22 October, 2020

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ON THOSE INCONVENIENT ‘TRUTHS’ IN THE LLRC REPORT

By Kishali Pinto Jayawardena

Kishali Pinto Jayawardena

Several months ago, President Mahinda Rajapaksa declared to the world that the ‘truth’ in regard to the last stages of the war between the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and government forces will be revealed by the Report of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) commissioned by himself (see Sri Lanka’s state run Daily News on 26th October 2011).

The danger of being hoist on its own petard

Let us take this Presidential prediction further and examine precisely what the ‘truth’ of the LLRC is all about. In so doing, we shall not limit ourselves to the narrow focus of the war theatre as this does not reflect the accountability debate in full measure. Accountability means the responsibility of a State towards its citizens in war time as well as peacetime and is not limited to periods of active fighting. This is why the LLRC’s emphasis on effective investigation and prosecution of the extra judicial executions of seventeen aid workers and five students, respectively in Mutur and Trincomalee in 2006 is so important. Again, this is why its general strictures on the Rule of Law are so crucial. It is axiomatic that without the Rule of Law, talking of state accountability in war time is largely farcical.

But to return to the Presidential statement in focus, the government cannot disingenuously parade only some ‘truths’ of the LLRC Report in defence against expected international pressure and disregard the rest. Literally and quite honestly, it must take all or nothing. If it takes all, it will undermine its highly corrupt and dangerously out of control power base for the good of the people but will safeguard itself at least to some extent, against demands for war time accountability. If it takes nothing, it will open itself to unreserved condemnation and will be, irredeemably if not somewhat rib ticklingly, hoist on its own petard. The choices, as politically unpalatable as they may be for this administration, are clear. What is not acceptable are delaying tactics based on obfuscation and denial. These strategies will not succeed in the hearts and minds of ordinary Sri Lankans as well as outside the country.

LLRC findings contradict government spokespersons

And as we can see, the real ‘truth’ of the LLRC Report as informed to the President by his Commissioners is that of a country deeply in crisis, where the accountability of political government is nonexistent, forget about war time accountability.  The Report captures a reality where law enforcement authorities are so politicized as to be virtually negligible in impacting on law and order, where public institutions are politicized equally severely and where the ordinary citizen is skin crawlingly dependant on politicians for the basic crumbs of community existence.

The Tangalle incident where one humanitarian worker was killed and his companion reportedly brutalized and raped on Christmas Day by provincial supporters of the administration .What logic and what rationale justifies T-56 weapons being possessed and used by provincial thugs with such impunity? This is a good question that needs to be put to President Mahinda Rajapaksa himself, in whose virtual ‘waikkiya’ or political home base, this incident occurred.

The erosion of confidence in the criminal justice system is repeatedly emphasized. The LLRC’s findings on abductions and on the relatives of those in detention not being given access to proper information, directly contradicts the dramatic explanations of government spokespersons, most recently before the United Nations Committee against Torture, that these are no longer problems of any account. This is a theme that this column has focused on during the past weeks since the release of the Report and will return to, again and again.

Faced with such stern conclusions by a government appointed commission in respect of that very government, official spokesmen are now expectedly bleating out a refrain that the implementation of the LLRC’s recommendations cannot be immediate as ‘critics of the government’ would want but that the ruling party would need to refer the Report to their ‘constituent partners’ and keep to a ‘roadmap’ for this purpose.  As predicted in these column spaces, it was no merry coincidence that these very same constituent partners would misdirect themselves in announcing some days prior to the government’s latest statement, that the LLRC had exceeded their mandate so on and so forth. Incidentally, it is a mystery as to why, even if this brief was handed to them by the ruling party, better conceived objections to the LLRC Report could not have been thought of rather than transparently misinterpreting the LLRC’s mandate and making themselves patently ridiculous in the process.

