27 May, 2018

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The Suicide Act 1961

By Arujuna Sivananthan

Dr Arujuna Sivananthan

Dr Arujuna Sivananthan

Many of us who worked hard to shine the spotlight on Sri Lanka that includes;

  •  Convincing the first head of a foreign government to visit Jaffna,
  •  Keeping it on the international agenda,
  • Working to secure an unprecedented resolution setting up an independent international (OISL) inquiry into war crimes, crimes against humanity and mass atrocities committed by all parties to the conflict,
  •  Helping build a consensus to pressure Sri Lanka to co-sponsor a resolution accepting the findings of the OISL inquiry, and,
  •  Through significant remittances sustain the Northeastern economy of Sri Lanka, supporting families and charities such as schools, hospitals, orphanages and local NGOs to create work-life opportunities for war victims,

were appalled and shocked by pages 66 and 67 of former BBC reporter Frances Harrison’s book on Sri Lanka’s civil war, Still Counting the Dead: Survivors of Sri Lanka’s Hidden War.

It speaks volumes to the wanton callous disregard of some self-appointed representatives in the London Tamil diaspora for the sanctity of human life.

The following paragraph makes very chilling reading.

“I too received a call that weekend, from a Tamil doctor in London who wanted to tell the media that rebel medics wished to cross into army territory, bringing with them hundreds of civilians and injured people. He’d already tried UN and the Red Cross, who were unable to help. The doctor was flustered and distraught, unsure when he’d be able to speak to his colleagues on the ground again, aware their lives hung in the balance. I told him it seemed odd to negotiate surrender through the media – direct negotiations with the government might be better given that time was running out so fast. He consulted colleagues in a Tiger front organization in London, who insisted the medics should take their cyanide capsules because surrender was not an option. I was left wondering if they just wanted to score a propaganda point in the media, rather than actually save lives.”

Four brave doctors and their team stood by 430,000 Tamils being slaughtered in an act of genocide in Mullaivaikal, Northeastern Sri Lanka. The doctors were non-combatants who chose to stay in the warzone placing their lives in harm’s way and serve their people.

They and their team performed thousands of medical interventions saving as many lives. Some were victims of banned incendiary, thermobaric and cluster munitions. Shifting front lines forced them to constantly move location and resort to building make-shift operating theatres.

Their hospitals were incessantly shelled by Sri Lankan forces and had to rely on the very limited medical supplies provided by Sri Lanka’s government, who were actively perpetrating a war crime by denying them.

One doctor, who also suffered shrapnel injury from Sri Lankan army shelling, vividly described how a patient was coming out of anaesthesia mid-procedure due to the necessary rationing of anaesthetics. In another instance he told me how had to perform an above wound amputation on a leg that had a cluster bomblet embedded in it. The wound itself was superficial and his team was initially going to extract the embedded shrapnel. However, one of them recognised it as a cluster bomblet, thus averting catastrophic consequences.

Some of these doctors were to later provide invaluable evidence to governments, parliamentarians and the UNHRC inquiry into war crimes and crimes against humanity perpetrated by Sri Lankan forces, forming the basis for a resolution passed by it demanding Sri Lanka investigate and prosecute the perpetrators of such crimes in a hybrid court with international judges.
Yet the irony is while two female English journalists Harrison and Marie Colvin were trying to save Tamil lives, some self-appointed Tamil representatives in London were involved in inciting the death of four doctors who saved thousands of Tamil lives.

Foreign governments too thought their lives precious that they facilitated their exit from Sri Lanka and granted them sanctuary.

Sri Lanka’s civil war was many things to many people. For a few it was about residing in the safety and comfort in the West while inciting malevolent acts with callous disregard for the sanctity of human life and using it to prop up what would have been otherwise a mediocre nondescript existence. In this instance it also involves breaking English law that carries with it severe sanctions.

These individuals could have faded away.

On the other hand, it cannot be discounted that these people are still active or perhaps worse, which is being active with an altogether different guise.

In England, the Crown Prosecution Service’s policy on such a very serious act is clear.

