26 October, 2020

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This September In Geneva: Sri Lanka At The UNHRC 

By Sanja De Silva Jayatilleka –  

Sanja De Silva Jayatilleka

Sanja De Silva Jayatilleka

The September session of the United Nations Human Rights Council will start on the 13th of this month. There is a report on Sri Lanka due to be presented there. It is the Report of the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances on its mission to Sri Lanka.

I am no lawyer or any kind of expert but as I have closely observed the Council from a ringside seat (in the years 2007-2009) and am familiar with it, I checked it out. Even someone like me can see when a report is making a wildly expansive claim. At first glance it seemed to me that the members of the Working Group were making lurid allegations against the Sri Lankan state. Then I wondered if they were making them against the LTTE, which would certainly fit. It quickly dawned on me that they meant the State after all, since they refer to “counter-terrorists activities” – and that could only be the State.

Here’s what they say:

“Para 6: Enforced disappearances have been used in a massive and systematic way in Sri Lanka for many decades to suppress political dissent, counter-terrorist activities or in the internal armed conflict. Given the context in which they occurred, many enforced disappearances could be considered as war crimes or crimes against humanity if addressed in a court of law.

That’s heavy. Using the phrase “massive and systematic” here makes it tantamount to a war crime, as they rightly point out. But why is it even there?

The first draft is usually given to our Permanent Mission in Geneva at which point they can make objections to certain words. There were disappearances, of course there were. They were in all the newspapers. But “systematic”? Was Sri Lanka a state where “massive” disappearances were “systematic”, for “many decades”?

The Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) could have responded strongly to this outrageous and dangerous allegation. At least made it public that as the “country concerned” we have not agreed to the wording, if our concerns were not accommodated by the Working Group.

This is what I saw happen at our UN mission in Geneva during 2007-2009. My husband who as head of Mission was then responsible for these things, would check it out, note the anomalies as soon as our Permanent Mission got a copy, then send it along to the Attorney General’s office with his comments, and quickly respond to the Office of the High Commissioner requesting it to alter the wording that may mislead the Human Rights Council. Often, the Office complied, and still does. Even if it doesn’t, Sri Lanka has every chance to state its objections immediately in the ‘Comments by the State’, which would also be posted on the OHCHR website.

This is not rocket science, really. When the country concerned objects strongly to imprecise wording, it is taken note of. They are human beings in the Secretariat–fallible like the rest of us and they know it.

So what happened this time?

Here’s the Sri Lankan Government’s tepid response to this report which is posted in the same place as the Working Group’s report, on the OHCHR website:

“Report of the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances on its mission to Sri Lanka: comments by the State* [31 August 2016]

The Government of Sri Lanka was pleased to receive the Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances (WGEID) that visited Sri Lanka at the invitation of the Government, during the period 9-18 November 2015, after 16 years. The Government of Sri Lanka, formed following the Presidential Elections in January 2015 and Parliamentary Elections in August 2015, is committed to the promotion and protection of human rights, strengthening democracy, good governance and the rule of law, reconciliation, and development. Sri Lanka considers its engagement with the Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances as an important component of its reconciliation efforts and steps being taken to uphold the human rights of all her citizens. Accordingly, Sri Lanka will continue to stay engaged closely with the Working Group.

The Government is studying the recommendations made by the Working Group with a view to their implementation, and will continue to provide updates to the Working Group.

That’s it! That’s the Government’s response to the Report’s statement that there were “massive”, “systematic” disappearances for “many decades’, which in a court of law could amount to “war crimes” and “crimes against humanity”! The Government’s response to this damning allegation is to ignore it.

The Report and this response by the GoSL will be tabled at the September session which starts on the 13th under Agenda item 3. The whole world will believe that there have been “massive” and “systematic” enforced disappearances. This would not be true, and all we have on behalf of the Sri Lankan State is this bland, entirely uncritical, noncommittal response!

Of course this is only one of the things the Report says. Here’s another:

“The Working Group further highlights that Sri Lanka lacks legislation that enables prosecutions of perpetrators of past atrocities, such as war crimes and crimes against humanity.”

The Sri Lankan courts have over the years convicted members of the armed forces for rapes and murders, which may be considered atrocities. So what is actually being said here? The assumption that underlies this statement, and the impression it gives, is that Sri Lanka committed “atrocities” tantamount to “war crimes” and “crimes against humanity” in the past. Having earlier said that it had to be addressed in a court of law to determine that fact, are we to now assume the Working Group has made that determination and are we to uncritically accept it? Will our Government do so?

After Milosevic was (posthumously) declared not guilty by the International Criminal Tribunal on Yugoslavia, having been accused of being a genocidal maniac by the West– a case which turned out to be a huge lie, costing that country greatly, their leader his life, and inspiring a number of studies on that particular miscarriage of justice–I’d say states have to protect themselves against the (deliberately?) loosely worded discourse of UN reports! Also, how many countries have retrospective legislation?

Since anyone can read that report for themselves, I won’t go on. A lawyer or an IR expert will do this much faster than I. But here’s a sleight of hand that the authors have used in the report:

“ In its report on its investigation on Sri Lanka, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights stated that “there are reasonable grounds to believe that a number of military cadres, who had laid down arms and were thus hors de combat, were unlawfully killed after having surrendered unarmed to the security forces” and that “a number of LTTE cadres, such as those belonging to the political wing, and other individuals not or no longer taking direct part in hostilities, including children, were also extrajudicially executed”.

Inclusion of this sentence from the High Commissioner’s speech in the Working Group’s Report should have been challenged by Sri Lanka’s diplomatic representatives.

This Working Group at least visited the country. The UN Human Rights High Commissioner’s statement was based on the infamous Darusman Report which took anecdotal accounts, some on the phone and Skype, without maintaining any evidentiary standards, and admits in its Introduction that those accounts could not be verified. Sneaking a bit of the High Commissioner’s conclusions into the Report of this Working Group, makes it a part of it, and will most certainly be quoted again and again as “the findings of the Working Group on Disappearances” tabled in the UN Human Rights Council after a visit to Sri Lanka and not one which embeds the rhetoric that the UN Human Rights High Commissioner read off the Darusman masterpiece.

If we inform the Council correctly, be alert to the false propaganda and counter it diligently, the world and our island are much better off with the UNHRC than without it. They do listen if you make your case sincerely, persuasively and effectively. How else could we have actually won a near two thirds majority of the Council in 2009? The UNHRC delegates are great ambassadors, a majority from the global South, and most are truly concerned about human rights. On the other hand, since they are also human like the rest of us, if they are not properly briefed, busy as they are, they will believe our detractors.

At the upcoming September 2016 session, the Independent Expert on “the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order”, Alfred de Zayas, presents his report to the Council.

This report offers a possible a resolution to a vexed issue raging in Sri Lanka: the ETCA. The government would do well to heed its recommendations. It not only echoes the concerns of the GMOA and groups of IT professionals but goes further in recommending that “Where possible, referendums should be conducted”.

States should refrain from entering into new bilateral investment treaties and free trade agreements, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement and the Trade in Services Agreement, unless human rights, health and environmental impact assessments have been conducted, and unless there is full disclosure, consultation with stakeholders and public participation. Where possible, referendums should be conducted.

It also contains another exhortation:

The Human Rights Council must not be a politicized arena where States instrumentalize human rights as weapons to defeat their political adversaries, where human rights are undermined through “side shows”, the “flavour of the month”, or where international law is applied à la carte.

While the Sri Lankan Government enthusiastically embraces the recommendations of the UNHRC 2015 resolution on Sri Lanka and readies itself to implement them, would it feel the same way about the recommendations on Trade Agreements?

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Latest comments

  • 15
    6

    Milosevic a great leader? Good on you for buying the leftist propaganda, [Edited out]. Also, he was not exonarated, simply presumed innocent due to a lack of direct evidence. Much like Fernand marcos of the phillipines appears to be, and mahinda rajapaksa of sri lanka will be

    Referendums for Ecta? What the hell does the general public know about international trade and economics? If they did do you think the country would be in this mess in the first place?

    Dumindas death sentence was a death sentence for rajapaksa politics. Good luck in your future ambitions.

    • 14
      8

      “After Milosevic was (posthumously) declared not guilty by the International Criminal Tribunal on Yugoslavia, having been accused of being a genocidal maniac by the West– a case which turned out to be a huge lie, costing that country greatly, their leader his life, and inspiring a number of studies on that particular miscarriage of justice–I’d say states have to protect themselves against the (deliberately?) loosely worded discourse of UN reports! Also, how many countries have retrospective legislation?”

      Is it any wonder that people like this author and her husband, who reject that war crimes were committed by Milosevic for all the world to see, would be apologists for war criminals in Sri Lanka? Pity that a lady born with good hair is not endowed with common sense or a conscience.

      • 18
        5

        She isn’t..looks are deceptive.

        No one person can afford to be completely honest until
        they are financially independent.

        Pity the nation whose people are sheep,
        and whose shepherds mislead them.

