19 September, 2020

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Sri Lanka: Questions From The Killing Fields

By The Guardian Editorial –

Alan Rusbridger - The Editor, the Guardian

After the showing of the documentary No Fire Zone in the Palais des Nations in Geneva yesterday, the Sri Lankan ambassador denounced it and criticised the UN human rights council for permitting the event to take place in a United Nations building. His speech was received in complete silence by a gathering which included a number of diplomats who are in Geneva to take part in the current session of the council, which is due to discuss Sri Lanka’s human rights record. That silence, Sri Lanka’s critics would say, was an eloquent one.

It certainly confirms at the very least that Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa‘s contention that no significant war crimes were committed by the government side toward the end of the civil war in 2009 is widely doubted. The film, the third from Channel 4 to focus on alleged atrocities and illegal killings during the final weeks of the conflict, will be shown here later this year. TV documentaries do not constitute absolute proof, but they do raise questions that need answering, as do reports by such organisations as Amnesty International and the International Crisis Group, and from within the UN system itself.

So far, the answers have been less than convincing. Thousands died in attacks which apparently failed to discriminate between combatants and civilians. Others, unless the documentary footage is dismissed as entirely fraudulent, were executed, including children. Yet the International Crisis Group charges that “no credible investigations into allegations of war crimes, disappearances or other serious human rights violations” have been conducted.

It is not only the conduct of the war that is at issue. The conduct of the peace that has followed the end of the conflict is just as problematic. Instead of devolving power, the Sri Lankan government has relentlessly centralised. It has dropped restrictions on presidential terms and recently rid itself of a chief justice who had upheld provincial rights. Instead of demilitarising the north, the army is still dominant there. And instead of accepting criticism and dissent, it has suppressed both. The conclusion must be that it is a nonsense to hand the country starry international roles, such as the hosting of the Commonwealth heads of government meeting later this year.

A much tougher resolution on Sri Lanka should come out of the UN human rights council‘s session in the next few weeks, and that should be followed by a readiness among Commonwealth states to reconsider the Colombo venue. The Sri Lankan government has been masterly in defusing criticism by promising action but then failing to deliver. It should not be allowed to get away with it any longer.

Friday 1 March 2013

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Latest comments

  • 0
    0

    The REAL Killing Fields: military warfare is over. Psychological warfare by the army of occupation is going on very well:

    http://www.tamilguardian.com/article.asp?articleid=7173

    Casualty: Tamils becoming zero.

    • 0
      0

      contd
      Anthropologists in 80s and 90s said that Sri lanka is a case of internal colonialism. They have more to learn:
      [Edited out]
      @Eureka, please write your opinion instead of posting web links – CT

  • 0
    0

    The question is: why US and Euorope, in primis UK, are not pushing harder on Sri Lanka? A recent editorial from the Independent revealed the fact that Sri Lanka is a very good client of British weapons. It may worth to note that Cairn (then Vedanta) which are exploring the Mannar Basin (1 billion barrels according to the Sri Lankan govenrment) are listed in London. France also showed interest with Total, and few months ago cooperated in the extra-judicial killing of Parithi, a former LTTE leader in Paris. Oh yes, Cairn and Vedanta are Indian companies. Does it all make more sense?

    • 0
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      UNHRC will keep passing feeble resolutions that don’t mean anything to the oppressed but will keep geopolitical games going.

  • 0
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    The newspapers were crowing that RA had intervened and blown the lid of the film. This editorial by the Guardian confirms that this was not the case. In fact the outburst by RA only served to harden the view that the SL govt was all about denial not justice. The diplomacy of lies and denial is not working because it has been used too often.

  • 0
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    The Sinhala man has a an embedded notion that the white-man can
    always be cheated. Impunity reigns with the Regime and all Diplo-mutts
    are compelled to follow this line.

