22 November, 2017

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Paranagama Report: Frequently Asked Questions

The Maxwell Paranagama Commission, officially known as the Presidential Commission of Inquiry Into Complaints of Abductions and Disappearances has published FAQ’s in its website. We publish below the FAQ’s in full;

Justice Maxwell Paranagama

Justice Maxwell Paranagama

1.Question: What does the Paranagama Report (Second Mandate) says about the allegation of Genocide as applied to the last stages of the war in 2009?

Answer: The Paranagama Report (Second Mandate) has carefully analysed the notion of genocide as a matter of law at paragraphs 48 – 50. The Commission has found no support for the allegation of genocide.

2.Question: Has the Paranagama Commission made a finding on the number of civilians who died between January – May 2009?

Answer: The Paranagama Report at paragraph 24 disagrees with the explosive Darusman narrative of up to 40,000 civilians killed in the final phase of the conflict – January to May 2009, and takes up the position that the figure is much less and indeed, unknowable. The OISL Report at paragraph 1267 of p.243, also states that it is impossible to estimate the exact number of civilian casualties. The OISL Report is, therefore, not inconsistent with the Paranagama findings, and indeed, if anything, supportive of the Paranagama position.

3.Question: What responsibility is ascribed to the LTTE in killing its own Tamil civilians?

Answer: The Paranagama Report deals with the LTTE contributing to the killing of its own Tamil civilians in order to assign blame to the Sri Lankan Army, so as to provoke an international intervention which would have the consequence of preserving the LTTE leadership. The OISL Report fully supports this conclusion, where at paragraph 908 of p.178 it says

“Witnesses stated that the LTTE told the civilians that they could not leave because the international community would intervene to protect them. Several sources suggested that the reason why civilians were not allowed to leave was also because some of the LTTE leaders believed that high civilian casualties as the SLA advanced would provoke the intervention of the international community.”

4.Question: What has the Paranagama Report (Second Mandate) said about those within the diaspora that have supported the LTTE?

Answer: The Paranagama Report is critical of the pro-LTTE Diaspora for failing to acknowledge LTTE atrocities and continuing to support the LTTE financially and in other ways. The OISL Report supports this, when at paragraph 1259 of p.241, it says

“At the same time the Tamil communities and organizations both inside Sri Lanka and the diaspora need to acknowledge the atrocities committed by the LTTE. Without these acknowledgements, reconciliation will be difficult.”

And further at paragraph 1273 of p.244, the OISL Report says

“Likewise, there must be recognition within the Tamil community, for example, of the destruction and harm inflicted on civilians and communities by the LTTE.”

5.Question: What evidence did the Paranagama Report (Second Mandate) highlight in relation to force recruitment of civilians and children?

Answer: The Paranagama Report finds that there is conclusive evidence that the LTTE forced civilians and children into the service of the LTTE. This is of course, a war crime. The OISL Report comprehensively supports the Paranagama conclusions. In paragraphs 640 at p.128 the OISL Report says

“The LTTE forcibly and arbitrarily took young males and females to serve with the LTTE. “

And in paragraph 641 of p.128, it says

“During the years before the final phase of the conflict, civilians were abducted from their homes, temples, churches, schools, places of work, and at LTTE checkpoints. When young persons were stopped at LTTE checkpoints, they were asked to produce their identity cards and questioned if anyone from their family had joined the LTTE”

6.Question: Did the Paranagama Commission recommensd a domestic or a foreign process for accountability?

Answer: Yes. The Paranagama Commission Second Mandate recommended a domestic mechanism. The Commission’s recommendation is made at Section E para 625 of the Second Mandate Report. In addition, the Paranagama Commission made a comprehensive analysis, with the assistance of its international experts, of various different judicial mechanisms that may be acceptable to the Government of Sri Lanka, such as in the Gambia, however, the Commission’s recommendation was for a domestic mechanism. The review of the different mechanisms should not be confused with the recommendation for either a hybrid or an international Gambian style mechanism. One of the reasons this was done was that it was been suggested by the Darusman Report that prosecution was the only mechanism opened for the Government of Sri Lanka to consider.

The Paranagama Report recommends “a domestic process” for accountability. The OISL Report supports this concept in principle, and at paragraph 1278 of p.244, says

“The commitment by the new Government to pursue accountability through a domestic process is commendable, particularly in a context where some political parties and sections of the military and society remain deeply opposed”

However, the OISL Report at paragraph 1278 at p.244, states that the Sri Lankan justice system is not yet fully equipped to promptly conduct an independent and credible investigation. It goes on to assert that there should be “a hybrid court” which will integrate international judges, prosecutors, and investigators.

7.Question. What is the difference between the first Mandate of the Paranagama Commission and the second Mandate of the Paranagama Commission?

Answer: On 15 August 2013, the former President of Sri Lanka, Mahinda Rajapaksa, established the Presidential Commission to Investigate into Complaints regarding Missing Persons comprised of three members: former Judge Maxwell P. Paranagama (Chairman), Mrs. Mano Ramanathan and Mrs. Suranjana Vidyaratne (‘Paranagama Commission’ or ‘PCICMP’). The Paranagama Commission has held public hearings in the North and East of Sri Lanka and has heard evidence in relation to approximately 2700 complaints relating to what will hereinafter be referred to as its First Mandate. There were no foreign legal experts involved in this part of the Mandate.

8.Question: What work did the second Mandate encompass?

