15 June, 2021

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On Genocide; An Open Letter To Sumanthiran

By Karthigesu Nirmalan-Nathan

Karthigesu Nirmalan-Nathan

Karthigesu Nirmalan-Nathan

Dear Mr. Sumanthiran MP,

Permit me to begin by saying, that the use of the “G” word should be measured. That said, I want to make it abundantly clear what happened in Mulliyvaikal was indeed “Genocide” and fits the definition perfectly – if you as a lawyer feel that you can’t prove it as such with the mountain of evidence available, your certificate is not worth the paper it is printed upon.

I’ve never cried Genocide for what happened to our beloved Tamil people and us as a community and citizens of “Sri Lanka.” – Yet, it is very evident that since the Sinhala Sri Riots, Sri Lanka has crossed the threshold of the G-word in every communal violence subsequent to that. You yourself was displaced twice as I recall in one of your narratives.

If it would be difficult to get a hearing at the International Criminal Court, for that is the rightful place for any “Genocide” trial to be heard, I am quite happy to have them on the docks on a watered down charge of “War-Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity” in a properly constituted hybrid court within the shores of Sri Lanka. .My wish is to get the perpetrators on the dock wherever and however possible!

However, I take it very personally when you degrade the Northern Provincial Council and our much respected Chief Minister Hon. Wigneswaran and in the process insult every member of our ethnic group – for passing the resolution asserting the actions of the then administration of Mahinda Rajapaksa (not to mention previous governments) constituted “Genocide.”

Sumanthiran

Sumanthiran

Permit me to throw some light as to why the word “Genocide” came into being. The purpose was to make the crime of mass murder of any or all of a group of people by their own government, an international offence. It is pure and simple one can never take one’s Government within the geographic boundaries of that particular country. It is worth noting at the time of the now famous Nuremburg Trial there was no law to deal with a crime of the magnitude of the holocaust. The word “genocide” was not in use before 1944. Before this was established, Winston Churchill referred to it as a crime with no name. In that year, a Polish-Jewish lawyer named Raphael Lemkin described the policies of systematic murder founded by the Nazis as genocide. The word genocide is the combination of the Greek word “geno” (meaning tribe or race) and “caedere” (the Latin word for to kill). The word is defined as a specific set of violent crimes that are committed against a certain group with the attempt to remove the entire group from existence or to destroy them. Lemkin defined genocide as follows:

Generally speaking, genocide does not necessarily mean the immediate destruction of a nation, except when accomplished by mass killings of all members of a nation. It is intended rather to signify a coordinated plan of different actions aiming at the destruction of essential foundations of the life of national groups, with the aim of annihilating the groups themselves. The objectives of such a plan would be the disintegration of the political and social institutions, of culture, language, national feelings, religion, and the economic existence of national groups, and the destruction of the personal security, liberty, health, dignity, and even the lives of the individuals belonging to such groups.

Mr. Sumanthiran, please enlighten me as to which court, other than the International Criminal Court can the crime of genocide be proven? I’ve watched the video posted on your Facebook and read what you have said in Geneva this week. I respectfully urge you to limit your intellectual arguments to established facts. Just the fact that you are a lawyer does not give you the right to lie, either directly or by inference. In my considered opinion the threshold to “genocide” has been crossed by the armed forces of Sri Lanka and her allies many times over at Mulliyvaikal as defined in the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 260A (III) Article 2 which states; Genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: (a) Killing members of the group; (b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; (c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; (d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; (e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

I do understand why the G-word is not preferred. It is because then it makes it an International crime, automatically making it eligible to be tried in the International Criminal Court. I wonder if you have a special tool to say whether massacre qualifies as Genocide and if so where and at which point according to the laws of Sumanthiran.

My advice to you Sir going forward is to let reason be your tool and justice be your cause anything else will not do. Anything less from you will be undermining human rights and democracy itself in Sri Lanka. We want accountability and not excuses and cover ups. You Sir now stand accused as an accomplice after the fact in a cover up of a heinous crime of “Genocide” along with R Sampanthan and the current administration of President Maithripala Sirisena, and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe – who incidentally called our Chief Minister a liar and vowed that he would never talk to him showing his intent and eventual avoidance of meaningful reconciliation and lasting and meaningful peace in my beloved country, Sri Lanka (I loved it better when it was just plain Ceylon).

Awaiting your reply,

Your one time fan and supporter,

Karthigesu Nirmalan-Nathan

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Latest comments

  • 36
    22

    Sumanthiran is not just a lawyer. He is an elected member of parliament who was voted into this role by a very significant part of the Tamil electorate. And that was just a few weeks ago. Our people want to move on and think about their future, you (and others holding onto the G-word) want to keep them in the jungle and backward in time.

    • 15
      13

      Yes. sumanthiran is a lawyer and a member of Parliament elected by Tamil people. But you cannot deny the fact that genocide of Tamils ( intentional killing of Tamils, destruction of their culture and economy) happened and still there are people and leaders who can form the government with same intention. You cannot deny the fact that thousands of Tamils were massacred over the six and a half decade and the governments and its security forces did not protect the victims nor done any investigations to identify those who committed crimes. It is not a secret Jaffna library was burnt purposely and those who responsible were not brought under justice. During the last phase of war, the population inside the war zone was delibrately and intentionally estimated as 70,000 instead of 400,000 with the intention of genocide.
      Truth & Reconciliation is about accepting the facts and truths, not hiding the truth. The way forward is to accept the truth honestly and apologise for it and take necessary steps to ensure that this not repeating again.
      I assume that this is what Sumanthiran & TNA is trying to achieve through this new government by ignoring the truth about G.

  • 25
    30

    Who is this guy writing this letter? These are the idiots who destroy the tamils. Tamils of SL wants to move forward and improve their lives. Leave them alone. People like these are the ones who be investigated if a panel is set by the U.N.

  • 12
    9

    Excellent remark ,over all lawyers

    “Just the fact that you are a lawyer does not give you the right to lie, either directly or by inference.”

  • 2
    0

    There is not much bones left.

  • 10
    3

    Lemkin defined genocide as follows:

    Generally speaking, genocide does not necessarily mean the immediate destruction of a nation, except when accomplished by mass killings of all members of a nation. It is intended rather to signify a coordinated plan of different actions aiming at the destruction of essential foundations of the life of national groups, with the aim of annihilating the groups themselves. The objectives of such a plan would be the disintegration of the political and social institutions, of culture, language, national feelings, religion, and the economic existence of national groups, and the destruction of the personal security, liberty, health, dignity, and even the lives of the individuals belonging to such groups.
    any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: (a) Killing members of the group;(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

    Characteristics

    Preventive measures

    1.
    Classification
    People are divided into “us and them”. “The main preventive measure at this early stage is to develop universalistic institutions that transcend… divisions.”

    2.
    Symbolization
    “When combined with hatred, symbols may be forced upon unwilling members of pariah groups…” “To combat symbolization, hate symbols can be legally forbidden as can hate speech”.

    3.
    Dehumanization
    “One group denies the humanity of the other group. Members of it are equated with animals, vermin, insects, or diseases.” “Local and international leaders should condemn the use of hate speech and make it culturally unacceptable. Leaders who incite genocide should be banned from international travel and have their foreign finances frozen.”

    4.
    Organization
    “Genocide is always organized… Special army units or militias are often trained and armed…” “The U.N. should impose arms embargoes on governments and citizens of countries involved in genocidal massacres, and create commissions to investigate violations”

    5.
    Polarization
    “Hate groups broadcast polarizing propaganda…” “Prevention may mean security protection for moderate leaders or assistance to human rights groups…Coups d’état by extremists should be opposed by international sanctions.”

    6.
    Preparation
    “Victims are identified and separated out because of their ethnic or religious identity…” “At this stage, a Genocide Emergency must be declared. …”

    7.
    Extermination
    “It is ‘extermination’ to the killers because they do not believe their victims to be fully human”. “At this stage, only rapid and overwhelming armed intervention can stop genocide. Real safe areas or refugee escape corridors should be established with heavily armed international protection.”

