26 September, 2020

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UN Will Deny Tamils Justice

By Ron Ridenour

Ron Ridenour

Brace yourselves Tamils in and from Sri Lanka! The UN Human Rights Council will not grant you justice at its 19th session, February 27-March 23, 2012 or, perhaps, in any foreseeable future.

Until the past few weeks it looked as though the “international community” (US, UK-Europe, Canada, Australia, Japan), the east (Russia, China, India, Pakistan, Iran), the Middle East-Libya/Africa) and the progressive South (Cuba-ALBA+, South Africa)were content with ignoring Sri Lanka’s war crimes and crimes against humanity.

This tragedy was not even placed on the agenda despite the UN’s “Report of the Secretary-General’s Panel of Experts on Accountability in Sri Lanka” delivered to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, March 31,2011. The panel determined that both the Sri Lankan government-military and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE/Tigers) had most likely committed war crimes and crimes against humanity. It called for an independent international investigation into credible allegations levelled at the state. The LTTE was crushed by May 18, 2009 and no longer exists.
On the agenda for the upcoming 19th session are 80 reports and missions with 40 addendums concerning about 50 countries. None deal with Sri Lanka, not even under section E, “Combating impunity and strengthening accountability, the rule of law and democratic society.” The 18th HRC session (May-June 2011) had also avoided placing the matter on the table despite the High Commissioner for Human Rights (Navi Pillay) request while the Secretary-General was/is silent.

While there would be no accountability, the “Human Rights Game” requires a façade of concern. At the end of last January, US State Department officials Thomas Melia and Lesley Taylor met with a Tamil citizen group in Jaffna to tell them what to expect at the 19th session. Eighteen notes of the meeting were taken by participants and sent to Tamilnet.

The key points were: “There is no possibility of a resolution” [concerning the UN expert panel and war crimes issue]. This is due, partially, to the lack of “sufficient pressure” from the affected people. What can be expected is a positive reference to the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) report conducted by appointees of the Sri Lankan government. While the US may ask the Rajapaksa family government to implement the recommendations the Commission made, which it has done nothing about in the three months since its delivery, the US will do nothing to “antagonize the GOSL” (Government of Sri Lanka) nor is it interested in “instituting an accountability mechanism”.

It may be that high ranking members of the Sinhalese government were not so keen even with this minor pressure to adopt its own commission’s report.

Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission

Led by former Attorney General C.R. de Silva, the eight Rajapaksa appointees on the LLRC did not address possible war crimes and crimes against humanity by the government. The commission of inquiry into the time of ceasefire (2002) and the end of the war found no government or military entities culpable that required any process of accountability. It did, however, poke a hole in the government’s constant litany that “no civilians were killed” by it, and implied that some security forces might have caused some deaths and injuries of civilians although there had been no intent to cause harm. It stated that numerous citizens’ testimonies related to disappearances. It admitted that there may have been some “bad apples” but no systematic atrocities took place.

The Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka obtained a short video of 17 frames taken by a Sri Lanka soldier showing eight or nine naked prisoners bound and blindfolded being executed at Kilinochchi. JDS presented the film to UK’s Channel 4. After forensic verification of the film, which was taken January 2, 2009, Channel 4 broadcast it on August 25, 2009. Then in June 2011, Channel 4 broadcast the devastating documentary, “Sri Lanka Killing Fields”.

The LLRC report’s major significance is its recommendations that the north and east be demilitarized, that paramilitary groups be dismantled, that a degree of devolution of local power to Tamils take place, and that the police departments be made a separate institution from the military.

Regarding the last point, there are more military and police today—300,000 —than during the war and all are under the command of the Minister of Defence, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, one of President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s brothers. G. Rajapaksa uses one-fifth of the state budget, $2 billion. About 40 members of the Rajapaksa family hold government, parliamentary and key institution posts.

Following the Jaffna meeting with a Tamil civilian group, the US initiated meetings with Sri Lanka government officials with the aim of having them step in line. Three leading US officials—Marie Otero, under secretary of state for democracy and human rights; Robert Blake, assistant secretary of state for South Asian affairs and former ambassador to Sri Lanka; and Stephen Rapp, ambassador-at-large for international war crimes—traveled to Sri Lanka to let the GOSL know what was expected. Its arrogance was becoming an embarrassment to the Human Rights Game.

