1 October, 2020

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The Third Narrative; The Last Stages Of The War In Sri Lanka

By R.M.B Senanayake

R.M.B. Senanayake

R.M.B. Senanayake

On the 29th August the Marga Institute launched its book – Issuesof Truth and Accountability: Narrative III .The Last Stages of the War in Sri Lanka

It was reviewed by a panel of speakers some of whom were personally aware of some of the incidents or the underlying policies of the Government. Others had studied the book had studied them. Mr. Rajiva Wijesinha gave a critical view of the evolution of the policy dubbed the Second  Narrative which was the official stand of the Government and is contained in the report of the Ministry of Defense “Humanitarian Operation : Factual Analysis” .  The First Narrative reflected the thinking and views expressed or unpublished, of the UN Agencies, the Human Rights Organizations and other liberal thinkers in the West which constituted the Liberal perspective based on the UN Declarations and the Geneva Conventions. They are the Report of the Panel of Experts (POE) appointed by the UN Secretary General in 2011 and the Report by the International Crimes Evidence Project (ICEP) undertaken by the Public Interest Advocacy Center.  The book says both narratives were flawed. The Third Narrative says “each of the two investigating bodies was unable to gain full access to the evidence available to the other”. The witnesses who appeared before the UNSG’s Panel including the UN personnel, INGOs and others did not appear before the LLRC. The POE did not have access to the main actors as the Sri Lanka Government (GOSL) refused to allow in the POE. Hence the book says there is a need for a Third Narrative which seeks to take a more balanced view o the circumstances of the war and the alleged violations of the Humanitarian Law taking into account sources such as the reports of the University Teachers of Jaffna and secret diplomatic messages revealed by WikiLeaks.

The Book presents an alternative narrative, of the events of the last stages of the war, and has been developed as a response to the UNHRC resolution of 2014. It is in the wake of the purported conflicting and contradictory accounts of the last stages of the war in Sri Lanka. These varying accounts have come from the Defence Authorities/ Army and the Government of Sri Lanka, I-NGO’s, University Teachers for Human Rights, Academics, Documentaries, Film Clips and Publications by Individuals, ex-Soldiers and Combatants, Diaspora Groups, Civil Society Groups, Activists and Collectives in and Outside Sri Lanka and presentations by the International Community, the UN Secretary General’s panel of experts, and the LLRC. The Book compares ad contrasts the explanations of the events given by the LLRC and the First Narrative. Chapter 3 deals at length with the issues of Accountability of the Government and the Sri Lankan Armed Forces.

Dr Godfrey Gunatilleke pointed out the need to understand the shifting character of the war, the blurring of the distinction between the combatants and the civilians on which is predicated the International Law. The LTTE deliberately used the civilians as a human shield.

The LTTE had been occupying a large area in the North. The LTTE had been driven out of the East and the Book points out that there were no allegations against the Sri Lankan Army of any violations of human rights or killing of civilians. Next the Sri Lankan Army launched its campaign to drive the LTTE out from the area west of A9 in the Mannar district. The LTTE retreated towards Kilinochchi. Even in this campaign there were no allegations of large scale killings of civilians or violations of the humanitarian law. Dr Godfey pointed out that the LTTE had then changed its strategy. It had accepted the position that it could not win the war and had decided to create a humanitarian crisis which would attract international intervention. The Bishop of Jaffna had appealed to the LTTTE to release the civilians and allow them to leave the war zone for safer areas. But the LTTE ignored these appeals and decided to use the civilians as human   shield and engage in small unit operations rather than face a frontal assault by the Army. The LTTE saw to it that the civilian population was integrated with the LTTE cadres. Did the civilians intermingle with the LTTE cadres of their own accord or were they forced into it? Even if in the beginning the civilians went on their own accord there was a point when they wanted to leave and  then the LTTE prevented  them from doing so by  shooting at them and killing them. This changed the whole character of the war. Dr G.G points out that the Army which fought the war in the Eastern Province without any allegations of large scale civilian casualties was the same Army that fought the war in the Kilinochchi- Puthukudirippu theatre. How then is it possible to level charges of indiscriminate killing of civilians and humanitarian violations in this theater alone queries the Book?  Dr G’G thinks the Army was not deliberately targeting civilians and hospitals but had to return fire when the LTTE moved heavy weapons to civilian areas and was shooting at them  from these sites?. One panelist pointed out that the UN HRC has said that there were excessive civilian casualties even in the war in the Eastern Province. Liberal minded critics however point out that the LTTE had no alternative but to use this strategy of using civilians as human shield. Yes, but then why didn’t the UN intervene at that stage and negotiate a surrender of the LTTE? Critics also point out that the UN Agencies and the International Red Cross were not present in the Kilinochchi- Puthukudiruppu theatre because the UN had been asked to leave by the Government on the ground that it could not protect the UN personnel. Sri Lanka had fired on the UN hub as referred to in the book. So the UN had got the impression that the GOSL wanted a war without witnesses so that it Could have free hand in the war against the LTTE in the theatre east of Kilinochchi. This suspicion would have been strengthened by the conditions under which the IDPs were kept in the Menik Farm They were not allowed to speak to or meet outsiders. Critics have said that the conditions were atrocious.