    8.
    Denial
    “The perpetrators… deny that they committed any crimes…” “The response to denial is punishment by an international tribunal or national courts”

    • 11
      6

      1 through to 8, I felt like reading the evolution of LTTE. I support investigation of genocide as long as it covers what happened to my brothers and sisters in so called “border villages”. It’s time that justice is done to all victims of war and make accountable those who have directly and indirectly sponsored such crime. I also support an international court as many who have perpertrated these crimes live outside of Ceylon. This should be a lesson to murderous regimes such as that of Prabakaran’s and Rajapaksa’s and those who perpetuate those regimes.

      • 5
        0

        Don’t forget the what happened to the Muslims of Jaffna

    • 10
      2

      Pacs
      Many thanks for the input. My question is how can we reconcile and help all sri lankans without further polarisation.
      In a featured article in island, emeritus prof G L Peiris talks about education of masses on concerns of international community.I believe Mr Sumanthiran has acted in the interest of his electorate without rousing communal tension.That does not mean Wiggy’s actions are wrong either, what matters is the end result without compromising one’s integrity.

    • 7
      8

      If the protection of a nation by defeating terrorists is genocide then, what is not genocide?
      Did the international community commit genocide by defeating the German Nazis?
      Is the rescuing and looking after of over 300,000 Tamil hostages used by the LTTE terrorists an act of genocide?
      Is the defeat of armed terrorists who attacked the civilians and security forces of the nation genocide?
      The only genocide I have observed is the targeted killing of Sinhalese and Muslims by the Tamil terrorists supported by their diaspora. Yes, this is the genocide that took place and the guilty LTTE diaspora should be investigated and punished.
      Why cant people like Wigneswaran see this simple truth?

  • 19
    12

    I don’t not think the position taken by KNN is correct b cause to prove genocide there must the element of ‘intent’.
    Where is that intention in the absence of the fact that:-

    1) The government had permitted basic essential necessities to sustain life.
    Food and medicine available in thei N&E of the island although it may not have been ample, considering the fact that it was a time of war and there was general disruption throughout the country.

    2) The government did not completely bar or stop people from the N&E from escaping to the relative safety of the South.

    3) Life may have been hard for the Tamils in the south but they still came in droves to seek safety in the south and that was not curtailed.
    4) Those seeking a livelihood in the south were permitted to do and those who wished to go abroad were not denied their passports.
    5) The kachcheries and government offices still functioned in the N&E and salaries paid ; govt. pensioners obtained their pensions despite delays.
    There are many more points like the above that can be advance to refute the genocide allegation.
    That apart to use the fact that Sumanthran had himself admitted that he was himself suffer displacement twice is somewhat rich and believe me when I say that I am not holding a candle for the government past or the one present, but only stating facts.

    • 31
      14

      Uthungan,

      I agree with you. I have run for my life, stayed in a refugee camp with my wife and son, dealt with the murder of my mother and brother, been looted of posessions and destruction of my house several times over and dealt with the incarceration of my brother in Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu. I was rendered almost pennyless in 1977. The Sinhala mobs, LTTE, Tamil looters and the IPKF were the culprits. However, I have also experienced the kindness of the Sinhalese, the army and some Tamils at the same time. I have also met and spoken to the IDPs who were streaming out of the war zone into Vavuniya. I have also visited the IDP reception camp in Vavuniya, the iDP camps in Settikulam and the IDPs who on relase from the IDP camps were living in elementary tents all along the A9 road from Omanthai to Mankulam. I have also sunsequently visted the deep Vanni, including Mullaitivu. I have seen the ground realities and talked extensively to the people. Their narrative did not in anyway point to a genocide having taken place. They were a brutalized people who had experienced what many of us cannot even imagine. However, they never said that someone or some force was all out to destroy them.

      ‘Teach the Tamils a lesson’ was the motive for mobilzing the Sinhala mob by the government and/or elements associated with it. The LTTE wanted to break the spirit of the Tamils and enslave them. The IPKF lost sight of why it was in the island and was made to turn against the very people they came to protect. The wars were a contest between two parties that had no moral or ethical constraints and the innocent civilians were rendered canon fodder. The armed forces wanted to win the war and destroy the LTTE hook or by crook. The LTTE wanted to win hook or by crook and establish their Eelam on a land even bereft of its people.

      The role of the Tamil politicians was as despicable as those of the Sinhala politicians.

      Dr. Rajasingham Narendran

      • 18
        22

        [Edited out]

        I have also sunsequently visted the deep Vanni, including Mullaitivu. I have seen the ground realities and talked extensively to the people. Their narrative did not in anyway point to a genocide having taken place. They were a brutalized people who had experienced what many of us cannot even imagine. However, they never said that someone or some force was all out to destroy them.

        *** The above confirms that you are a Traitor.

        Let me ask you
        How many people did you talk to or interview
        Did you publish your findings soon after 2009
        Did you give Mahintha a copy.

        I know the IPKF dealt you a severe blow. But they are gone where as we have been brutalised by the Sinkalams for over 67 years like the Writer of this Article has confirmed .
        But you are trying to twist his words.

        I am sure you know that the Army urged people to move into Safe Heavens and shelled them.
        They shelled Hospitals.

        But you dispute all that and just like SF blame it on the LTTE because you lost out to them. Traitor.

        You attacked the Character and Integrity of the CM not so long ago.

        • 13
          14

          Kali,
          Explain why He is a traitor. Is it because he did not agree with people like you?

          • 9
            8

            Let me tell you why he is talking NONSENSE and for that matter you too.

            First of all he didnt agree with the writer and he tried to undermine everthing he wrote.

            The following are his words and let me Let me do a postmortem on the Carcass

            1) I agree with you. I have run for my life, stayed in a refugee camp with my wife and son, dealt with the murder of my mother and brother, been looted of posessions and destruction of my house several times over and dealt with the incarceration of my brother in Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu. I was rendered almost pennyless in 1977. The Sinhala mobs, LTTE, Tamil looters and the IPKF were the culprits.

            *** As for the above which is full of lies and inaccuracies and perhaps you wil check with him to see if he is hallucinating.

            I know he hates IPKF and LTTE which is understandable but lying to attack them thinking that others are fools is beggars belief.

            IPKF was in Sri Lanka between 1987 to 1990. If he was penniless in 1977 he must have been born poor and a pauper and why would he be penniless otherwise.

            2) However, I have also experienced the kindness of the Sinhalese, the army and some Tamils at the same time. I have also met and spoken to the IDPs who were streaming out of the war zone into Vavuniya. I have also visited the IDP reception camp in Vavuniya, the iDP camps in Settikulam and the IDPs who on relase from the IDP camps were living in elementary tents all along the A9 road from Omanthai to Mankulam.

            *** He is talking a lot of Rubbish and living in a different time period compared to ordinary Tamils.
            Sinkalams started butcherring us since 1958 and Sinhala Lanka holds the world record for Race Riots.

            3) I have also sunsequently visted the deep Vanni, including Mullaitivu. I have seen the ground realities and talked extensively to the people. Their narrative did not in anyway point to a genocide having taken place. They were a brutalized people who had experienced what many of us cannot even imagine. However, they never said that someone or some force was all out to destroy them. ‘Teach the Tamils a lesson’ was the motive for mobilzing the Sinhala mob by the government and/or elements associated with it.

            *** By his own admission he lived in a Refugee Camp and ask him which one and who was in Charge and who gave him permission to interview.

            4) The LTTE wanted to break the spirit of the Tamils and enslave them. The IPKF lost sight of why it was in the island and was made to turn against the very people they came to protect. The wars were a contest between two parties that had no moral or ethical constraints and the innocent civilians were rendered canon fodder.

            *** The above is the height of insanity and ask him to rise above his prejudices of Mad Cow disease and LTTE Looters who made him penniless.

            5) The armed forces wanted to win the war and destroy the LTTE hook or by crook. The LTTE wanted to win hook or by crook and establish their Eelam on a land even bereft of its people.

            *** Sri Lanka is littered atrocitoes and pain inflicted on Krishanthi and Isapriya and ask the moron as to where these so called Kind Sinhales were hiding when these brutalities took place. Idiot should be ashamed of himself.

        • 6
          8

          Kali

          You are Mahinda’s Kooli. You must be drunk all the time. Is it kassipu.

          Why are using the Gods name and deceiving the people.

