29 November, 2020

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LLRC: Another Nail in the Coffin of Justice, Democracy and Freedom

By Surendra Ajit Rupasinghe –

The entire value of the LLRC report rests upon two conditions: First, whether it addresses the core issues raised by allegations of violations of international humanitarian and human rights law, including war crimes and crimes against nature and humanity. The core issues include targeting civilians, shelling of No-Fire Zones and hospitals, atrocities such as rape, torture, mutilation and killing of prisoners of war,  withholding basic relief, and killing of those who surrendered.  Second, whether the Commission has defined clear, specific  and transparent mechanisms for an independent investigation that would establish accountability. One could, and some would, argue that these two conditions go beyond the specific mandate of the LLRC. In which case, the whole exercise would be just a whitewash and a tactic of procrastination. The counter reply would be to ask, if these conditions go beyond the official mandate, why was the mandate so crafted?

It is like relying on a suspected murderer to ascertain whether the said murder was committed and whether he is guilty. It is akin to mandating the family of the murderer to conduct an investigation into the culpability of one of its indebted members.

It is not up to the Commission itself to judge on specific issues, such as whether civilians were targeted or whether any of the violations mentioned above were actually committed. That is to be established by an independent investigation that would accord with international standards and norms. The independence of the Commission is questioned since it was appointed by the State, which is itself to be investigated, and where the moral legitimacy of its composition is, indeed, dubious, given that it has been led by trusted servants of the State, if even of the Regime.  It is like relying on a suspected murderer to ascertain whether the said murder was committed and whether he is guilty. It is akin to mandating the family of the murderer to conduct an investigation into the culpability of one of its indebted members. Such an exercise would be a ludicrous mockery of justice that should enter the Guinness Book of Infamous Records. The crux of the matter is that such an exercise brings into question the whole concept of jurisprudence, governance and accountability. The whole foundation of jurisprudence rests upon the independence, impartiality, objectivity and commitment of the adjudicators to establish the truth through the most exhaustive and comprehensive investigative process, where witnesses and victims have the unfettered freedom to testify, without fear of reprisal. Sorry, this is certainly not the culture of jurisprudence in the country, where the independence of the judiciary has been fatally compromised, ala the 18th Amendment and by  the caliber of those who command the halls of Justice. I mean, the former Chief Justice is to be investigated by the State for abuse of office and prejudicial malice! So, I cannot be singularly charged with contempt. I could face an even more decisive consequence.

Instead of defining the mechanism for an independent and accountable investigation, the Commission has left it open for the Executive President to decide on the follow-up actions to be taken. This has resulted in a comic-circus exercise where the President has stated that any particular violation identified by the Commission would be investigated by the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the State. Here, in a Land where the Attorney General withdraws cases against alleged rapists and murderers , even when evidence points to their culpability, while Retd. General Sarath Fonseka is incarcerated for the most unsubstantiated allegations of ‘rumor-mongering’ to cause disrepute to the State and incite social unrest! Here, I stand with the dissenting judge on the “White Flag” case. If the alleged Hi-Corp case is to be considered, then, by all means, dispense the very same justice to all those who have been found guilty of gross corruption by none other than COPE, much beyond anything that the General may have dreamed of, yet, who enjoy freedom as Members of Parliament, who represent the Regime. I carry no torch for the good General, yet, I demand justice and decency. Then again, no such Presidential Commissions of Inquiry have led to justice and accountability. What about justice for Lasantha, RaviRaj, Joseph Pararajasingham, 17 humanitarian workers and so many others? This whole process of Presidential inquiry and investigation has been a tool of deception, a means of subverting the Rule of Law, a method of manipulating the Constitution, wherein a culture of impunity and despotism rules under the cover of “democracy”.

Some people have latched on to some ‘positive’ aspects of the report, such as the admission that the root causes of the conflict lies in the fact that no government, and the State as a whole, has failed to address the genuine grievances of the Tamil people. Hello? This has now been acknowledged by every sane and decent citizen in this country and the world. Some enticing icing on a cake of deadly venomous poison? Nazism came to power and ruled through a bourgeois democratic constitution. Let us not be deceived and manipulated.

Writer is the secretary of the Ceylon Communist Party- Maoist

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    The writer has already come to conclusion that civilians had been deliberately targeted by the Sri Lankan army. Any conclusions other than that would be unacceptable to the writer. The LLRC came to it’s conclusion based on the evidence place before it. That does not seem to be any consequence to the writer.