There are also allegations that the delivery of food and medical supplies to civilians was below requirements and that it was deliberate. The distribution of food was carried out by UN Agencies but supplies were based on figures provided by the GOSL were the figures of civilians deliberately understated? This issue is deal with in the book. It ascribes any shortage to the logistics problems. The UN had in later stages of the ward to deliver food by sea.

There is also the issue of the treatment of surrendees. This issue was not discussed by the panelists and hence one has to go through the book to see what it says about this matter.

What will the Third Narrative achieve? Mr. Rajiva Wijesinha pointed out the untenability of the Second Narrative of GOSL that there were no civilian casualties and that the war was a purely humanitarian operation. The POE takes the view that the GOSL wanted to target the civilians in the Vanni. Both positions are untenable.

Will the GOSL now adopt the Third narrative? Who was responsible for the war? Panelists ask this question. Wasn’t that the reason for this catastrophe? Could collateral damage be avoided? But then was there disproportionate action by the GOSL in order to finish the war? The International Community wanted the GOSL to stop the war. But was that an option for the GOSL who wanted to recover the territorial integrity of the Country?  These are all issues which require analysis before determining accountability. But as pointed out by Mr. Rajiva Wijesinha, the GOSL failed to present its point of view because of the flawed Second Narrative it espoused. But Dayan Jaytilleka pointed out that he, as a diplomat in Geneva did not adopt this narrative and he managed to convince several countries that the GOSL could not be faulted for deliberate killing of civilians.

There is also the issue of why the GOSL declared a second and third No Fire Zones when the first one had failed. The book points out that the No Fire Zones were not declared in consultation with the LTTE and hence they were not bound by it. The LTTE moved heavy weapons to the NFZ and fired on the troops from there. But the question arises why when the first no fire zone failed, the GOSL declared a second and third NFZ’s. This has not been explained adequately  in this Narrative. Of course there is an obligation for a State to provide avenues for civilians to leave the battle front. But the LTTE was not going to allow the civilians to escape. Could this have contributed to the suspicion that the GOSL wanted to corner the civilians and shoot them.

The book is a read for all those who want to find out the truth and understand the issues of accountability.

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Latest comments

  • 6
    2

    How credible is Godfrey Gunatilleke ?

    Is he more credible than the UN Panel?

    • 4
      4

      Robert R:
      Godfrey Gunatilleke has PROVED himself to be an apologist for the Rajapassa government as has a Marga Institute strongly influenced if not controlled by him.
      This and some of the “Forumites” are the ‘civilized’ face of a government that has lied through its teeth throughout this whole business.
      The next thing is going to be GG and Marga producing a book about the injustice of Hitler and Co. not having been allowed to conduct the Nuremberg trials.

      • 3
        2

        like it….godfather could never shut the door thermodynamics 3.

        Ha Ha tattoo to tooth ratio `the mouse organ`
        i mean the mouth piece.

  • 5
    4

    Almost everybody involving in this is biased.

    what do you mean evidence by that and this. Who are these people ?, they are coached by other special interest groups.

    See very democratic, human right respecting countries are invading other countries and killing innocent civilians. that is even without any from those people. LTTE did not behave like that. Hostages of LTTE some how, willingly or unwillingly, tolerated it.