          Don’t provoke me. I too can do kali Koothu as well. I will smash you through with my Godly powers and you will regret.

          Dr Narendran paid a heavy price as he has stated. I know about his life long sacrifices.

          Make sure you stop ridiculing him.

          Concentrate on Mahinda Rajapakse.

          Genocide is the systematic elimination of all or a significant part of a racial, ethnic, religious, cultural or national group. Well-known examples of genocide include the Holocaust, the Armenian Genocide, 1971 Bangladesh Genocide, and more recently the Rwandan Genocide. What happened in Sri Lanka was war crimes and crimes against humanity.

          LTTE too will be responsible for genocide because of their massacres and systematic killings of its opponents.

          Do you want a street fight. I am prepared for it.

          • 5
            4

            Nirmalan the Rajasinghams Kooli.

            First of all Mahintha doesnt need koolis as he is a born Kooli. As for you lot let me tell as soon as Rjasingam the liar runs out of arguments to back up his theory he takes many ” Vishvarubams”.

            I repeat the question again.

            He was made penniless in 1977. But IPKF were there only between 1987 to 1990. He was with the LTTE until it turned sour for reasons I dont want to go into as it is a setteld matter.

            WHO MADE HIM PENNILESS. Was he robbed when he was returning with his bounty.

            ***
            Do you want a street fight. I am prepared for it.

            By the way I thought we have got rid of THUGS. You are now turning into another Hanbanthotta THUG.

            I dont do Physical fights.

            I will say a “Thevaram” to Ellam Valla Iraivanuku. ” Namachi Vaya Vaya”

            • 2
              2

              [Edited out]

        • 8
          5

          The woman, who is ‘Kali’ in one of her avatars and has many other names in others, has appeared again. I have told my story and experiences in brief above. Will ‘SHE’ come forward to relate hers, which I know is very interesting and more adventurous than mine?

          If I am a traitor in her estimate, I wonder what the readers would call her, once they hear her sensational story/ autobiography!

          Dr. RN

          • 3
            5

            Dr R N

            I know the full story of this Kali. [Edited out]

          • 3
            5

            Rajasingham [Edited out]

            Any true Tamil reading my comments will always know that I am a true Tamil patriot and I will never betray them for Money , Power or short term benefits [Edited out]. [Edited out]

            • 3
              3

              Kali,

              Please relate your ‘Patriot’ story in outline. I expect it will be sensational.

              Dr.RN

              • 1
                2

                [Edited out]

              • 3
                4

                Dr.RN

                Patriotism relies on facts which are accurate. Mine is nothing sensational but through years of suffering. [Edited out]

                • 2
                  3

                  [Edited out]

              • 4
                1

                [Edited out]

        • 6
          3

          Kali,
          Do you know the meaning of the word “traitor” ? Apparently not!
          Where is your evidence that RN is lying about his experiences? But you are lying because you say tamils were brutalized for 67 years. If you are not lying there won’t be any Tamils living in SL and more importantly any rich tamils in the south and also RN won’t be even a doctor!
          Stop spreading hatred among tamils towards the sinhalese and read the dictionary definition of the term genocide.

          • 3
            5

            Eusense

            Stop talking nonsense and answer the question.

            RN claims he was made penniless in 1977. But the IPKF was in Sri Lanka from 1987 to 1990. Who made him penniless.

            • 6
              3

              Eusense,

              Kali the self proclaimed patriot, has once again failed to notice that I had mentioned the 1977 riots. I was a victim of that riot, while on the academic staff of the Peradeniya University. I was left almost pennyless, as everything including my wife’s thali,other jewellary, our clothes and furniture were looted. I had to run to save my life. I had no bank balance and was left with only the Rs 300/= that was in my purse.

              This incident, on which I gave evidence to the Sansoni Commission is what ‘Patriot’Kali, calls a lie.

              What a character? I am yet waiting for this ‘Patriot’ to relate her story and hope CT will not edit it out. As I know it, it is material for an adventure movie, which could be titled ‘The making of a patriot’.
              Dr.RN

              • 4
                6

                R N:

                There is something very wrong with CT and yourself. I am not going to waste my time trying to reason with both But for the record and for the readers this is what you said and saying now .

                First you wrote:

                I agree with you. I have run for my life, stayed in a refugee camp with my wife and son, dealt with the murder of my mother and brother, been looted of posessions and destruction of my house several times over and dealt with the incarceration of my brother in Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu. I was rendered almost pennyless in 1977. The Sinhala mobs, LTTE, Tamil looters and the IPKF were the culprits.

                ** I have a lot of sympathy for your loss but that was between 1987 to 1990. Then you go on to say that I was rendered penniless in 1977. I asked you by who but you are struggling to answer.

                Then you say the following:

                Kali the self proclaimed patriot, has once again failed to notice that I had mentioned the 1977 riots. I was a victim of that riot, while on the academic staff of the Peradeniya University.

                My friend where have you mentioned the Riots. You havent and you
                say I was rendered almost pennyless in 1977. The Sinhala mobs, LTTE, Tamil looters and the IPKF were the culprits.

                The IPKF was not there.
                LTTE were not operating in Peradeniya
                If you were on the Academic Staff of Peradeniya how could the Tamil looters have made you penniless when they would have been on the run from Sinhala Mobs.

                and this was my point.

                I dont want to waste my time and let the readers ( except Eusense, Raghavan & Nirmalan) be the Judge,

                • 1
                  3

                  ‘There is something very wrong with CT and yourself. I am not going to waste my time’. Good. [Edited out]

      • 17
        11

        Well said Dr Narendran ! . I just cannot understand how people can create so much hatred when in fact it was human beings who became Gods and Satans at the same time . Me being a Sinhalese , and you being a Tamil have the ability to look with a broad angle and say there are good Sinhalese and good Tamils as well as bad Sinhalese and bad Tamils . If some one tries to say there was genocide of Tamils , how come there are Tamils in high positions in Government and Private sector in this country ??? . In contrary to some countries which cries foul over human rights in Sri Lanka , they never give high positions to minority races !! . I have saved Tamils during 1983 as a student of a premier Buddhist school of Colombo , and so did so many Sinhalese. Our houses were practically refugee camps , and my family was nearly killed by Government sponsored mobs when we smuggled about 20 Tamils from a place of high risk to our house in Bambalapitiya . I think it totally unfair to portrait one side of a huge story ! Some people just love to see us fight each other like the gladiators of the bygone era , so that they can have their fun from a seat far away from reality !! Those who shout foul over those right should come and stay a few months in this country before barking . Most of them have not even sighted sri lanka except on TV or internet . So sad . There will never be any reconciliation with these type of people on the other end !!

      • 6
        4

        Dr.Narendran
        I can appreciate all what you have said, because they are true, that is why it is accepted in our culture that the past conditions the future. If you are a card player you will know that if you are dealt with a particular hand,you are free to play it in a number of ways. Likewise, it is up to us to decide what we want, and that applies to choosing our politicians as well.If we chose the despicable lot it is our fault as well.

      • 3
        3

        Dr Narendran
        We Sinhalese have done ridiculously stupid things in the past to count as unjust treatment to Tamils.Sinhala only act, burning Jaffna library , 83 July riots are some of them.However in a war situation it is difficult to avoid the death of innocent people.All in the armed forces are not human rights champions either.Whatever it is , I am reluctant to believe some thing like organised ” genocide” . Some members or groups would have carried out criminal acts which need proving in a proper judicial process. Undoubtably those elements should be revealed and penalised disregarding their status or heirachy .
        Does that amount to genocide.I have many question marks which need proper answers to that question based on facts and figures.Definitely not an issue to ride on emotional tides.

      • 2
        1

        Dr RN,

        Thank you for sharing your story with us. The fact is that you are alive, educated and active unlike many other victims of the conflict.

        I also have a history of suffering due to the LTTE, other Tamil militant groups and the “forces” of SL.

        “The role of the Tamil politicians was as despicable as those of the Sinhala politicians.”

        I agree. This time I voted for Sumanthiran. I hope that being an outsider who was not in Jaffna during the conflict might achieve something. I had high hopes about Wigneswaran but he has been “converted” while in Jaffna.

