24 October, 2021

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Never Again Says The UN, Yet Again

By Suren Surendiran

Suren Surendiran

I wrote in the UK Guardian on 30 May 2009, eleven days after the tragic end of the war titled ‘The ÚN has failed the Tamils’  where I referred to and identified many of the failings and weaknesses now being acknowledged after an internal inquiry within the UN, three and half years later. If I had known all of these then and during the war, it begs the question why an international body which was formed fundamentally to protect humanity didn’t know or did it know and failed to act?

This is not the first time the UN had failed in such catastrophic proportions. Even in my piece back in 2009, I stated that UN inaction in Rwanda, Bosnia, Gaza and Darfur has led to many thousands of innocent lives being lost and many more displaced. Yet lessons were not learnt. If after so many repeated failings, this institution hasn’t learnt its lessons, what gives us any confidence that it will learn any lessons after this report?

“Never again” said the UN after acknowledging its own failings in the Rwandan genocide in 1994. Fifteen years later and after many more failings which cost more innocent lives, in Sri Lanka, the UN repeated the same errors of inaction and failings at the highest levels of authority.

It is acknowledged in the UN Panel of experts’ report that over forty thousand innocent civilians could have been killed. However other credible estimates place a much larger number of deaths ranging from 75,000 to 146,000. The latter being the estimate by a distinguished local Bishop who lived through the war.

The UN Secretary General reacted late, nevertheless reacted in setting up a panel of experts to advise him on accountability and what measures he could take to address accountability for what happened during the final stages of the war. The experts came up with their findings and made a set of recommendations. The Secretary General left that report to hold dust since it was published on 31 March 2011 to date. I am sure he blames the lack of political will on part of the member states, particularly the powerful five Security Council members.

A local Tamil politician was quoted as saying that “We all know that the international law is only on paper but, in practice it is international politics.”

Beyond the UN, some of the other human rights and humanitarian institutions must also take responsibility as they could have been more vociferous than they were as they all knew what was happening at that time was nearer a genocide.

Ambassadors and High Commissioners of countries who claim to uphold the highest values of human rights, who failed to address and inform their respective country foreign ministries the real story must feel ashamed and will have to live the rest of their lives with guilt.

Even today, President Rajapaksa and his brothers who were all implicated as alleged war criminals in the UN Panel of Expert’s report carry on with their criminality with impunity. After three and a half years after the end of the war, there is no political solution for the Tamil National Question, instead even the Indian sponsored 13th amendment to the constitution, which was never accepted by the Tamils has been put under threat by an executive president and his war mongering brothers. The constitutional protections that maintained independence of certain key institutions such as the Election Commission, the Supreme Court appointments, the Police Commission, the Human Rights Commission, Appointment of Election Commissioner etc. have all been removed by the introduction of the eighteenth amendment to the constitution. Disappearances are on the rise to historic proportions. Threats to the lives of journalists who dare to challenge the regime are on the increase. Chief Justice has been threatened with a process of impeachment as a direct result of her challenge to stop unconstitutional actions of the regime.

Believe it or not this is the same Sri Lanka that has been promoted as a dream destination by many firms including the Lonely Planet, the British Airways etc.

It is beyond belief that even Her Majesty the Queen may be considering attending the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) which is due to take place in Sri Lanka during the fourth quarter of 2013. One would hope the Buckingham Palace would have learnt its lessons after the debacle of Her Majesty who hosted the late dictator of Romania Nicolae and Elena Ceausescu in 1978 who were executed by their own people for their crimes against humanity in 1989.

We certainly hope common sense will prevail and learning from history, Her Majesty will avoid giving yet another alleged war criminal undue publicity which will help him to remain in power.

Suren Surendiran who is the spokesperson for the Tamil Diaspora organisation Global Tamil Forum (GTF)

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    The UN came into being to stop “nations from warring”. Your history lesson might have thought you that both the great WW1 and WW11 started in the Balkan Valley and to stop this that the UN was set up primarily. Of course it’s got to be seen to be humanitarian.

