Posted on April 28th, 2009 1 comment
H. L. D. Mahindapala29 April 2009
The Foreign Minister of UK,,David Milliband, and his French counterpart are due to land in Colombo today to put pressure on the Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) to halt the offensive against the Tamil Tigers who are on their knees begging for a cease fire. So the objectives of the Tamil Tigers and the two visiting Foreign Ministers coincide. Coincidentally, both parties are raising human rights issues as the rationale for halting the offensive.
Not surprisingly the Asia Director of Human Rights Watch (HRW), Brad Adams, has timed to announce a series of threats to the GOSL on the eve of their arrival. In his latest statement titled We cannot ignore Sri Lanka , he has threatened the GOSL with punitive measures if it does not yield to his political demands disguised as issues of human rights. He, in fact, goes out of his way to tell the visiting Foreign Ministers that they must “deliver a strong message to GOSL” on the following lines
1. “There will be a reckoning”
2. “Investigations into the conduct of the conflict by both sides will take place”
3. “A commission of inquiry will be established.”
4. “Tamils streaming out of the conflict area can no longer be treated as criminals and held in detention camps indefinitely.”.
5. “Humanitarian aid and independent observers must be allowed in immediately”
6. There is still time for the members of the UN security council and other countries to put people over political gamesmanship and allow the UN to finally bring its full and collective weight to protect some of the world’s most vulnerable people.”
7. “There is still time for the Sri Lankan government to show some respect for the rule of law, some tolerance towards critical voices from the Tamil community, and a vision for a political settlement that would make Tamils believe that Sri Lanka is also their country.”
First, it must be noted that there is nothing new in the instructions given to the Foreign Minister and the GOSL. Adams is merely repeating the political agenda of local NGOs who had been campaigning to stop the war against the one-man regime of Velupillai Prabhakaran. Adams too is plugging the same line knowing that neither human rights nor the plight of the Tamil civilians will improve one whit as long as Prabhakaran is allowed to hide behind the innocent civilians.
Second, Adams ’ tone – not mention the thrust — is so arrogant and partisan (in favor of the Tamil Tigers) that it should be rejected out of hand by the GOSL even if it comes from the visiting Foreign Ministers. In putting pressure on the Foreign Ministers to deliver his message to GOSL he is hoping to use them as his messenger boys. Adams is assuming that he is he is authorized power to dictate terms to the GOSL through the visiting Foreign Ministers. Now that the local NGOs have lost their clout to interfere in the affairs of the state – the people in voting overwhelmingly to the Mahinda Rajapaksa administration in recent polls have confirmed this – Adams is eager to be their surrogate. Sri Lankans are sick to their back teeth with these unwanted and unwarranted interventionists trying to muscle in with their solutions which have failed to bring the nation to the end of the tunnel. So why go down that path again when it’s not going to bring the desired result of ending the violence of Tamil Tigers?
Third, Adams ’ latest recommendation for “a pause in fighting….. to alleviate so much pain and suffering” has been tried and tested twice in recent times without any positive response from the Tamil Tigers who are determined to fight to the last brain-washed terrorist, spurning the call from India and the international community to give up arms, give up violence and release the Tamil civilians held as captives by Prabhakaran and his gang wanted by the international community.. So how many pauses does he want? And what guarantees can Adams give on saving the lives of Tamils if there is another pause? Will it enable the Tamils civilians to escape Prabhakaran’s grip?. Can Adams give a guarantee that his formula will work? If not why is he whistling in the wind to prolong the agony of the Tamil civilians by giving Prabhakaran a new lease of life to perpetuate his violence by throwing Tamil civilians as cannon fodder? Is he battling to save human rights or Prabhakaran?
Fourth, for the first time HRW has, in passing as it were, threatened the Tamil Tigers too of reprisals. Why did it take so long to threaten action against them? The reason is obvious: it is because HRW was caught in a in a bind. It could not threaten the GOSL without threatening the Tigers. All these years it has let the Tigers off the hook even when they were accused by the UN of abducting children forcibly to fight in its futile war. The war crimes and the crimes against humanity committed by the Tamil Tigers, for which they have been banned by the international community, did not prompt HRW to threaten the Tamil Tigers until they found it useful to threaten the GOSL. Adams ’ partisan politics is as objectionable as his hypocrisy.
Fifth, he says that the GOSL will argue that it is a democracy carrying out the will of the people and they should be allowed to finish off the Tigers. Instead of accepting the will of the people Admas is bent on imposing his will. He has also conveniently avoided the fact staring in his eyes that the Tamil civilians t0o have voted with their feet to be with the GOSL abandoning “the Pol Potist regime” (New York Times) of the Tamil Tigers. Clearly, this reveals Adams’ ignorance of the ground realities and confirms the wisdom and the pragmatic knowledge of the victims who scorn the likes of Adams in INGOS and NGOs. They know that Adams and his ilk are singing for their supper by selling their suffering. If the pain and suffering of the victims are expressed unequivocally by the Tamil civilians seeking a better alternative (otherwise they wouldn’t have dared to face the bullets of the Tigers shooting them in the back as they flee) why is Adams trying to block their passage to a better alternative by stopping the military offensive?.
Sixth, it is not the preachings and the punditry and the morality of INGOs and NGOs that opened the passage for Tamil civilians to escape Prabhakaran’s Evil-laam. It was decisively the successful breach in the sand bank opened by the military offensive that enabled the mass exodus from Prabhakaran’s prison. If the military failed to hit the sand back built by Prabhakaran and breach it the tens of thousands who escaped would be still under the grip, with the likes of Adams crowing that the Tamil civilians are with Prabhakaran. Isn’t it time for Adams to wipe the dust clouding his vision and took a more realistic view of how to save human rights by saving the Tamils civilians?
Seventh, however flawed it may be, the liberation of the east from the Tamil Tigers is a compelling argument that indicates the respect for “law and order, some tolerance towards critical voices from the Tamil community, and a vision for a political settlement that would make Tamils believe that Sri Lanka is also their country.” If further proof is needed the Tamils voting with their feet confirms that “ Sri Lanka is also their country” and not –the pseudo-state of Evil-laam.