    • 8
      1

      Uthungan

      Very well balanced comment.
      Can I also add universities were quite tolerant at that time. I remember the sinhalese friends were very tolerant during the time of Elephant pass victory/debacle at colombo medical faculty,and I heard a story about a retiring tamil medical consultant in hill capital was praised for his tolerant views by his sinhala colleagues.

    • 4
      5

      Can you explain what was the intent of the govt maintaining the population inside war zone as 70000 and supplying food & medicine only to meet the minimum requirement insipte of the Govt agents statistics was 400,000?
      Why did they used hard weaponary inside nofire zone when LTTE was fully weakened and all supply routes were blocked completely?
      What happened to those who surrendered to military?

      • 0
        0

        Ajith,

        The GA’s figure of 400,000 is now proved to be more accurate. But the Govt may have sent food supplies meant for only 70,000 on the basis of the campaign of men like Izeth Hussain, a regular writer here, to starve the Tamils, more specifically Tamil civilians. This man was a senior State official and later Ambassador. Yet he had the audacity to make this inhuman suggestion to the Govt. Of course, he continued to deny this when this was pointed out – until he was caught red-handed, exposed and publicly humiliated. We still have many such beasts among us full of venom and racial prejudice.

        Backlash

    • 4
      1

      As a rider to my previous comment, let me take the opportunity to remind those who frequent this forum, that when the then defence secretary Gotabaya during the height of the war ordered the evacuation and transfer of Tamil refugees from Colombo and its environs in the south,it was Sumanthiran who was then not an MP who appeared and submitted in the SC that the refugees are citizens of the country and that it would be illegal constitutionally and even at variance with natural justice and unjust to relocate them elsewhere and that it is the responsibility of thr government to guarantee the safety of it’s people.’
      The SC accepted the validity of his submissions and thwarted the defence secretary’s order. I think the CJ was Sarah N Silva then.

    • 0
      0

      Dear Uthungan!

      You say that “to prove genocide there must the element of ‘intent’.” Please read my comment!!

      • 2
        1

        Dear Abimanasingam
        I have read your comment.
        Can you please tell me why the OHCHR has not specifically mentioned the word ‘genocide’ anywhere in it’s report despite mentioning the serious policy lapses on the part of successive SL governments which had victimised the Tamils over many years from the time of independence in 1948?
        I think if you re-read your own comment in which you have practically quoted the report of the OHCHR you will infer the answer.

        • 0
          0

          Dear Uthungan,

          The OHCHR Report along with the Para – 8.150 of the LLRC Report and the Para – 28 of the UN Experts Report prove that Since the Independence in 1948 the Sri Lankan governments ruled the country with their imaginary Doctrine of Sinhala – Sinhalese – Buddhism – Lanka with one to one correspondence. Thus, the Constitution, Laws, Administration and all the actions would have been determined by their Doctrine.

          Thus the military action and others during and after the latter stage of the war would have been based on the Doctrine.

          The paragraphs of the OHCHR Report indicated by me in my Comment confirm this.

          The UN Report said that about 40. 000 people were killed during the latter stage of the war.

          The Sri Lanka Government says that thousands of the Tamil civilians were killed by the LTTE.

          Let us say that LTTE killed about 5, 000 Tamil civilians.

          So the Balance 35, 000 of the civilians were killed by the Sri Lankan forces.

          Generally speaking, the war in Vanni would have been carried out by the Sri Lankan Forces by the following:

          1) Point Target Weapons;

          2) Area weapons like Artillery, Multi Barrel Rocket Launchers;

          3) Aerial Bombardment with conventional Bombs and Cluster Bombs etc.;

          4) Chemical weapons.

          The ground situation would not have permitted the Sri Lankan Forces to kill the Civilians with Point Target weapons.

          Let us say 5,000 people were killed by aerial bombardment.

          Even here investigation has to be carried out on whether the Sri Lankan Forces used Cluster bombs.

          Say another 5. 000 people were killed by chemical bombs. Here also. investigation has to to be carried out.

          Thus the balance 25, 000 people were killed by artillery and MBRL firing.

          A long range Artillery shell or MBRL could kill a maximum of 10 people.Thus. the Sri Lankan Forces have fired at least 2, 500 shells into the “No Fire ZONE.”

          This confirms that the Sri Lanka Forces were engaged in killing with the intention based on the imaginary Doctrine!

          The use of Chemical weapons. cluster bombs etc. if confirmed to be used will further strengthen this.

          Thus, though the UN Investigators know well that killings and other things were carried out with intention, the OHCHR has no authority to say that the Tamils faced “Genocide.”

          This has to be proved before a Court of Law and the Court has to give a verdict on it!

          Here only the problems come!! Thus, hybrid Court etc. come!!

  • 8
    4

    The leaders involved in mass killings and corruption. It is the Top. and they do not want a fair Trial. This is happening to the bottom. No one in the country want a fair Trial . but no trial. Or the Trail with the accused must be the Judge.
    Better not to have any court of justice In the country because none will like a trial. and the Gov wants no trial. save enough money. police. courts and prison not necessary. but kill the victim or the plaintiff. problem solved. Most peaceful country in the world.

  • 15
    12

    What happened in Mullivaikkal was a auto genocide. It was the direct culmination of the suicidal politics practiced by the LTTE. SLA managed to reduced the number who were trapped in this FINAL TRAGEDY OF A MASS SUICIDE. Until the last minute Nadesan, the LTTE spokesperson claimed in the BBC Tamil Servie, all the civilians trapped in the area are the supporters of the LTTE and continued to pretend they were willingly staying there, knowing very well what will happen to them when the army moves in. It is time to call a spade a spade, instead to pretend to use human rights concepts to justify and defend fascist politics. Tamil elites, including CM Wigneswaran need to do a soul searching for allowing this tragedy to happen and thousands of poor children to waste their lives for a megalomaniac’s thirst for Tamil Eelam.

  • 6
    7

    Sigma:

    Mahinda Rajapakse’s bloated ego thumped that he was invincible. Well, he bit the dust in a most unfathomable way. Have you hear of the dictum: what goes around, comes around. There are more than enough Tamils in the North that have an axe to grind. They neither have forgotten the atrocities inflicted upon them or their brethren or their desire to see through to the end that the perpetrators pay for their crimes.

    As would have been a sane decision, the instant issue was to make a choice – one between Mahinda Rajapakse and Sirisena. It is not as if Sumanthiran was standing for the presidency. It was a conscious choice of voting for the “lesser of the two evils”. It is not that Sumanthiran is an outcast, it is just that he stood on the “right” side. Yes, bread and butter issues predominate many of the war weary and yes, they want to move on but they are not going to leave behind the host of issues that are close to their hearts.

    How much the Tamils “hated” Sarath Fonseka and yet they voted for him in large numbers just to give a kick to Rajapakse. Now that Rajapakse is out of the ring, more centric issues will be at the forefront and it is not Sumanthiran or even R Sampanthan, it can be anyone – those who dare to side-step the ordeal they went through will sure enough find out eventually that they will end up as Douglas Dev, Karuna, Pillaiyan and Anandasangaree.

    For all of us to understand and move on into a better future, our horrid past must be dealt with as sincerely and honestly it should be and not swept under the carpet. The thousands of JVPs’, the July 1983 massacres, etc happened and continued because of the reckless way the commission of crimes were treated along racial lines. From the denial of food and medicine to the blanket and incessant shelling of civilians will neatly fit the label of genocide. The regime had a clear intention of reducing the number of Tamils and did so with an ulterior motive.

    Despite the odds and the intense desire by the Rajapakses to conduct this as a war without witnesses, the abundance of evidence now staring at the Rajapakses have made them restless. It is not a question of the majority or minority but whether this country has the will to face the truth.

    • 7
      4

      Jansee
      // The regime had a clear intention of reducing the number of Tamils
      and did so //

      This is nonsense because (a) Tamils in the south were easier targets than the ones behind whom the LTTE was hiding; and (b) some 11000 captured LTTE soldiers (mostly children) were released after rehabilitation (remember Sampanthan himself was actually said positive things about the rehabilitation programme!). If reducing the number of Tamils was the goal they could easily have killed those 11000 immediately after capture.

