27 October, 2020

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Let The U.N. Unmask The Criminals Of Sri Lanka’s War

By Louise Arbour –

Louise Arbour

Louise Arbour

In early 2009, as many as 40,000 civilians were killed in the final days of Sri Lanka’s civil war, having been herded into an area about the size of Central Park and subjected to relentless shelling. No one has been held accountable for these crimes, and even now the government in Colombo remains intent on burying the past. Only an international commission of inquiry stands any chance of rectifying this omission. So when the United Nations Human Rights Council meets Monday in Geneva, it should seek an investigation. It would be a decisive step toward justice and reconciliation in Sri Lanka.

The 26-year civil war in Sri Lanka, in which ethnic Tamil rebels rose against a government dominated by the ethnic-majority Sinhalese, was regularly punctuated with massacres and rights abuses by government forces, as well as by suicide bombings and other attacks on civilian targets by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. Since the government’s crushing defeat of the rebels, the predominantly Tamil northern province has been under de facto military occupation, with widespread reports of serious rights violations against the civilian population.

As the fifth anniversary of the war’s end approaches this spring, Sri Lankan officials say they need more time for reconciliation initiatives to take root. They argue that an international investigation will only further polarize Sri Lanka. They have reacted angrily to a new report by Navi Pillay, the United Nations high commissioner for human rights, that advocates an international investigation and heavily criticizes the government.

As the International Crisis Group has documented in a series of reports, the government’s postwar policies have entrenched an increasingly authoritarian regime in Colombo, deepened the rift between Tamils and Sinhalese, and drawn dangerous new lines of ethnic and religious conflict. To date, the government has rejected calls by the Human Rights Council to conduct an independent investigation into war crimes allegations against both sides that have been documented by the United Nations secretary general’s panel of experts and by nongovernmental organizations like ours, and to adopt reforms that could foster postwar reconciliation.

The United States, which has a record of leadership within the Human Rights Council, would be the best sponsor for a resolution seeking an inquiry. The other members of the council should give it their strong support. They should also reject the Sri Lankan government’s endless delaying tactics and its global public-relations counterattack, which includes a half-hour infomercial that has been shown on American television.

Momentum for such an investigation is building. Six United States senators, led by Patrick J. Leahy, Democrat of Vermont, called for an international commission of inquiry in a letter sent this month to Secretary of State John Kerry. Three days later a resolution was introduced in the Senate calling for an independent investigation (not necessarily by a commission). Prime Minister David Cameron of Britain, other senior European Union politicians and Indian officials also have taken clear exception to Sri Lanka’s failure to pursue accountability for atrocities. Meanwhile, in response to victims’ pleas for justice, a newly elected northern provincial council in Sri Lanka has joined the calls for an international investigation.

But the government of President Mahinda Rajapaksa has rejected all such recommendations, even when they came from Sri Lanka’s own reconciliation commission. He has also gravely weakened the independence of the judiciary and the police with the impeachment last year of Sri Lanka’s chief justice, placing the possibility of using Sri Lanka’s courts to achieve accountability further out of reach.

An inquiry mandated by an intergovernmental body like the Human Rights Council would produce a more complete record of the scale of civilian suffering, and would challenge the Sri Lankan government’s denials that government forces were responsible for any significant loss of civilian life.

A commission is also likely to uncover evidence of abuses by the defeated Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in a form that would be hard for Tamils and Tamil organizations to deny. That would deflate a romanticization of the Tigers among Tamils that keeps alive Sinhalese fears that the Tamil insurgency might resume, and also gives the government an excuse for continued militarization and repression.

By showing survivors of wartime abuses that the international community hasn’t abandoned them, a commission mandated by the council could also undercut growing calls by Tamil diaspora organizations for more radical measures, and encourage victims of rights abuses from all of Sri Lanka’s ethnic and religious communities (the country’s main faiths are Buddhist, Hindu and Muslim) to continue seeking an end to institutionalized impunity.

Such an inquiry won’t solve all of Sri Lanka’s problems; the island’s crisis of accountability and democratic governance runs too deep and is too complex to be resolved quickly. Nonetheless, increased authoritarianism, Sinhalese ethnic triumphalism and simmering Tamil resentment are clearly not the ingredients for a secure future. Both justice and reconciliation are needed for the Sri Lankan body politic to one day be healed.

The Human Rights Council has an opportunity, and should seize it. A number of the council’s current member states — for instance Chile, Costa Rica, Botswana, South Africa, Sierra Leone, Morocco and Macedonia — have led on other human rights issues and should press the council on this one. Sri Lanka’s government is playing a waiting game, hoping the international community will lose interest, while also proffering the crude argument that reconciliation is attainable without justice.

