19 April, 2024


Government Does Not Know Whether It Is Coming Or Going

By P. Soma Palan

P. Soma Palan

I refer to the two diametrically opposite statements made by:

1. Former Army Commander, Field Marshall  General Sarath Fonseka and now a Minister in the Government, has said as reported in the front page of the Daily Mirror of the 2nd September headlined, “I am ready to give evidence against General Jagath Jayasuriya,” and

2. The President’s statement in the Daily Mirror of 4th September, under the front page headline that “I won’t allow War Crimes charges against General Jagath Jayasuriya”

These two antithetical statements exposes that, the Government does not have a unified stand on one and the same matter.

In respect of (b) above, one does not know whether it is the personal view of the President or it is that of the Government. If it is the personal view of the President, it is of no consequence.  If it is the decision of the Government, then the Field Marshall is violating the principle of collective responsibility of the Government. The stand of the President and that of the Field Marshall are conflicting and contradictory.

Irrespective of above, judging objectively the validity of both statements, one is inclined to accept the stand of the Field Marshall, Sarath Fonseka for following reasons:

1. The Field Marshall is objective and has the courage to face the challenge of an International Inquiry against General Jagath Jayasuriya. His statement is a positive one that he is prepared to give evidence against the General , and not against  an inquiry against the General. If it was the latter, then the matter is open. His evidence could be either against or in defense of the General. Whereas, the Field Marshall has positively and in no uncertain terms stated that his evidence will be against the General. This means then, the War Crimes charges against the General is prima facie valid and maintainable.

2. Field Marshall Sarath Fonseka was the Operational Field Commander of the war against the LTTE. He was privy to the operational conduct of the War. Therefore, his evidence would be crucial, credible and carries weight than that of a non-combatant President.

On the other hand, one cannot accept the statement of the President for the reasons that:

1. In the first place, he was not the President and the nominal Commander of the Armed forces during the War.

2. Hence, the President was not privy to, and had no direct knowledge of the conduct of the war. Therefore, the position of the Field Marshall is overridingly valid.

3. Whilst the Country being a member of the World Body, the United Nations Organisation, and its Agencies, such as the UNHRC, it cannot defy the world body. The UNO and its Agencies is charged with the responsibility to maintain world peace and order, and uphold International Law and International Humanitarian Law. Sri Lanka is under obligation to support the actions of the UNO and the UNHRC. It can defy only by leaving the World Body.

4. The President says that the “threat of War Crimes charges and hostile attitude of the Global community against Sri Lanka was  the direct result of Mahinda Rajapaksa’s regime’s failure to create an atmosphere of Reconciliation, Reconstruction and Rehabilitation” after the end of war. This argument does not hold water. The war crimes charges are not connected to the three ‘R’s. It is independent of it. With or without the post war three ‘R’s, the charges will stand. It will not absolve the Country of the War Crimes charges.

5. Finally, it is only an indictment of charges, which has to be proved in a Judicial Court of Inquiry. Then why disallow a Court Inquiry, unless you know it is true.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Latest comments

  • 12

    On 8th January 2015, the growing corruption and nepotism of the Rajapaksa government finally proved too much for many Sinhalese people to bear, and with the help of tactical voting by the Tamils, the Sri Lankan people removed them from power. But while the new government has made promises to mount a domestic inquiry into the crimes, they have also promoted or reinstated military officers accused of direct or command responsibility for those crimes.

    For the traumatized Tamils, such a domestic process would be the final insult—nothing less than victor’s justice over a beaten people. Meanwhile, a report ordered by the UN Human Rights Council has been delayed until March 2019, and some fear that the call for an international judicial reckoning is weakening. Although the evidence is now here for all the world to see, the search for justice is far from over.

  • 10

    Justice for crimes against humanity must have no limitations.
    I decided it is better to scream…. Silence is the real crime against humanity

  • 5

    It is being said time heals all wounds
    I do not agree. The wounds remain
    In time, the mind,protecting its sanity, covers them
    with scar tissues and the pain lessens, but i feel its never gone.

  • 3

    Government is cumming… all over the tax payers. Did’nt you notice?

