22 September, 2020

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Sri Lanka’s “War Criminal” Promoted By Cuba’s Prensa Latina

By Ron Ridenour

Ron Ridenour

Ron Ridenour

“Sri Lanka is fully able to undertake the tasks set out by the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) and to guarantee the rights of its citizens”, Foreign Minister G. L. Peiris told Prensa Latina in an interview by Alberto Salazar, published by Prensa Latina December 26 this year.

The LLRC is a commission appointed by the Sinhalese Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa to look into any possible wrong doing that government forces are accused of having committed in the last months of the civil war between it and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.

Tamil Eelam is an idea for a sovereign state desired by the vast majority of the Tamil minority. Critics of the Sinhalese government, which includes most Tamils in and out of Sri Lanka, view the LLRC as a white wash of government war crimes, and the seizure of Tamil lands, homes and businesses.

Upwards to 100,000 Tamils were killed in this civil war; some 40,000 in its final few weeks. There are as many dead, disappeared and in exile as the two million remaining in Sri Lanka.

The Cuban international news agency does not state why it interviewed the spokesman for the Sri Lankan government accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity by United Nations high authorities and its special panel of experts, in 2010, as well as by international human rights organizations, including the Bertrand Russell and John Paul Sartre created Peoples Permanent Tribunal.

PL simply lets the Sinhalese spokesperson speak unchallenged. PL did comment that the last two UN Human Rights Council resolutions have called upon Sri Lanka to speed up reconciliation with Tamils, but downplayed its significance by stating that only Western countries (that is, capitalist giants US-EU) sought an international independent investigation.

Firstly, that is not true. The Western countries only ask Sri Lanka to comply with its own LLRC commission’s request for slight reforms that would not allow equality and redemption for Tamils. Secondly, a majority of Latin American and other “third world” governments voted for the slightly critical UN resolution alongside Western governments.

From the beginning of Sri Lankan independence from Britain, in 1947, and for 30 years the Tamil people struggled peacefully to obtain equal rights with the majority Sinhalese, asking simply that their language and religions be recognized on an equal plane, that they be allowed to obtain education and jobs equally with Sinhalese.

They were met with legalized discrimination and murderous pogroms. Some Tamil youth took up arms, in the late 1970s, and a civil war ensued for three decades until the Tamil forces were defeated in May 2009. One of the long term and key war suppliers for Sri Lanka’s military is Israel, as is the US, UK, India, and more recently China, Iran, and Pakistan.

At the time of Tamils’ defeat, Cuba led the majority members on the Human Rights Council in praising Sinhalese Sri Lanka for its “humanitarian” efforts and for defeating “terrorism and separatism”. It made no mention of war crimes and continuous human rights abuses committed by Sri Lanka governments and its military forces over decades, the internment of hundreds of thousands of civilian Tamils, routine rape, disappearances, torture, murder   and mutilations of Tamils, the seizure of their homes, businesses, and temples in their traditional homeland, which continues to this day.
See more here )

The Peoples Permanent Tribunal found Sri Lanka guilty of crimes against humanity and war crimes, in 2010, and is currently investigating assertions by Tamils that they are subject to genocide. The United Nations expert panel on the matter found grounds for an independent international court investigation into these assertions. Sri Lanka rejects all these initiatives and is supported by the Cuban government, once the vanguard of internationalism.

As Tamils in exile were gathering forces in 2009-10, they were surprised and disconcerted that Cuba and other new progressive governments in Latin America sided with Sri Lanka at the May 2009 sessions of the Human Rights Council. Not only did these leftist governments take sides against the guerrilla movement but also against the Tamil population’s survival interests.

“Tamils always looked upon Fidel and Che as heroes,” Visuvanathan Rudrakumaran told me. “Our people are shocked by Cuba’s position since May 2009. Perhaps it is due to poor communication. We want to send a delegation to Cuba, to Venezuela and other ALBA [Bolivarian Alliance of the Peoples of Latin America] governments to explain our position and to engage in dialogue.”

Rudrakumaran is Prime Minister of the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE), and a prominent activist in the Diaspora. ( See more here)

“Those who are exploited are our compatriots all over the world; and the exploiters all over the world are our enemies.” Fidel Castro told Lee Lockwood in “Castro’s Cuba, Cuba’s Fidel”. (See more here )

*Ron Ridenour worked for eight years in Cuba for Prensa Latina and the Editorial Jose Marti publishers.  The journalist and author has published six books on Cuba and one on the Tamils “Tamil Nation in Sri Lanka” as well as several others. He lives in Denmark. See his website at www.ronridenour.com 

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Latest comments

  • 15
    6

    The Tamil diaspora should independently “engage” Cuba and other countries opposing an UNHRC resolution. They should especially talk about the illegal impeachment and victimization of the first woman Chief Justice of Sri Lanka.

    GL and Jarapassa have said that SL has institutions and processes, but the fact is that all DEMOCRATIC INSTITUTIONS AND PROCESSES have been DESTROYED by Jarapassa and his cronies – from the corrupt and criminal and LYING Mohan Peris in the Judiciary and Nivard Cabraal at the Central Bank that produces blatant lies as statistics..

    • 4
      2

      Don’t worry tamil group will meet castros very very soon….that’s it.

      • 2
        3

        And lick their boots? Getting a bit tired of licking the ‘European’ boots huh?

        • 4
          1

          Lynx

          “And lick their boots?”

          It is Dayan’s job.

          J.Muthu is organising the masses for a island wide uprising. If he is successful you may have to start licking his boots. Prepare yourself for all unexpected eventualities.

  • 12
    6

    Rather than only speaking to western countries Tamil diaspora groups would be good to expose the Rajapakse regime’s DOUBLE SPEAK.