    But the question in Sri Lanka is one of the Northerner vs the Southerner; RRR race; religion; region. This is a messy situation for an external body to handle as it will always take the blame as an unfair arbitrator. Meanwhile, one has to realize that UN staffs are both politicos who have lost their plot back home and the bent backs in civil services of nations who looked for deepan pukkka lokkata service.
    Oh Yeah, when Maggie opened the doors to the urban population of Colombo the northerners and easterners over did all and sent the funds to all the groups to kill their own people. Therefore, the same party is optimistically cautious.
    Can’t blame them anyway- good luck for the present and the future to the innocent folk of the north/east so that they may get something to live with dignity than the forest.

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    taught you in lieu of thought you

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      UN made a grave mistake by not urging the UK goverment at that time to arrest Suren Surendiran and his band of LTTE Die-ass-pora terrorist backers.

      UN let the likes of Suren Surendiran to fund and fuel the terror campaign in Sri Lanka from London. While releasing phoney statements such as the one above.

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        You are sick in the gut to call every Tamil an LTTE. Can you call the two billion Muslims Alkaida no because the Americans would not agree and neither would the Jews.

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        For your information it was bLiar who had them proscribed just after Lakshman’s murder by Gota by the EU and the world took note. Then Scotland Yard did its part in the UK. Meanwhile rajporkistan murdered the innocent Tamils and hugged the terror leaders.

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    UN/International Community has failed the Sri Lankans. The massive loss of innocent lives of the Sr Lankan community prior to May 2009 is completely forgotten. After thirty years of destruction and damage to the country, at least now, act in a sensible and human manner, to restore and stabilize the country and its community.

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    Suren Surendran,

    Please come forward to mobilise help for the war-affected to find livelihood and get their dignity as humans back.
    This is the need of the hour. If you are Hindu, I am sure you will understand the meaning of the Tamil word ‘ Ool Vinai’
    – reaction to actions. The past is past and the dead are unfortunately dead. The living are the parents, siblings, children, relatives and kin of the dead. Please appease the souls of the dead by caring for those living on the margins of life.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

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      In the same breath, it will proper for the UNSG to tender his
      resignation honorably, as a mark of UN Responsibility.?

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        Who will take responsibility for provoking the war and who will apologise on behalf of the LTTE for leading the Tamils to death and misery? Who will apologise for the deaths and misery caused to other innocent people by the LTTE terrorism ? Let those who have sinned cast the first stone!

        Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

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          A correction:l Let those who have not sinned cast the first stone!

          Dr.R.N

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          It is not worth recognising your writings.

          You and your brother were defending the LTTE and your brother in London was behaving like the spokesperson of the LTTE.

          He openly told and wrote in article that he sponsored Anton Balasingam to come to London. Do you know why? This was simply to isolte Shanthan in London. Because of the ‘Oli Venai’ it worked on the other way.

          As soon as you bother both were ignored by the LTTE, you both talking about democracy, unitary state, terrorism.

          Is this not opportunism?

          By the way your brother has a habit of copying others affairs. Late Mr Sivanayagam wrote his articles as “Kurushothira”. All of a sudden your brother used this name without seeking any perision from Mr Sivanayagam. This was the talk those days.

          He copied name of many organisations without the right permison.

          Today where is your brother? What happen to you both who were holding candle to Rajapaksa?

          It is radiculous to see you both write comments and articles still.

          Are you both not happy about what has, is happening to the Eelam Tamil.

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      Narendran, then will you agree that your brother J/devan also came across ‘Ool Vinai’, reaction to actions.

      We have never seen opportunists like you and your brother.

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        Kando,

        Please define what you mean by opportunism. Further, meet an argument with an argument and an idea with an idea. Resorting personal innuendo is the last resort of of barren minds. The worst is that such persons hide behind masks to vent their venom.

        Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

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    Suren Surendiran is outspoken here in critising others for the loss of life in the last stages of the war in Sri Lanka. But he is billed here as a spokesperson for the Global Tamil Forum and over the years he has had articles published world-wide giving his version of the national question in Sri Lanka. He is therefore somewhat of a leader among Western Tamil migrants. People are therefore entitled to ask what was his role during the final stages of the war in Sri lanka? Did he publicly call upon the Tamil Tigers to surrender before more people got killed; or did he at least call upon the Tigers to separate themselves from the civilians in order to minimise civilian casualties?

    A few Tamil spokespeople did that, to their everlasting credit. But I’ve searched Mr Surendiran’s articles in English but can find no trace of such demands or requests addressed to the Tigers. Instead it is everyone else who has to do something, but not him. He writes that others “must feel ashamed and will have to live the rest of their lives with guilt”. This will resonate with a minority of Westerners because they love to feel guilty about the terrible things that happen to others, even if that is due to their own conscious actions or inactions.

    But what of Suren Surendiran’s own conscience as a result of remaining almost totally silent on the crimes of the Tamil Tigers?

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    Mr. Surendiran, actually you are completely wrong… the number of civilians deaths is not 75,000-145,000 it is actually over 6 billion, yes 6 billion who said it is 75,000 this is not right this is actually what I heard from very credible sources at the UN and the BBC and Channel 4 News so please get your facts right he he he he he he he he….

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      monkey:Quote”actually you are completely wrong… the number of civilians deaths is not 75,000-145,000″ Unquote

      Fortunately the Arabs only knew to count 1-9 seated on camel back and smelling.
      It is the Tamil’s that gave the world the Zero so we all count our billions and trillions.

      Vaha bela or Wahhabi Lattif you need to lean to count as the author.

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    “It is acknowledged in the UN Panel of experts’ report that over forty thousand innocent civilians could have been killed. However other credible estimates place a much larger number of deaths ranging from 75,000 to 146,000. The latter being the estimate by a distinguished local Bishop who lived through the war”

    Brother Suren,

    1) The UN – 40,000

    How convenient, now we can quote UN figures when they were based on campaigns like the one below!

    http://tinyurl.com/ad3mo9s
    (see the letters after the Q&A from panel of experts, which guaranteed anonymity )

    UN Submission Sample letters 7 Days Left Have you made your submission?

    “25 sample letters that you could use to submit your letters
    to the U.N. (If not already done so) Panel of expert to pressure UN
    for war crimes investigation on Sri Lanka please use these letters if
    you do not find time to write your own letters.

    Please submit your letter to the U.N Panel, as we have only 08 more
    days even if you are not directly affected by the conflict and crimes
    against humanity committed by Sri Lankan forces and its leaders.

    Make sure, you attach your postal address and the country of residence
    in your letter

    The letters does not need to be long, even few lines should do. Please
    appeal to the panel to ask U.N. to investigate Sri Lanka for war
    crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide of Tamils”

    2) The Distinguised local Bishop – 146,679

    If I were you I’ll be a bit careful with these figures… Last time the Almighty spoke to him one of them got it wrong, and he sent the Our Lady of Madhu statue to the wrong side….

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    It’s beyond belief that Suren is begging the British monarch “Her Majesty Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and of Her other Realms and Territories, Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith” for help in help attaining Eelam.

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    We understand that you were not present in the BTF conference in the UK parliament, why?

    Before you lobby others, you lobby your friends, especially your brother and SIL and her brother.

    Is this GTF and BTF are family business? What is annual profit?

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      Meena, attacking Dr.Narenradran on the behavior of his brother is simply not fair. May be he was also mesmorized by the Eelam project or dreamed of a Tamil Eealam at some point of time but that is not a crime, but people Suren use the suffering of others to make a livlyhood for themselves out of it, that is definitely a crime.

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    Mena,

    Do not read my articles or comments, if you so wish. That is your right. However, do not trample on my right to write .
    Further, please remember that I am not my brother’s keeper. We agreed at times and disagree at others. However, we are very close as brothers. I know how the LTTE treated my brother and how the British courts provided justice. I also k ow the extent of the pain we as a family experienced when he was imprisoned in Kilinochchi for 60 plus days by the LTTE. I know how the LTTE tried scandalised him with doctored pornography! I am recounting these to appraise the readers – your target- that there is also another side to the story you are trying to insinuate.