Answer: The scope of the Commission’s mandate was expanded by Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, No.1871/18, 15 July 2014 to address the facts and circumstances surrounding civilian loss of life and the question of the responsibility of any individual, group or institution for violations of international law during the conflict that ended in May 2009. The expanded mandate will hereinafter be referred to as the Second Mandate.

9.Question: Who were the foreign experts that were appointed as the Advisory Council to the second Mandate?

Answer: Rt Hon Sir Desmond de Silva, QC, is a world authority on the law of armed conflict. He has helped fashion international law.He was personally picked by Kofi Annan, the last Secretary General of the United Nations, to be the Chief Prosecutor of a UN sponsored international criminal court at a l;evel of an Under Secretary General of the UN.

Prior to his appointment in Sri Lanka, Sir Desmond was representing the Government of Qatar to investigate torture allegations in Syria. The British Government in 2011, appointed him to chair a highly sensitive Review into the British Security Services and their conduct in Northern Ireland during the conflict between the IRA and the British forces.

Indeed, he has also been a part of a panel of experts appointed by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, in 2010 to investigate a maritime incident that occurred in the international waters.

Sir Desmond was Knighted by The Queen in 2007 for his extraordinary contribution to International Law.

Therefore, it is wholly understandable, that he was chosen as the Chairman of the Advisory Council of experts.

Professor Sir Geoffrey Nice, QC is the Gresham Professor of International Law in London. He was the lead Prosecutor in the case of the late President Milosovic of Serbia at The Hague. He is an outstanding international lawyer with huge experience before international criminal courts.

Professor David Crane was also personally picked by Kofi Annan to be the Chief Prosecutor of the Special Court for Sierra Leone, and was also appointed at a level of Under Secretary General of the United Nations. Crane was responsible for the indictment of President Charles Taylor of Liberia who is currently serving 50 years imprisonment for war crimes. Crane also has considerable experience in the US military. In June 2014, Professor Crane together with Sir Desmond appeared in a Chamber of the Human Rights Council in Geneva on the issue of the torture and killing of detainees in Syrian detention centres. This is a measure of the high standing in which they are held by the international community.

10.Question: Were there other experts who contributed to the Second Mandate?

Answer: Yes. There were a number of Barristers, Lawyers and Military experts as well as law Professors from world recognized Universities.

11.Question: Why were foreign experts required to assist the Second Mandate of the Commission?

Answer: In view of the heavy workload of the Paranagama Commission, and specifically at the Chairman’s request for assistance in addressing the complex questions of international law raised by the Second Mandate, former President Rajapaksa appointed a legal Advisory Council to this Commission comprised of international legal experts. Other than Sir Desmond, there is no Sri Lankan who has occupied the position of a Chief Prosecutor of the United Nations within Sri Lanka. Furthermore, the Rome Statue has never been incorporated into Sri Lankan law. Therefore, neither Sri Lankan judges nor Sri Lankan lawyers have sufficient experience of dealing with this law as part of their usual practice. These legal experts have worked at the very highest level in international criminal tribunals, furthermore, as war crimes cases have not been litigated in Sri Lanka, there was an absence of domestic expertise at this level.

12.Question: Did the appointment of foreign experts to the Second Mandate of the Paranagama Commission mean that foreign judges were being appointed in Sri Lanka?

Answer: No. The foreign experts provided advice and did not sit as judges, nor did they hear witness testimony at the public sittings of the Commission. The foreign experts role was to apply:

a)international law to the facts as found by the Paranagama Commission or notorious facts in the public domain. Neither Sir Desmond nor any foreign expert played a judicial function at all nor did any other foreign experts. In that they did not attend sittings nor did they hear evidence;

b)All the factual evidence was heard by the three Commissioners, namely, Justice Maxwell Paranagama, Mrs Mano Ramanathan and Mrs Suranjana Vidyarathna;

c)Whilst the Second mandate Report, which is the Report that encompassed foreign expertise assistance, was a collaborative piece of work, it must be emphasized that it is the Commission and not the foreign experts ( Sir Desmond de Silva and the others) who had a final say as to the contents of the Report. The Commission could accept, reject or amend the advice given by the foreign experts and indeed this is exactly what took place. These Opinions supplied at one time may well have ben amended in the light of discussions between the experts and facts as found by the Paranagama Commission;

d)Therefore, although the Second Mandate Report was mistakenly described as the De Silva Report, it is in fact Second Mandate Paranagama Commission Report.

13.Question: Is this the first time that foreign lawyers have being permitted to play a role in Sri Lanka post independence?

Answer: No. Even in the Bandaranaike murder case an English QC Mr. Phineas Quass was retained to defend Somarama.

a)Similarly, the International Independent Group of Eminent Persons (IIGEP) nominated by the international donor community and the Government of Sri Lanka were vested with a wide mandate to observe a number of investigations and inquiries conducted by and on behalf of the Commission of Inquiry into alleged human rights abuses in Sri Lanka. This Commission of Inquiry included a former Supreme Court judge from India and members from United Kingdom and Indonesia amongst others.

b)The foreign experts appointed to the Second Mandate of the Paranagama Commission, however, had a more limited role. In that they were appointed to advice the Second Mandate Paranagama Commission rather than sit as judges hearing evidence.

Question: Were the foreign experts of assistance to the Second Mandate of the Paranagama Commission?