    See how Australia is treating it’s aborigines, north american treating it’s natives. See what Israel did in West bank and Gaza. Those democratic, human right leaders in the west do not want any war crimes against Israel.

    don’t you think, the govt forces fought against the world’s most ruthless terrorist groups and did their best to minimize casualties.

    Why you people don’t recognize that fact ?

    don’t you think you are biased ?

    • 2
      2

      Jim Softy:

      You have lost the argument because of your misplaced loyalty to Mahintha. Two wrongs dont make a right.

  • 8
    6

    Well, hmm the third narrative eh? When Colonel Karna Amman was asked how much time Prabakaran had allowed himself to create Eelam he had said “about 10 years”.

    The greatest fear of man is sadness, depression and low esteem isn’t it? People are sad to loose people they know, sad about old age, death, disease etc.

    Somewhere along the way Tamils thought the reason for their low esteem was lack of a proper home for their “culture”. Their antidote for low self esteem seemed quite achievable in a short period of time they thought. I think the relative strengths in populations i.e. World Tamils out number Sinhala 4:1 may have given them the confidence.

    So instead of working for a common Sri Lankan cause, they did everything possible to distance themselves from it. Usually, minorities fear marginalisation. Tamils did not have to fear because they had backing of Tamil nadu right next door.

    As one ought to never judge the other only to leave natural judgement take effect. So here we are, assessing the last phase asking how did things fare. My suggestion is lets take a step back and see if the Tamils themselves accept the 3rd narration.

    • 2
      4

      Vibushna;

      You are absolutely wrong and for your information the Tamils from Tamilnadu next door didnt help thousands of Tamils from being butchered

      • 4
        2

        Fellatio you condemn what you don’t understand

        Jaffna Tam`ill`s must learn to SUCK IT UP and move on.

        Don’t you know
        You better run, run, run
        Oh I said you better
        Run, run, run

        • 2
          2

          Javi,

          You have said it. Your body is full of Puss and beyond recall. SUCK IT UP is the wrong word. I would say you STICK YOURS UP into Fathimas and push on.

          • 3
            2

            Kali,I would say you STICK YOURS UP into Usha’s and push on.

            • 1
              1

              Ja_vi you JIHADIST:

              You have now confirmed that you are indeed a “Thoppi Piraddi” and write under different “Thoopis”. Thanks for confirming a historical fact and you have been unmasked.

              (^‿◕) (^‿◕) (^‿◕) (^‿◕) (^‿◕) (^‿◕) (^‿◕) (^‿◕) (^‿◕) (^‿◕) (^‿◕) (^‿◕) (^‿◕)(^‿◕)(^‿◕)(^‿◕) (^‿◕) (^‿◕) (^‿◕) (^‿◕) (^‿◕) (^‿◕) (^‿◕) (^‿◕) (^‿◕) (^‿◕) (^‿◕) (^‿◕) (^‿◕) (^‿◕) (^‿◕).

              Let me get this one in the order.

              Sivanathan became Shankar who turned into Afzal who gave bith to twins Ja_vi and Javi puss-able. It never crossed my mind until you gave the game away.

              • 2
                1

                Tontine Grapes Tam`ill` Emptyheads (TGTE)`porriki`

                with ‘Singhaphobia’

                It is even more lunatic to be nationalist when there is NO nation at all!!

                If all Jaffna Tam`ill`s in SL go back to Tamil Nadu, everyone is happy.

                Then Tamils can have their dignity back.

                Posse_Cat.|`

  • 4
    2

    Good riddance of bad rubbish . Look at what obama is facing with ISIS . he thought he got a win by just killing UBL . If you cant hold the land and kill all the leaders and the off shoots you can never control Terror . Good job Sri Lanka

    Cheers

    Abhaya

    • 4
      2

      Abhaya

      “If you cant hold the land and kill all the leaders and the off shoots you can never control Terror.”

      If that is the only answer to dealing with terror how come you are still alive and terrorising reasonable commentators with your stupid comments usually not fired from your head but from your …… ?

      • 2
        3

        blah Blah Blah .

        cheers

        Abhaya

        • 3
          1

          Abhaya

          “blah Blah Blah”

          Here is the complete lyrics, save on your computer, in case you if forget:

          Baa, baa, black sheep,
          Have you any wool?
          Yes sir, yes sir,
          Three bags full.

