7 years after LTTE defeat: UNHRC/OHCHR still desperately seeking war crimes evidence against Sri Lanka…or
US President Obama, Hillary Clinton and the Heads of the US Armed Forces actually watched live while US Navy Seals killed enemy Osama bin Laden. The entire world lit crackers in jubilation. Just 1 attack was enough for Al Qaeda & Osama to be branded terrorists. UN Secretary General did not ask US to stop triumphalism. Sri Lanka’s terror lasted 30 years, over 300 LTTE attacks. LTTE was banned by 32 nations since 1997 and orders to militarily defeat LTTE came after enduring 30 years of killings and after 5 peace talks (1985/1987/1989/1994/2002/2006) & countless ceasefires and negotiations held locally and even abroad failed. In fact LTTE refused to lay down arms and surrender on 2 January 2009. Since 2009, UNHRC/OHCHR office has been on a witch hunt against Sri Lanka. 7 years after the conflict, despite 3 resolutions, UNHRC appointed investigations, the OHCHR is still struggling to produce evidence solid enough to turn evidence-less allegations into real war crimes charges or are they under the cover of this quest attempting something more sinister?
On 19th May 2009 Sri Lanka achieved what many nations tried but failed to do. Sri Lanka militarily ended the world’s deadliest terrorist organization. No easy achievement given that LTTE was created by India and was used as a surrogate by the West and was prostituted for various other agendas.
After 3 decades, losing hundreds and thousands of lives, 30,000 military lives sacrificed, over 30,000 military lives disabled and 5000 missing since 2009 Sri Lanka’s 20million people have been living without bombs, suicide missions and terror attacks.
Let’s just go through some of the events
- 19 May 2009 – 30 years of LTTE terror ends. Close to 300,000 Tamils rescued by the Sri Lanka Military, close to 12,000 LTTE cadres surrender in civilian clothes including 594 child soldiers
- 23 May 2009 – UN Secretary General arrives in Sri Lanka. There is reference to a joint statement claiming President Rajapakse agreed to investigate, however the lines of that joint agreement says nothing of such a commitment“The Secretary General underlined the importance of an accountability process for addressing violations of international humanitarian law and human rights law, the GOSL will take measures to address those grievances”.
- Diplomatic understand tactics and threats to cut aid compelled Sri Lanka to launch LLRC in May 2010
- Barely giving Sri Lanka even a month, the UNSG appoints a 3 member panel in June 2010 to appraise him of the LAST PHASE of the Sri Lankan conflict. The PoE was appointed by the UNSG outside the UN General Assembly & UN Security Council.
- The PoE was never officially tabled at the UNHRC to give Sri Lanka the right to defend itself. No wonder – the PoE described LTTE as ‘disciplined’ while also confirming LTTE killed civilians who were attempting to flee, LTTE forcibly conscripted children and used civilians as ‘cannon fodder’ and traumatized civilians to dig trenches
- The most important question that raises the legality of the resolutions is how a PoE report meant only for the personal appraisal of the UNSG came to be quoted and used by both the OHCHR Head and the UNHRC for successive resolutions against a UN General Assembly Member sovereign country.
- If OHCHR head or the UNHRC had issues on LLRC all that these entities had to do was to submit fresh allegations with evidence and request the GOSL to investigate them. The fanfare appears to surround hysteria over allegations without proper evidence been provided. Resolutions cannot be based on unsubstantiated accusations/reports. Allegations cannot be accepted from those that had links to LTTE, entities proscribed under UNSC 1373 resolution cannot submit evidence when they have been proscribed after proving links to LTTE which they did not challenge.
Now let’s leave all this aside and start afresh.
A group of individuals/organizations have been since 2009 saying war crimes have been committed. From 40,000 to 200,000 are the guesses being made by Gordon Weiss, Francis Harrison, UK Labor MP Siobhain McDonagh, UK MP Joan Ryan (now GTF policy advisor) and a very long list of others have all been saying over 7 years that war crimes have been committed. Its one thing to say war crimes has been committed and run a well-funded tarnishing campaign but it is a whole different story when the accusers have to provide the evidence to prove that war crimes have been committed.
This is where things are now getting tough for the UNHRC & OHCHR. Despite 3 successive resolutions and UNHRC own investigations which had called for submissions it appears that there is not enough fabricating evidence even to build a case around the real objective for an investigation.