Answer: Yes for the following reasons:

The allegation of Genocide:

a)

(i)Some of the most serious allegations facing GoSL and indeed the Sri Lankan army concerned the issue of Genocide. A crime such as this is not on Sri Lankan statute books, nor are there lawyers who have practiced at the very highest level, either prosecuting or defending in international criminal courts. The foreign experts provided us with not only their experience but also were familiar with both international practice, procedure and international case law.

(ii)The international experts drew to our attention a recent judgment in a Dutch court that examined the LTTE’s assertion that the Sri Lankan state could be cited as a ‘racist regime’ in the context of Article 1(4) of Additional Protocol I. Prosecutor v X was decided in 2011 in the District Court of The Hague and in a 47 page judgement found that the Sri Lankan state could not be defined as a ‘racist regime’ in the context of IHL.

(iii)It is the view of this Commission that if the Dutch lawyers representing alleged LTTE members in this trial, were unable to substantiate before this Dutch Court the claim that the GoSL could be defined in law, as a ‘racist state’, it follows, that the higher legal threshold for ‘a genocidal state’ could not be met.

Allegations of Shelling:

b)

(i)The international experts were able to call upon other military and legal experts who were able to provide invaluable material to the Commission. One legal expert, with such military knowledge, was the former Senior Legal Advisor to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. He kindly provided what is termed the Fenrick check list, which demonstrated how difficult it is to prove culpability in cases of shelling and the necessary evidence – which is still absent to prove guilt. (Para 483 – Second Mandate of the Paranagama Report)

(ii)Furthermore, General John Holmes, who is a former Commanding Officer of the Special Air Service (SAS) of one of the most highly regarded regiments in the British Army and an expert in counter terrorism and hostage rescue at page 33 of his Report which is appended to the Second Mandate Paranagama Report said the following:

Para 79:

“The Wanni operation was not of the `classic’ hostage rescue variety if only because of the number of hostages involved and the ebb and flow of battle. However, there were similarities; the SLA did not rush in, but instead took its time to plan and adapt its tactics to take account of the civilian presence. It was, in the view of the author, an entirely unique situation and the fact that 290,000 people escaped alive is in itself remarkable.”

Para 83:

“…overall and for the reasons considered above, on the available evidence it is my opinion, that the SLA’s operations in broad terms, were proportionate in the circumstances. Whilst the SLA was a relatively unsophisticated army, they had evolved into a battle and ultimately war winning machine that made up for its lack of sophistication by the application of three of the most important principles of war: selection and maintenance of the aim; offensive action and concentration of force. In my military opinion, faced with a determined enemy that were deploying the most ruthless of tactics and which involved endangering the Tamil civilian population, SLA had limited options with regard to the battle strategy they could deploy. This would have posed a dilemma for the very best trained and equipped armies in the world. The SLA had either to continue taking casualties and allow the LTTE to continue preying upon its own civilians, or take the battle to the LTTE, albeit with an increase in civilian casualties. The tactical options were stark, but in my military opinion, justifiable and proportionate given the unique situation SLA faced in the last phase. Therefore, on the evidence available to me, taking into account my own combat experience, I do not find, in broad terms that the military and artillery campaigns were conducted indiscriminately, but were proportionate to the military objectives sought.”

Starvation of Civilians in LTTE controlled areas

The international experts were able to assist the Commission of this complicated area of international law.

1.It appears clear that there were inadequate supplies of medicines and food, though this is the sad fact that applies to many conflicts across the world. The essence of ‘blockade’ warfare lies in an attempt to capture the disputed territory through starvation. This Commission is of the view that the GoSL’s intention appeared to demonstrate a desire not to kill civilians through starvation, but rather, to induce the LTTE to surrender.

2.It is significant that Article 58 of Additional Protocol I places the obligation to facilitate evacuation on the party who controls the civilian population and who may be defending against an attack or siege operation. In this case, it was the LTTE. One account, given by one of the academics who belongs to UTHR(J), (the group of mainly Jaffna based academics that is critical of both the GoSL and the LTTE), recounts an instance which underlined the callous manner in which this control was exercised:

‘[Sivalojan] escaped and was caught by the LTTE and shot through the back just missing his heart […]. An LTTE doctor saw him, read the report from the cadres who brought him, and consigned Sivalojan to lie with the patients who were left to die […]. A government doctor later saw him, and left instructions for him to be washed, moved to a bed and to be administered certain injections and saline and later shipped on an ICRC vessel. Another LTTE doctor came later, looked at his record, placed his pen and drew a mark across the record and remarked that Lojan was a traitor who refused to fight and therefore not fit to live. He was sent back to lie with the dying […]. He was refused permission to board the ICRC ship. He miraculously survived […] and was later admitted to Vauniya Hospital.’

The Commission finds in such an example further evidence that it was the LTTE who were controlling those who could or could not leave the war zone, thereby subjecting their own civilians to additional harm.

14.Question: Did the new incoming Government of January the 8th extend the Second Mandate part of the Commission?

Answer: Yes. This Second Mandate part of the Commission was extended by President Sirisena on 5th February, 2015 by six months till 15th August 2015.

15.Question: Did the international experts attend and hear evidence at public sittings?