          One for the master,
          One for the dame,
          And one for the little boy
          Who lives down the lane

          Baa, baa, black sheep,
          Have you any wool?
          Yes sir, yes sir,
          Three bags full.

          baa, baa, white sheep,
          have you any wool?
          yes sir, yes sir,
          three needles full.

          one to mend a jumper,
          one to mend a frock,
          and one for the little girl,
          with holes in her sock.

          Baa, baa, white sheep,
          have you any wool?
          yes sir, yes sir,
          three needles full.

          Baa, baa, grey sheep,
          have you any wool?
          yes sir yes sir ,
          three bags full.

          one for the kitten,
          one for the cats,
          and one for the guinea pigs,
          to knit some wooly hats.

          Baa, Baa, grey sheep,
          have you any wool?
          yes sir, yes sir, three bags full.

        • 3
          1

          Abhaya

          ha ha ha, horray

      • 0
        5

        Native Vedda

        Let me fill in the gap as I know a little bit about guns. not fired from your head but from your dick.

        • 3
          3

          Terminally ill Kali Koolie,mamadi88
          jaffna tam`ill` terrorist try Norse code!

          Anything that is a war crime for Tamils is a war chime for other Srilankans.

          • 2
            1

            Ja_vi you JIHADIST:

            So now we know that Ja_vi the Jihadist has a twin Javi puss-able.
            Why dont you change the name of the twin to Javi piss-able.

          • 2
            3

            Smelly pincushions,
            Tigers must have the same fate as dogs! :)
            [ he tenido una maravillosa idea]

            Just imagine.

            Beautiful!

            ‘̿̿\̵͇̿̿\=(•̪●)=/̵͇̿̿/’̿̿\(•̪●)=/̵͇̿̿/’̿̿•̪●)=/̵͇̿̿/
            ‘̿̿\̵͇̿̿\=(•̪●)=/̵͇̿̿/’̿̿\(•̪●)=/̵͇̿̿/’̿̿•̪●)=/̵͇̿̿/
            ‘̿̿\̵͇̿̿\=(•̪●)=/̵͇̿̿/’̿̿ ̿ ̿ ̿‘̿̿\̵͇̿̿\(•̪●)=
            ‘̿̿\̵͇̿̿\=(•̪●)=/̵͇̿̿/’̿̿ ̿ ̿ ̿‘̿̿\̵͇̿̿\(•̪●)=/̵͇̿̿
            ‘̿̿\̵͇̿̿\=(•̪●)=/̵͇̿̿/’̿̿ ̿ ̿ ̿‘̿̿\̵͇̿̿\(•̪●)=/̵͇̿̿//
            ‘̿̿\̵͇̿̿\=(•̪●)=/̵͇̿̿/’̿̿ ̿ ̿ ̿‘̿̿\̵͇̿̿\(•̪●)=/̵͇̿̿/’̿̿
            ’̿̿‘̿̿\̵͇̿̿\=(•̪●)=/̵͇̿̿/’̿̿ ̿ ̿ ̿‘̿̿\̵͇̿̿\(•̪●)=/̵͇̿̿/
            ‘̿̿\̵͇̿̿\=(•̪●)=/̵͇̿̿/’̿̿ ̿ ̿ ̿‘̿̿\̵͇̿̿\(•̪●)=/̵͇̿̿/’̿̿

            Run, run, run terminally `ill` jaffna tam`ill.|`

            Posse_Cat
            (\__/) International TID
            (=‘.’=) —O—︻╦╤─
            ︻╦╤─︻╦╤─︻╦╤─︻╦╤─

            • 1
              1

              Ja_vi you JIHADIST

              You have been caught on the act flipping

              • 2
                2

                SL is better off without the dead Tamils.

                Now we can go anywhere in SL knowing there will not be terrorist checkpoints, bomb blasts, etc. Well done SL army – the best in the world.

                If need be, do the same thing again in higher numbers.

                Anything that is bad for Tamils is good for Sri Lankans.|`

                • 1
                  1

                  Ja_vi you JIHADIST:

                  No wonder you are getting it from BBS who consider you as lot as Untouchables and dont deserve to be on this planet.

                  In other words they think the Worl will be a better place without you and can yo blame them.

