20 May, 2024


Witnesses To “The War Without Witnesses”

By Michael Roberts

Dr. Michael Roberts

Dr. Michael Roberts

I commence here with the whole lot of close-up images snapped by Kanchan Prasad of Prasar Bharati and passed on to me at some point in 2010 or so.

There may be others but these are the close-ups in my stock – where they are part of other photographs with more sweeping views of the flotsam and jetsam of the Last Redoubt between Nandikadal Lagoon and the sea.

A selection from these other images can be found within these two items

Indian Reporter Pics at NFZ-14-to-18 May 2009 ( Click here )

Mullivaikkal Hospital in NFZ Last Redoubt ( Click here )

Also click here for Kanchan’s photographs of some of the reporters during two of her visits.

Muralidhar Reddy and Kanchan Prasad were taken to the “Last Redoubt” every day on the 14th-18th May, returning to the SL Army HQ area by evening-night so that they could file their reports to their respective Indian offices. I had got to know Reddy (of The Hindu newspaper) well in April-May 2009 when I was visiting Colombo and he asked me to write articles for Frontline. He told me that he had been periodically embedded in the rear battlefront since late 2008; and that he recorded tales from some of the Tamil people who successfully fled from the c their corralled hostage situation from late 2008 onwards – with the aid of a translator [because his mother tongue is Telugu].

Reddy with Major-General Shavindra Silva of the 58th Brigade at the SL Army base camp at Kilinochchi on 13th May when Reddy and Prasad were given a briefing and where the General "asked us what we needed for reporting purposes" (email from Reddy to Roberts, 28 Dec. 2013)

Reddy with Major-General Shavindra Silva of the 58th Brigade at the SL Army base camp at Kilinochchi on 13th May when Reddy and Prasad were given a briefing and where the General “asked us what we needed for reporting purposes” (email from Reddy to Roberts, 28 Dec. 2013)

I was not introduced to Kanchan till a year later when I visited Lanka in May-June 2010 … and discovered that Reddy used no camera and that it is Kanchan to whom we are indebted for a number of revealing still images during those visits where she was present.

Note that Reddy has told the world that “[t]here were no conditions spelled out on the coverage from the war zone.  We were allowed unfettered and unhindered movement up to 400 meters from the zone, where pitched battles were fought between the military and the remaining cadre and leaders of the LTTE….Most important was the fact that we had interference-free access to the internet, including Tamilnet, the website perceived to be pro-LTTE and based somewhere in Europe.  Within the constraints of internet time available, and not-unexpected problems of connectivity and speed in a war zone, there was just enough time to read and absorb the reports on the websites before sending news dispatches to our headquarters.  No questions were asked” (Reddy, “An eye-witness account of the last 70 hours of Eelam War IV,” Frontline, Volume 26-Issue 12:  June 6-19, 2009).

Unfortunately Kanchan and Reddy had been flown back to Colombo on the 18th May and missed the final skirmish on the 18.19th night when a band of hiding Tamil Tigers were flushed out in swampy mangrove terrain on the edge of Nandikadal Lagoon and Prabhākaran’s corpse was discovered among the dead.

While Prasad and Reddy may have been given a privileged place among reporters in mid-May, they were among a number of other foreign journalists airlifted to the front on other occasions in the months January-April 2009. ( See the list here )

Therein lies a remarkable tale does it not. The accounts sent by these intrepid personnel were so noticeable – that is so buried or glossed over – that the general opinion in Colombo as well as the wide-wide-and-wild world is that no reporters were permitted even a sniff of the frontline arena.

What does this gross error say to us now, today? It demonstrates the power wielded by the Tamil psy-ops circuit working in association with their aides in powerful media outlets in the West. A LIE has been written down in stone and has lit the sky. This lie is now inscribed within several brains and repeated ad nauseam. Amen it is in THEIR SKY.


Government of Sri Lanka 2013 “The Last Phase,” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ngNeF5WY64s.

Gray, David 2009 “A Day at the Front Line in Sri Lanka (Photographer’s Blog),” 27 April 2009, http://blogs.reuters.com/photographers-blog/2009/04/27/a-day-at-the-front-line-in-sri-lanka/

Groundviews 2009 “Would killing 50,000 civilians to finish off the LTTE bring peace?” http://groundviews.org/2009/05/03/would-killing-50000-civilians-to-finish-off-the-ltte-bring-peace/

Noble, Kath  2013 “Numbers Game reviewed by Kath Noble: The full monty,” 14 July 2013, http://thuppahi.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/numbers-game-reviewed-by-kath-noble-the-full-monty/

Padraig Colman 2011 Evaluating the ‘Churnalism’ from Channel 4 and the Moon Panel,” 17 August 2011, http://thuppahi.wordpress.com/2011/08/17/a-credible-evaluation-of-%e2%80%9cchurnalism%e2%80%9d-from-channel-4-and-the-moon-panel/.

Padraig Colman 2011 “the Cage by Gordon Weiss,” Island, 13 May 2013, 2http://www.island.lk/index.php?page_cat=article-details&page=article-details&code_title=78825

Prasad, Kanchan 2011a “Indian Reporter Pics at NFZ-14-to-18 May 2009,”  http://www.flickr.com/photos/thuppahi/sets/72157626797805167/

Prasad, Kanchan 2011b “Mullivaikkal Hospital in NFZ Last Redoubt,” in http://www.flickr.com/photos/thuppahi/sets/72157626797848747/

Prasad, Kanchan 2011c “Two Indian Reporters’ Post-War Pictures at the LTTE’s Last Redoubt, May 14-19, 2009,” ed. by Roberts, June 2011, http://asiapacific.anu.edu.au/blogs/southasiamasala/2011/06/10/two-indian-reporters%E2%80%99-post-war-pictures-at-the-ltte%E2%80%99s-last-redoubt-may-14-19-2009

Rajasingham, Narendran 2009 “Rise and Fall of the LTTE — An Overview,” Sri Lanka Guardian, 7 Feb. 2009, http://www.srilankaguardian.org/2009/02/rise-and-fall-of-ltte-overview.html.

Reddy, B. Muralidhar 2009a “An Escape from Hellhole,” http://www.hindu.com/ 2009/04/25/stories/2009042558390100.html.

Reddy, Muralidhar 2009b “Multiple Displacements, Total Loss of Identity.” The Hindu, 27 May 2009, http://www.hindu.com/2009/05/27/stories/2009052755811500.htm

Reddy, Muralidhar 2009c “A first-hand account of the war and the civilians’ plight as Eelam War almost comes to a close,” Frontline, 26/11, May 23-June 5, 2009

Roberts, Michael 2008 “Tamil Tigers: Sacrificial Symbolism and ‘Dead Body Politics’,” Anthropology Today, 24/3: 22-23.

Roberts, Michael 2009a “Dilemma’s at War’s End: Thoughts on Hard Realities,” http://www.groundviews.org, 10 Feb. 2009.

Roberts, Michael 2009b “The Rajapaksa Regime and the Fourth Estate,” 9 December 2009, www.groundviews.org.

Roberts, Michael 2010a “Realities of War,” Frontline, 9-22 May 2009, vol. 26, http://www.frontline.in/navigation/?type=static&page=archive … later reprinted with different title in Roberts, Fire and Storm, 2011.

Roberts, Michael 2010b “Self Annihilation for Political Cause: Cultural Premises in Tamil Tiger Selflessness,” in Roberts, Fire and Storm. Essays in Sri Lankan Politics, Colombo: Yapa,  pp. 161-201.

Roberts, Michael 2011a “A Think-Piece drafted in May 2011,” http://thuppahi.wordpress. com /2011/07/23/a-think-piece-drafted-in-may/#more-2998, 23 July 201

Roberts, Michael  2011bReading “devastation”: Botham, CMJ, Ban Ki-Moon,” 10 June 2011http://thuppahi.wordpress.com/2011/06/10/reading%E2%80%9Cdevastation%E2%80%9 D-botham-cmj-ban-ki-moon/

Roberts, Michael  2011c “People of Righteousness target Sri Lanka,” 27 June 2011, http://thuppahi.wordpress.com /2011/06/27/people-of-righteousness-target-sri-lanka/

Roberts, Michael  2011d “A Think-Piece drafted in May 2011,” http://thuppahi.wordpress. com /2011/07/23/a-think-piece-drafted-in-may/#more-2998, 23 July 2011.

Roberts, Michael  2011e “Amnesty International reveals its Flawed Tunnel-Vision in Sri Lanka in 2009,” 10 Aug. 2011, http://thuppahi.wordpress.com/2011/08/10/amnesty-international-reveals-its-flawed-tunnel-vision-on-sri-lanka-in-2009/

Roberts, Michael  2011f “The Tamil Death Toll in early 2009: Challenging Rohan Gunaratna,” 1 December 2011, http://thuppahi.wordpress.com/2011/12/01/the -tamil-death-toll-in-early-2009-challenging-rohan-gunaratna/ and http://transcurrents.com/news-views/archives/6285

Roberts, Michael  2013a “Pragmatic Action and Enchanted Worlds: A Black Tiger Rite of Commemoration,” http://thuppahi.wordpress.com/2013/05/18/pragmatic-action-enchanted-worlds-a-black-tiger-rite-of-commemoration/a reprint of an article in Social Analysis, 2006, 73–102.

Roberts, Michael  2013bIntroducing “Numbers Game” – A Detailed Study of the Last Stages of Eelam War IV,” http://thuppahi.wordpress.com/2013/04/30/introducing-numbers-game-a-detailed-study-of-the-last-stages-of-eelam-war-iv/

Roberts, Michael  2014 “Towards Citizenship in Thāmilīlam: The Tamil People of the North, 2 1983-2010,” in Roberts, Tamil Person and State: Essays, Colombo: Vijitha Yapa Publications, pp. 132-183.

Samarajiva, Indi 2012 “Channel 4’s – A Review,” The Nation, 18 March 2012, http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201314/cmhansrd/cm131118/debtext/131118-0001.htm#1311188000001

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Latest comments

  • 21

    “While Prasad and Reddy may have been given a privileged place among reporters in mid-May, they were among a number of other foreign journalists airlifted to the front on other occasions in the months January-April 2009.”

