23 October, 2017

Ethics Of War Vs Ethics Of Reporting

By Pon. Chandran

Pon. Chandran

Pon. Chandran

Praveen Swami’s “Questions about Wars” in the context of Sri lanka  is rather misleading. Praveen Swami (PS) deserves in a way all appreciation for wielding all his expertise being a Strategic Affairs  Editor and the Resident Editor of The Hindu for using all the wear withal of his “knowledge” to bury all the unfolded facts and the objective studies, under the carpet of his logic, the “ethics of war” and unwittingly exonerate Rajapakshe and his regime from the accusation of Genocide, Genocidal war, War Crimes and the Crimes against Humanity!

A gullible reader would be made to believe that all is well in a war, particularly the Eelam War, since the “language of war is killing”. He has further deftly questions the veracity of the numbers which is haunting the international community and concludes that “we do not know how many lives it (the Eelam war) claimed or indeed whether a genocide took place at all”! He further argues that “There is no expert consensus on whether civilians were targeted on purpose, and if so, when?”  However, he has no choice but to concede that there were “indeed several well-documented cases of extrajudicial executions, but these are not the same as a genocide”.

In short, PS has used all his arguments to establish that there was neither Genocide nor a Genocidal war in Sri Lanka. There weren’t any “deliberate killings” of the civilians and the reported numbers of the causalities is only a conjecture which cannot be established. Further  although there were a few extrajudicial killings, the author has intrinsically justified the same as it was part of a “campaign against the LTTE”, which is inseparable from the “language of war, that is “killing”.  While he is silent about the numbers obliterated, buried alive, crippled, displaced, sexually assaulted, widowed or orphaned, he has no qualms to concede the claim of the Sri Lankan army that “they were losing 40 solders a day during the last phases of the war”.

Perhaps the Strategic Affairs Editor may have reasons for not mentioning the reported use of Thermobaric bombs, cluster bombs and other heavy artilleries and chemical bombs on the civilian targets, on the make shift hospitals, on the “safe zones” etc.  Whereas, he has no hesitation to state categorically that the “Sri Lankan Army was facing fire from the LTTE’s 130mm, 140mm and 152mm artillery up to May 17”.  He has even laboured to dig out the photographic evidence of the Times of London “showing what appear to be pits for sting mortar, an arms trailer and a bunker, in the midst of a civilian location  in the no-fire zone” While he is so precise about the use of artillery by the LTTE, he does not even refer to the type of arms used  by the Sri Lankan army!  Alas, it questions the Intellectual honesty of a journalist of his repute!

Finally, the sum and substance of his write-up is that there were only justified collateral damages, in view of the changing “ethics of war”, in the campaign against the insurgency launched by LTTE, and in the backdrop of “War on Terror” pursued under the hegemony of United States, the world over.  He draws his ethics of war from the US invasion of Iraq which entailed in the loss of lives of 461,000 in Iraq, as reported by University of Washington’s Amy Hangopian and 11 co-authors.

The author demands that as the Laws of War were written in the wake of 1945, “driven by a particular experience of war, where the nations and nation states had no lived experience of insurgencies”, it needs to be contextualized, as such!  In short, the author dismisses the Laws of War propounded by the United Nations Charter of Human Rights and the related Protocols, as irrelevant, because a new ethics of war has since emerged. Hence, according to PS, in the given context the Eelam War cannot be deemed as an Act of Genocide or an Act of War Crimes or Crimes against Humanity!

While the above exposes the prejudices of the author, an ace strategic analyst, one would also wonder to see the conspicuous absence of certain claims and facts presented by the people and institutions of significance.

It was during the thick of the war the Sri Lankan authorities and the then Indian Foreign Minister Shri.Pranab Mukerjee claimed that there were only  less than 70,000 civilians in the “No fire zone” who needed humanitarian assistance. It was during this period a couple of Sinhala journalists (Names withheld for want of safety and the continuing threat of impending White Van abductions!) visited Chennai and exposed the diabolical designs of the Sinhala regime and its accomplices, as they claimed that there were more than 330,000 civilians in the “No-Fire Zone” suffering without adequate food, proper sanitation, and the minimum health care.

