27 October, 2020

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HR Communities Ignore Burial Of 2006 Trinco-5 Report

Colombo Telegraph notes with surprise and disappointment, the silence of the Sri Lankan and International human rights community with regard to the burial of the Sri Lanka HRC commissioned Suntheralingam report, on the Trinco-5 killing and other events. The report explicitly concluded that security forces personnel were involved in several high profile human rights violations including the killing of five students in Trincomalee in January 2006.

A woman cries outside the Human Right Commission office in JaffnaThe report of an inquiry authorized by Sri Lanka’s National Human Rights Commission Commissioner (SL NHRCC) Radhika Coomaraswamy, had been buried for seven and half years, and was obtained from a whistle blower, by Colombo Telegraph on the 6th Jan, 2014. On commenting a few days ago on the non publication of the report, Coomaraswamy told Colombo Telegraph, “ I commissioned the report because it was clearly a situation that required an inquiry and we tried to be proactive.” However an Island editorial on the 5th of Jan., states that “President Mahinda Rajapaksa has… ordered a probe into the incident”; CT has not yet established if the SL HRC Special Rapporteur Suntherlingam’s mandate was a consequence of a presidential directive, that SL NHRCC Coomaraswamy was carrying out, and the later suppression was due to external pressure. Coomarasway has repeatedly denied she was subject to any pressure what so ever to suppress the report.

Regardless of the question of suppression, Coomaraswamy first told Colombo Telegraph that the neither she nor fellow commissioner Dr. Deepika Udagama  “can remember the contents [of the report]” because it had not been “finalized”, when her term of office ended. A few days later Coomaraswamy recanted upon reflection, and admitted that the report had indeed been “handed” to her by Suntheralingam and his team in person, in the SL HRC Office, in its final form, which had been CT’s contention previously. Coomaraswamy recalled that she had “ordered… its publication,” without taking the time to read it, “given its importance.” It is not clear to CT if Coomaraswamy or Udagama have still read the report – dated 31st March, 2006, and signed by Mr. Suntheralingam, which they had access to from that date onwards.

Indeed, the international human rights community knew of the report, and at least its summery contents by June, 2006. In a press release on the Trinco-5 killing, dated 29th June, 2006, Human Rights Watch notes that, “An unofficial report by the special investigator for Sri Lanka’s National Human Rights Commission alleges that the security forces were responsible for the killings.”

Yet no one who had access to the report, enabled its release. “One expects military commanders and state administrators to be parties to a cover up,” said one human rights defender, working in Sri Lanka, who spoke to CT on the condition of anonymity. “But we expect higher standards of responsibility to truth from prominent members of civil society, whether Sri Lankan or International.”

International attention has remained on the killing of the Trinco-5, due to the continuing efforts of  Dr. Kasippillai Manoharan, the father of one of the victims. Twelve Special Task Force (STF) personnel of the Police were arrested by the Sri Lanka CID, on the 4th June, 2013, in a reopening of the case, which is frequently referred to when subject of impunity is taken up, in relation to Sri Lankan Human Rights issues.

Related posts;

Security Forces Involved In High Profile Human Rights Violations – Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission’s Unpublished Report

Radhika Now Says She Received The Suntheralingam Report And Ordered To Release It

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Latest comments

  • 17
    3

    CT thanks for exposing Sri Lanka Human Rights circus and BUSINESS enterprise..! Civil society and NGOs are as culpable as Jarapassa for IMPUNITY that thrives in the country. They censor themselves and talk about being under threat all the time, but it is the journalists who are really under threat. Look at Nimalka Fernando in bed with the govt Minister and dead leftist Vasu and dancing the HR tune in the daytime!

    Human Rights is lucrative for particularly HR women’s NGOs – and the women of the species are deadlier than males when it comes to these activists and guarding their territory. CPA of Dr. Sara is a rare exception for doing honest work and taking risk.
    All Colombo HR NGOs are part of network that is closely linked to govt. Nimalka Fernando the STAR of HR activists in colombo is good example too – and they all support and cover up for each other and enable to gain from the HR business – dozens of trips to Geneva, embassy cocktail circuit etc.
    So the Sri Lanka govt. crimes, culture of impunity and the Human Rights party carries on which victims suffer in northeast…

    • 4
      8

      Is that the reason all the LTTE criminals became HUMAN RIGHTS activists to make some dollars?

      LTTE killed and rob people with the help of the Catholic Church which is the loot keeper of LTTE.