        Pity the nation whose leaders are liars, whose sages are silenced,
        and whose bigots haunt the airwaves.

        Pity the nation that raises not its voice,
        except to praise conquerors and acclaim the bully as hero
        and aims to rule the world with force and by torture.

        Pity the nation that knows no other language but its own
        and no other culture but its own.

        Pity the nation whose breath is money
        and sleeps the sleep of the too well fed.

        Pity the nation — oh, pity the people who allow their rights to erode
        and their freedoms to be washed away.

        My country, tears of thee, sweet land of liberty.”
        — Lawrence Ferlinghetti

    • 15
      7

      Sanja De Silva Jayatilleka

      RE: This September In Geneva: Sri Lanka At The UNHRC

      //“Para 6: Enforced disappearances have been used in a massive and systematic way in Sri Lanka for many decades to suppress political dissent, counter-terrorist activities or in the internal armed conflict. Given the context in which they occurred, many enforced disappearances could be considered as war crimes or crimes against humanity if addressed in a court of law.”//

      Isn’t this true? In some cases thge State just sat there, doing nothing.

      1. 1958.

      2. 1971.

      3.1977

      4. 1983.

      5. 1987-1989

      6. 2009.

      7. 1980- 2009.

      8. 2009- 2014 Dec

      “That’s heavy. Using the phrase “massive and systematic” here makes it tantamount to a war crime, as they rightly point out. But why is it even there?”

      It is systematic, buy not massive.The data supports it.

      • 8
        26

        Hello Amarasiri,

        Surely you have heard of the secret prisons run by the CIA all over the world. In these prisons, torture is essentially outsourced to a foreign country, with American intelligence agents observing the interrogation. Enforced disappearances are only the drop of the bucket, although it would be an oxymoron to state that quite a few vanish in these secret prisons. However, the US being the largest donor to the UN, you will not hear any outcry pertaining to war crimes. Of course this does not justify enforced disappearances in Sri Lanka; nevertheless, it is important to provide context. One should understand that at a certain level, the UN is a business that serves the interests of its largest donors.

        • 2
          23

          Thanks in advance to Colombo Telegraph for monitoring any rubbish replies to this post by the madman “retzel” and editing as necessary.

          • 2
            2

            [Edited out]

        • 7
          3

          Lester

          “Surely you have heard of the secret prisons run by the CIA all over the world..”

          Of course, of course. Have you hard about Niccolò Machiavelli?

          It is about self-interest.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Niccol%C3%B2_Machiavelli

          Niccolò Machiavelli

          “Machiavellianism” is a widely used negative term to characterize unscrupulous politicians of the sort Machiavelli described most famously in The Prince. Machiavelli described immoral behavior, such as dishonesty and killing innocents, as being normal and effective in politics. He even seemed to endorse it in some situations. The book itself gained notoriety when some readers claimed that the author was teaching evil, and providing “evil recommendations to tyrants to help them maintain their power.” The term “Machiavellian” is often associated with political deceit, deviousness, and realpolitik. On the other hand, many commentators, such as Baruch Spinoza, Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Denis Diderot, have argued that Machiavelli was actually a republican, even when writing The Prince, and his writings were an inspiration to Enlightenment proponents of modern democratic political philosophy.

          • 4
            19

            Amarasiri:

            The UN acts (or fails to act) on behalf of Western powers with deep pockets, particularly the United States. It acted in Serbia/Kosovo after the genocide had occurred. The same for Rwanda and East Timor. It failed to prevent the illegal US invasion of Iraq and could not prevent the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Syrians. It did not condemn the Saudi bombing of Yemen, again, a violation of international law, since Yemen did not initiate an attack against Saudi Arabia. These are just a few of the inefficiencies of this organization. Now they are shedding crocodile tears over die-hard LTTE members killed “extrajudicially” or who “disappeared.” They should be condemning the diaspora that funded the terror machine for three decades. 

            • 4
              4

              Lester

              “The UN acts (or fails to act) on behalf of Western powers with deep pockets, particularly the United States.”

              The UN was formed and controlled by the winners of World War 2, namely United States, Soviet Union (Russia), Great Britain, France and China, and they have veto powers. Yes, they collectively fund the UN.

              Before that it was the League of Nations, controlled by Britain and France, which the USA refused to join because France and UK wanted Imperialism and Colonialism.

              WW 1- was the First Colonial -Imperial War.

              WW 2- was the Second Colonial -Imperial War.

              • 1
                12

                Amarasiri:

                The top 10 providers of assessed contributions to United Nations Peacekeeping operations for 2016 are:

                United States (28.57%)
                China (10.29%)
                Japan (9.68%)
                Germany (6.39%)
                France (6.31%)
                United Kingdom (5.80%)
                Russian Federation (4.01%)
                Italy (3.75%)
                Canada (2.92%)
                Spain (2.44%)

                The largest influence on UN decision-making is the 15-member Security Council. However, the 5 permanent members ( Russia, UK, France, China, and USA) are the ones who call the real shots, since they can veto any resolution sent before the Security Council, without approval of the other 10 members. With the exception of Japan and Germany, the largest donors to the UN also wield the most influence. In particular, the US, as I have noted earlier. The US interest in the UN is interesting, since its military-industrial complex operates outside the laws of any international body. The 28.75% contribution pays for diplomatic clout. If the US wants sanctions against Iran, or a resolution on genocide against Sri Lanka, such proposals will get attention at the highest levels. So the power structure of the UN is rather uneven. Only by having a seat on the Security Council or aligning with a permanent member can a less influential nation avoid condemnation or get a resolution passed. This is why Assad formed an alliance with Russia.

                • 1
                  3

                  Lester

                  “Only by having a seat on the Security Council or aligning with a permanent member can a less influential nation avoid condemnation or get a resolution passed. This is why Assad formed an alliance with Russia.”

                  Yes.

                  This is the pecking order.

                  Is Sri Lanka forming an alliance with Russia or China? Russia and China will sacrifice Sri Lanka for their OWN SELF-INTEREST because the interest of Russia and China with the West is much larger, and Sri Lanka can be sacrificed.Remember Iraq?

                  Had India invaded Sri Lanka in 1987, it would have been the same.

                  It is a a question of greater interest and self-interest.

                  • 9
                    1

                    Syria No love. Tartus is the Russian Navy’s only Mediterranean repair and replenishment spot, sparing Russia’s warships the trip back to their Black Sea bases through the Turkish Straits.

                    sudan China ran away leaving 80 billion contract when CIA entered. The Oil flows to Ethiopia via new 1 billion rail guarded by 50k ethiopian troops.
                    Lanka is going nowhere but it seeks India. Hindi bolo.

                  • 1
                    7

                    Amarasiri:

                    “Russia and China will sacrifice Sri Lanka for their OWN SELF-INTEREST because the interest of Russia and China with the West is much larger, and Sri Lanka can be sacrificed.”

                    Much more complicated than that. The primary foreign policy goal of Russia is to stop NATO expansion. That is why they have a permanent military base in Syria. China is forming alliances with various Asian and African nations via FDI (foreign direct investment). This is why you see so many Chinese infrastructure projects in Sri Lanka. Both Russia and China will provide diplomatic cover to Sri Lanka at the UN, if necessary. So Mahinda was clever to form these alliances, otherwise the US & its Western friends will pass many resolutions against Sri Lanka. As for the West, it is in a dangerous position right now. The banks are doing negative interest rates (you have to pay to keep your money in the bank), oil prices are low, the Islamic migration has created unrest among the native population, NATO is not expanding into Eastern European as expected, and the Syrian conflict is not ending. These conflicts are to the advantage of Russia and China.

                    • 5
                      0

                      The People’s Republic of China’s foreign currency holdings have dropped more than $1 trillion in the past two years, and some of its firms would be bankrupt in the West.

                      Brazil, Venezuela, South America is reeling.

                      These striking results call for context. At about $800 billion since 2005, Chinese investment is substantial, yet is still less than one-third the volume of American spending 2005–15.4 Because growth is likely to fade, hype should give way to homework. For countries chiefly interested in capital, do a firm and its backers have the promised funds? For countries with other concerns, what is the firm’s track record in following host country law, for example? Chinese acquisitions are winning headlines for good reason, but not looking closer may be costly.

                      Socialist need the rich man’s money for quality of life.
                      COFFEE HOUSE
                      The Chinese government are propping up George Osborne’s pet projects..Theresa May puts a stop
                      The delivery of criminal justice is relatively effective, but compromised by political interference. Close relatives of China’s top leaders have held secretive offshore companies in tax havens.

        • 17
          5

          “”Thanks in advance to Colombo Telegraph for monitoring any rubbish replies to this post by the madman “retzel” and editing as necessary. “

          You are a liar and a sociopath that cT has misten. You lied on Saudi , American Lanka economic statics and called yourself an ademic. There are many academics at London universities who do not know their subject. The mangers have a time herding them. you are one of them a slippery slither.
          have not sinhala nationalist demala.