This was brought to the notice of the international community and the human rights movements, the world over, by PUCL, taking the message through out the country with the help of the democratic minded Sinhala journalists and the local media. It is a sigh of relief and satisfaction that our efforts preempted a larger massacre of the civilians in the so called “Safe Zones”.    Although this was reported in the leading dailies from New Delhi, where the office of the Resident Editor of the Hindu presides over, this exposure is not acknowledged by PS.

Well, why PS is silent about the submission of the Bishop of Mannar Rev Joseph Rayappu to LLRC which gave the precise figure of 146,679, being the number of missing persons from Sept 2008 to 18th May 2009?  No wonder that PS conveniently ignored the Bishop’s submission, as the much trumpeted LLRC itself failed to record the Bishop’s submission in their Report!

PS has also omitted to refer the figure of 70,000 deaths during the last phase of the war as quoted in the Internal Report, headed by Charles Petrie, of the UN.

The recorded testimony of Vani, a Medical Attendant who served in the war zone has exposed the shocking nexus between the Red Cross and the UN officials with the Sri Lankan regime, which perpetrated the Crime of Genocide, during the last stages of the war.

The targeted bombings of the civilians have been recorded profusely in the report of the UN Expert Panel. The Panel has gone on record stating that targeted bombings were conducted on the make-shift hospitals and on the people who stood in the queue for collecting food and medicines.

It was Gotabaya who declared openly that his regime cannot provide safety to the personnel of the international agencies like UN and IRC and the Press who were in the war zone and they were forced t to leave the war zone.  This led to a full length war without witness. It is under these circumstances, the international community is groping in dark for estimating the damages caused and hence demanding for an independent international investigation.

Finally, to call the Sri Lankan campaign against the Eelam Tamils as Genocide and Genocidal war and Structural Genocide, in the Post War scenario, one should dispassionately study the intentions of the Sri Lankan Regime right from the days of the island’s independence.

The denial of franchise to the Plantation Tamils with the intention  to dislodge the Tamils politically, was the first war, with out bloodshed, against the Tamils of Sri Lanka, with the intent of Genocide. The Sinhala Only Act, the socalled Standardisation and the suppression of the democratic struggles of the Eelam Tamils, the killing of 53 Tamil Political prisoners in Welikade prison and to top it all, the burning of the Jaffna Public Library and the entire pogrom of Black July in 1983 are only a few of the campaigns by the Sri Lankan Regimes with Genocidal intent. It was under these circumstances, the youth of the Eelam Tamils plunged into a guerilla campaign for the liberation of Tamil Eelam and eventually for establishing a Socialist Tamil Eelam. This entailed in the establishment of a defacto government of the Eelam Tamils for over two decades, despite an oppressive economic embargo and encirclement.

It was finally, in the process of the overthrowing the established defacto State of the Eelam Tamils the War culminated with lethal Genocidal intent, when Gotabaya commandeered the soldiers to throw the Eelam boys in to the sea and enjoy the Eelam women to quench their ‘worldly’ pleasures.

Historically, the act of  Genocide is never expounded and explained by the number of deaths but by the “acts committed with intent to destroy in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial, or religious group, as such” (Refer Article 2 of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide) which needs no further proof, in the case of Sri Lanka.

However, it is the demand of the international community to press for an independent international inquiry into the alleged Genocidal War and the War Crimes and the Crimes against Humanity perpetrated by the Sri Lankan Regime and their accomplices, particularly during the last phase of the Eelam War.

It is imperative that reputed journalists like PS, stop burying Mullivaikkal, the contemporary  synonym of Genocide, like the Hitlerian Holocaust, under the garb of the modern ethics of war, under the guise of combating insurgency and unleashing a War on Terror, which will only serve the Rogue States like Sri Lanka and the Imperialist regimes. Instead, they should call for a credible international investigation into the alleged Genocide if they sincerely intend to help the Sri Lankan regime to come out clean from the present quagmire.

Despite the availability of overwhelming documented evidences, it is unfortunate that a section of the Press and intellectuals  are still in the denying  mode; denying the history of Genocide in Sri Lanka, wittingly or unwittingly,  at the behest of Sri Lanka, to stall the inevitability of the internationally monitored Referendum by the people of Eelam Tamils, in Sri Lanka and among the Diaspora, which will possibly pave the way for an independent Tamil Eelam, for which the people of Eelam has laid down their body and soul, for over six decades.