But the costs of doing something now would be very small compared with the years of strife that would be the likely result of letting impunity win in Sri Lanka.

*Louise Arbour is the president of the International Crisis Group. She previously served as the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (2004-2008), as a Justice on the Supreme Court of Canada (1999-2004), and as the Chief Prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and for Rwanda (1996-1999). Version of this article appeared in New York Times on February 28,  2014.

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  • 4
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    Her face reminds me DJ’s infamous finger wagging saga !

    • 18
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      The International Crisis Group has a reputation for bending the truth. Their reports on various countries have been criticized as biased by informed critics. Please Google to see the critiques of ICG reports on Venezuela (July 23, 2008), Eritrea (Sep 21, 2010), Ivory Coast (April 3, 2011) and Haiti (Aug 2, 2012).

      International Crisis Group’s involvement in the whole Arab Spring and especially in the current crisis in Syria has come under devastating attacks by eminent analysts such as Tony Cartalucci. I’ve attached his article on ICG’s role in Syria that appeared on – Infowars – http://www.infowars.com

      International Crisis Group Sweating over Syria
      Soros think-tank concedes to “possible foreign involvement.”

      Tony Cartalucci
      Infowars.com
      May 4, 2011

      The International Crisis Group (ICG) has been at the center of the unfolding “Arab Spring” since the very beginning. Mohamed ElBaradei, a member of the ICG board of trustees, was literally leading the color revolution in the streets of Cairo along with his admitted underling, Google executive Wael Ghonim. The ICG has also recently made a heeded call for intervention in the Ivory Coast.

      ICG includes George Soros and Zbigniew Brzezinski, two men notorious for their extraterritorial meddling and their fomenting of color revolutions in far flung lands. To explain why they are so eager to pry their way into sovereign nations, despoil, topple, and rebuild them, one only has to look at ICG’s corporate supporters. They include such ignoble organizations as Chevron, Morgan Stanley, and Deutsche Bank Group with equally ignoble intentions that are confidently expressed through ICG’s nefarious agenda.

      In the ICG’s most recent report, “Syria: Quickly Going beyond the Point of No Return,” they worryingly state that, “By denouncing all forms of protest as sedition, and dealing with them through escalating violence, the regime [Syria] is closing the door on any possible honourable exit to a deepening national crisis. With little the international community can do, the optimal outcome is one whose chances are dwindling by the day: an immediate end to the violence and a genuine national dialogue to pave the way for a transition to a representative, democratic political order.”In other words, the window is closing on Western-engineered regime change in Syria.

      The ICG goes on to state that “the regime blames all casualties on its foes — agents provocateurs and, more recently, jihadis,” but they concede that “one cannot exclude possible foreign involvement in the ongoing crisis…” ICG’s report degenerates into a hypocritical, somewhat bizarre and uncharacteristically incoherent rant stating that even though foreign influence is evident and that “there are plausible reports of security forces being ambushed by unidentified armed groups, as well as of protesters firing back when attacked,” Syria’s bid to restore order amidst a clearly violent, foreign-funded insurrection is a “violent, unlawful and disorderly response.”

      Perhaps the deep pockets of George Soros and the myriad of influential world leaders that populate the International Crisis Group’s board of trustees and serve as advisers, are unable to afford a copy of the New York Times paper stating that the entire “Arab Spring” was prepared and directed years in advance by the US. Perhaps the ICG is incapable of reading AFP reports openly stating that Syrian protesters were trained abroad by the US and sent back to Syria to fuel a “ripple effect.” It seems they are also absent-minded of the corporate-funded Brookings Institution report, “Which Path to Persia?” which gives specific acknowledgment to the Smith Richardson Foundation, upon which Zbigniew Brzezinski sits as an acting governor.

      In this Brookings report, fueling simultaneous popular revolutions, armed insurgencies, and tempting military units to carry out a coup are openly talked about as viable options used in tandem to destabilize a targeted nation. In addition, “some form of military support” is cited as an absolute necessity when fomenting a popular revolution to prevent it from being crushed by competent security forces. Judging from Damascus’ daily claims, video, and photographic evidence, coupled with eye witness accounts from the protesters themselves of mysterious gunmen, it appears the “Which Path to Persia?” doctrine is being carried out in earnest within Syria’s borders.

      The untenable position the global corporate-financiers are in to intervene further is illustrated in ICG’s report where they conclude, “the international community clearly has an important stake in the outcome of the current crisis, even if little capacity to influence it.” ICG recognizes how further intervention will make it abundantly clear to the general population that indeed this is an orchestrated, foreign-funded plot – something the world’s leaders, from Cairo to Damascus, from Minsk to Beijing have already pointed out.