Unfolding events reveal that this war is not wanted by the people or the successive Sri Lankan governments. This war was officially declared in May 1976 in the infamous Vadukoddai Resolution drafted by the political leaders of the north. It is the Tamils of the north who l au nched the war, financed the war and prosecuted the war (waged partly by child soldiers recruited forcibly by the Tamil Tigers) killing peace-makers, Tamil dissidents and even international agreements.
Rajiv Gandhi was the first notable peace-maker (he negotiated the Peace Agreement with the Tamil leaders and Sri Lankan government) who was assassinated by the Tamil Tigers. Second, they nearly got President Chandrika Kumaratunga after she offered Velupillai Prabhakaran the north and the east for ten years without an election to challenge his one-man regime. She narrowly escaped death though she lost one eye. Third, Prabhakaran shot to pieces the Ceasefire Agreement of 2002 which came with international guarantees by violating 95% of the terms and conditions, according to Scandinavian peace monitors. This prompted the Mahinda Rajapaksa government to terminate it. Before that the Tamil Tigers had walked out of peace talks on the flimsiest of excuses.
Clearly, India, the regional super power and the Co-Chairs – Norway, Japan, EU and US, – representing the international community have failed to tame the Tigers. Nor did the Neville Chamberlainian kind of appeasement in handing over the territory claimed by the Tamil Tigers yield any lasting solution. The only experiment that was not tried was to fight fire with fire. When that succeeded under President Rajapaksa every international instrument has been introduced to tie the hands of the Government forces fighting the Tamil Tigers – the primary source that violates every cannon of international humanitarian law.
By and large, every segment of Sri Lankan society sympathize with the plight of the victims running away from the one-man regime of Prabhakaran. They want the war to end — rather fought to a finish as seen in the latest elections results. This is not different from the lines argued by State Secretary Hilary Clinton and Prime Minister Gordon Brown. In heir latest statement Ms. Clinton had expressed disappointment about the failure of the Pakistan government to deal more decisively with the Talibans. And Mr. Brown argues (in front of camera) that Taliban violence should be terminated in Afghanistan bec au se it is spilling over to the streets of London .
Their arguments are valid. But the question is why Mr. Brown, who is so concerned about the streets of London , doesn’t care two hoots about the victims in the streets of Colombo ? It is also necessary to ask why Ms. Clinton (having possible recovered from water boarding and other form of torture) is urging the Pakistan government to wage a more intense and focused war on Talibans and, in the same breath, opposing the most successful war on terror in Sri Lanka ?
This is not an argument to give a free hand for the Sri Lankan Security Forces to go on the rampage among civilians. Their offensive is to save the civilians trapped inside the last spit of land held by the Tamil Tigers. There is no alternative to those genuinely concerned about saving lives. Besides, none of those proposing an end to offensive can guarantee that Prabhakaran will let the Tamil people go.
Right now the Sri Lankan forces are faced with the problem of how to make an omelet without breaking eggs. The positive results of the offensive have proved that there is no alternative than this to save the Tamil civilians. If the military offensive of breaching a sand bank opened the way for tens of thousands of Tamil civilians to escape the grip of Tamil Talibans it is clear as daylight that the elimination of Prabhakaran is he answer to overall humanitarian issue.
HRW has duty to ask a simple question before rushing into pass strictures on the GOSL. HRW should ask: who can and has served human rights better under prevailing conditions? The answer could found in the Tamils walking out of Prabhakaran’s gulag. It clear that the long-term and the positive answer to serve human rights is in eliminating Prabhakaran. Stopping the offensive at this late stage –a practice never adopted by the big powers in any of their wars – will only exacerbate the suffering and pain of he Tamil civilians. However, painful it may be a surgical operation to cure the cancer is the only way to peace, stability and protection of human rights.
Posted on April 28th, 2009 No comments
Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha Secretary General Secretariat for Coordinating the Peace Process
28th April 2009
Like the proverbial pig sticking its snout into swill, Human Rights Watch has leapt with glee onto the recent declaration by the Sri Lankan government that its security forces ‘have been instructed to end the use of heavy weapons’. HRW has immediately concluded that “By finally admitting it has been using heavy weapons all along, the Sri Lanka government has shed light onto its official deception as well as its brutal military tactics.”
This was the delightfully dense Brad Adams, who does not understand that not only was the government using heavy weapons, it has indeed reported regularly on its achievements through such means. The point the government had been making was that it was not using heavy weapons on civilians, and indeed its recent magnificent achievement in breaching one of the walls the LTTE had built up, and thus ensuring that over 100,000 civilians could get to safety, was without the use of heavy weapons as pointed out at the time.
Had Brad Adams understood the use of the English language, he would have realized that the government has made clear that it will continue with its efforts to rescue civilians, and this will involve the use of appropriate, and proportionate, weaponry. Though this had been the principle it had adopted in rescuing civilians from the safe zone and elsewhere, previously it had not eschewed the use of heavy weapons in defence. Just a couple of weeks back it had publicized its removal of LTTE heavy artillery which had been firing out of the safe zone. This was not done by snipers or even catapults, but involved precision bombing by the air force, and there was no reason whatsoever to conceal such action.
Similarly, when the LTTE used its tank to fire on fleeing civilians, the forces had an obligation to stop such action. Unfortunately they do not seem to have succeeded in this, but this means that, if at any point the LTTE resorts to such tactics again, the forces too will have to respond in kind to save civilian lives.
However, since the LTTE has now announced a unilateral ceasefire, it is to be hoped that they will refrain from using such heavy weaponry against civilians and against the aid that is being sent in – there were reports a couple of weeks back, it will be remembered, of firing on a food ship, and all the ICRC said then was that they did not think the ship had been actually targeted. If the LTTE sticks to its word, there will therefore be no need for government to use heavy weapons at all. However, if the LTTE does use heavy weapons, it would not make sense for government to nevertheless continue with its moratorium, and try to deal with anti-aircraft guns or tanks with the slingshots and catapults that Mr. Adams might advocate.
Offensive operations have stopped, as they should be while so many civilians are being used as human shields. However that does not take away from the moral obligation to release those civilians, and that is what the government has said it will continue to attempt. Mr Adams may think this his cue to engage in tendentious interpretation that betrays his ignorance of facts, and his Luddite understanding of what war means in the modern age. We can only hope that the visiting Foreign Ministers, Mr. Kouchner and Mr. Miliband, the current Castor and Pollux of NATO and of Western operations in Afghanistan and elsewhere, will not fall in with this sanctimonious finger-pointing.
Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha
Secretariat for Coordinating the Peace Process
Posted on April 15th, 2009 2 comments
Tilak Dias Ph.D.
15th April 2009
(Ref- HRW Letter to CMAG --Full Report-(HRW-15/04/09))
Some governments in the West spearheaded by the UK and Norway appeared to have given momentum to the malicious disinformation campaign of terrorists and its Diaspora. Their cohorts like HRW and UNO have also jumped in the bandwagon. As the pressure mounted, the Sri Lankan military and humanitarian operations came to an abrupt pause over the Easter Sunday. The Sri Lankan military has been carrying out a rescue operations of civilians, hitherto unseen in any civil conflict in the world while conducting a successful offensive against the most barbaric terrorist group which has held Tamil civilians as a human shield. It is not intriguing as to why these humanitarians have failed to see the truth. The Devil’s Logic which sees evil as good and good as evil is the main reason. That is what prevailed over the Eastern Sunday in Sri Lanka.
According to norms of the civilized world, to render good for evil is divine; to render good for good is human; to render evil for evil is brutish; and to render evil for good is devilish.
Throughout the conflict in Sri Lanka, government and its military forces have been adopting divine, humane and brute modes in dealing with scourge of terrorism. On the contrary Tamil Terrorists and its cohorts like Norway, UK and its appendages such as HRW, UNO and other INGOS have consistently adopted one and only one mode-the devilish mode-which renders evil for good. Every window of ceasefire (1987-2009) was marked by terrorists killing innocent civilians and gunning down military personnel in hundreds while partners of Sri Lankan terrorists like Norway enriched the terror outfit with military hardware and know-how and HRW provided the humanitarian cover. It was no different on past Easter Sunday when terrorist celebrated the military pause by killing 9 civilians and a soldier claiming the pause a ruse. Meanwhile, its staunchest ally HRW walked lock step with LTTE urging commonwealth nations to pressure Sri Lanka for a longer ceasefire. For all these God believing nations and their allied institutions, I have to this to say. There is nothing in the world that renders people more unlike Christian and more like Satan—than to argue for the sinful liberty of perpetuation of terrorism.
When countries like Israel sends their bombers to bomb convoys of trucks in Sudan suspected of carrying weapons to Hams and when USA and its handmaiden UK and other allies preemptively attack nations it deems a threat, killing and displacing millions of civilians (i.e. Pakistan, Iraq and Afghanistan) why can not a democratically elected government of a sovereign country like Sri Lanka combat terrorism in its own country?
Perhaps one can reason that operations of Sri Lankan forces may have stunned the world because there is neither the UN—the so called expert in such affairs-nor the countries of advanced military capabilities is involved in this humanitarian operation. The role of INGOs and NGOs has also rendered redundant in Sri Lankan situation as its forces are playing a dual role.
Is this the reason for huge outcry asking a role to play in this conflict by the non-entity called International Community including the UN? I am baffled by the abrupt pause of operations. The question that comes to my mind is: Is Sri Lanka still a colony of the UK or has it become a private business enterprise of so called “Donor Group” Norway, Japan, US and the UK? Otherwise, I do not see any reason why, the Sri Lankan Government should halt its military and humanitarian operations under pressure. Tamil Diaspora’s scream of bloody murder should not warrant such a pause as they are no longer constituents of Sri Lanka. They have opted out and become citizens of Norway, UK, USA and Australia in a relative luxury. Sri Lankan government’s responsibility should be toward its constituents who have been bleeding for thirty years due to terrorism. Sri Lankan government should carry out the mandate given it by the Sri Lankans who voted the government to power to eradicate terrorism from the country and make it a peaceful place for everybody to live without discrimination based on caste, creed, religion or nationality.
Why would a Government elected by its legitimate constituents heed the bogus call of non-constituents who have funded the perpetuation of terrorism for 30 years? Looking at the world capitals where the terrorist Diaspora roam, it appears that all the dollars, Sterling pounds, and Kroner that previously went to procuring illegal arms, drug trafficking and money laundering are now being diverted to lobbying the Western governments and organizing massive rallies. As a result, some MPs of UK parliament and allied forces like HRW are even calling to expel Sri Lanka from the forum of Commonwealth. Alas! Are we still proud to be part of this forum which constituted the shameful institution called Colonialism? It is like the rapist threatening to expel the victims of rape from the Association of Victims. Sri Lanka should be more than glad to opt out voluntarily.
If the Sri Lankan government is doing the right thing it has nothing to fear. Is the fear because “Donor Group” will not finance Sri Lanka’s development projects? If that is the case, Sri Lanka for all practical economic and political purposes is a dependent entity and has no sovereignty to protect by this type of war. It is therefore, better to give up rather than continuing the war by sacrificing precious lives of Sri Lankan soldiers because they are more worthy human beings than barbaric LTTE terrorists.
If that is the case, in stead of conducting the war, Sri Lanka should immediately begin a new project to become politically and economically independent, sovereign nations like China and India. How can Sri Lanka do it? It is very simple. Great Parakrama Bahu did not apply for IMF loans but he made the Isle, the granary of the East. What Sri Lanka should do is go back to the era of self sufficiency and begin eating rice and yams instead spending money on corn-fed beef and pizza. After all Great Mahatma Gandhi brought the British Empire to its knees by wearing home spun cotton and making his own salt. Only such a step will teach a lesson to Western hegemonies. Until such time, we would not be independent. Cuba finally prevailed in such a struggle against the world’s largest economy as most recently Obama Administration decided to lift embargo against this Island nation.
We have seen the grave consequence of dependency when all countries that are on a hot pursuit of terrorism in far away lands, refused even to sell weapons to a legitimately elected Sri Lankan government to combat terrorism in its own country. What should Sri Lanka do under these circumstances? It should start manufacturing its own weapons including the nuclear ones. Then and only then the West will respect the sovereignty of countries like Sri Lanka. Otherwise it will be like the property of a slut, which belongs to everybody who pays to sleep with her for short term gains and pleasure. Sri Lanka had such customers in the past, for example, Portuguese, Dutch and British are some of them. No, Sri Lanka should not sleep with Norway or any other, no matter how powerful and handsome they may be.
