Sinhala Rulers waste Trillions Tricking the UN Trounce Rights of Eelam Tamils

By: Dr C P Thiagarajah

The news of a 3rd resolution by US and allies on Sri-Lanka in the UNHRC had been floating around for a long time. Movement of UN, US, and UNHRC staff in out of Sri-Lanka had been very frequent recently. The Sinhalese who carried out an alleged war crime and genocide in May 2009 in the last war against the indigenous Tamil population in their Traditional Homeland (TH) of North and East of Sari-Lanka are on pins as to what will happen to their Sinhala hero.

From the time the valiant UK Prime Minister, Right Honourable David Cameron called for a credible International Inquiry (II) into the war crimes in the CHOGM, the Sinhalese are united as a bunch irrespective of their religious and party differences to protect the Sinhala war criminals involved in the dastardly crime. Even Sinhala NGOs and the clergy both Christian and Buddhists are against an II into the alleged crimes and genocide. Their morale had gone to the wind. Consequently Sinhala Lankan Rulers had been allowed to waste trillions tricking the UN trounce the basic democratic human Rights of Tamils after the war of genocide.

It is pertinent to point out here that this political catastrophe was brought on by the Sinhalaya themselves upon them. Since Independence in 1948 they cunningly disenfranchised a section of Tamil population (Tamils of recent origin from India) in 1948. They carried out planned colonisation of the Tamils’ historical homeland (TH) of Noth and East of Sri-Laka starting in 1949. These undemocratic actions against the Tamil Nation reduced the representation of Tamils in the parliament in 1952 within four years after Independence. The result was Sinhala Buddhists gained two third majority in the parliament that facilitated them constitutionally to pass whatever discriminatory legislation they wanted without any hesitation at their whims and fancy. They went hell bent on reducing the rights of the minority Tamils in the most undemocratic way.

The mother of Parliament came ashamed of all this and the person who drafted the Sri-Lankan constitution Lord Soulbury was all in tears of what happened to the Tamils in Sri-Lanka after independence. As the old saying goes repentance come too late.

Using the bulldozer majority in 1956 eelection the assassinated Oxford educated extremist SWRD Bandaranayake denied the language rights of Tamils that was in the statute book through the Sinhala only bill. After gaining the two third majority Sinhala Nation went on to entrench themselves as the majority nation. They promulgated new constitutions, in 1972 and in 1978, which further consolidated all powers in the hands of Sinhala Buddhists at the expense of minority groups: Hindus, Muslims and Christians; their rights’ became readily dispensable.

The trampling and subjugation of minority groups was completed by dropping the safeguard entrenched in section 29(2) of 1946 British drafted Ceylon constitution from the new constitution of 1972. Tamils’ peaceful negotiations and Gandhian style non-violent peaceful protest against the denial of democratic rights and subjugation led to repeated pogroms against Tamils in 1956, 1958, 1961, 1974, 1977 and 1983, last of the pogroms over 3000 people were killed and large scale destruction of properties of Tamils occurred Island wide. All negotiations and agreement reached between the Tamils and the Sinhala government were abrogated by the Sinhala prime ministers and presidents simply because the majority Sinhalese people did not want any power devolved to the Tamils.

The Sinhalese at last carried out the sole desire of reducing the Tamil population through selective murderous genocide in May 2009 under the guise of fighting the LTTR that was designated a terrorist organisation by the West due to misunderstanding. Instead of tracking and fighting the LTTR the Sinhala government sacked the Vanni population whole sale and killed innocent civilians along with the LTTE. They sowed the wind and are now reaping the world wind.

Immediately, following the war on 23 May 2009, The Sinhala president Mahinda Rajapakse and UN SG Mr Ban Ki Mun signed a joint statement agreeing that an accountable process would be set in motion. The Sinhalese masses did not want an accountable process as they suspected involvement of foreign observers would expose the genocide behind the war. And also that they will not have room to manipulate what they wanted ie of safeguarding the war criminals.

Therefore, MR retracted on the agreement. Following this diplomatic debacle Ban Ki Mun appointed a UN Panel of experts to produce a report after necessary investigations.

