19 September, 2018

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Rhetoric Aside, Sirisena Cannot Shield Army Generals Accused Of War Crimes For Long

By Veluppillai Thangavelu

Veluppillai Thangavelu

On 29 August, 2017 Al Jazeera broke the news that Brazuluan lawyers seek to expel Jagath Jayasuriya, Ambassador to Brazil, over abuses in the final phase of the war against LTTE in May, 2009. The lawsuits against Jagath Jayasuriya allege he oversaw military units that attacked hospitals and killed, abducted, disappeared and tortured thousands of civilians in the final phase of the civil war. The army is also accused of killing hundreds of LTTE cadres who surrendered to the army on the evening of May 18, 2009 or thereabouts.

Jagath Jayasuriya who has diplomatic immunity was the Ambassador for Brazil as well as five other countries Colombia, Peru, Chile, Argentina and Suriname. Human rights groups in South America have filed war crimes lawsuits against him who served as a general in Vanni from 2007 -2009. 

Although, as a diplomat Jagath Jayasuriya  enjoyed diplomatic immunity, the International Truth and Justice Project, which brought the case, wants him expelled and his conduct investigated.

“In the pivotal period between 2007-2009 he was really in charge of what was happening in the Vanni area,” lawyer Yasmin Sooka of the International Truth and Justice Project told the BBC’s News hour programme.

“The UN inquiry found that the army certainly didn’t maintain the distinction between civilians and combatants, and they also violated the law on the question of proportionality.”What was really awful was the perfidious conduct in putting people into no-fire zones and then shelling and bombarding them, which is why you have such a huge loss of life,” Ms Sooka said.

The UN estimates between 40,000 and 70,000 died in the final phase alone when Sri Lanka’s military defeated the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.

According to the suits, Jayasuriya oversaw an offensive from Joseph Camp in the northern town of Vavuniya. 

Lawyers for the Human Rights groups alleged Jagath Jayasuriya oversaw military units that attacked hospitals, schools and tortured and killed thousands of thousands of Tamil people. Allegations persist to this day that the army killed rebel leaders and others after they surrendered or were captured – and the UN admitted in 2012 that it could and should have done more to protect civilians.

Though Jagath Jayasuriya enjoyed diplomatic immunity, the Human Rights groups pursuing the suits hope they will compel regional governments to open investigations of Jayasuriya, remove his immunity and expel him.

Carlos Castresana Fernandez, the lawyer coordinating the effort, told the Associated Press news agency that suits have been filed on 28 August (Monday), 2017 in Brazil and Colombia. “This is one genocide that has been forgotten, but this will force democratic countries to do something,” Fernandez said. “This is just the beginning of the fight and while confessing that   international lawsuits across jurisdictions are complicated.

The criminal suits were spearheaded by the human rights group International Truth and Justice Project (ITJP), an evidence-gathering organisation based in South Africa.

Gen Pinochet spent 18 months under arrest in London fighting extradition to Spain. He was a Chilean general, politician and the military ruler of Chile between 1973 and 1990. He remained the Commander-in-Chief of the Chilean Army until 1998.

Some or other the Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry got wind of the moves by the Human Rights groups to file cases in the courts against Jagath Jayasuriya, The Foreign Ministry promptly advised him to return to Sri Lanka to pre-empt any embarrassing situation.  Jagath Jayasuriya returned to Sri Lanka on 27 August, 2017 after completing just two years. It was the Yahapalanaya government that appointed General Jayasuriya as Sri Lankan Ambassador to Brazil on 05th August 2015 thus continuing the practice of appointing former military bigwigs who had command responsibility during the last phase of Sri Lanka’s bloody civil war. However, officially the government claimed that Jagath Jayasuriya has completed his tour of duty and that is the reason for his return. The usual period of appointment under a contract is normally for four years later reduced to three years. Two years is an abnormal number. 

Before leaving for Sri Lanka, the Ministry of External Relations of Brazil hosted a farewell reception in honour of General Jagath Jayasuriya on 24th August at Itamaraty Palace in Brasilia. The reception was attended by diplomats from Asian and Latin American countries and representatives from Brazilian Government agencies. In reply, Ambassador Jayasuriya thanked officials at the Ministry of External Relations and all other Government authorities both in Central and State Governments for the excellent support given to him during his tenure of service in Brazil. He also said that during the last two years, the Embassy had organized many programmes in and out of the Capital- Brasilia.

The news about Jagath Jayasuriya’ s return to Sri Lanka would have faded away if not for the  bombshell dropped by no other than Field Marshall Sarath Fonseka, former Army Commander and later Defence Chief and now the Minister for Regional Development  in the cabinet. 

Sarath Fonseka told reporters summoned to his office at Rajagiriya on September 01, 2017 that he was aware of “crimes committed on suspects” by Jayasuriya when he was placed in charge of logistics and supplies during the final phase of the war. He went on to say that he received complaints that Jayasuriya was “committing crimes on suspects arrested and held in detention.”I know he committed crimes. I have details and I am ready to come forward and testify before a proper investigation,” Fonseka said.

The International Truth and Justice Project (ITJP) in its petition to the court against Jayasuriya  in Brazil and Colombia accused  Jayasuriya of overseeing torture and of command responsibility for extra judicial executions and hundreds of disappearances. The ITJP further alleged that Jayasuriya was based in Vavuniya and committed torture.

Minister Fonseka said he was ready to testify against Jayasuriya. “As I started an investigation, the then rulers removed me as army commander. I initiated an inquiry and arrested his (Jayasuriya’s) ADC. But, I was not allowed to complete that investigation,” Fonseka insisted that he did not allow any violations of international humanitarian law, but he was seeking an independent investigation to clear the name of the military and punish any who violated his orders. 

Sarath Fonseka and Jagath Jayasuriya are old rivals. It was Jayasuriya who succeeded Sarath Fonseka when the latter fell foul with Mahinda Rajapaksa and his siblings over the spoils of war.   Immediately after the war Sarath Fonseka emerged as war hero who defeated the LTTE lock, stock and barrel. Fonseka claimed that while he provided the leadership to the Military, the political leadership came from Mahinda Rajapaksa and Gotabaya, the defence Secretary. But the tone and tenure of army commander Fonseka changed when he started claiming sole credit to himself and no one else. This development was not to the liking of the Rajapaksas who sensed trouble over the growing popularity of Sarath Fonseka and therefore quietly kicked Fonseka upstairs by promoting him as the Chief of Defence Force. He was succeeded by Jagath Jayasuriya despite Sarath Fonseka recommending C.A. Chandrasri. for the post.