Answer: No. In setting out the legal framework, this Commission has relied heavily upon the legal expertise of the members of the Advisory Council, who have an unrivalled experience of international law practice before the ad hoc international tribunals created or sponsored by the United Nations. As this Commission expressly requested the assistance of international experts, we have adopted and incorporated as our own and as part of our collaborative work the opinions provided by experts on military and legal matters where we have agreed with their analyses. In preparing this Report we add that it is the product of numerous conferences and the consideration of learned and professorial advice from outside the immediate Advisory Council. Of course, this is in addition to the factual findings we have made upon the evidence we have heard. The members of the Commission as opposed to the experts have heard evidence from witnesses, have summoned witnesses to give evidence before them and have engaged in the usual fact finding processes of a Commission of this kind. The Advisory Council played no part in this latter process. This Second Mandate has been discharged with fact finding by the Commission while applying international and military law upon which we have been advised by the international legal experts on the Advisory Panel. Military experts and professors of law were also brought in to assist on difficult areas of law that concerned the Commission.

16.Question: Where did the material come from upon which the Commission has based its findings?

Answer: The Commission has of course made factual findings upon the evidence we have heard. This material together with the vast amount of material in the public domain has been considered by both the Commission and the Advisory Council.

Amongst these sources have been both primary and secondary, including highly relevant reports such as the ‘Darusman Report’ (2011), the ‘LLRC Report’ (2011), the Report of the Secretary General’s Internal Review Panel on United Nations Action in Sri Lanka – 2012 (Petrie Report), the Sooka Report (2014) ‘An Unfinished War: Torture and Sexual Violence in Sri Lanka 2009—2015’ and the Reports to Congress by the US State Department (2009), reports by the International Crisis Group, Amnesty International, the University Teachers for Human Rights (Jaffna), Human Rights Watch, and many others.

In addition, the Commission had available to it via WikiLeaks, contemporaneous and classified cables from the US embassy in Colombo. The Commission is aware that in the judgment in the case of The Queen (on the application of Louis Oliver Bancoult) v. Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, the English Court of Appeal held that the evidence of these cables was admissible as it did not violate the archive and documents of the diplomatic mission which sent the cables, since they had already been disclosed to the world by a third party. The Commission has relied on the reasoning in that judgment.

The Commission has had the advantage of an independent Expert Military Report by Major General John Holmes, a former Commander of the Special Air Service Regiment (SAS) with extensive international experience, including in hostage operations (‘Expert Military Report’).

Furthermore, the Commission has relied upon the work of a number of academic writers in the field of IHL as well as the considerable body of law generated by international courts, inter alia the International Court of Justice (‘ICJ’), the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (‘ICTY’), the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (‘ICTR’), and the Special Court for Sierra Leone (‘SCSL’).

Finally, the Commission has consulted a number of books and other published accounts of the Sri Lankan war. Some books have featured prominently in the discourse, presenting on one view, a narrative that is hostile to the GoSL, such as Gordon Weiss’s, The Cage; Frances Harisson’s book Still Counting the Dead, Sir John Holmes’s The Politics of Humanity – The Reality of Relief Aid; and Rajan Hoole’s Palmyra Fallen from Rajani to War’s End.

The Commission has cited from these sources, sometimes to illustrate points, which have not been considered before. Some of these authors’ observations demonstrate that they had a wider perspective of events than has been acknowledged within Sri Lanka. However, the Commission wishes to underline at this early part of the Report, in the interest of fairness, that some authors as mentioned above, and some organisations, such as the Jaffna based NGO, ‘University Teachers for Human Rights (Jaffna), have been equally critical of the GoSL, as they have been of the LTTE. This Commission hopes it will be forgiven for not citing at every reference to the aforementioned, their overall stance at each and every citation. However, at the first citation referring to them, we make their criticisms of all sides, clear. Indeed, while their overall stance may be well known, we have provided a full citation of their work so that those who may wish to consider their texts more fully can do so.

Other works that have been consulted include Ahmed S. Hashim’s When Counterinsurgency Wins – Sri Lanka’s Defeat of the Tamil Tigers; K.M. de Silva’s Sri Lanka and the Defeat of the LTTE; Padma Rao Sundarji’s Sri Lanka: The New Country;

17.Question: What was the legal test that the Commission applied in analyzing the facts?

Answer:In approaching the task of making determinations on the evidence, ‘the reasonable basis to believe’ test to be found in Article 53(1)(a) of the Statute of the International Criminal Court (‘ICC’) has been employed by this Commission. The Prosecutor of the ICC relies on this standard for the purpose of initiating an investigation. It has been interpreted by the Chambers of the ICC as requiring ‘a sensible or reasonable justification for a belief that a crime falling within the jurisdiction of the Court “has been or is being committed”’. The Commission considers that this is the appropriate standard to use, given that it has not conducted an investigation of its own into all the relevant factual circumstances. The Commission has primarily reviewed information available in the public domain and reached findings to the extent that there exists a reasonable basis for such beliefs, recognising that these could constitute a foundation for further investigations and that such investigations could occur in due course. However, where there is strong supporting evidence for its findings, the Commission indicates that it is satisfied to the civil burden of proof, namely, the balance of probabilities.

18.Question: Was the Second Mandate Report served on time?

Answer: Yes. It was delivered to the Presidential Secretariat on 15th August 2015. Albeit, the formal presentation to the President took place at a later date.

19.Question: Has the Geneva OISL Report of September 2015 named individuals who are alleged to have committed war crimes?

Answer: No. The Report has not ascribed criminal responsibility to named individuals.