UN Panel of expert (POE) report of 31 March 2011 also called the Darusman report after the chairman of the panel, on the last war incriminated mainly the Sinhala government and armed forces. It concluded “Specifically the panel found credible allegations associated with the final stages of the war. Between September 2008 and May 2009, the Sri-Lankan army advanced its military campaign into the Vanni using large-scale and widespread shelling, causing large number of civilian deaths. This campaign constituted persecution of the population of Vanni.---------etc. The government sought intimidate and silence the media and other of the war through a variety of threats and actions including the use of white vans to abduct and make people disappear.”

To counter the POE and to avert an II, the Sinhalese produced a much maligned Lesson Learnt and Reconciliation commission (LLRC) report. On 24 January 2014 The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office, outlined that Sri Lanka’s domestic LLRC appointed to address accountability issues did not meet international standards. Even the man who wrote the report should have been ashamed of himself. May the earth rest lightly on him!

The LLRC report contrary to popular world opinion exonerated the military from any war crimes. Even a few recommendations that were worthy of implementation were not fully put into force even though UN wanted those to be implemented.

Democracy for the Tamils of the North and East of Sri-Lanka evaporated into thin air with this diplomatic tussle between the UN and the Sinhala government. The democratic Tamil Nation of Vanni became paupers overnight deprived of everything that they earned under a democratic government when the British were ruling. Tamils, however, still claim discrimination by the ethnic Sinhalese. Human rights activists also say the government is not serious about probing reported abuses by its own armed forces, accused of having targeted hospitals and blocking food and medicine as a war strategy. The protectors of Democracy USA and UK will not rest unless those responsible for this terrible crime against Humanity are booked. It is UK that gave us democracy and Tamils knows the benefits and pleasures of democracy. That is why they are revolting against planned Sinhala repression.

Officials said that the fact the U.S. is pushing a third resolution in as many years reflects concern over a lack of progress in addressing outstanding issues of accountability and reconciliation, as well as over land seizures, religiously motivated attacks and unsolved cases of attacks on journalists.

AFP reported on 1 Feb 2014, that according to UN at least 100,000 people were killed during the war. The satellite picture below exposes the truth of the final battleground in Mullivaikal where such a large number of civilians were massacred.

The UN under Ban Ki Mun is a weak organ to deal with pre-planned war crimes because there are many clauses and charters that must have been approved and signed by the crime committing country. Even to bring a motion in the Human Rights council the votes of its members are necessary. The Sinhala government is now lobbying in the UN to canvass votes from the member countries in the UNHRC.

According to news Trillions are being rolled out of the treasury for propaganda, PR and canvassing against a UN resolution for an International Investigation (II), when the war displaced Tamils are still struggling without homes and basic facilities for subsistence. A major section of the war affected Tamils are struggling without proper shelter or roof over their heads deep inside Vanni, away from their former homes, where they had been shuffled by the army in temporary huts as settlement. The picture below shows war affected Tamils farmers and fishermen eking out a life in tarpaulin covered huts with their household paraphernalia. This burden is in addition to the general cost of living rising steadily under this government due to its extravaganza (Sunday Leader of 5 Feb 2014). A double jeopardy for the Tamil citizens of Vanni.

Frederica Jansz in the Sunday leader of 5 February 2014 February divulged that millions of rupees had been forked out to the British PR firm Bell Pottinger. A government official confirmed to the BBC that the amount paid to Bell Pottinger was in the region of £ 3 million this year alone. The government says it employs several PR companies but will not disclose their names or the amount paid.

Lanknews of 21 Oct 2010 and Shamindra Fernando in the Island on 20 Oct 2010 reported that UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake told them that government was paying three foreign public relations firms to represent Sri Lanka abroad. They alleged that the firms are being paid Rs.12 million a month to carry out what he called an image building exercise.