The Tamil coalition of political parties, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), must also pay attention. While it has long demanded that accountability of war crimes committed be addressed, some members also call for the LLRC recommendations to take precedence. One significant instance is the confusion caused by two Alliance leading MPs, R. Sampanthan and M.A. Sumanthiran, who told US’s man, Stephan J. Rapp, on February 7, that the TNA wanted an independent inquiry, accountability and “meaningful” devolution of power. One week later, Sumanthiran stated to BBC that the “TNA backs a domestic process to implement the LLRC recommendations. We ask for an international probe only after a failure at that.”

At the same time, a natural ally with the Tamils, South Africa’s government, signaled approval of the LLRC report and recommended the government implement the recommendations. It did say that the LLRC should have delved into accountability. Just the year before, the African National Congress called upon the UN to implement an investigation recommended by the panel of experts.

Perhaps the Rajapaksa brothers were still balking because the media reported, February 10, that Secretary of State Hiliary Clinton sent a letter explaining what the Sri Lankagovernment must do:

  1. Submit an action plan with time frames to establish implementation of the LLRC;
  2. Consent agreement to be signed between the government and the TNA;
  3. Release General Sarath Fonseka, the key general victor over the LTTE, from prison, where Rajapaksa sent him over differences and because Fonseka challenged him in elections, something that the USmight want to see happen again.

For emphasis the USthreatened to reveal voice recordings of Defence Secretary G. Rajapaksa and field commanders in which he instructed them to kill all senior members of the LTTE even if they carried a white flag of surrender.

Under secretary Otero told Colombo journalists that the US will support a resolution calling for the government to implement its report. She spoke favorably of Sri Lanka’s government saying the UShad over the years supplied it with $2 billion, much of it in military assistance to fight the Tigers and prevent a separate Tamil nation.

“The United States has long been a friend of Sri Lanka; we were one of the first countries to recognize the LTTE as a Foreign Terrorist Organization, in 1997,” she said.
Human Rights Game and the Players

The western US-EU-Israel-India axis,The eastern Russia-China-Pakistan-Iran semi-alliance,The Middle East/Africa parts of the Non-Aligned Movement and The progressive Latin AmericanNAMarea

Many of these governments, especially the western and eastern ones, have directly supported the various Sinhalese chauvinist governments with money and credits, military equipment, intelligence, military training and mercenaries. (1)

In the writing mentioned above (1), of the states materially and military supporting Sri Lanka I inadvertently left out Russia, which has sold weapons and military aircraft to Sri Lanka governments over the years. Even after the war in 2010, during which hundreds of thousands of Tamils were suffering in concentration camps,Russia offeredSri Lanka $300 million in credit to buy military aircraft and armaments, among other items. Only $500,000 was allocated for “relief”.

There has not been much or any economic or military aid from Group 3 but these governments support Sri Lanka and oppose not only the guerrilla warfare but the very demand for an independent nation within the state of Sri Lanka. That is what Tamil Eelam means and what, until the end of the war, almost all Tamils in Sri Lankawanted, including political parties that did not take up arms. Most people in Tamil Nadu, India, and the rest of the Diaspora sought the same.

Group 4 is caught in an ideological bind—between solidarity with oppressed peoples and solidarity with third world sovereign states—but concludes in condemning the Tigers for terrorism, ignoring the victimized civilian Tamils, and politically supporting the Sri Lanka government. In the May 26, 2009 HRC resolution, the Cuba-led majority praised S.L. for its “commitment” “to the promotion and protection of all human rights”; congratulated it for freeing Tamil civilians from the terrorist Tigers; reaffirmed “respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka”.

The Western group opposed this resolution for its geo-political reasons. It asked Sri Lanka to conduct its own investigation and the LLRC is the result.

So, what I think will happen at the 19th session is that there will be no talk about the UN expert panel report or independent investigations into accountability. Some NGOs disagree with me and think that theUS will press for accountability.

