THE DOUBLE STANDARDS
ICTY takes 14 years to declare Milosevic did not commit War Crimes – validates why Sri Lanka must refuse any War Crimes Tribunals
Slobadan Milosevic was arrested in 2001. In 2002 the UN Tribunal charged him of crimes against humanity and war crimes. He spent 5 years in prison defending himself against allegations of war crimes & genocide. He was found dead in his cell on 11 March 2006. After 14 years the Criminal Court in The Hague now says Milosevic isNOT GUILTY of war crimes. It is too late. The former President is now dead. The West and UN and the media stand guilty. Milosevic was branded the ‘butcher of the Balkans’. They compared him to Hitler and accused him of genocide. They demonised him. They used false images to justify economic sanctions and the 1999 NATO bombing of Serbia and Kosovo war. Not so much as an apology has come even after the exoneration. We do not wish to see the same lies and travesty of justice take place in Sri Lanka as is being planned.
The UK Guardian called it the “most important war crimes case since the trial of the Nazis at Nuremberg.” It was the first case on war crimes since World War 2. It was described as the ‘trial of the century’.
Bill Clinton – “As you know the United States and its Nato allies have begun a military campaign to reduce President Milosevic’s ability to inflict war on the people of Kosovo.”
Louise Arbour, the lead prosecutor, described Kosovo—a former province of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia—as “one vast crime scene.”
The similarities in the demonization of Serbia and Sri Lanka is unbelievable when compared.
News of the World’s political editor wrote “It was just like watching the evil strutting Adolf Hitler in action,” and we can give plenty of examples from the usual media culprits in the Sri Lankan scene as well as the NGO kakkas who were coughing for their supper in support of the LTTE.
Milošević was indicted in May 1999, during the Kosovo War, by the UN’s International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia for crimes against humanity in Kosovo. Milosevic arrested in April 2001. The trial started on February 12 2002. In November 2002 he fell ill. The prosecution finished their case in February 2004. Milosevic began his defence until August 2004 with a five-hour speech
Cost of the Tribunal – 1,062 staff members from 79 countries and the budget for 2004-2005 alone was £157m. 4650 witnesses. 5,000 exhibits were presented to the court 10800 trial days. 2.5million pages of transcripts. 154 accused. 37 indictments withdrawn. 19 indictments acquitted. 13 indictments referred to national courts.
Slobodan Milosevic (former president of Yugoslavia) was accused of (full text of indictmenthttp://www.icty.org/)
§ charge of violating the laws or customs of war.
§ genocide in Bosnia-Herzegovina between 1992 and 1995
§ accused of being behind the killing of thousands of Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats, including the infamous massacre of civilians at Srebrenica in 1995.
§ two charges of crimes against humanity relating to atrocities carried out in Kosovo in 1999 and in Croatia in 1991 and 1992
§ Serbian troops were described in court as committing acts of “almost medieval savagery and a calculated cruelty that went far beyond the bounds of legitimate warfare”.
§ Accusation that Serbian troops were involved in ethnic cleansing and killing civilians indiscriminately – court was trying to decide whether Milosevic knew about these atrocities and ordered them or had failed to stop them.
He was given 4 hours to present his case. He demanded 2 days citing that the prosecution was given 3 days just to read their opening statement. He also declared that heplanned to call British Prime Minister Tony Blair, German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder and former US president Bill Clinton as witnesses.
He refused to plea. He described the court as illegal and a victors court. He claimed he was a victim of an “ocean of lies” and that the entire Serbian nation was on trial. He accused the court of trying to justify “NATO war crimes committed in Yugoslavia”.
Milošević was found dead in his cell on 11 March 2006, in the UN war crimes tribunal’s detention center in the Hague. His death is also suspicious. He was found dead in his cell less than 72 hours after his attorney delivered a letter to the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in which he said that he feared he was being poisoned. The Tribunal’s official report on the inquiry into his death confirmed that, “Rifampicin had been found in a blood sample taken from Mr. Milosevic on 12 January 2006.”
The Tribunal admitted they knew about the Rifampicin for months but did not tell Milosevic the results of his own blood test until days before his death because of medical confidentiality is rather a lame excuse. Wikileaks of US State Dept reveals that Milosevic’s medical condition and his medical records were shared with U.S. Embassy personnel without Milosevic’s consent.