    The next US Resolution is only going to find more space to fulfill the
    hidden agenda of MR and his cabal – the total wipe-out of any and all Tamil issues! Tamil Nadu can make all the noise but will be like pouring
    water on a ducks-back.

  • 0
    0

    Is the UN takenover by the HRW and the AI…………..?????

    Such action only served to harden the view of a majority in Sri Lanka and this is the iorny of all this..

    • 0
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      dicky Bird

      “Is the UN takenover by the HRW and the AI…………..?????”

      Unacceptable.

      Do you think MR clans should be allowed to take over, UN, AI, HRW…..IMF, WB,… and other?

      That would be good idea.

  • 0
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    I have no issue with the so-called “International Community” (a lousy bunch of hypocrites, no doubt) challenging Sri Lanka’s conduct of both the war and the peace.

    However, this attack on SL sounds hollow when mass murderers from Israel, USA and UK are still running free. If these villains are also called to account with the same vigour (supported by alleged media videos)it would make sense.

    George Bush, Dick Cheyney, Donald Rumsfeld and Tony Blair (the real Axis of Evil) should be in the Hague charged with crimes against humanity.

    Ironically Bush rewarded Blair for his blind and criminal support of the Iraqi war by creating for him a job farcically described as Special Middle Eastern Peace Envoy, after he lost the UK premiership. The Arabs reportedly pay him over a million pounds per year (some say three million)plus perks for his non-productive services!

    This reminds me of an internet joke doing the rounds that after one of his money-spinning lecture tours Blair was recently conferred the grand title of “Walking Eagle” by an US Red Indian Tribe.

    When the Indian Chief was asked why Blair was given such a title, he replied that this apellation is given when an eagle is full of crap and unable to fly!

    Navi Pillay may soon get a similar award from the Veddah Chief in Sri Lanka, probably “Walking Crow”!!

    • 0
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      MNZ, yes they are all culpable. However none of them killed their own people in the 21 st century, except the MR regime in Sri Lanka and before that the Serbian cabal.

  • 0
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    Why was MR so keen on having the CHOGM in SL? It was to proclaim to the world that all the countries of the CW cannot be wrong in rejecting the carnage stories and accepting the innocence behind the humanitarian offensive. The world’s first in winning the war with zero casualties needed recognition with the prestige of hosting a miserable conference. Mugabe too hosted so why can’t MR win easy world acclaim.

    More importantly CW certification is handy to rubbish any and every accusation by UN and it’s agencies. If CHOGM is held in SL MR will congratulate himself that he has pulled wool over the eyes of several countries with admirable success. He will stand fortified for many more gruesome exploits.

  • 0
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    Alan

    You are parroting the exact same spurious allegations, and ludicrous actions urged, by LTTE backers word to word. I’m smelling a rat. Next time at least try to make it sound a bit more solemn and use a thesaurus.

    • 0
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      Ajay

      “I’m smelling a rat”

      The rat is in your head, a demon perhaps.

      • 0
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        The dingbat strikes again!

        • 0
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          Ajay

          “dingbat”

          is an interesting word. I have never heard this word before thanks for introducing it to me.

          As I am hooked to this bad-ass word, I would like to know about its etymology.

          Earlier I thought you need a check up from the neck up, not anymore as you are a pukka b4k4.

          • 0
            0

            The dingbat strikes again 2!

          • 0
            0

            The dingbat strikes again-2 !

            • 0
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              Ajay

              “Earlier I thought you need a check up from the neck up, not anymore as you are a pukka b4k4.”

              Once again you have confirmed it thanks.

  • 0
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    As a youngster I used to read the Guardian when I was in UK, now this paper has lost its soul..

    Alan, it will be nice e to read how British colonials brought these cheap and I would say nasty labour to SL from India , by breaking all the SL’s immigration law but being a Buddhist country they have given some to stay as locals but those colonial parasites called tamil vellah’s still propagating their racism and you need to ask why?