    Dr Roberts, you seriously need to grow up for your own sake! You are so pathetic and reading your articles is very painful. You say that journalists were airlifted; who airlifted them? Would they have been allowed to report free of interference? Why was the Channel 4 insulted and deported unceremoniously? What had happened to the bodies of 8,000 civilians that MR had finally admitted killing? You are basically a disgrace; you have not written a single word about the deterioration of democracy and blatant nepotism in Sri Lanka. Instead, you are doing overtime to paper over gruesome human rights violations and crimes against humanity carried out by the GOSL. May I ask how do you sleep at nights?

    • 18

      Burning Issue: You are spot on….

      Exactly, this is another moron who is selling his Pseudo “Dr.” title to gain an upper hand in reporting fairy tales & presenting it to the public to be believed. He is in the business of licking the back of MR regime for paying him handsomely for his service.

      These are paid servants like Rohan Gunaratne (The dummy as—le who is a paid servant of many regimes)to side their govt’s war on terror.

      Dr. Roberts go home and find some prostitute and enjoy instead of destroying our future and our kids future. DO YOU KNOW THE COST OF HUMAN LIFE????

    • 8


      even if they were paid or not the pictures dont lie . there is no whole scale damage there at all. only the terrorist supporting retarded fools can hallucinate as such

      • 14

        So you readily believe that photos posted here are the only photos that are out there! On the same token, why don’t you accept, that the photos that were taken by the war heroes? MR Accepted that 8,000 civilians killed how did that happen? Have these journalists published those photos? You cannot cover up a pumpkin in a plate to rice can you?

      • 17

        The pictures and videos in the Channel 4 documentaries also don’t lie. Got it? So stop denying the atrocities committed by your military in the war.

        • 3


          Why would Reddy only take these pics is there were pics of widespread shelling ? stupid tamils are being hood winked again . what else is new

      • 9

        Question to ask; when was these pictures taken there is no time or date to claim that it was taken between the 14-18th May. It could be an old pictures where the makeshift hospital. This looks like was made by LTTE for its operations. As I said this may be one of LTTE’s arrangements before their major attacks on Elephant pass, Mullitevu, Paranthan army bases in the late 1990’s. I have seen these pictures of temp. hospital posts shown at a lecture by the Australian Professor who had taught some of the LTTE carders.He was saying about their ingenious innovations. The Picture were Reddy chatting to Sivendra de Silva shows the army man very relaxed so was Reddy this may have been taken in 2007? Was he briefing of their plans? Dr Roberts seems to be an arch manipulator to come up with these picture and his story now nearing five years into post war. Was to misdirect the west from HR and any resolution against Srilanka. He must be a patriot!

        • 2

          jackass it is very easy to verify the time and date of the pics . you dont need it printed on the pic

      • 1

        Yo Abhaya, do you believe the photos of Duminda’s head injury with stitches on it???? We don’t believe…no body does but the UPFA/Local TV channel news watching Gon Athal buggers.

        Let the moda choon be their entertainment until their bodies lie on the road one day like Romania’s Chauchescu’s body strewn on the streets of Romania. Or Gaddhafi’s body dragged and kept lying without a cover kept for public display.

        Let our collective wishes come true on this one….

        Abhaya, just go in front of a mirror call out loudly “MORON,MORON, [Edited out].(ITS YOU BY THE WAY)

    • 4


      The greater disgrace is the exaggeration to 40,000 dead and then to 70,000 and now in some quarters 150,000.

      Again you have not addressed the LIE Dr Roberts talk about here. The war had many independent witnesses.

      CH4 had a different agenda and they were rightly expelled as any country would do.

      • 11

        “CH4 had a different agenda and they were rightly expelled as any country would do.”

        The Channel 4’s agenda always is to tell the truth and nothing but the truth. MR gang will not tolerate such a media group but they would airlift the Hindu couple, why? The more you dig into this area the more you would look an imbecile. You at least can recognise that Dr Roberts with his erudite analytical skills cannot convince people on these forums as to his claims on independent witnesses; what does this say about his credibilities?

      • 1


        “The greater disgrace is the exaggeration to 40,000 dead and then to 70,000 and now in some quarters 150,000.”

        Could we have your unexaggerated figure of the dead and fatally wounded over two years up to the end.

      • 0

        In vain I real wish 150,000 Tamils died in the last few days.

    • 1

      Either you don’t know or don’t want to know that Channel 4 tried to sneak in under false pretences – declaring themselves as tourists. THAT was why they were deported. We may well ask how you sleep at nights.

      • 11

        Show us prove that what you claim is correct. The channel 4 do do undercover work and justify it with revealing the truth. They always first attempt to gain rightful access. The MR regime did not entertain any media organisation that they could not control; hence, no independent witnesses to the last stages of the war!

  • 20

    Do you want us to believe that this is the makeshift hospital identified by map-coordinates and those are not bombed??? We can clearly see that this is LTTE medics camp(people lived in LTTE control area can simply judge this). Go and find out the right makeshift hospital using your [Edited out]!

    As everyone knows Hindu news paper and its former editor-in-chief,Ram,is the a boot licker of SL Gov. Here is another boot licker from same Newspaper. Ram participated in many TV debates, especially in NDTV as a voice of SL Gov.

  • 23

    Dr Michael Roberts,

    Your witnesses are close allies of the war against Tamils by a Sinhala regime. They were with the army that carried out the genocide. We all know the credibility of “Hindu” journalist Ram and his journal. The war is over. The real witness are those Tamils survived the genocide. Let those Tamils to tell the truth in a international courts where they have witness protection. Why you are afraid to face the truth in a court of justice?

    • 14

      Ajith please don’t waste u r time. This ass hole Rberts the monkey nothing but Sinhala peace of shit…..

    • 1


      When your masters in UK and USA submit themselves to international courts we can consider SL being subject to such scrutiny. It cannot be selective. When it becomes a selective exercise like what you are asking, it doesn’t become international any more.

  • 17

    Were Prasad and Reddy the two journalists who informed General Sarath Fonseka about the massacre of those who surrendered with white flags and whom SF did not identify?

  • 16

    I’m not sure what point the author is trying to make. The photos are consistent with an area full of civilians that was mercilessly carpet bombed by an army. Let’s not forget that the GOSL is one of the few countries in the world that has subjected its own sovereign territory to aerial bombardment. It is also the only country in the history of human civilization that has declared a “civilian safety zone”, in the middle of a war zone. The only comparable situation was Kosovo, but even in that case, the CSZ was declared by the UN, and not by the Serbian government.

    If the above represents the kind of feeble defense the GOSL is going to present, we might as well commission AR Rahman to compose the Tamil Eelam national anthem right now. (He is not from Jaffna, but seriously, who else?)

    • 4

      are you high ? . the structures are intact with one or two holes in minimal damage. If that is what carpet bombing achieves they must be micro carpets .

    • 0

      Keep dreaming. One defeat has not cooled you off ….

      • 3


        “Keep dreaming. One defeat has not cooled you off …”

        Please read below:

        “Dream, Dream Dream
        Dreams transform into thoughts
        And thoughts result in action.”
        ― A.P.J. Abdul Kalam

        “It Is Very Easy To Defeat Someone, But It Is Very Hard To Win Someone”
        ― A.P.J. Abdul Kalam

        “Dreams are not those which comes while we are sleeping, but dreams are those when u don’t sleep before fulfilling them.”
        ― A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, Wings of Fire: An Autobiography

        “Dream is not that which you see while sleeping it is something that does not let you sleep.”
        ― A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, Wings of Fire: An Autobiography

  • 16

    Dr Michael Roberts,
    Have look at the pictures again? Where are the ‘other’ pictures? Were they censored?
    Have you read all Reddy’s articles in May-June 2009? Try to read between the lines?
    How about reporters from Daily News? I am sure they must have some pictures too.
    All this work by Tamil psy-ops circuit would have been silenced, had if SL Government investigated the civilian deaths (including 10 year old son of VP).
    So blame your masters for not doing the right things at the right time.

  • 16

    Dear Sir,

    How can you hold a candle for a government that mercilessly massacred these civilians? I respected your work, but you have lost that respect.

  • 16

    People like this bugger Michael Roberts, P Colman, DBSJ and a few others still trying to sell the LTTE war, projecting MR as the Victor. None have been able yo explain why the LTTE closed the Mawilaru anicut just to draw the Govt Forces to a staged propaganda war, buried all their heavy artillery and abandoned their stronghold Kilinochchi and assembled on the Beach at Nandikadal to be massacred when they tried to surrender. It is simple common sense, when the LTTE closed the Mawilaru anicut the resultant was to draw the MR govt Forces to this staged war. If not will VP bury a single weapon if they were not to fight? Why close the Mawilaru Anicut in the first place if they were not going to fight or ready to fight? Remember VP boasting that the A9 will be a river of blood if the Forces entered Kilinochchi? Then why did VP abandon Kilinochchi without a fight or shedding a drop of blood? MR is a wheeler dealer. He not only have had deals with VP but on the side has had separate deals with KP who back stabbed VP. Then there are other Tamils also heavily paid for spreading disinformation to mislead the masses both the Sinhalese and the Tamils, like DBSJ. Michael Roberts is no exception. After VP and the LTTE were lured out of Kilinochchi in Jan 2009, the Forces taking over Kilinochchi went to town with carpet bombing the entire Wanni of all Tamil enclaves including hospitals where the sick and injured Tamils were housed.

    MR and KP thought after advertising the end of the War, the Tamils will vote KP’s nominees who contested under the UPFA of MR, for the infrastructure development in the North. They did not bargain for Independent Election monitors presence and MR’s and KP’s Plans have gone awry. Now both MR and KP seem to be plotting and planning to get rid of Wignasewaran, like how MR got rid of Raviraj Nadaraja.