To put it simpler, if individual soldiers have been guilty of malpractice it is possible to take action against them through military courts after sufficient evidence has been provided to press charges. If we recall the HRW came up with a much hyped report about rape trying their best to create a bogus scenario that the Sri Lanka military were raping women, it so turned out that between 2005 and 2013 there had been only 12 cases of rape by soldiers of which action had been taken against them through an army court of inquiry as well as civil court of law and 6 soldiers had been discharged.http://www.lankaweb.com/news/items/2015/06/18/rape-allegations-against-sri-lankas-military-no-accountability-for-allies-rape-of-1million-germans-after-war/comment-page-1/
What needs to be said is
- A plethora of people from former UN officials, media, human rights organizations, foreign envoys have said war crimes have been committed. They have even given numbers of the dead. But why have they not given the names, the addresses or family details of these dead that are supposed to range from 40,000 to 100,000 people?
- UNSG Panel Report was to look into the last stages of the war – the last 3 months, but over 7 years the OHCHR has seen fit to include non-war related issues into the investigations (which could have easily been taken up at the UPR sessions) and have made a cocktail out of the entire issue. Now the OHCHR does not seem to be investigating the last stages but issues that had nothing to do with the conflict. This is really bizarre.
- The UNSG arrived in Sri Lank and went on a helicopter ride of the entire area where the final battle took place. It was a tiny stretch of land with a lagoon. He was accompanied by media taking ample photographs, when the conflict was completed just days before his arrival are there any photographs to establish newly dug graves/mounds of burials and where are the skeletons of these dead even?
- There have been People’s Tribunals that claim war crimes have been committed but where’s the solid evidence instead of fancy reports
- EU/UK/US Government funded human rights reports have come out declaring war crimes have been committed. Where are solid evidence of these except colourful statements and teary stories that cannot be proved?
- On top of all this the OHCHR head has been regularly calling for submissions from Sri Lankan NGOs, Diaspora groups and others to build up a case against Sri Lanka – its been 7 years, how come how come they have not come up with 40,000 names?
- OISL investigation also called for submissions and the same NGOs that have been selected for the Consultation Task Force would have handed over submissions, the OISL was working very closely with Diaspora groups linked to LTTE and their websites also collected scores of submissions to be handed to the OISL as evidence, have these been inadequate too? Many organizations were raising funds to help collect and compile the submissions to be presented to the OISL team….are these submissions unable to showcase war crimes too?
- Having co-opted the same groups throughout 7 years to build a case against the Sri Lankan Army in particular to attempt to create a case of command responsibility so as to imprison the country’s war-winning President, former Defense Secretary and the service commanders that led the LTTE to defeat they have obviously not achieved the success that their campaigns have boasted of. Well funded global campaign blitz have projected the Sri Lankan government and army as war criminals but beyond that there has been no significant or sufficient evidence that the UNHRC/OHCHR can use that will not be laughed at in a court of law. What needs to be pointed out that since 2009 NGOs/UN and UNHRC have been directly/indirectly obtaining submissions to compile war crimes charges and the appointment of another local team who are all linked to foreign governments goes to show a sinister plan/plot at play.http://www.lankaweb.com/news/items/2016/02/11/is-sri-lanka-heading-towards-a-kangaroo-court/
- The other scenario which also makes sense is that all these resolutions and threats of action may be with the hidden intent to use UN language to penetrate into the sovereign systems in Sri Lanka and have UN legitimacy over them where sovereign local laws/regulations etc will not be applicable and the country will be remote controlled from Geneva via the NGO kakkas and puppets the UN is having a honeymoon with. While plenty of investigations and compilations HAD BEEN CONDUCTED and are being done against the Sri Lankan Army nothing at all is being done on the LTTE / LTTE fronts that provided material support / the nations & individuals that supported LTTE or the illegalities and irregularities of the UN and its officials against a UN Member State.
So while we are been taken for a merry go round by those claiming Sri Lanka has committed war crimes but failing to come up with sufficient evidence in 7 years, three international experts have given legal reasons as to why Sri Lanka cannot be accused of war crimes. Their arguments are minus the hysteria, lies and media blitz that the accusers of war crimes charges are making without evidence, these 3 international experts had been on war crimes tribunals in other countries and they have laid to rest the silly war crimes allegations that are obviously been shoved down Sri Lanka’s back with other malicious intent.
The present government must protect the nation and its sovereignty. The electorate is watching.
Shenali D Waduge
The international experts: