16 May, 2022

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It Is High Time For United Nations To Right Its Wrong In Sri Lanka

By Kumarathasan Rasingam

Kumarathasan Rasingam

Genocide of Tamils in Sri Lanka. UN Failed to apply R2P and protect the Massacre of 147,000 Tamils.

It is very sad that United Nations an international institution particularly was initiated to protect the civilians during the conflicts and other matters affecting the civilians failed from in its duty by ignoring the genocide in Sri Lanka. Several UN agencies, along with various other intergovernmental organizations [IGOS[ and international non governmental organizations [INGOS] based on the war zone serving the people were compelled to leave the areas of war zone on the directive of the then Sri Lankan Defence Secretary [Now the President of Sri Lanka], although very large number of Tamil civilians demonstrated pleading with the UN agencies to stay because of the protection of their presence would ensure their safety.

After several criticisms from several Human Rights Organizations, the UN Secretary General Ban-ki-Moon appointed a panel tasked with assessing the situation and submitting a Report.

The PetriePanel was tasked with assessing the contribution and effectiveness of the UN system in responding to the escalating fighting and in supporting the Secretary-General’s political engagement, identifying institutional and structural strengths and weaknesses, and providing recommendations for the UN and its Member States in dealing with similar situations.

The Petrie panel reviewed about 7,000 documents, including internal UN exchanges with the government of Sri Lanka.

The panel also met with a large group of people, including representatives of civil society and member-states, and its recommendations were built on previous reviews of UN actions in the theatres of escalated conflict.

The Secretary-General said as an immediate first step, he will organise a senior-level team to give “careful consideration” to the Report’s recommendations and advise him on the way forward. “Other actions will follow in short order,” he added.

The Petrie panel came to be appointed as the UN operation in Sri Lanka faced criticism that it had failed to protect a large number of civilian deaths in the final battle. Sri Lanka government dismissed the Petrie report as “unsubstantiated, erroneous and replete with conjecture and bias”.

Military had eliminated the rebel Tamil Tigers in 2009. Nearly three decades of ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka had left over 100,000 dead.

The war against Tamils is not an internal uprising of an ethnic or other distinct group against another exercising authority or control over the other. It was a war between two nations. Historically, the Tamil nation had a state of its own for at least four centuries before it was conquered by Portuguese colonial power in 1619 almost 114 years after they first landed in Ceylon in 1505.

This war between the Tamils and Singhalese nations was far worse than WW11 in every aspect than any other wars in regard to the scale of intensity, death, despair and destruction. The war aimed at genocide of Tamils was replete with horrendous abuse of human rights, war crimes and humanitarian laws governing conduct of wars. It is a shame, disgrace, and of course humiliation to those countries and human rights organizations committed to uphold human rights and respect international laws and conventions. As the world labeled the Tamils they are not a terrorist group or organization. They took up arms to fight against state terrorism All men are, by nature, free and equal, and have certain inherent and inalienable rights, among which may be reckoned the right to bear arms in defense of themselves. The Preamble to the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights clearly states “Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law.”

As variously stated throughout history people have the right and the duty to overthrow tyrannical governments that acts against their common interests. Taking arms in self-defense against state terrorism is definitely not terrorism. It is an inalienable right of self-defense under a democratic polity. We fought for justice and peace and above all we waged a just war against genocide of Tamils.

It is very important to note that, In the strict sense of the word, it’s not a post war situation. Instead, it is a war by other means. In addition to heavy militarisation, we can see a massive structural change that is been carried out by the Sri Lankan government through acquisition of land, Sinhala settlements, building of military cantonments, acquiring key trade and commercial locations, changing name boards to all-Sinhala names, building of Sinhala Buddhist shrines, claiming ancient Tamil Buddhist sites as Sinhala Buddhist sites and so on and so on. This phase existed prior to the armed phase before the 1980s. It has now gone up to a maximum speed after the military defeat of the armed resistance of the Tamil movement. No attempt has been made to address the root causes of the conflict. What is happening is the consolidating of the unitary state structure and the Sinhala Buddhist ideology of re-conquest with the aim of cultural homogenisation of the Tamil region. It is an irony to see how in this process of ideological and military re-conquest of the Tamil region those Sinhalese who backed the same process are being silenced by the government, let alone the other voices of dissent in the Sinhala society.