                  Flipping HELL with you lot around with Bombs here there and evrywhere.

                  ^‿◕) (^‿◕) (^‿◕) (^‿◕) (^‿◕) (^‿◕) (^‿◕) (^‿◕) (^‿◕) (^‿◕) (^‿◕) (^‿◕) (^‿◕)(^‿◕)(^‿◕)(^‿◕) (^‿◕) (^‿◕) (^‿◕) (^‿◕) (^‿◕) (^‿◕) (^‿◕) (^‿◕) (^‿◕) (^‿◕) (^‿◕) (^‿◕) (^‿◕) (^‿◕) (^‿◕).

                  • 2
                    1

                    stupefaction.!

                    `porriki passa` with ‘Singhaphobia’

                    Anything that is a war crime for Tamils is
                    a war chime for other Srilankans.

                    වාද බයිලා World T20 Sinhas of all culture but ONE.

                    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rhvpWGWvssQ

                    Posse_Cat
                    (\__/) International TID
                    (=‘.’=) —O—︻╦╤─
                    ︻╦╤─︻╦╤─︻╦╤─︻╦╤─

                    • 0
                      1

                      Now we know the link.

                      Took on Sivananthan a Tamil Name to attack the LTTE who kicked him out of Kolumbuthurai, turned into Shankar who then took a Viswarubam as Afzal who gave birth to twins Ja_vi the JIHADIST and Javi puss able another JIHADIST. Both have run out of ideas and utter rubbish in other words bankrupt and judge everyone by their standards and in the process “Flipping Hat ” their trade mark.

                      ^‿◕) (^‿◕) (^‿◕) (^‿◕) (^‿◕) (^‿◕) (^‿◕) (^‿◕) (^‿◕) (^‿◕) (^‿◕) (^‿◕) (^‿◕)(^‿◕)(^‿◕)(^‿◕) (^‿◕) (^‿◕) (^‿◕) (^‿◕) (^‿◕) (^‿◕) (^‿◕) (^‿◕) (^‿◕) (^‿◕) (^‿◕) (^‿◕) (^‿◕) (^‿◕) (^‿◕).

                    • 2
                      0

                      `porriki passa` with ‘Singhaphobia’
                      `Hole in One Tiger Monster VP`

                      Your time has surpassed your homage gone by like
                      most common tries by others.

                      Tamils must learn to SUCK IT UP and move on.

                      Otherwise they invite more trouble.

                      Our bombs and guns are nearing expiry date.

                      They have to be used for a good purpose against Jaffna Tam`ill`
                      El la la laaa nattha, mists.

                      Pit Tamils against Tamils.
                      Tigers WILL BE dead too!!
                      Who are tigers? That will be decided by the army.

    • 0
      4

      Abhaya should have been raped by Rajapakshes.. and the fears generated in him would never be able to turn him an average person. That is what we expreience here whatever comments being added by him. Find you a good psychologist Abahya, at least the rest of life you could live as a normal person – being free from Rajapakshe or the like born abusive one#s effects.

      • 1
        1

        Abhaya has already been mass raped by the Rajapaksas and the Tart is 9 months pregnant. But the million dollar question is which one poked it first.

    • 1
      3

      Abhaya,

      I have no problem with killing Tamils but I am opposed to killing Muslims who have the same right as the Buddhists.

      • 0
        3

        [Edited out]

      • 2
        0

        kali `porriki passa` with ‘Singhaphobia’
        Mass Tamil graves are victory symbols.|`

        `S2`

  • 3
    1

    The Army (as well the Air-force and Navy) and the Rajapakses would love to create smokescreens of actual but horrible events during the war so that they are free of accountability. Godfrey Gunatilake’s reputation is impeccable but he must not become a party to any cover-ups in an issue the Rajapakses are consumed by the fear of Moses.

    If this so-called Third Narrative comes out with a credible report it would have served all concerned well. The Marga Institute has maintained credibility throughout and it must continue to maintain this good name.

    R. Varathan

  • 4
    2

    Trying to untangle what happened during the last war will be like untangling a string hopper. Sans details, it is an undeniable fact that it was a no holds barred and brutal war fought with equal ferocity by both sides. Human lives and suffering were secondary considerations to both sides to this conflict.

