The Truth & Lies of Gordon Weiss
Sadly a bunch of money-making pundits are claiming to be fighting for justice and truth. Gordon Weiss when a UN official says one thing and Gordon Weiss after leaving his job says something else. He is supposed to be unbiased but is frequently seen in the company of globally banned LTTE-fronts appearing as guest speaker too. Are these the people whose conflicting testimonies and contradictions are the basis with which our military is to be charged for war crimes when none of these fairy tales can be proved in a court of law? If the new Sri Lankan Government to appease the very nations that pooh-poohed the tiger for their geopolitical gains sacrifices its troops agreeing to do all that the West now suggests the people’s court of Sri Lanka will be more than disappointed for their lack of defending the nation and the armed forces who achieved what no military has been able to do. It was a clean fight and LTTE were given chances to lay down arms but refused.
- His book ‘The Cage’ released shortly after the release of the Ban Ki Moon Panel of Expert Report (60 pages of notes & background material)
- “During the course of research for this book, dozens of Tamils described the Sinhalese as inherently kind and gentle people. The front-line soldiers who received the first civilians as they escaped to government lines, those who guarded them in the camps and the civilian and military doctors who provided vital treatment distinguished themselves most commonly through their mercy and care.”
- Weiss gives examples of soldiers who tried their utmost to distinguish between LTTE combatants and civilians in incredibly confusing and stressful ground conditions, gave up their own rations to feed those who were dying of hunger
- stories of compassion and mercy towards injured Tamil civilians – mothers, children, infants and men
- Weiss confirms that the Sri Lankan government “had continued to exercise its writ over Tiger-controlled territory by supplying a full range of government health and education services”
- When he was in Sri Lanka he put the figure at 7,000. After he left his UN job and went to Australia he jacked it up to 40,000 to sensationalize his book, The Cage. At a book launch held in Melbourne last week, he changed his figure again and came down to 10,000 under questioning by Chanaka Bandarage, a lawyer. Bandarage then asked why the brochure had mentioned 40,000. Weiss had disowned responsibility and passed the buck to the Deakin University which produced the brochure.
- This denial by Weiss blows up the fictitious figure of 40,000 mentioned in the report of the Advisory Panel of Experts (APEs) appointed by Ban Ki-Moon, the UN Secretary General. It also blasts the myths of the anti-Sri Lankan NGOs and pundits who went to town with Weiss’s figure of 40,000.
- Weiss cannot refer to himself as a ‘close observer’ as he was nowhere near the conflict.
- In his book The Cage he says that Gotabaya Rajapakse was saved by a mercedez following the December 2006 suicide attack – it was actually armour plated BMW 7
- On page 6 he says “there was little of the air of celebration one might have expected at the end of such an epoch”. People were celebrating lighting crackers just like how the world celebrated the announcement of Bin Laden’s death!
- On page 145 he says GL Peiris was the Attorney General – he never held this post! He was the Foreign Minister …how could Weiss make such a faux pas!
- When Weiss says “this does not mean that soldiers did not directly kill thousands of civilians in the heat of combat” – what proof does he have to make such a statement! Was he there in the front lines to witness!
- Weiss ignores the influence LTTE would have exerted on the doctors in the conflict zone. the University Teachers for Human Rights reports that Dr Weerakathipillai Shanmugarajah, one of the most prominent of the doctors, had tried to escape from LTTE control during the Vanni crisis, was apprehended by the LTTE, beaten and taken back to the nofire zone. “The LTTE kept all the doctors under close watch. An armed guard was placed near them even when they did surgical operations.”
- UTHR also reports when the bodies of Tamil civilians who had been killed by the LTTE were brought to the hospital, despite the fact that they had clearly been killed by the LTTE, they were pronounced to have been killed by government forces
- Weiss uses false claims as Dr. Varatharajah denied claims made by AP’s Colombo bureau chief Ravi Nessman
Weiss on the LTTE
- ‘record of appalling violence’
- LTTE chief gave orders to ‘bomb buses full of women and children….murder monks and kill prisoners”
- “children were slaughtered alongside the elderly in dozens of small-scale incidents”
- “LTTE planted bombs on trains, aircrafts and buses, in 1987 a car-bomb exploded in Colombo’s Pettah killing 137 civilians’
- Weiss says that between 1983 and May 2009 ‘there were around 200 individual Tiger attacks on civilian targets in which between 3700 to 4100 were killed”
- “This figure does not include the number of Tamils allegedly killed by the Tigers in the areas they controlled, nor the many hundreds of prisoners thought to have been killed in Tamil Tiger gulags”
- LTTE “mounted…destructive and horrifically brutal attacks on the Sinhalese and Muslim populations of Sri Lanka.”
- LTTE’s “record of duplicity and intransigence in negotiations”.
- Weiss acknowledges LTTE “use of summary executions”
- “the Tamil Tigers were placing mobile artillery pieces in areas…inundated with tens of thousands of people.” “[D]issenting voices who opposed the Tigers faced assassination. In areas controlled by the Tigers, dissent was virtually impossible, whilst in peripheral areas such as the Jaffna peninsula or Trincomallee, Tamils who published pieces critical of the movement could expect to be reproached, threatened, beaten and otherwise intimidated, or killed.”