In my view, the Rajapaksa’s government will present a “National action plan for the protection and promotion of human rights” in conjunction with the LLRC. This will please the US-EU-India axis.Israel may not take any position believing, perhaps, that the Rajapaksan absolute arrogance and unwillingness to do anything was the best course. This course is its’ own against the Palestinians.

If for some odd reason, Sri Lanka does not add implementations into its action plan, there will then be a Group 1 resolution demanding it to do so. The session will end either with the passage of such a resolution or, if Sri Lanka still balks then its ALBA-NAM allies, being the majority on the HRC, will vote down any western approved ploy.

Either way, the Human Rights Game will conclude (for now) thusly:

Group 2 will look gray in its lack of critique ofSri Lanka, its do-nothing approach. Group 3 can contend simply that it supports all 113 NAM governments. Group 4, the socialist-communist and progressive-led governments of Latin America, and especially Cuba-ALBA, will have egg on their faces for having only praised the brutal Sinhalese chauvinist government   and not played any Human Rights role in favor of the civilian Tamils. They have only played the Geo-Political Game and done so in a staid manner: the enemy of my enemy is my friend type.

However the play unfolds, I predict that the western group will come out looking like the good guys in the Human Rights Game. The eastern and southern groups will especially look like the bad guys.

This will be the view most westerners, including many progressives, will take. For many voters in the US, Obama will look like the hero on the white horse in the White House.

Sri Lanka-Tamil conflict can also be viewed in the context of the Arab Spring and the role that Group 1 plays in diverting the uprisings to suit its imperial needs. Knowing little of the reality, most liberal-progressive-left westerners think Group 1’s role in Libya was best for the Human Rights Game, and also with the tragedy in Syria where complications are similar to those in Libya.

What should be clear to thinking people, to people who seek real human rights and justice, is that almost no government wants authentic accountability judged upon a friendly government because it could be its turn next.

If there were true accountability spread around how would Group 1 look led by the US with its long history of invading weaker countries for their resources and for political control, committing war crimes including systematic torture? What about accountability for the two-three million Iraqis killed since US attacks on that sovereign nation from 1991 to the present? What about accountability of the “coalition of the willing” for mass murder and seizure of Afghanistan? What about Obama accountability for seven wars for oil-$ and global domination (Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Sudan, Somalia, Libya, Uganda); and Israel’s genocide of the Palestinian people? What about genocide in Rwanda where the “peacekeeping” mission of the US-UK-France played a major role? Then there is giant China and minority Tibetbeing overrun with Chinese just as Zionists overrun Palestine and Sinhalese do the same in Tamil’s traditional homeland in the north and east.

This appears to be the view also of at least one of the three international organizations representing Tamils rights and seeking a Tamil Eelam. The Transnational Government for Tamil Eelam issued its news release concerning the upcoming HRC session, February 17:

“This dismal failure in the position taken by the US and several other governments to address the crucial issue of justice is a source of grave disappointment to the Tamils”…”Today, again, the world’s governments are disregarding their moral and legal obligations by focusing exclusively on Sri Lanka’s own LLRC Report, which has been rejected outright not only by the Tamil people…”

“It would be a fallacy to imagine that the very power structure which stands accused of these heinous crimes will now begin a process to bring its own members to justice. Therefore, we perceive the leading governments’ choice to focus exclusively on the LLRC Report amounting to an attempt to derail the mounting international clamor for formal international investigations on Sri Lanka.”

Less clear in my eyes is what Cuba-ALBA thinks it achieves from the Human Rights Game by entirely denying Tamils’ suffering. These governments do not mistreat their own nationalities, ethnic groups or religious peoples and, unlike many governments in Groups 1-3, they are not terrorist states. It is also understandable that they are critical of any interference by Group 1, with all its hypocrisy and its subversion against almost all of Latin America. One might think that Bolivia and Venezuela could be skittish about Tamil Eelam because there are groups there that want to create their own separate nation. But these are small groups that are orchestrated by comprad or capital aligned with the US and have nothing to do with discrimination against any nationality, ethnic group or religion.