  1. A person commits an offence under section 2 of the Suicide Act 1961 if he or she does an act capable of encouraging or assisting the suicide or attempted suicide of another person, and that act was intended to encourage or assist suicide or an attempt at suicide. This offence is referred to in this policy as “encouraging or assisting suicide”. The consent of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) is required before an individual may be prosecuted.
  2. The offence of encouraging or assisting suicide carries a maximum penalty of 14 years’ imprisonment. This reflects the seriousness of the offence.

Inciting, encouraging, assisting suicide or attempted suicide is an offence in the UK. The Police’s guidance is that there is a moral obligation to report a crime.

*Dr Arujuna Sivananthan is the Chairman of the British Tamil Conservatives.

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Latest comments

  • 5
    2

    Arujuna Sivananthan
    “It speaks volumes to the wanton callous disregard of some …self-appointed representatives in the London Tamil diaspora…”

    “*Dr Arujuna Sivananthan is the Chairman of the British Tamil Conservatives.”

    who makes up this self appointed group British Tamil Conservatives.”

    and what is your motivation of writing this article

    • 2
      3

      Tamils should be proud of people like Dr. Arjun. He is smart, made money and could have settled his life with early retirement. But he wanted to serve the helpless Tamils. I believe he is one of the founding member of British Tamil Conservative. Due to their efforts, first ever British Prime Minister visited to Jaffna to meet the Chief Minister of NP. When David Cameron showed hands with C.V to the people on the balcony of once burned out Jaffna library, that was a proud moment to Tamils all over the world. He choosed that place to show the Sinhala leaders that you may have burned it, but we are with Tamils. This didn’t happen by accident. Because of people like Dr. Arjun’s political funding to the British Conservative. Money speaks. Tamils need more of Dr. Arjun.

      • 4
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        unfortunately they were not able to stop the genocide.
        Banki Moon got garlanded….
        Cameron waved his hands from Jaffna Library….

        • 4
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          rajash

          “Cameron waved his hands from Jaffna Library…”

          He started his election campaign from Jaffna Library balcony. Did any Tamil vote for conservatives then?

        • 4
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          rajash

          I am very happy.

          You have become wiser and is now seeing the world straight.

          Keep it up. I will support you if you take this moderate line of thinking.

          • 3
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            I have always been moderate man.
            But that does not mean I will let LTTE or LTTE atrocities to be used as a generic Tamil bashing tool by authors coming and going like mushrooms here in CT.

            • 3
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              rajash

              ‘I will let LTTE or LTTE atrocities to be used as a generic Tamil bashing’-if this is your fine line, then when did you criticize the LTTE over its dastardly acts against its own people.

              Will you be able to say in few lines the bad side of the LTTE?

              • 1
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                I have criticised LTTE and diaspora organisations such as BTF; TGTE here on CT.

                Its easy to pick comments out of context and make a judgement about the commentator… and digress in to G-string.

                I don’t blame anyone for that I also sometimes do that.

                • 0
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                  Malli Rajash

                  My request is: ‘Will you be able to say in few lines about the bad side of the LTTE?’ and not about the G-String.

                  Please assert yourself thambi.

                  • 1
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                    Udaratta Manike

                    will you own upto Sinhala racism and violence toward Tamils since independence, the root cause of Tamil youths taking up arms.?

    • 0
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      British Tamil Conservatives Self-appointed? No, it is an affiliate of the Conservative Party. The Party’s board approved its affiliation in 4 years ago.

      • 1
        0

        Dr Arujuna Sivananthan – is there a “British Sinhala Conservatives” or for that matter “British Sri Lankan Conservatives”

  • 4
    4

    The offence of encouraging or assisting suicide carries a maximum penalty of 14 years’ imprisonment. This reflects the seriousness of the offence.

    So for how many years you guys sending Adel Balasingham to jail as she gave Cyanide capsules to many dalit girls.

    Or it is just neglected, because it is the uneducated dalits who bit those cyanide capsules ?