    • 16
      4

      Sanja De Silva Jayatilleka

      “The Human Rights Council must not be a politicized arena where States instrumentalize human rights as weapons to defeat their political adversaries, where human rights are undermined through “side shows”, the “flavour of the month”, or where international law is applied à la carte.”

      You must have forgotten the cardinal rule, if your husband doesn’t treat you and your family well, the likely hood of strangers groping you, your sisters, your daughters, grandchildren, nieces, your mother, mother in law, your grandmas, your aunts are very high.

      Therefore you must always remind him the cardinal rule.

      You always have the option of divorcing the husband.

      If you don’t like the way this island is being treated by United Nations Human Rights Council well resign your membership immediately. Find like minded countries and with their support you could easily form your own United Nations Human Rights Violators Council, sort of NAM.

      We will be right behind you.

      • 2
        13

        Dear Native,

        How come you think of groping, every time a good looking person comes up with a view which is not your favourite flavour..

        • 10
          1

          KA Sumanasekera,

          How come you think of groping, “

          Adi gahala de?

          Those who will not reason, are bigots,
          those who cannot, are fools.

        • 5
          0

          Sumanasekera:

          “every time a good looking person comes up”

          You are joking, aren’t you? You need to wash your eyes.

    • 4
      2

      There is unconfirmed news that Srilanka government is not going to participate in the September UNHRC meeting in Geneva. The pressure is mounting for an impartial inquiry with international participation which will have the confidence of the victims of war crimes. There is no doubt that war crimes were committed by Srilanka security forces on non combatant Tamils not only in the last stages but also right from the begining in April 1984 when war against Tamils was declared with the appointment of Lalith Athulathmudali as minister of National security. Srilanka government cannot face international community while assuaring Sinhalese that they will not allow foreign meddling in internal affairs of the country. How long is Srilanka government going to play hide and seek, as they have no chance to sweep the matter of war crimes under the carpet just like other atrocities in the past.

      • 1
        1

        Cool story, bro :D

      • 1
        0

        “”There is unconfirmed news that Srilanka government is not going to participate in the September UNHRC meeting in Geneva.””

        you are anxious and ignorant.

        Monkey moon was singing Buddhist Sutta Jinapanjara Gata with BodhiSira whom the boat people fancied to passa who always attended.

        Obama/Hillary had a special release order for passa at the district courts of Columbia USA.

        Their terms end by the end of year.
        Now stay put to sept 2017 if you have any hope.

        you have no access to Trump.

        Republican Hindu Congress are Trumps primary funders before the party came in.
        Chicago Industrialist `Shalli` Kumar wants to do Pakistan not Lanka at present because now is the best time. to undo what unelected democrat Truman did to the sub- continent.

  • 12
    7

    unlike during the MR regime, professionals are handling this. Sanja can rest her troubled mind anf get her husband some tea as he burns the mid night oil with his latest conspiracy theories

  • 16
    1

    Wow, MR has got a two for one deal from Dayan!! What a bargain!!

  • 6
    17

    The army took care of the Tamil grass-roots racism. They had to innovate new tactics such as 8-man Long Rage Recon patrols etc to defeat the enemy.

    The recommendations seems to have a strong input from Tamil racists. I wouldn’t be surprised if those words came from the Sri Lankan “opposition leader” himself.

    I would feel awkward if I was forced to call our own “opposition leader” a liar. I can imagine being a govt is much harder.

    The Sri Lankan diplomats taking a page off the military, need to innovative new tactics to remove this monkey off Sri Lanka’s back for good. It requires telling the story in a new and interesting ways that makes an impact.

    There are 4 fronts. The overseas Tamils that includes ones in Tamil Nadu. The local political front, calling themselves “moderates”. Then their is a more insidious ones like Ravi Karunanayake whom are just closet Tamil racists.

    All facets of the govt including the intelligence services, the diplomatic core, propaganda units should come together and find a kick-ass solution.

  • 12
    2

    //Enforced disappearances have been used in a massive and systematic way in Sri Lanka for many decades//

    This IS accurate, dear lady. We know what happened in 1971. We know what happened to Wijeweera. We know what happened to Richard De Soyza. We know what happened to Chelvanayagam’s driver. And one can go on and on. The scale was massive and it was systematic. If I am right, your dear husband himself might have had a narrow escape in his young days from this systematic approach of our state’s counter terrorism machinery.

    Let’s not pretend Sri Lanka did not do wrong, much wrong. Let us find a way forward by which we don’t repeat the same mistakes again. It is only by recognising evils of our past can we avoid them in the future.

    There will shortly be a march from the Northern end to the Southern end to raise money to build a cancer hospital. Please join it or at least support it. Such acts, rather than trying to hide a pumpkin in a handful of rice, may be the way forward for us.

  • 12
    3

    Madam Sanja Jeyatilake,

    It looks like your husband is bury with Mahinda Rajapakse in planning a coup to bring back military rule in Srilanka. The truth is there were large sacle massacre was commited by Srilankan military by the orders of Rajapakse family. Accept the truth and find ways to change the brutal culture of the past with the help of UN and other civilised world is good for the people.
    I searched who is this new writer and [Edited out]

  • 12
    4

    Oh dear! Looks like Dayan J is getting his missus to write on his behalf (or present his views as hers, more likely).

    Wonder why????

    Can’t take the criticism and abuse his views attract, perhaps?

    Wonder what she thinks of his heroes and his servile obeisance to them.

    Poor thing,[Edited out]

  • 19
    2

    “” “massive and systematic” here makes it tantamount to a war crime,””
    – legal jargon of the ex_spurt.!

    The right word may be effective, but no word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause. ― Mark Twain

    “This is not rocket science, really.”

    modaya,Looking for celebrity? really so Aiyo it’s your husband’s draft.
    We seen MR1 use and throw MR 2 has just begun.

    “The Government is studying the recommendations made by the Working Group with a view to their implementation, and will continue to provide updates to the Working Group.”

    That’s it! “

    Higgano! Hingannage Thuwale- said the jokerman to the thief.

    “”Sri Lanka committed “atrocities” tantamount to “war crimes” and “crimes against humanity” in the past. “”

    implicitly and explicitly the government and ltte war crimes and crimes against humanity- prove otherwise too much waffle like a wattie amma.

    “”“The Human Rights Council must not be a politicized arena where States instrumentalize human rights as weapons to defeat their political adversaries, where human rights are undermined through “side shows”, the “flavour of the month”, or where international law is applied à la carte.”””

    UNHCR is patronised by poor governments like sri lanka that do not pay its dues for the functioning of UNHCR.

    When Lanka loses even with it’s highly politicised vote the world is wrong.
    Harry Truman was wrong when he gifted independance to the island’s settlers than to the then minority to be like a baharain.

    Shape shape Lankan morons. (conceal the obvious- shape)

  • 13
    5

    Sanja De Silva Jayatilleka is another Sinhala racist denier of the genocide of Tamils that the Sri Lankan armed forces on the egging on by the Sri Lankan state and its political leaders committed during the war against LTTE that ended in 2009.

    You don’t have to be rocket scientist to figure this out.

  • 8
    3

    [Edited out]
    As for you Sanja – all I can say is that little knowledge is very dangerous. Suggest you go to Medamulana and keep your hero company.

  • 14
    2

    “”Economic and Trade Agreement and the Trade in Services Agreement,””

    Without which Lankawe economic Gass Gembo.
    No new tech or resources at 80% GDP external debt.

    Where are the Colombo 7 Gas Works gas lines to home??
    Gass Gembo watti amma SriMao.

    The benefits are many India has pharma China can’t get it and is woeing. The new billionaires are from pharma. Need we say more than think of `prescription dispenser` doctors and it persons afraid of their own shadow of advance competition?? IT software and backoffice India leads the world -several sub_contracts to lanka in operation.InfoSys alone employs 300,000 a year.
    (standards of indian institutes is amalgamation of american and german So they shine- no strike at professional inst)
    Lankan imports of food and stuff is mainly from India and China for gimmicks is below.Imports – partners:
    India 24.6%, China 20.6%, UAE 7.1%, Singapore 5.9%, Japan 5.7% (2015)

  • 2
    3

    [Edited out]

  • 5
    13

    Sri lanka is an importing country. Sri lanka is maintaining a negative trade balance every where in the world. Because of that, Sri lanka doe snot need trade agreement. ETCA would make Sri lankan people unemployed by importing cheap indian labour.

    Recently, Moon said they maid mistakes rwanda, former Yugoslavia. Are they sending any one tp jail because of that. They killed Milosevic who now they say did not do anything wrong.

    there is a point Sri lanka Need to confront Tamils. Sri lanka Needs a foreign minister just like Mr. Kadiragaamr who can defned Sri lanka against OVerseas Living LTTE rump and west financed NGOs who are using ethnic differences in countries to their advantage. Sri lankan Foreign minsiter is not a capable person. At least he doe snot want to think that Kadiragamr to be a mentor. Sri lankan foreign minister every where says, “yes, yes we did every wrong that the LTTE rump and the NGOs are saying”.