20.Question: Has the Paranagama Report (Second Mandate) (Second Mandate) named individuals responsible for war crimes?

Answer: No. The Report has not ascribed individual criminal responsibility.

21.Question: Why has the Commission limited its inquiry under the Second Mandate to the final phase of the war?

Answer: The final phase of the war can properly be regarded as the period between the fall of the LTTE administrative capital, Kilinochchi on 2nd of January 2009 and the conclusion of the war on 19th May 2009.

The decision to restrict the temporal scope of the Second Mandate is based on several considerations. Most importantly, the principal questions raised in the Second Mandate relate to the period identified as the ‘final phase of the war’. Additionally, the panel of experts appointed by the United Nations Secretary-General on 22 June 2010 (‘Darusman Panel’) was tasked with reporting on the obligations relating to accountability arising from the ‘last stages of the war’. Further, on 8 May 2015, the current Sri Lankan Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mangala Samaraweera, spoke of the government’s responsibility ‘to get at the root of all that had transpired during the closing stages of the war’. Finally, on 13 May 2015, the German Foreign Minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, called for a ‘credible domestic investigation of war crimes, during the last stages of the war.’ Therefore, noting both the domestic and international concern to address issues of accountability arising from the final stages of the conflict in Sri Lanka, this Commission will confine this section of its report to this relevant time frame. The Commission understands that this limitation may attract criticism but given the breadth of the factual and legal analysis over the period of the mandate and due to the Commission’s on going taking of evidence, this Report has concentrated on the principal causes of the loss of innocent civilian lives.

The Paranagama Report (Second Mandate) in confining itself to the final phase of the war, January to May 2009. The Paranagama Report (Second Mandate) was fully justified in doing so, as at paragraph 728 p.143 of the OISL report it says

“OISL gave priority to investigating the final months because of the intensity of the hostilities and the extensive impact on civilians and protected objects.”

*To read the commission report click here

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Latest comments

  • 2
    3

    The FACT that this alleged “analysis” appears UNATTRIBUTED seems to say a great deal, unfortunately, about Colombo Telegraph.

    Would CT please provide its readers with an explanation of something that does not bear the usual trademarks of bad grammar, syntax etc.?

    WHO WROTE THIS PIECE?

    • 3
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      Mr. Emil, I think CT simply reproduced it. Here is the link provided by the CT;

      http://www.pcicmp.lk/classes/faq-for-second-mandate.html

      • 3
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        KP:
        Thank you for that link which proves, quite conclusively, that this is little but a puff-piece for a report written by a creature of the previous regime. While there is boasting of Sir Desmond de Silva’s credentials, it might have made for a clearer picture if the fact that Sir Desmond was (is?) under investigation by the Bar Council of Great Britain for unprofessional conduct. I really would appreciate further information in that regard, inclusive of the body conducting the investigation, and what, if any, are/were its conclusions.

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          It is well known that the Paranagama Commission report released is not the original one, but subsequently doctored to keep in line with UNHCR report and recommendation. If the government is honest, it must release the original report, otherwise it will lack credibility in the eyes of independent observers. Like LLRC, Paranagama report is a partial whitewash of atrocities committed by security forces on Tamils. While meticulousy giving details of crimes committed by LTTE and condeming it, it is woefully silent about crimes committed by security forces and merely says that these allegations need to be investigated. It is a shame that Paranagama is questioning the integrity of Tamil witnesses who have unquestionably implicated security forces in crimes against them. This is why Tamils have no confidence in Srilanka judicial system and are requesting for an international panel of inquiry.

          • 2
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            Too bad the report is backed by real military and legal experts with impeccable credentials and track records who have no dog in this fight :D But I guess the truth hurts the LTTE monkeys :D And that must be another one of those “well known” things like how it’s “well known” that Demezh Eezham is totally a real place :D

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              Wee Thamihz Siva Sankaran Sarma Menon

              “Too bad the report is backed by real military and legal experts with impeccable credentials and track records who have no dog in this fight”

              Oh it seems we do not have “real military and legal experts with impeccable credentials and track records”

              I wonder without real military and legal experts with impeccable credentials and track records how did MR win the war? Is it because VP won it for him?

              Gota, Fonseka, ………………………. Black & Decker are not real military experts are they?

              Was it Karuna who won the war for MR?

              Was it Jai Hind?

          • 3
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            sankaralingam,
            What you see is what you get. Over 50% of Americans don’t have confidence in Obama too. But life goes on. Please, don’t instigate violence again as a solution.

            • 3
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              Nuisense

              What is the difference between you and a knife?

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              Eusense,
              It is the government and people like you who are instigating violence on Tamil people by forcing them to accept untruths and injustice. It is undeniable that Srilanka security forces have committed variuos crimes such as murder, rape, ethnic cleansing, arson, robbery, assault, racial abuse and arbitrary arrests. If a genuine investigation is done, at least 90% of security forces will be behind bars. Majority of Sinhalese want these to be white washed and the government is unwilling to go aginst them. Do not bring in Obama and others to didge the real issues. Entirety of Tamil people have no confidence in any government controlled by Sinhalese in achieving justice, truth, reconciliation and peace.

        • 2
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          [Edited out] Emil , why are u going after Sir Desmond? Lankans usually go for this type of criticism once they have been refused a favor, more specifically a loan!!