  • 2
    3

    Where did you get your “DOCTOR” title and education? Are you a product of SRI LANKA’S (bot Eelam’s) FREE EDUCATION system and emancipation of village Sinhala and Tamils after 1958 when villagers were also able to go to University as a result of language policies or are you a British born subject? Just curious.

    • 2
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      Never “Sri Lanka’s free education” system or for that matter any other country’s free education system.

      • 3
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        Wow, another Tamil who does not want to say, he got free education from Sri lanka and is screwing up Sri lanka now for a homeland.

      • 3
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        Before you went to Australia for your undergraduate studies, didn;t you attend school in Srilanka, where the education is free. So why did you claim NEVER. Did your parent pay for your education in Sydney and in Glasgow ??
        BTW who elected you as the chairman of BTC?

        • 2
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          St Thomas Prep and Private Schooling outside Sri Lanka neither of which are free

  • 5
    2

    The book by Frances Harrison “Still Counting the Dead: Survivors of Sri Lanka’s Hidden War” (272 pages Genre Non-fiction) was published in 2012 by Portobello Books. The book dealt with the sufferings of the civilians caught in the crossfire and highlighted the failure of UN.

    It took Arujuna Sivanathan four years to read the book. Suddenly it dawned on him that it is an offence if a person assists suicide of another person. Esquire Arujuna seems to have strong feelings. He knows the person/s who committed this heinous crime.

    It is incumbent on his part to go to the police and say ”I am the Chairman of British Tamil Conservatives. On my advice David Cameron went to Jaffna. A person commits an offence under section 2 of the Suicide Act 1961 if he or she does an act capable of encouraging or assisting the suicide or attempted suicide of another person, and that act was intended to encourage or assist suicide or an attempt at suicide. Here is the list of persons who incited people to commit suicide at Mullivaikkal in May 2009. Take action”.

    Arujuna may add “I am not a XXXXXXX agent. I did not receive any payment for lodging this rather belated complaint”

    • 4
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      Arujuna Sivananthan – what is your motivation behind writing this article so long after the book was published.?

      The whole world knows about the LTTE and their cyanide capsule, their child soldiers and their black tigers who blew themselves up.

      You seems to have just woken up to it.

      The doctors were forced to lie in front of TV cameras, while Sri Lankan army was pointing their guns at them, on a stage managed interview by the Sri Lankan government and aired all over the world.

      perhaps you are not aware of that.?

      • 2
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        “…The doctors were forced to lie in front of TV cameras….”
        One of the doctors was wearing an elegant tie but his hands were in slings! Tying a tie is difficult even with perfectly working pair of hands.

        • 2
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          I am not sure whether you are questioning how he got the elegant tie, or who knotted the tie for him and who put his arm in the sling

          ask Gota

        • 2
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          Smearing is easy but, that doctor now resides in the USA. The US government, along with several other governments and the OISL investigators found his evidence sufficiently credible. The first, credible enough to offer him sanctuary.

          • 1
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            Dr Arujuna Sivananthan “Smearing is easy “
            “The US government, along with several other governments and the OISL investigators found his evidence sufficiently credible. The first, credible enough to offer him sanctuary. “

            Dr Arujuna Sivananthan can you please clarify what you mean by and I quote you”…found his evidence sufficiently credible”

            evidence against whom and what ? the LTTE or the Govt of the day.

            “…credible enough to offer him sanctuary”

            sanctuary to protect him from “a wiped out LTTE”
            or
            to protect him from “the Sri Lankan govt of the day who forced him to lie on TV”

            Arujuna you claim to be the Chairman of the British Tamil Conservatives.

            please please don’t insult the conservative party or the diaspora Tamils and the Tamils in Sri Lanka with your vague and dubious quips

          • 4
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            The comment “…The doctors were forced to lie in front of TV cameras….” and what followed was NOT meant to smear the doctors. It was to show how the victorious Lankan army stage managed everything including dressing the doctors and the TV interview – the media meekly cooperated.