    Adolf Hitler’s propaganda minister Josef Goebell’s preached that any big lie repeated frequently enough would eventually be believed. The Tiger’s and their diaspora have practiced it to perfection before and after the armed battles in the north.
    The writer is clearly a victim of this Tiger ploy

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    Chairman Mao said that it is a good thing to be attacked by the enemy. The strong critique of the LLRC report by the JHU ( see below), is evidence of the progressive character and value of the report and disproves writer Ajith Surendra Rupesinghe’s sectarian ultra-left criticism.

    LLRC had over passed their mandate: JHU .
    Tuesday, 27 December 2011 21:52 .The Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) charged today that the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) had failed to look into the 9,878 civil assassinations which were carried out by the LTTE and put forward proposals in taking actions against those who are responsible.

    General Secretary of the party and the Minister of Power and Energy Patali Champika Ranawaka said that the commission had exceeded the mandate which was given to them and had said that there is an ethnic problem in the country while going on to say that there is a need for the devolution of power. These are political problems and we have told them that there is no such dispute but the commission had not recognised the limits of equality.

    A total of 9,878 civil assassinations were carried out between 1972 and 2009 by the LTTE. But not a single line is mentioned about these killings. But the LLRC had only made a point that a number of 474 disappearances had taken place.

    Nearly 150,000 Sinhalese were displaced as a result of the war but the committee had forgotten the steps and the proposals that should be made to these people in order to secure their future.

    “Even the people in the North and East had said that these people were with them from school days. But they have lost their homes, some had been taken forcefully from them and some had taken them by preparing forged deeds,” he said.

    “We will convey the lapses and the key points where they have spoken about them partially, only by looking at one perspective,” he said.

    “This is a report. So the government can consider it or not for future references. But the report is not similar to the Darusman report or other fairy tale reports. These people went to these areas and gathered all the necessary information about the post and pre-war period,” he added.

    He further stated that 11,000 LTTE combatants surrendered to the security forces and out of them 10,300 have been released after giving them vocational training. They have confessed the crimes they had committed but all of them were released to society.

    “They have also not mentioned about the steps they would take on 40 LTTE financers and supporters. The responsibility of the commission was to put forward proposals that would make sure Sri Lanka will not face such atrocities that everyone suffered during the war,” Minister Ranawaka said.

    The LLRC was established to gather information about the cease fire agreement, its failures, military operations and aftermath, rebuilding the lives of people in the North and East. The time frame it was given to monitor was between February 21, 2002 and May 19, 2009.

    453 individuals gave important statements to the commission.

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      “…………..9,878 civil assasinations……..” “….474 disappearances…….” All these are allegged to have happened after 1972.
      If LLRC did not record the 9,878 ‘disappearnces’ but only recorded 474, this latter number must be correct. Combatants “confessed” to save themselves from torture and execution, and not voluntarily. They knew what happened to unarmed JVPers.
      Sri lanka armed forces have been commiting massacres of tamil civilians from soon after independence.
      http://www.eelamhomeland.com/infor/Lest_We_Forget_P1.pdf
      http://nesohr.org/hrr/?show=all
      Rev.Fr.X.Karunairatnam who recorded these was himself killed by the army.
      These were the cause of commencement of militancy.
      After these killings, the state forces killed tens of thousands of mostly unarmed sinhala youth in 1971 & in 1987/88/89.
      Even now many more than 700 LTTE combatants are in custody. Many hundreds disappeared according to their families most of whom could not give evidence before the LLRC.
      Those “returned to society” are harassed, rearrested many times and not allowed to live peacefully and adopt livelihoods.

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    The C.R de Silva report is a great one for Champika Ranawake,Dr Dayan Jayatilleke,Rajiva Wijesinghe,G.L.Peiris,
    Mervyn Silva and all the other boot lickers but not for people who like justice,fair play, transparency,commonsense,
    & truth. This white washing report is plainly a useless garbage & will be thrown into the garbage bin very soon. It’s
    just another time buying same old tactic of the Govt. which threw so many reports already in the past without taking any actions. As it was mentioned, this is a report from the murderer’s family about the murderer.Nice joke !

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      Bruz, can’t you read plain English? Champika Ranawake hates the report. The rest of those named by you — such myself– like the Report. So do liberal critics of the Govt like Jehan Perera and Kalana Senaratne. So how can you lump Champika and me in the same category as concerns the Report? I haven’t the slightest idea what Mervyn Silva says about it, and I don’t think there’s a single press report of any comment by him ( so that must be a private chat he had with you). If the report is garbage why have India and the USA welcomed it and extended qualified support to it?

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    “kadawunea, kadawunea pulli wandachi”. I feel sorry or these people. Because I know born to a dumb religion following parents, caste, society is the worst situation for some half evolved apes.

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