Very soon Sarath Fonseka resigned his post to contest Mahinda Rajapaksa, his one time Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces. His gamble failed. He was soundly beaten by Mahinda Rajapaksa by a wide margin of 1,842, 749 (17.73%) votes.  President Mahinda Rajapakse poled 6,015,934 votes (57.88%) compared to Sarath Fonseka who secured 4,173,185 or 40.15% of the votes. In the 2005 presidential elections Mahinda Rajapaksa won with a razor thin majority of only 180,786 votes (1.56%) Rajapaksa polled 4,887,152 (50.29) votes and Ranil Wickremesinghe polled 4,706,366 (48.73%) votes. Mahinda Rajapaksa won the elections thanks to the unofficial boycott of the elections by the LTTE. Only one person cast his vote out of a total of 89,454 registered voters in Kilinochchi electorate.

It is said troubles don’t come in singles, but in a row. As soon the victory at the presidential polls, Mahinda Rajapaksa went for the jugular of defeated Fonseka the loser.   Following his election defeat, Fonseka was arrested on 8 February 2010 and court-martialed for committing “military offences”. He was convicted for corrupt military supply deals and sentenced to three years in prison. After serving more than 2 years in prison, Fonseka was released amidst local and international pressure on 21 May 2012. On assuming power the Yahapalana government and President Maithripala Sirisena gave Fonseka the Complete Presidential Pardon and acquitted him of all the charges against him on 22 January 2015, restoring his pension and other Civic Rights.

Many came to the defence of Jagath Jayasuriya notable among them was President Sirisena. Addressing the 66th Slip’s convention held on September 03, 2017 (Sunday) President Sirisena who normally speaks softly, thundered “The charges against Jagath Jayasuriya is problem beyond our shores. I will not allow anyone in the world to touch Jagath Jayasuriya or any army commander or any war hero.”

 He told the convention that he would not allow retired general Jagath Jayasuriya or any war veteran to be tried by any foreign court. President Sirisena also aimed a pot-shot at non-governmental organisations saying he will not dance to their tune.  This has been more or less his stand since assuming power.

President Maithripala Sirisena while pledging he will not protect anyone guilty of murder during the civil war, signalling prosecution of security officers allegedly involved in a death squad that targeted civilians. “Those who killed journalists, sportsmen and others will not be protected,” Sirisena said. “Whether they are in the military or the police is immaterial.” However, Sirisena has rejected calls for an international trial into war-era crimes, emphatically stating he would never prosecute his own troops. He would not stand by murderers but would defend “war heroes” who helped crush the Tamil Tiger rebels in 2009. It is this stance that made him to delay the signing of the Bill on enforced disappearances for over a year and then making it operational by publishing in the gazette.

President Sirisena seems to be unaware of the laws and conventions governing conduct of war by the UNO. Sri Lanka is a signatory to many of these conventions barring the Rome Statute. 

The Geneva Conventions and their additional Protocols combine clear legal obligations and enshrine basic humanitarian principles.

• Soldiers who surrender or who are hors de combat are entitled to respect for their lives and their moral and physical integrity. It is forbidden to kill or injure them.

• The wounded and sick must be collected and cared for by the party to the conflict which has them in its power. Protection also covers medical personnel, establishments, transports and equipment. The emblem of the Red Cross, Red Crescent or red crystal is the sign of such protection and must be respected.

• Captured combatants are entitled to respect for their lives, dignity, personal rights and convictions. They must be protected against all acts of violence and reprisals. They must have the right to correspond with their families and to receive relief.

• Civilians under the authority of a party to the conflict or an occupying power of which they are not nationals are entitled to respect for their lives, dignity, personal rights and convictions.

• Everyone must be entitled to benefit from fundamental judicial guarantees. No one must be sentenced without previous judgment pronounced by a regularly constituted court. No one must be held responsible for an act he has not committed. No one must be subjected to physical or mental torture, corporal punishment or cruel or degrading treatment.

• Parties to a conflict and members of their armed forces do not have an unlimited choice of methods and means of warfare. It is prohibited to employ weapons or methods of warfare of a nature to cause unnecessary losses or excessive suffering.

• Parties to a conflict must at all times distinguish between the civilian population and combatants in order to spare civilian population and property. Adequate precautions shall be taken in this regard before launching an attack.

The Statute of the International Criminal Court defines war crimes as, inter alia, “serious violations of the laws and customs applicable in international armed conflict” and “serious violations of the laws and customs applicable in an armed conflict not of an international character”. The Statutes of the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and for Rwanda and of the Special Court for Sierra Leone and UNTAET Regulation No. 2000/15 for East Timor also provide jurisdiction over “serious” violations of international humanitarian law. The adjective “serious” in conjunction with “violations” is to be found in the military manuals and legislation of several States

The International Committee of the Red Cross is regarded as the “guardian” of the Geneva Conventions and the various other treaties that constitute international humanitarian law. It cannot, however, act as either policeman or judge. These functions belong to governments, the parties to international treaties, who are required to prevent and put an end to violation of IHL. They have also an obligation to punish those responsible of what are known as “grave breaches” of IHL or war crimes.

The UN estimates that between 40,000 and 70,000 civilians died during the civil war in Sri Lanka. Many thousands disappeared during the war and after surrender to the army on about 18 May, 2009.

(1) A group  consisting of more than 300 that included  senior  LTTE leaders like Pulithevan and Nadesan of LTTE political wing,  cadres  and  civilians were  told by the government that if they carried a white flag they would be safe crossing the frontline. But when they surrendered they were executed in cold blood – others have never been seen since.

(2) At Vadduvaakal at least 103 LTTE leaders who surrendered to the army along with civilians on 18 May, 2009. They were taken by the army in buses after informing their kith and kin that they will be released after a “short inquiry. An elderly Catholic priest Father Francis Joseph who volunteered to accompany the LTTE cadres was also taken away. They have not been seen since and are presumed to have been killed by by the army on orders from Colombo. At least one photo showed Balakumar and his son seated on a bench is an army camp. (https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/ltte-cadres-who-surrendered-to-the-army-where-are-they/)

(3) Isai Priya who surrendered to the army was raped and murdered while she was kept at Vavuniya Joseph Camp under the command of Jagath Jayasuriya.  Gruesome pictures of Isai Priya appeared in the media her body covered with white cloth.

(4) Twelve year old Balachandran, son of LTTE leader Prabhakaran, too surrendered to the army along with his bodyguards. He was seen in photographs munching on some short eats, but later his body ridden with several bullet marks.

But the Yahapalanaya government continues to deny knowledge of these incidents. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe says he has been assured by the chiefs of armed forces that none are being held in secret camps.   If that is the case where are those LTTE cadres who surrendered to the army?  What happened to them? Have they been murdered?