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Latest comments

  • 6
    12

    Thanks for putting the link to Praveen Swami’s excellent write up right at the beginning, it saved me from having to go through the rest of this rambling Peelamist nonsense :D

    • 3
      7

      likewise . I did not have to read the rest of the trash .

    • 10
      2

      @Siva David Sankaran Blocker Sarma,

      You keep popping up with a comment or two using your new found pen name. Why don’t you comment under your real name anymore? Has it become too embarrassing to defend your mentor His Excellency Admiral General Goatapaiya and his humanitarian rape artists and humanitarian white van artists in lieu of all the photographic and video evidence that keeps surfacing from time to time? :)

      • 2
        6

        Shoo dog, go hump a tree stump or something if you keep getting horny thinking about David Blacker and those rape fantasies of yours :D

      • 0
        1

        Duhwood Blocker

        Once again you have failed to address Gota appropriately; See below how ignorant you are: It is not

        His Excellency Admiral General Goatapaiya

        The right form of address is Air Chief Marshal Inspector General of Police Admiral General.

        Don’t make the same mistake again if you want to avoid a white van ride. Hangman in Chief will hang you.

  • 6
    9

    JUST another Tamil preaching TRIBALISM.

    Where was your writings on ETHICS when LTTE was using and when LTTE RUMP was using GOEBBLE – reporting to promote LTTE and to discredit the Sri Lankan govt.

    For me, you are another DISHONEST TAMIL.

  • 3
    3

    Just to repeat once more: if the people who attack me and my family all happen to come from the same ethnic group, it is not “genocide” when me and my family defend ourselves against them. There is not the slightest shred of evidence, let alone “overwhelming documented evidences” (sic), for genocide or attempted genocide against ethnic Tamils in Sri Lanka prior to, during, or following the recent war in Sri Lanka. The only people Pon Chandran is deceiving is himself and a few gullible followers.

  • 0
    1

    [Edited out]

  • 3
    4

    Dear Prof Chandran,

    Hindhu is an anti-tamil newspaper and most of the time, it publishes its view entirely against Tamils. The authors of Hindhu articles are biased and no wonder praveen, Meera srinivasan writing these sort of views. Educated Tamils stearted leaving Hindhu and it is time that we establish new english publication to counter these false views.

    • 0
      4

      Dear Mani

      Its time to sponsor the New Indian Express and the Chennai Edition of the Times of India only to counter the Hindu of N. Ram. N. Ram has an ideological agenda that needs to be refuted.

      Vanakkam

    • 0
      0

      manisekaran

      “it is time that we establish new english publication to counter these false views.”

      Potential candidates:

      Editor: Seeman
      Publisher: Nedumaran
      Chief Dravidian Affairs editor: Vaiko
      Leader Comments: Tamilnet
      Chief Tamil Eelam Correspondent: Sritharan MP
      Jokes section: Sivajilingam
      Religious Affairs: Chief Minister NPC
      Business and political Ethics: M Karunanithy & J Jayalalitha
      Hindu Affairs: Modi
      Poetry,political & Family affairs: Kanimohzi
      Caste issues: Dr Ramados

      Further lists available on request

  • 1
    2

    CT Thanks for opening Facebook Page, now brave genuine can comment without hassle, unlike cowards who write on fictional names & fake profiles.

  • 3
    3

    What I find most illuminating is the response of those who whilst claiming that Tamils are part and parcel of the .Sri Lankan Nation’ seem to have no qualms about the violence unleashed against their fellow countrymen.

    • 4
      2

      If you remember there was a war for thirty years which many of you here sustained with your money. killing terrorists is not violence towards your country men. SL once did it in 88-89 and did it again in 2009. In both cases the ones who benefitted were the people.

      Some of them think as if SL gov bombarded a whole civilian population.

      • 0
        0

        sach

        “SL once did it in 88-89 and did it again in 2009.”

        SL neither did it between 1987 and 1991 nor in 2009.

        India helped Sri Lanka on both wars. India also helped SL in 1971.

        Mahinda and Gota both said without India’s support SL would not have won the war.

        In both cases Merchant of Death, Army Generals, Politicians, American citizens benefited mostly.