      Those who bark at Mahinda and Radhika are silent on the LTTE criminals and Catholic Church who violated all the human rights.

      • 2
        1

        Siva/lal,
        Why can’t you see the differences of
        *) A rebel/criminal group like JVP/LTTE murdering civilian or armed military personal

        *) Democratic government murdering civilians it represents using the Police/military whose main responsibility is to protect them

        Anura

        • 1
          0

          Anura:
          All the democracies have pistol carrying police and army. Why? Just you think about it! Civilians must be protected if they are innocent.

        • 0
          0

          Janaki, quite right! There is no self-critic or self-reflexivity among the NGOs in the business. Those who are critical and self-reflexive are black listed by the NGO grand dames!

          The excuse is that the NGOs are being attacked by Jarapassa regime so don’t talk about internal dictatorships and corruption in the Colombo NGOs and UNP opposition – and so the sick culture of cover up, dictatorship, impunity and corruption is in all institutions in Sri Lanka – Govt, opposition and NGO sector “civil society” are as rotten as one another..
          The dead leftists and their NGOs are the worst! Hope next generation will do a better job and be better leaders than the current dodos of the Vasu-Nimalka generation..

      • 4
        0

        That’s what you are doing.
        Good job, keep it up.
        All the culprits (LTTE, Ra family, SL Govt) must be brought to justice.
        :-)

  • 8
    4

    THANK YOU CT.

  • 4
    8

    Trinco only had 5.

    What about the Big bomb blast at the Pettah busstand near the Bo tree?

    I lost my beloved aunt at that disgraceful atrocity and to date, the government has not informed us of who did it and we haven’t been called to give evidence at an inquiry or receive any compensation.

    Why is all this concentration on Trinco and Muttur atc. Are theirs higher caste lives or something.

    Why cant you remove your blurring glasse?

    • 5
      2

      It is not about 5 in Trinco and 10 in Pettah. Hundreds of people were massacred in the North East over 30 years of day and night bomb and shell blasts of Sinhala forces from land, water and air.

      You are right we need to concentrate not only Pettah but also every inch of North East.

      • 4
        4

        You moron, open your mouth on the systematic killings of Tamils by LTTE criminals.

        • 4
          0

          It’s ok Siva.
          Some will bring SL govt to the stage, you bring LTTE to the stage.
          :-)

    • 2
      1

      Well said ghost!

    • 0
      0

      Taraki’s ghost: Do you agree that people who bombed Pettah bus stand and the people who killed the 5 students in Trincomalee are bothterrorists?

  • 2
    2

    Good riddance to total rubbish.

  • 7
    2

    There are so many HR related issues in Sri Lanka at present for the HR communities to handle but I hope Amnesty International which originally pursued it will follow it up with the knowledge gained from this previously suppressed report. I am sure this report will strengthen the case against the Rajapaksa regime at the next UNHRC meeting in March and I am sure it will be presented there.

    • 3
      4

      hahaha
      Amnesty International got bribe of 50,000 dollars at a public meeting in Toronto from a LTTE front the Canadian Tamil Congress.

      Offices of the Amnesty international must be closed down in Sri lanka for this sole reason!

      • 5
        0

        Remember Ra family gave 700 million to LTTE to win the election.
        :-)

        • 1
          0

          You maintain it and tell it to every LTTE donkey how LTTE cheated the tamils in the name of EELAM. Tamils love traitors.

  • 1
    1

    Wonder what our politically appointed but now ex -diplomat Dayan J thinks of this !

  • 3
    0

    Good job CT. Keep it up and expose these scoundrels who are ruining this
    country.

  • 2
    3

    As a former employee of the HRC I just want to say that the Commission appointed under the seventeenth amendment was very independent. The President could not order it to carry out any inquiry. The Commissioners decided to do so by themselves. The report was handed on the last day of the term of office and the Chairman asked the Secretary to publish it. However without a Commission in place it would have been awkward. Who would sign the publication? It took months to appoint another Commission. I left soon after that so I do not know what happened. It would be quite unfair to blame the Coomaraswamy Commission.

    • 2
      0

      Good point, Kunju. As someone who has followed the Human Rights Commission for years, what you say makes sense. I think CT, in its desire to find someone to blame, has misunderstood how the HRC and the bureaucracy works. (That said, at some point, Radhika and other former members of the commission could have spoken up and alerted the world to the existence of the report – and CT is right to challenge them on that.)