  • 2

    Mr. Soma Palan,
    Very relavant analysis . It deals with the pathetic situation SL is in. I would like to add 2 more dimensions to your analysis for the time being :

    With regards to both , how the different human groups in SL define them. Some of the major groups I can think of in are :
    1. Politicians and the parties they belong to
    2. Mahanayakes and the Sangha they lead
    3. Majority of the Sinhala Buddhists
    4. Academics and Journalists
    5. All the minorty groups including women.

  • 1

    Dear Mr.Soma Palan,
    How many types of SL Citizens are there in SL based on her constitution ?
    How does SL Buddha Shasanah define the following :
    1. SL born citizen
    2.Naturalised Citizen
    3. Registered Citizen.
    4. Sovereign Citizen
    5. Dual Citizen

  • 4

    The elected GoSL is only a façade. The real government consist of a handful of powerful elites. Some of the elites earned the loyalty of the armed services and police through perky perky perky bribes. Now the armed services and police are controlling the former controllers.

    P. Soma Palan’s dilemma ~ “Government Does Not Know Whether It Is Coming Or Going” is only a drama enacted to divert the attention of us Lankans. There is the behind the scene Trojan horse-trading going on.

    GoSL is not interested in prosecuting the corrupt. All the brain storming is about how to let the selected ones go (as diplomats?)

  • 1

    I Would like to add few more points :
    1. Who is the President of citizen GoRa , BaRa ,Vasudeva , Bogollagama , Palitha Kohana & their family members ? Is it Donald Trump or Maithiripala Srisena ?

    2. Can MaRa Bros & Sons survive and continue to be in politics without clinging on to the SLFP ? Will they be able to take over the SLFP before the SL laws round them up ?

    3. Among Dual Citizens, Singhalese Diaspora, Tamil Diaspora, & Muslim Diaspora , who are a threat to peace and reconcilliation in SL at this point in time ?

    I think Dr.Sri Gamage and Dr.Laksri Fernando and Dr.David Kumar and the likes should enlighten the CT readers on an urgent basis.

  • 1

    Before we look at this analysis, let’s look at two earlier statements.
    a). Sampanthar, “for question of what would be the position of Sinhalese if a new constitution granting rights to Tamils” answered that the Sinhalese were willing to give, but Sinhala leaders would be blocking it. 1).This statement assumes that parliament will has passes with 2/3 the constitution to go for referendum. Then, his assumption is Yahapalanaya will be supporting, but Joint Comedies will be Opposing. 2). The Secret Solution is the only viable choice let for Tamils, and those who promised him that are really sincere in giving him it.

    b). After offering all kind of help to make Yahapalanaya to move on his direction and disappointed seeing not doing that, but he was not willing to accept his disillusionment of comparing Myanmar with Lankawe, Ex. Secretary Kerry he said “Some SLFPyers are not cooperating with the government”. Secretary Kerry was not willing accept the UNHRC’s OISL report that was accusing 42 people in the last government as war criminals. So Secretary Kerry selectively accepted the explanation of Yahapalanaya that the “Tamils’ did not get their rights because SLFP and UNP were in both side of aisle in the parliament earlier, but now they in National Unity Government so the Tamils will be getting what they want”. Secretary Kerry was adamant not to accept the proper explanations of that 1). National Unity government is not for grating rights to Tamils but to save the war criminal by thawing the world resentment 2). SLFP-UNP is not the divisions; the divisions are Sinhala Chauvinism as opposition and “cow skin clad lion” as the ruling party. These two costumes are worn respective by the losing party and winning party. So, now the lost Old Royal clan and Yahapalanaya are wearing those costumes as always happened in the past.

  • 1

    Now, with that understanding in background, the question we need to ask is “Is this Secret Solution is real”? The answer is “no, it is only a mirage. Yahapalanaya will never bring a solution that will allow Tamils to live in peace”. Then the question is if the above answer is wrong and “if Yahapalanaya has passed in parliament a Secret Solution then what?” The answer is, “if Yahapalanaya passes a Secret Solution, then it is only a Yahapalanaya-TNA Pact- nothing more than that”. Then the question is if the above answer is wrong and “Yahapalanaya has put out a Secret Solution to vote without tearing it off, then what?” The answer is “it is irrelevant Sampanthar connecting Sinhalese Goodness and badness here. He may be right in saying that Sinhalese are good people but he is wrong when he says just because that they will vote for solution even if Joint comedies not opposing it. Sinhalese are going to reject not because of Old Royals, but because they are not interested in working on Tamils problems. Chandrika did not win 1989 election because of her “Sudu Nelum”; she won because of 17 years of UNP tyranny.
    If anybody have come up with us, on this, to this point, then understanding the Nitty Gritty of the above analysis is easy.
    INGOs working on war or genocide crime mainly because of they want to make sure tyrants all over the world to understand of their future is not very bright. Tamils took up arms not to be wiped out in a genocide war but to win their rights.