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          Emil, the Bar Association investigates all allegations, regardless of their merit. Investigation itself does not cast a shadow over Sir Desmond, and to suggest otherwise is merely an ad hominem attack unworthy of someone of your intellect. The allegations made against Sir Desmond were simply a preemptive tactic undertaken as soon as his appointment as advisor to the Paranagama Commission was announced, and was done particularly in order to avoid embarrassing certain members of the Darusman Panel whose report was likely to be discredited by the Paranagama Report; a prediction that has turned out to be correct, and rightly so.

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      putin,
      Don’t forget CT publish your garbage too.

  • 1
    1

    Isn’t there another simple data analysis available for these questions? If we get inventory of ammunition from 2000 (1971?) to 2012 of heavy weapons (Helicopter machine guns, types of aerial bombing, tanks ammunition), refilling these ammunition would give clear picture of mass killing powers used upon citizens… I guess there are proven data of killing potentials of all these types of ammunitions. 2010, 2011 figures should give you fairly accurate values of ammunition used in 2009..
    Since LTTE was a rebel group, it won;t be easy to get those figures on their side,, unless Karuna, KP type people corporate frankly.

    • 0
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      Of course the inventory will include materials and equipment, ordered and paid for, but never arrived in the country. I challenge those who processed the documentation to produced the signed stamped Customs Declarations. There wouldn’t be any. Payment for those items, yes you guessed right, went into the pockets of Mahinda Rajapaksa, Gotabaya, the lackeys in the military, and of course their hench men. The same system prevails even now despite so-called clean Mr Sirisena and Ranil. Sri Lanka oh Sri Lanka … wither art thou bound?

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    The FAQs are designed conveniently to shift the blame to LTTE. There is nothing negative about the government forces and their commanders.There are no questions and answers about the orders by Gotabaya to kill the combatants who came with white flag (in spite of prior permission). There is no mention about killing of Prabakaran’s 12 year old kid after capturing him alive. There is complete washout about killing and torturing of Tiger suspects which was shown in Channel 4 video. There is no talk about the many sexual violence cases or the rape and killing of Isaipria. The multiple photographs of naked men and women with hands tied behind them which were taken by Srilankan soldiers and later sold to Channel 4 are completely kept away from these FAQs.

    This is why the world does not trust Srilankan authorities to conduct the war crime investigations.

    • 8
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      One can’t expect you to have the ability to read a 250 page document, can one?

      If you had, you wouldn’t be spouting such rubbish.

      The killing of Prabhakarans son is one of the key items in both the summary findings at the start, while there is an entire section devoted to it in the main body of the report.

      May be learn to read, then talk.

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        Bagehot

        “May be learn to read, then talk”

        What did you read? I think I can read however I can’t make head or tail of the report.

        Please bear with me for I am bit thick.

        • 0
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          Yes, it is clear that you can’t make head or tail of many things. Maybe you’re using your tail to think instead of your head.

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            Uuruwarige Booruwa

            “Yes, it is clear that you can’t make head or tail of many things.”

            I agree.

            Honestly I can’t make head or tail of things while you type sitting on your brain.

  • 5
    4

    What if anything does the Report say about alleged war-crimes and violations of human rights by the military? It is unthinkable that it remained silently on this THE ALL IMPORTANT ISSUE of this moment. (I have not had time to read this or the Udalagama Reports. That’s why I went through this Q&A, but learn’t nothing on these crucial points!)

    Why does this unsigned ‘document’ (is this a cover up attempt – CT please reply) not have questions like: “What does the Report say about alleged war-crimes and civilian deaths at the hands of the military?”; “What does the Report say about the White Flag incident?”; “What does the Report say about the alleged murder of VP’s 10 year old son by the army?”

    • 7
      4

      After paying handsomely for two full years from the taxpayer’s money, we learn nothing on crucial points from this report. This Maxwell Paranagama has nothing new to produce except trying to dilute what is written in the Strong UN Report!

      If the SL govt. go back to the era of another partial commission without taking the concerns of the Sri LAnkan Tamils, it will just blow up in their face again.

    • 3
      3

      Why haven’t they mentioned about the authenticity of CH4 here ? who actually produced these Q & A ? it looks like the commission is anticipating a precautionary measure to safe guard any negative impact on their images before the SL patriotic masses , in other word ,they just want to talk to the gallery.

      • 0
        0

        They haven’t mentioned anything about the CH4 films’ authenticity because it isn’t in their mandate to authenticate it. This has been explained to you several times, and even a direct quote provided. Why don’t you read the report for yourself and find out instead of once more making a fool of yourself by asking idiotic questions.

  • 5
    5

    What these FAQs prove is that the Paranagama Report is biased and only an international inquiry will do justice

  • 5
    5

    Kumar David

    Come on, do the state, its institutions, rulers, even the noisy Sinhala/Buddhists want to unearth truth in the first place?

    As a judge Paranagama report is what it what it was meant to say. Blame LTTE, absolve armed forces finally bury truth.

    If one spends time going through the statements made by Ranil, Sirisena, Somawansa, JVP, …….. army commanders, former top bureaucrats the intention is very clear, as Sirisena put it, “President Maithripala Sirisena says the government is bound to protect the dignity and pride of the defence sector including our tri-forces while confronting the alleged human rights violations purported to have happened during the last phase of the war.”

    Excerpt:

    UNP won’t allow war crimes charges against Govt. leaders: Harsha

    UNP MP Harsha De Silva told Parliament that the UNP was committed to protect the security forces that freed the country from the scourge of terrorism.