      The regime certainly was ruthless in the way it put down the rebellion, it just didn’t care about the human shields the LTTE was hiding behind. No doubt about those. And there is persuasive evidence that several captured / surrendered leaders of the LTTE were killed just like Rohana Wijeweera was. A credible inquiry must be held and those responsible for such killings held to account.
      What happens in the heat of the battle is different from murdering someone who has surrendered. If there were orders issued down the chain of command to kill these surrendered leaders, that is war crime and those who issued those orders should be punished. No disagreement in that.

      But ruthlessness in putting down a rebellion cannot be described as genocide. (It is also possible that by screaming genocide, you are weakening the case for setting up a credible inquiry to punish those who committed war crimes.)

    • 2
      3

      jansee

      I quote you said, “Despite the odds and the intense desire by the Rajapakses to conduct this as a war without witnesses, the abundance of evidence now staring at the Rajapakses have made them restless.”

      In this modern era, there is nothing called ‘war without witness’ and that was a terrible, miscalculation on his part. He has to reap what he sow.

      Rajapakse certainly knows he will suffer for his sins by God from whom he cannot hide the facts. So he feels why should he suffer for his crime on earth. So he does not want double punishment.

  • 13
    10

    The whole problem was created so that the tamils could emigrate to the developed countries as refugees. Now they well established there and collecting money from other tamils who are not involved with the ltte diaspora which they hope will continue because that is the way they earn extra money. The tamils are the curse of tamils living in sri lanka. All they want is to promote another problem here when the tamils will be attcked so that they can continue collecting money. I think all tamils living in sri lanka should write a petition to the US or whatever authority and say they dont want to go back to the past, but they only need a solution so that they can live peacefully in Sri Lanka without any trouble. All the talk of genocide will only make the problem worse.

    • 5
      4

      Well said!!!!! The Tamils took advantage of this “war” to gain access to the greener pastures of the west, to get the dole and live a good life….. Many of them are scared that the now-peaceful and prosperous Sri Lanka will make them go back to Sri Lanka….. Hence, these bogus clamor of ‘war crimes”’ It was the insane ltte that killed their own people who tried to flee. It was the ltte that cause genocide of their own people….. now the sore losers are trying to direct the blame towards the govt and trying to protect themselves.

      They can fool some people (like the donation-greedy western politicos), but they cannot fool all the people all the time……

  • 9
    3

    What does one call the bomb explosions that frequently hit the wider areas of Sri Lanka, leaving thousands killed and maimed?

  • 3
    4

    Nelson Mandela, Mahathma Gandhi, Jesus Christ, sensible wives of unreasonable husbands, surviving minorities, to name a few realised claiming equality or justice is not practically possible in this world of aggression and inequality. So by turning their ‘other cheeks’ or accepting a position of ‘second best’ they are surviving.

    Sinhalese will not accept equality with ethnic or religious minorities in Sri KLanka and the international community will not support separation of Sri Lanka, which is understood by Sri Lankan Tamils especially in North and East. They are contended to live as second class citizens with their land intact and language practised in their regions. They voted and elected TNA which stands for a Federal-type solution within a UNITED but undivided Sri Lanka. Other few MPs were also elected because either they are with a ruling party or in return for favours received with bribes or illegal activities. Tamils have opted for reality instead of idealism that led them to insecurity, starvation, mass murders and if you like genocide. Mr Sampanthan and Mr Sumanthiran and others in TNA are pragmatists. They hope optimism and justice will prevail at the end instead of ‘jam tomorrow’.

  • 2
    2

    Mara don’t worry too much. You will win nest time. You will get all the Tamil votes as Anti My3 by the time of the next election. now yahapalanaya beginning to simmer and boil on time.

  • 7
    4

    Seems to be yet another lunatic who tirelessly work to get a tamil eelam!

  • 9
    7

    The real meaning of the word Genocide is “systematic eradication of a race or clan”. In Sri-Lanka this did not happen. LTTE waged “war” against the democratically elected government and during this war members of the Tamil public and LTTE fighters died. This is what happens in a theatre of war.

    Race riots in Sri Lanka cannot be attributed to SL government actions as there are no proof that it was government sponsored act. Once again race riots in SL was not an act to systematically eradicate the Tamil race.

    Therefore, what happened in SL against the Tamils cannot be classified as Genocide.
    All over SL Tamils were living for generations and are still living all over SL. What happened to the Jews during the second world war is definitely Genocide. The Jews were systematically rounded up and transported to various concentration camps and killed by gassing them.
    I am a Tamil and my parents came to Colombo in the late 1940s and my family members still live in Colombo in the same manner as thousands of Tamils who came to Colombo in the turn of the twentieth century.

    Therefore, lets not use this word genocide in order to glorify the LTTE or use this word in ignorance.

    • 5
      6

      “The real meaning of the word Genocide is “systematic eradication of a race or clan”. In Sri-Lanka this did not happen”.

      How do you justify the 1958, 1977, 1983 massacre of Tamils, the burning of Jaffna library in 1981, killing of Tamil prisoners inside prison etc. where state and state military was silent observers? How do you explain the demography change by govt sponsored forced settlement of criminals in the East? These things happened before LTTE war. Do you think that killing of surrendered LTTE’r and people is nothing to do with genocide. How do you explain the change in population in the war zone raised from govt estimate of 70,000 to 300, 000 excluding thousands of people massacred?

  • 22
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    Dear Mr Nirmalan-Nathan, the irony in the similarities between our names is striking. The history of Tamils in Sri Lanka is strife with events and periods when emotion, sensationalism and poetry clouded the thinking of mainstream society resulting in a series of wrong decisions that led the Tamil people towards a destructive war. The ‘Sudanthiran paper’, Vaddukottai resolution, the rhetorics surrounding the 1977 elections and the discourses that took place around the Indo-Lanka accord and the resultant rejection of 13A by the LTTE are some of the many examples in this respect. We, as a people who are coming out of a 30 year old war, certainly do not want a repetition of this history and in this context words that are used by the elected representatives matter.

    In relation to describing the events surrounding the final stages of the war the UNHCR chief – when questioned directly, explicitly stated that he does not yet consider what happened amounts to a genocide. The UNHCR spokeswoman once again confirmed that position yesterday. The International community in general and India in particular have, in many instances given very clear signals that there is a limit to which they can and will push the GOSL on the matter. ‘Thus far and no further….’ is clearly their position. In this context Mr Sambandan and Mr Sumandiran have a historic responsibility of navigating a course for the Tamil people of Sri Lanka without repeating the mistakes of the past. They have to be selective in the words they choose to use and simply do not have the luxury you, I or the ‘blind’ who are marching the streets of Geneva have. We can say anything that we please as we are not accountable and what we say does not carry the same consequences. People like yourself have a duty to support the leadership who has very recently received an overwhelming mandate from the tamil people to follow a path of moderation and seek a solution that allows the Tamils to live as dignified citizens of a prosperous and united Sri Lanka. Yes, in this context words matter.

    On a more personal note, I like to share an experience and my own reflections at the time. When the fighting started between the IPKF and the LTTE in 1988 (or 1987) I was one of the refugees at the Nallur temple. In total there were about 30-40 thousand of us- men, women, children and the infirm. At one point we were horrified to find that our ‘liberators’ fixed their guns at very close proximity to the temple in order to ‘Protect’ us!! A few of us seated on the steps of the ‘Kerni’ in the ‘Palaniandavar’ section of the temple on that day came to the sad conclusion that the destruction of the LTTE – when it happens, will inevitably be accompanied by a significant destruction to the ordinary Tamil people……such was the arrogance and single mindededness of the modus operandi. I remember ‘Kambavarithi Jeyaraj’ – a school mate and fellow refugee at the time and an eminent Tamil scholar now, shedding some silent tears for the people and land he loved when this discussion ended with the sound of yet another exploding shell. Frankly, the term used to describe this inevitability is of little consequence. What matters is how we give some breathing space to a community that has lost everything and come up with a solutions that allows the Tamils to protect their identity and live in harmony in that beautiful country. I am sure that is what is foremost in the minds of Mr Sambandan and `Mr Sumandiran and they have my wholehearted support in this endeavour. What they are doing is not ‘Thuroham’ but rather ‘Arasiyal Gnanam’ and ‘Samayosidam’…..I only hope you and I have the wisdom to see that.
    Best wishes
    Professor Mahesan Nirmalan
    Manchester Medical School

    • 5
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      Mahesh Nirmalan

      A marvelous piece of writing. You cannot write like that unless it comes from your heart. You Sir, are a good human being. I salute you.