Posted on April 14th, 2009 2 comments
Ramanie de Zoysa
14th April 2009
“Mr President, we are concerned about our people, and we do not need to be told by people who think that cluster bombs come out of the barrel of a gun how to look after our own.”- Prof Rajiva Wijesinha, Secretary General of the Secretariat for Coordinating the Peace Process and Secretary to the Ministry of Disaster Management and Human Rights in his response to remarks on Sri Lanka made by Non-Governmental Organizations (mainly Human Rights Watch) during the Inter-Active Debate on the Report of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on Friday, 06 March 2009
The latest press release issued by Human Rights Watch (HRW) on 9 April 2009 was another Sri Lankan Government bashing using the usual ammunition of half truths, outright lies, and unbelievable capers; the only concocted ‘eyewitnesses’ being two Tamil moles posing off as doctors in the war zone trading highly fabricated statistics for payoffs in one form or another.
HRW has made up to 143,000 civilians ‘vanish’; or a severe case of inability to count?
HRW said in a 49 page report released on December 23, 2008 titled “Besieged, Displaced, and Detained: The Plight of Civilians in Sri Lanka’s Vanni Region,” that there were between 230,000 to 300,000 displaced persons trapped in the Vanni conflict zone. The Sri Lankan Government ‘s estimate of around 100,000 to 125,000 maximum was scoffed at as being untrue and arrogantly stomped on by HRW as well as many other international INGOs. In the latest press release dated April 9, 2009 titled “Sri Lanka: Stop Shelling ‘No-Fire Zone’ Brad Adams of HRW puts the number of civilians trapped by the LTTE at 100,000. If there were 230,000 to 300,000 ‘civilians’ trapped in the LTTE human shield in Dec 2008 and there are only 100,000 ‘civilians’ as at 9 April 2009 basic arithmetic would dictate that 130,000 to 200,000 must have either escaped to the Sri Lankan Government controlled area, perished or vanished into thin air. According to the Sri Lankan Government headcount only 64,147 civilians have arrived seeking its care from the Tiger clutches so far. The remaining 60,000 to 140,000 ‘civilians’ then, by a simple process of elimination, must have either perished or vanished into thin air. According to HRW’s own estimate as of 25 February 2009 at least 2,000 civilians have been killed and another 5,000 wounded in the period since December 10. Then, the total of 7,000 wounded or killed leaves us with a ‘vanished’ populace of around 53,000 to 143,000!
Then again the HRW estimate of 5,000 wounded is a large number of patients to care for in one hospital. Where are they? Who is treating them? Is it possible that these 5000 patients are cared for by HRW’s moles in the Vanni, Drs Sathiyamoorthy and Varatharajah?
HRW is unable or unwilling to differentiate incarceration from temporary IDP accommodation
The use of words that are a million times harsher than what reality calls for – or the abuse of language- is a sign of the times. HRW is just as good at this game as the LTTE. If a Tamil non-combatant is killed inadvertently through Sri Lankan Government military action that is called genocide- but the actual genocide practiced by the LTTE like the slaughter of innocent Sinhala farmers in Buttala just after the ‘New Year ceasefire’ declared by the Sri Lankan Government on 13th April hardly caused a ripple among the human rights industry or news merchants such as BBC; in fact BBC did not even mention the Buttala terrorist killings that included the slaughter of an infant by the LTTE.
The word ‘incarceration’ has now been dusted off Europe’s own cupboards full of skeletons of the past, and is now in popular use by both the LTTE propaganda machine and the international NGOs with agendas such as HRW to describe temporary welfare centers set up to receive the exodus of Tamils leaving the Tiger clutches.
The welfare camps set up by the Sri Lankan Government to receive and hold the escapees of Tiger terror are seen as “squalid government-controlled camps and hospitals with little access to the outside world”. These are empty emotive words which are freely bandied about by these INGOs to show that they have such lofty standards. What amazes one is that in these very areas there have been a multitude of INGOs and NGOS “tirelessly working” to develop these people over the last thirty or more years but have not a single hospital, school, house, toilet, road, pavement or a drain to show for all that time and all that ‘hard’ work! While HRW as well as the Sri Lankan Government would prefer five star comfort for these “civilians” the reality is that the Sri Lankan Government has had to put up accommodation for hundreds of thousands of people at short notice; these facilities are but temporary with the government’s intention being the re-settlement of civilians in their own villages once the terrorist menace has been wiped out. These are facilities that are run free of charge by a poor Government of a developing country. Sri Lanka is offering its best to these people who are in dire need of a roof over their heads, a square meal and some medical care. Though there are hoards of international busybodies to criticize and chastise Sri Lanka there is hardly anyone out there to actually donate a coat of paint to one of these buildings. When it comes to feeding, clothing and providing medical care for the Tiger escapees it has always been the Sri Lankan Government that has been the sole provider. It is pathetic that INGOs such as HRW can not comprehend that people trapped in the Tiger held areas do not earn money, they do not produce food in the terrorist held area and the Tiger terrorists are not spending their money to provide food and medical care for them. It is and it has been the Sri Lankan Government for the last 26 years that has been the provider of pensions, food, fuel, education and medical care for them if not which these people would have perished many years ago.
When other INGOs such as Amnesty International (AI) come out and complain that “The situation at Vavuniya hospital was appalling. …Patients were being discharged and sent straight to the camps long before their injuries were healed…. When Human Rights Watch visited …. many of the hospital beds had no sheets, blankets, or pillows” it only shows the superficiality of understanding of the very issues they claim to deal with. The hospital beds may not have Egyptian cotton bed sheets and tri-pillows but what matters to us is that these people are given medical care as best as the country could afford and are fed and clothed and kept safe until the terror gang is completely liquidated when they will have the prospects of being rehabilitated and resettled.