    We are discussing serious issues concerning Tamils and Sri Lanka. Our opinions can however differ and we can agree to disagree. This should be the civilised norm. Introduction of vitriol, insult and personalities into such discussions, is not cricket.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

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      Then why and your brother Jeyadevan did support the LTTE initially?

      We were told that you brother wanted to become the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Tamil Eelam.

      Will you disagree with me that you and your brother justified and supported the LTTE.

      If you have short memory, do a google search and find out all the article that you and your brother published.

      As long you and your brother remain with any Tamil organisation, it is a curse to the Tamil Nation.

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        Mena,

        I have not been affiliated with any organisation, as your trying to impute. I also do not intend to be affiliated to any organisation of the sort you refer to. I expected the so-called Tamil liberation movements to ultimately fail as early as the 1970’s because they were a response to economic grievances. Tamil and Tamilness were only slogans for propaganda. The able Tamils have more than overcome their economic grievances through migration, leaving their brethren to bear the burden and pay the price for the so-called lliberation struggle. The hypocrisy underlining the Eelam project ultimately destroyed it. Please do not make up stories to explain away this hypocrisy . It is time for the Tamils to introspect without searching for scapegoats- an extension of the primordial sin (hypocrisy ) .

        Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

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    WASHING DIRTY LINEN IN PUBLIC IS THE TAMIL POLITICS?? SHAME ON YOU LOT.

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      Freedom is the right to criticise and also being responsible. It looks like the Singhalese don’t like it but the common Chinese in the the mainland are gearing for it.

      Pity you have never been to very clean Spain where they have clothes dryers yet- it’s an art on display and you would feel ashamed of your national dress the dirty amude.

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    Suren Surendiran is a hypocrite of the highest caliber. When the manic LTTE murderers were killing thousands of innocent men, women and children of Sri Lanka, his mouth was closed shut and pen lost under the table. I bet he was rejoicing at each bomb blast in SL, set off off by the LTTE , or the killing of hapless villagers livinging in border villagers. Shame on you Surendiran. You are such a hypocrite and revenge and bitterness have blinded your mind and the minds of the rest of the Tamils who still support the ways of the LTTE.
    As for why the UN didn’t intervene in SL in a manner that would have pleased you , that is to set the madman prabakaran free ( never mind the civilians used as human shields) here is my tuppence worth of thought:
    The UN and every other sensible and mature human being knew what the LTTE was, nothing but terrorists, and terrorists of the worst kind, with whom negotiations have failed to work even when president kumaratunge offered such a lot to madman prabakaran. All sensible people who do not like worshipping and calling murderers “heros and saviours” and pandering to the manic and murderous whims of terrorists (you should talk to some senior diplomats like Akashi about what he thought of your sweet LTTE) would have wanted the end of LTTE. Period.
    Nobody, including me rejoice or could remotely be happy about the civilians who got caught plum in the middle of the war. But, who placed them there? No one but the LTTE , your sweet saviours. Blame them for the death of innocent civilians. Armies around the world cannot be held back by any terrorist group who hides behind civilians, doesn’t happen in the Gaza strip, didn’t happen in SL, terrorists should never be allowed to get away with such a thing.
    So, can you see the difference between the Rwandan, Bosnian wars and the SL war? SL war was a war against the most ruthless group of terrorists the world have seen, and not against a particular race. The SL army was not massacring the Tamils like the ethnic massacres that happened in Rwanda and Bosnia. Remember that it was the SL army that lost lives in trying to save the Tamils from the clutches of the LTTE , who were shooting to kill them!!
    You are just a big hypocrite, blinded by racism and an unattainable goal of eelam in SL.
    I feel sorry for you as eelam dream has made you lose the ability to think as a rational human being. For your own good, I hope you achieve it in Canada or the UK!!!

