19 September, 2020

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Sirisena’s Govt Must Deal With The Legacy Of The Past: New York Times

Today’s New York Times editorial has stressed on the importance of the UN remaining involved with the Sri Lankan government concerning the alleged abuses that occurred during the final phases of the war, in the wake of reports emerging of a possible postponement of tabling the OISL report.

Maithri SThe Editorial board while commending the steps taken by the Sirisena administration to aid in the reconciliation process to which includes its pledge to free hundreds of detained ethnic Tamils, restoration of Tamil owners’ land seized by the military for commercial development projects, the appointment of a new civilian governor for the North and lifting the ban on foreigners to travel to conflict affected areas, has pointed out that nevertheless Sirisena government must deal with the legacy of the past.

It has gone on to emphasize that any delay in the release of the UN report must be brief and that the UN must remain involved.

“This is not to rebuke Mr. Sirisena’s welcome intentions but its simply the best way to guarantee that the inquiry is swift, independent, that witnesses are protected and that perpetrators are finally punished,” the editorial states.

Full text of the Editorial;

It was just one month ago that Sri Lanka surprised the world by electing opposition candidate Maithripala Sirisena as president, rejecting the authoritarianism, corruption and dynastic politics of the administration of the incumbent, Mahinda Rajapaksa. President Sirisena has moved swiftly to usher in a new chapter of hope for Sri Lanka.

So as not to reopen old wounds too soon, his government is now seeking a delay in the release of a report that is scheduled to be presented next month on a United Nations inquiry into war crimes and other human rights abuses committed during Sri Lanka’s civil war that ended in 2009. The government is also lobbying for support from the United States and the United Nations for a proposed domestic tribunal on abuses. The United Nations says as many as 40,000 Tamil civilians may have been killed during the last months of the war. Mr. Rajapaksa had flatly refused to cooperate with the United Nations inquiry.

Mr. Sirisena’s government has taken other positive steps to begin the healing process. It has pledged to free hundreds of detained ethnic Tamils and to restore to Tamil owners land seized by the military for commercial development projects. It has also appointed a new civilian governor for the ethnic Tamil-populated Northern Province and lifted a travel ban on foreigners to the area.

Mr. Rajapaksa and his brother Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who, as defense secretary, oversaw some of the worst abuses during the civil war, are still national political forces. One of the new government’s concerns is the outcome of upcoming parliamentary elections.

However noble its motives, the Sirisena government must deal with the legacy of the past. Any delay in the release of the United Nations report must be brief. And the United Nations must remain involved. This is not a rebuke to Mr. Sirisena’s welcome intentions. It is simply the best way to guarantee that the inquiry is swift and independent, that witnesses are adequately protected and that perpetrators are finally punished.

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Latest comments

  • 8
    3

    MS and Ranil could go down in history as the politicians who brought North and South together.

    • 5
      2

      Both of them are high sacrifiers… MS jumped on the fast moving train to be the common candidate risking everything – all or not while Ranil W irrespective of the others criticisms, generously allow common candidate to be from SLFP, backing MS for the Mahathama style achievement.
      Today, they both still stay more human than radicals going against the rivals. pEOPLE though want high profile abusers to be brougth before court – current rulers see it with a human face. As a result now TATHTHANAYAKa is released on bail.

    • 1
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      read Thiru’s comment below and then come to reality

    • 1
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      New York Times

      Yes. There is a good chance and good chance to be heroes.

      They could be compared to Abe Lincoln and George Washington pf Sri Lanka.

      ” the reconciliation process to which includes its pledge to free hundreds of detained ethnic Tamils, restoration of Tamil owners’ land seized by the military for commercial development projects, .. “

      What about the Muslims and Sinhala who were chased away by the Tamils and taken over their lands and properties?

      What about the Stolen Gold?

      What about the war crimes committed by LTTE and their goons?

      Why are these except?

      Double standards? Why, Why and Why?

      Because Sri Lanka follows a policy of Double standards with respect to it’s citizens?

  • 6
    4

    Sirisena himself, as acting defense minister, during the final genocidal assault on Tamils in 2009 is culpable.

    How can he institute a fair investigation into war atrocities when he is implicated?

    It will turn out to be a mockery like all Sri Lankan investigations before.

    • 0
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      The New York Times fails to mention this. Beware of foregin media they will highlight what they want and hide what they do not want

  • 5
    2

    Only A MAdman will or should take the NY Times seriously. The same NY Times just last year Justified Israel War on Gaza. Where 70% of the casulaities were children and United nations Buildings amd shelters were bombed. The NY Times called it legitimate targets.. Where thay said collective punishment is the Right of Israel. That Same NY Times then condemed the ICC and UNHCR who wanted to Investigate the war and Bring Justice said it will be bias towards Israel. And Giving cover to Mass eviction and occupation of Palestine lands where Desmond Tu Tu said it was worse Aparthid tah SA. But lets nor forget the USA Industrial torture. Clearkly violated Human rights. The same NY Times gave platform to the perpetrators of the Torture programme to defend their crimes. And As Journalist didnt call for Justice buy posed it as a Question ‘Does Torture work???’ and later said these were in the past administration now we need to look foward. And they have the Nerve to say this to Sri Lanka. where at least steps have been taken to address matters. IT MUST BE EARLY APRIL FOOLS

    • 8
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      One more item of omission: NYT was silent when Obama exonerated American war criminals (US soldiers)who slaughtered scores of innocent civilians in Iraq/Afghanistan. Would NYT pursue ex president Bush for killing over a million Iraqis under prestence of possession of wmds? Hypocrites! Rajapakses had a legitimate case to end Tamil terrorism on Sri Lankan soil, whereas Bush killed for oil and nothing else.