    Sri lanka is also not going inside bed rooms and is not checking who is engaging in homosexual acts. IF so, why do we need to legalize athat and go behind it ?. Is it because Sri lanka want to legalize homosexuals having sex in open ?

    I don’t think Maitirhipala Sirisena or Ranil Wickramsinghe are interesting on those things.

    CBK is an anti – Sinhala – idiot who thinks she is a political genius.

    • 10
      2

      Jim Shit, is not only a 3rd class clown but also a comedian. Keep dreaming of your Sinhala only land. We will give it to you in your stinking pukka.

      • 3
        6

        Tamil from the North:

        You Dalits’ homeland is in South India which is a Tamil State since 1964. Fortunately, you are far away from Sinhale and in north america. That is good news. Coolies will be coolies where ever they are.

        • 6
          2

          Wise words from Ranjan Fernando:
          Jim not so softly, When racists like you live in their midst, the Sinhala race does not need any enemies. Your lot will destroy them. First you lot made them monolingual, then gave them a Mahavansa mindset and made them receive a dictator making them believe in a feudal Royal lineage. They are still suffering from it as we saw in the Pada Yathra. The Royalty is itching to come back and crush the remaining bit of independence and some semblence of Democracy. People like you will cheer “Long live the Rajapakses to finish off the Singhala race”!
          3 Aug 2016

        • 3
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          Lots of Dalits from what is now modern Tamil Nadu and then Tamil Kerala were imported into the island first by the Portuguese and then by the Dutch to work as slave labour. Their descendants are now the Sinhalese Karawa Salagama Durawa etc with typical surnames like Perera Fernando Silva De Silva Soysa De Soysa Mendis Vas Cabraal Waduge, Ferdinando, Dias etc. May be even one of your own. Around half the so called present day Sinhalese are descended from these imported Indian Tamil slave labour Dalits. Many like the author of this article and other blogger here are now the biggest Sinhalese Buddhist racists. Most probably to hide their very recent Indian Tamil Dalit origin.

          • 0
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            Cool story bro :D Is it available on Kindle? :D

  • 7
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    Dear Author and all forum participants,
    Please don’t show your racial animosity. The recent history of Sri Lanka is created by its people. People send opportunist politicians to Administer the Country and the Country went down the precipice. Whatever you say and whatever you write will only inform the world who you are and it will never change the history for good. The future is already molded by the past. Writing or saying will never change anything. What you have already done is what makes history. What you will be doing now and in the future may reduce the momentum of change for the coming decades. Unfortunately all successive Governments after independence are focusing on matters detrimental and you will be seeing the results again in the near future. It is not a surprise. It happens all the time from the past to the present. It is always happening.

    • 1
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      Richrad:

      that is what every one is preaching.

      Western govts are preaching humanrights, accountability, transparency, blah…blah.

      But, when it comes to action, they won’t.

      Every write here in Ct, criticizes Sinhala buddhists. If they talk it is not assertiveness, it becomes racism, aggressiveness.

      Even LTTE was freedom fighters for them.

      If Sinhala buddhist monk talks about what is happening to the Sinhala -buddhist civilization, that is Racism and need to be jailed.

      what BS ha.

  • 10
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    Dear Sanja,
    You say “But “systematic”? Was Sri Lanka a state where “massive” disappearances were “systematic”, for “many decades”?”

    Well I have lived all my life here and can vouch for it, since I have personally seen the tyre pyres in 1989 and the floating bodies in 1971.
    Perhaps, dear lady, you were either not born or were beside your hubby at the UN, and did not see these things? Get real, dear.
    You want a referendum for ETCA? I think the referendum should be in India.
    Their leaders need to have their heads examined for offering us the deal.

  • 8
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    Dear Sanja,
    “But “systematic”? Was Sri Lanka a state where “massive” disappearances were “systematic”, for “many decades”?”

    I seem to remember a certain young politician by the name of Mahinda Rajapaksa going to Geneva in 1989 and claiming just that. Are you saying he was wrong?

  • 3
    5

    You cannot expect a dress designer and a bunch of gay happy ministers to be intellectual like Kadirgamar now can you?

    • 3
      1

      KaradaraDias
      Are you implying Kadirgamar is intellectually superior to Magala because the former is a Tamil?? you racist bigot

  • 3
    0

    Word to word De Silva’s english and logic.

    6000 witness substantial number of Sinhala Soldiers reported to OISL. Noticeable missing one are Hakeem and Thero De Silva. That is why the Massive – Systematic is there. In 2009 Thero de Silva misguided UNHRC. Now almost all of them know it. UNSG said in Lankawe that whatever Thero said in 2009 were lies, but listening to that UN failed to save Tamils life.

    Chandrika knows whether it is systematic or not. When the corporal Rajapakse stated to talk in Krisanthi murders case, she just locked him up and shut his mouth. If Charika had failed to act quickly, how many army officers has been raping and burying how many Krisanthis in Chemani during her administration would have come out.

    If Bastiampillai wake up, he would give a lesson to De Silva of the missing person’s list.

  • 1
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    Karadara Dias,
    Kadirgamar had better respect for Mangala than MaRa Bros & Co. If you do not believe me send a note to MS he will put the issue you raised in perspective. They were altogether.
    Hope MS & Mangala rebut you soon with facts.

    What do you know better about Kadirgamar’s patriotism in comparision to MaRa Bros & Co smart patriotism.

    It is time CB & MS reveal more about Kadirgamar days under CB & under & MaRa.

    Hope CT do not edit this out.

  • 2
    26

    I completely agree with the author that

    (1)Sri Lanka should have and should even now record (strong) reservations on the inclusion of an unsubstantiated sentence from a HR High Commissioner’s speech which would prejudice the Council in its Mission Report. Otherwise it would create future repercussions.

    (2)Sri Lanka should have and should at least now request clarification or modification of the wording in Para 6 which amounts to deliberate ‘massive and systematic’ war crimes for many decades. An undiplomatic question here is what the hell the UNHRC or the Working Group was doing all these decades?

    Of course Sri Lanka should be engaged with the Working Group positively. But it should not be meek submission or aggressive denial.

    I am not here commenting on author’s final comments on an Independent Expert Report (Alfred de Zayas) or ETCA.

    • 13
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      Dear Dr. Laksiri,

      If you agree withthe statement, Can you deny with substantial evidence that it is not deliberate, it is not massive and it is not systematic war crimes” for many decades. You can start with colonization to change demography, Sinhala only act,language based, standardization 1958, 1962, 1977, 1981, 1983 and 1983-2015.

      How do you want to rephrase the sentance?

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        Dear Ajith,

        I think you mean ‘if I don’t agree with the statement’ of the UNHR Commissioner.

        I suggested to place a reservation because (1) it is not a finding of the mission which came to Sri Lanka and (2) the Commissioner made the statement based on the Darusman Report of which many of the sweeping accusations were not substantiated. In addition, I must say that if the UN produces reports of the Darusman type, whether on Sri Lanka or elsewhere, then the credibility of the UN and the accusations would be highly suspect. I have been the chief representative of the World University Service (Geneva) to the Human Rights Commission during 1984-1991, and I have never seen that type of an unprofessional report.

        Now you have given some events of discrimination and violence against the Tamils from colonization to 2015! The sweeping character of your statement is also clear. Do you mean the beginning of 2015 or the end of 2015? If it is the end, why have you left 2016? I can agree that when taken together, the discriminations, violations and violence are massive. But I doubt whether all those were systematic. If it is systematic then who was behind? Of course, one can accuse the State or the Sinhalese. First, I don’t think a ‘collective guilt’ could be placed on a whole community, whether the Sinhalese or the Tamils for any violation. Second, when we refer to the Sri Lankan State, it was governed by the elected representatives. Whether colonization, Sinhala only or standardization, those were policies however discriminatory. The correction of those have to be done through the democratic system, while I agree that majoritarianism is an obstacle.

        But the most important question is whether they are war crimes? Let us forget about layman’s understanding of the International Criminal Law. But how can the UN appointed professionals indulge in such interpretations? In respect of 1958, 1977, 1981 or 1983, I agree that there were organized elements behind the violations and all perpetrators should have been punished. But what the hell the UN was doing all these days? What about 1971 and 1987-91? We have to agree that Sri Lanka has been and still a violent society. Many of the human rights violations in Sri Lanka or other countries occur because of conflicts. In these conflicts there are of course perpetrators and victims but not in a black and white manner.

        It is my concerned view that those who accuse Sri Lanka of ‘massive and systematic war crimes’ particularly genocide have to confront two challenges, if they are sincere and genuine. First is the democratic character of the state system, however lopsided and defective. Second is the non-recognition of ‘Terrorism’ as a war crime in the present international criminal law. I really don’t know your view on ‘terrorism.’ Can you kindly explain?