- Weiss says “if a hospital is used as an artillery position, or a command bunker, then its status is potentially converted into that of a military objective.” Weiss also acknowledges that LTTE stationed mobile artillery batteries near hospitals.
- Weiss also confirms UN official accompanying a UN humanitarian convoy, sheltering in a compound opposite the main Puthukkudiyiruppu (PTK) hospital “could see the barrel flashes from a Tiger heavy artillery piece just 300 metres from [the] hospital, quite apart from hearing its thumping reports. As the Tiger artillery sent outgoing rounds against the army’s advance, and then quickly shifted position, he could count off the seconds until an incoming barrage responded in an effort to destroy the guns.”
- Weiss says “The Tamil Tigers were placing their guns dangerously close to our location, and were quite intentionally in my view drawing fire towards the hospital. Civilians were being killed.” (let it be noted that the Ban Ki Moon report also mentions LTTE firing from the vicinity of the Puthukudurippu hospital/ Dr. Shanmugarajah one of the doctors during the final conflict also confirmed that LTTE used hospitals as cover and their camps were 100-200m away from the Mullaitivu hospital / UTHR reports that ICRC had even asked LTTE not to bring LTTE vehicles & weapons near the Puthukudurippu hospital-LTTE had not listened infact LTTE had even used the hospital ambulances!)
- “there is good evidence that at least on some occasions the Tamil Tigers fired artillery into their own people. The terrible calculation was that with enough dead Tamils, a toll would eventually be reached that would lead to international outrage and intervention.”
- Weiss states with regard to Puthukkudiyiruppu hospital that it was hit by artillery fire on several occasions on 4 February 2009, and that “a number of strikes appeared to be from Tamil Tiger positions” (UTHR report on the Puthukudurippu hospital on on 2 February 2009 notes that the people around were sure ‘it was the LTTE that attacked them” / 10 Feb 2009 communique by UN notes that LTTE shelled civilians to assign blame on the Sri Lanka Army)
- “undoubtedly, the world is a better place without the Tamil Tigers”
Weiss on the SL Army
- “[c]aught in the middle of competing military imperatives, some 10,000 to 40,000 civilians died and many more were seriously injured.”
- that “[f]or the SLA, it made no tactical sense to kill civilians”
- “for thirty-seven months [the army] had worked its way meticulously across the territory controlled by the Tigers, at great cost to young Sinhalese soldiers.”
- “Up until the beginning of 2009, the army’s tactic of driving civilians away from the front lines had been relatively successful in limiting the propaganda advantage that the Tigers might gain from images of dead civilians.”
- “[t]he SLA’s strategy…had limited the deaths of non-combatants for the previous two years.”
- “the army probed the Tiger defences, and calculated how to separate civilians from cadres.” (this man is caught contradicting what he says! Didn’t he earlier imply that the soldiers killed civilians?)
- Weiss notes in the last few days “[c]ommandos were fighting their way through a tent city, hurling grenades, trying to distinguish Tiger fighters from civilians…Thousands of people streamed across the lagoon to the safety of army lines as soldiers urged them on. Tiger cadres fired at both soldiers and civilians.”
- “The front-line soldiers who received the first civilians as they escaped to government lines, those who guarded them in the camps and the civilian and military doctors who provided vital treatment distinguished themselves most commonly through their mercy and care.”
- He notes that: In Colombo, as television images appeared of those civilians who had escaped and were not in internment camps, many dozens of private individuals, schools, banks, religious institutions, department stores and newspapers began drives to raise money, food and clothing for the bedraggled ‘enemy’, to the considerable credit of a population that had lived in fear of random Tamil Tiger terrorism for three decades.
Weiss fails mission objectives
- The Cage deliberately launched on 19th May 2011 in Sydney Australia
- “from late 2010 if not earlier, Gordon Weiss has been drawn increasingly closer to the networks of the Tamil Australian lobby associated with the LTTE in the past and with the politics of the Global Tamil Forum’s radical arms today.”
- “In 2009 the US Defence Department sent him (Siri Hewavitharana) a copy of the first video deployed by Channel 4 that year. By an act of the gods this original video footage contained metadata which gave the game away and indicated, for one, that it was not generated by a mobile phone — it is for this reason that Channel 4 has never made its video footage public.”
- “New improved versions of the open-air execution segment appeared in 2011, one reaching the UN via Journalists for Democracy and the other, with additional footage, being incorporated within Killing Fields. These versions too have been analysed to reveal defects. The availability of the original video with meta-data has been of critical importance in these acts of revelation. Killing Fields also contains other frames that are still-images stitched together in clever fashion, inclusive of one segment that is “totally fake” in Hewavitharana’s words.”
- “What these findings say of the morality guiding Channel Four and Jon Snow is beyond words. There is even some suggestion that elements of the British Foreign Office had a role in this ‘handiwork’ because Channel 4 had sought governmental aid in a situation of financial crisis in 2008/09”
Shenali D Waduge