    …..

    “I am a proud Southerner. I will not betray my country. I am a Sinhalese,” Dr. De Silva said.

    2014-11-24
    dailymirror.lk

    Harsha’s statement sums up the pathetic state of this island. For them finding truth synonym with protecting the war criminals.

    Note Chandrika’s unpublihsed reports by three commission on human rights violations and forced disappearance (1987 to 1990)can be the link that could expose the pattern of behaviour by the state, its armed forces and its rulers since 5th April 1971.

    As a campaigner you should demand the publication of all reports in respect war crimes and crime against humanity.

    I am not sure whether Judge Paranagama was aware of the existence of these reports (1987 – 1990)when he wrote his brief in defense of Armed forces.

    • 1
      3

      “I am a proud Southerner. I will not betray my country. I am a Sinhalese,” Dr. De Silva said. 2014-11-24 dailymirror.lk

      I am a proud northerner and I am a Tamil and I not betray Eelam and the LTTE

  • 5
    3

    And so the whitewashing of a filthy wall called Sri Lankan war crimes and Crimes against humanity begins. With a very broad brush manufactured by the Ultimate patriot and lying bullshit Company.

    Will it wash with rest of the world, or will it plunge us to the bottom of the well called no humanity or morals.

    We are truly a joke who try to paint black as white but the truly appalling fact is there is no such concept as absolute truth, everything here is a relative lie.

    God or Lord Buddha help us.

  • 3
    6

    Perhaps it should become clear why the UNHRC report insisted that there is definitely the credibility and trust deficit issue if SL conducts an internal investigation.

    The emphatic way the report assigns blame on the LTTE, which is right in most circumstances, seem to fade away when it comes to the regime’s perpetrators. While the compatriots of the Paranagama Commission (PC) had plenty of breath to find out what happened inside the LTTE territory during the last fateful days based on witnesses who emerged from the LTTE side, the white flag incident which happened with the full knowledge and view on the regime side would now require further inquiry. Whom are these jokers try to hoodwink?

    The “expert” SAS officer whose services the PC sought had obviously not only misread but also as an opportunist, filled in the blanks with his own words to get his fees. There has been widely published reports that the arsenal of arms that the LTTE had counted on had been demolished in mid-sea and the LTTE was running thin on ammunition. Based on reports, there is sufficient evidence that the LTTE turned its guns on some of the escapees. But the LTTE had no answer to the heavy shelling and bombing in a very indiscriminate way by the forces that had caused the most casualties. Mind you, the LTTE had been surrounded on all sides and even the escape by sea was not possible, as Sarath Fonsela insisted then. Faced with the onslaught on all sides and with minimal ammunition, it is laughable that this Commission and its experts talk about proportionality in the colossal savagery inflicted by the regime. It is not that the UNHRC did not recognise the claims of holding hostages and shooting civilians by the LTTE. That has been explicitly stated but nevertheless the regime went on a firing spree.

    When the war has ended, the events of savagery that happened thereafter seemed to have almost become invisible to the PC and the experts on their bedside. While it has been quick to point fingers at the LTTE for its actions, anything on the part of the forces and the regime “would require further inquiry”. How those surrendered were raped and shot, including Prabhakaran’s son clearly shows both the mindset of the animistic force and the PC’s attempt to minimise the impact of any of their reporting on the regime and the forces. The army blindfolded and shot at point blank those it captured and surrendered. Paranagama may be did not want to face the fate of Shiranee or was it a case of blood being thicker than water.

    There is a limit that the PC can bluff and this is blatant lying. From the Trinco five case and the ACF case, it has been proven over and over again that “blood runs thicker than water” and expecting equitable justice from a sinhalese regime is foolhardy. Mangala has started to sing a different tune now, so is Ranil. Somehow there is a gut feeling that the “bottle has changed but the wine is still the old and stale”.

    • 1
      0

      It’s great how you present certain assumptions and opinions of your own as hard ‘facts’ in a deliberate attempt to color and mislead the readers.

      What are you doing on CT? You should be in parliament!

      • 1
        1

        Bagehot:

        Ah, thank you friend for your confidence in me that I am parliament material. Should that be any reason that I cannot walk around and say my piece in CT?

        Well, I did not assume this nor that. What I wrote is based on information already available in the public domain. If you assume that I assumed and deliberately dress in your own words I am sorry that I won’t stop you being jerky. And please don’t insult the readers and contributors. I am sure they are quite capable of making up their own mind.

  • 3
    4

    We have had a sneak preview of what will be the outcome if there was a internal inquiry – a total farce and only to absolve the criminals in the military and deny the due justice to the victims of the war who are certainly citizens of this country. No wonder when a section of citizens are treated like non citizens your cannot blame them yearning for separation.

    The Government is hell bent to protect the war criminals. How can the same accused be also a judge in the case against him? Nobody will believe the verdict of a local inquiry and it will be just a waste of time, money and effort and nothing will come out of it, like the dead Paranagama report now again resuscitated to fool the International community.

    Say a blunt NO for ‘local inquiry’, we need 100% ‘international inquiry’ to dig out the truth and bring justice to all.

  • 3
    2

    Well Well

    Perhaps Tony Blair might like to appoint the Paranagama investigators to look into his involvement in his decision to lie to the British people regarding intelligence into the Iraq war, after he did such a wonderful job whitewashing our very own Percy Rajapaksa. Desmond DE Silva contact your bank manager, there might be another windfall of blood money on it`s way!

