16 April, 2024


Remembering Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields

By Gareth Evans* –

One of the worst atrocity crime stories of recent decades has barely registered in the world’s collective conscience. We remember and acknowledge the shame of Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia, and Darfur. We agonize about the failure to halt the atrocities being committed almost daily in Syria. But, at least until now, the world has paid almost no attention to war crimes and crimes against humanity comparable in their savagery to any of these: the killing fields of Sri Lanka in 2009.

Read the full article here 

*Gareth Evans, Australia’s foreign minister for eight years and President Emeritus of the International Crisis Group, is currently Chancellor of the Australian National University and co-chair of the Global Center for the Responsibility to Protect. As Foreign Minister, he was at the forefront of recasting Australia’s relationship with China, India, and Indonesia, while deepening its alliance with the US, and helped found the APEC and ASEAN security forums. He also played a leading role in bringing peace to Cambodia and negotiating the International Convention on Chemical Weapons, and is the principal framer of the United Nations’ “responsibility to protect” doctrine.

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  • 0

    How can the world pay any attention to war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in the killing fields of Sri Lanka, when the crimes committed by the perpetrators MR govt. have done so at the behest of the Americans and the Indians who are also acting as the watch dogs in the same Organisation to protect Human Rights? Otherwise does one seriously believe, MR can survive and continue with all the evidence that have unfolded?

  • 0

    “”Remembering Sri Lanka’s Killing Field.””
    Yes, no one wants to see people ( or any living being) die helpless. If you take the snapshots in the process of someone dieing or suffering, it disturbs. It is painful to watch. Not just this case. Any situation.
    I am not going to argue of how the video was made, and by whom it was made, and with what intention it was made. ( My opinion: It is a very good paid advertisement). Anyway, let’s assume that all 100% true.
    In a war casualties happen, shortages of food & medicine happen, people suffer. Who are responsible: both parties. ( Note: In this case casualties increased because LTTE used civilians as human shields…and neither UN no West condemned it).
    How many Channel4 videos could have been made based on incidents happened in Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, Hiroshima, Nagasaki ? Thousands, Thousands , Thousands!!!!
    My point is: People feel sad only when they see the video’s ( fake or true). They never imagine the scale of human sufferings occur in any war, by extending what they saw.
    So, all people who did war have virtually created millions of this type of ‘Channel4’ incident. Except we cannot see the virtual video on TV screen. ( Virtual video can only be watched through imagination). So, please imagine millions of sufferings and killings by the Western countries.
    So even if we assume that Channe4 video is 100% true, Sri Lanks is not the only country to be blamed. All bloody countries who did war should feel ashamed.

    Conclusion: War is bad.

    But, western countries who have been committing war crimes in the whole history have become saints. They think they know the right way of doing the war !
    To those dirty governments, the self proclaimed saints, I have to give one dose of mental injection to make them humane : Peace is the only right way of doing a war. All others are crimes. Hence you all are bloody criminals !!!
    So please let Sri Lankans live peacefully, now at least.

    Unlike a soldier in a uniform, a terrorist has all the liberty to act as an innocent civilian and to plan secretly for the next civilian massacre while enjoying all the protection from the law itself. Thus, the greatest challenge in countering terrorism is to identify the terrorists. They have all the ability to camouflage themselves in the civil society and to get cover from the same civil liberties and laws to avoid them being cracked down. It seems like the wound of terrorism cum extremism suppurate faster and faster, as those so called human rights- activists, champions, worriers, experts, advocates, etc issue more and more warnings, express concerns, and make all other ranting campaigns against nations fighting against terrorism. Sri Lanka is the best place where one can gain knowledge on how the terrorism operates beyond overt aggression; how more subtler forms operations carried out under the veil of most sacrosanct ideals of democracy.

    • 0

      By blaming the western nations, the supporters of the SL regime cannot side track the issue of mass killings of civilians by the state forces.
      These western nations (who belive that India is a great democracy)
      at India’s initiatve helped SL Govt. to destroy LTTE, along with China, Russia and many other powerful nations.
      However the west did not anticipate that MR had an agenda to gain votes from extremist supporters, to destroy thousands of innocent Tamil civilians.
      That is why these democratic nations want accountability from SL Govt.
      Of course totalitarian nations who also helped in the war have no respect for human rights.

  • 0

    Maybe Gareth Evans should consider and condemn the role of Australia in sending troops to so many parts of the world over the years (including Malaya, Vietnam, Korea, Bouganville, Iraq and Afghanistan since World War II) before he struts the world stage calling for “R2P”. The R2P (Responsibility to Protect) doctrine he champions is sure to be abused and applied selectively, given the recent history of global conflicts.

    • 0

      Romesh Senewiratne:
      If guys like you have their way, it will be the Mahinda Rajapaksas of this world who will have authority to impose the R2P on the world!
      Don’t you guys EVER tire of trotting out that plaintive wail of “they did it first” every time your Lords and Masters are held up before the world for their behaviour?

      • 0

        So who do YOU think should have the “authority to impose” R2P? Countries with a past history of invading and occupying numerous lands under various pretenses? The UN Security Council, the five permanent members of which sell the large majority of the weapons that infest humanity, and have each a long history of attacking and colonizing other nations (with the possible exception of China, other than in Tibet)?

        I am wary of Gareth Evans’ R2P proposal – I wouldn’t want it in the hands of President Rajapaksa’s representatives at the UN either. Not that they’d be as likely to abuse such power as those of nations with long histories of invading or supporting the invasion of other countries coupled with industries that manufacture and sell weapons.

        • 0

          we too are invaders

  • 0

    Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields is a lop sided shoddy piece of journalism,period.

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