Activists “Stop Silva’s Report Justify Sinhala Genocide of Eelam Tamils in 5/09”

By: Dr C P Thiagarajah

Genocide is the most heinous crime the modern world had known and the whole universe abhors it. Socrates, a well known Greek philosopher and the originator of Western philosophy, believed “No evil can happen to a good man, neither in life nor after death”. But good men were since then subjected to inhuman treatment and genocide contravening this adage.

It was Hitler in the second World War who used the most modern methods of cruel warfare and barbaric methods to exterminate the European Jews for the simple reason that they belonged to a particular ethic group which he thought was inferior to the ? Aryan Germans.

The world could not carry out pre-emptive strikes against Hitler’s regime then as the super powers do nowadays to fugitive regimes because they busied themselves on regional politics. Samuel Langhorne Clemens (November 30, 1835 – April 21, 1910) who was well known by the pen name Mark Twain had this superpower’s inaction background in mind when he said “Man is the only animal that deals in that atrocity of atrocities, War. He is the only one that gathers his brethren about him and goes forth in cold blood and calm pulse to exterminate his kind. He is the only animal that for sordid wages will march out and help to slaughter strangers of his own species who have done him no harm and with whom he has no quarrel. And in the intervals between campaigns he washes the blood off his hands and works for "the universal brotherhood of man" - with his mouth”.

However the world turned around to rectify their error by bringing the genocide convention in the United Nations. It is called the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment for the crime of Genocide (CPPCG) and was adopted by the UN General Assembly on 9 December 1948 and came into effect on 12 January 1951 (Resolution 260 (III)). It contains an internationally-recognized definition of genocide which was incorporated into the national criminal legislation of many countries, and was also adopted by the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, the treaty that established the International Criminal Court(ICC). The Convention (in article 2) defines genocide with the support of renegade regimes. 2012 marks the sixty first anniversary of the entering into force of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment on the Crime of Genocide. Still for all some miscreants and tyrants such as Milosevic of continued to transgress these conventions and carry out ethnic cleansing and genocide. Milosevic was charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity in connection with the wars in Bosnia, Croatia and Kosovo by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. H3e died in prioso before the conclusion of his trial.

Further, Omar Al-Bashir President of Sudan committed genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes since 2003 in Darfur. He is the first sitting head of state ever indicted by the ICC in 14 July 2008. An arrest warrant was issued against him by the International courts. The arrest warrant is supported by NATO, the Genocide Intervention Network, and International. “There are reasonable grounds to believe that Bashi, acted with specific intent to destroy in part the Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa ethnic groups in the troubled Darfur region". He is avoiding arrest by the ICC and is carrying on defending his crimes against humanity and genocide.

Following this tyrant, comes the Sinhalese war criminal Mahinda Rajapkse of Sri-Lanka who exterminated nearly 40000 innocent ethnic Tamil civilians in a day in 17 May 2009

in a ‘No Fire Zone’. A US Department report offered a grisly catalogue of alleged abuses including the killing of captives or combatants seeking surrender, abduction and min some cases murder of Tamil civilians, and dismal humanitarian conditions in camps for displaced persons. The BBC Chanel 4 video, Killing Fields of Sri-Lanka exposes the shocking and primitive instinct of the Sri-Lankan army which was savagery. This was war crime and amounted to genocide according to Professor Boyle of USA who served on the Board of Directors of Amnesty International (1988-1993) and represented Bosnia- Herzegovins at the World Court.

The last two liquidators of a section of humanity are evading the ICC using many ruses. Mahinda Rajapakse particularly uses international diplomacy and personal influence of people in high position to give slip to war crime inquiries. Robbie Blake of USA has spent time with his family in Hambantota when he was US ambassador to Sri-Lanka. He uses Ban’s ignorance of the UN laws to appoint war criminals as Sri-Lanka’s representatives to the UN so that they can whitewash the war crimes committed in May 2009 in what was called a war without witness by journalists. He is buying time by dubious means to rub shoulders with international political figures to gain respectability and erase the antagonism of the right thinking people believing time will heal. He has invited the past president of India Mr Kalam to gain respectability. The poor man also accepted it forgetting all Dharma taught by the Hindus of ancient India; a case of proverbial turning of a Muslim hat to suit the occasion.

Mahinda Rajapkse, lately produced the LLRC report by a non credit worthy panel appointed by him (an alleged war criminal) to deflect the pressure from the international community for a war crime trial against him following the UN expert Panel Report on the war against the LTTE and the Tamil civilians in May 2009.

The enlightened world today must not allow these HR violators to carry on regardless with supercilious air. Plato, a disciple of Socrates said "Mankind must have laws, and conform to them, or their life would be as bad as that of the most savage beast. And the reason of this is that no man's nature is able to know what is best for human society; or knowing, always able and willing to do what is best”.