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    Where UN failed was not in the effort to stop the war. But to get civillians out of LTTE’s control. Shame on LTTE ,the ‘salvators’, who used their own community (salvatees)as human shields.
    Had UN was successful in that this catestrophe would not have happened.
    By the way, who knows whether the ‘human shields’ actually wanted to leave the LTTE, cos they consisted the hard core LTTE suporters and members of MAHAVIR families.

    So why should UN be blamed themselves?

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    I read an article by Nalin De Silva on The Island, where he claims that from Sarath Fonseka to NGOs and any journalist that has said anything against Rajapaksas are paid by the U.N. and the West.

    While reading this article the only question running through my mind was “then who is paying the Rajapaksas and his supporters like Nalin De Silva?” I hope that someone will ask this question from him.

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    Suren, what ever you say and write is waste of time.

    Your family is playing hide and seek.

    You are with GTF, your brother with BTF withi his wife, your sister-in-laws brother Ravi is the big boss of GTF and BTF.

    To whom you all are fooling.

    Is it known as political work? Your family business worst than Rajapaksas.

    Other than Root Ravi, any of you had any interest in the polics of Eelam Tamil, where were you all when IFT, Tamil Guarding were taking the iniative long before 2002?

    Shan never met or even knew of any of you!

    Why now you all are interested in politics.

    If your family would have contributed to the Eelam strugle those days, it would have helped lot.

    You all come now, you found the back path for off you to be in the lime light.

    Ask your SIL and her brother Ravi, how they were cursing the LTTE, when Ravi was removed from the LTTE by SP Thamilselvan. Your brother is another Fox of the 21st century.

    Dont fool the suffering Eelam Tamils.

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      Thank you Rasiah

      for bring this to the light.

      Very mean family.

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    Suren, Root Ravi, his sister and her husband.

    Can you all tell us where are those founders of the BTF who laid foundation for the GTF.

    Senthil, Sukunthakumar, Skantha, Pararajasingam, Pathmanathan, Anoja, Jeyasundaram and 100s of others.

    GTF, BTF is a family business with public fund.

    Suren stop boasting about you.

    Tell us who fund your tickets to go to South Africa, Canada, USA and Europe.

    Due course, those who are presently with BTF and GTF will realise their mistake.

    Shantha knew nothing about the present GTF and BTF people. When we asked him, his reply was that its mirage.

    Boasting boasting boasting – Root Ravi and his sister, Suren and his brother.

    Where were you all during the Freedom struggle.

    Why now?

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      Sorry Pona

      present BTF GTF boys work on emotions for publicity. They like their photographs published in websites.

      They sacrifies nothing , they knew no politics.

      For everything they are fully depend on Root Ravi.

      GTF and BTF is already finished.

      There is a huge financial implications and scandles.

      Many of the present GTF and BTF members were the one who worked full time to bury the LTTE.

      Now they are know as leading activists of the GTF BTF.

      Dr Senthikumaran who buried Mr Sivanayagam’s English magazine Hot Spring, has joined the BTF for his popularity. Dr Senthilkumaran thought Pirabaharan may appoint him as the Minister of Health of the Tamil Eelam because he treated Anton Balasingam.

      Hope BTF will appoint Dr Senthikumaran as the Minister of Health to there corrupt organisation.

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    Loss of life, is a tragedy. But isn’t it better now? How many lives have lost due to fighting in SL since 2009?- non, before that? 3000-4000 lives were lost a year. Now, you tamil diaspora who sits pretty in some European/North American country don’t care about that I guess…for some sick dream of deviding a land which is not much bigger than Tasmania. Why not ask for a part from India, well, UK after all they took you to Sri Lanka all those years ago

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    Surendran is correct.
    He had warned earlier in May 2009 about UN’s failure to acknowledge the casualties of the war.
    Now the UN has ackowledged its own failure – vide the Petrie Report.
    The British Government is bound to examine the report and decide about the CHOGM in 2003.
    The GTF stands for justice for tamils.

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