ICTY Chief Prosecutor Carla Del Ponte too came under investigation for bribing of witnesses. One Serbian witness said he was offered a well-paid job in the US in return for testimony favourable to the prosecution.These are factors we in Sri Lanka are well aware would happen to prosecute Sri Lanka’s armed forces. http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-criminalization-of-justice-at-the-hague-former-prosecutor-carla-del-ponte-faces-charges-of-witness-intimidation/20938?print=1
ICTY Frederik Harhoff, a Danish judge became the centre of controversy after a private email claimed high-profile acquittals could have been the result of political pressure. Harhoff wrote that he had heard that the Tribunal’s president, Theodor Meron, an American, allegedly put pressure on other judges to approve the acquittals. Where’s the credibility of these foreign judges! So much for the demand by UNHRC for foreign judges to Sri Lanka!
When Milošević, read from Friedrich Naumann’s bookMitteleuropa, claiming it was a long-standing objective of German foreign policy and the German liberal party in particular to “erase Serbia from the map”,– it reminds Sri Lankans of the historical aim of India and the role India played in creating LTTE terrorism and India’s underhand role in the UNHRC resolutions against Sri Lanka.
Authors like Louise Sell, a former US Foreign Service Officer went to the extent of ridiculing Milosevic’s upbringing and claimed that US psychiatrists that labelled Milosevic as a “malignant narcissistic” personality. When the author refers to “Milosevic and his minions” as “hardliners,” “conservatives,” and “ideologues”; they are “anti-West,” it immediately calls to mind similar name tags against Mahinda Rajapakse and a barrage of authors who are still counting the dead while others are still in their cage!
It is now amply clear that Milosevic’s crime was that he resisted the balkanization of Yugoslavia and opposed US imposed hegemony as well as opposing merciless privatizations that other former communist countries were subject to. Now is that not why Rajapakse was also removed from his mantle? Yugoslavia was the only nation in Europe that did not apply for entry into the European Union or NATO or OSCE.
The other noteworthy comparison of Serbia and Sri Lanka is the media hyped death figures. The allegation that genocide was committed against ethnic Albanians in Serbia and Tamils in Sri Lanka is a case in point. In both cases the numbers kept changing – 250,000 or 100,000 or 50,000, 40,000 or 10,000 but there were no dead bodies. Western forensic teams were brought in.
José Pablo Baraybar, a Peruvian who headed the U.N.’s Office on Missing Persons and Forensics, described Serbia as “one of the most exhumed places on earth.” But they could hardly find 2000 bodies in total! This is exactly why we have been challenging the figures of 40,000 dead in Sri Lanka and continue to challenge for we do not wish to waste time money and put people unnecessarily behind bars to be told years later that they are exonerated because we know it was a lie from the beginning.
What is also poignant about Serbia and Sri Lanka is that the same man – Marti Ahtisaari who gave a cut and paste “compromise” Proposal used in the 1995 Dayton agreement (which turned Bosnia into a Western colony), is now one of the investigation panellists chosen by UNHRC against Sri Lanka. The same cut and paste is likely to occur if not objected now itself.
What is the ‘independence’ Kosovo has? All major decisions pertaining to public spending, social programs, monetary and trading arrangements remain in the hands of the NATO-UN occupation administration. The calls for a separate North and East provinces now chanted by both the TNA and Muslims are likely to be no different. ‘Independence’ in name only but the real rule will be by West and using India who is happy to play role as a sepoy.
Electing a “pro-Western” president Boris Tadic and placing a puppet leader in Sri Lanka are another feature to take note of. Boris Tadic’s Democratic Party takes its orders from Washington. Prime Minister, Hashim Thaci, former leader of the Kosovo Liberation Army, The KLA has links to Albanian and European crime syndicates.TNA is Sri Lanka’s version of the KLA. If KLA was supported from the outset in the mid-1990s by the CIA and Germany’s intelligence agency, the Bundes Nachrichten Dienst (BND) – we all know how LTTE started! Hashim Thaci was involved in drug trafficking and prostitution the same curriculum vitae that LTTE and its foreign fronts have. The criminal syndicate working in cahoots with the West in Kosovo is no different to the criminal LTTE Diaspora now working in cahoots with the West, UN & keeping India in the loop.