This noble notion was reiterated by Benjamin B. Ferencz, a former Nürnberg prosecutor Benjamin B. Ferencz, who said "There can be no peace without justice, no justice without law and no meaningful law without a Court to decide what is just and lawful under any given circumstance". . Therefore, we must dedicate ourselves to the great works of intellectual giants who did yeomen service to mankind by their self sacrificing toils. Many great men whose ambitions, contributions, dedication and hard work have made history or changed the course of it are worthy to be emulated. Whether leaders are born or made, they have definitely put their mark on world history, and will always be remembered as great and famous people forever. Those ethnic groups that were saved by such humanitarian workers and activists will be ever grateful to such demi-gods.

It was George Orwell (1903 – 1950) who helped to promote a belief in human rights as being far greater than any ideology. Harry S. Truman, former President of USA once said “Men make history and not the other way around. In periods where there is no leadership, society stands still. Progress occurs when courageous, skilful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better”.

The following great personalities made great contributions towards human rights by their dedicated and tireless work by taking the opportunity to change things.

Abraham Lincoln (1809 – 1865) President of US during civil war made history when he

made a proclamation of emancipation for slaves, helping to end the institution of slavery in the US. Nelson Mandela (1918 - ) Anti-apartheid leader.

First President of democratic South Africa in 1994 made history when he spent over twenty years in jail for his opposition to the apartheid system which excluded blacks from and abolished it with the help of the rest of the awakened world.

Mikhail Gorbachev (1931 - ) Leader of Soviet Union, abolished Communism in Eastern Europe. William Wilberforce (1759 – 1833), campaigned against slavery, helping to outlaw slavery in Great Britain.

Mahatma Gandhi (1869 - 1948). He is an Indian nationalist and politician who struggled for Indian self-determination and independence of the India through non-violent methods with success.

If justice is ignored, life on this earth has no value. Immanuel Kant, a German philosopher put up a theory that those who committed crimes deserved to be punished. In fact, Kant believed that those who committed crimes needed to be punished”. Otherwise we will not as Ex-Secretary general of the UN, Kofi Annan said "We will not enjoy security without development, we will not enjoy development without security, and we will not enjoy either without respect for human rights."

The ICC provides hope that punishment for crimes against humanity and genocide will serve one of the underlying purposes of punishment—deterrence. Scholars and criminologists describe two main purposes of punishment—utilitarian and retributive. The first includes attempts at deterrence and incapacitation, whereas the second focuses more on the notion of just deserts or the ancient pronouncement of "an eye for an eye." We must bear in mind that the certainty of some sort of punishment, in whatever form, was more likely to deter future criminal acts.

A British Gov Statement on the negative aspects of the Sinhala Silv LLRC report exposes the shortcomings. The report states as follows. “The British Government is, on the whole, disappointed by the report’s findings and recommendations on accountability. Like many others, we feel that these leave many gaps and unanswered questions. We welcome the acknowledgement that “considerable civilian casualties” occurred during the final stages of the conflict and the recommendation that specific incidents require further investigation. But we note that many credible allegations of violations of international humanitarian law and human rights law, including from the UN Panel of Experts report, are either not addressed or only partially answered. We believe that video footage, authenticated by UN Special Rapporteurs, should inform substantive, not just technical, investigations into apparent grave abuses.

But we continue to believe it is important that an independent, credible and thorough mechanism is put in place to investigate all allegations of grave abuses. The British Government has consistently condemned terrorism in all its forms. The LTTE is a brutal and ruthless organisation which remains proscribed in the UK. Our long-term interest is in a stable, peaceful Sri Lanka, free from the scourge of terrorism, and as a fellow member of the Commonwealth, conforming to the standards and values which Commonwealth membership requires”.

Canada too according to Sri-Lanka Mirror of 12 January 2011 had stated that an International Inquiry is a must to investigate the war crimes of Mahinda Rajapakse. Canadian foreign affairs minister John Baird says the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) report does not fully address the grave accusations of serious human rights violations that occurred toward the end of the conflict in Sri Lanka.

Finally, Louis Arbour a former UNHRC says that UN failed in Sri-Lanka to prevent a genocide- genocide of a minority ethnic group –the Tamils. An ICC inquiry will bring out important findings that will definitely benefit humanity. The finding of Dublin Permanent People Tribunal (PPT) points in that direction. The Peoples' Tribunal on the war in Sri Lanka and its aftermath delivered its four main findings on 16th January, 2009 at 2.00pm. These findings were: 1 That the Sri Lankan Government and its military are guilty of War Crimes; 2 That the Sri Lankan Government is military are guilty of crimes against humanity; 3 That the charge of genocide requires further investigation; 4 That the international community, particularly the UK and USA, share responsibility for the breakdown of the peace process.

The current generation of HR activist must not let down the beliefs of the past heroes who made immense effort to establish a fair and just society against great odds.

Please Click here to login / register to post your comments.