        Of course there are all indications that there were human rights violations which would tantamount to war crimes particularly between 1983 and 2009 on both sides. (You cannot consider the previous events war crimes because there was no war! I think people like you should refrain from mere rhetoric.) The events between 1983 and 2009 should be investigated. I have written about some of the clear cases. I think because of the accusers’ political rhetoric, some of the perpetrators can easily escape in the political melee.

        On my part, I consider terrorism as a war crime. It was considered when the Rome Statutes were drafted, but dropped for convenience because of the lack of an agreement. That is how the UN works! Don’t trust them too much.

        You have finally asked me to rephrase the Commissioner’s statement. Why should I do that Ajith? I’ll do that, if I am appointed the Commissioner! At least I have a PhD on human rights. But I don’t think that guy has one!

        By the way Ajith, can you identify yourself at least with your surname? Then we may continue.

        • 17
          1

          “At least I have a PhD on human rights.”

          It didn’t stop you from proposing a motion at the Senate on the 29th of May 2009 soon after the war had ended conferring honourary doctorates to MR and Gota.

          What good did the PhD on human rights do to wise you up? Later in October 2015 (6 years lapsed after honouring both)you did propose to revoke their doctorates from MR and GR however not on the ground of war crimes nor on crimes against humanity but on some flimsy reasons.

          I Propose To Revoke Doctorates From GR & MR
          https://www.colombotelegraph.com/
          index.php/i-propose-to-revoke
          -doctorates-from-gr-mr/

          I always thought BSc, MSc, PhD … do not make a person wise. You have amply proved my point.

          However I appreciate the fact that you have demonstrated your intellectual honesty to demand revocation of both hounours albeit late in the day.

          By the way I hate to remind you that it is not ” Darusman Report” as you describe but a “Report of the Secretary-General’s Panel of Experts on Accountability in Sri Lanka”.

        • 13
          1

          Laksiri,

          Why do you keep referring to it as the Darusman Report?

          Why not refer to it as the Report of the Secretary-General’s Panel of Experts on Accountability in Sri Lanka?

          Is it too long? If so, how about calling it the Panel of Experts Report?

          Marzuki Darusman may have been the chair. But there was significant input from Steven Ratner, Yazmin Sooka and a host of stakeholders.

          Calling it the Darusman Report is like calling Sri Lanka the Democratic Socialist Republic of Rajapaksa simple because he was the president. You get the point?

          There are also issues pertaining to your argument that you know more about human rights than the Human Rights Chief because you have a PhD in it.

          If we were to use your yardstick, then the report produced by the three members of the panel appointed by the UN Secretary general should be better than your opinion since it involves 2 more brains than you and the following collective qualifications:

          Marzuki Darusman – He is a lawyer and was Indonesia’s prosecutor general from 1999 to 2001.

          Yazmin Sooka – She is a human rights lawyer and has served on served on the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

          Steven Ratner – Holds a Juris Doctor, MA (diplôme) and an AB.

          Don’t forget that you were the joker who proposed the awarding of doctorates to Mahinda and Gota in 2009. Then in 2015, you proposed that the doctorates be annulled.

          Why didn’t you ask for the annulment when the Rajapaksas were in power? Once you work out an answer to this, you will magically find out the answer to your question as to why the UN did not intervene in the early seventies and in the late eighties.

        • 8
          1

          Dear Laksiri,
          Thanks for your response. You have raised few questions and I am happy to answer most of them within my ability and knowledge. I am an ordinary man without any involvement in political organisations or institutions throughout my life. Like any other citizen I am a political observer and I also a have a phD in Economics and working experience as an Economist and Operational Researcher (Analyst – not political). I appreciate your writings I have no doubt about your sincerity about finding a suitable political solution to the lasting problems in Srilanka.
          Questions
          Q1.Do you mean the beginning of 2015 or the end of 2015?
          Yes. I meant the beginning of 2015 because I thought that the change happened in 2015 beginning was with the clear understanding that there is a need to resolve the issues of the past. However, I couldn’t have the confidence because of the past experience.

          Q2. But I doubt whether all those were systematic. If it is systematic then who was behind?
          In my opinion, it is systematic because most of the actions against were planned with some intentions. For example, colonization with military protection was planned to change the demography in the North East. Riots were planned and organised against Tamils throughout the country in the presence of military, so far none of the crimes committed against Tamils were investigated for the losses were compensated. During the 2006-09 period, the population count in the vanni was deliberately reduced to 70000 to use the food and medicine as a weapons. Even now, the building of Buddhist Temples where there is no Buddhist community is part of systematic move. The military structure was converted into 99% Sinhalese only over the period is systematic. I don’t know who is behind this. It could be Buddhist Sinhala Fundamenalists or it could be political opportunistics or it could be a combination of both. But the truth is that it has become a more systematic. You can say they are policies and you can correct it. For example, take the colonization which changed the demographic pattern in the East. How can you correct it now? Gone is gone.

          Q3.But what the hell the UN was doing all these days? What about 1971 and 1987-91?

          In 1971, JVP staged a armed struggle. This happened during SLFP government. Hundreds of youths were disappeared, murdered. 1987-91, JVP again staged armed struggle. Thousands were disappeared, murdered. This happened during UNP Government. All these need to be investigated. Even JVP leader was murdered in he was in Prison. You asked what the hell the UN was doing? I will ask what the hell you all Sinhalese doing? Why you all were silent until now? Even now it is not too late? The truth of the matter is you (not you) never questioned when something happened to Tamils. For example, the Jaffna library was burnt by thugs brought by UNP ministers. Every one knows who did this. Where was the police? Where was the justice system? Are you going to say that Jaffna library is danger to Sinhalese and it will lead to separate state?
          I know UN may be influenced by some powers and they are not consistent but there is an opportunity here to use the UN Human rights resolution to make changes that is good for the Nation, good for the people, good for the good governance. First of all we should be honest to ourselves. Our politicians, Our political culture our military, our institutions are brought up in a way that is the real enemy of democracy, law and order and justice. We can’t be very proud of our Nation based on our governance since independence.

          Q4:I really don’t know your view on ‘terrorism.’ Can you kindly explain?

          Terrorims, War crimes are very complex issues. As far as Srilanka is concerned, Political opportunism is the fundamental cause for the detrimental of democracy, law and order and justice system. UNP and SLFP, both played political opportunism and still they play game.
          I don’t know what lead to Sinhalese youth take up arms against security forces in 1971. Probably unemployment was the prime reason but there was not enough political campaign before their armed struggle. But the reason for the Tamil youths taking up arms was the discrimination in the form language based on standardisation. However, on the political side, the political campaign of Tamil political parties on the state sponsored Sinhala Colonization to various events happened until 1970 and thereafter all contributed to the armed struggle. So, there was a valid reason for LTTE formation and arms struggle. We should also accept the fact that Tamil people also justified the political and armed camapagin.
          It is not a secret that LTTE, Paramilitary groups, Srilanka Military, JVP, IPKF, Muslim Paramilitaries all involved in violence against each other and civilians.
          Whatever that was targeted towards civilians sufferings should be considered as war crimes and should be investigated. LTTE attack on civilian targets, Srilanka military attack on civilian targets, Mulsim paramilitary attack on civilian targets, Paramilitary attack on civilian targets, child soldiers recruitment, attck on schhols, hospitals etc.

          There is no excuse for denying the investigations. UN involvement is important because, the international community involved directly and indirectly in this conflict.
          The investigation is important because:
          So far we have failed to investigate any violence against civilians by security forces and politicians including 1971 & 1989 state terrorism. Whether you punish or not those involved with the crime, you have to develop the culture not to deny the truth. Denial means you are not going to correct it.Denial of truth is not going to help for good governance.

          • 0
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            Dear Ajith,

            Thank you for your long and frank response. But I think our views substantially differ at present on some of the key points. Most important is what you have said in respect of origins/motives of the LTTE or the JVP and your almost blind faith in the UN system or the external involvement in justice in Sri Lanka. Let me begin with some neutral grounds.

            You have said: “I don’t know what lead to Sinhalese youth take up arms against security forces in 1971. Probably unemployment was the prime reason but there was not enough political campaign before their armed struggle.”

            Probably you must have thought that I was sympathetic to the 1971 insurrection when I mentioned it to you. No, not at all. It has been my view that the 1971 insurrection was not due to unemployment or economic grievances, but to the insurrectionary ideology apart from the type of leadership and the organization. It was from the beginning largely underground. I beg your pardon to relate some personal experiences. I was a junior lecturer at the Vidyodaya University when it happened. I was opposed to their activities and even warned my students, and I was physically attacked by a monk named Baddhiya. After he was released from the jail for the insurrection, he came and apologized. I did my master’s thesis on that insurrection under Prof. A. J. Wilson (UNB) and it was my conclusion that in the case of organized violence in contrast to spontaneous ones, what comes to play is not so much of objective factors but subjective ones. That was in 1974. I was criticizing the so-called frustration aggression theory. Nevertheless, I was opposing the way the insurrection was put down and particularly the way the investigations were conducted through introspective legislation of the Criminal Justice Commission (CJC). I don’t need to say anything about what the JVP did during 1987-89. I was abroad. Nevertheless, I made submissions to the UN Human Rights Commission against the way the leaders were killed. I was right there in Geneva at that time. That is as far as the Southern insurrections are concerned.