  • 3
    2

    I read what Ruwan has said with great
    interest. He has made some valid
    arguments. The jewish lobby is so
    powerful and the New York Times is
    very much their voice.

    However, take the chaff away from the
    wheat. Take a good look – is there anything
    wrong in what the NYT has said in this
    instance?

    What they have said about Sri Lanka including
    the fact that MR and Gotabaya oversaw the abuse
    of law is no secret. Now, a big voice in the
    media is repeating it.

    • 3
      1

      Michael Peiris. As compared to the USA leaders who Invaded Iraq ON PURE LIES helped by NY Times where Oceans of civilian Blood is spilt. Where Iraq Frozen assets worth Billions of USD lost during USA administration of Iraq, IRAQ today is a Broken Nation, And Today Libya, used to Africa 2nd richest country, broken where Civilians die every day, and islamist terrorist fighting to take that nation over, when South Africa warned this would happen if the USA went Guns all blazing. Cases argued by the NY Times for war. Yes today those same USA criminals had with blood and ll writing for NY times and started Human Rights Orgs. You could not make it up. Have you seen the USA torture programme over 10 years, how many have been prosecuted even under USA law let alone INT law????

  • 1
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    I do not understand what the hurry about war criminal invstigations in Sri Lanka. For god`s sake give the President of SriLanka a chance to settle down and perform his responsbilities in due course. Why is it that small countries like SriLanka are hounded and bullied.Take the Chilcot inquirey in to the Iraq War.It is six years since the proceedings started.Read the Ron Liddle Article in the London Sunday Times for the present position of the Proceedings.The SriLankan investigation should be over the total period of 30 years of the war to ascertain true facts.

  • 0
    1

    If some one have blood on their hand doesn’t mean you can have blood as well. The debate is about the Tamil blood (apart from JVP blood) on SLG hand. Do we care about some country very far away from us, just take the fact in that article. The question is do you have blood on your hand and what you are going to do about it. This lunatic MR is preparing to sacrifice animals to capture power again – how lunatic he is. Buddhist monks are opposing sacrifice in Hindu temples and halal, what they are going to do to Buddhist MR.

  • 1
    1

    The NewYork Times should be patient and give President Sirisena time to settle down and look into all the complaints being levelled at him for the pace at which things are taking place in SriLanka.The former president Mahinda Rajapakse is still a potent opponent in SriLankan politics wherw he has been in absolute power for about ten years.The win over the LTTE was conducted against stiff resistance from Western Countries which had a diaspora votes that could affect their local politics.
    The inquiry should look in to a longer period of the 30 year civil war and not the last few days.The Chilcot inquirey in the UK has gone on for about six years and we are none the wiser.Please read Ron Liddle in the London Times of this Sunday.

  • 1
    0

    New York Times is not the paragon of virtue. It is governed by practical considerations and is therefore tilted towards expressing views of certain parties only. If these parties expect Prez Sirisena to work beyond his capacity then they are unreasonable and unrealistic. I think as the NY Times very rightly pointed, quite a lot has been done within a span of one month.

    GIVE SOME BREATHING SPACE TO PREZ SIRISENA TO JUSTICE TO THE VICTIMS OF INJUSTICE.

  • 0
    0

    As Michael Peiris states, whatever we may feel about the messenger, there is a past that warrants investigation and ensuring the law takes its due course. Too often, as can be seen from many of the comments above, the classic defence is to question the credibility of the accuser, in this case NYT. This was a tactic frequently used by the previous regime that did not win us many friends here or abroad. Handing back seized property, appointing a civilian Governor, reducing the presence of the Army in Jaffna etc, will only achieve so much, and although a proper investigation is sadly not part of the 100 day plan, should be commenced soon if we are serious about reconciliation with justice. Indeed can there be reconciliation without justice? Some charges may be baseless, but GOSL has a duty to investigate, if not what difference is there between an elected Government and the LTTE? Patience is perhaps running thin for aggrieved Tamil who have waited more than 5 years since the end of the war and lived on broken promises. MS should take the initiative in this regard and act proactively rather than having his arm twisted, like his predecessor as in the British Khuram Shaik Murder case.

    • 0
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      @Muthubanda.. Its the TRUTH.. UNLIKE YOU when we talk about justice and accountability we want it for every nation on EARTH.. cant pick and choose like the NY Times. And the Biggets is the USA.. Now if you read the NY Times you will never find this out. But the USA used SRi Lanka soil as a Black Site to torture prisoners. WHich violated INT Human rights law. Yet i doubt NY Times will support that campaign to bring the USA accountable for those crimes.. WHY the USA will in a heart beat say National security and go after the said journalist. These are REALITY and FACTS.

  • 2
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    I have a suggestion. To hell with the UN investigations and all that flows from that.

    Show the world that Sri Lanka is a law abiding nation. If previous rulers were in fact criminals, the present government will bring them justice.

    So, Maithripala should demonstrate this.

    He must investigation the allegations against Mara Gora Bara, the armed forces, the businessmen, cronies, and others who were engaged in atrocities.

    He must punish them – within the principles of Maithriya. This is what the Sri Lanka electorate expect of him.

    This will also close the “international” file.

    If Maithri does not have the balls, then I suggest he grow a pair. We have no choice.

    • 1
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      Navin and what about the LTTE Int Groups that Financed terrorism for 30 years, what about the Indians who Trained and Armed the Terrorist. And Because of the LTTE int Emigres the LTTE ground forces did not want peace. Thats why they Broke away from no more than 6 peace accords for war. CBK and Premadasa virtually gave to all their demands, and look what happend, and Antons wife she has blood on her hands for the death of My Gandhi and Premadasa also training tamil children in combat training. Today she is a HUMAN rIGHTS activitist. Asking for Justice. Imagine that. You could not make it up.

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