It is also ironic how HRW made the visit referred to by AI above. Daily Mirror newspaper carried a report on Monday, March 02, 2009 of how Anna Neistat, Senior Emergencies Researcher at HRW told the US Senate during a hearing on Sri Lanka last month that she had visited the Sri Lanka two weeks ago and carried out research on the plight of displaced people from the Wanni. Daily Mirror reported:
“When contacted by the Daily Mirror the researcher confirmed that she visited Vavuniya and interviewed people. “I was in the hospital and at the camp sites but not inside the camps. But I did interview IDPs who were outside the camps as well as people who work in the camps,” she told the Daily Mirror.
However when asked if clearance was given for the HRW to carry out such research in Sri Lanka both the Minister of Human Rights and Disaster Management Mahinda Samarasingha and the Foreign Ministry said no such clearance was issued and a probe into the matter will be launched.
“We have not given such clearance for anyone under that name Anna Neistat or for Human Rights Watch to come here and carry out research. They might have come as tourists and done work which is a clear violation of immigration laws. It is a serious matter and we will probe this and deal with it accordingly,” Minister Samarasingha told Daily Mirror.”
When I say that this is ironic what amazes me is the nonchalance and the contempt with which Neistat and HRW treat Sri Lanka and its immigration laws. While spouting out warning after warning against Sri Lanka about law and order her ability to slip through the Sri Lanka Customs and Immigration under the pretext of being tourists and visit any part of the country speaks volumes not only about the thickness of HRW skin but also of the fact that HRW has got accomplices on the Sri Lankan soil, namely the same medical spies working in the affected areas who pump sensationalized and bigoted information to HRW.
HRW can not differentiate a ‘No fire zone’ from a ‘picnic zone’
Brad Adams states that “Sri Lanka’s so-called ‘no-fire zone’ is now one of the most dangerous places in the world.” Well spotted! Brad! You must be a genius or something! Really, this is an amazingly obtuse statement even for HRW! The only reason why the Sri Lankan Government wanted to declare a ‘no fire zone’ was because there was firing and the place was dangerous. It is never likely that a ‘No Fire Zone’ created in the middle of a theatre of war would be serendipity complete with blossoming flowers, chirping birds and playing kids. The Government did not name it a “picnic zone” for that very reason. Even for future reference of HRW who are bound to be faced with war situations, a ‘No Fire Zone’ will always be a dangerous place because it always is going to be in the middle of a war! You do not declare a ‘No fire Zone’ in the middle of Sunset Boulevard for fun. HRW, please do us all a favour and remember when you see a ‘No Fire Zone’ anywhere in the future it usually means there is normally ‘Fire’ in the area and it is only by decree someone ‘wants’ the area avoided when firing- which may not be respected by the other party/ies concerned.
Safety provided by a ‘No Fire Zone’ depends on the respect your opponents will have for your decree that the area remains free from fire. When you have the misfortune of dealing with an opponent that knows no chivalry, has no standards, principals or morals, then whatever action you take in good faith is bound to be abused. This is the case where the opponent is the unprincipled, immoral, cowardly, despotic LTTE. What was demarcated by the Sri Lankan Government in good faith as being a safe area for non-combatants could have been left as a safe zone if the LTTE had principles, morals or a sense of propriety; instead the LTTE is misusing the facility by entering the safety area hiding behind the women and children and using their cover to fire at the Sri Lankan military. What exactly do people like HRW expect the Sri Lankan military to do in this situation? Just throw hands up in the air in exasperation and say ‘Shucks! Can’t fire because of the civilians and let’s go back to Colombo and wait till LTTE realizes their folly and let the civilians go”? If HRW is thinking that then they are smoking something stronger than ‘three roses.’
HRW’s aversion to the Truth
HRW’s assertion that “the military has largely prevented relief supplies entering LTTE-held territory despite the fact that for weeks tens of thousands of refugees have been struggling to survive without adequate food, shelter, clothing and medical supplies” is a despicable canard when the Sri Lankan Government has repeatedly ensured regular convoys of food and other essentials in partnership with Red Cross into the terrorist held areas despite attacks on these convoys by the LTTE. More often than not the food and medicine is paid for by the Sri Lankan Government; this is money that could have been used to alleviate poverty and suffering of others in other parts of the country- but no one is complaining.
It is even more despicable that HRW is attempting to justify the LTTE attacks on the supply convoys to the terrorist held areas, by offering “excuses” for such attacks. HRW says that it has recorded the accounts of eyewitnesses who described how the army had used food convoys to advance on LTTE positions- as a result, a convoy was fired on and delayed. This is how Westerners justify atrocities committed by criminal elements that have their blessings such as LTTE while tut tutting the Governments of small, poor countries they do not like. This is how it goes- LTTE did that because the Sri Lankan Government is doing this- as if to say it was the Sri Lankan Government that caused the LTTE attacks on supply convoys! It is an open secret that the LTTE attacks the supply convoys to rob them to sustain their cadres. Another open secret is that the goods sent to these areas get robbed by the LTTE and sold to the ‘civilians’ at black market prices. According to first hand accounts given by escaped ‘civilians’ to the Government held areas, 500g of black pepper (a highly sought after ingredient in Tamil cooking) sells for Rs4,000.
This is what people in ivory towers such as HRW either do not know or do not want to know; and, these are called ‘ground realities’.
At the end of the day, when all is said and done, it is good to know that HRW is able to acknowledge even unintentionally that the Sri Lankan Government does send in supply convoys for the people trapped in terrorist held areas.
Evacuate the civilians NOW? HOW?
HRW calls on the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE to urgently facilitate the safe evacuation of civilians from the conflict area. Sri Lankan Government is doing its darndest to get the civilians out unharmed which is why they are walking in inch by inch clearing the area for over three months now rather than dropping a couple of kilos of explosive stuff from the air and clearing the area in half an hour. Let’s hope the LTTE hears HRW call and shows some respect to it.
HRW is encouraged to reserve their spiel about prosecutions for war crimes for those who actually commit war crimes. Sri Lanka is not worried about any threats for criminal prosecutions in this area despite the moles HRW may hire from within the war zone to make up sensational claims. Over the past 30 years or more some Tamils have proved themselves capable of selling Sri Lanka for a quick buck (as some Sinhalese have done) but after many years and millions of dollars spent by them in trying to destroy Sri Lanka- Sri Lanka has proved that truth prevails above all!