            On the Northern violence you have said “But the reason for the Tamil youths taking up arms was the discrimination in the form language based on standardisation. However, on the political side, the political campaign of Tamil political parties on the state sponsored Sinhala Colonization to various events happened until 1970 and thereafter all contributed to the armed struggle. So, there was a valid reason for LTTE formation and arms struggle. We should also accept the fact that Tamil people also justified the political and armed campaign.”

            Here again we have a clear difference. I don’t think it was merely the language based standardization that led the Tamil youth to take up arms. However, on the language based standardization, I marked my little protest. At the University of Peradeniya there was a printed short document prepared against it. I think it was Dr Kasinathan (philosophy) who initiated it. I was a signatory. That time I was at Peradeniya. I have written on the standardization in Sinhala. Yes, I agree with you, the contributory factors to that armed struggle were complex. The ‘political campaigns of Tamil political parties’ as you say is one. You have highlighted ‘state sponsored Sinhala colonization.’ Being an economist you must be knowing about it better. Colonization is not a strong point in me because I have not studied it carefully. But can’t there be other sides to it? The word ‘colonization’ is wrong. And if it was ‘Sinhala colonization’ it is completely wrong. But can one deny the need in a country like Sri Lanka particularly of that time in ‘land settlement schemes’ to alleviate poverty? My experience is limited. But I have seen such schemes for example in Mahiyangana and some other areas in some field visits. If the way it was conducted was wrong, bias or even ethnically motivated, the task is to protest (peacefully), consistently and negotiate through democratic means. For what else do we have democracy whatever the incumbent weaknesses? If the responsible political parties, directly or indirectly, inspire youth to indulge in violence I think it is wrong then or even today. I have my serious doubts about Wigneswaren and about what he is doing today. He is justifying the LTTE. This is quite dangerous.

            I completely disagree with you when you say “So, there was a valid reason for LTTE formation and arms struggle.” Of course one can understand that under certain circumstances young may be driven to violent action or armed struggle. However, responsible political leaders should not fan them. I do realize that such circumstances were there in Jaffna in 1970s and early 1980s. I would give more weight to police suppression than to other policy matters (like colonization or standardization). I was in Jaffna in a MIRJE mission in early 1981 before the burning of the Jaffna Library that you also have mentioned. I in fact spoke at a meeting in the Library. Therefore, its burning was heartrending and a gross violation against the Tamils, their culture and the heritage. We visited around 25 families affected by police suppression. At one place, there were two young female undergraduates and they were humiliated when the police came to arrest their brother. I think they said their jewellery were taken. The father said, right or wrong, my son was arrested (also attacked in front of them) because he knew Thambi attending the same Tutory. He also added that his son was wrong if he has done anything wrong. He asked me about my home place and when I said Moratuwa, he said he was visiting Moratuwa and other places to sell Jaffna cigars in the 1960s. He lamented that he cannot do that now. During this time there were some militant activities going on in Jaffna as you know. We also visited the house of the slain police officer Bastianpillai. The house was closed, but his black Peugeot was there in the garage. The family had left. I believe 1974 World Tamil Research Conference was a turning point in all these events.

            However, the above and others were not valid reasons for a prolonged armed struggle, first using terrorism as a tactic and then using it as the main strategy. I call it terrorism. There were inspirers inside and outside the country. During one of my visits to Tamil Nadu in late 1980s, I was shown a training camp of the LTTE (from a distance of course) on our way to Kolli Hills from Salem. It could be seen from up the hill. One of my Indian (Tamil Nadu) friends also said, right or wrong, there was one professor who lives in America behind the LTTE activities. If I remember correct the name was about one Mahalingam. I may be wrong or even he may be wrong. Of course these are hearsay, but there can be some truth behind it. I am not attributing conspiracy but highlighting the ideological and leadership factors. If the reasons are about grievances in Sri Lanka (colonization, Sinhala only, standardization etc.) then why so much of Tamil Nadu involvement even today? The DMK failed to achieve a separate state in India and then they were trying to achieve it in Sri Lanka, as a stepping stone perhaps, one can argue. Of course one can also argue, it is about ethnic solidarity across borders. There is nothing wrong in that. But then why so much of emotional outburst? I think these are the factors that we have to unravel. These are the factors of ethnic competition and antagonism between the two communities even beyond borders. These are the same or much worse in the case among the Sinhalese.

            As you say, and I also partly agree, “We should also accept the fact that Tamil people also justified the political and armed campaign.” I would say by and large or on and off. But the question is why? I believe it was part of a long term indoctrination like in the South from the other end. I wonder whether you have seen Eric Hobsbawm’s interpretation of the Federal Party manifesto of 1951? It is there in his book on “Nations and Nationalism.” I will relate it some other time in detail. There you see the seeds of separatism. This is well before the Sinhala only or other ‘atrocities.’ Of course it was after the initial colonization. This is what I say as the ideological influence behind the LTTE. Didn’t Kumar Ponnambalam say something like ‘we are not fighting for grievances but for our aspirations?’ I may not be accurate. However, I don’t think there is anything wrong of people having aspirations. But when they are related to an exclusive ethnicity that creates problems in a united or a common country. The reluctance of the Sinhalese to accept and the reluctance of the Tamils to accommodate have been the main reasons for the conflict. This is what we have to change.

            You have expressed your view clearly about investigations. Yes, I do agree that “any violence against civilians by security forces” should be investigated. But why only security forces? I think all violence should be investigated. For your list you have even included 1971. I lost two of my friends without any connection with the JVP during that period. Well, we uncovered ‘some truth’ but it was not possible to prosecute for the lack of evidence. Finding the truth is not an easy task especially when you go back and back to the past. We got to be practical. Therefore, for the purposes of ethnic reconciliation and justice and good governance it is my view that we should focus on the period since 1983, separated into different periods. Even that is not an easy task. One reason is that people understand even the ‘truth’ in different manner. The task should be to build consensus even on what we understand as the truth. To me, the primary premise should be to dispel all forms of violence.

            In respect of investigations you seems to favour UN investigations. I have my doubts for two main reasons particularly now. (1) It appears that the UN is motivated by international politics and not by the need to find the truth. I am not against the UN expressing concern or even pressurising the government. But they should not try to take over. Overdose of international pressure can lead to another round of conflict. That is exactly what happened in Rwanda that Ban Kin-moon has admitted. (2) If the purpose of the investigation is to find the truth and ‘develop a culture of not denying the truth,’ as you say, then naturally it has to be by the local people. Otherwise how can they learn? How can they change the culture of denial? It has to be mainly internal and not external whatever the weaknesses. The change should come internally but not externally. From my personal experience I really doubt about the UN expertise and some of their motivations. They have messed up many places. I frankly think that some of the motives of the UN movers are political and not genuine apart from their incompetence.

            • 4
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              Dear Laksiri,
              My thoughts on your responses.

              “But I think our views substantially differ at present on some of the key points. Most important is what you have said in respect of origins/motives of the LTTE or the JVP and your almost blind faith in the UN system or the external involvement in justice in Sri Lanka. Let me begin with some neutral grounds.”

              I also agree that our views differ substantially on major issues.This may be due to the nature of enviornment of our birth and nurture, availability of information/facts to us and personal experience. It is true that every human being is influenced by enviornmental factors and I don’t think we are exceptions. You misunderstood that I have a blind faith in the UN system or external involvement. I know that UN is nothing different from Srilanka. It is power politics and opportunistic politics.

              UN may or may not bring Justice in Srilanka, similarly Tamils may not get justice from the justice system of Srilanka. But it is an undeniable fact that the International pressure had an influence (both good and bad) in Srilanka.At the same time, I don’t think that Srilanka’s law & Order & justice system is capable of giving justice to Tamils.

              “””The word ‘colonization’ is wrong. And if it was ‘Sinhala colonization’ it is completely wrong. But can one deny the need in a country like Sri Lanka particularly of that time in ‘land settlement schemes’ to alleviate poverty?””””

              You may say the word colonization is wrong. But this term was used officially by the Government as well. I don’t know whether you have heard of “Colonization Officers”. You can simply say this prograame of “land settlement schemes to alleviate poverty” but Tamils believed that it had also political motive to change the demography in the North East. I don’t think that these schemes helped to alleviate povery but it definitely changed the demography pattern in the East and contribued to create conflict between communities. In otherwords, the socio-econmic & political impact of these schemes was negative. This was recognised later by SWRD and Dudley and they have included. See below:

              “It was agreed that in the matter of colonization schemes the powers of the regional councils shall include the power to select allottees to whom lands within their area of authority shall be alienated and also power to select personnel to be employed for work on such schemes. The position regarding the area at present administered by the Gal Oya Board in this matter requires consideration.”
              You said:
              “If the way it was conducted was wrong, bias or even ethnically motivated, the task is to protest (peacefully), consistently and negotiate through democratic means.”
              Do you think there was no peaceful protests, no negotiations, no agreements? Do you think 1958 violence are started by Tamils? Do you think the “Sathyagraha” in front of Parliament by members of parliament was violent? Do you think 1960’s Satyagraha protest by Tamils was violent? There was a long democratic campaign before armed conflict.
              As I pointed earlier, so many factors including discriminative policies of both governments, violent reaction of the government & its military to the peaceful protests, continued denial for justice and terror of the state machinary have contributed to the armed struggle. Whether it is right or wrong the accumulation of above factors contributed to that and democratic state institutions failed to avoid the armed struggle of Tamil youth.