    It was a war that in instances showed the worst in man and in others, the best in man. It was a war that has not proved to us the futility of wars and the need to resolve problems through discourse and decency. It is a war that has not taught us to resolve problems on an urgent footing. It was a war that has not awakened our humanity and made us ashamed of the deaths, gore, pain and destruction it caused. It was a war that generated much hope when it ended that our politics will reform, but the past five years have proved that we are in a more hopeless situation as before. The Muslims have been added as an ingredient to the evil broth being brewed anew. Our centuries old civilized values are also being added to this both as a spice with gay abandon!

    It is a war that has proved that ‘WE’ are peoples who permitted a bunch of inhuman ‘B—-DS’to lead us and have permitted them to yet do so. Some of these B’s are dead, but others have survived to create conditions for the likes of the dead B’s to be replaced. This equally applies to all communities in this country.

    We are spending our time and efforts on having a postmortem and resisting one, rather than attending to the needs of the living war-affected and creating the conditions for such a calamitous series of events ever happening again. Postmortems should help us learn of the factors that led to the calamity- before and during the war- and help us find appropriate solutions. This should be a cooperative effort of the parties to the conflict carried out with a sense of shame and repentance. MARGA’s current effort has been rather superficial in this context, from what I have gathered so far, without reading the publication in depth yet.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

  • 4
    6

    Why do they complain? We are told that Hiroshima ‘shortened the war and saved American lives’ aren’t we?

  • 0
    3

    LTTE did not use Civilians as shields. This is utter rubbish propgated by the peopel in Rajapkase’s Payroll. No civilians are mad to to come to Army controlled area to be raped or see their loved ones raped and killed. They prefer to be killed /saved by in the LTTE area.

    POE said with sound evidence that GOSL targheted the civilians. If not why the hospiatls location given by ICRC shlled by GOSL.

    Sinhala racists in the guise of Intelectuals /independent Journalist do not want to acknowlege teh truth taht they elected Hambantota thug family in 2005 and supported war criminals in 2009 and now SLFP ministers themself are facing death threats by the war criminals

    • 1
      0

      Really?

    • 0
      0

      Raja

      “LTTE did not use Civilians as shields.”

      And we believe you.

      Have you got an used car (with, no wheels, no engine, no body, no windscreen, no steering, no chassis, …) for sale?

      We are dying to buy it.

    • 1
      0

      Raja

      “LTTE did not use Civilians as shields.”

      And we believe you.

      Have you got an used car (with no wheels, no engine, no body, no windscreen, no steering, no chassis, …) for sale?

      We are dying to buy it.

  • 1
    0

    Mr. Senanayake, Dr. Narendran, et al.,

    The UNHRC investigation has begun in earnest. Let them take it to its logical conclusion. By failing to cooperate, and then coming up with the charade of a local investigation, the GoSL is simply reinforcing its lack of credibility.
    This lack of credibility of the regime is at thew center of everything, and without confronting that issue, all these Marga types are wasting everyone’s time.

    Now on the practical matter of making the NPC work, and cooperating with the TNA, if the GoSL has fears of giving firearms to the NPC police, as a practical compromise for a start, I suggest starting with an NPC police force that won’t carry firearms, but will carry crowd control and other self-defense equipment. In some countries, police don’t carry firearms. If the regime can’t agree even to that, it will further expose its duplicity.

    • 2
      0

      Agnos,

      I agree. If there is a will, the way can be found. There is no will to resolve issues. Small gestures and a positive attitude will make a big difference. This government is a major stumbling block to any solution. It missed a historic opportunity to act differently and is repeatedly missing opportunities. Justice Vigneswaran as CM is an opportunity that is being deliberately missed. Messers Sambanthan and Sumanthiran are opportunities too. If this government cannot work out a modus operandi with this trio and prefers the likes of Douglas Devananda, how could they ever win the trust of the Tamils or the world.

      I had told many in positions of power that the Northern Tamils are a different breed and cannot be taken for a ride. The more time I spend in Jaffna, the more I confirm that I am right. The climate, soil, water and water have helped to create a different type of people in the peninsula. This difference makes them define the contours of Tamil identity and politics. Unless this difference is understood and appreciate, the north will remain the Achilles heal of Sri Lanka. An inherently peaceful people are deliberately being pushed to the brink once again by the malice , stupidity and myopia of this government.