Yes Mr Adams, responsibility is a two way street indeed! You responsibility is to find the truth and speak only the truth!
Ramanie de Zoysa
Posted on April 11th, 2009 No comments
Ben Silva UK
I am referring to the HRW report at http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2009/04/09/sri-lanka-stop-shelling-no-fire-zone Not only the Sri Lankan army has to face the heavy artillery fired from the “no-fire zone” by LTTE terrorists, they also have to face a verbal barrage of abuse and false reporting from bogus human rights groups such as HRW, who are simply parroting LTTE propaganda. HRW simply do not have the nerve to tell their apparent pay masters LTTE, to release the civilians from the iron grip of LTTE. Did HRW tell the coalition forces to stop killing over 100000 Iraqi civilians and to stop torturing them ?The ghastly loss of life, could have been prevented easily, if funding to LTTE was stopped. Did HRW ever lobby to stop funding going to LTTE ? Many doubt if HRW will ever do that as many suspect that LTTE are their pay masters. HRW in order to clear their name, should disclose who are funding them and how they spend their money.
HRW, the Human Rights Wankers, do not have the faintest idea about human rights. They are a group of people, who lead a life in luxury at the expense of the misery of fellow human beings. They create sensationalism and exaggerate reports, in order to show that they are working and to attract funding. The reports generated by them are not worth the piece of paper on which it is written, as the data for the reports are second hand biased, corrupted data, very often straight from LTTE agents. They either have either not heard of accuracy, authenticity or simply do not understand these terms. They produce garbage reports for the gullible that do not challenge their data.
Their anti Sri Lankan stand and pro LTTE views are well known and many believe LTTE agents write reports for HRW.
If their reports are to have any credibility, they should indicate the source of data, so that the accuracy and authenticity could be verified. If they do not disclose the source of data, their reports are as good as produced by any joker, simply garbage.
As for Sri Lankans, we had enough of terrorism and enough of bogus human rights organisations that only provide the function of being the mouth piece of terrorists.
Has HRW even touched on the major problems facing the world and that will affect the human rights of many such as Global warming, Population explosion, economic melt down, wealth gap, lack of opportunities and employment in poor countries, lack of clean drinking water ?
I would say, they have not even had a cursory glance on major problems facing humans and affecting their rights, but they are happy spending their energy defending the deadliest terror group in the world and being their mouth piece.
The most important thing now is to eliminate terrorism at any cost. Terrorists should not be allowed to escape as they will certainly pose a threat to our leaders as well as the ordinary citizens. No one in Sri Lanka would be safe if terrorists are allowed to survive. To my knowledge no other country in the world has exchanged the lives of terrorists to the lives of civilians as it would give a blank cheque to terrorists in the world to carry on terrorism. Terrorists that have killed ordinary law abiding citizens including Tamils, killed moderate Tamil Politicians and intellectuals, killed Sri Lankan leaders, killed the Indian PM, brought about misery to all Sri Lankans for the past 25 years should not be allowed to escape and should face Sri Lankan justice. Just to name a few Tamils killed by LTTE: Mr Lakshman Kadirgamar (Foreign Minister) ,Mr Fernandopulley (Chief Whip), Dr Neelan Thiruchelvam, Dr Rajini Thiranagama, Mr Alfred Duraiappah (Mayor of Jaffna), K Sivanesan, Mr T. Maheshwaran, Mr Nadarajah Raviraj, Mr Joseph Pararajasingham, Saranabawan Shanmuganathan, Mr Appapillai Amirthalingam,Mr V.Yogeswaran, K Alalasundaram,Mr S Dharmalingam and so on.
In case some of the countries that attempt to give a life line to the terrorists are still not aware of the real situation, I have given below a brief out line. Now is the time for our embassies abroad to get active and expose LTTE and their fronts.
Terrorism has caused a human rights crisis, that has affected all Sri Lankans, and has caused a massive damage to the country, economy and people:
1. Terrorism producing orphans, disabled persons, blind persons, and causing fear, mental illnesses and stress.
2. Ethnic cleansing, depriving livelihood and homes of innocent people
3. Loss of life of law enforcement officers and security forces
4. Loss of life, innocence and childhood of children due to child soldiering
5. Fund raising in the West that cause Terrorism and destruction in Sri Lanka .
6. Loss of Right to life of valuable Sinhala and Tamil National leaders.
Blake, Boucher, Human Rights Watch and All those who ask for a Ceasefire now want terrorism to continue in Sri Lanka. Why ?Posted on April 11th, 2009 No comments
11th April 2009
In the Parliament Square in London two Tamils from the diaspora, one of who had come to London as recently as three weeks ago, are lying under the shade of umbrellas showing the terrorist Prabhakaran’s dreamed Eelam.
They are surrounded by terrorist sympathisers, with the Officers of the UK Police Force standing apart hopelessly incapable of handling demonstrators hoisting the flag which has a symbol of terrorism of a group of terrorists banned in the United Kingdom. The two young men are fasting unto their death demanding the intervention of the International Community to call for a ceasefire in Sri Lanka.
Between the two fasting men is a portrait of Prabhakaran the terrorist leader. This is a clear indication that the Tamil Diaspora in London, and the fast unto death sponsored by them is a last minute attempt to save their terrorist leaders , rather than defend the Tamil Civilians who are being held by the terrorists as a human shield. By the way the Tamil Civilians are now being slowly and steadily saved by the Sri Lanka Armed Forces and brought into the Army controlled safe areas, and provided with accommodation, food and medicine.
Tamil Terrorist flag over British Parliament
Tamil demonstrators calling for an end to the war against Tamil Terrorists
Photo: Courtesy AP
While this circus of fast unto death continues in the Parliament Square in London , in a small stretch of land in Puthukkudiyiruppu, some thousand s of Tamil Civilians are being held at gunpoint by the LTTE terrorists. Their presence in the area, is for the terrorists the only means to save their skins in an inevitable death or capture by the armed forces, in the final count down on terrorism in Sri Lanka, which has lasted for the last thirty years.