I think that Che Guevara would understand the need for solidarity with the Tamil people. He would be on their side today!

In reality, Rajapaksa’s stonewalling criticism of his regime’s war crimes and his systematic denial of truth is working. Groups 1, 2 and 3 tell Rajapaksa to make a little concession and the Human Rights Game continues. The show must go on!

Out of the negative comes the positive

Although impunity for war crimes will continue, genocide be ignored, and an independent nation a pipedream, there are positive developments.

1. Media attention of the Tamils’ plight was garnered by the whistle-blowing medium Wikileaks, which began leaking correspondence between the US Department of State and hundreds of diplomatic missions around the world on November 28, 2010. Initially Wikileaks convinced five core mass media to use the raw data and produce articles. Subsequent to releases of many files about the wars against Afghanistan and Iraq, followed by “cablegate”, hundreds more media picked up revelations of massive governmental lying and corruption, and crimes of many types including war crimes, not the least committed by United States governments. 3,166 of the 251,287 cables concerning Sri Lanka war crimes and obtained by Wikileaks—perhaps through brave Bradley Manning—are from the US Embassy in Colombo.

The “Boston Globe” reported, December 9, 2010, that, “No foreign leader fared worse in the cables released by Wikileaks than Sri Lanka’s Mahinda Rajapaksa”, referring to US Ambassador Patricia Butenis implications of his role in war crimes.

Minister of Economic Development Basil Rajapaksa, one of the President’s brothers, candidly remarked, according to Butenis’ January 15, 2010 cable, “I am not saying we are clean; we could not abide by international law—this would have gone on for centuries, an additional 60 years.”

Secretary of Defence Gotabhaya Rajapaksa admitted the same to US Senate Foreign Relations staff members. Ambassador Butenis implicated all the Rajapaksa brothers in government as well as other senior civilian and military leaders in conducting war crimes.

World attention concerning the war crimes committed by the Sinhalese chauvinist government(s) has occurred because of the alternative medium Wikileaks but also due to a group of Sinhalese and Tamil journalists who escaped from Sri Lanka and formed the organization. The Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka obtained a short video of 17 frames taken by aSri Lanka soldier showing eight or nine naked prisoners bound and blindfolded being executed at Kilinochchi. JDS presented the film to UK’s Channel 4. After forensic verification of the film, which was taken January 2, 2009, Channel 4 broadcast it on August 25, 2009. Then in June 2011, Channel 4 broadcast the devastating documentary, “Sri Lanka Killing Fields”.

2. Despite the GOSL maintaining a “zero tolerance policy on torture,” the United Nations Committee against Torture (CAT) has determined that torture is apparently accepted and practised by the government. In its November 28, 2011 report on Sri Lanka it was found that many allegations of torture and ill-treatment were common, also “enforced disappearances, sexual violence, unacknowledged detention” [as well as] “threats to civil society, journalists, lawyers, and other dissenting voices.”

CAT Rapporteur Ms. Felice Gaer asserted thatSri Lanka has the world’s largest number of disappearances. Sri Lankan cabinet advisor and previous Attorney General Mohan Peiris conceded that of the 6,000 people arrested annually, there were “only 400 torture allegations”.

CAT underlined “the prevailing climate of impunity” and “the apparent failure to investigate promptly and impartially wherever there is reasonable ground to believe that an act of torture has been committed.”

CAT also criticized the LLRC for its “apparent limited mandate” and “alleged lack of independence”.

While the US government has a long history of torturing people and even offers instructions about how to torture at its “School of the Americas” in Georgia, its ambassadors do sometimes inform the Department of State when other governments conduct torture. Again thanks to Wikileaks, the world can know about a May 18, 2007 cable sent by Robert Blake, then ambassador to S.L. He reported how government-connected Tamil paramilitary groups, Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal and Eelam People’s Democratic Party, “keep critics of the GSL fearful and quite”.

These anesthetized Tamils torture and/or kill many of their own people, who sympathized with the Tigers or who seek basic rights from the government. The para-militarists also kidnap and sell Tamil women into prostitution and sell children into slavery. Leaders Karuna and Douglas Devananda were former leading Tiger guerrillas who now enjoy government posts. Karuna even joined the leading government party and became a minister.