              “””I have my serious doubts about Wigneswaren and about what he is doing today. He is justifying the LTTE. This is quite dangerous.””

              I don’t know why are bringing Wigneswaran and LTTE here. I fully disagree with you. I didn’t expect this from you. LTTE did not come from Moon or Jupitor. This sort of statement is similar to that of Wimal weerawanse and BBS. This sort of propaganda will help only the hands of racists in the South.

              They are our children, brothers and sisters. They are the sons and daughters of the island of Srilanka. They are brutal & violent similar to the brutality of Sinhala military ( I say Sinhala military because the 99% are Sinhalese). I personaly experieced the brutality of Sinhala military). This is in 1986. I was a civil servant working in the North. My Wife was working in Batticaloa. We had our first child and he was just one year. Wife got transferred to North. We all travelled in a Bus and the bus was stopped for serach. They asked all men to get down and I got down with my child. The Commander asked me where are you from and where are you going. I showed my both official and National ID card and told where I am going. But he pulled me and kicked me several time for no reason. The baby was crying. He didn’t stop it. He used racist language. This is only an example. Once I was threatened in gun point. There are so many experiences.

              Wigneswarn highlights the problems faced by the Tamils. He highlights the suffering of those political prisoners in the jail for long without investigation. He ask justice for those who disappeared by the security forces. He ask for the reduction of military in the North and the relaese of land to those owners of the land. He ask for international participation in the accountability process. He ask to stop building Buddhist temples where there is no Sinhalese civilians. He ask Tamils to learn Sinhala. He ask land and police powers to provinces.
              These are peoples concerns, may be LTTE’s concern as well. But they are not violent and they are not against Sinhala people.

              “”In respect of investigations you seems to favour UN investigations.””

              I am not saying that UN should investigate but it is good to have some involvement in making the investigation at least to show that it is not biased and not against to any community.I will be happy that investigations are done locally and justice is delivered to the victims and those who committed crimes punished whether it is LTTE or Military or any politician. I mentioned security forces because so far there was no investigations in this land against security forces whereas we had several investigations and punishments against LTTE. Yes All crimes should be investigated. However, I don’t have faith in our justice system, particularly in the law & order system which is dominantly politicised and ethnicide. This is where we need input from some outsiders that is acceptable to both Tamils and Sinhalese.
              I would suggest TWO Judges nominated by Govt, TWO judges nominated by Tamils and one from another nation acceptable to both sides.

              • 0
                3

                Dear Ajith,

                When I said our views differ substantially at present, I didn’t mean that those are fixed. Otherwise, how can we arrive at some truth? And what is the point in us discussing? At first, I frankly didn’t consider you to be from the Tamil community. Because although not completely the same, similar views were held by some past Leftists. Who comes to my mind is Edmund Samarakkody whom I associated somewhat closely. I do accept that our environment has some bearing on our views, knowingly or unknowingly. But I try my best to be objective and go by rationality and by facts. I believe this is possible as an academic and as a human being.

                I am extremely sorry about some of the experiences that you have gone through. I have no such experience except my nephew (wife’s only brother’s only son) got killed in the 1996 train bomb blast. I have associated very many Tamil teachers and colleagues. I have never experienced any offensive behaviour or treatment. If I had any bad experience, it was only once when I was studying in Canada and my teacher (a Tamil) immediately came to defend me. Therefore I understand that we have different experiences.

                But we do have some common understanding or views as well. For example, after critiquing the UN, when you say “But it is an undeniable fact that the International pressure had an influence (both good and bad) in Sri Lanka” I have no hesitation to accept. Let me quote from the Preface of a book I published in 2002 (Human Rights, Politics and States: Burma, Cambodia and Sri Lanka).

                “I have been of the opinion for some years that three main political processes shape and condition human rights circumstances in our countries, to mean the underdeveloped and Asian countries, for good or for bad. These processes are namely: 1. Internal political mobilizations by civil society organizations; 2. State-making by political leaders; and 3. International influence by multi-national organizations and Western countries.”

                But I give more weight to the first two than the third at present (or generally), given that some changes have happened (January and July 2015) and some progress is in the offing including the initiatives for a new constitution etc. If you go through my article carefully again, my point was to change the present ‘meek attitude’ of the government to a more constructive one also realizing and believing that there is a clear imbalance in the present UN approach. That is primarily the non-recognition of terrorism as a war crime and a cause for more and more conflicts in a country. Here I believe, as you have expressed, we have a difference. I hope you will change it in the future.

                I also frankly believe unless the leaders of the Tamil community very clearly and openly distance themselves from the past LTTE policies, what I call largely terrorism and separatism, whatever we have achieved so far (since 2015) is not going to work. It is in that context I mentioned the extremist policies of Wigneswaren. I think we all should deny and denounce both State terrorism and LTTE terrorism. There is no point in saying that LTTE terrorism was a reaction to State terrorism. Even if it is the case, terrorism cannot be condoned in any manner. This is not any longer a controversy between you and me. That is why I have already converted my response to a separate article. Thank you very much for stimulating my views.

                • 2
                  0

                  Dear Laksiri,
                  As I mentioned earlier I appreciate your sincerity and honest to make this beautiful island into a peaceful place for all its citizens. For me both Tamil & Sinhalese political leadership should take full responsibility for what happened since independence but those who were in power should take more responsibilty for their failure to unite the people together.In my view Fundamentalism and Terrorism (Both State and Non-State) Terrorism are dangerous to the unity of the people. Trust building is the need of the hour, not fear mongering. The Tamil leadership openly and clearly expressed what they are looking from Sinhalese leadership. It is now up to the Sinhala political leadership to win the heart and minds of the Sinhalese people.

                  Best wishes!

                • 0
                  0

                  “” Let me quote from the Preface of a book I published in 2002 (Human Rights, Politics and States: Burma, Cambodia and Sri Lanka). “

                  I do not believe the Burmese would bother reading what you wrote from Australia.

                  Here is a quote from a full bred Asian who turned the world around.

                  With few exceptions, democracy has not brought good government to new developing countries..
                  What Asians value may not necessarily be what Americans or Europeans value.
                  Westerners value the freedoms and liberties of the individual.
                  As an Asian of Chinese cultural background, my values are for a government which is honest, effective and efficient.

                  Lee Kuan Yew (educated in Cambridge and speaks English, called Harry when young) in speech entitled ‘Democracy, Human Rights and the Realities’, Tokyo, Nov 10, 1992

                  That is the necessity not bollocks talk- after the sinhal only and takeover of schools.

                  ““At least I have a PhD on human rights.” “

                  Not suprised like general arts graduate DJ you are spin doctor
                  doing the Pakistan healing Dance. PhD.

        • 1
          0

          Dr Laksiri Fernando

          “I’ll do that, if I am appointed the Commissioner! At least I have a PhD on human rights. But I don’t think that guy has one! “

          Good. You have a Ph.D. in human rights.Can you please write the Sri Lankan version of the Common Sense Phamplet before you are appointed the Commissioner.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_Sense_(pamphlet)

          There are too many Idiots, Modayas and Mootals in Sri Lanka, and they need to be informed and make them think clearly. It is hard battle because the average IQ of Sri Lankan Paras is 79.

          National IQ Scores – Country Rankings

          The intelligence scores came from work carried out earlier this decade by Richard Lynn, a British psychologist, and Tatu Vanhanen, a Finnish political scientist, who analysed IQ studies from 113 countries, and from subsequent work by Jelte Wicherts, a Dutch psychologist.

          Countries are ranked highest to lowest national IQ score.

          Rank
          ——– Country
          ———————– %
          ————-
          1 Singapore 108
          2 South Korea 106
          3 Japan 105
          4 Italy 102
          5 Iceland 101
          5 Mongolia 101
          6 Switzerland 101
          7 Austria 100
          7 China 100
          7 Luxembourg 100
          7 Netherlands 100
          7 Norway 100
          7 United Kingdom 100

          28 Sri Lanka 79
          28 Zambia 79

      • 9
        0

        Ajith

        You explain your suffering however you must understand how the Sinhala/Buddhist state destroyed innocent Sinhalese youth in 1971 and between 1987 and 1990.

        It is no wonder that the same state (politicians, bureaucracy, armed forces) continued its war on people. The brutal state does not give a damn about people, whether they are from Sinhalese, Tamils or Muslims communities.