Unlike for those fasting duo and their supporters, it is not a dry clean broad stretch of road, medieval buildings , warm clothes, tasty short eats and fruit juices and fascinating onlookers for the Sri Lanka Soldiers, who weather the tropical rains, go even without food and risk the artillery fire of the terrorists to rescue the Tamil Civilians forcefully kept in the small stretch of land by their terrorist guards, and bring them into safety, food, dry clothes and medicine in the areas controlled by the armed forces. The food and medicine sent to this area by the government are squandered by the terrorists for their own use.
The Sri Lanka Armed Forces have reached the area which had been declared a no-fire zone in which the terrorists are now confined . To liberate this area from the last “vestige” of terrorists in Sri Lanka, the Tamil Civilian population detained by the terrorists have to be rescued to avoid death and injury, if caught in cross fire. The Sri Lank Government forces contrary to the adverse publicity by the terrorist sympathisers, are kind and human with a high moral standard.
Their armed passage through Poonery, Killinotchi, Mulative to the Puthukkudiyiruppu no-fire Zone, had been a long tedious march without brutality, with respect to human life, and material . It was and continues to be motivated first by a humanitarian desire to rescue a mass of Tamil people that had been made to suffer under the jackboots of terrorism, and secondly by their determination not to allow their motherland to be divided and mutilated. What matters to the valiant Armed Forces is not where they have come to, but how they came to where they are now. Their fight was against the terrorists and not the Tamil people , and that was the principle on which they had taken arms against terrorists, what ever interpretation the pro-terrorists lobby in the diaspora or the Western Humanitarian Activists give.
The Sri Lanka Armed Forces since they started their military offensive against the terrorists after the Mavil Aru incident, have avoided death and injury to the Tamil Civilian population. The Soldiers shed their uniforms when they captured the Madhu Church from the terrorists, and donned the garbs of manual workers to repair the damages caused to the Church by the terrorist. They even built roads and bridges. They made it possible after twenty long years for the trains to run from Colombo to Vavunia and from their to Jaffna. They made it possible for goods to be transported from Colombo to Jaffna and back on convoys of lorries. They changed the lives of the Tamil Civilians in the North, and the East.
It is NOT now that our great Sri Lanka Security Force, which has sacrificed large numbers of its Officers and Soldiers, and went through untold misery in the capture of the villages and towns under terrorist control, will resort to harming the Tamil Civilian population , when they have only a few square kilo meters of land to capture and end terrorism for good. If the International Community cannot understand that, they are “stupid” or they are determined to make the Government of Sri Lank fail in their attempt to end terrorism.
The Sri Lanka Armed Forces who are now within reach of the entrapped Tamil Civilian population in the zone which was declared a no fire Zone, determined to rescue the Tamil Civil population have opened several escape routes from the no-fire zone into the Army held areas. They have set up public address systems to request the Tamil Civilians held by the terrorists to come into the escape routes manned by the soldiers, to be taken into safe areas.
As result the Tamil civilians have decided to take the risk of being fired at by the terrorists and taken the escape routes to freedom from their captives. They are now coming in large numbers and received by the Sri Lankan Soldiers, and conducted into the Camps of IDPs.
Now about the Camps of the IDPs, the personal publicity seeking Brad Adams, Charulata Hogg, Anna Neistat and other activists of the Human Rights Watch, have begun to call the camps of IDPs’ concentration camps ( which by the way is an insult to those Jews and others who died in the Concentration camps of Hitler, in Gas Chambers, and in laboratories where Dr. Joseph Mengele “ the Angel of Death”, made medical experiment with live patients ).
They have “peanut” brains and cannot understand the tremendous impact of thousands of people that had been kept under gun point by brutal terrorists for years escaping in to areas controlled by the Armed Forces, seeking assistance, security and protection.
The IDPs have to be accommodated, provide food, clothing and medicine. The army has to sort out among them individuals who are terrorists, or terrorists with suicide bombs. Terrorism and terrorists are different from rebels or freedom fighters. Terrorists have no respect to life , be it that of men, women children, babies or pregnant women. The Army has to be vigilant if not all the victories against terrorism will be lost, and terrorism will come back with all its force. There are already more than 65 000 refugees in these camps.
The government cannot immediately provide individual homes to every ID family. The Sri Lanka government and its Army is doing a job that no government in the world has faced up to date.
A THREE-month pregnant woman escaping the LTTE grip in the “No Fire zone” along with several more fellow escapees was shot and critically injured by LTTE terrorists around 7.00 a.m. on Saturday(11), forcing fellow civilians to bring the injured pregnant woman to the cleared areas to be handed over to the Army troops in PUTHUKKUDIYIRUPPU. The pregnant woman who has received injuries to her shoulders and chest area was profusely bleeding at the time she ended up in PUTHUKKUDIYIRUPPU with the help of her fellow travelers.
The International Community and the humanitarian activists have no idea of the difficulties that the government and its Armed Forces are faced with. They have not only to fight the terrorists to their utter end, but also look after the interest of the refugees, their welfare as well as their security. Above all the Government and the Armed Forces have to bear the incessant criticism without any help by the International Community and their Agents, calling for a cease fire, and a pause. The Armed forces are not fighting against saintly angels, but crude ruthless terrorists.
Brad Adams is talking through his hat when he says that, “ Sri Lanka’s so-called ‘no-fire zone’ is now one of the most dangerous places in the world.” The intelligent readers should not let themselves be fooled by the false propaganda that is fed to them by the Human Rights Watch writing articles in favour of their favourite Sri Lanka terrorists. The Sri Lanka Government Forces have not and will not fire into the war Zone. The article , “Sri Lanka :Stop Shelling “No-Fire Shone” “, in the Human Rights Watch website comes out of their prejudiced minds without any verifiable fact.
One begins to wonder why this haste and desire on the part of Brad Adams to appeal for UN Security Council to act against the Government of Sri Lanka, when it is on the verge of terminating its military operations against the terrorists putting a final end to terrorism in Sri Lanka.
Any one who objectively follows the military operations of the Sri Lanka Armed Forces against terrorists, would have noticed that the government Forces had avoided death and injury to the Tamil Civilians through out its fight against terrorism during the last two years. The Human Rights Watch is depending on hearsay evidence to make accusations against the Government of Sri Lanka.