The Sri Lankan government after co-sponsoring Resolution 2015/1 is now dragging its feet in implementing the resolution in full. The delay and the complacency have caused immense frustration among UNHRC officials and the Human Rights High Commissioner. In a hard hitting statement issued by Commissioner

On Monday 11 September, 2017 UNHR’s High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, expressed frustration over the “slow pace of reforms” in Sri Lanka and said the absence of action, on accountability meant exercising universal jurisdiction was “even more necessary”.

Speaking at the opening of the UN Human Rights Council session, in Geneva, the human rights chief called on Sri Lanka to live up to commitments it had made to the international community.

“I encourage the Government to act on its commitment in Resolution 30/1 to establish transitional justice mechanisms, and to establish a clear timeline and benchmarks for the implementation of these and other commitments, this should not be viewed by the Government as a box-ticking exercise to placate the Council, but as an essential undertaking to address the rights of all its people,” he said.

“The absence of credible action in Sri Lanka to ensure accountability for alleged violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law makes the exercise of universal jurisdiction even more necessary.”

Recommendation No. 36 addressed to “The United Nations system and Member States” urges that “whenever possible, notably under Universal Jurisdiction, investigate and prosecute those allegedly responsible for violations, such as torture, war crimes or crimes against humanity”. Al Hussein comments were made in the wake of Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to Brazil and former military general Jagath Jayasuriya returning to Colombo after human rights groups filed lawsuits, accusing him of overseeing war crimes.

Al Hussein also called on the Sri Lankan government to “swiftly operationalize the Office of Missing Persons and to move faster on other essential confidence building measures, such as release of land occupied by the military, and resolving long-pending cases, registered under the Prevention of Terrorism Act”.

“I repeat my request for that Act to be replaced with a new law, in line with international human rights standards,” he added.

He also noted that the lack of credible action on these important issues had been felt by Tamils on the island. “In the North, protests by victims indicate their growing frustration over the slow pace of reforms,” he stated.

The High Commissioner concluded his address by stating: “In the first three years of my current term, the world has grown darker and dangerous. My vision for the work of my Office has become more determined, drawing even more deeply on the lessons which come to us from our forbears: human rights principles are the only way to avoid global war and profound misery and deprivation. In continuing to lead this Office I am inspired by movements of people standing up in many countries in defiance of the indefensible. They seek not power or personal profit; what they seek is justice”.

Both the President Mythripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe must take seriously the riot act read by Human Rights Commissioner Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein. The European Commission has thrown its weight behind Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein.

Just last week (13 September, 2017) the European Union (EU) stated its concerns about the lack of concrete progress in key areas. “Torture has to stop. It is of paramount importance that the Government delivers on its commitments including the replacement of the Prevention of Terrorism Act with counter-terrorism legislation consistent with international standards and allowing people in custody to have access to a lawyer from the point of arrest. It also raised concerns about the fate of those who disappeared at the end of the war.”

If the Yahapalanaya government continues to ignore Resolution 30-1 and continue to refuse to appoint a hybrid court to investigate war crimes and crimes against humanity, it will invite the implementation of international jurisdiction by the UNO. In that event not only Jagath Jayasuriya but the whole lot of army generals who have committed war crimes may not be able to travel to foreign countries. 

Rhetoric aside, President Sirisena, who was  the acting  Defence Minister in the  final fortnight of the war,  cannot shield army generals  accused of war crimes for long. 

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Latest comments

  • 41
    7

    Thank you for this excellent article. But, one issue with the conclusion:: In that event not only Jagath Jayasuriya but the whole lot of army generals who have committed war crimes may not be able to travel to foreign countries. “

    As it is, it is unsafe for any army person connected with the massacre of civilians to travel abroad. There are people waiting in other countries to prosecute them, as the Brazilian lawyer did in the case of J. Jayasuriya. This is independent of what the UN does or not or what the SL government does or not. Universal jurisdiction enables any foreign court to try these war criminals. The only way the My3 can protect his “war heroes” is to keep them home under his 3.

    • 7
      40

      Not Sinhalam

      Oh, stop quacking like a duck. What evidence do you have against Army Generals?

      Universal jurisdiction doesn’t give any leverage to LTTE funded NGO to prosecute our Army. They are clueless of its applicability and the lengthy process.

      Our Army, as individuals or as a group, did not engage in torturing or wanton killings like terrorists. LTTE terrorists carried out premeditated killings. Our Army intervened in stopping LTTE killings as done by any other legitimate Army.

      Even a lunatic will get his sensible mind back if he sees the way you tried to portray our Army as terrorists and terrorists as saints.

      You don’t even know the meaning of “war crimes”. Perishing terrorists is not willful killing, but exercising the rights of any sovereign country. Terrorists have no human rights as they are not party to any UN Conventions. UN Conventions and Universal Declarations are only applied to two or more state parties engaged in war who are abide by UN Conventions and Treaties.

      Before even think of prosecuting our Army Generals, tell your LTTE funded NGOO to get a proper clarification from the UN about “armed non-state party actors” and the right of any sovereign country to stop their civilian carnage.

      • 24
        5

        “What evidence do you have against Army Generals?”

        This is the same garbage repeated. Your not going to see evidence through twitter. Prosecute the criminals under an independent system and you will see the evidence.

        “Our Army, as individuals or as a group, did not engage in torturing or wanton killings like terrorists. “
        Wonder why the international community is not believing it.

        • 1
          25

          Burt

          I repeat, there is no evidence to prosecute Army Generals, other than Emmerson’s recorded statements from LTTE prisoners which are subjected to verification of their authenticity.

          All hardcore LTTE remnants who are exiled in the diaspora should be prosecuted for war crimes, torture and crimes in humanity. There are tens of thousands of photographic evidence of underground LTTE prisons in action and the bodies of mutilated policemen whose eyes were removed alive, butchered villagers and massacred Buddhist priests, children and pregnant women.

          As TNA was LTTE’s political arm, they should be prosecuted for all those crimes.

          • 25
            1

            “I repeat”
            Try walking into Angoda you will meet many like you repeat things they know or understand.

            “All hardcore LTTE remnants who are exiled in the diaspora should be prosecuted for war crimes, torture and crimes in humanity.”
            Shouldn’t this motivate the government to create a impartial commission with international participation to investigate and prosecute the guilty.

            “massacred Buddhist priests”
            Don’t you consider this a favor.
            Thailand 95.00%
            Cambodia 90%
            Myanmar 88%
            Bhutan 75%
            Sri Lanka 70%
            Above are the top five majority Buddhist countries. All plagued with corruption, prostitution, drugs, abused population and poverty.