    • 1


      if the army wanted to kill tamils they could have done at any point not at the end . This is just a tamil joke

      • 8

        For your information if the Forces commenced killing the Tamils before VP left Kilinochchi with his cadre, then VP would have unearthed the buried weapons and dug himself and fought back where the War would have never ended. So the Forces had to wait till VP left Kilinochchi to kill the Tamils, as by then it was too late for VP to do anything.

        I honestly do not know where your brains are, of those who believe that MR fought a War and won?

        • 3


          Has Abhaya been sitting on his brain?

    • 1

      Take your pills moron . if that is all that the LTTE did how did 6223 Armed forces die . I suppose they committed suicide . lmao

      • 0


        The moron will be exposed as to who is, if you or MR Forces can give the list for the 6223 dead with their Names, Rank, Division and their private Addresses for a counter check whether they have really died during the period Jan 2007 to May 2009.

        I do not see any reason for MR or for You to feel shy in revealing this list as they deserve the respect of the masses if any have really died during the mentioned period. The ball is in your court, now that you have committed giving a number. Great Show! Take my word, this will be a bigger nightmare for MR, than the War Crimes

    • 0

      @Gamini; for your information DBSJ is 100% anti-ltte. Because of his anti-ltte sentiments, they beat him up with baseball bats back in the early 90s in front of the Ontario Science centre.

      • 1

        DBSJ may be anti-VP but pro KP and again anti-Wignasewaran and also pro-MR. See Daily Mirror of 4th January page 9.

  • 12

    Roberts, get your friend Pardraig and take a look at these pictures too. These pics were taken by the humanitarian peacekeepers who went on their peacekeeping mission with a gun with no bullets in one hand, the UN charter in the other hand, a stock of condoms and a camera phone in their front trouser pockets. :)





  • 16

    Doesn’t this baffle us. First it was supposed to be a humanitarian operation with the HR Charter in one hand. There were pronounced and asserted zero civilian casualties. Despite emerging evidence, MR insisted on nil civilian casualties. When it became quite obvious, then the “possibility” of civilian casualties was factored in. Then it was about 7,000. While all this drama was happening Michael Roberts was perhaps “sleeping”.

    Of course, these photos are what he chooses to show the world. And I have only one question. If he, Reddy and Kanchan feel so sure and strong about what happened there why the regime is so hell bent on an independent inquiry. And this is my parting shot. Noticeably, the area seems quite serene from the photos but there is one international credible witness that shames the story that these photos want us to believe. When UNSG Ban Ki Moon flew with MR over the area that saw the final battle, he remarked he had not such scale of devastation in his life. That does mean something, isn’t it? Michael oh Michael. Just one prompting question. There would have been laptops, that is the regime’s tell tale sign, but anything else?

  • 16

    Now that Dayan, Rajiva and Tamara have been discredited and floored, this new Pottinger with a Dr. title is starting to lay claims for some funds MR is ready to dole out!

  • 17

    Michael Roberts is one of a troop (as in monkeys) of GOSL sycophants who are a total disgrace to the schools that gave them degrees and post-graduate qualifications. But then it has been very obvious that in the case of Roberts and his buddies, those degrees were not awarded for honesty and elementary human decency!

  • 0

    the photo of the smiling lady says it all…….what has she got to smile about?
    she just [Edited out]

  • 12

    The GOSL entered into an MOU with THE HINDU before the two reporters were taken to the war Zone by GOSL. They were provided food, clothing,
    shelter and transport in the WZ by GOSL. Furthermore the Chief Editor Mr.Ram was bestowed with the title LANKA RATNA for services rendered to GOSL. As such they have no credibility.

  • 18

    Reddy was a reporter for The Hindu whose editor Ram was a close friend and apologist of Mahinda Rajapaksa. Rajapaksa gave Ram awards for his ‘journalism’ in support of Rajapaksa’s war against the Tamils. You wouldn’t expect unbiased reporting from Reddy or the Hindu, especially when he was ’embedded’ with the SL military.

    The true witnesses were the people who survived the massacres who are scared to provide witness openly without a witness protection program. Michael Roberts knows this fact but chose to ignore it and as usual trying to hide the war crimes of the Rajapaksa regime.

    • 0

      “The true witnesses were the people who survived the massacres who are scared to provide witness openly without a witness protection program”

      If there is any, you can collect them from the boat people in Austrailia. Why don’t you give it a try. So far we haven’t heard any.

  • 14

    I am disappointed with what Michael Roberts is trying to do here.

    There is no point in trying to whitewash what really occurred during the last days of the war. Horrible things did occur. That is the nature of war. Vengeance goes hand in hand. This is why we must work towards not engaging in war at any cost.

    Now that the war is over we must face facts bravely and try and find solutions for a better future. When we try to whitewash the terrible things that occurred at Nandikadal you make reconciliation even harder.

  • 3

    Whatever the arguments and counter arguments are, SL is better off without the dead Tamils.

    Now we can go anywhere in SL knowing there will not be terrorist checkpoints, bomb blasts, etc.

    Well done SL army – the best in the world.

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

    Anything that is bad for Tamils is good for SL.

    • 13


      “Well done SL army – the best in the world”

      Including dropping the pants and sexually abusing helpless victims in Haiti. There are still slots for you and other SL soldiers to replace the disgraced ones. Make sure you wear a tight belt.

  • 16

    “While Prasad and Reddy may have been given a privileged place among reporters in mid-May, they were among a number of other foreign journalists airlifted to the front on other occasions in the months January-April 2009.”

    What was the reason for that privileged place for these two Indian journalists?

    And Mr. Reddy’s piece in the Frontline (June 06-19, 2009) contains some critical contradictions:

    Reddy says:
    “The May 15 decision of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) – the only outfit present inside the war zone until four days before the war ended – to suspend humanitarian operations inside the Tiger-held territory proved beyond doubt that the overwhelming majority of the civilians were out of the battle zone and that the military and the Tigers were engaged in no-holds-barred fight.”

    But he later on quotes the ICRC statement without comment:
    “In a statement, the ICRC said that for nine consecutive days it had pursued efforts to reach the area of north-eastern Sri Lanka hard hit by fighting. It said the ICRC had been unable to obtain first-hand information about the needs of the civilians and wounded people though thousands of civilians had fled the conflict zone in the past days and weeks.”

    So the ICRC suspended its operations because the GoSL (the LTTE might not have as well, though they stood to benefit from ICRC help) did not cooperate, not because “the overwhelming majority of the civilians were out of the battle zone” as Mr. Reddy interpreted it

    Also, he had this: “On May 16, President Rajapaksa declared at the G-11 Summit in Jordan that the LTTE had been defeated, even as troops moved in to flush out the remaining Tiger cadre and leaders holed up in the area. On that day the number of civilians who fled to government-controlled territory touched 20,000, while over 30,000 waited to cross over.”

    So if the bulk of the civilians had left the conflict zone by May 15, how could there have been more than 50,000 by May 16?

    Mr. Reddy needs to explain his contradictions and his ‘privileged’ access.
    Also, given that Mr. Reddy didn’t understand Tamil, it is important to know who that translator is, and who supplied the translator to Mr. Reddy. A proper international investigation would have to call in not only Mr. Reddy but also his translator. If the GoSL is confident that Mr. Reddy’s reporting and testimony would bear out its case, why does it fear such an investigation?

    • 0

      Filing from different angles it’s called good buddy. Important part of reporter’s craft. Also as homework try to access from the bibiliography the article about the people who could speak to the journalist in English. Can’t? Oh all right! Here it is! (http://tinyurl.com/Multiple-displacements)

      Also do not forget to gaze at the following sets of pic (as we are on the topic of witnesses)by following the relevant link on the article. FOREIGN MEDIA AT PUTHUKKUDIYIRUPPU & PUTTUMATTALAAN – 24 April 2009: PICs by Kanchan Prasad of Prasar Bharati

      REPORTERS’ VISIT TO THE BATTLEFRONT, 26-27 January 2009: IMAGES from KANCHAN PRASAD of Prasar Bharati

      Can’t? Oh ok, here goes; ( http://tinyurl.com/more-reporters )

      • 6

        You choose to interpret incoherence and contradictions as ‘filing from different angles.’

        The ICRC says it wasn’t able to reach the area for 9 consecutive days. I remember some Agency news reports from that time saying the GoSL had asked the ICRC to leave the conflict zone. But this reporter inserts his own commentary in his reporting piece, saying that the ICRC was in the LTTE-held territory till 4 days before the end of the war and that they ‘suspended’ their operations, without quoting sources or explaining the conflicting versions. The ICRC has no reason to lie. It is the reporters and the GoSL that have serious credibility problems.

  • 14

    The real witnesses were those who lived in the Vanni and survived the war. Unfortunately, no attempt has been made to record their story scientifically and objectively for posterity. Politics will prevent the real story being ever known in its true dimensions and facets. What should have been done soon after the war, when memories were fresh and vivid has been delayed too long. The politicians, the academics and the journalists have failed us. I would however emphasise the primary cause of this failure were our politicians of all hues and colours who were intent on capitalising on a tragedy rather than record the truth as a lesson for the future, What would be recorded for future now is story tainted by political bias, communal bias and personal aggrandisement, and not the ‘ Real Story’. The story that be told to future generations will be story that will lay the seeds for more conflict and probably in a more vicious form.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

    • 8

      Regardless if they are tarnished or not it is not the fairytale like story that this author and Colman portray for their own narrow personal gain either !

    • 11


      Did you not for almost four years advocate that the Tamils and the Diaspora should cease blaming the Government, not pursue any action against the regime and instead forget the past, look how best to move forward, and towards that support and fund the Government.

      Why your sudden interest in the “real” story, now five years later – somewhat like Dayan’s somersault after Weliveraya? You are one of the main actors who helped the Government bury the truth for so long – you, Dayan and few others who valued free-trips and royal treatment far above any humanity or truth.

      • 1

        Because I had a fairly good exposure to the real story!


        • 7


          I am glad you admit you were previously mistaken in your hossanas and servile support to the regime on account of the crumbs that they generously threw at you. I am also relieved that you can see the real story now, the real story that many of us have been trying to tell you over the last five years, and not the story the regime fed you when you were taken on joy rides!