3. On September 16, 2011, sixteen NGOs asked the HRC president of the 19th session to invite both the GOSL and the UN Secretary-General to place the UN expert panel report on the agenda, as well as the LLRC. This is significant grass roots pressure as the groups include some of the best known, such as Amnesty, but also others from third world countries, such as the African Democracy Forum. Furthermore, the current HRC president is a woman fromUruguay, Laura Dupuy Lasserre.

Following the May 2009 HRC emergency session in whichUruguayvoted for theSri Lanka prepared resolution, a new president has been elected inUruguay, José Mujica. Not only is he a socialist but he was a guerrilla in the Tupamaro liberation movement. Once captured, he spent 15 years in prison, some of it under torturous conditions, including two years confined at the bottom of a well. It might just be that Uruguay will press for a bit of justice.

4. One institutional voice asking for the UN expert panel report to be taken seriously is the European Parliament. In a “join motion for a resolution”, February 9, 2012, the parliament agreed to “support efforts to strengthen the accountability process inSri Lanka”, including the establishment of a “UN Commission of inquiry into all crimes committed, as recommended” by the panel.

Although the EP has no binding powers, it can prod and further inform the public.

5. For the first time (to my knowledge) an internationally renowned Buddhist has spoken out publicly against fellow Buddhists’ treatment of Tamils in Sri Lanka. In an apparently undated letter (sometime in February 2012), Thai activist-economist-philosopher Sulak Sivaraksa has appealed to the “Sinhala Buddhists first of all to acknowledge the crimes that they committed against their own Tamil sisters and brothers and ask for forgiveness from the Tamils.

“Rejoicing at the war victories, when thousands have been killed, ‘disappeared’, maimed, raped and hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced and detained, is totally against the dhamma” [the way].

Sivaraksa has been nominated twice for the Nobel Peace Prize. He received the 2011 Niwano Peace Prize for furthering world peace. He is considered a “Thai institution”.

These positive points I have listed can give us some hope that more and more people are not to be fooled about who the culprits are regardless of how the world’s governments do their best not to assure accountability while maintaining impunity for their war criminals, which otherwise would mean many of their own leaders would be imprisoned.

What to do

I conclude with a few pointers about how we can go forward. Several Tamils I have come to know tell me that Tamils from Eelam are among the “most inward looking people” while complaining that other people are not interested in their welfare.

Furthermore, most of the Tamils in the Diaspora rely on western governments, and perhaps India, to fight their battles. They ask them to have the Sri Lankan government judged, condemned and punished, and even go so far as to ask for support to create a new legal nation, that of Tamil Eelam within the state of Sri Lanka. But this political-economic world has no place for pipedreams and fairytales.

I take from the many millions of righteous rebels in the Arab Spring movement—those not doing the West’s errands—as an example of what could be done. I take also from what many of us were doing in the 1960s-70s in theUS and around much of the world. I take also from what the folks are doing in the Occupy Wall Street (and beyond) movement today.

1. Drop illusions of winning through political parties’ parliamentary power. Stand up to all terrorist states.

2. Organize from the grass roots. Go door-to-door. Learn and educate.

3. Use fewer speeches, fewer rallies and connect organizing with speeches and rallies..

4. Join in with other peoples’ struggles. Engage in solidarity work especially with the Palestinians whose struggle is nearly identical to your own. Israel is to Palestine what Sri Lanka Sinhalese governments are to the Tamils.

5. We must combat the growing racism/fascism in the West against Muslims and Arabs.

We have wondered over the deserts and the seas. We have been hungry and thirsty. We have been murdered and tortured. We are of the working class, of the castes. We are many races, ethnic groups, nationalities, religions and non-religion. We share a common vision: freedom and equality; bread and water on the table; a shelter over our heads. We must fight together if we are to live in peace and equality.

Note:

  1. See my “Tamil Nation inSri Lanka” pg. 121-5 to see who financed and financesSri Lanka’s human rights abuse. Add Russia to the long list: India, US, Israel, U.K., EU, Japan, Iran, Pakistan and the greatest war crimes contributor of them all, China.