        The truth is Sinhalese youth are not very happy either, their bottled up anger and simmering frustration might boiled over again.

        Hope Dr Laksiri Fernando investigates other forces that will have important impact on future direction of this island.

        • 2
          0

          “”Hope Dr Laksiri Fernando investigates other forces that will have important impact on future direction of this island. “2

          you have given a foreign name a rather tough assignment.
          If it was a radala from kandy then he may be able to probe but his final verdict would never be even close to a Chilcot report.

    • 6
      1

      “An undiplomatic question here is what the hell the UNHRC or the Working Group was doing all these decades?”

      A good question. Though the learned professor has managed to tweak the question, he knows there are answers for it, too. UN is a organization services to members. So the real question is only where hell the learned Sinhala Intellectuals of Lankawe to raise these issues UN (or UNHRC)? When Old King went to JVP, why others didn’t go for Tamils systematic massive disappearances? The only answer for that is Sinhala Intellectual Racism. Instead of being in the hell of the Old Royal’s criminal camps, if they had been prompt, some response from UN would have been tangible. Unfortunately the entire crimes were committed by successive government and the Sinhala Intellectual in turn, saved them but never bothered to reached UN for help. That is the circumstances for the question of what the hell the ICC doing now, without dragging the Old Royals all the way to Hague to from Hambantota and pile them on the electric chair. Amnesty, HRW and other social Service organization who can act was distracted by the never ending propaganda of Bell Pottinger releases of “Lies Agreed Upon”. One time the NGOs worked against Tamils. Now they have the truth and pushing cases in UNHRC. Still there is no Tamil representation at UNHRC to bring the truths there. UNHRC still remaining as an accessible platform only for Thero de Silva likes crooks who are playing scrabbles with the words of “Massive” and “Systematic”.

      UN appointed Vije Nambiar but his family was engaged in military consultation to Lankawe. Radhika, who had chance to raise some issue at UNESCO, hoping for UNSG position, worked with Old King and Karuna. These are some of the hells UN Offical were hiding.

      UN forced Appe Anduwa to take IIGEP. Though on the stage it was voluntary stage, (Old King is not the voluntary person to let international legal persons into Lankawe), it was result of the complaints made to Human Rights commission.

      In fact the question of “An undiplomatic question here is what the hell the UNHRC or the Working Group was doing all these decades?” is trying to give a hope for Thero de Silva that “aren’t we successful in fooling these International and UN modaya for decades, what is the problem with us now, why aren’t we going forward?”. The “hell of the timing” is being questioned as more time passes more nervous the people are – an expression of the sense fear the lies are no longer being bought by IC. The learned professor action of letting go without criticizing the Thero De Silva’s statement of “How else could we have actually won a near two thirds majority of the Council in 2009?” is telling what is his actual perception is.

      There is little bit tight in the situation, but yet not as needed. To blame somebody for that from Appe Anduwa side, it’s Thero De Silva who should take the responsibility for the fall out. He created the illusion of challenging the words with lies, not constructive action to rectify the matters raised or complained in those statements. There is a proverb in Tamil. “Thaanam Kuduththa Maddukku pallai Enni Parkkathe”(Don’t count the teeth of the cow that is donated”). Thero is the leading one, who let the matters to take it cause without rectifying it on the spot of 2009 June. To hijack undue fame, he skimmed the cream on the occasion of 2009 and left the sour curd to the ones going to follow him. It was a white collar equivalent of Duminda’s actions, deserves to be hanged in Bogambara. What the action the IC going to take is a different issues, but nobody believes nowadays what the Lankawe is saying. This is full and complete joke form Thero De Silva ” The whole world will believe that there have been “massive” and “systematic” enforced disappearances. I do not what else the Thero is thinking the feeling of the IC.

      In addition to the decision of not to contest the UN WGEID, Yahapalanaya Appe Anduwa has taken a decision of a drastic cut on the entourage to attend UNHRC September sitting. Apparently, unlike precedent established in the time of Thero De Silva of sending Sinhala cinema supporting actress to distract professionals instead of contest the accusation of legal experts of UNHRC, this time Aryasinha has been left alone by the cash strapped New Royals. One of the mistake Thero did in 2009 was also financial planning; he postponed the facing of reality for another day without calculating the monetary cost of defending it on every sitting of UNHRC. The money also a reason why the New Royal Yahapalanaya has not send a Sri Lankan Airline’s plane load of goons to UNHRC. It is in September, 2016 and even in the March, 2017 the Yahapalanaya government may not try to fool the local Modayas pretending cutting a diamond of truths with a plastic butter knife of Zero casualties “Lies Agreed Upon”. Now the UN knows the casualty number may go even beyond 200,000. It is not massive, but colossally massive. So the instead of amending the constitution on the hope of saving the Old Royals, Yahapalanaya government may take a different approach. Instead of all those, Ranil may give a solid threat of going fully with China if is pushed too far. He has indicated his intention with offering more land in Port City, selling lands in Hambantota and reoffering all the White elephants projects back to China. By that method, while politicians get commission and Lankawe gets money from China to show Sinhalese that the country is aggressively building up the capital infrastructure, UN and UNHRC are neutralised too to keep Lankawe out of China. That is the path Old King has been following successfully, lately. Earlier, Ranil committed a mistake in the election by saying to send Chinese Port City back home. Ranil understands the niceties of it now.

  • 0
    2

    Before analyzing what is right and what is wrong we should foresee the severely bad outcome our country has to potentially face.My view is the whole system of people would be split into pars and peace and humanity would be drastically affected. This is my personal by observing externally and analyzing the situation according to my knowledge.

    • 7
      0

      it’s the culture of impunity of the majority buddhist that is being challenged.

      what is concept of buddha?
      what is concept of sinhalese?

      shape, shape (conceal the truth) island has to answer or be swallowed.

      jayawewa, ranil says the people do not wan.t investigation. that is very interesting from spin doctor fernando’s frequent entry.

  • 1
    0

    [Edited out]

  • 5
    1

    Sanja De Silva Jayatilleka

    I think the secretary at the Mission would have filed the response under ‘Freudian Slip’

    The point is that, ever since independence, Governments of Sri Lanka held the whip-hand in controlling affairs in this little island. When they didn’t, as happened from time to time, it was only because of the pig-headed shortsightedness of those in charge.

    I, like many others, would argue that the biggest generator of missing persons on our thrice-blessed island has been the Government or its proxies. Sometimes, as you may well appreciate, proxies anticipate the unspoken wishes of their political honchos and bring about a serendipitous disappearance. Many a politician too has often decided on the fate of a disappeared.

    Those who remember the dark days of 1971, and later 1987-1989 will remember well the the glory days of the big and powerful; someone big only had to wish for a disappearance…….hey presto!

    DJ himself went into self-exile, and was in danger of ‘disappearing, but then powerful godfathers declared that we were short of thinkers who a) could be controlled, and b) could be useful. Pardon! That’s right; it’s all in the history books.

    The UNHCR will carry on with their charades but something tells me that we will wear them down. Obfuscation and procrastination have been useful weapons in this long battle.

    Rest easy Sanja, NOBODY but NOBODY, Soldier, Politician or Proxy beast will face a day of reckoning for any past event on this blessed island.

    You are right Sanja, it is NOT nice for a country to have to admit to lots of missing persons, disappeared, whatever. But we have not been a country of compassion and kindness for a very long time now. But the future looks rosier. Something for all of us to believe in.

    • 8
      0

      “”Rest easy Sanja, NOBODY but NOBODY, Soldier, Politician or Proxy beast will face a day of reckoning for any past event on this blessed island. “”

      very true.

      “Obfuscation and procrastination “

      undeniably a pirate sinhala strait and tamil (irish conservative) stupidity.

      “But the future looks rosier. Something for all of us to believe in. “

      change hope go obama go away.

      The government’s high debt payments and bloated civil service have contributed to historically high budget deficits and low tax revenues remain a concern. Government debt of about 72% of GDP($$83.1 billion) remains among the highest in emerging markets.

      you can’t beat Badagini with some PL40 or Chinese gullo rice can you??

  • 5
    0

    The whole world is wrong and only she and her husband is right.Like suddenly springing from a dirty unused pond, she is trying to justify the impossible, where exactly her husband has failed. One pertinent question she had not raised in her convenient truth argument is if there is so much confidence in what she says and believes, why did the MR regime did not allow the investigating teams into SL when it had the opportunity to do so? Looks like her accounting business is failing and she needs to prop up her income.

  • 2
    0

    BUY ‘ONE’
    GET ‘ONE’

  • 0
    0

    ” Massive” and “Systematic” are relative terms. Even if a single person is disappeared by any state it is too much.

    Ethnic Tamils were abducted in “white vans” and were disppeared by the state. Is that not “systematic”?

    If, as a lawyer, you feel SL has appropriate legislation to address the offenders, you are sadly mistaken, especially, with vernacular judges !!

    I am glad that GSL accepted the truth.

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