Time needed is not an acceptable excuse

Regardless, the government’s excuse that time and a road map is needed for implementation of the LLRC’s recommendations is sheer nonsense. There is no referral to other political parties and no roadmap necessary, for example, for the government to immediately start disarming its thugs and supporters roaming around the country with unauthorized weapons. If this had been done, the Tangalle incident where one humanitarian worker was killed and his companion reportedly brutalized and raped on Christmas Day by provincial supporters of the administration who thought nothing of emptying their T-56 weapons into the air in lieu of fire crackers, is just one shameful occurrence that could have been prevented. It is a serious mistake to brush off this extraordinary incident as common in other countries as well. What logic and what rationale justifies T-56 weapons being possessed and used by provincial thugs with such impunity? This is a good question that needs to be put to President Mahinda Rajapaksa himself, in whose virtual ‘waikkiya’ or political home base, this incident occurred.

In its interim recommendations, the LLRC had called upon the government to immediately disarm all illegal armed groups and had, in its Final Report, expressed serious concern that ‘no conclusive action has been taken as part of a time bound and verifiable process’ (see at p345 of the Report). What is the government’s explanation for delaying full implementation of this particular recommendation? What relationship does this have to national security? Is the non-implementation not designed to aid the extra judicial political control exerted by this administration rather than for any other purpose? These are valid questions for citizens to pose at the dawn of a New Year in which implementation of the Rule of Law promises to get worse before it (hopefully) gets better. The breakdown of government is seen in almost every sector of society, whether it is the mayhem caused by political goons, continuing abductions and killings or the chaos in the Advanced Level examination results.

Taking responsibility for the consequences

Let this be said and said clearly. It is not only the ‘critics of this government’ who demand immediate implementation of at least part of the LLRC’s recommendations relating to the Rule of Law and reconciliation between communities including proper investigation of war time abuses.  The position taken by the Council of Religions this week in this regard is particularly commendable in respect of its urging the de-politicization of development activities in the North and East. Its emphasis that the LLRC Report should not be turned into just another report by just another commission should be given heed to.

It remains the firm duty of this Presidency to listen to the inconvenient ‘truths’ in the LLRC Report and implement its recommendations in good faith according to its own promise. In default thereof, the responsibility for whatever consequences that may follow domestically, regionally and internationally should be attributed unequivocally to this government and this government alone. The time for bluster has passed.

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Latest comments

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    Good god, Casie Chetty. What is this rubbish that you write? What has the LTTE got to do this with the central poit made in this article? Are you not able to read Engish.

    First, check your grammer and then the hate that you spew out and your jealousy for peope who can write well, have respect from many in the country and who do not have political agendas. Your dislike of the Wijeya group and of Athas appears to be pathological. Who are you? A failed scribblemonger writing posts on the web. No self respecting newspaper even publishes you and no wonder since all you can is spit out venom.

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      Who ever you are Chrissie. I worked as a journalist at the daily News, the Sunday Observer, Sunday Times and Daily Mirror and I know how they slant all their stories. My doubts of you are confirmed. It is not me but you is iignorant about what the newspapers are upto. Iqbal Athas was writing anti Government stories just like Kishali does. Not just English I would not like this to sound like a brag but I am a law student and know as much or more than people like you who like to see Sri Lanka dragged in the dirt.
      If you are sitting under a tree and have no sense whatsoever, you should get the International news and read how idiots like you promote Christian countries who do not respect the rule of law but fascinate you.

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      Call me if you dare.
      0044 151 482 6916.

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    Point well taken Chrissy. This fellow must be contracted by the government’s hatchet men to do their dirty work in their own gutter style. They know when they touched on the raw and respond by filth. Even if soneone disagrees with aa particular view, there is a way of expressing dissent. These people have no notion of decency in debate. No wonder their President whom they defend is the Great Defender of kudu karayas and the underworld!

    Chandra

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      I do not wish to lower myself to your standard. Ask any journalist in Sri lanka about me and you will eat your vomit.

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        Would you like to eat Mahinda’s vomit?

  • 0
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    Peter Casie Chetty – Would you like to eat Mahinda’s vomit?

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      No, mate. If you get to know about me then you will ahve to eat your dog’s excreatment.

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      I got you the first time. You must be one of Ranil’s boy brigarde, Raymond because you don’t know what you behind is really for.