            Is the problem people or the religion.

            • 0
              3

              Burt

              Please accept my condolences for massacred Buddhist priests. In Sri Lanka Buddhist priests were massacred by LTTE and they were not Buddhists.

              And I feel sorry for you as your world ends and revolved only around Asia. If you go to Christian countries and check the statistics on the list you mentioned, you will get a coma.

              • 4
                0

                “Please accept my condolences for massacred Buddhist priests.”
                I don’t think this is warranted as I feel no loss. Remembering 1983 and considering Monks were part of the problem I don’t feel bad about how I feel either.

                “Buddhist priests were massacred by LTTE and they were not Buddhists.”
                Your right very few Buddhist priests in Sri Lanka are Buddhists, rest are saffron cloth clad thugs.

                “And I feel sorry for you as your world ends and revolved only around Asia. “
                Don’t feel sad for me but feel sad for the people that have no choice but have to live in Sri Lanka because majority of them don’t agree with this crap either but have to put-up with political and religious thugs.

                “If you go to Christian countries and check the statistics on the list you mentioned, you will get a coma.”
                I have settled in the so called “Christian” country for a few decades and still not in a coma.

          • 6
            1

            Champa,
            Well done! You are great? Do you know why you prosecuted former military commander Sarath Fonseka? Do you know tens of thousands of Sinhala youths and families were massacred, tortured by srilankan armed forces. It was definitely a war crime, crimes against humanity. You couldn’t even talk about prosecuting those who massacred those Sinhalese. Compared to that one, LTTE crimes against Sinhalese are negligible. There is lot of evidence there that Sinhalese forces killed Sinhalese and put the blame on LTTE.

            • 0
              2

              Ajith

              The case against Sarath Fonseka is in the public domain. Go and check by yourself.

              Yes, I know, 60,000 Sinhalese youth were killed by Dr. Batalanda who now shed crocodile tears for Tamil war widows, missing persons and LTTE. The best part is, crocodiles like you voted him to run the country. Come, let’s sue him.

              Your last line made me laugh a lot. So I couldn’t type.

              • 3
                0

                Champa,
                Yes everyone knows that case was in public domain which was fabricated by Mahinda. His case taken again and he was released and his powers were returned later by Srilankan judges. This is the beauty of your Srilankan justice. Yes you know 60000 Sinhalese youth were killed but you don’t know who killed. It is Sinhala army and Gotapaya was an army commander. You know your Dr.Mahinda uncle was in power for 10 years but why he couldn’t bring Dr. batalanda in electric chair. Now you know who you are for and your crocodile tears are not for ordinary Sinhala masses.

              • 5
                0

                “Your last line made me laugh a lot. So I couldn’t type.”

                So you agree, your one of those guys that cannot walk and chew gum at the same time. That says a lot.

    • 3
      33

      The unusually large number of Red Thumbs is proof that organized LTTE paid coolies have taken over this page today. Who cares?

  • 10
    50

    I vehemently deny all “allegations” against General Jagath Jayasuriya. —

    The words you used are a good description of the crimes carried out by a terrorist leader not an Army officer. —

    “…..he oversaw military units that attacked hospitals and killed, abducted, disappeared and tortured thousands of civilians in the final phase of the civil war….”

    Bad memory, Thanga. It was LTTE who attacked the hospital (singular) and it was the Army who protected and looked after patients. If my memory is correct, a Doctor called Vardaraja explained what actually happened on TV. —

    “Killed, abducted, perished and tortured thousands of civilians…” Yes, true for LTTE. Prabhakaran used thousands of civilians as a human shield. It was the Army who rescued them from Tiger’s mouth. —

    “… army is also accused of killing hundreds of LTTE cadre who surrendered to the army on the evening of May 18, 2009 or thereabouts…..”

    That is an utter lie. Nobody surrendered in the eve of May 18. What actually happened was Sungod who tried to escape abandoning his cadre, got killed. —

    None of the LTTE cadre who were surrendered earlier were killed either. Although Obama ordered “zero prisoners” to his Army, (meaning killing all those who are surrendered), our Army maintained international standards when treating surrendered. There are rehabilitated and imprisoned terrorists cadre for everyone to see. They are a living proof for the civility of our Army.

    Why should anybody have to believe ITJP and who are they? The Holy Bible? They are only a debilitated NGO, funded by LTTE remnants in the diaspora.

    Sooka says, “according to UN inquiry…” “according to UN-estimates..” All onesided and the notion that 40,000 to 70,000 civilians killed is a total fabrication which they will never be able to prove.

    Contd’….

  • 10
    35

    Continuation ……………

    Thanga, could you ask two questions from Sooka, for me, please? —

    1. Why did she wait two years to “file this case” (I don’t think there is a case). —

    The answer should be: In the event it was challenged, Sooka didn’t have any evidence to prove the allegations. That is why they waited until General JJ’s departure date to make a show.

    2. If Emmersion didn’t possess some ‘tailor-made statements’ said to have been made by hardcore LTTE cadre in prison, is there any other evidence in Sooka’s possession?

    The answer is none. Even the authenticity of those statements are questionable as there should have been at least two other people to witness and certify whether Emmerson followed standard rules when taking statements from prisoners who were detained under Terrorism Law. The statements were pre-written, that is why Emmerson put pressure on the Government to disregard original statements of prisoner which tells the truth. His unholy hurry to put pressure on the government gives ample proof that Emmerson came to Sri Lanka well prepared to get this done. —

    None of the HR groups or LTTE diaspora have any evidence at all to prove any war crimes by our Army. All allegations are fabricated. They know their lies will be well protected with witness protection shield. So they just have to give the script to people and tell them to cry while making the statement. I have seen this.

    LTTE diaspora is trying something they will never be able to prove. They have black money to throw, so money is not a problem. These HR groups and LTTE diaspora are hell bent on tarnishing the good image of our Army Generals who were instrumental in winning the war. Government hasn’t done anything concrete to save the reputation of our war heroes. Lip-service or noise is not action.

    • 5
      1

      If the Sri Lankan armed forces did not commit Tamil genocide, war crimes, human rights abuse and crimes against humanity, then why the hell is the government and the Sinhalese are so scared, shitting in their pants when we talk about independent International investigation.

      • 0
        4

        Kumar

        We value the reputation of our Army. That is why people attack every bogus allegation. If not the world will believe all lies spread by LTTE remnants using their NGO cohorts and corrupt UN officials, are true.

        The best example is Channel 4 video. At first there was talk, but then the world realized that it was a “movie”.

        • 3
          0

          Champa

          “….but then the world realized that it was a “movie”.”
          When did the world realize so it was a staged film? Can you show me from authoritative sources to substantiate?