UN ‘failed Sri Lanka civilians’, says internal probe – BBC News

The United Nations failed in its mandate to protect civilians in the last months of Sri Lanka’s bloody civil war, a leaked draft of a highly critical internal UN report says.

“Events in Sri Lanka mark a grave failure of the UN,” it concludes.

Sri Lanka: UN admits it failed to protect civilians – BBC News

Sri Lanka: UN admits it failed to protect civilians

A UN report on its failure to protect civilians in Sri Lanka’s civil war will have “profound implications” for the global body, UN chief Ban Ki-moon says.

Publishing the damning internal report, which was leaked to the BBC, Mr Ban said “lessons had to be learnt”

A senior panel will advise him on how to prevent the system breakdowns that led to “grave failure” in Sri Lanka.

Tamils want international inquiry, UN failure to protect civilians in Sri Lanka civil war – FacenFacts

Tamils want international inquiry, UN failure to protect civilians in Sri Lanka civil war.

“The internal inquiry report that has now come to light says the UN failed civilians by leaving the area,” M.A. Sumanthiran, the Tamil National Alliance parliamentarian, told CNN.

Sumanthiran was referring to the withdrawal of the UN’s international staff from north Sri Lanka’s Wanni area. In late 2008, the government could no longer guarantee the safety of UN staff there because of intense fighting between its forces and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, or LTTE, an armed separatist group commonly referred to as the Tamil Tigers.

According to the CNN report, as the UN prepared to leave, local civilians pleaded with it to stay, fearing the government would bomb areas where there were no international witnesses. In the report released Wednesday, the United Nations questioned its decision to move its staff “because of a government safety warning when government forces themselves represented the dominant threat to staff.”

The UN also acknowledged that it had, on occasion, “omitted to explicitly mention government responsibility for violations of international law” so as to not hinder its humanitarian access in the country.

UN failed during final days of Lankan ethnic war: Ban Ki-moon-World News, Firstpost

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Latest comments

  • 4
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    “It Is High Time For United Nations To Right Its Wrong In Sri Lanka”
    —-
    Certainly, it is high time for United Nations to right its wrong in case of Sri Lanka.
    The war that dragged on for three decades in Sinhale/Sri Lanka was declared by separatist Tamil politicians in Yapanaya after passing Vaddukkodai Resolution that contains a manufactured history to justify their demand for a separate State within Sinhale, the Land of Sinhalayo and Vedda Eththo. After declaring war, separatist Tamils promoted a terrorist campaign against the Government of Sri Lanka and Sinhala Nation. These Tamil terrorists massacred innocent Sinhala Buddhist men, women, children, Buddhist monks and even fetus of pregnant Sinhala women in a brutal way committing war crimes and crimes against humanity.
    In this war, the aggressor was Tamils and the victims were indigenous Sinhalayo. But unfortunately, UN is charging the Government of Sri Lanka and the Armed Forces that launched a military operation after failing all the efforts to reach at a peaceful solution and eliminated Tamil terrorists who terrorized the people in the country for three decades with war crimes and crimes against humanity. UN is also consider Sinhalayo who are the victims of the war as aggressor.

    • 3
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      Cont…
      The most ridicules thing is UN is considering Tamils who are the aggressor as victims and ignore the war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by Tamil terrorists. So, it is high time that UN to right its wrong in Sri Lanka and take measures to punish those who committed war crimes and crimes against Sinhala Buddhists.

  • 2
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    Kumarathasan Rasingam,
    “Genocide of Tamils in Sri Lanka. UN Failed to apply R2P and protect the Massacre of 147,000 Tamils.”

    Have Tamils managed to find out what happened to these 147,000 dead bodies? If they located the skeletons, they should pile up the skulls and put on display as Kampucheans have done to convince the International Community.

  • 4
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    Dear KR
    The write up is very poignantly true. Yes we have discussed the scenario many times on CT and elsewhere,, since the demise of LTTE
    as a fighting force .
    We must move on , let by gones be by gones . The question is what is the way forward. Unfortunately there is no one fit solution. You need to negotiate and be prepared to “give and take”
    One should not expect UN alone to deliver the goods. Its only a talking shop and bumps on the seats!

    As a starter why not ask your own leadership as to what they have done todate on this very burning issue. They must lobby and get help from sympathetic groups locally and internationally. We can not do it alone
    No man is an island.
    RN

    • 0
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      RN
      This guy  Kumarathasan Rasingam says
      “Genocide of Tamils in Sri Lanka. UN Failed to apply R2P and protect the Massacre of 147,000 Tamils.”
      Why did Superpower India with 80 million Tamils just 20km away allow this to happen.?
      Shouldn’t UN investigate this criminal failure to protect?
      Why don’t the Tamils in Sri Lanka take this matter seriously and want to let India off the hook?