All these massive expenses by the government on PR exercises is to deny Tamils a full inquiry into human rights violations that happened during the last war in May 2009 jn Mullivaikal when genocide of nearly 70000 took place. The casualty figures are according to Internal Panel Report (IPR) produced by a panel appointed by the UN Secretary General. The panel was chaired by Charles Petrie.

The Petrie report was an important one to the UNHRC in Geneva. Sri Lanka will be pointed out as a case study for diplomatic training programmes in many countries as it will be considered the first major UN failure in a war situation. Sri Lanka will be seen as another Rwanda in world eyes.

Tamils and indeed all human rights activist have a right to know the truth of the massacre that had been carried under an iron curtain. It was a war without witnesses and the UN made it possible for the Sinhalese to exterminate a sizable section of the Tamils-the Vanni Tamils through its failure.

Instead of co-operating with the UN, the President of Lanka MR had sent a massive delegation to Geneva two months ahead of the UNHRC session on Sri-Lanka in March latter part, to do canvassing to stop an anticipated US resolution on War crime inquiry. The propaganda team is led by his permanent secretary Lalith Weeratunga a mediocre civil servants compared to former civil servants like first prime minister D S Senanayake’s Permanent Secretary Sir Kandiah Vaithianathan.

His mediocrity is reflected in one of his interview with Reuters when he rejected the charges of war crimes against the Sinhala government. He further said “an international inquiry would only reopen old wounds, as it would require investigation of all those involved in the conflict, including former rebels and Indian peacekeepers as well as the armed forces.

"There would be huge chaos in the country ... armed forces that liberated the country from terrorism would again be put to a judicial test. That is really going to reduce the morale of the army. These are things that need to be considered very carefully."

Weeratunga has told the Associated Press ahead of the meeting that there was no record that hundreds of people were killed during the final stages of the war“. You can’t just pass judgment like that,” he has told The Associated Press. He has denied any such targeting of civilians by the Sri Lankan armed forces, or even the use of heavy weapons in the final months of the war, although he acknowledged there could have been “collateral damage” during the fighting when the Tamil Tigers were using civilians as human shields.

This pseudo-intellectual want the gullible world to believe him when all intellectual heavy weights in the UN and elsewhere say that war crimes did occur during the last war in Mullivaikal with massive civilian Tamil casualties and deaths and that an international inquiry would only clear the air.

Head of the Sri-Lanka peace council, Dr Jehan Perera, who for the Tamils is a wolf in sheep clothing, says in an article in the Sunday leader of 3 February, titled “Avert Threat of Chaos through Fair Investigation” pleads thus “The Presidential Secretary’s warning of a descent into chaos evokes the memory of July 1983. After an LTTE ambush that killed 13 soldiers, the largest number to die in a single incident at that time, Sinhalese mobs went berserk and attacked Tamils in Colombo and elsewhere they lived as minorities. There are two lessons that emerge from this scenario. The first is that the riots took place because the government of the day created the enabling environment for it, and the second is that this proved in hindsight to be the greatest mistake on the part of any Sri-Lankan government. Such a descent into chaos would be a terrible tragedy to the entire country, and also to the government” On this rationale he ask the government to initiate an inquiry and thus avert this catastrophe.

This exposition of myopic opinions from the two Sri-Lankan stalwarts show how hollow their argument against an II. They still believe that they can hoodwink the world in denying democracy to the Tamils who at this moment are facing cultural, religious and many other forms of genocide and repression. One must not forget that this ethnic cleansing and denial of democracy to the Tamils have been going on since Sri-Lanka gained independence from colonial power UK in 1948 as pointed out in the introduction at the beginning of this article. They are under the false impression that intimidation of the minorities will bring about world acquiescence from II. They are foolishly brave enough to threaten the Tamils and the world of impending chaos if the UN pass a resolution for an II.

The government broadcast a propaganda video titled “Sri Lanka: Reconciling and Rebuilding” for half an hour in the NBC USA. It was produced by Washington-based lobby firm, Thompson Advisory Group (TAG) which have been hired by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka last year at a cost of $66,600 (SL Rs 8, 337,600) per month. The Narrator was former CNN TV anchor Gene Rendall. The narrator did not show anything on the reconciliation of Tamils instead he was promoting business for the Americans in Lanka if they cooperate with the Sinhala government. There were no interviews with the aggrieved party the Tamils. Hence it was bias reporting for the blood soaked money he received from the Sinhala government.