  • 10
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    Mr. Karthigesu Nirmalan-Nathan:

    I endorse you Article in its entirety with just one reservation:

    If it would be difficult to get a hearing at the International Criminal Court, for that is the rightful place for any “Genocide” trial to be heard, I am quite happy to have them on the docks on a watered down charge of “War-Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity” in a properly constituted hybrid court within the shores of Sri Lanka. .My wish is to get the perpetrators on the dock wherever and however possible.

    *** In my view the ICC is the right forum for trying the War Criminals headed by Mahintha. Even allowing the perpetrators to be tried under a Hibrid Jurisdiction amounts to compromising the reasons for which ICC was set up undermining the UN Authority.
    The reason why the USA has fudged the issue and allowed Sinhala Lanka to get away making a mockery of the very reason why UN was set up is to save Israel from the Charges of Genocide.

    Few Examples before I comment on the Antiques of Mr.Sumanthiran

    Genocide is the systematic elimination of all or a significant part of a racial, ethnic, religious, cultural or national group. Well-known examples of genocide include the Holocaust, the Armenian Genocide, 1971 Bangladesh Genocide, and more recently the Rwandan Genocide.

    The Srebrenica massacre, also known as the Srebrenica genocide (Bosnian: Masakar u Srebrenici; Genocid u Srebrenici), was the genocidal killing, in July 1995.

    Milošević was indicted in May 1999, during the Kosovo War, by the UN’s International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia for crimes against humanity in Kosovo. Charges of violating the laws or customs of war, grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions in Croatia and Bosnia and genocide in Bosnia were added a year and a half later.

    The charges on which Milošević was indicted were: genocide; complicity in genocide; deportation; murder; persecutions on political, racial or religious grounds; inhumane acts/forcible transfer; extermination; imprisonment; torture; willful killing; unlawful confinement; wilfully causing great suffering; unlawful deportation or transfer; extensive destruction and appropriation of property, not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly; cruel treatment; plunder of public or private property; attacks on civilians; destruction or wilful damage done to historic monuments and institutions dedicated to education or religion; unlawful attacks on civilian objects.

    *** Mahinthas Crime was of a Greater magnitude and yet USA is happy to take leave of its senses.

    *** As for Mr.Sumanthiran he is an aspiring Politician and is trying to play his cards right and has a soft spot for Mahintha.

    Any attack on our CM is not justified as he is a man of Integrity.

  • 7
    2

    The writer of this letter, to put it bluntly, is a fool’s fool. The cries of Genocide is nothing but a political move to gain sympathy from western governments unaware of the entire situation of Sri Lanka over the last 30 years. Limited to the north, the LTTE practiced ‘genocide’ in that it completely erased the cultural identity of the province by systematically evicted or killing all other ethnic groups, let alone countless fellow Tamils. It was the south that absorbed the Tamils who fled the LTTE’s brutality, it was the SL government (Sinahlese) that put an end to the slow but steady degradation of Tamil society in the northern province and for means and purposes economically and infrastructure wise supported and maintained all civil function of the north while the mad men of the LTTE sat and did little more then kill fellow Tamils and murder countless civilians along the boarders of the pipe dream called Elam. Cut the BS and let the Sri Lankan Tamils move forward and find their identity once again within a united Sri Lanka. Foolish people who write such articles without the sense to milk a cow, should not be telling others how to move forward. There are many guilty individuals in Sri Lanka, and many of them are LTTE Tamils. This is not a war crimes trial on a single ethnic against another, it is about individuals who crossed the boundaries, and need to be taken to book. Cries of Genocide is an insincere attempt to prolong a situation on its way out. Drop it and do something productive. Learn how to milk a cow, you would be doing more good for people?

    • 1
      0

      MHA

      “It was the south that absorbed the Tamils who fled the LTTE’s brutality, “

      Are you sure about the reason as to why the Tamils fled the North?

      I congratulate you for your selective typing of history as you heard it from the sources who had been the axis of evil.

      Please spend some time reviewing and revising your typing as it sound more like a state propaganda piece orchestrated by bigots than a genuine observation of events and history as many others witnessed it.

  • 3
    7

    Very well said and concisely too. The events leading to what happened in May 2009 is the culmination of the process of Sinhala Buddhist ethnocentricism and Xenophobia set in motion in the early forties. It is disappointing to learn that even Sumanthiran should play to the gallery while there exists the opportunity for these crimes committed by both sides to be tried especially by a hybrid court and not the international court thus affording greater flexibility. This should be availed upon by both sides in the interest of overall fairness and justice seizing the opportunity to lay this matter to eternal rest to enable the Sri Lankan nation to get on even at this late stage.Bensen

  • 6
    5

    Mr. Sumanthiran is legally and politically correct in saying what
    happened cannot be classified as ‘genocide’ and it looks like the
    author is influenced by NPC stalwarts to write this article. Mr.
    Sumanthiran may not be popular on this issue with the ordinary Tamil masses who are agitated by mass killing at Mullivaickkal but the Tamils cannot get ‘bogged down’ at international courts presenting a ‘genocide’ case. UN is a political organization and their decisions are based on dictates of the world powers, mainly USA. UN war crime report is not even a partial victory for the Tamils as USA may opt for only domestic investigation although they stood on their head in the past saying that this case should be directed to war crime tribunal in
    Hague but they are trying to do a “U” turn by rejecting international
    participation in the investigation, as their main concern is the
    relationship of Sri Lanka with China and not the mass killing of
    Tamil civilians in the last stages of the war. UN had two reports prepared and If MR was in power, we could have seen US supporting a war criminal investigation and publication of the names of the perpetrators.
    Tamil leaders like Mr. Sumanthiran must brief the ordinary public that it is a waste of time knocking against the rocks and try and march forward along with the other communities for better times following a middle path.

  • 4
    3

    One thing that no body can deny.the tamil community in sri-lank has to live under same government whether it is SLFP-UNP-OR-JVP.also has to live under the same singala police and armed forces.any body can write any thing shout any thing from foreign countries after enjoying all comforts under the sun such as women and wine.what SUMANTHIRAN is trying is get the current problems in hand such as land settlement long standing political prisoners released and settled.can you do all these by all time shouting about by gone things.sumanthiran is not doing any thing for his personnel benefit.

  • 8
    5

    Mr Nirmalan Nathan please keep your ideas to yourself and do not try to promote distruction and another problem in sri lanka between the tamils and the sinhalese. They have been living very peacefully these last several years and the tamils are definitely not discriminated against in this country. If the tamils face some problems I can assure you that the sinhalese also face the same problems. If there are problems with language the sinhalese have the same problem when they visit Jaffna. If what you are trying to do is to find a way to boost your income by promoting another problem here so that all you diaspora tamils can continue to fleece the poor tamils sometimes against their will on the pretext of fighting for eelam, the tamils living in sri lanka do not want any eelam. They had more than a taste of eelam during prabakarans time and that was more than enough. I dont know if you realise that the poorest of the poor tamils only suffered during the ltte war because they could not find the money even to come to colombo. I do not know what your religion is but people like you will pay for all the damage you did to these poor people.

  • 9
    3

    It is true that heinous crime was committed on Tamil people by both sides in the name of liberation. Justice is needed to everyone, especially to those who lost their loved ones.

    But, Tamils and Sinhalese need to move on. It is a matter for leaders to show true leadership and this is what Mr.Sampanthan and Mr. Sumanthiran are trying to do. It is high time to strengthen their hands and find a permanent solution to the problem.

    The recent election in Sri Lanka, particularly in North and East, showed clearly what people want.

    Hon. CM’s request and other hardcore elements were rejected outright.

    Even in Diaspora, support for these elements are diminishing and major diaspora Orgs such as CTC and GTF are aligning with the leadership of Mr.Sampanthan and Mr. Sumanthiran.

    Ultimately, what we need is a “Peaceful Country” where every citizen enjoys freedom, rights and security.

