned by the Sri Lanka army. They had at least 30 pieces of heavy artillery. Also assault rifles, self loading rifles, light machine guns, sub- machine guns rocket propelled grenades, anti aircraft weapons, such as surface to air missiles and peddle guns. A four barreled air defense gun with a range of 2000 meters was found by the Sri Lanka army. This was a formidable acquisition and the army wanted to know where it came from.

    LTTE was not a lawful army, therefore they smuggled in the weapons, including heavy items, by carrying out mid sea transfers, 200 nautical miles off Sri Lanka. They used special semi submersible submarines, capable of carrying 10 tons of equipment. Other items such as power generators also came in. LTTE had a fleet of 50 ships, and was managing two dozen ships at any given time. Sri Lanka wanted the International Maritime Organization to investigate how the LTTE managed to operate this fleet when it was a proscribed organization. They also wanted the countries which provided flags of convenience investigated.

    Large hauls of arms was recovered from Mullaitivu, Vakarai, Vishvamadu, Wellamulliwaikal beach, Panichchankerni jungle and Alanchipotha. Arms were also found in Kumana National Park. Troops found six boats laden with 996 kilos of explosives at Puthukkudiyiruppu, 1004 kilograms of C4 plastic explosives at Mollikulam, over 80 varieties of bombs at Iranamadu and two other stocks of explosives, elsewhere, weighing 2500 kilos and 3900 kilos. `The amount of weapons found is unbelievable,` said the army `and much still remains to be recovered. These could not have been only for Sri Lanka.`

    There was a `navy` containing fast attack craft fitted with powerful outboard motors, radar and communication equipment. These had been smuggled in. `Indumathi`, a 16 metre long wave rider class boat, had a mounted twin-barrel anti-aircraft weapon and multi purpose machine guns. LTTE also had pedal type suicide boats and stealth craft laden with explosives. They had also tried to mine the sea, using limpet mines, pressure mines and closed circuit diving equipment,

    Certain findings indicate that LTTE was preparing for a massive sea battle. Two huge torpedoes with launchers were recovered from Puthukudiyiruppu, ready to attack a ship. The navy wanted to know who purchased these and how were they brought into Sri Lanka? Under international law only governments can purchase torpedoes. Four submarines were found in an ultra secret factory there. Interpol was asked to find out how advanced equipment from Switzerland and Norway came to be fitted into these submarines.

    LTTE started an `air force` of small, fixed wing aircraft. `Air Tigers` were added to `Sea Tigers `and `Sea Pigeons`. Three Czech built Zlin 143 planes came secretly from South Africa These arrived by ship in knocked down condition and were brought ashore in large trawlers. Of the seven airstrips built by the LTTE, Mullativu could accommodate large aircraft. The military wanted to know where the heavy machinery needed for its construction had come from

    The Army Commander was asked on `Thulawa` how did the LTTE acquire the knowledge to run this war? Were they helped by foreign countries and NGOs? This was a frequently asked question. His answer was `yes.` Sri Lanka army said fforeign military experts had come in and provided training and advice on weapons. The heavily fortified defenses of deep ditches and strong bunds behind which the LTTE hid in Eelam war IV, could never have been constructed without external help, Ukrainian specialists came and trained LTTE in sea warfare. Japanese experts came, developed submersibles and built a camouflaged tunnel for launching these in a high security zone in Puthukkudiyiruppu area. Sri Lanka Air force stated that foreigners came and trained the LTTE in using planes. South African pilots are expert in night air raids and its mercenaries could be easily hired as trainers..

    It is suspected that NGOs, who had worked with LTTE, had helped in the war. Equipment belonged to Oxfam and Save the Children were found in a high tech satellite communication facility at Puthumathalan. Troops found 20,000 litres of petrol in Iranamadu and Puthumathalan area also a massive stock of diesel and kerosene oil in Dharmapuram, in plastic barrels which could hold 225 liters of fuel each. Only NGOs had the authority to transport fuel to LTTE areas.

    Western countries had refused to help the government win the war. Britain had refused to provide spare parts for army`s aging Saladin and Daimler armoured cars. US and NATO also refused. Army then bought Cadillac armored cars from USA. But USA did not provide the number agreed and only gave six, without the turret and gun, `though we had paid for them.` Britain provided ten 30 mm guns with 6000 rounds of ammunition but refused to deliver 2000 more rounds which had been agreed. Certain countries had not allowed aircraft carrying war items to fly over their airspace. The government had to search for a country which would ship the Bushmaster guns bought from Russia. Finally Poland agreed to allow the use of its port.

    When it became clear that the government was going to win the war and the LTTE was going to lose, President Rajapakse came under heavy pressure from western powers, to suspend the offensive and resume `peace talks` with the LTTE. When Kilinochchi was taken, (January, 2009) US, Norway, UK and France exerted pressure. India, UK, France wanted the war stopped in April 2009. There was also an appeal from Japan. These countries were trying to save the badly cornered LTTE.

    USA has also worked behind the scenes to get the LTTE leadership to surrender to a third party. About two months before the final battle US had offered to evacuate the top LTTE leaders and their families. There were secret negotiations to take away Prabhakaran, Sea Tiger wing leader, Soosai, intelligence wing leader Pottu Amman and their families, numbering over 100. The US Pacific command sent a team of experts to look into this. USA feared that if Prabhakaran was arrested by the government he would tell them how the west helped him in the war.

    LTTE committed serious war crimes throughout out the Eelam wars. USA, UK, European Union, Japan India and the UN did nothing to stop them and never censured their actions. However, according to a report filed by Times Online, the US military has used satellites to spy on Sri Lanka during the final stages of its battle against the LTTE. India too deployed air craft fitted with sophisticated equipment to monitor the war. US sought to justify its action on the ground that it was looking for evidence of war crimes.

  • 2
    0

    Thank you Shireen ,

    The harassment of civilians mostly in the North is ongoing.This is the sad part.Impunity must end because the Sinhalese Chauvinists still revel in the plight of Tamils .

    Only people like Shireen must be encouraged to expose these acts of impunity and harassment for the sake of reconciliation and creating awareness among the discerning people.

  • 3
    0

    We are not talking about how LTTE won or gathered arms or how/who they trained etc. We are discussing human rights issues today when the LTTE no longer exists physically! It may be that the government is having a juggler’s role in balancing its apparent commitment to safeguard hum rights and it’s commitment to the actual war hero’s and pseudo hero’s. I do sympathise with the government in this situation! However, if the government commits to the principles of good governanace there would not be a problem! First there should be a set of guidelines for the police/armed forcs to act, the transparency of policies. Then the process to implement and When it is not adhered the accountability of the system and a monitoring system. When good governance or Yahapalanaya fails, dissatisfaction in the community is the result

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