      Despite ICG’s apparent resignation to sitting the Syrian conflict out on the sidelines (apparently not counting the already admitted funding and support the US has given the Syrian opposition) it should be noted that a campaign to build up support for a Libyan-style military intervention in Syria is already underway. The Economist notes that the missing component is the Arab League’s support – without which, military intervention is almost unimaginable. We can then expect a concerted and furious effort made to twist arms in Riyadh, Cairo, Amman, and even Istanbul to match Qatar’s fervent support for this Western-driven regional conflagration. The impetus to wring out such a concession however, is almost unimaginable.

      URL to article: http://www.infowars.com/international-crisis-group-sweating-over-syria/

      [Tony Cartalucci is a Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer. He has been published on many alternative media websites, including Alternative Thai News Network and LocalOrg. His writings deal with world events from a Southeast Asian perspective as well as promoting self-sufficiency as one of the keys to true freedom. His website is Land Destroyer Report.]

    • 10
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      Srilal, Louise Arbour is not in a beauty contest.
      If you cannot understand the argument, don’t comment here and waste everyone else’s time.

      • 0
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        Rationalist,

        “Srilal, Louise Arbour is not in a beauty contest. If you cannot understand the argument, don’t comment here and waste everyone else’s time. “

        exactly , i would say the same thing to you pal , obviously you have no idea what i’m referring to , that’s why you have shown your utter stupidity by “Louise Arbour is not in a beauty contest” statement!.

      • 1
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        ‘Rationalist’ Please choose a different ID. I have been using this one for the last couple of years.
        I do not abuse people.
        Original Rationalist.

    • 3
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      To the bunch in here who’ve been only tutored on Iraq and Afghanistan all the new information coming out of this short speech must be enough to explode their minds.

      I bet that woman K.A Sumanasekera and her little chicks wouldn’t be around here trying to chew on this one, he he he…

    • 2
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      Presidents´s ignorance towards the views of his cabinet ministers is becoming a reality today than few years ago.

      Please read below:

      President ignores ministers’ concerns

      0 March 3, 2014 4:46 am

      By Niranjala Ariyawansha

      President Mahinda Rajapaksa had failed to address the concerns expressed by five ministers and a parliamentarian over the upcoming UNHRC sessions in Geneva, the Minister of National Languages and Social Integration, Vasudeva Nanayakkara, said.Leader of the Democratic Left Front (DLF), Nanayakkara, told Ceylon Today that, Scientific Affairs Minister, Prof.

      Tissa Vitarana, Human Resources Minister, D.E.W. Gunasekara, Fisheries and Aquatic Resource Development Minister, Rajitha Senaratne, Minor Export Crop Minister, Reginald Cooray, Parliamentarian, Navin Dissanayake, and he, had signed a petition highlighting their concerns over the UNHRC meeting in Geneva, but the President had not heeded their request.

      Stating that a plethora of legal and economic sanctions could be imposed on the country, Nanayakkara had requested that two commissions be set up, and experts in the relevant fields be appointed to serve on them. “A commission of legal experts to analyze legal consequences and repercussions, and another commission comprising economic experts to study the economic sanctions that may be imposed, need to be formed with immediate effect,” he said.

      He reiterated his belief that the risk would be insurmountable if such measures were not adopted, as a matter of urgency.

    • 1
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      Dayan Jayathilaka argues that decades would take every country after a brutal war to investigate crimes against humanity. But today´s context, what is becoming very clear is not even foundations are made to go for those crime investigations in an independent manner. If the rulers cancelled 18th AMD since last UN resolution was passed against the country, almost locals and ICs could feel that the Regime has made at least some progress paving the way for independent investigations. But let alone, not to have done will be a valid point, UN to categorically conclude that MR and the clan are even listening to UN body.

      • 2
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        APPLOOGIES:that MR and the clan are NOT even listening to UN or any body from outdide..

        How can such a man to be kept as the Chairman of CW countries for the period of two years ? Are the WESERN cw COUNTRIES that pushovers ?

  • 6
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    A well balanced speech, which draws from recent history, clearly asks the Tamil diaspora to renounce claims to separatism AND hits the LTTE hard for its terror tactics and ethnic cleansing in the areas which it controlled. No issue then, for the likes of the regime’s mouthpieces and lap-dogs to bay at, hopefully.

    BUT, there is also a clear and unmistakeable call for action to hold the Sri Lankan government to account for the alleged atrocities by way of an impartial enquiry. No issue then for the regime, if it is not guilty of any of these surely?