If Kosovo has turned into a mafia state the same is likely to happen to an ‘independent North Sri Lanka’. In both cases the West gain military jurisdiction of the area. Notice how Sri Lanka’s Eastern Muslims have also joined the bandwagon asking for a separate Muslim only unit. These are all planned demands with a bit of inducements to those demanding! The West are masters of manipulating the Muslims and then destroying them.
In declaring Kosovo’s independence enabling NATO’s occupation to respond to US foreign policy objectives, a highly militarized zone has been created which creates Western Europe to the Black Sea. Camp Bondsteel is “the largest and most expensive army base since Vietnam.” with more than 7000 US troops using 1,000 acres and over 300 buildings http://www.globalresearch.ca/kosovo-s-mafia-state-and-camp-bondsteel-towards-a-permanent-us-military-presence-in-southeast-europe/30262 .
It is no rocket science to understand how Sri Lanka’s geopolitical position will be made use of by the West and raises alarm bells of the US embassy expansion with a marine residence being built as we speak with absolutely no objection from any quarters!
What is also interesting is that it was in 1997 that the US declared the KLA as a terrorist organization while also proscribing the LTTE as a foreign terrorist organization.
When the UK Sunday Times quoted a legal expert who claimed that “Eighty percent of the prosecution’s opening statements would have been dismissed by a British court as hearsay.” It calls to mind the manner the UNHRC is unwilling to accept the expert opinions of terrorism experts and instead go by witnesses sourced from LTTE fronts and given 20 years anonymity under a bogus witness protection program and also covered by another bogus entity being introduced called the Office of Missing Persons which must be drafted by the LTTE legal experts for every word in it absolves the LTTE while criminalizing the armed forces that saved the nation from terror.
An injustice has been done by the West to the former President of Serbia. Compensation, apology needs to be paid to Mrs. Milosevic and her children for the suffering caused resulting in the death of her husband/father. The Serbian state must deserve an apology too for the bogus claims of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity that the country’s image was tarnished with by world leaders, the UN and the media.
You don’t have to be Sherlock Holmes to see a pattern which is why these are lessons for Sri Lanka and actions Sri Lanka need to take are
· Refuse any type of war crimes tribunal with any type of foreign involvement. Agree to take criminal and military court action against any soldier who has misbehaved once solid evidence is presented. GOSL must simultaneously using national laws bring criminal charges against LTTE and all of its leaders (in Sri Lanka & Overseas)
· Refuse any type of foreign judges or setting up of any UNHRC office along the proposals currently made (Office of Missing Persons etc) – the credibility of these foreign judges have been proven by their actions as seen in all former tribunals with foreign judges. To have tribunals we have to have committed war crimes – so far other than hysterical fabrications as seen in Serbia’s case nothing substantial has been presented. The 5 legal luminaries tasked to give their legal opinions have clearly established that no war crimes have been committed by the Sri Lankan Army.
· No Government elected for a term of office can without consulting or obtaining the views of the masses agree to place a terrorist organization and a State’s national armed forces on par (this mistake was done in the 2002 ceasefire – the same cannot be repeated by that same political party once again)
· No Minister has any right to agree to any tribunals, Offices, judges or what not without the consent of the People. This Minister has absolutely no public backing and no vote base other than a segment who belongs to his caste. He has no respect of the people in Sri Lank and must be removed from his position forthwith.
· As has been seen in the case of Serbia and Milosevic a great travesty of justice has taken place. We do not wish to be a party to such lies and agree to lock up our armed forces, brand them as murderers to be told years later that they have not committed any crime. We know they have not committed any crime and that is why we oppose any Tribunals. True, people died but where is there a war without death and collateral damage. Against the skeletonless dead figures the Sri Lankan Army physically saved close to 300,000 Tamil people – that in itself shows they are not murderers to be accused of committing genocide. They took months to finish off the war when they could have if they were murderers bombed the entire area and completed the operation. That way they would have not sacrificed 5000 of their own troops.
Therefore, from the example of Serbia and Milosevic it is now clear that the UN has no credibility to be proposing any type of tribunal for Sri Lanka and the GOSL is foolhardy to meekly agree to the traps now being laid out.
Let the Ministers in Government and those in the Opposition realize that they cannot be playing footsie anymore. They are now answerable to the entire nation and we will have no more follies and foolish decision making from them just to please foreign agendas.
Shenali D Waduge