          • 0

            How did you reach this ridiculous conclusion? What you and your kind have been telling is not the real story , but a caricature that fitted your objectives.


            • 6

              I asked you “Why your sudden interest in the “real” story, now five years later – somewhat like Dayan’s somersault after Weliveraya?” – and you answered “Because I had a fairly good exposure to the real story!”

              You want to recant that now?

              You have also previously conceded that you, along with the last of the idiots, have now realized that MR is deceptive, and cannot be trusted.

              You want to recant that as well?

              • 1

                Read what I wrote in the immediate period following the war? I had mentioned the need to record the stories the victims in the IDP camps had to tell. I had also written about my advise to the IDPs to record their experiences in a note book, when their memories were yet fresh , vivid and untainted by subsequent inputs and the phenomenon that involves selectivity in retention and forgetting.

                What has the disappointment with MR on a multitude of issues and praise for him in other issues got to do with the story of the war? Both sentiments can co-exist quite comfortably.


                • 4


                  You can keep talking through both sides of your orifice until the cows come home- but that is not going to help bury your past.

                  Can you show me one proof of your writing arguing for independent (not necessairy international) investigation that will convince us you wanted the real story at any point in time, up until last week that is!

                  You possibly saw the 11 panel eminent judges’ second determination that came from Australia, following the first one made in Europe earlier last month, with regard to genocide. You think you know better?

                  What a silly idea about you request for “note taking” — did you truly expect that those affected and contained/imprisoned in the army camps would write explicitly about their actual experience and keep such writing in their possession, knowing that the army and your friend Deva’s group could any time come and examine and confiscate such writings, and mete out punishment just for that?! Doesn’t that vividly show your gross lack of knowledge of ground realities? You truly need to take your head off of the orifices that you keep burying it in, on account of (or excuse of) your particular “ballu-vedhamahattaya) training.

                  One other point – I noticed you seem to have some perverted generalized view of “my kind” and “my objectives” – can you be more specific about what you mean and also provide some rationale for your assumption – unless of course those also came out of some of the orifices that you relish probing.

                  On the other hand, I can with certainty say that I do not belong to your “kind,” the kind that makes a living out of temple-robbery and state-paid joy rides and luxuries lavished for servile pandering and propaganda.

                  • 1

                    Have you been to the IDP camps in Settikulam soon after the war? If not your comments are a meaningless rant!

                    The language you use in your comments remind me of someone else whom I do not want to name. I suspect that both of you are the same person using in one instance the original name and in other instances a name that sounds genuine, but is in reality a guise. Will the real person stand up?

                    Dr. RN

                    • 4


                      Stop diverting attention by pointless assumptions about “your kind”, “your name” and “your language” – these are meek, vile and imbecilic attempts at defences of no relevance, at best. As I said you obviously pluck these whenever convenient to you from the dark orifices where you seemingly spend most of your time.

                      Your question “Have you been to the IDP camps in Settikulam soon after the war?” is another illustration of your idiocy. You don’t have to have visited Nazzi camps in the early 1940’s to know what happened there!

                      Let me repeat my question for an objective response, in case you have the courage and or integrity : “Can you show me one proof of your writing during say, 2009-2012, arguing for an independent (not necessarily international) investigation that will convince us you wanted the real story at any point in time?”

                    • 1

                      I was and am even now not interested in the inquiries that you advocate. I have heard enough to know there were serious war crimes committed by both adversaries. I am also aware of the exaggerations and inventions that are being peddled. I am also convinced the equation is equalised and neither party holds the moral high ground .

                      I have always felt that the concerns of the living override those of the unfortunate dead. Being a practicing Hindu, I am also aware that Karma rules our lives and all of us have to pay a price in one form or other while reaping the harvest our actions deserve.

                      Further, as I have stated quite clearly, the story of this war should have been recorded from the surviving victims. It is too late to do this now. The story was about everything the victims experienced at the hands of both parties, who were equally dastardly on many occasions.

                      Your comparison of the IDP camps in Settikulam with Nazi concentration camps, is ridiculous and shows how divorced you are from reality! The IDP camps were a haven compared to the hell the periphery had been and continued to be.

                      Your crusade rests on wrong assumptions and will note withstand the test of time.

                      Dr. RN

                    • 3


                      See – you already know that the Nazzi camp was diffrent from Settikulam. How did you know that? Did you have to visit Nazzi camp in the 40’s to know about it? No! That is the point I wanted to prove to show the idiocy in your comment “Have you been to the IDP camps in Settikulam soon after the war? If not your comments are a meaningless rant!” – Do you now realize your stupidity and illogics in what you write?

                      Let me repeat it for the third time “Can you show me even ONE proof of your writing during say, 2009-2012, arguing for an independent (not necessarily international) investigation that will convince us you wanted the real story at any point in time?” Why are you unable to answer this – doesn’t your inability confirms the lack in credibility of your claims?

                    • 1

                      ,Sarath Fernando,

                      I was at the the Gamini Vidyalaya ( Vavuniya) reception camp when the war-affected were poring in. I also visited the Settikulam IDP camps twice thereafter. I also saw the the state of the IDPs who were prematurely released from the IDP camps under pressure, living under miserable conditions along the A9 road and I Mullaitivu, I have also interacted with the war-affected regularly, therafter.

                      If you bother you can read what I have written in Tamilweek, transcurrents and dbsjeyraj websites.

                      I write only about only about what I have experienced.

                      I am sure the readers in know, can decide whose is a rant, illogic, lacks credibility and other adjectives you are using quite liberally.


                    • 1


                      Can you explain why it is so difficult for you to point out just one article (among the heap that you contributed to the many, many publications you list)in which you supported investigation towards the “real story” – your beating around the bush only convinces that your statements here are, again, mere canards.

                      Frankly I have at the least browsed most of your writings (possibly not exhaustively) and my recollection is that you were merely pandering to the regime, condemning anything LTTE or Diaspora (again pandering to the master), and providing excuses and arguments against any initiatives that promoted post-war investigation towards the “real” story (yet again, attempts at pandering).

                      Shouldn’t it be a piece of cake for you to disprove me by explicitly citing what you wrote or providing the specific link to what you wrote that best disproves me? If you truly have written anything that even remotely resembles asking for the “real” story why your hesitation?

                      Your continued silence on that will only further establishes your dishonesty!

              • 3

                Dr R,

                You did put all your eggs in one basket for a long time after the war ended! I hope that you weren’t playing the game that Dr DJ plays to get prominent positions. Your change of angle is unfathomable. I for one think that establishing Accountability is a must; by doing so, the truth should be told via the very people who have the first-hand knowledge of what really happened. The paradox is that, establishing the truth to the last stages of the war is the only avenue there is for the Sinhala as well to take the country back from the MR gang!

                • 1

                  Burning issue,

                  My only concerns post-war was the surviving victims of the war, the Tamils who live in this island as a people and of course Sri Lanka as a country.

                  I have placed my hopes only in one basket- a rational approach to resolving problems for a better future. I have been ready to forgive, but not forget the past. I am also convinced the past cannot the albatross across our community neck. I think this is the the right approach to reconciliation. My hopes did not rest in one basket, but in inputs of many players within Sri Lanka, I definitely am of the opinion that the Diaspora and the International community can only assist in this process, but cannot dictate terms or orchestrate solutions.

                  I can also confidently say that the life of the Tamils in the north and east have improved to an extent I had not expected, in the past four + years, although many human issues need to be yet addressed adequately. It is an equation with many positives and many negatives yet. It is a mixture of white , black and grey areas. This has to be recognised and acknowledged. The grey areas cannot be classified as black either. the white areas have to openly acknowledged. The black areas have to be truthfully identified,discussed and solutions found, however hard the process may. The grey areas are easier to deal with.

                  Political solutions need to be evolved yet to enable the Tamils to live as equal citizens and a distinct community within Sri Lanka. This would once again take time, much wisdom and less dramatics from all sides of the political equation. What had been destroyed cannot be put back in five years. That process is moving forward in fits and starts., amidst all the stupidity now.

                  My conclusion is that things always can be better, but they are also not as bad as they are portrayed to be. This is recognised by most ordinary Tamils who are leading their day today life here and have no political axe to grind.

                  Sri Lanka definitely needs better governance and real democracy, which recognises the rights of every citizen and the rights of the different communities. Yes, the MR government must be changed, if it is not ready to change itself. The MR government has grievously damaged the political fundamentals in this country and that is unpardonable. On the other hand it has also done much to improve the infrastructure of the country, without which economic progress would be difficult. However, once again this government has not promoted a parallel and coherent economic policy framework to date. The horse has been not linked to the cart. This seems to be a national malady that afflicts the Tamil community too!

                  Dr. Rajasingham Narendran

                  • 1


                    Copious writing does not substitute for objective response!

                    You keep boasting of many, many writings, but remain unable to point out even a single incidence of writing in support of the need to verify the “real” story. Pleases cease from such fraud.

                    Now you say “Sri Lanka definitely needs better governance and real democracy, which recognizes the rights of every citizen and the rights of the different communities. Yes, the MR government must be changed.”

                    Any idiot can do such pointless post-mortems, but it takes some basic intelligence to have a foresight to recognize early enough in which direction MR’s regime was taking the country. You proved pathetic on that count! You were gung-ho in support of MR for at least four years post 2009 and was actively buffering the regime from criticism and also supported fund-raising for the regime – all for the few crumbs.

                    You had such faith in MR for quite a long time, post-2009. Wonder if you saw the news item of a recent documentary shown in Japan about the Buddhist orphanages actively involved in human-right violations denying language, religious and social birth-rights to Tamil children? Do you think this is happening without the blessings of the highest authority?

        • 4

          Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

          It seems Rathika Sitsabaiesan MP is in trouble in Jaffna.

          Lesson unlearned and irreconciliation well under way.

          • 0

            There are accusations and denials. The tale is yet to be heard!

            Dr. RN

            • 0

              HOW ABOUT THE LIVING?