  • 8
    4

    Dear Mr Nirmalan-Nathan and friends!

    The High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has specifically emphasized the following in his Report:

    1. ”OISL has reasonable grounds to believe that the Government knew or had reasons to know the real humanitarian needs of the civilian populations in the concerned areas, including from its own Government agents on the ground, and yet imposed severe restrictions on the passage of relief and the freedom of movement of humanitarian personnel. This apparently resulted in depriving the civilian population in the Vanni of basic foodstuffs and medical supplies essential to survival” {Para- 53);

    2. ”On the basis of the information in OISL’s possession, there are reasonable grounds to believe that many of the attacks reviewed in this report did not comply with the principles on the conduct of hostilities, notably the principle of distinction”(Para-42);

    3. “ …. OISL has obtained no information indicating that any specific warnings were issued to the civilian population inside the NFZs informing them that military operations were about to be conducted” (Para -47);

    4. “Another concern is that security forces employed weapons that, when used in densely populated areas, are likely to have indiscriminate effects. This is reinforced by the fact that the security forces reportedly had the means to use more accurate weapons and munitions so as to better respect their legal obligations, notably the requirements of distinction and precaution. In addition, the security forces publicly declared that they had means at their disposal, such as real-time images from drones, that would have helped them accurately target military objectives” (Para-46);

    5. “There are reasonable grounds to believe the Sri Lankan security forces and paramilitary groups associated with them were implicated in unlawful killings carried out in a widespread manner against civilians.” (Para – 25);

    6. “OISL documented long-standing patterns of arbitrary arrest and detention by Government security forces, which often reportedly led to enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings.” (Para- 28)

    7. “OISL documented brutal use of torture by the Sri Lankan security forces, particularly in the immediate aftermath of the armed conflict when former LTTE members and civilians were detained en masse.” Para – 34);

    8. “The information gathered by OISL provides reasonable grounds to believe that rape and other forms of sexual violence by security forces personnel was widespread against both male and female detainees, particularly in the aftermath of the armed conflict.” Para – 36);

    9. “The security forces, police and intelligence services have enjoyed near total impunity”.

    What is “the Root Cause” that made the Government of Sri Lanka, its Forces and Administration to make such decisions and take actions?
    Was it because the people affected by all these were ONLY Tamils?

    Was it because the Government of Sri Lanka formulated and implemented its policies under certain DOCTRINE?

    If it was not, then how and why the Government of Sri Lanka made such decisions and acted in the ways mentioned by The High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)?

    Further, The High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has specifically stated that:

    “On the basis of the information in OISL’s possession, there are reasonable grounds to believe that the IDPs were treated as suspects and detained because of their Tamil ethnicity and because they had come out of LTTE-controlled territory.” (Para – 55) and

    “ …. OISL believes that the IDPs held in Manik Farm and other closed camps were deprived of their liberty for periods far beyond what would have been permissible under international law. Moreover, the material conditions in these closed IDP camps amounted to violations of the right to health and to an adequate standard of living, including food, water, housing and sanitation” (Para -54).

    Thus it is logical that the Government of Sri Lanka and its forces had acted on a basis of a certain DOCTRINE that was based on race, language, religion etc.

    Thus we have to ask the following important questions:

    i) Did the Government of Sri Lanka and its forces act under the specific Doctrine only after the year 2002?

    ii) Did the successive Governments of Sri Lanka act under the specific Doctrine since 1948?

    iii) If so. What is the DOCTRINE?

    The answer was given by the UN Expert Committee Report and the LLRC Report.

    The Para – 8. 150 of the LLRC Report says:

    “The Commission takes the view that the root cause of the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka lies in the failure of successive Governments to address the genuine grievances of the Tamil people.

    The country may not have been confronted with a violent separatist agenda, if the political consensus at the time of independence had been sustained and if policies had been implemented to build up and strengthen the confidence of the minorities around the system which had gained a reasonable measure of acceptance.”

    The para-28 says that “The Commission takes the view that the root cause of the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka lies in the failure of successive Governments to address the genuine grievances of the Tamil people.”

    But the method of analysis of the LLRC is not logical or scientific!

    It should have asked the question: What prevented the successive governments of Sri Lanka from addressing the “genuine grievances” of the Tamil people?

    This gives the answer to the question what has been “the Root Cause” of the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka!!

    The U.N. Experts Committee Report in its Paragraph – 28 gives answer to this question.

    It states that:

    “After independence, political elites tended to prioritize short-term political gains, appealing to communal and ethnic sentiments, over long-term policies, which could have built an inclusive state that adequately represented the multicultural nature of the citizenry. Because of these dynamics and divisions, the formation of a unifying national identity has been greatly hampered. Meanwhile, SINHALA-BUDDHIST NATIONALISM GAINED TRACTION, ASSERTING A PRIVILEGED PLACE FOR THE SINHALESE AS THE PROTECTORS OF SRI LANKA, AS THE SACRED HOME OF BUDDHISM. THESE FACTORS RESULTED IN DEVASTATING AND ENDURING CONSEQUENCES FOR THE NATURE OF THE STATE, GOVERNANCE AND INTER-ETHNIC RELATIONS IN SRI LANKA.”

    That is, the imaginary Doctrine: Sinhala – Sinhalese- Buddhism – Lanka with one – to-one correspondence is the Root Cause of the ethnic problem in Sri Lanka.

    Therefore the Governments before 2002 and the Government after 2002 had been ruling the country under the said imaginary Doctrine.

    Thus, DURING AND AFTER THE WAR the Government would have acted under the above mentioned imaginary Doctrine!

    This was the only cause for what The High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) had stated in his Report to happen!!

    Thus, all the systematic killings, disappearances, rapes, denial of right to live, arbitrary arrest and detention, torture, etc. after 1948 were carried out by the Governments of Sri Lanka and the troops with an intention!!

    What is the appropriate name you could give to this? “Genocide”? Or what?

  • 13
    7

    I’m really sorry the keyboard Tigers writing here were not at Mullivaikkal on 18 May 2009 to get blown to pieces. No doubt thousands of innocent civilians died on that day. They died due to war crimes committed by both the LTTE and the government. The LTTE used these innocent Tamils as human shields right up to the very end and didn’t allow them to escape despite several ceasefire offers by the government, and repeated appeals by the international community and human rights organizations. When sure defeat and total annihilation was imminent, the diabolical Prabakaran staged his preplanned genocide drama to save face by killing the trapped civilians or by getting them killed by the advancing security forces. The government is equally culpable for killing these innocent civilians in their desperation to achieve a quick and final victory. The LTTE ideologues at home and abroad who backed this evil genocide drama are also responsible without any doubt for this war crime. They are the ones who should have been wiped out along with their fascist masters and not the innocent people. And yet without any shame or remorse the cowards continue their drama online.

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    It is nice to note that my posting has provoked some reaction and a conversation. There are the customary finger pointing and suggestion of band aid solutions where a major surgery is needed.

    To quote the famous phrase of mother lanka’s favorite son Kumar Sangakkara pains caused by the “festering wounds from an ignorant war” to get relief, we have to meet some inconvenient truth head on. I would also like to quote my hero Nelson Mandela “No One is born hating another person because of one’s colour of the skin or one’s background, or his religion. They must learn (or taught) to hate. They can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally.” He further added “True reconciliation does not consist of merely forgetting the past.”

    I am using these quotes purely because the South African model is being brandished about by the last administration and the current one. The South African Model of Truth and Reconciliation Commission was headed by Bishop Desmond Tu Tu who is Nobel Price Laureate for peace. There the accused met the hard and inconvenient truth head on and showed true remorse paving the way for reconciliation.

    Furthermore the blacks of South Africa were the victims and the plaintiffs. The whites were the accused and the defendants. In Sri Lanka’s case it is the exact opposite. It is like comparing apples and oranges.

    Reconciliation without facing the inconvenient truth and proper accountability is an exercise in futility amounting to Banda Selva accord of the past. Truth is waiting to be told and the solution is staring us in the face we can’t do anything because we have the same old mentality of pointing fingers. Nobody can deny the fact Prabakaran was a product of the system and if we do not change the system there will be further bloodshed going forward. Remember he is not a cause but a sad and regrettable consequence of the system.