            • 0
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              Got it

    • 0
      3

      It took Arujuna Sivanathan four years to read the book. Suddenly it dawned on him that it is an offence if a person assists suicide of another person.

      How close is British elections ?

      He is talking about the strength of the block vote.

  • 1
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    Thank you for this article.

    Why it took two years to write? The book was published in 2014 I think.

    • 3
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      It was published before 2014, and I gifted a copy to Downing Street along with Gordon Wiess’s “The Cage” ahead of David Cameron’s visit to Jaffna in 2013.

      Although, it is only engaging with the doctors last year that a lot of us came to get first-hand appreciation of their huge contribution.

      Also, many remain ignorant of the fact that some were inciting their death.

      • 1
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        Thanks

      • 4
        1

        Arujuna: So you handed a copy to Downing Street. Did you read the book?

        “… a lot of us came to get first-hand appreciation of their huge contribution.
        ………… many remain ignorant of the fact that some were inciting their death.”

        Arujuna you just said this. From October 2012 the Frances Harrison book was discussed/reviewed in several papers like “The Times of India”, “New Indian Express”, “The Economist”,”The Guardian”. Did you comment at all?

        May 2009 was perhaps the most unpleasant moments to the victims. If the incitement you claim is true, should you not give the benefit of extreme stress?

        Never mind. You started it and you must go the full hog. Go to the police and let us know the result.

        • 4
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          K.Pillai
          “Never mind. You started it and you must go the full hog. Go to the police and let us know the result”

          Indeed
          Adele Balasingham, now a UK resident, at the time a UK citizen was handing out Cyanide capsule to LTTE Tigress.

          why are you Arujuna Sivananthan not writing about her suicide mission and not reading the 1961 act to her.

          did you just tumble across the 1961 act and have you not yet read about her.

      • 4
        2

        Arujuna Sivananthan “and I gifted a copy to Downing Street “

        you didn’t specify 10 or 11.

        for your kind information:
        PM’s resident is known as 10 Downing Street
        and not as Downing Street

        No 11 Downing Street, next door to No 10 is known as;
        The Chancellor’s resident

        Larry is the 10 Downing Street cat …and is notorious for
        chewing anything that is left discarded.

        ..and historically occupants of No 11 will chew anything to be the next PM.
        Gordon Brown got his way and then lost his way
        Osborne chewed but was jettisoned and now he lives with his mother.

        you sign off as *Dr Arujuna Sivananthan the (self appointed) Chairman of the British Tamil Conservatives.

        at the same time make a contradictory statement…”It speaks volumes to the wanton callous disregard of some self-appointed representatives in the London Tamil diaspora

        you are no different

        • 1
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          Factual and presented humorously!

        • 0
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          rajash

          Now I understand your description of your thinking. You have raised some valuable issues with Arjuna.

          Be focused. Do not rattle in the future and you will have my support.

          One thing -you were wrong on your assessment of Jaffna on your recent brief visit. You failed to praise the freedom the people have since Mahinda was booted and went on the spree to harp on the situation.

          By the way are you connected to that Rajash K, the pseudonym name used by that ghostly and mouthy Jaffna woman in London who’s father’s (well known as scratchy Raja) funeral took place while you were there in Jaffna. Did you go for the funeral?

          Good luck to you.

          • 2
            0

            I am not seeking your support here in CT. Thanks anyway.

            People in Jaffna are much more relaxed now.

            There is lot of undercurrents and army is roaming in civilian clothes.

            Do you support the army getting into economical activity in Jaffna?

            No idea who Rajash K is

  • 4
    0

    After thirty years of war and 7 years since the end of the war

    This guy is referring the readers to “The British 1961 suicide act”

    In England, the Crown Prosecution Service’s policy on such a very serious act is clear.

    1.A person commits an offence under section 2 of the Suicide Act 1961 if he or she does an act capable of encouraging or assisting the suicide or attempted suicide of another person, and that act was intended to encourage or assist suicide or an attempt at suicide. This offence is referred to in this policy as “encouraging or assisting suicide”. The consent of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) is required before an individual may be prosecuted.