  • 2

    Why all international human right are interest only last battle of Nandikadal of VP and GOSL armed forces in 2009.Of cause is need to be address and need be accountability by World Human Rights Organization.
    For me we are all people of Sri Lanka, belongs to same equal statues ,is need to be address by International organization, essentialy need accountability by human rights.
    But since 1971 there are large number of Youth in SOUTH had been killed by 1970 to 1977 under Sirmovo Banadarake, Dr NM Perera & Peter Kenumaen of SLFP,LSSP SLCP ( Moscow wing) Government. There were NO international Human Rights ever-never an investigation or accountability by such War Crimes any human rights by Srimavo Banadarake regime?
    1977 to 1994 Under Regime of JR and R.Premadasa of UNP had been killed many Tamils in South 1977,1979 1981 and 1983,No accountability had been request by Human Rights of World. Why?
    Under R.Premadasa and Rajan Wijeratna of UNP regime 1988 to 1994 killed 800,00 to 900,00 Youth in South without, any battle like Nandikadal, No Western or Indian authorities are interest to bring WAR CRIME CHARGES AGAINST SUCH KILLING?
    During Indian IPKF of Indian peace keeping operation, had killed many Tamils in North and East, but NO WAR CRIME CHARGES BEING BROUGHT FORWATED BY HUMAN RIGHTS? against Indian Regime!
    IF Those are not vested interest of WEST and Indian hegemony!

    • 3

      It is true that all the crimes against humanity should be investigated and those who responsible should be punished. We are not living in the same world as we were in the past. The world has changed lot and we have now become part of an international community. We brought this war to the international door and we asked for international help. It is the failure of the Sinhala community to bring those criminals into the justice system. The Sinhala regimes covered the crimes against Sinhala masses using the ethnic dimension. In 1958 when the Tamils were massacred in the Colombo streets Sinhalese did not think it is a crime against a Sri Lankan because the victims are Tamils. We did not bother to bring those criminals to the justice system. We continued our silence and allowed to accumulate the crimes to build up without justice. The internal justice system has completely failed because of the ethnic dimension. It has to be stopped. There is no signs of an end to the situation. It is now an opportunity to start the process with latest crimes where the evidence is paramount and it has international dimension.

    • 3

      Piyadasa Yalagala


    • 6


      Here is the difference:

      “But since 1971 there are large number of Youth in SOUTH had been killed by 1970 to 1977 under Sirmovo Banadarake, Dr NM Perera & Peter Kenumaen of SLFP,LSSP SLCP ( Moscow wing) Government. There were NO international Human Rights ever-never an investigation or accountability by such War Crimes any human rights by Srimavo Banadarake regime?”

      In that conflict, the Government (with Indian/Pakistani help) indeed killed youth. But the youth who were killed were those who took arms and further, had idiotically vowed and planned to kill and eliminate any one over 50 years old. There were never any allegations of intentional killing of civilians other than those who took arms by the armed forces. Also there was no allegation of killing of the armed youth after being captured and taken prisoners in the conflict.

      “1977 to 1994 Under Regime of JR and R.Premadasa of UNP had been killed many Tamils in South 1977,1979 1981 and 1983,No accountability had been request by Human Rights of World. Why? “

      There was no war situation. Tamils were killed by thugs and looters. Even though the Government allegedly (and most likely) had a hand and perhaps even was totally responsible, there were no allegations of direct killing by the armed forces.

      However, remember, it is in recognition of the need for protection of Tamils from their own Government that almost all developed nations and signatories to HR agreements opened up and entertained refugee applications right here in the capital Colombo. The Government shamelessly and helplessly watched as Tamils, a vast number of them professionals, queued up in the streets of Colombo at various embassies, applied and obtained visas and left the country. The Government had no power to intervene, right here in the capital of its own “sovereign” country! What a slap in the face?!

      Now, a question back to you. Why is the Government so vehemently opposed to Tamil refugee applications now, given that it permitted such refugee applications to be entertained by so many countries in their embassies right here in the center of Colombo?

  • 0

    “Major-General Shavindra Silva of the 58th Brigade “

    A Sri Lankan Hero.

    Becuase of him many could have their lives and they knew they would come back intact and not in a coffin if they go out in the morning.

    • 8

      Yes Shavendra Silva the Butcher, massacred over forty thousand Tamils who tried to surrender at the behest of Gota, who had the blessings of the Human Rights Watchdogs, The United States of America and India. I believe these people did not want any hard core LTTE suicide cadre remaining that would have posed problems today had they been allowed to remain.

      Now this BUTCHER Shavendra Silva is under the very protection of the Americans at the very UN that is supposed to Investigate. What an Irony?

    • 5

      “A Sri Lankan Hero.”

      Shavendra for president.Should contest 2014 presidential election instead of CBK.Will go from hero to zero quickly if he loses.cell reserved in welikada for customary non politico candidates who think they can join the elite club through war hero tactics.

  • 11

    When Dr Roberts writes these days, I have begun to recall my schoolboy Goldsmith:
    For e’en though vanquish’d he could argue still;
    While words of learned length and thund’ring sound
    Amazed the gazing rustics rang’d around;
    And still they gaz’d and still the wonder grew,
    That one small head could carry all he knew.
    But past is all his fame…….
    As Uncle Berty said ‘None are so blind as those who will not see’.
    Dr Roberts, put your (still?) fertile imagination to good use and try writing a few tales to excite children. Happy 2014.

  • 1

    Sri Lankan criminal Justice system not in sided NOT any special community, by its who with ruling class and party, it had manipulated power of ruling class in charge of one or another family! Since 1948.May be needless to say ,House of Senanayake, House of Banadarake, House of Jayawaredena & lumpan President and House of Rajapakase are manipulated events their own vested interest. We were witnessing last 40 years was not Justice for people of an Island, but merely another form of control in the guise of democratization by ruling family-nepotism.
    In political terms faltering Power Family Regime were staunch allies to West and Indian, who have No INTERST IN BRING WAR CRIMES OR HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATION OR OVERTHROWM THEM.Is fact uncertainty of Human Rights and so-called War crimes about the future was too great.
    Both the substance and form of all call to action gave YOUNG PEOPLE a positive self-image. One light years removed from the timeworn clichés about their origins and their ethanicity our land.

  • 11

    The dostara Roberts is trying to make out that two
    swallows make a summer. If indeed two Indian journalsits
    one from a state run outlet and another from a state
    controlled agency were in Jaffna means nothing. Not even
    the local media carry any of their “objective” reports.
    So this was a case of embedding those who were more
    catholic than the Pope. There are things that cannot be
    said here about how all this came about.

    • 0

      Bit embarrassing isn’t it Priyalal Dissanayake commenting on a war without even knowing where it was? Er..Jaffna? Was that where the final battle was fought? Whatever.

      Ergo the two swallows. Missed this bit everybuddy? It’s in the previous to the previous to the last para; “While Prasad and Reddy may have been given a privileged place among reporters in mid-May, they were among a number of other foreign journalists airlifted to the front on other occasions in the months January-April 2009. ( See the list here)”
      Here means (http://tinyurl.com/all-journos-at-front). Good delving everybuddy.

  • 1

    Another excellent expose which dismantles the web of lies spun by the LTTE disapora.

    No wonder these LTTE monkeys have to keep harping on and on about the well deserved demise of a couple of terrorists – if they stray from that and try to dig up any real evidence of the supposed “genocide” they’ll just end up scoring many, many own goals :D

    • 1

      It is not only LTTE, it is the Most Tamils who are born-Liers.

      Tamils are mostly, christians, Muslims, Jains and low grade Hindus. They lie to their nose.

  • 5

    You [Edited out], Did you see how Mahinda (the world famous dumbo) while talking to Al Jazeera have said there were no attacks on Mosques and they were just publicity stunts….What a lie!!!

    Like you, all the UPFA/JHU/BBS gangs do everything but the truth. The whole world saw what happened to to many mosques, Hindu Temples & churches…even the ancient Buddhist Temples were not left without looking for treasure hunting.

    Can you say that its not a lie when Duminda Silva was made to kill Baratha and then allowed him to escape to Singapore and then come back and functions without any problem even after he been shot in the head???? Simple answer is “MATA MATHAKA NEHE”….

    Pls go to a dark room and slog yourself until the dead yellow sperms in your scrotum slips into the drain and vanish without procreate more & more mentally retarded MAHAWAMSA bastards.

  • 4

    Michale I am sure you got a lap top from SL. If you havent hurry up offer is valid until stock last.

  • 1

    I think that Dr.Roberts article is maligned unfairly, and there is obvious bias in the criticism. It would seem that there were witnesses to the war in the last several months. There is no point in blaming Roberts who has published the facts. If we are being impartial, we need to dig deeper and see what these witnesses/journalists had to say in their reports and glean from these (and in between the lines) what the true conditions were. I would request CT to publish these so that the reader can get a clearer picture. The other avenue is to get the story from the survivors. Merely dismissing Roberts as a government sycophant, or calling him names is silly and shows a lack of seriousness in unravelling the truth.

    • 4


      See my comments in response Mr. Reddy below, about the blind men and the elephant. And on the “list” of those airlifted, I see several who may have filed reports at that time, but who agree with the view that the GoSL has been accused of serious war crimes that will need to be investiugated. I distinctly remember Stewart Bell of the National Post of Canada, who said he reported from Vavuniya, not the theater of the battle, even though his name is on that list.

      The problem most people have with Roberts is that, he is someone who had a fairly evenhanded, objective views in his earlier years, but after Rajapaksa came into power, all of a sudden he started having a distinct anti-Tamil bias; his credibility was shot when he wrote in support of the GoSL statistics that there were only 65-75,000 people in the Vanni. He maligned impartial international journalists who quoted the correct figures. Even Mr. Anandasangaree, who was then vocally opposed to the LTTE, came up with correct numbers, but Roberts, for reasons best known to himself, acted strangely and stuck to his numbers.

      And that lack of credibility has followed him ever since, for he has made no effort to publicly correct his mistake, let alone apologize for his deviancy and intellectual corruption. As a result, everything Roberts writes since then will be tainted with the same bias and corruption.