    SWRD Bandaranaike divided the country he just gave it boundary that’s all. All the blood spilt of Sinhalese and Tamils is on that hideous families hand. Let us hope Madame Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga can seek redemption for I gather she going to head the reconciliation efforts.

    I just want to conclude my submission here by pointing out to the people who are under the illusion Mr. Sumanthiran was elected by the people. I put it to you that the people voted for what was in the manifesto and not the sell out we are witnessing. I myself urged people to consider the election a referendum and cast their vote to TNA. Boy were we cheated. None of us saw this coming.

    As for the issue of Genocide the history will be the judge.

    I thank you all for your contribution to the conversation.
    Here is a sort of a poem I wrote ;

    DEAFENING SILENCE FROM THE PEOPLE OF CONSCIENCE
    HURT HUMANITY AND LEAVES GAPING AND FESTERING WOUNDS OF AN IGNORANT WAR.

    Sinhalese and Tamils Together Lets Face the Inconvenient Truths Head On.

    A Voice Of Conscience.

    A word in the ear,
    To the people of conscience,
    Hurt that a word brings,
    Can never be healed,
    True though it may be,
    Deafening silence,
    From the people of conscience,
    Cause immeasurable harm,
    Tenderness expected,
    But withheld in silence,
    Avoidance in silence,
    In place of understanding,
    Silence in place of sound Condemnation,
    Genocide did take place,
    As per the definition,
    Okay, let’s make it easy,
    Water it down,
    Shall we then call it,
    War-Crimes & Crimes against Humanity,
    Even in times of war,
    Where murder is the, order of the day,
    There are rules of engagement to be obeyed,
    Internationally agreed & accepted upon,
    Search your conscience,
    Let your voices be heard,
    Justice delayed is justice denied,
    Crimes against humanity & War crimes?
    Yes, it is an international affair.
    But, as has been suggested,
    Have a truly “Hybrid Mechanism” decide,
    Who the real culprits are?
    Go after them even if dead,
    Give the Sri Lankan history,
    The facts for our children to learn from.
    No more delays and no more procrastination,
    Dump the “Lesson Learnt & Reconciliation Commission Report”
    For there is no lesson to learn without the Truth.
    Now have a Truth, Lesson Learnt & Reconciliation Commission Report”
    Highlighting the necessity of a Federal Solution or Cessation,
    Let’s not please Dilly Dally.

    – Karthigesu (Noel) Nirmalan-Nathan.

    Have Megalomaniac Mahinda Rajapaksa &
    His Psychopathic brother Gotabaya Rajapaksa
    In a hybrid Court as Recommended.
    No Fire Zone Sinhala language2015
    https://youtu.be/46ZINjYQz2k

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      Karthigesu M. Nirmalan-Nathan

      Thank you for showing us
      the Mullivaikkal of poetry.
      The prospect of the world
      accepting the claim of genocide
      is as real as you
      ever becoming a poet.
      By the way –
      Having
      line breaks
      at odd
      places
      sadly
      doesn’t turn
      the prose that
      you and I write into
      poetry.

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    The elected government in NY democracy is expected to behave in line with international laws and not like barbarians against its own people. In my opinion since 1956 we have has a systematic attack by the Sihala regimes against the Tamils.. The Tamil people have been subjected to a program of genoside even in simple terms. Our economy. Language, education, job opportunities in the public sector poor funding for the north and East ethnic cleansing and sexual violence against Tamil men and women. The sheer brutality combined is called genoside in any meaning of the word. Let say to Sumandran the Colombo Jonny’ who Angels and socialises with the Singhala elite to claim this sufferance has not the right way forward. Like his previous political Tamil representatives from Colombo who claim to be the represent the Jaffna people has been a disaster. They have always sold us short for their own personal gain. Don’t trust Sumantiran he not a Jaffna man and is a proffeional politician in the game for his personal gain.

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    The elected government in any democracy is expected to behave in line with international laws and not like barbarians against its own people. In my opinion since 1956 we have been subjected to a systematic onslaught by the Sihala regimes against the Tamil people. The Tamil people have been subjected to a program of genoside even in simple terms. Our economy. Language, education, job opportunities in the public sector poor funding for the north and East ethnic cleansing and sexual violence against Tamil men and women. The sheer brutality combined is called genoside in any meaning of the word. Let’s tell Sumandran the Colombo Jonny’ who Mingles and socialises with the Singhala elite to claim this sufferance and muder is not genoside.. Like his previous political Tamil representatives from Colombo who claim to represent the Jaffna people cannot be trusted again.. They have always sold us short for their own personal gain. Don’t trust Sumantiran he not a Jaffna man and is a proffeional politician in this game for his personal gain. This man is not Nobel and intend to sell us short again.

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    Crimes Genocide is decided on the basis of Geopolitics rather than crimes under the real definition of Genocide. Some of the diaspora groups wants to follow Sumanthiran as well as satisfy some foreign powers. You could wake up a person while he is sleeping, but you cannot wake up him when he is acting. I saw aninterview in a web sight, Sumanthiran is saying I do not Know all the laws. In that case he should keep shut and get trained from International lawyers like Francis Boyle.Remember DBS is his uncle.

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    Mr.Karthigesu Nirmalan Batahan.

    It is an excellent and well exposed open letter to Mr.Sumanthiran. Yes he is a lawyer and elected by the people as their representative. No voter knew who Mr.Sumanthiraan is because he is a Colombo man. The people voted for the party TNA and not for Mr Sumanthiran.

    As I have mentioned in my earlier comments, It is the trio (Sambanthan. Sumanthiran and Senathirajah) working together. It is openly visible that they are supporting Sirisena and his government. Sambanthan and Sumanthiran never obtained permission from the party’s executive body when they attended the Independence day celebrations which celebrations was never attended by any Tamil leader since 1949 for the simple reason that the Tamils never obtained Independence. Sambanthan hoisted the Lion Flag along with Ranil Wickremasinghe in Jaffna. The Tamils never accepted the Lion Flag as their national Flag. There are about 125,000 army personnel in Vali-North occupying 10 villages along the Northern coastal belt refusing to allow the owners to resettle to do their farming and fishing. Instead the Army is doing the cultivation and fishing and other businesses in the peoples lands. It is almost 25 years now ,since the people were chased out of their homes by arial bombardment. Several people lost their lives and property. No one questioned about this crime so far. When the Chief Minister , immediately after he was elected tried to enter the declared high security zones, he was obstructed by the Army from entering. Sambanthan Trio never took part. Fourteen Hindu Temples and three churches where the Tamil residents prayed over hundreds of years were either flattened or in derelict.

    United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights Article 17(1) states Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others. Article (2) states No one shall arbitrarily deprived of his property. So far what action has this Trio taken to remove the armed forces and resettle those 45,000 Tamil people still in camps and relatives’ houses undergoing several hardships. They have not spoken a word about this crime which is undergoing now.
    I think, I may be wrong, Genocide comes under the title of War Crimes which has to be investigated by an International probe and determine whether there was Genocide. A Domestic probe will not satisfactorily, to the hearts and minds of those affected will take place. Therefore, an International probe is required. Sambanthan Trio should resign from parliament as they will not serve the Tamil people satisfactoriy .

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      Sellam,

      “It is the trio (Sambanthan. Sumanthiran and Senathirajah) working together. It is openly visible that they are supporting Sirisena and his government.”

      Just to remind you of the fact that the members of the trio very recently received enough votes to continue as MPs. Other candidates like Suresh and Ponnambalam were rejected by the people.

      Wigneswaran and the others in the NPC were elected some years ago. I believe that many of them would not be elected again if we had elections now.

      The key board warriors in Diaspora like you were never elected.

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        The Rogue Ayer

        “The key board warriors in Diaspora like you were never elected.”

        Does it mean that only the elected ones are permitted to comment in public forums and not the unelected ones?

        A strange definition of freedom of speech.

        By the way are you an elected one?

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          Native Vedda,

          “Does it mean that only the elected ones are permitted to comment in public forums and not the unelected ones?”

          “A strange definition of freedom of speech.”

          If you have read my earlier comments elsewhere you should have understood that I defend freedom of expression.

          “By the way are you an elected one?”

          Hopefully nobody knows.

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