          As far as I know they were real pictures taken and it was shown to be genuine

  • 9
    35

    Hmmmmmm…….Did this South African Sooka issue any writs on British m American and Australian Commanders who killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqi, Civilians, Moms , Dads, and even kids?……..
    Who is this Velupulle?…….He sounds even more potent than the real deal Velupille who vowed to decimate , dismember and drown the Srilankan soldiers in their own blood…….Each Year, Every Year, after Year……. .And the Tamil Diasporians who are now Dr Ranil’s best Yahapalana buddies and supporters used to shout Hear Hear, while watching Mr Pirahaparan’s Marvveer speeches… ……… and Down Shots of Red Label in Scarborough , Oslo, London. New Jersey , Paris, and even Geneva………. And started the Hat Collections, Enforced Collections and Voluntary Collections morning after……
    If Gota sacked Field Marshall Kala Vedda a bit earlier, the FM also would have joined them in where ever he got a free ticket from and Down Red Label and looked for Chicks tooo……………..

    • 22
      2

      KASmaalam K A Sumanasekera

      Did South Africans deny committing war crimes, crime against humanity, and human rights violations?

      “If Gota sacked Field Marshall Kala Vedda a bit earlier, the FM also would have joined them in where ever he got a free ticket from and Down Red Label and looked for Chicks tooo……………..”

      As far as I remember GL Pieris was occupying External Affairs Ministry for a long time. until 2015. What are you talking about?

      The lonely Field Marshall said US refused him visa to attend UN general meeting. Do you know the background to US decision?

      Have a malt or two with the defense attache.

      • 0
        16

        Native,
        ” Do you know the background to US decision?” -YES, US is on war heroes side. They have a great respect for war heroes.

  • 10
    34

    Starting around 230 BCE South Indian Tamils committed war crimes in Sri Lanka. Tamil armies ruthlessly wiped out entire Sinhala villages along their way to Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa the royal capitals of the past. These highly prosperous Sinhala Buddhist capitals were ransacked and plundered and the people subjected to untold atrocities. The latest Tamil invasion was carried out by Prabhakaran and his LTTE army. Prabhakaran’s LTTE army committed war crimes by ruthlessly killing innocent civilians. But Tamil propagandists are trying their best to put all the war crimes committed by Tamil terrorists under the carpet and try to cook up all kinds of war crime allegations against the Sri Lankan armed forces that crushed the Tamil terrorists. Tamils will never allow Sinhalese to live in peace. So forget about reconciliation with Tamils who are not genuinely interested in living peacefully with Sinhalese. They will pretend to the international community that they are for reconciliation but as soon as they get the chance will cut the throat of Sinhalese. This is the lesson that history has taught to Sinhalese.

    • 32
      7

      Eagle Eye,

      230 BCE There was no Sinhala language nor were Sinhala people! You need education!

      • 0
        9

        This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2/

      • 4
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        Also Polonarruwa was founded by the Tamil Cholas and not Sinhalese

    • 38
      4

      It appears that the only time Sinhalese were at peace from attack by Tamils in India, is when it was under occupation of western countries. So then the best immunity for Sinhalese from attacks by Tamils of India is to hand Srilanka to European colonialists. However now Srilanka seems to be under attack not by Tamils but by Indians. See how MR the biggest hero of Sinhalese, obeyed the order of India not to visit China and has cancelled his visit. So much for sovereignty of Srilanka and Sinhalese.

    • 29
      1

      Eagle Blind Eye

      “Starting around 230 BCE South Indian Tamils committed war crimes in Sri Lanka. “

      If so why aren’t you taking any actions against the Tamils who committed war crimes in Sri Lanka in 230BCE or after?

      By the way only recently the Hindian IPKF committed heinous war crimes in this island. Would you mind taking the Hindians to International Criminal Courts? What are you waiting for?-

      Then there is another small issue. I am not sure you are aware of small incidents which have been taking place since 5th April 1971. Do you know anything about it?

      I may not agree with Tamil speaking Sinhalam Jamis Muthu Banda , however he has point about 24/7/52.

  • 37
    5

    In 2011, Rtd (??) Major General Jagath Dias was the Deputy Ambassador for Sri Lanka in Germany, also accredited to Switzerland and Vatican. The Swiss NGOs, the Society for Threatened Peoples (STP) and TRIAL – Swiss Association against Impunity filed a criminal complaint with the Public Ministry of Switzerland against the former Major General Jagath Dias for alleged war crimes. Jagath Dias hastily returned to Colombo and has not lived happily ever after.
    The General Jagath Jayasuriya saga mentioned here by Velupillai Thangavelu is very similar. The man is living unhappily in SL.
    Unfortunately the SL has sleep-walked into a quagmire in which “truth” is rated unpatriotic. We must change our mindset

  • 35
    6

    Couple of years back I saw a video footage wherein immediately after the war and when the female LTTE soldiers surrendered to the Sri Lankan Army, many of them were put in a lorry and were taken away. The faces of those young girls showed fear and agony as they knew what was going to happen to them. what happened to them are not known yet. It was assumed that they were raped by the military men and then shot dead. The bodies were burnt without any trace. No reasonable human being will act like this. Besides charging Jegath Jeyasuriya, there is another man who was mainly responsible for the atrocities, whether it is in a war or not.
    First of all it is the unity of the Tamils, in Sri lanka and the diaspora that is lacking. The disunity among the Tamils existed over many years and is still goes on which gives the leverage for the Sinhala government, past and present to supress and destroy the Tamil nation and able to vindicate themselves. The priority of the Tamils at home and abroad is to unite themselves with one voice. Dismantle all parties and form one single party( unlike the TNA combined by four parties). Although it is belated but better late than never. The Tamils should demand for a referendum to be held in the North and East and the people should decide what they want. It should be with one voice.
    The Tamils cannot do anything but to shout and demand the punishment to those who committed those war crimes. It is the UN that has to ensure that Sri Lanka is taken to task. When the UN gives the power to the Sri Lankan government to investigate and inquire into the allegations of war crimes, without foreign judges, how could there be justice. The UN knows about it and still goes about the way the Sri Lankan government wants it.

    • 5
      30

      Sellam: YOu tamils never move on and gain nothing because you people live on hatred, violence, revenge and animosity. What everybody says those dalit Tamils are former Sinhala people and convert them to sinhala people and treat them weel. As you dalits are not treatd well by the Tobacco farmers. LEt the tobacco farmers fight for a separate country.

      • 4
        0

        “YOu tamils never move on and gain nothing because you people live on hatred, violence, revenge and animosity.”