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    Chetty, Chetty, you are an ignorant moron. Who are you – a mere law studentprobably beyond the age limit at Law College after floating from one newspaper to another (on your own admission to write about these things? What the hell do you know about the law? You talk of vomit, you are a species of vomit, good only for the gutter. This is a student wet behind the ears trying to challenge people who are so far above him that he cant even see them!

    Pandu

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      I was in France in 1983 and I have been covering the Ethnic conflic not from Colombo but in every part of the North and East. You are the type of person who does not read a newspaper and I suppose have not got the intelligence to see what this is all about. Defending ones people in an Island that has one elected Government does not involve war crimes if the US, the UK and NATO countries can commit atrocities all over the world.
      I am now a law student because unlike yo who needs to be educated and forced into education, I have retired and am now getting a little more education that you or your father before you would ever have.
      If you like to call me… 0044 151 4836916.
      I do not blame the riots of 1983 on the peopel of the South,. They were gravely provoked by the death of the slodiers.

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        Also why are you just Pandu. You can publish you entire name if you are not a coward and who makes statement from your hiding place.

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    You Chetty are full of BS , Just think a minute…. When the Tiger boys were coming to colombo by hear sake where were you ? under the bed…..when the communal trouble created by JR you even thought of changing your name ??? Why didn’t you ???? Lets talk facts and have a good discussion and see how we could change the system to accept the tragedies which had taken place during the war…. and let the relevant commission handle and bring justice to people.

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    This Chetty character has got kicked out of every place he has worked in. No wonder he is full of jealousy towards Iqbal Athas, easily one of the best defence analysts that Sri Lanka has had and towards Kishali Pinto-Jayawardena easily the best legal analyst that we have and whose reports are reproduced and relied on not only by the UN but also by the better thinkers in the government. When was the last time this character’s scribblings addressed an issue as opposed to spewing personal venom? Let alone the Times, no one will take him on board.

    He is exposed for the pathetic character that he is with a gigantic inferiority complex. Law student my ass!

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      If you want me to comment on what I think of you at least have the guts to put your whole name down. That way I can see whio you are you coward. I have my name for all to see, why are you afraid of saying what you have tyo .
      You idiot. If you know what Athas was you would not make too much of his articles. He has never been beyong Kurunegala when teh war was on. The only time he did go he did not get a picture and had to use one of mine from Chavakacherio. Call the Sunday Times and ask them about me.
      Mine is not an inferiority complex…you swallow any crap that suits you. How will you know what goes on in newspapers if you have never worked in one. I worked in all these newspaper and I plan to come back and work there. The reason I changed newspapwers was becaus I live in Europe and come back when I feel like. That is my right.

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    C’mon guys, lets leave this Chetty (truly a Chetty) alone! He is not worth while wasting time over! I think everyone knows him for who he is!

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      @Chirissy, Thanks for your comments, true leave this man, but I just read this, i must say this man was a refugee in France, it looks he ran away the country without any reason. he can sing, so he sung in Paris underground stations. that is the only think i can say. Chetty boy, explain this? why did you ran away? any threats?

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    I will be back in May and I hope you will have the guits to come face to face with me. I am a patriot. I was never a refugee and I have more love for the country I left 40 years ago than any of you supporters of terrorism.

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      have you sung in Paris underground stations for money? :) :)

  • 0
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    That is none of your business guy. I ahve not asked you what you do have I?

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    @Rory, for our amusement, please send a photo of this dirty character singing in undergrounds. Lets put this up on the web! My email is Pandukabaya2010@gmail.com. I am posting my email on this comment as I have no problem about any of these dirty characters writing to me! They are the people who bumsuck the white man abroad and then come here and try to be heroic, bashing everyone. They ned to be attacked because they do not let moderate opinion be heard in this country. So @Chrissy, I disagree with you that these foul mouthed charcters should be left alone. Instead, they should be attacked in return and attacked badly. No wonder this government is in a pathetic state, being defended by the likes of the Chettys and the Chettiars of this world! I have been asking some senior editors about this man. They laugh heartily everytime his name is mentioned and say that he was a gutter journalist who could not even do that for long and was kicked out and thenfled abroad….now he has come back after the Great Victory and is singing the praises of the g overnment like every wriggling worm who has crawled out of the woodwork.