  • 14
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    Some fools claim that Pillai being of Tamil descent (though she has said it in no uncertain terms she is South African) is biased.

    Wonder what their excuse is for Louise? LOL

    • 5
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      The all powerfull Tamil diaspora octopus has bought Lousie Arbour.

    • 12
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      “Wonder what their excuse is for Louise? LOL”

      Well, the BBS racists and Booruwansa will now say that her great, great grandfather was a scrap picker from Pondicherry who caught the eye of an Orient Superliner millionaires from America who stepped off the shores of India for a look. And the Moda Sinhalayas will believe it like they gulped the theory that muslim businessmen were introducing contraceptive lined underwear to limit spread of the Sinhala race. Hik.Hik idiots.

      • 13
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        Not only Buruwanse and co. but also all pathetic muslim buggers will go on licking Rajapakshes for their perks. I can tolerate everything but the manner that bone licking Azwer continues is beyond all bearing.

        How can he behave in that way, as a muslim? We the sinhalese go vehimently against Raja idiots, while muslim idiots like Hakeem and Azwer behave so obsequiously as no any srilankens would do. why ?

    • 3
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      A European is needed, not Tamil Pillai.

      “*Louise Arbour is the president of the International Crisis Group. She previously served as the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (2004-2008), as a Justice on the Supreme Court of Canada (1999-2004), and as the Chief Prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and for Rwanda (1996-1999). Version of this article appeared in New York Times on February 28, 2014.”

      Why not do the Yugoslavian and Kosovo solution.

      The Sinhala Mahanama Racist Buddhists have been asking the UN for a long time.

      Enough talk. Now time to shoot.

  • 3
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    what do you think about DJ’s u turn reaction few days ago ? I never thought that he would open up in that way calling that GLP is ventriloquist’s dummy of Defence ministry ?… nobody else would have been that direct as DJ has been

  • 2
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    “Conclusion

    An international commission of inquiry will not solve all of Sri Lanka’s problems. However, progress on accountability and the other key concerns cited in the 2013 HRC resolution remain critical if Sri Lanka is to repair its democratic institutions, protect the rights of Sri Lankans belonging to all communities, devolve power to the north and east and build a new sustainable multi-ethnic and multi-religious future.”
    http://www.crisisgroup.org/en/publication-type/media-releases/2014/asia/reconciliation-and-accountability-in-sri-lanka.aspx

  • 3
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    So, six-of-one, half-a-dozen of the other and the unsportsmanlike LTTE have run away without taking their share of the caning. But, that doesn’t let the GOSL of the hook and their present discomfort is only part of the punishment. As for the Diaspora who ran away, if they did so out of fear for the LTTE, then there should be no fear for them to return and join their brethren in the continuing struggle for justice and a fair crack over their own affairs. All this long distance megaphone stuff leaves them open to all kinds of accusations. Meanwhile, MR opens his top right hand drawer every morning and faithfully looks at a fading A4 with the words ‘ignore the buggers and sooner or later they will get fed up and push off’. On such little does our national reputation hinge.

  • 2
    2

    There is nothing or no one to stop Terrorist criminals living in Canada and UK to be brought to trial, except Harper and Cameron. They are hiding under Arbour’s “bed” too. Many consider UN a biased organisation, working hand in glove with organisations of neo con proponents backed by fronts claiming to be human rights protectors with agendas to cause widespread chaos in the developing world.
    Therefore, Arbour should initiate an investigation into the activities of the Terrorist Activists in her own country first before looking elsewhere!

  • 2
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    “Since the government’s crushing defeat of the rebels, the predominantly Tamil northern province has been under de facto military occupation, with widespread reports of serious rights violations against the civilian population.”

    What Louise Arbour is not aware, is that the:-
    ‘Sinhala Dominated Southern Province has been under de facto GOSL Vigilante’ surveillance, with widespread reports of serious rights violations against the civilian population’

    viz; White Vanning, Journalist disappearances, Media strangulation, Police and Army attacks on peaceful demonstrations, Attacks on Muslim and Christian Buildings, and so on and so forth….

    The Tamil Diaspora who are safe in their adopted lands, are vociferous, and able to influence their Governments to bash Sri Lanka, but the poor Sinhalese who remain in SL have no one to fight for their Rights, against the GOSL and its excesses.

  • 3
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    She starts saying:
    “In early 2009, as many as 40,000 civilians were killed in the final days of Sri Lanka’s civil war, having been herded into an area about the size of Central Park and subjected to relentless shelling”!!!
    She talks like she was right there. And from where did she come up with the 40k number? Is she implying that the SLDF herded them there to be shelled and killed? She apparently does not know that there was a terrorist war going on, terrorists have taken civilians as human shields.
    Are these type of bigots who are going to bring peace, justice and equality to this world? If so God bless this world!