    They could even compare notes on who is the biggest Liar.

    Or better still who is the biggest war criminal.

    Oh how they will both enjoy getting intimate together sharing a one bed cell in the Hague.

  • 4
    3

    Paranagama commission is utterly confused. They wrote one in earlier in the interim releases. That insisted only LTTE was guilty on abductions or for the missing persons. Then they released the report the so called Paranagama report. It said there is war crime evidence and IC has to participate in investigation. Sumanthiran M.P said he welcome that recommendation. Now he has released this question and answer. That is, he is not recommending the IC participation. Paramagama has become unfit for the title of Defense Lawyer and lowered him as a coolie building sand wall between Old Royals and New Royal on their quarrel. Now he is unable to defend Old King for which he was appointed, over and above, LLRC recommendations.

    Old King appointed Paramanaga to establish by investigating the missing persons that it was LTTE was responsible to the missing. He was issuing interim releases for that conclusion. Somewhere little before in March the report of OISL came to be known to New Royal Government. They negotiated with the High Commissioner to delay it. It had unrecognizable difference with what the the Old King asked from Paranagama as the second mandate. New Royals asked Paranagama to make it reconcilable with OISL report. Paranagama did it, but held the report pending election result so as not to damage the New Royals’ election results. After election, modified report was given to New Royals. New Royals kept it until their hard bargain was over with UNHRC and America. After their negotiation, to boost their image with the local crowd, they released the Paranagama report with their adjustment thinking the locals will praise them for having the UNHRC resolution much lower the than Paranagama’s internal report. Now their showcase piece Desmond de Silva challenged the report. He was employed by Old king with the same terms of reference with Paranagama. He has written his report to save Old King. But that was modifies by New Royals, to boost their image. This has created a quarrel between New Royals and the Old King. This is why, this question and answer is released to bridge all the of all the work Paranagama did from the time he was named for the MPCS commission. By releasing this cover up question and answer Paranagama has lowered himself as a sand wall building coolie between the Old and the New Royals. The peoples’ confidence on him has become zero. He can no longer defend anybody.

  • 0
    2

    [Edited out]

  • 1
    0

    The FAQs provided by the commission to “explain” its own report are unprecedented.
    This may be the first instance in/of any report of any group of experts assisted by more experts from other countries.

    What a beautiful whitewash.

    No statistics of the number of witnesses intimidated and prevented by other means of testifying at the sittings of the commission, nor,
    about how many were offered “death certificates” plus cash to prevent them testifying.
    The fact that army and police in civvies were present at sittings to note identities of those who testified; nor, how some were offered cash for chicken farming and animal husbandry to assist them forget what they came to say.
    No mention of Human Rights groups who were not invited/allowed to testify such as the North East Secretariat Of Human Rights.

    Now all know where the experts’ findings are/were heading.
    No wonder that the suggested presence of foreign judges and prosecutors by UNHRC is being discouraged as the real truth would come out as witnesses to atrocities and mass murder would be forthcoming, and most testimony so far would be proved to a farce engineered by the Commission, assisted by the military preventing genuine testimony.

  • 1
    0

    The twin objective of appointing a commision is to show that Sri Lanka is capable of conducting an impartial inquiry and at the same time whitewash the security forces from any serious criminal acts and violations of humanitarian laws.

    This is a very difficult task which require a lot of balancing acts. LLRC before and Paranaaga Commision now had performed marvellously to the entire satisfaction of the ruling class, then and now.

    But unfortunately the racists are unable to stomach even some mild criticisms against the security forces and as a consequence the racists were up in arms against the commissioners without appreciating the good work done by the commissioners in a very difficult circumstances.

    The Commision had attempted to justify they have not betrayed the trust placed with the FAQ that they are indeed good guys.

    Domestic inquiry is a farce

  • 0
    0

    Paranagama report is highly biased in favour of the Sri Lankan military, simply whitewashes their war crimes.

    Where ever there is clear evidence to show military atrocities he simply glosses over it by saying “would require further inquiry”. There is clear video proof how the military shot blindfolded prisoners at point blank range. Killing of the surrendering LTTE fighters are clear without any element of doubt a war crime, but this idiot choses to ignore and say “would require further inquiry”. Is he a man of the age he is to call himself a ‘judge’.

    His report is read throughout the world. He is only going into depths on the LTTE offences. I am not saying LTTE was totally innocent and they too should face trial for their offences. But what was presented in the ‘Paranagama report’ is not fair justice, then let him say to be fair to both sides “would require further inquiry” and finish off his report.

    He is no better than Sarath Silva, Mohan Peiris who were chief justices. No one can trust the Sri Lankan judiciary and even the Sinhalese do not trust. We all need an International Inquiry. How can the we have Sri Lankan judges when they are an involved party and that stands in the fair of a fair trial. Having a trial with Sri Lankan judges will be a total waste of time effort and money and no one will ever believe the outcome to be fair. I know accusing the judiciary can be construed as a contempt of court but I will say it, because that is what the judiciary earned with people like Sarath Silva, Mohan Peiris and now Paranagama.

    The UN having fresh information on the quality and mindset of Sri Lankan judges, should reconsider and internal inquiry and should be totally by international judges and outside the influence of Sri Lankan authorities.

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