The Sri Lankan Sinhalese community’s call to Mayor Patrick Brown to rescind Ontario Canada’s Brampton City Council’s proclamation recognizing the Tamil genocide is emblematic of the culture of impunity that prevails in Sri Lanka. Sadly the Sri Lankan state has failed to create a judicial accountability mechanism as per the many UN HRC resolutions it co-sponsored.
His Worship did right by the victims.
As a writer and activist, I want to bring to the attention of those doubters, detractors and deniers, definitive evidence from credible sources which would conclusively serve to remind and reaffirm the truth of what happened in Mullivaikkaal in 2009 – the following are essentially extracts from my writings and analysis of documentaries and UN reports:
The Channel 4 documentary, ‘Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields’ and the film, ‘No Fire Zone‘, both directed by Callum Macrae show gruesome and horrific images of Sri Lankan forces knowingly bombing and shelling three ‘No Fire Zones’ which the government itself designated as “safe zones” where civilians were encouraged to congregate, attacking hospitals which were clearly marked including make shift ones, the coordinates of which were given to them by the Red Cross, that would have left no doubt in the viewer’s mind that the crimes were intentional.
There were images of terrified civilians including children and infants taking refuge in shallow bunkers to avoid fire; of doctors and medical staff trying desperately to save lives without let, performing amputations without anesthetic; of men, women, the elderly and children slaughtered indiscriminately; of others barely alive with serious injuries and body parts missing; of the obvious trauma of children seeing their loved ones dying in front of them; of the agony of those who could not leave their bunkers to grieve for the dead; of mothers and fathers losing their children; of the deprivation of food water and medicine, blood and surgical supplies; of men and women being executed; some naked with their hands bound behind their backs; others tied to trees and shot at point blank range; of more mass executions; of dead bodies of naked women being loaded in to trucks; of young people being taken away never to come back; of a man tortured in the most gruesome manner and then found dead; of LTTE members executed after they were taken prisoner or had surrendered; of Sri Lankan soldiers behaving like psychopaths.
The authoritative statements in the Killing Fields documentary more than substantiate the authenticity and accuracy of the events that took place and culpability of the perpetrators.
The findings of two UN reports by the UN Panel of Experts and UN Internal Review Panel speak for itself, calling into question the Rajapaksa government’s position that it maintained a policy of “zero civilian casualty”.
The Panel of Experts found that the Sri Lankan, “government shelled on a large scale in three consecutive No Fire Zones where it had encouraged the civilian population to concentrate, even after indicating it would cease the use of heavy weapons. It shelled United Nations hubs and food distribution lines and near the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) ships that were coming to pick up the wounded and their relatives from the beaches. It shelled in spite of its knowledge of the impact provided by its own intelligence systems and through notification by the United Nations, ICRC and others. Most civilian casualties in the final phases of the war were caused by Government shelling.”
The findings of the United Nations’s Internal Review Panel commissioned to examine the conduct of the United Nations during the final months of the war in Sri Lanka with a view to putting its house in order, headed by Charles Petrie was actually a scathing indictment on the Rajapaksa Government’s conduct of the war: “Numerous UN communications said that civilians were being killed in artillery shelling, but they failed to mention that reports most often indicated the shelling in question was from Government forces…Seen together, the failure of the UN to adequately counter the Government’s under-estimation of population numbers in the Wanni, the failure to adequately confront the Government on its obstructions to humanitarian assistance, the unwillingness of the UN in UNHQ and Colombo to address Government responsibility for attacks that were killing civilians, and the tone and content of UN communications with the Government on these issues, collectively amounted to a failure by the UN to act within the scope of institutional mandates to meet protection responsibilities.”
Mayor Patrick Brown was right in recognizing the Tamil genocide. I salute his sense of justice.