February 20, 2012

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Latest comments

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    If the Tamils supporting the BTF and the GTF had no blood on their hands this would have been a grave injustice. Biut the fact is that the provocation came from the people who fired the first shot and continued to cause terror for over thirty years. No one gave a wink for the many innocent Sinhalese people who were killed and maimed by terrorists bombs and attacks. Having said this we must also take ionto account the probability of the LTTE using the civilians as human shields: that was part of the defence. No matter what the Sinhalese will now have to respect people who they do not have to agree with and be wary of the friends in their midst who could be planning and plotting against them.
    May the Sri Lankan live now in everlasting peace and the two main races learn from their mistakes. I hope the wikileaks stale news that provoked many people will now be laid to rest and also the Sunday Leader and Colombo Express die natural deaths.

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      The “First Shots” commenced from 1951 onwards by successive sri lanka governments with systematic massacres of tamils.
      The 1983 pogrom was the flash point of birth of the LTTE.

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    Correction
    Colombo Telegraph not Colombo Express.

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      …..and Chettiar you call yourself a “journalist”. Lol

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    Ron Ridenour writes,”I think that Che Guevara would understand the need for solidarity with the Tamil people. He would be on their side today!” I agree. Che had a basic sense of decency and humanitarianism which led him to take enormous risks, ultimately even at the cost of his own life. Even if Cuba had turned a blind eye on the behaviour of Sri Lankan regimes I doubt if Che could have remaned silent. And Ron’s final analysis is, I believe, the most realistic one. In a corrupt world where globalist fascism and authoritarianism has replaced the older values of social democracy the only hope must lie in the continued growth of the anti-capitalist Occupy Movement. The ruling classes never handed down anything to the 99% which wasn’t won without determined struggles. That reality applies today as ever it has.

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    An extremely informative article that brings out a lot of baseline truths about the systemic, systematic, gross and intensifying violent suppression of the Tamil nation by the Sri Lankan State and continued on a whole qualitatively new level by the current Regime. I agree wholeheartedly with the conclusion that only a people’s resistance movement can overthrow the Regime, and with it the era of dictatorship. This is what we have been calling for and what we are working on. Would like to access your book “The Tamil Nation in Sri Lanka”. Pl refer to my series of articles in the colombo telegraph and the most recent issue of the Sunday Leader.

    Best wishes,

    Surendra Ajit Rupasinghe.

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    “The Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka obtained a short video of 17 frames taken by a Sri Lanka soldier showing eight or nine naked prisoners bound and blindfolded being executed at Kilinochchi.”

    It hasn’t been established that the video was shot by a Sri Lankan soldier, nor that the location is Kilinochchi.

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      I think it would be right UN to deny any external investigation to alleged civilian casualties during Sri Lanka war because if UN wants to probe Sri Lanka then they have to show transparency and impartiality of UN procedures to all nations equally including USA, EU. Sri Lanka has done national investigations. What more justice Tamils deserve after their lives were saved from LTTE who were held at gun point and human shields for 30yrs? These white men (like Ridenour, Fein and Boyle) are still burdens to the third world. Tamil civilians were killed by orders guven by these whitemen to bring internatinal pressure on Sri Lanka. These white men should be hanged publicly for crimes against humanity. Now they spread propaganda on behalf of LTTE ahea of UNHRC. Watch “Sri Lanka’s continuing bloodshed: A law maker becomes a law breaker Part 1″ http://youtu.be/IZeHMG7DKB4

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      Ruthless (Part 2-3) a documentary produced by the Ministry of Defence, Sri Lanka presents first hand account of many horrendous atrocities committed by Tamil Tigers (LTTE) including forcibly conscription of children, indiscriminate shooting, mass murders of children, women, men and disabled LTTE carders in 2009 -the world’s most ruthless terrorists – LTTE. http://youtu.be/tIN_jhhG0UM

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    ” I think that Che Guevara would understand the need for solidarity with the Tamil people. He would be on their side today!” Correction with due respect Ron. Che Guevara would have been with Tamils not “today” but from the 80’s. One more correction.. was 18th HRC session took place in September 2011 or May-June 2011 as you mentioned..
    There will be no talk about war crimes in UN let alone genocide.. Thank You Ron..