    Rajapakse talks like a leftist radical but really is a capitalist, money mad military dictator. He also runs behind the white people and was desperate to host CHOGM circus to boost his image also with Colombo NIGHT CAR RACES! Rajapakse’s lies and two faced dictatorship should be exposed to Latin American and African countries who have only heard Dayan Jayatilleka and Tamara Kunanayagam’s white wash stories of the Rajapakse regime.
    Time for the diaspora to focus on the global south and undo the tdamage don by Dayan Jayatilleke and Tamara K!

    • 4
      2

      Hey Dinuk, just had a brainwave – Tamil Diaspora should hire Dayan J to speak to Cuba and others!

      Dayan needs a job and loves the high life as AMBASSADOR at large – so best bet is to ask him to go tell the truth this time about Jarapassa regime and its HR violations and war crimes – to the Latin Americans and African dictators like Museveni and Uhuru Kenyatta who Rajapakse has been cultivating..!

      • 2
        2

        Dude is right. After all, MR has recently confirmed that Dayan would prostitute his abilities/virtues if the price is right. He can’t be too expensive right now, given the booting he has got from the regime – and apparently earning his bread and butter from just the sporadic nonsensical TV interviews.

      • 0
        1

        What is his salary Dude? We may arrange for it? Dayan are you ready buddy?

  • 5
    3

    Thank you Ron for the article and to be with the oppressed.

    ““Tamils always looked upon Fidel and Che as heroes,” Visuvanathan Rudrakumaran told me. “Our people are shocked by Cuba’s position since May 2009. Perhaps it is due to poor communication. We want to send a delegation to Cuba, to Venezuela and other ALBA [Bolivarian Alliance of the Peoples of Latin America] governments to explain our position and to engage in dialogue.”

    You also should go with the delegation and it should happen soon.

  • 5
    3

    1.Thank you, Ron, for your continuing efforts to highlight the plight of Tamils in our country.

    2.”Sri Lanka is fully able to undertake the tasks set out by the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) and to guarantee the rights of its citizens”? Starting from when, dear Minister Peiris?

  • 3
    10

    Ron the idiota!

    EELAM is not the product of the Tamils of Sri Lanka. It was created in UK when Thatchar was the PM. That was used to create a “East Timor’ under the Catholic morons. That is why the Catholic church publicly involved in bank robberies and murders.

    Now the creators of Eelam are barking because of their mission failed.

  • 0
    8

    Good!

    Anyone who is a war criminal for Tamils is a war hero for SL.

  • 1
    7

    War crimes for Tamils are war chime for SL!

  • 5
    1

    It is distressing that the Cubans do not see the parallels. Has the revolution died ?

    http://groundviews.org/2012/12/20/echoes-of-cuba/

  • 3
    3

    It is Cubans,Russians,Iranians and Pakistanis who will be defending the murderous leaders of SriLanka. Birds of a feather flock together. The Human Right Council will understand the conivance.

  • 4
    3

    The late veteran journalist Ajith Samarasinghe once said fduring a journalism lecture one should take a stand. Ron Ridenour is among those rare jouralilsts that once he establishes the truth he stands by it. Also he is a seasoned journalist and he knows exactly what he is talking about.

    • 3
      2

      He knows what he is talking about? His story holds about as much ‘water’ as a bottomless bucket. He uses the same half-truths used by the human rights tools of the USA to prop up his writings.

      The Cubans are no fools and can see the hand of the USA in trying to destabilize a small country.

      • 4
        0

        Lynx

        “The Cubans are no fools and can see the hand of the USA in trying to destabilize a small country.”

        Of course Cubans are no fools otherwise they would have launched futile war to recover their land Guantanamo Bay where United States has its Naval Station.

        They too don’t want USA to destabilise their tiny island. Cubans may have ideals but they are pragmatic too.

  • 1
    1

    Apologies. Ajith Samaranayake

    • 0
      0

      Ajith Samaranayake, father Lawyer and grand father Gampaha Wedamahattaya. Great SLFP supporters who bum sucked CBK when she was President but never saw the villainy she committed. Pearl no wonder your anti- Ranil stand.

  • 2
    1

    I thank the voices of support. It is also good to see that several commentators do want a Tamil delegation to visit Cuba (and, I hope, other ALBA governments)and have talks. I have been pushing that approach since my trip (fall-winter 2011)to Tamil Nadu and other areas in India. I know that TGTE is favorable to that idea. The problem is, of course, financing such a trip and getting Cuban government officials to receive such a delegaton. I would be glad to be with such a delegation, although the government may no longer be as kindly disposed to me as it once was before May 2009.

  • 1
    2

    Ron ridenour:

    You don’t seem like a person who has Journalistic Ethics.

    You look like just another who writes any crap for money.

    FYI, LLRC what Tamils wanted. So, they got appointed all the PRO_LTTE people into the top.

    • 2
      0

      LLRC is a whitewash, it has not legitimacy because the very entity that is accused of war crimes is the one that created the LLRC. GOSL is not going to incriminate itself so LLRC is like the fox leading the investigation into who raided the chicken coop.

  • 1
    2

    RON RIDENOUR:

    You idiot:

    Understand that 84% of Sri Lankans wanted your – so-called War Criminals to be War Criminals.

    Just play the game and see what the out come will be.

    Only thing is you will feed your family with this blood money (wink, if you have one).

    • 1
      1

      You Sinhala Supremacists want a Sinhala only Sri lanka and can’t stand it that there are non Sinhalese still left in SL. You aren’t going to get your ethnically pure Sinhala only SL any time soon.

  • 1
    1

    Tamil diaspora should think seriously and act fast instead of griping over who should be top-hat if we are to take this golden opportunity at the March UNHRC sessions. The West has for once taken kindly to our situation and spending considerable sums of money to prepare for UNHRC. Let us not thwart this.

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