        Even today if a Nazi is found late in their age and really close to their grave they still have to face the music. This is not because of anything mentioned above but civilized society does not rest until it sees justice.

        This could be a new concept for a Sinhalese of your caliber but majority of Sinhalese understand this.

    • 3
      29

      Sellam

      ASSUMED! I like that word because it saves time.

      When you admit that your comment is entirely based on ASSUMPTIONS, as mentioned in the 5th line of para 1, there is no point in wasting time in replying.

      On the contrary, all injured, surrendered and captured LTTE cadre were given necessary shelter, protection, food, clothing and medical treatment even helicopter rides to hospitals in Anuradhapura and Colombo promptly. And that is not an assumption but true facts supported by rehabilitated LTTE cadre themselves, who seemed to be surprised by the humanity, compassion and brotherliness showed by our Army.

      If you elect me as an MP to Jaffna at the next election, I will show the difference of a Sinhalese MP and a Tamil MP with tremendous progress you have never seen for 7 decades in social, economical and political front in Jaffna.

  • 13
    3

    Not only the army generals but even Maithripala Sirisena who oversaw the last two weeks of the war will be able to travel fearlessly to foreign countries!

  • 32
    2

    Champa
    You say “Government hasn’t done anything …..to save the reputation of our war heroes.”

    Why not? Govt. has eminently whitewashed the extra-territorial erotism of the virile “war heroes”. The lascivious “war heroes” have a well-earned worldwide “reputation” for insatiable libido. The sexual predators who had raped, ravished and savaged our womenfolk during the Vanni war, have not spared even the destitute children of Haiti. They have preyed on these poor children for an extended period of time. Illustration:

    GULF NEWS, (AP report) May 27, 2017
    UN Peacekeepers: How a Haiti child sex ring was whitewashed.
    Sri Lanka has never prosecuted a single soldier for sexual misconduct while serving in a peacekeeping mission abroad.When a Haitian teenager alleged that she had been raped and sodomised by a Sri Lankan peacekeeper, the government here dispatched a high-ranking general suspected of war crimes to lead the investigation. He didn’t interview the accuser or medical staff who examined her, but he cleared the peacekeeper — who remained in the Sri Lankan military.

    BBC News 2 Nov. 2007
    “Sri Lanka troops abused Haitians”
    “The UN is sending home more than 100….. Sri Lankan peacekeepers in Haiti, accusing them of sexual abuse, including with underage girls….. the troops had paid for sex and …… some of the girls were minors.”

    SUNDAY TIMES, 4 Nov. 2007 –
    “108 Lankan soldiers in Haiti sex scandal”
    “…..United Nations will try to persuade the Sri Lankan government to prosecute …….108 soldiers who were serving with the UN peacekeeping mission in Haiti….for alleged sexual exploitation and sexual abuse of minors, including prostitution. The charges may include rape — which constituted a “war crime” in the context of military conflicts — involving children under 18 years of age.

    • 1
      23

      Karikalan

      Show me proof that anyone requested prosecution against them supported by EVIDENCE. News items are not proof of any crimes. Why wasn’t there any follow up? Accusations don’t make anyone responsible for crimes. You have to prove them. If they had evidence will UN let them leave Haiti like that? Learn to think logically before blindly accepting anything as facts.

      • 4
        1

        Champa

        Don’t waste your time here. You have a job to perform. The country needs you. Go earn some foreign exchange, by kerb crawling.

        • 0
          3

          Keyboard Vedda

          Thank you for accepting when I hit nails, I never miss the head. You are hurt. Still weeping for Sungod?

          • 3
            1

            Champa the patriotic national sex worker.

            “I never miss the head.”

            Of course you don’t, self harm is not a great contribution to national well being.

            “Still weeping for Sungod?”

            Dr Mahinda and Dr Gota seem weeping. Now their cash cow is gone they have no other excuse to prop up their selfish petty nationalism. Only way is please earn more and share it with both doctors.

            • 0
              2

              Native Vedda – LTTE rump paid goon

              It takes lot of balls to be a person like me. Go check your balls.

              • 3
                0

                Champa the practitioner of the oldest profession for the country

                “It takes lot of balls to be a person like me.”

                If you need lots of business you need to take lot of b***s. Is the patriotic pimp Wimal bringing enough b***s?

                Wish you all the best.

  • 2
    14

    The so called war crimes never took place in the Sinhala-Buddhist island. All the allegations are false. Barbaric LTTE terrorists creatures were not humans.

    Barbaric LTTE terrorist creatures invented and started the barbaric terrorism game with out any laws and rules, they always did what they like. All SL forces did was, beat the barbaric LTTE terrorist creatures in their own game.
    After barbaric LTTE terrorist creatures fought a war WITHOUT any laws and rules, got beaten at their own game and now these SOUR LOOSERS want all the nonsense laws to take the revenge on the WINNERS/WAR HEROES. Eelamist bastards are funny bastards.

    Thangavelu, ANSWER these questions!!!
    – Why did leaders and other top level recruits surrender?
    -Why didn’t suicide bombers were given any uniforms to be identified?
    -Why didn’t LTTE terrorist inform the authorities of their motives and targets of their attacks before hand? IF they did, the authorities would remove the civilians from their intended targets.
    -Why didn’t LTTE make any LAWS and RULES before the war was started??? If they did, Sri Lanka forces would definitely abide by it.

    • 3
      1

      Johnny the English Baby

      “The so called war crimes never took place in the Sinhala-Buddhist island.”

      Sure, it didn’t take place in your imagined world of Sinhala-Buddhist island however it really took place in this island of Veddhas, may be from 200 BCE including between 5th April 1971 and Jan 2015.

      Have you had your morning breakfast, Cow & Gate First Spoonfuls Pure Baby Rice
      Read good for babies of 4 to 6 months?

      • 1
        1

        Native,
        So, you want the world to know that you have ‘Cow & Gate First Spoonfuls Pure Baby Rice’ for breakfast. And we know you can afford it, but no need to brag about it.

  • 2
    13

    War criminal Rudrakumaran, Adel Balasingham the bitch witch , etc can’t hide forever. Everyone’s moving on. Only people who are still interested in problematic Eelamist Tamils are the ones making money out of it.

    • 2
      2

      Johnny English Baby

      Have you had your Cow & Gate First Spoonfuls Pure Baby Rice suitable for babies aged 4 to 6 months for your breakfast this morning?

  • 2
    11

    Whoa ! Another Velupillai threatening chaos !! Shut the f**k up. You don’t belong here in SL . So go back in the dark hole you live in and keep ya dirty nose out of SL.

    • 2
      1

      OMG

      “So go back in the dark hole you live in and keep ya dirty nose out of SL.”