  • 1

    The third Phase of Tamils struggle, the diplomatic agitation, is more of having won back their lost sovereignty 70 years ago on an international power handing over taking over action. It is less of punishing the Sinhalese accusing them of the war crime as revenge. Having had enlighten by that proper objective, Tamils have to evaluate the recent statements of Ponny and New King. Now we know, if there are any objects with Ponny, it is only suppressing Tamils seeking their freedom with every brutal means. We have to be clear that Ponny is not the partner we need in our struggle to win our rights.
    Ponny and New King both were accused in the OISL report, which was forced to be torn off by Ex. American Secretary Kerry. We do not have any preference between them both on who is guilty and who is not. They both have to stand an ICC Trial. Ponny and New King were used as scapegoats by Old King at the last minutes of the war. We neither have any different sympathy between them on that either. New King was asked to lead the war to keep Old King’s name clear out any crimes while he left the country. Ponny was asked to leave the country to hide important information. Here the word “President was not privy” is not holding. New King had his suspicions on Old King long before the end of the war, as early as New Son Prince had beaten the DIG’s son. He was collecting evidences & maintaining files on Old King with the intention of protecting him. Ponny realized what was going on only after he was taken out of command. Ponny did not collect evidences but was on the job of destroying evidences on behalf of Old Royals.

  • 1

    They both have different objects and different approaches. Revenging his enemy is not suitable at New King’s situation. New King is in need to hang on to Sinhala Chauvinism to stay on the power and win next election. He has hope on both. So he is willing to save Old King, Army and thus him too. But Ponny lost his presidential election and found himself-helpless in General election so he is now a nominated UNP MP. Ponny’s ambitions are defeated and he has no path on that direction so he is willing to revenge his enemy. He is responding this way because he is angry that Jagath is feeling it is time to use Ponny for which Old king removed him from command hid the information (i.e. accusing the war crime on Ponny only).
    Tamils’ object of having an International investigation is about their lost sovereignty. It is not available in any form of internal investigation Ponny proposing. Further, a person who would like to see the war investigated, by now, would have understood that neither Lankawe will investigate internally nor it will, in any event, be sincere in any investigation. Everybody really supporting an investigation should be always prepared to go to UNHRC and will give a representation of their version of the events.
    First Ponny has to become a true activist on requesting IC investigation. Once the investigation is set up in a foreign land & judges sitting to hear, there he can play the role he likes, “defendant or prosecution witness”. Now, when Ponny convulsing to revenge his enemy the same way he revenged Tamils, thinking him as King Asoka and welcoming his action is stupidity of Tamils. We neither can support Sampanthar in secret solution nor Ponny for internal investigation to revenge his enemies in lieu of abandoning ICC investigation.

  • 2

    [Edited out] Comments should not exceed 300 words. Please read our Comments Policy for further details.

    • 1

      Dear Moderator,

      This is for your attention only and not for posting. You are not consistent with your policy of moderation for the following reasons. I counted my comment before submitting and it was definitely under 300 words so I am afraid you are wrong.
      You allow countless number of comments by the same individuals running into thousands of words albeit posted one after another. Ask yourself is it FAIR. Unless you take a look at your comments policy I wont post any more

      • 2

        I am at a loss to understand the Moderators intelectual capacity by posting something which I intended to be for his own consumption and editing out my comments from which the writer would have learnt something valuable.
        It is up to the writer to demand from the Modearator to post my comments so that the readers can judge for themselves the mistakes of the writer instead of shielding him.

  • 1

    P. Soma Palan laments “Government Does Not Know Whether It Is Coming Or Going”
    In a maze of robust corrupt structure built over couple of decades, GoSL is going in circles. So it will end up in square one going which-a-way.

Leave A Comment

Comments should not exceed 200 words. Embedding external links and writing in capital letters are discouraged. Commenting is automatically disabled after 5 days and approval may take up to 24 hours. Please read our Comments Policy for further details. Your email address will not be published.