  • 3
    2

    I wonder CT which will publish any news article critical about SL gov or pro eelamist news article without even verifying what is on there, didnt publish Praveen Swami’s article in Hindu. As far as I knw that is one of the factual analysis i saw in media on Lankan war.

    We can understand why CT doesnt publish those. There is no difference between MR and unethical media like CT who has their own agendas.

  • 1
    2

    [Edited out]

  • 3
    4

    Excellent analysis from Pon Chandran.

    How do you find the truth. The answer is simple. International Investigation. The people who were in the no fire zone during the war should be given an opportunity to give evidence. So, it is the responsibility of India to ensure that this happens in the interest of its credibility to prove that it is a genocide or not.

  • 2
    0

    Pon. Chandran;
    AS uoy said,
    “the act of Genocide is never expounded and explained by the number of deaths but by the “acts committed with intent to destroy in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial, or religious group, as such” (Refer Article 2 of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide) which needs no further proof, in the case of Sri Lanka”.

    Do you Include the Killer LTTE and other Terrorist groups such as EPDP [ EPRLF],TELO, PLOTE, EROS, Nadiyavan, Vinyagam, Karuna, Pillyan KP Etc on those “acts committed with intent to destroy in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial, or religious group, as such
    ” Done to innocent Tamils, Sinhalese, Muslims and Other ethnicities also.??????????????????.
    OR DID THEY ALSO WENT to WAR from the beginning with instructions, guiding’s, Training, money, ARMS and Ammunitions supplied by the INDIANS And TAMIZR Diaspora
    and WITH THE Copy of GENEVE CONVENTION like SRi Lankan Forces.

    So still you Guys are expecting to swim on an another river of Blood of Innocents from Tamils and Sinhalese.
    And Your Blood lust has gone awry, and looking and hunting for another kill?????????????? .
    Still Day dreaming for a Flea called EEEEELLAAAAM????????.
    Just do think about the Old Fox and Bunch of Grapes MAAAAAAN.

    • 0
      0

      Julampi,
      Your brain needs to mature more to understand the difference!

  • 2
    2

    Pon Chandran

    brilliant analysis and thanks exposing that idiot Praveen Swamy
    I also agree woth Manisekeran’s column here

  • 1
    0

    Intellectual honesty of a journalist? I dont think Parveen whatever has ever understood the word of honesty as a human being. Greed Greed Greed, it even justifies genocide and murder !!

  • 0
    0

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  • 0
    1

    Pon Chandran,

    Excellent write up.
    People like Praveen Swamy are either ignorant who needs to be educated or out bid their pay-off by interested parties.

  • 0
    1

    There is no point in supporting the regime which is not prepared to an investigation by an independent body. Chandran has correctly pointed out the real sincere help to Sri Lankan regime will be to persuade them to accept an independent investigation by an international body like UN. It is not the question of Tamils vs Sinhalese, it is the fundamental human rights. Human rights belongs equally to all irrespective of race, religion or language. Thanks to Chandran for standing up as a Human Rights activist.

  • 0
    0

    With defeted war on Tamil-terrorism of model of anarshism in the late 2009,a small paradigm shifte took place in Sri lanka, secularzataion of democracy and sovergenity of Island.Bringing the advocated of democracy and sovergenity the SL political vision ,whose need outlook was primarily must be legalist,that direct opposition to violent.Under the deadening weight of terrorism of LTTE,which political tendencies opposed.Sri lankan political though seemed trapped in an euqaion in which there werew no unknowns.Only choice is between two modes of understanding.

  • 0
    1

    The People of Sri Lankan now be not emotional. The leaders of democratic forces must be more vigilant and responsible.
    Political leaders of country must shoulder the critical and historical responsibilities that are their as these lines are being written.
    Mobilization must always be an option of democratic forces.
    But now primary task of Sri lanakan’s is democratic society to CREAT democratic platforms that reflects the multiplicity of sovergenity of political voice and their ideological aspiration.
    No longer it is possible to look on negatively the mass movement is diverted by terrorist tension.
    From where we stand, the same basic policy of sovergenity & democracy and end to corruption, cronyism and the democratic establishment of RULE OF LAW and democracy in Sri Lanka.
    We have to stay alert to not undermine principle foundation of political promises democratic values not to confuse political pledges to support for newly emerging democracies after thirty WAR AGAINST terrorism of propping up dying Tamil-terrorism.

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