      What is more, Roberts has repeatedly failed to ask the relevant question: how will anyone take what the GoSL says seriously when it has repeatedly lied and misled not only Sri Lankans but also international figures like Ban-ki-Moon, Manmohan Singh, and Sushma Swaraj? One can only conclude that his failure stems from the fact that he is infected by the same moral turpitude and corruption that has been the hallmark of the Rajapaksa regime and its supporters.

  • 2

    I do not want to say much to those questioning my motives on my reportage on the last few days of the war except to quote a dispatch from TamilNet, a few weeks after my cover story on the last moments of the war appeared in the Frontline.

    It says, “On what Lokeesan achieved as a war correspondant, a tribute in the spirit of media comradeship came from The Hindu’s B. Muralidhar Reddy, writing in Frontline in June 2009:

    “Most important was the fact that we had interference-free access to the Internet, including TamilNet, the website perceived to be pro-LTTE and based somewhere in Europe. Within the constrains of Internet time available, and not-unexpected problems of connectivity and speed in a war zone, there was just enough time to read and absorb the reports on the website before sending news dispatches to our headquarters. No questions were asked. It must be said that the ‘journalistic team’ associated with TamilNet did a marvelous job of relaying the scenes of the last hours of Eelam War IV as they unfolded.”

    Muralidhar Reddy was on the opposite side of the battlefront, moving with the 58 division of the Sri Lanka Army during the last days of the war”

    B. Muralidhar Reddy
    The Hindu

    • 6

      Mr. Murali,

      While the war was going on, the GoSL as well as many in the Indian establishment, including The Hindu, disparaged TamilNet as having ‘separatist’ colors and questioned its reporting. And TN reported claims by some LTTE-affiliated people in the West to say the Velupillai Pirapaharan was alive long after KP had conceded that he was dead.
      But when confronted with your own inconsistencies and contradictions, you and credibility-challenged people like Rajiva Wijesinha and Michael Roberts seek refuge in TamilNet’s claims.

      I know TamilNet’s US based editors well and have talked to them extensively on this issue over the years. They maintain that they were wrong in reporting that VP survived, but they still say there were as many as 50,000 civilians dead. If you are willing seek refuge in TamilNet’s reporting to verify your credibility with readers, then you have to reconcile their claims of 50,000 dead.

      The way I see it, you are all like blind men touching parts of the elephant by your hands and describing the elephant from what you felt.
      The real truth can only be ascertained by an international investigation looking at the complete picture, assembling together the pieces of descriptions by putting you all under oath.

      The fact that when confronted with your inconsistencies and journalistic competence, you withdraw into silence makes an international investigation all the more important.

      • 2

        Agnos. Metaphors. The elephant metaphor a good one. But then the well analogy is good too. Women meet at the village well and trade stories. The analogy fits you. Your alleged discussions with Tamil Net editors and what they allegedly tell you after the event rates much lower than what they actually wrote while the conflict was going on.
        “Even TamilNet – the mouthpiece of the LTTE – claimed only 2,600 civilian deaths in April and 1,700 in March.”-(http://tinyurl.com/Kath-Noble)

        You can’t reconstruct the elephant from what all the women say at the well years after the ground situation.

        To reconstruct the elephant you have to assess and collate and scientifically extrapolate from while giving reasonable error margins from all the reports of casualty figures, population figures that came out of the conflict situation as it was unfolding and from figures of IDPs.

        The only source to have done so up to now was The Numbers Game (http://tinyurl.com/Games-Numbers)

        None of the proponents of the casualty figures have yet done that. Sadly because they don’t have the intellectual equipment and the skills to do that. Take Frances Harrison. Show her a satellite image of a hospital that she claims 2000 shells fell on during a certain period and tell her to count shell craters and you will be able to assess her ability.

        DGA Parthipan’s estimate about the civilian population remaining in the Vanni at a certain point of time is the unquestioned basis for all these civilian casualty numbers.

        Point out the obvious flaws in the parthipan estimate and you will be able to assess the intellectual equipment of all those who accepted this estimate unconditionally, without caveats and as a given.

        Show some critical satellite imagery that claims to show indiscriminate shelling to any vocal journo/senator/politician/activist and ask them to demonstrate their ability to read satellite imagery and you will be able to assess their intellectual equipment.

        Ask any vocal activist (including Tamil Net editors you are allegedly in contact with) who claim intentional civilian casualties amounting to 50 000 to read Number Game and try to demolish its arguments with scientific counter arguments and you will be able to assess their intellectual equipment.

        To analyze the situ scientifically and try to re construct the elephant you need a head for numbers, skill and knowledge to assess and collate different sets of statistics, a penchant for mathematics, good observational skills, etc.
        That’s why women at the well who claim this number and that number at their personal whims and fancies will never get the elephant.

        One of the tales spread by these bunch of women who gathered at the well was that this was a war without witnesses and that old wives’ tale this article has demolished.

        • 2

          Linsay aka Candidly,

          When you wrote under the handle ‘Candidly’, you advocated colonizing the North-East with Sinhalese and/or supported the GoSL’s land grab in the North. A closet racist like you think that I could be inveigled into reading some trash that you find credible by writing under another alias? Credibility is a bit like virginity. Once you lose it, you just lose it. I have better things to do with my time.

          • 0

            Ag honey stop being a well woman. You are displaying all the typical characteristics. Dealing in personalities instead of issues; preferring stories to facts, etc. I am not CANDIDLY OR the author of N game. Read the following wikileaks cables from 4th to 21st May and you will see 1) while the fighting was going on the ICRC was conducting ocean evacuation and supply operations to conflict/safe zone. 2) but as the fighting intensified they were being more and more skittish about landing or even coming within firing distance of the shore 3) the government was accusing them of being unduly skittish despite assurances from the AGA and the fact that fighting was not going on near the shore but further inland.
            4)once the fighting was over they wanted access into the zone to assist the wounded and id the dead. But the government refused them saying they had enough chances (three consecutive days) to conduct evacuation operations, but they being more skittish than a Victorian maiden on the brink of honeymoon missed those chances and now the army could manage by themselves. AFTER the fighting was over it was clear the gov. was treating the former conflict zone as a strict containment area. They were only offering Nambiar either a tree top level flyover or a boat trip close to the shore. At first the ICRC was hoping to accompany Nambiar but when the actual invitation came for the tree top tour, the ICRC refused in a huff at not being allowed on land access.
            Here, hon read if you can tear yourself away long enough from the delicious goss at the wellside.