      CT also seems to misunderstand how “the international human rights community” works. First, there is no evidence that anyone other than HRW had access to the report, so the fact that someone at HRW in 2006 knew of the report is not a very strong basis for saying that “the international human rights community” buried the report. Second, and more generally, it’s a mistake to think that “the international human rights community” is a single coherent body that can be held responsible for neglecting the report. Instead, it’s a lot of different people who come and go from their jobs, have different degrees of commitment to and knowledge of the countries/situations they work on, have too much work and like the rest of us, get distracted and forget. So perhaps some at some point knew or heard of the report, maybe a few even saw a copy, but as time went on, the report was neglected as more and more violence and violations from both sides took place and more and more urgent situations emerged that demanded attention (2006 was, after all, the year that full-scale war returned to Sri Lanka and when the LTTE and the GoSL were both particularly brutal.)

      Finally, it’s important to note that there’s really never been any doubt about who killed the young people in Trincomalee and Muttur. Anyone who really cared to read the available evidence and accounts – produced by the same local and international human rights community being criticised here – has long known that it was government forces who did the killing. So an unpublished report from the HRC isn’t really going to make much difference. The challenge instead has been to persuade international organisations – e.g., various arms of the UN – and powerful states – India, Japan, the US, the UK, the EU – to care enough about Sri Lanka and its victims from all communities to hold the Sri Lankan government (and the LTTE, when it existed) to account.

      Congratulations to Colombo Telegraph for publishing the report and pressing Radhika for an explanation, but let’s not forget who the real culprits are and just how hard it is to get them to live up to their responsibilities.

  • 2
    3

    Before you think about 2006 you should go back to 1998, where those barbaric tamil terrorists shot down the Lion Air flight killing all 48 passengers.

    Colombo Telegraph, why don’t you get surprise and disappoint about above incident. Why don’t you demand an investigation for this war crime!!!!!! I am sure those criminals responsible for this horrendous war crime living haply in UK, USA or Canada.

    When it comes to human rights you cannot be a racist, if not shut up and mind your bloody damn business.

    • 2
      0

      Before 1998, barbaric Sinhala buddhists massacred thousands of Tamils. They burnt Tamils pregnant women, children in Colombo in the day in 1958. They butchered number of Tamil passangers in a boat, drilled eyes of prisoners and butchered hundreds of Tamils in Anuradhapura rail passangers,…………………………

      All this should be investigated.

  • 0
    3

    SL has peace because so many Tamil terrorists perished.

    When they were alive, SL had NO peace.

    Are we not wise enough to see the OBVIOUS connection?

    • 0
      0

      What about the singhala terrorists the JVP – “so are you not wise enough to see the OBVIOUS connection?”

      You are such a stupid person!

  • 2
    0

    Presidential Commissions and their unpublished reports is Big Joke. With mass graves now having been unearthed under judicial supervision, both Northern and Central Provinces – Mannar and Matale – now the whole world knows that extra-judicial killings and war crimes/crimes against humanity have been committed in Sri Lanka by state actors with the blessing of politicians.

  • 0
    0

    Thank You James my sentiments exactly though someone did alert Human Rights Watch.

  • 1
    0

    Suppression of a report of mass murders for more than seven years is a crime against humanity.People lose confidence even over people like Coomaraswamy if this happens.Though the HRC of Sri Lanka is a puppet of MARA, individuals like Coomaraswamy could have done more without 100% bowing the head to MARA for positions and money.See the present one ,who his 100% acting like the trumpet of the regime.

  • 0
    0

    Once a worker of the west based Human rights company told me that they are not worried about the “rebels” but try to catch the governments only and that is their mandate.

    He refused to answer about the invasion of Iraq and the creation of more than 500,000 widows there. I simply retorted “you are a fu**ing AH!

    These Christian white human rights companies are spies for the west and nothing else.

    • 0
      0

      Is the heat getting too hot under the collar in Canada for you?

  • 0
    0

    Please remember that Radhika Coomaraswamy as Chair of the HRC and UN SRSG is a public official. UN rules prohibit her from commenting on her country. Please recall to maintain independence she sent Alan Rock on the child soldier issue. She is truly an exception because she is not a propagandist for either side. CT is being very unfair by her and for what purpose. As James points out let us remember the real culprits.

  • 0
    0

    The Trinco 5 Report of 2006 was prepared by a team appointed by the then HRC. The head of the team was retired Judge Suntheralingam. He is no more but the other two members of the team and it’s secretary are still living. They should be able to answer some of the questions raised on this matter. Why is no one asking them.

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