      When he goes, I want him to take all his Sinhala/Tamil speaking Kallathonie brethren with him. I would prefer you on the first boat back to South India.

  • 2
    11

    Sri-Lankan army forces had war with a most dangerous terrorists in world. There is no war innocent people do not get killed. They ( members of the army) do not mind going to jail for the sake of the country. Sri Lanka is free from Ltte terrorism and will not get any inch of a land. All they(tamil diaspora) can do is day dreaming.

  • 18
    2

    There is no denying of the crimes of Jagath Jayasuriya (JJ), but Sarath Fonseka (SF) himself is a war-criminal. He is accusing JJ for his own personal gain and to deflect his accountability during the war. Even SFs ally the US as has continually denied him visas. The reason they deny him visas is because they want to avoid embarrassing civil lawsuits. This is why the Brazilian government tipped-off the GoSL regarding the lawsuit against JJ. I have heard horror stories about SF but Colombo Telegraph might not find it appropriate for me to state those without citing evidence. It is baffling to me that some here think SF magically had no idea about crimes committed by men under his command. Crime committed by the LTTE is not an excuse for others to commit crimes especially on LTTE cadres who surrendered. Civilian casualties are inevitable especially when you have 300,000 human shield crammed into a very tight space but again that is NOT AN EXCUSE to take unnecessary risks. Understand that even if the artillery crews had no intention of hitting civilians but were targeting nearby LTTE fortification in the “No-Fire-Zone” it will take just one stray large caliber shell to instantly kill dozens perhaps even hundreds of civilians in such a densely packed area. That “No-Fire-Zone” was a true hell on earth.

    • 1
      0

      Thanos,
      I don’t know who you are if we did what you say, we will be still fighting the war and more people would have died, I hope you are not a Human Rights vulture who is living on other peoples misery.
      Sunanda

  • 2
    9

    Why only they are chasing behind SriLankan Generals, how about Adele Blasingham who lives in London in a Mansion with LTTE money for recruiting and awarding cyanide capsule on child soldiers and killing people for LTTE. Isn’t it a war crime. Why the so called Human rights vulture’s funded by LTTE rump not chasing behind her .

    • 5
      0

      sunanda

      “Why only they are chasing behind SriLankan Generals, how about Adele Blasingham who lives in London in a Mansion with LTTE money”

      Its a good question. Why didn’t you put this question to Dr Mahinda and Dr Gota who were terrorising this island for about 10 years?

      By the way if you knew her address you should have passed it on to the president, Military unintelligent, Dr Gota, Somass Ji, ……………………………… Attorney General, …. .
      What are you waiting for?

      It seems you know where she resides (mansion) you should make a citizen arrest and drag her all the way to International Criminal Court as big mouth Sinhala/Buddhist smart ass patriots did when Cameron was in this island to attend commonwealth conference.

    • 4
      1

      Adele Blasingham is not in Sri Lanka. If she ever set foot in SL or even the USA or India she would be arrested immediately.

  • 2
    5

    This is trying to show that the Sri Lankan soldiers are terrorists and the LTTErs are respecters of UN Conventions. Nothing is said about the blood thirsty Tigers who massacred Buddhist monks,children and innocent civilians in cold blood. What action is the UNHCR taking against those Tiger leaders who are enjoying life in foreign climes after giving leadership to these heinous crimes?. If the Sri Lankan Army resorted to killing of Tamil civilians the deathtoll would have amounted to lakhs. Our valiant soldiers showed exceptional humanitarianism after the defeat of the Tigers which everyone saw through the media. No victor in any war has shown such humanitarianism towards the defeated adversaries.

    • 5
      2

      Off-course the LTTE were blood thirsty monsters. Only a few brainwashed overseas LTTE supporters think they are lovable heroes. They took over 300,000 of their own people they swore to protect as human shields, shot them, tortured them so that piece of sh!t called Prabhakaran and his family could escape. But that is not an excuse for the SL armed forces to commit hedious crimes. Only one side of the war was reported in the south. The MR regime very tightly controlled information and ensured foreign journalists were blocked. So the Sinhala viewers in the south only saw one side. The side of valiant heroes. But the truth is very different. Most of the surrendered LTTEers weren’t treated too badly as long as they were not senior members. About 15,000 were eventually released, but the ones who failed surrender were hunted down, captured brutally tortured, raped and executed. That channel 4 video showing blindfolded nude LTTEers being executed is one such incident. The estimate is during and postwar upto 10,000 LTTE carders who had not surrendered were hunted down and executed. Female cadres were at times raped by 20 – 30 solders. Some of those women had lost consciousness due to the brutality of the sexual assaults. Then there is case of the surrendered LTTE seniors. Unlike lower level combatants, several hundred senior LTTEers despite surrendering were tortured, raped and executed. Some one very high up in the MR regime gave the order to wipe-out all members of the Prabhakaran’s family. This why Balachandran who was initially treated well but the order came to execute him. So Mr. Don Anton, you can choose live in your little shell but the horrors of this war will not go away from the minds of people anytime soon.

      • 0
        4

        You write about LTTE’s savage as they are no more.

        What you write about our Army is total lies. You thought if you write against LTTE and write lies about our Army one will think you are against LTTE but talk truth about our Army.

        LTTE and their sympathizers have tried this type of tricks before too, but failed.

        The portion you wrote about our Army is good for a South Indian horror movie or next year’s Best Fiction title.

  • 4
    0

    Quite a number of comments are asking for proof of human rights violation by the army. If so, why not call for an inquiry with foreign participation and call for witnesses to testify. Enough witnesses including Sarath Fonseka who has volunteered to give evidence might spill the beans. Numerous women who are on the road asking for their sons and daughters to be returned to them will enlighten tho inquirers, the bad and the ugly. You cannot expect Srisena to accept human rights violation as he was the Defense Minister during the final stages of the war and he may be targeted next.
    The proof of the pudding is in the eating.

  • 5
    0

    Dear Champa
    “I could deny it if I liked. I could deny anything if I liked.”
    ― Oscar Wilde, (In “The Importance of Being Earnest”)
    Perhaps, truth hurts you.
    “The truth hurts but it doesn’t kill. Lies may please you , but they don’t heal”. Take Care. Good bye !

    • 0
      4

      Karikalan

      I ask for evidence not famous quotes. You failed to give. Show me the evidence without hiding behind Oscar Wilde. Good luck!

  • 4
    1

    Some of the comments are irrational and wide off the mark. Let us conduct the discussion with dignity and decorum without twisting facts, re-writing history and deny in toto that no war crimes were committed by the armed forces.