  • 1
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    Yes, we the many that are in silent mode in the country too in the view that the current regime is an authoritarian one.
    Their politics are typical to Rajapakshe oligarchy. They dont care people´s representatives would go into pieces at the time they got passed 18th AMD by burying all the freedom that police commission and other issues had. Rajapakshe keeps quiet if anyone would raise the issue since then. Nor has he uttered a word about abolishing executive presidency yet, though that was one of the top promises he made coming to power in 2005.
    Today, so called unctous tales about their progress but sending the poorest of the poor even deeper, they struggle for their 3 meals. Let alone some have no melons or bitter guards to keep them live.

    • 1
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      Yes particular unctuous speeches will not last long.

  • 3
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    There is a very strong speculation that Jayalalitha may become the Prime Minister of India in 2014. Even otherwise, she may become the king maker with her strong support to form the coalition government. If that is the case, India may become very hostile towards Sri Lanka. Under Jayalalitha’s leadership, India can even invade the NorthEast (with blessing from the West). There is also a very strong speculation that Hilary Clinton may become the President of US in 2016. If that happens, Sri Lanka will face an extremely hard time. With Jayalalitha in India, Navi Pillai in UN and Hilary in US, even God cannot help Sri Lanka.

    We were under the impression that with the end of LTTE, Sri Lanka is problem free but it looks like now after the LTTE’s demise only the real problem has started. First it was the Tamil politicians like GGP & SJVC, then it was VP & LTTE, now it is the Diaspora. Looks like they are progressing well, each time one step forward. The future looks very bad for Sri Lanka.

    • 0
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      “We were under the impression that with the end of LTTE, Sri Lanka is problem free but it looks like now after the LTTE’s demise only the real problem has started.”

      Sinhala Nationalists will always see a problem as long as there are non Sinhala Buddhists in Lanka, especially Tamils.

  • 2
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    When one is paid to do a job one has to do it. It does not matter if one was one time a judge,a high commissioner or a prosecutor. When one undertakes to carry garbage you have to carry garbage,especially when it is a lucrative!

  • 0
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    Where were these people when JVP insurrection was active ?

  • 1
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    http://newleftreview.org/II/63/tom-hazeldine-the-north-atlantic-counsel

    Read the Double games of International Crisis Group.

    “THE NORTH ATLANTIC COUNSEL

    Complicity of the International Crisis Group “

  • 2
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    Louise Arbour should be looking closer to her home in Canada. The illegal aggressive war (the supreme crime according the Neuremburg Trial Judges) was carried out by a country and it’s leaders to the South of Canada. Some 1.5 million innocent Iraqis paid the ultimate price, and yet the criminals are today enjoying complete freedom and what’s more profiting from it in the aftermath. This is very nearly and open and shut case, yet there is NO clamour to bring the criminals to justice. The UNSG still carries the water for the said criminals, as did the previous one. Will things ever change ?

  • 1
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    Just don’t worry about Louise Arbour, Navi Pillai, Ban-Ki-Bafoon, Cameron, Harper, Obama et el..who are these jokers to advice our Lanka and MR. He knows the best for Sri Lanka. He won the war, he won the world and he will win again in Geneva since is a born, proven winner. Let our regime ‘complete’ the reconstruction, reconciliation, our way by taking over lands, houses and share those among all the citizens from South who never even stepped a foot in the North or East and make Lanka a civilised multi cultural nation. All the people are Sri Lankans and why difference. Every one can live anywhere we like. There will be no Tamil dominated areas in Lanka in about a few years. Everything belongs to Sinhala Lankans and the forces and the other minorities are just visitors and they can stay until their visa is expired. Sri Lanka is only for Sinhala Buddhists, it’s their promised land given by Lord Buddha the great. Muslims can go to Saudi Arabia and Tamils can go to India. That’s what our BBS buddies always insist on. Now they are in Miyanmar and Thailand to help Burmese government in eradicating Rohingya Muslims and problems, just like our MR ‘solved’ LTTE and Tamil problem with some ‘humanitarian’ methods adopted in Lanka . Gota will give all the help to do that since Sri Lanka and Miyanmar follow Theravada Buddhism. MR is already in Miyanmar to do the ground work and hope everything goes well. No one is worried about this UNHRC and it’s nothing for a great leader like our world class crafty dealer MR. So be happy.

  • 0
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    CT PERMANENTLY BLOCKED

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