    People in SL does not gibe a f… what colonials think since these same colonial morons are now in a dire straight due to lack of wealth in their countries and now coming back to asia to plunder using human rights… This is a laughable act and now people in asia is much wiser and would not tolerate this rubbish.
    Solution is take these 5th columns out with out due process since they have abdicated their rights using terror tactics.

    • 0
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      Watcher

      “As a youngster I used to read the Guardian when I was in UK, now this paper has lost its soul..”

      Please tell me what did you read in Guardian and what do you mean by its soul. I never knew Guardian was a newspaper.

      Since I live in the deep, deep, deep jungle I am not fortunate as you are to have access to such papers. My elders tell me Guardian is one of the least biased news papers.

      Please educate me on the changes that you think Guardian has made in its reporting.

    • 0
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      Watcher,
      You read the guardian as a youngster. But it shows that even in your maturity you have not learnt much. Your knowledge of Sri Lankan history seems so spurious and shallow. Tamils were here well before the singhala language ever came in to being and well before Buddhism was introduced from India.
      Please learn your history from a standard recognised text and not from Srilankan tourist board brochures.

      • 0
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        Mahen, stop peddling lies, read the history first re. Sinhalese civilisation and lack of tamil civilisation any where in the island.

        You may be hallucinating about tamil civilisation is Sri Lanka and last time , I have seen the same hallucinating that cost megalomaniac and his ilk lead shower all over the body..

        Stop taking innocent tamils to their grave.

        • 0
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          Watcher

          Could I have working definition for Sinhalese civilisation and tamil civilisation?

          “Stop taking innocent tamils to their grave.”

          Are you addressing VP and MR simultaneously?

          Why does your Sinhalese start with capital letter and Tamils start with lower key? Is it because Tamils are inferior to Sinhalese? If so can you state your reasons?

  • 0
    0

    The changing of the Venue of CHOGM, MIGHT bring the CURRENT Government of Sri Lanka to its senses. Unless they prefer to dismiss it as yet
    another ‘International Conspiracy’

  • 0
    0

    The UK Guardian is renowned for its hypocritical humbug, and this editorial is a very good example!

    • 0
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      Candidly

      “The UK Guardian is renowned for its hypocritical humbug, and this editorial is a very good example!”

      Could you sight any other Guardian hypocrisy which I think might help me with my Media studies in the future.

  • 0
    0

    The “doctoredmentary No Fire Zone” is too skillfully doctored to be believed. Now the story centers around the so-called 12-year old son of deceased Velupillai Prabhakaran. Has so far anyone identified the boy in the photograph in question as that of the son of that megalomaniac, Prabhakaran? So far not. Mahinda Rajapaksha’s government is too slow to counter these allegations with credible evidence. MR’s government is replete with men and women of mediocrity and has sunk to the lowest ebb of corruption. With such people being in the hierachy of the governmental system this government has no alternative but to march towards ruination. The only remedy is the change of the regime.

  • 0
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    AR, you say the speech of the SL ambassador was received in complete silence. Did you mean to say it was so effective, there was pin drop silence as he delivered it?

  • 0
    0

    In America,(and some other countries)… you are innocent until proven guilty. that’s after a very fair trial,evidence,witnesses,material proof dna,blah, blah.
    In France,(and some countries) you are guilty until proven innocent.(how you prove that is your business).
    In this era where high tech methods can make the truth the untruth and vice versa, it would suffice to substantiate accusations with credible proof.( a couple of experts for a few dollars more will give you better shit than this(.

    Where are the surviving guilty of the LTTE, and why not are they there for a fair inquiry for their crime and misdeeds.
    In a battle field, you can’t engage an enemy reading rules of war. kill him and then perhaps sermonise over his dead body.
    I wish you were here to witness when the bombs were blowing of the life and limbs of innocent citizens of sri lanka and see what real pain was.
    Remember, the coin was minted with two faces,lest you judge its value by one face.

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