    (1) No other person than the Army Commander is accusing Jagath Jayasuriya of committing war crimes. As army commander in charge of the army he should know better.
    (2) The hundred or so LTTE cadres who surrendered to the arny on the evening of May 18, 2009 and taken away by the army in buses in the presenc of their spouses, friends and relatives were never sighted thereafter. Mrs Ananthy Sasikaran, spouse of Sasikaran (Elila), one time commander of LTTE forces in Trincomalee, is an eye witness to the surrender. She had filed a herbeas corpus application asking the government to produce her husband. It is now clear some one in Colombo gave instructions to the Vanni commander to kill the surendees. Who gave the orders and who carried out the orders. Fingers are pointed at Gotabhaya Rajapksa. One source say Lawrance Thilakkar one of the surrendee was placed in a cement crusher and crushed to death. Also Balakumar and his son seen in photographs seated in a bench inside an army camp. The army should tell the public where are they now? If not killed by the army did they commit suicide? What happned to their bodies?

  • 3
    0

    1/3 continued
    (3) “Starting around 230 BCE South Indian Tamils committed war crimes in Sri Lanka. Tamil armies ruthlessly wiped out entire Sinhala villages along their way to Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa the royal capitals of the past. These highly prosperous Sinhala Buddhist capitals were ransacked and plundered and the people subjected to untold atrocities” – Eagle Eye. Obviously Eagle Eye is blind and ignorant. It is the army of Duttu Gemunu, a Buddhist Naga, which defeated 32 Tamil chieftains on the way to Anuradhapura. It took 6 months to defeat the Tamil Chieftains.
    According to Mahavamsa those living north of Ganga River were Tamils. Kakavanna Tissa tells Dutugemunu not to wage war against the Tamils since the land this side of the Ganga is sufficed for them to rule. The war between Ellara and Gemunu was not a war between Tamils and Sinhalese. It was a war between Hindu Tamils + Hindu Nagas Vs Buddhist Tamils + Buddhist Nagas. Gemunu’s army commander was a Buddhist Tamil! There was no Sinhalese identity till the 8th century AD. The motive for the war by Gemunu against Ellara is to regain the Anuradhapura kingdom ruled by his forefathers from Muttu Sivan, Devanampiya Tissa downwards.
    (4) All those who committed war crimes and crimes against humanity should be prosecuted, that includes LTTE commanders who are still alive.
    (5) Dr.Varatharajah spoke about army bombing hospitals and schools. Not the other way. Why would LTTE bomb hospitals and schools? 2/3 continued

  • 4
    0

    3/3 continued
    No body is claiming all the commanders are guilty of war crimes. What is asked is to put them on trial for alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity based on available evidence. If they are innocent the court(s) will set them free.
    Twenty years ago, war crimes and crimes against humanity were confined to books and journals. Seldom tested in courts. But today, the world has changed as we saw the swift and strong reaction by countries against the government of Myanmar. De facto Head of State Aung San Suu Kyi has come under heavy criticism by world leaders. Her image as a symbol of peace has been dented over night.
    Finally, there will be no genuine reconciliation and communal peace as long as the Yahapalana government fails to implement UNHRC Resolution 30/1 of 2015 fully and faithfully. Failure to implement will end up in political isolation and economic ruination of Sri Lanka.

  • 1
    0

    Dear Veluppillai Thangavelu,

    Thanks for a very clear and rational article. It obviously expresses the viewpoint of many reasonable Tamils. We, Sinhalese, have to listen.

    Many comments from Champa. I have decided by now that he is one of the more decent Sinhala Nationalists. I don’t think that he is the stooge of any politician, but his arguments are set, and the task for those who want to get the Sinhalese and Tamil viewpoints to come closer is to counter the points he makes with REASON.

    How can there be forensic evidence if there has been no investigation? The fear among the Sinhalese may be that many military personnel who contributed to finishing off the War by “liquidating the LTTE in May 2009” will be actually punished for other crimes committed by them. This is unlikely, but a different matter.

    If the investigations are to have credibility the can’t start from an a priori point of view that our military NEVER committed any crimes. We have to re-build a United and Peaceful Sri Lanka. Both sides must co-operate to bring about reconcilliation.

  • 1
    2

    It is an undeniable fact that some soldiers had murdered Tamils. The victims have been both innocent Tamils and Tigers. The question is how do we prove who did what, and what were the circumstances in which these murders happened. (A thing to note is that killing a surrendered Tiger is also murder so there’s no explaining away this with “they were terrorists”).
     
    Were they provoked and acted or did they have to defend themselves and people died in the crossfire or did they go on killing sprees or in which of the many scenarios that can happen in a war scenario happened which caused death of each individual?
     
    Upto now the Tamils have been just throwing accusations in all possible directions with most unbelievable stories and numbers while the govts have been trying to explain away these accusations.
     
    We have been shown several mobile phone videos where there are clear pictures. Because some dates on the videos do not tally and other reasons which had been pointed out by the previous govt there is a question about their authenticity. Without just coming out with excuses, if the govt really wants to find out the truth, a good starting point would be taking good frames from the videos and showing them in the news for a few days or weeks and try to identify who the soldiers are. Also publish these pictures in the newspapers and whatever media they can and try to identify these soldiers.
     
    If even one soldier is identified then questioning him would help identify others and who gave the command for that particular action and investigations on what really happened on that occasion can start.
     
    Continued below

  • 2
    2

    Continued from above
     
    From the Tamil side, without throwing exaggerated accusation and unbelievable numbers varying from “40-300 thousand killed in the last phase of the war” they should come up with a victim list, where they specify the name, NIC number, place and date of birth and death etc. So that whichever way the investigations are going go, the fact that a crime has happened cannot be denied.
     
    It is also very evident that certain Tamil politicians and Tamil asylum diaspora groups are not concerned about justice be done to the victims, they want the soldiers convicted war crimes, and they are exaggerating the numbers to get a conviction on genocide and crimes against humanity too. The term “war crime” is the main term they are interested, and then getting from there to genocide and crimes against humanity is the next step. All these terms are extremely important to them in their propaganda against the Sinhalese people, since that will help them solidify their victimhood, which has become part of the Tamil identity itself and the existence of the Tamil asylum diaspora as a legitimate persecuted group in the west and not just economic refugees is sought justified.
     
    Regardless of the Tamil propaganda the govt should now act and take steps to find out the truth and punish anybody who had done wrong to helpless people trapped inside the war zone.
     
    International judges and hybrid courts should only be allowed if these courts are going to operate under normal practices of open public courts and witnesses, and not hidden secret victims who are not named with anonymous secret witnesses. That would be totally unjust to Sri Lanka, and the ultimate target of all Tamil accusations, namely the Sinhalese.

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