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    Surendra and RW thank you for your supportive comments.
    I am not one of those white men who murder or send others to murder anybody. I am an anti-war radical activist and writer. If you wish to read my book, “Tamil Nation in Sri Lanka”, you can order it through New Century Book House, in Tamil Nadu. Email: ncbhook@yahoo.co.in
    Thank your,
    Ron Ridenour

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      Gullible Western “Anti-war radical activists and writers” are the favorite targets of the LTTE diaspora to propagate lies about Sri Lanka to the outside world. When a white man/woman speaks or writers about these topics, its assumed that more weight is given to what is being said, because they are supposed to be “impartial outsiders”.

      I wonder whether this person called Ron Ridenour had ever visited Sri Lanka and lived in the country long enough to come to the conclusions he has come to on the situation in Sri Lanka. I wonder whether Ron Ridenour had witnessed first-hand the carnage caused by the numerous LTTE bombings and massacres of innocent men, women and children – for 28 long years? I wonder if Ron Ridenour witnessed firsthand the massacre of small Buddhist monks and Muslim worshipers while they were praying?

      If this is not vicious terrorism, what is it? Can Ron Ridenour suggest how a country could deal with such brutal, inhuman acts against humanity by a gang of mindless murderers, who want nothing else but to divide a small country into two?

      All these “acts” were committed by the ruthless Tigers in the name of “Tamil Eelam”. For whom? More than half the population in the North and East live, work and engage in business in the South among the Sinhalese or have gone overseas. Those remaining after the prolonged conflict are the helpless poor, the old and the weak.

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      Why don,t you write about the humane right violations in Cuban, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan Pakistan….etc by Americans

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    Reply to several.
    My information about who took the film and where is not conclusive but it what was reported in, I think, JDS.
    I agree Che would have been with the Tamils from the beginning. The 18th HRC session was in May-June, 2011.
    Is the writer “KP” the same KP who was a LTTE leader who was captured, most likely brutally tortured, and then became a man for the Rajapaksa government? In any case, whoever KP is I do not deny that the Tigers conducted atrocities. On the best information I have, including from the suberb writers-authors-activists S. Sivananyagam and A. Sivanandan, such is the case. But they know, just as did the brave editor-journalist Wickrematunge Lasantha, that liberation guerrilla atrocities were a symptom of the cause of the discrimination, double standards, brutality, pogroms, torture and genocide committed by a sucession of Sinhalese-led governments.
    The weakest aspect of my writings on the Sri Lanka-Tamil conflict is that I have never been in Sri Lanka, only in Tamil Nadu. I’m certain that the government would not let me in or do my reporting freely. It’s ambassador to Cuba, not the ambassador to Geneva, publically proclaimed me to be both an agent of the LTTE and of the leader of the “international community”–a euphemism for the US–neither of which I am.
    Though my writing can certainly be criticized for not being an outcome of personal observation I have been told by many Tamils of both India and S.L. that I made no errors in facts–at least not serious ones. And no one who has read my book, “Tamil Nation in Sri Lanka”, has said or written that my information/facts are erroneous.
    Ron

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      What makes you think that the “government would not let me in or do my reporting freely”? Have you tried visiting Sri Lanka? Have you not heard anti-Sri Lankan reporting freely conducted by agents of the BBC, etc, stationed in Sri Lanka? It appears that all those you have spoken to are Tamil people living out of Sri Lanka. Tamil Nadu is a hot-bed of LTTE activity. Have you ever spoken to any Sinhalese – not the NGO types of course,who sing for their supper – but educated people, who would surely give you the other side of the story.