            4 Monday
            Aid organizations emphasize the urgent food needs of the estimated 50,000 – 70,000 trapped civilians. Heightened military activity offshore of the conflict zone negates the possibility of further large seaborne food shipments, as prior 1000MT-plus shipments required a four- to five-day offloading period.
            Only 70MT was delivered during the week of April 27-May 1; assuming at least 50,000 people remain, at least 190MT are required per week at survival rations level. The UN World Food Programme is exploring use of additional ferries to conduct more frequent food shipments.
            5 Tuesday
            ICRC reports that they had not yet received security assurances for the Green Ocean ferry to return to the safe zone this week. There have been no trips to deliver food or evacuated wounded and sick civilians this week. ICRC reports that the next opportunity will be tomorrow, May 6 at the earliest. ICRC
            expects to deliver 30 tons of food, the maximum capacity for the Green Ocean. Medical supplies may be provided by the Government for this shipment, but ICRC will not know specifics until it is approved and loaded onto the ferry. Charge stressed during today’s Co-Chair meeting with the President and key
            advisors, including Presidential Advisor Basil Rajapaksa and Disaster Management and Human Rights Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe, that supplies of food and medicine are critically low in the safe zone. They responded that the LTTE, not the Navy or the Government, are at fault for the ICRC’s failure to obtain satisfactory
            security guarantees.
            On May 4, Charge met with Foreign Minister Bogollagama to discuss reports that Government forces were shelling into the Government-designated “safe zone” even after the President’s April 27 declaration of the end of combat operations. Charge presented two declassified satellite images taken on April 26 and 28 of the
            civilian “no-fire zone” showing probable artillery impact craters. Referring to widely-circulated but unofficial UN estimates of thousands of civilian deaths and injuries since late January (which have elicited strongly-worded refutations by Government officials), Charge noted that the U.S. is not in position independently to verify
            numbers of civilian casualties, but that it is clear there have been many.
            Post considers it possible that individual field commanders or the Army command might have resorted to the use of heavy weapons while protecting the Commander-in-Chief from this information. Rajapaksa has been known to call individual battlefield commanders in the past to ask for frank
            assessments when he feels out of touch with ground realities. While the senior officials we spoke with concerning the satellite images conceded nothing, our effort still could lead to the President conducting his own inquiries and a possible change of the Sri Lankan Army’s conduct of the battle in
            progress. The President remarked at lunch before this meeting that India had satellites and was monitoring the ground situation in Sri Lanka. It will now be equally clear to the Sri Lankan government that we are watching, too.
            6 Wednesday
            On May 5 Charge emphasized to President Rajapaksa and Special Presidential Advisor Basil Rajapaksa that ICRC boat runs to the safe zone must continue to evacuate sick and wounded civilians and to bring in critically needed food and medicine. On May 6, ICRC Acting Head of Delegation Tony Dalziel
            reported to Charge that security assurances had been received from the military and LTTE for the “Green Ocean” to offload food and load evacuees on May 7. The issue was discussed at a May 6 meeting of the National Security Council and assurances were conveyed to Dalziel by the Chief of Defense
            Staff. The “Green Ocean” was loaded on May 6 in Trincomalee with approximately 30 metric tons of food and is expected to depart at 18:00 local and arrive the morning of May 7. It is not yet known if medicine has been loaded, which, if it happens, typically takes place at the last minute.
            7 Thursday
            The ICRC-flagged ferry “Green Ocean” departed on May 6 for the conflict zone, but needed to wait the entire morning of May 7 for the fighting to cease before attempting to approach the “landing site” offshore of the conflict zone. The ferry carried 26-27 MTs of food and some medicine (drugs, but no surgical / disposables
            for treating war-wounded casualties). At 13:30 today, May 7, ICRC began bringing evacuees onto the ferry, with an estimated time of departure of 17:00. ICRC estimates that among earlier evacuees (approximately 13,000 people) there are 1,800-2,000 people still being treated in hospitals.
            There are extreme and growing difficulties providing assistance to civilians trapped in the conflict zone; the risks to aid workers are sky-rocketing. It may soon be too unsafe to continue these operations. However, Presidential Advisor Basil Rajapaksa assured Charge on May 7 that the ICRC would have
            uninterrupted use of the Green Ocean ferry from now on. (Note: Until now, ICRC has only had use of the ferry for four days each week.)
            Tough resistance continues, likely from hardcore LTTE cadres. The contact reports “raining” LTTE mortar fires and LTTE artillery. The LTTE dispatched 2-3 suicide bombers yesterday in fighting within the “safe zone” resulting in heavy casualties on both sides. The 53 Division advanced about 300 meters
            southward but has not yet reached the bund. The Sri Lankan Air Force reported that Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) coverage showed LTTE back-hoes and civilians still constructing a second defensive berm, but only the eastern side is near completion.
            An Air Force contact reported UAV coverage shows about 2 kilometers distance between the northernmost civilians and forward troops. He said the Army is moving mostly at night, suffering 40-50 casualties a night. He estimated Army casualties last night were approximately 60.
            8 Friday
            9 Saturday
            10 Sunday
            11 Monday
            Heavy shelling in the conflict zone killed at least 300 civilians on May 9 and 10. A medical worker in the conflict zone reported that 378 civilians were killed and over 1,000 injured. A priest in the conflict zone reports over 1,000 civilian deaths. Pro-LTTE website Tamilnet reports that 1,200 bodies were
            counted following alleged Government shelling, and alleges that over 2,000 civilians were killed (Note: estimates on this website cannot be substantiated and are often exaggerated). The Government claims the LTTE was responsible for the shelling and that the international media has been “blinded” by the
            LTTE. A local newspaper reported that Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa called the accusations “ridiculous”, saying, “The army couldn’t have mounted a large scale artillery assault without the international community knowing it… Had they employed satellites to monitor the area of operations, they
            would have known the ground situation”. The Government accused the LTTE of firing and killing a number of fleeing civilians.
            The ICRC-flagged ferry “Green Ocean” returned to the safe zone on May 9 and on May 11, each time carrying 27-30 MT of food, and returning with medical evacuees and bystanders. The ICRC has evacuated approximately 14,000 persons from the conflict zone since February 10. Additional food shipments
            and medevacs by the “Green Ocean” are planned for May 12 and 13. The Government plans to provide WFP and ICRC use of the “Dublin” to transport larger amounts of food aid in to the conflict zone. ICRC will attempt to ship 200-500 metric tons of food during the week of May 11-17. However, this
            operation will require both sides to significantly scale back fighting for at least 72 hours. Charge will continue to urge the GSL to stop fighting in order to allow food aid in and to avoid civilian casualties.
            Three journalists from UK’s Channel 4 were deported this weekend following their May 5 report on alleged rape and lack of food and water in IDP camps in Vavuniya. The three were detained in Trincomalee, brought back to Colombo, and deported from Sri Lanka on the morning of May 10. The reporter
            claims he received a phone call from Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa in which he said, “You have been accusing my soldiers of raping civilians? Your visa is cancelled, you will be deported. You can report what you like about this country, but from your own country, not from here.”
            12 Tuesday
            According to a Government doctor in the “safe zone,” 378 bodies were brought to the medical point by the afternoon of May 10 and a total of 480 by the afternoon of May 11. However, according to our contact, based on the ratios documented since Jan 20th, only a fraction of the dead are brought to the medical
            UN Acting Resident Coordinator (protect) told Charge that the number of killed a 48 hour period on May 9-10 was likely about 300-400.
            A UN source with contacts within the conflict zone reports that the situation there has become “chaotic.” The contacts report that the push by the Sri Lankan Army begun on May 10 has continued essentially uninterrupted. These sources indicate the full gamut of heavy weaponry was used, and that the
            smaller “safe zone” unilaterally declared by the GSL continued to come under attack through the morning of May 12. According to this information, the main Sri Lankan Army positions in the north of the conflict zone are currently 1-2 kilometers from the edge of the newly declared “safe zone.” The
            Embassy source indicates the medical point is now receiving small arms fire, making work for the staff increasingly problematic. The medical point and staff reportedly can not move any further south due to the congestion around Mullivaikal East. Our UN contact reports that the number of casualties from
            ongoing hostilities is difficult to calculate. According to a Government doctor in the “safe zone,” 378 bodies were brought to the medical point by the afternoon of May 10 and a total of 480 by the afternoon of May 11. However, according to our contact, based on the ratios documented since Jan 20th, only
            a fraction of the dead are brought to the medical facilities.
            On May 11, the ICRC ferry “Green Ocean” transported 27 MT of food into the conflict zone. On May 12, an ICRC ferry carrying 25 MT of food (no medical supplies) arrived and anchored offshore, but did not receive clearance from either side to upload injured patients, and was forced to return to Pulmoddai.
            Reportedly there were no medical supplies on board.ICRC head of delegation (strictly protect) Castella told Charge he would attempt to contact senior GSL officials to secure guarantees for a renewed attempt on May 13.
            13 Wednesday
            Based on reports from doctors inside the conflict zone and from the TNA MP inside the NFZ, they stated that there remain 120,000 to 150,000 civilians inside the conflict zone.
            Charge spoke with Senior Presidential Advisor Basil Rajapaksa again on May 13 and stressed the urgency of government forces holding their fire and creating conditions under which food could be unloaded from the ICRC-flagged “Green Ocean” and sick and wounded civilians boarded. Rajapaksa claimed
            that fighting was not taking place near the landing point, but rather inland, toward the lagoon and that the sick and wounded civilians were on the beach waiting to leave. He said the government had asked the ICRC to authorize unloading of food and loading of civilians onto small boats by fishermen, who
            were standing by and ready to assist. Charge reiterated that it is the military’s responsibility to ensure security conditions under which emergency humanitarian operations could take place and emphasized that time was of the essence for today’s ICRC operation. He also noted the President’s April 27
            pledge that combat operations had ended and heavy weapons would not be used. Rajapaksa undertook to speak to the Eastern Navy Commander and other military officials to convey our urgent concerns about conditions that would permit food to be put ashore today and wounded civilians to be
            ICRC attempted another food shipment/medical evacuation on May 13, but again faced insecure conditions. As on May 12, the ICRC ship “Green Ocean” stopped its approach as ICRC officials contacted both sides of the conflict to seek a temporary calm in the fighting. If the fighting did not calm by midafternoon,
            ICRC planned to return the ship again to Pulmoddai. At 4:30 pm on May 13, ICRC head Castella reported the ship had turned back without being able to deliver food or evacuate patients because of chaotic conditions at the landing site and nearby firing. He said the government had proposed new
            evacuation procedure overland but thought it difficult because the route would necessarily cross the front lines. He welcomed the prospect of a face-to-face meeting with the Defense Secretary to discuss this and other issues. He confirmed media reports that the makeshift hospital had been hit by shell
            fire for a third time. He told us an additional Red Cross local staff member had been killed in the fighting today, May 13.
            During the morning of May 13, Charge called Minister of Disaster Management and Human Rights Samarasinghe to express grave concern about the humanitarian consequences of another day’s delay in the Green Ocean’s operations. Samarasinghe said he was instructed this morning by Defense
            Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa (who was in a meeting of the Security Council) to provide ICRC Head of Delegation Paul Castella the military’s full assurance that there would be no shelling by the Army and food could be off-loaded from the boat and passengers taken aboard. Samarasinghe did so at
            10:00a.m. Charge noted that, while he could not speak for the ICRC, he was confident the ICRC would have proceeded if security conditions permitted. Samarasinghe suggested to Charge that it would be helpful for Rajapaksa and Castella to meet tomorrow, May 14. Charge agreed that this could be
            useful, but reiterated that the important thing was to get food into the zone and evacuate patients without further delay.
            14 Thursday
            A UN contact said new imagery dated May 10 indicates the number of shelters has dropped from 11,300 on May 6 to 7,000 on May 10. The move to the south and southwest may have been without shelters, possibly explaining the difference. The UN has no reports of incoming artillery since Tuesday (but