      Dr.RN

  • 0
    0

    The emperor Ashoka is credited with making Buddhism a truly world religion. The impetus for his effort, it is said, is the violence he participated in and the consequential suffering that he came to regret AFTER he had conquered Kalinga, and effectively begun the making of the Indian Empire (more or less the land mass we call “India” today.

    It is said that he embraced Buddhism because he was impressed with its teaching of compassion and peaceful co-existence among various ethnicities and the relatively open and liberal nature of Buddhists teachings on civilian life and philosophical discourse. Now one could argue that such a change of heart was a shrewd strategy to pacify a new empire that was rife with inter-racial hatred that could no longer be resolved by war due to his resolute military victory over Kalinga. Or one could believe the narrative as is and accept that he really was pacified and really did want to wage peace in the newly-formed empire. I have often heard politicians and military men in the West justifying was as a strategy to seek peace. So Ashoka would not have been alone in his change of strategies.

    Is there a lesson for Sri Lanka in that story?

    Can the Sri Lankan government, the same one that waged and won the war, wage peace? Having defeated the LTTE, can they outdo Ashoka in the “war of peace??

    Like Dr. RN says, if there’s a will there IS a way. Is anyone listening?

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    I agree that limited police powers can be devolved to the NPC withut carrying arms. The Police carrying arms is a recent phenomenon. The centralized Polcie was also not there until about 1865 ( I think). Village police powers were given earlier to the Village Headmen who should function under the NPC. I believe Britain still has village Policemen outside the central Police Department. Our rulers and their advisers are abysmally ignorant.

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      The British appointed Police Vidanes to villages in 1806.

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      It is believed President Rajapakse and those very close to him have told the Indian side here indirectly and through common friends in India to Delhi sources, if push comes to shove they may allow Police powers. It is learnt they have already agreed on Land Powers to the NPC. This, taken with the fact many Tamils in the North are beginning to feel the Rajapakses will slowly but surely bring them the normalcy and peace they yearn for – are positive and welcome signs. Increased power supplies, improved roads and transport services, action in the drinking/irrigation water front, better services and equipment in Hospitals are being received well by the Jaffna population.

      This is not to say all is well. University Students still live in fear and people generally no better. Tamils are disappointed the Rajapakses have ignored the massive mandate given to Wiggy’s NPC a year on.

      R. Varathan

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    RMB:

    The Fourth Narrative which is more appropriate in the unfolding Saga of Sri Lankan context should be the ” Last dying days of Mahinthas Kingdom”
    In winning the War against the Gallant Freedon Fighters Sri Lankan Government was assisted by Traitor India under Sonia using Chemical Weapons. But Empires come and go and Mahinthas is the shortest in history.
    But I am convinced that no force in the World can stop the momentum which has built up to stop Mahinthas grand plan to ethnically cleanse Sri Lanka of Tamils.

    NO MORE TAMIL BLOOD.

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    The GOSL made the following bad decisions –
    1. It prevented any observiers of correspondents in the conflict areas. The question of personal security is irrelevant as they enter at their own risk.
    2. It declared a unilateral’No Fire Zone’.The LTTE had not agreed to a NFZ.Acting on the GOSL declaration, civilians moved in expecting protection, which the GOSL could not provide! In fact a human shield was provided for the LTTE! The LTTE had not signed any UN conventions.
    3. It then declared that it had stopped using heavy weapons against the NFZ, implying that they had been used.
    4. It further reduced the size of the NFZ, so that any positions outside the limits, could be attacked. It resulted in more civilians being concentrated in a smaller area and more suffering.
    5. The GOSL claimed – rightly – that it had defeated the most ruthless terrorist organisation in the world, yet it declared that it was a ‘Humanitarian Operation’ instead of a war on terror! An attempt to clothe itself with an unnecessary self-righteous sense of virtuosity.
    It would be interesting to know the prime mission which was given to Gen. Fonseka, to use his forces – ‘To free the Tamil people from the LTTE.’ or ‘To destroy the LTTE’!
    6. Finally there was the declaration of ‘Zero civilian casualties’ – an indefensible statement, by any standards.
    It was these facts which gave rise to the notion that there were grounds for an inquiry.

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