    Pandukabaya de Silva aka Pandu

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      You are the moron an an absolutely disgraceful one. I would love to see pictures of me singing in Paris because I do not have any and I could not take photographs of myself while I was singing or playing… this is therefore a bonus. I was in Sri Lanka a working journalist from 1996 -2002 and that was long before Mahinda became President. I visited teh Vanni with Ranil’s blessing and gave John Amaratunga a description of all that went on.
      By the way I performed in places with a band called the Cascade… have you got any photographs of that period? I doubt not. I played cricket in Sri Lanka, England and France. Have you got pictures of that. Do you want me to put pictures of your mother standing under a lamp post while she was expecting you?
      I am sure I can find some.
      By the way, I will mention to you that I worked with Cecil Graham, Ernest Corea, Clraence Ferando, Lalith Alahakoon, Sinha Ratnatunga and will be working for Lynn Ockersz soon when I come back in May. You are such a clown that you have forgotten you beginings.My people came here to Sri Lanka as Bankers and the De Silvas came here to repair our shoes. The Alwis, Pieris, Perera and Feranandos are not ever to be compared with the Casie Chetties because go to Kotahena and ask the people who know the difference between the Chetties and the Chettiars. Obviously you do not because tyou are a semi literate turd.

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    Hic! hic! exactly the kind of response I expected!Be careful – your blood pressure will go up too high!

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      Don’t worry about that. Put the picture of me singing on you website. I need a bit of publicity… you know I can get a job singing in Pettah bus stand and getting more clients for your mother.

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    Oh ho! So, on his own words, this guy was then singing for supper from the UNP at that time and is now bootlicking Mahinda. Why does he have to brief John Amaratunge or go to the Wanni with “Ranil’s blessings’? I thought he was identifying himself as a journalist! How these idiots betray themselves by their very stupidities! Does he even know this, I wonder. These morons are why journalism in Sri Lanka is known as a degraded ‘profession’.

    Chandra

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      Exactly Chandra, Y does he has to brief John? :) :) :) boot licker. Then the bugger said he has threats from LTTE and claimed asylum in France. and he was singing in the Paris undergrounds and now singing for brothers and throwing muds to others.

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      The present writers in Sri Lanka like this woman you are all defending have to cater to the morons and semi educated people like you. Chandra why don’t you give me a call on 00441512846916 and I will tell you a few more things because the moderator will not permit me the language I have to use on someone who I think needs to be spoken to with Mervyn Silva’s vocabiulary. Have you seen that you do not even know what I mean by “with Ranil’s blessing” because they had no way of knowing what the LTTE were going to talk about. I you have spies in France you can ask them what I did in 1983. I can work at anytime in any newspaper in Sri Lanka even if you cannot understand read or write any language properly.

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    You think I will waste my time talking to bootlickers like you? I do not need your phone number. I had never heard of you before but now I see from your general attitude and your behaviour that you are the lowest of the low. You belong in the gutter.

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      You are obviously a coward…………. and an illiterate one at that.

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    Hey Chettiar! Your jealous slip is showing. Control yourself, you are an embarrasment, even to the barely literate. I know plenty of people, including journalists who went to the North during the ceasefire without ‘Ranil’s blessings’. They were not bumsuckers like you kowtowing to whatever government in power. And by the way, you have conveniently forgotten to explain why you had to ‘brief John Amaratunge’, that murderer who killed people in Wattala during the eighties?? Was that also part of the UNP’s ‘blessings’ on which you went? No prizes for guessing that you will embark on a confused explanation as to why you did this as well coupled with some choice gutter invective as Chandra has correctly said.

    Whatever poison you write man, remember that we are not touched by it as they expose only you and what kind of a miserable specimen you are. You are a joke and I am enjoying leading you on to expose yourself, in every sense of the word!

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      I am wasting my tie with you… idiot.

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    Hey idiot, why don’t you take a jump into the Seine from whatever slum that you are living in France?

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