In the video President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Secretary Lalith Weerathunga said that Sri Lanka needs over a year to implement the bulk of the LLRC recommendations and up to 10 years to see “fruits in this whole issue of reconciliation”. The world must keep in mind war criminals always buy time to white wash crime and complete the genocide that was begun as early as 1948.

The latest credible professional report to shock the world comes from the “down under” continent. Stewart Bell of the Australian National Post of 5 February 2014 reported that “Mass graves may have been “systematically destroyed” by Sri Lankan security forces at the end of the island’s separatist conflict to hide evidence of large-scale civilian deaths”. The Public Interest Advocacy Centre said the demolition of burial sites containing thousands of war dead was one of many apparent “grave violations” that called out for international investigation. Citing an eyewitness, the report said mass burial sites had been exhumed and razed after the conflict by the Sri Lankan military and police. The report further indicted that the country's security forces of committed the majority of the alleged war crimes during the final months of the country's civil war in 2009.

Thisara Samarasinghe, Sri-Lankan high commissioner in Australia, one of the member of armed forces accused of alleged war crimes said Sri Lanka is still dealing with the aftermath of the civil war, and some people will be held accountable for wrongdoing. He completely exonerated the armed forces of any war crimes. A total denial. The victims the Vanni Tamil’s view did not come into the equation. Why?

Australian newspaper The Age on 6 February advised the Australian Government in its editorial "When war crimes are committed but not punished because a ruling government ignores or, in the case of Sri Lanka, flatly denies that they occurred, the duty falls to the international community to act. We must not fail to do so even when we fear it may jeopardise bilateral relationships. We have an abiding moral duty to do all we can to ensure justice is done."

The New York Times of 3 February 2014 has called on the United States and international community to persevere in holding Sri Lanka to account for Human rights Violations committed during the final stages of the island’s armed conflict, in an editorial published on Monday. “It would be easy for the world and American officials to give up their demands for accountability given that nearly five years have passed since the end of the war. But that would be tragic and would signal to public officials that they might never have to answer for mass murder.”

Philosophising, John Sifton, Asia advocacy director for Human Rights Watch in Washington commented that “At some point, you have to come to terms with the reality that this government has no intention of delivering accountability,” “If they are not going to do it, then the international community has to.” But the UN depends on votes at the UNHRC. So where do the Tamils stand now. Again stand as exposed as the Vanni civilians to military shelling in the “Fire Free Zone”.

Regrettably, after two days official visit to Sri-Lanka the newly appointed Assistant Director for Asia, Ms Nisha Desai Biswal concluded thus "We understand growing concern, frustration, and scepticism among many in my country and many in the international community that has led to increasing calls for international investigation and an international process." "Respect for human rights and a promotion of transparent and democratic governance are essential. Unfortunately, continued deterioration in these areas is already beginning to take its toll on democracy in Sri Lanka," she said. "... Without justice, reconciliation, and accountability, there can be no sustained peace and equitable prosperity for the Sri Lankan people.

Sorrowfully, she is following what Mahinda Rajapakse pocket friend Robbie Blake had laid down as a rule of favour that Sri-Lanka had to be nudged to do more to ensure "reconciliation, justice, and accountability. She was categorical that there will be no sanction to nudge the Sinhala government to agree for an II. The war criminals will use this space to subjugate the Tamils and demotify them to forget their democratic rights and become second class citizens in their own homeland. A mockery of Democracy.

Therefore the Tamils all over the world have to work very hard getting the support of as many countries as possible to call for an II. Will all celebrities who value human rights raise their voice and demand an II into the genocide of Tamils carried out by SriLanka in May 2009? It is vital that the World stand with those Sri-Lankans and the human rights activist of this universe who have demanded an II of what happened during the war. There should be no hiding space for war criminals in this beautiful world that value Democracy.

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