      Leave alone the Sinhalese, if you are really interested in the human rights situation in Sri Lanka, you should visit the North and East of the country and talk to the poor, helpless Tamil people living there, and they will surely tell you a different story. The LTTE activists living comfortably in foreign lands funded the war, but its the poor Tamil people who had to part with their children – as young as 8 yrs – to actually fight for “Eelam” on the ground. It is the poor boys and girls who ended up as brainwashed suicide bombers and most of them were abducted by LTTE cadres by force. Did you know that the LTTE shot dead point blank those LTTE cadres badly injured during fighting and blamed it on the Sri Lankan forces – there are eye witness accounts from Tamils themselves of the atrocities committed by their ‘saviors’ during the entire period of the Eelam war. Its a horror story that is worth researching by any writer who really cares about human rights and human dignity.

      Did you know that the LTTE killed any Tamil – young, old, man or woman – who defied their orders or spoke openly against their terrorist ideology? Did you know that at the concluding stages of the war the casualty figures rose simply because the LTTE leaders used the helpless, terrified Tamil civilians as a human shields – sacrificing the very people whom they claim to represent in order to save their miserable lives? Did you know that after the war thousands of captured LTTE fighters have been rehabilitated, given vocational training and are today living peacefully in their homes, without been terrorized by their “saviors”?

      Its quite obvious you have been utterly brainwashed by the Tamil diaspora + Tamil Nadu LTTE supporters. Most Sri Lankan Tamils living overseas who are propagandists of the LTTE do not identify themselves openly as LTTE supporters. They speak of the grave injustice perpetrated towards the Tamils by the Sinhala-majority Sri Lankan State. This is the usual plug, and all those who have no first hand knowledge about the situation in the country believe all the lies, hatred and distortion of facts, by these elements, who have their own hidden agenda.

      Its highly unfair and immoral to come to a conclusion about a subject or situation, without knowing all the facts and in this particular instance, writing articles and books simply depending on biased, third party information.

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    I made an error about the ambassador to Cuba and NOW to Geneva (I wrote “not”), who is Tamara Kunanayakam.
    Ron

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      Tamara Kunanayakam is Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative in Geneva.

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    From some far flung outpost, possibly in Europe or the USA, Ron Ridenour the foreigner, is spewing venom on the democratically elected Government of Sri Lanka as if he knew all the problems and the answers to the problems. He sounds like an old Marxist revolutionary who hates majority opinion anywhere; by majority, I mean in Sri Lanka, the majority opinions and preferences expressed by Tamils, Sinhalese and all races in Sri Lanka, openly through independent polls.
    Local problems must be solved at local level. That is an accepted principle within the ASEAN. Let it be so in the SAARC too. Those of global nation-maker intentions of today are just a continuation of the imperialist evangelists of the not too distant past, who always believe that the “locals are foolish; must be evangelised to western religious and “moral values”. Sadly all that bunkum is disproved including imperial patronage or Marxist revolution in the name of development and civilisation.
    Let Sri Lanka find its own reconciliation in its own time on its own value systems. Do not forget what the Ridenour types did to the innocent people of Viet Nam for so many centuries climaxing in the worst bombing and human rights violations during the advent of the Americans up to 1975. Let not the people of Sri Lanka be pushed to rebellion against western military impositions like it happened here in Viet Nam. R2P ultimately lies within the country and within regional consent and not as imposed by distant peoples of proven historical brutality and vile extremes of human rights violations in the East.

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    I don’t know who you are VietVoice but you seem to be from Vietnam. First of all, yes I use Marxist analysis in my life and politics. Secondly, like practically all “old Marxist revolutionaries” I know of I acted against USimperialism’s war against Vietnam-Cambodia-Laos. In fact, I fought from inside the monster (US) for 15 years being arrested many times, served several months in jail, expelled from a college for protests, lost my parents relationship over my anti-war activities….
    You mix up facts, history and ideology illogically. Real Marxists, solidarity activists, do not side with Sinahlese chauvinism and with their history of brutality-discrimination against Tamils especially since 1947 independence from colonialism.

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      What do you feel about the Marxist JVP’s historical opposition to the state making concessions to the Tamil minority?

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    Trust me, your book will not be taken seriously because you are not qualified to write or comment on the topic. Being a follower of Marxism and fighting against the injustices perpetrated by your own Government does not ring viable enough as qualifications. It takes a bit more than that.

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