            there was intense mortar fire on April 13, including two mortar shells which landed near the makeshift hospital, ref A). Medical personnel have had a hard time reaching casualties because the fighting is getting so close, reportedly within 500 meters. The UN said there were now 5,000 civilians at Pulmoddai.
            ICRC has been in negotiations with senior Sri Lankan officials about conditions that would enable the ICRC-flagged “Green Ocean” to deliver food and evacuate passengers today, May 14. No agreement has yet been reached on a landing point acceptable to the military and the LTTE, nor have security
            guarantees been provided. ICRC emphasized in its discussions with both sides that firing must be halted in the area of the landing point, as otherwise patients being evacuated would be placed at risk. Humanitarian staff on the ICRC-flagged “Green Ocean” could see explosions in the general vicinity of the
            landing point. Meanwhile, a larger ICRC-flagged ship “Oriental Planet” loaded with 500 metric tons of food was also waiting offshore. A two-day window of no firing would be required to off-load the ship. Note: As of afternoon on May 14, contacts report that the two ships remain 3 to 5 nautical miles
            offshore of the safe zone and cannot approach due to lack of security.
            The UN has no reports of incoming artillery since Tuesday (but there was intense mortar fire on April 13, including two mortar shells which landed near the makeshift hospital, (ref A). Medical personnel have had a hard time reaching casualties because the fighting is getting so close, reportedly within 500
            There were no LTTE counterattacks last night, though LTTE mortar fire intensified appreciably. The Army estimates the LTTE has about 1,000 cadres under arms, 400 – 500 hardcore and as many as 600 auxiliaries and forced recruits. The LTTE is recruiting on a daily basis.
            The Sri Lankan Air Force contact said the LTTE has made up for its battlefield losses by forcibly recruiting the young and old, giving them weapons, and assigning a hardcore LTTE to every 20 – 30 forced recruits.
            15 Friday
            A UN contact said the Army reported a huge explosion inside the “safe zone” last night, May 15. (The Sri Lankan Air Force also attributes this to the LTTE destroying equipment.) He reported that the LTTE has been employing more suicide bombers against the Army advance.
            Following another failed attempt to assist the trapped population on May 14, the International Committee of the Red Cross issued a statement saying they could no longer reach the population. Geneva-based ICRC Head of Operations Pierre Kraehenbuehl stated, “Our staff are witnessing an unimaginable
            humanitarian catastrophe… Despite high-level assurances, the lack of security on the ground means that our sea operations continue to be stalled, and this is unacceptable. No humanitarian organization can help them in the current circumstances. People are left to their own devices.”
            News reports indicate that the makeshift hospital within the “safe zone” is no longer functioning, as the few remaining doctors have left or are leaving the safe zone. There is no remaining health care available to the trapped population, and all food and medical supplies are believed to be exhausted.
            UN Chief of Staff to the Secretary General Vijay Nambiar will arrive in Sri Lanka on May 16 and will meet with senior Government officials including the President, Foreign Minister, and Defense Secretary before departing on Tuesday, May 19. According to Acting UN Resident Coordinator Amin Awad, the
            Ministry of Foreign Affairs told the UN that a visit to the “safe zone” itself was “out of the question.” The Government offered the option of a helicopter flight close to the safe zone, or a trip by boat offshore, both of which the UN declined.
            09NEWDELHI996 – CONFIDENTIAL
            Charge met with Indian Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon May 15 for a discussion on the urgent humanitarian situation in Sri Lanka.
            Menon noted that within the past 24 hours, he had noticed in the Indian government’s contacts with Sri Lanka that the Indians were sometimes in possession of more up-to-date knowledge about conditions in the conflict zone than some of their Colombo interlocutors. He speculated that the Sri Lankan
            military may not be keeping the brothers Rajapaksa as fully informed about the military situation. Menon said that the military was clearly finding it tougher going than they may had expected.
            16 Saturday
            17 Sunday
            May 16-17 marked a watershed day in Sri Lanka’s conflict with the LTTE, as an estimated 72,000 civilians escaped the safe zone.
            Norwegian Ambassador Hattrem called Ambassador late evening May 16 to report that he had received a phone call from Selvarasa Padmanathan (“KP”) stating that the LTTE were prepared to surrender without conditions to a neutral third party. Ambassador called ICRC head of delegation Paul Castella,
            who said he had been in conversations with the GSL, and that ICRC staff were prepared to go into the conflict zone by military helicopter. Castella said that Defense Secretary Gothabaya Rajapaksa had agreed to the arrangement, but first wanted the names of the LTTE leaders who were prepared to
            surrender. Despite helpful efforts from Norway and SCA Acting DAS Owen, the LTTE has yet to provide such a list.
            The army said the LTTE was confined to an area four hundred meters by four hundred meters. There were “several hundred” civilians among them, possibly LTTE family members. According to the Army, 50,000 civilians had escaped over the last two days. The LTTE continued setting fires overnight,
            destroying vehicles, fuel and other logistics. … The Army contact claimed that there were many Army casualties with burns, likely from LTTE white phosphorous munitions. He also claimed the Army is not using artillery, since the contested area is too small.
            Ambassador called Basil Rajapaksa to note the reports of many dead and wounded lying in the conflict zone, and again requested access for the ICRC to the area to evacuate the wounded. Basil energetically refused, saying that the ICRC had failed on three consecutive days to evacuate wounded, even
            though the Additional Government Agent had said it was safe to do so. Rajapaksa noted that the Army was evacuating wounded civilians by air to Anuradhapura and could deal with the current situation by itself.
            Air Force Source: Air Force source confirmed that fighting was continuing. UAV coverage shows the LTTE confined to an area in the southwest corner of the conflict zone, north of the Nanthi Kadal lagoon’s outlet to the sea. He said 10,000 – 15,000 more civilians separated from the LTTE were still on the move.
            MP Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam: Ponnambalam said he had been in touch with “KP” late the previous evening, who told him that 3,000 had been killed and 25,000 wounded on May 16.
            Priest in NFZ3: Norwegian DCM told PolOff that a priest in Jaffna had called her to say that another priest in the conflict zone had called him on a satellite phone. He said he was with a group of 40 children, who were pinned down in bunkers in the conflict zone and dared not move because of intensive incoming shelling. She
            reported that the ICRC deputy head of delegation had told her that ICRC local staff in the conflict zone had informed them there were still many civilians remaining.
            Bishop of Mannar: The Bishop of Mannar called PolOff to inform us that there were seven Catholic priests still in the conflict zone, tending to about 80 parishioners. The priests estimated that there were 60,000 to 75,000 civilian left in the zone, according to the Bishop.
            18 Monday
            The Government has cornered the last remaining LTTE cadres into an area reportedly 400 meters by 600 meters. An Army contact reported on the morning of May 18 that bands of LTTE cadres were engaged in running battles with the Army inside the conflict zone. The estimated 300 LTTE cadres were
            moving in a generally northward direction three groups of about 100 each, likely attempting to fight their way out of the conflict zone and into the jungles.
            At 11:45 on May 18, an Embassy contact reported the military believed it had recovered the body of LTTE chief Velupillai Prabhakaran, but that the Government was trying to positively identify the corpse before making any public claims. This contact said the face was badly burned, and they were
            attempting DNA identification.
            The Ambassador stressed the importance of facilitating a visit to the NFZ by UN Secretary General’s Chief of Staff Vijay Nambiar with the ICRC, in particular to ensure that any remaining wounded civilians receive medical treatment, but also to show to the international community that Sri Lanka as nothing
            to hide.
            Turning to his own visit, Nambiar said the GSL had agreed to allow him to visit the safe zone May 18 or 19, but the logistics were still being worked out. Nambiar noted that he hoped ICRC representatives would be permitted to join him. Nambiar acknowledged that given the very fluid situation in the safe
            zone, he was not certain that the GSL would ultimately provide him access.
            A UN contact said Nambiar was subsequently on May 18 shown live and file footage from Sri Lankan Air Force UAV surveillance of the conflict zone. Cloud cover prevented good visibility of some of the area. The military has claimed 63,000 civilians fled the conflict zone in the last three days. According to
            this contact, the UN does not think that LTTE claims on the night of May 17 that it still has 1,000 to 2,000 cadres are credible. This UN contact also thought LTTE claims of 25,000 civilians wounded or killed in the conflict zone were exaggerated. Based their May 10 shelter analysis and rough estimates of
            about 70,000 – 80,000 of people in the NFZ before the final assault, the number of unaccounted for people could be as high as 7,000 – 17,000, but there is no more precise information available. The UN will undertake more analysis over the next two days. The contact intends to go to the conflict zone on May
            20 to conduct a security assessment. A second contact also doubted the LTTE claims of 25,000 civilian casualties in the last few days, but could not offer an alternative estimate.
            19 Tuesday
            UN SYG Chief of Staff Nambiar was expected to visit the zone, but weather delayed the flight until May 20. The ICRC hoped to accompany him. The GSL denied a request by ICRC to assist with wounded civilians and identify the dead. Suspected LTTE cadres were being arrested before the checkpoint at
            The Government released what they claimed to be photos of Prabhakaran’s body, and stated they had completed DNA testing which confirmed the body was his. It was unclear what DNA samples they were using to compare with the body. There is suspicion among various sources in Colombo about the
            Government’s account of Prabhakaran’s death, and the condition of the body shown on television did not seem to follow the account that he had suffered burns to his face during a final firefight. This does not mean he is alive, but it may be difficult to pin down the facts surrounding his reported death.
            As of now, an overflight of, but not a ground visit to, the safe zone is planned.
            ICRC deputy Tony Dalziel (protect) told DCM that in the last 36 hours 600 – 700 wounded civilians have come out of the safe zone. Some have fresh wound dressings, indicating medical care by the military somewhere en route. The ICRC believes that there are still “hundreds” of wounded in the safe zone.
            ICRC head of party Paul Castella (protect) reported to DCM that Defense Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Senior Presidential Advisor Basil Rajapaksa, and field commanders have so far refused ICRC offers of assistance in treating the wounded in the safe zone, insisting the military can take care of them.
            Castella has also asked for ICRC access to the safe zone to oversee the identification of the dead to facilitate the notification of families. This too has been denied.
            UN OCHA: The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported that the recent influx of IDPs brings the total of IDPs who have moved from the former conflict zone into GSL-controlled areas since late October 2007 to nearly 300,000 IDPs. This figure includes between 76,000 to
            96,000 IDPs who have crossed over since May 14 and who are either still in transit or undergoing screening and registration at Omanthai.
            MAY 21 – Vijay Nambiar, Chief of Staff to the UN Secretary General, accompanied by UN Resident Representative Neil Buhne, flew over the former safe zone on May 21, as low as tree top level, by military helicopter. Buhne reported to Charge that they saw no civilians in the area, only military. It is
            expected that the Secretary General will make a similar overflight on May 23. The government is reluctant to allow the SecGen to land in the zone.
            The ICRC was offered a place on Nambiar’s flight over the former conflict zone, but turned it down because it would not give them access on the ground. Because of the repeated denial of access, they have been frustrated in all their attempts to carry out their mandate in the former NFZ.

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      What war are you talking of the last days, after the LTTE cadre with VP were lured to the beach front from their stronghold Kilinochchi in Jan 2009? Where they were set upon by the Forces hardly a match, without their heavy artillery, all having being buried earlier, were sitting ducks with only a few of them having small arms?

  • 1

    Appreciates of those who participated in this important issue?
    Most importantly, all those who participated would at least realise that there are paid up/hired journalist who attempt to satisfy their masters at any cost despite their position or for this purpose their credible identity after a hard acadamic work?

    However, one cannot hide the reality from the world where n to discuss is the most serious and volnerable among all attrocities that human being had to meet after the cruel second world war.

    Godd bless you all for at least remembering this cruel issue.

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