      Soma

    • 0
      1

      RN
      Don’t be ungrateful. Think of the number of resolutions that the NP Council has passed.
      Think of how they protect the interests of a foreign country against that of an impoverished fisher community. They even kept the Chinese out of the N&E, that is until the ambassador surprised them.
      *
      You forget that the leaderships of all leaderships of Tamils here is abroad. So the author could have addressed the expat high command to do the needful, like sending their R2P forces here.

  • 1
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    Well done Mr. Kumarathasan Rasingam. Historically accurate and logically strong presentation. R2P is an international mandate to the UN to protect the people in peril of war. (As a matter of fact, R2P need not be limited to war). UN was formed to prevent repetition of holocausts and wars. Later days, internal investigation indicated that the UN was at fault for not protecting the people being annihilated by means of war. Our interest is beyond that, i.e. rather than its past wrong, the correction process of that wrong has not come forth. UN still not prepared bring in an International Investigation or referring this War Crime/ Genocide to ICC. After May 23rd 2009 UNSG visited Mullivaikkal and expressed his astonishment as “A destruction that he never came across in his life”. Ban Ki Moon, the UNSG had accepted the carnage done on Tamils’ residential, living, homeland area. Then he, conscientiously, talked with the President of Langkang, and had obtained a promise to determine the accountability and responsibility for those savage actions. He announced this at the Colombo press meeting while keeping the president next to side.

  • 1
    1

    Recently the Royal family members revealed a few interesting matters. During CCP’s 70th anniversary, Old King said that it was Ma Tso Tung brought freedom to Ceylon. (Ranil too repeated this.) The Old King, in the new Seya opening ceremony said that he ignored the British Prime Minister’s consultation, sent back the SLMM and finished the war without witnesses and with war crimes. Last week Younger Brother Prince said they bought Arms from North Korea using illegally laundered money. Younger Brother prince accepted that they had run out of sources to buy arms, so they bought from a UN barred country. Old Rowdy King described how he went against democratic countries’ advice and surrendered to Chinese loans for arms. That means the Royal family revealed that they were heavily involved in international crimes during the war they conducted against Tamils. Instead of waiting for Aanduwa to confess one after another, it must be Tamils’ responsibility to peel the mask of Appe Aanduwa and show the true face to Langkang to IC.

  • 0
    1

    The investigation to establish responsibility and accountability is a promise delivered to Tamils in May 2009 by UN SG. Now it is almost 13 years have passed. But that has not happened. Whether the Investigation had come forth or not, Appe Aanduwa has been feeling the mere existence of UNHRC in every March of the last 13 years. It has devised many cunning tricks every March to escape from IC. Thousand and thousand abandoned victims, for years, sitting and protesting in rain and shine for justice to them. Unless Tamils diaspora do their utmost possible to remind the promise, persuade UNHRC and UN to bring Justice to these victims, that could be the worst treachery they could do for their race and land. Tamils have been fighting for almost 75 years to protect the race, their land, and a space for peaceful living. 13A has been there for 35 years. Not one single year has passed without Sinhala Rapist Army raiding and stealing Tamils land during this period. So, Tamils should not lose their focus on matters that are not going to happen and let their attention be taken away from International Investigation.

    • 0
      0

      Mallaiyuran
      This guy  Kumarathasan Rasingam says
      “Genocide of Tamils in Sri Lanka. UN Failed to apply R2P and protect the Massacre of 147,000 Tamils.”
      Why did Superpower India with 80 million Tamils just 20km away allow this to happen.?
      Shouldn’t UN investigate this criminal failure to protect?
      Why don’t the Tamils in Sri Lanka take this matter seriously and want to let India off the hook?

      Soma

  • 0
    0

    Hello  Kumarathasan Rasingam 
    “Genocide of Tamils in Sri Lanka. UN Failed to apply R2P and protect the Massacre of 147,000 Tamils.”
    .
    Don’t you know that Superpower India with 80 million Tamils are just 20km away.
    Why did they allow it to happen?

    Soma

  • 1
    0

    It will be good if we can remember how UN had screwed it up for the affected in other countries.

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