    2.The offence of encouraging or assisting suicide carries a maximum penalty of 14 years’ imprisonment. This reflects the seriousness of the offence.

  • 1
    1

    Arjunan is back and now writing interpretations of law, as against articles predicting the economic demise of Sri Lanka.

    I guess many ways to try and skin a cat.
    Arjunan has been one who has said
    Sri Lanka must be subject to a regime of punitive economic sanctions if it fails to heed our calls for an independent international inquiry into war crimes. Every bully and despot must understand that there are consequences for those who disregard our call not to crush democracy and human rights under foot. Otherwise, we risk being taken for lightweights and our words will count for nought.

    Arjunan volunteers his “academic credentials you may at any point contact my PhD supervisor Professor Vito Antonio “Anton” Muscatelli FRSA FRSE AcSS who is the Principal of the University of Glasgow”. Really Arjuna, “ask my Professor”, Isnt that a little puerile.

    Doesnt Arjunan think citing a peer reviewed article of which he may have even been the tenth co-author might have been better. The Peer reviewed article does not have to be in The Economist or the Quarterly Journal of Economics, even the Bulletin of Indonesian Economic studies would suffice.

    http://sbarrkum.blogspot.com/2012/02/does-arujuna-sivananthan-have-axe-to.html
    http://www.conservativehome.com/platform/2011/01/arujuna-sivananthan.html

    • 2
      0

      Within a fortnight of predicting it the Sri Lankan Rupee was devalued. Its now devalued by over 30% since I wrote the article.

      Two negative ratings actions by credit ratings agencies, with Moody’s stating that Sri Lanka’s credit metrics are worse than Pakistan. Sri Lanka is on negative outlook by Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s and Fitch pointing to further negative ratings actions.

      An IMF bailout to boot, whose conditions Sri Lanka is struggling to fulfil.

      If this is not dire or economic doom and gloom; then its no wander you want to white wash the most heinous atrocity of the 21st century.

      • 0
        0

        >predicting it the Sri Lankan Rupee was devalued.
        Devalued with respect to (wrt) to what.
        Precise my boy, be precise.

        wrt to GBP LKR got devalued in 2012.
        LKR has regained much of its losses wrt to GBP.
        https://www.google.com/finance?q=GBPLKR&ei=8
        (set chart to 5 years)

        >If this is not dire or economic doom and gloom;
        >then its no “wander” you want to white wash the
        >most heinous atrocity of the 21st century.

        I dont wander around. But I wonder where you place
        UK involvement in Libya and Iraq as “heinous atrocities”.

        Or the English massacre and destruction of Uva Wellassa.

        Whitened sepulchers and people in glass houses and all that my boy.

  • 0
    0

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/worst-atrocities-british-empire-amritsar-boer-war-concentration-camp-mau-mau-a6821756.html

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Rebellion_of_1817%E2%80%9318

    The British confiscated the properties of the people involved in the
    uprising, they killed all cattle and other animals, burnt homes,
    property and even the salt in their possession during the repression.
    Paddy fields in the area of Wellassa were all destroyed. The
    irrigation systems of the duchies of Uva and Wellassa, hitherto the
    rice-bowl of Sri Lanka were systematically destroyed.

    In the ‘Journal of Uva,’ Herbert White, a British Government Agent in
    Badulla after the rebellion minuted:

    “It is a pity that there is no evidence left behind to show the
    exact situation in Uva in terms of population or agriculture
    development after the rebellion. The new rulers are unable to come up
    to any conclusion on the exact situation of Uva before the rebellion
    as there is no trace of evidence left behind to come to such
    conclusions. If thousands died in the battle they were all fearless
    and clever fighters. If one considers the remaining population of 4/5
    after the battle to be children, women and the aged, the havoc caused
    is unlimited. In short the people have lost their lives and all other
    valuable belongings. It is doubtful whether Uva has at least now
    recovered from the catastrophe.”[

    The British also massacred the male population of Uva above the age of 18 years

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