These false accusation of the Human Rights Watch against the Government Forces firing into the no fire Zone, and invoking the UN Security Council to intervene is by itself a denial of the human rights of a government to protect its people and territory without being interfered into by a third party, whose interests is to allow continued terrorism in Sri Lanka, which would keep them employed for good number of years to come. Brad Adams and the rest are seeking to feather their own nests, while pretending to show their human kindness for the suffering of the innocent people.
The Sri Lanka Army is by any standard one of the best, if not the best Armed Force in the world. In addition to its proven skill as a fighting force, it is experienced in fighting under all situation, and all conditions. They are well disciplined combatants. They need the applause of the world, not its criticism.
The International Community minimises the military operational victories of our armed forces against a group of ruthless terrorists- who had acquired most modern equipment and perhaps trained by foreign military personal. This failure of appreciation of the Sri Lankan Armed Forces by the International Community shows that it rather expected the Government and its Armed Forces to fail in its military solution against terrorism.
Blake and Boucher who now propose a political solution favourable to the minority community is in fact suggesting a means to divide Sri Lanka rather than help to Unite the Communities for an undivided Sri Lanka. This is an attempt on their part to divide Sri Lanka, which the terrorists failed to do.
The political solution after terrorism is some thing they should leave for the people of Sri Lanka to decide, as it is not for the International Community or the Tamil Diaspora to decide.
The proposal of Blake and Boutcher is quite opposed to President Barrack Obama’s foreign policy. Blake had been from the beginning favourable to the terrorists, and continued through out the military operations against the terrorists, offensively to remind the government to find a political solution to the problem. The political solution Blake thought would be a division of Sri Lanka between the Government and the terrorists. Because the terrorists accepted no solution other than the establishment of a separate Eelam State.
To Blake, Boucher and Adams , the terrorists of Sri Lanka are different from the terrorists they have in mind such as the Al Quaida, and the Talibans. They cannot speak, crack jokes and wine and dine with the Al Qaida terrorists or the Taliban terrorists, whereas the terrorists of Sri Lanka are their chums, with who they may have wined and dined, cracked jokes and laughed together. Therefore, they would like to perpetrate the cult of terrorism in Sri Lanka which is beneficial to them socially, and politically in the long run.
It is far easier to criticise than actually do what the Sri Lanka Government and its Armed Forces are doing.
Posted on April 1st, 2009 No comments
Secretariat for Coordinating the Peace Process (SCOPP) in Sri Lanka
Wednesday, 01 April 2009
The Human Rights Council concluded another disappointing session last week by allowing serious discussion of Human Rights issues to be clouded by insistent attacks on selected countries by certain non-Governmental NGOs. Although the President of the Council on occasion called to order some NGOs that engaged in diatribes that had nothing to do with the subjects under debate, he was unable to create a strong monitoring mechanism to address abuse of privileges by Human Rights Watch and other human rights extremists.
“It is inexplicable that the Council failed to rein in Human Rights Watch,” said Rajiva Wijesinha, Secretary-General of the Sri Lankan Peace Secretariat, “Despite continuing abuse of Tamil civilians by the Tamil Tigers, Human Rights Watch provided an inhuman shield for them by concentrating its verbal assaults more on the elected government than on rank terrorism. This has encouraged the Tigers to continue with further acts of abuse, safe in the conviction that any criticism of these would be countered by assaults on the government by outwardly respectable institutions such as Human Rights Watch.”
The situation of the civilians trapped by the Tigers in Sri Lanka continued to deteriorate whilst Human Rights Watch sought to dissuade them from getting away by painting a lurid picture of conditions in welfare centres run by the government. Despite this desperate tactic, which echoed that of the terrorists, more than 20,000 civilians escaped into government controlled territory during the month in which Human Rights Watch kept up its concerted verbal barrage.
Unfortunately the Council has not developed a mechanism to require evidence for the claims of non-Governmental organizations representing particular agendas, nor methods to ensure transparency as to the funding that enables them to maintain such regular flows of vitriol. It has also avoided dealing with the technique of insidious finger pointing perfected by such organizations. Human Rights Watch for instance, in the course of its hysterical accusations against the Council with regard to the Democratic Republic of Congo, specified Egypt, China, Cuba, Gabon, Pakistan and the Philippines amongst countries that defeated an amendment on the subject which was favoured by Human Rights Watch.
Whilst the dislike of Human Rights Watch for the other countries mentioned does not come as a surprise, it is not known why Gabon had been singled out amongst African countries, since African countries had in general been criticized by Human Rights Watch for having ‘opposed the establishment of an expert mandate on the situation’. Those countries that voted against the amendment favoured by Human Rights Watch to an African proposal were characterized as ‘concerned with preventing strong Council engagement, when they should have been supporting an effective response to Congo’s human rights situation’, according to Julie de Rivero, the Geneva advocacy director of Human Rights Watch who is liberally quoted in Human Rights Watch proclamations released by her office.
Human Rights Watch has a history of making wild accusations and then failing to respond to detailed refutations of its falsehoods. During the current session it refused to meet with the Sri Lankan delegation, thus confirming the view that it was unable to face up to clear arguments supported by evidence. It had previously withdrawn from a meeting with a Sri Lankan delegation, when it cancelled a meeting in the British House of Commons to which the Sri Lankan Foreign Minister had nominated a delegate as invited by Human Rights Watch.
‘Such cowardice is not uncommon in those who have special agendas which cannot stand up to light,’ said Wijesinha, who had first had to meet de Rivero as she arrived in Geneva. ‘She did not know anything about the Sri Lankan matter and said so, but then we found that her promise to study the matter and respond to us was yet another instance of prevarication.’
Prof. Wijesinha wrote as follows to Ms de Rivero in 2007 – ‘It was a pleasure to meet you in Geneva on September 5th, and I hope we can go some way towards ensuring that in the future Human Rights Watch can collaborate with the Sri Lankan government in promoting Human Rights. We have respected some of your interventions in the past, and we feel the current unfortunate improper behaviour of some HRW representatives should be dealt with swiftly so that active cooperation might be possible for the future…
You told us at the meeting that you were not aware of this correspondence, and explained that you were new to Geneva. Since however you take responsibility for it, and will doubtless have to justify it in Geneva, it seems at best careless for your colleagues not to have shared with you previously our very serious concerns about the report.
I hope therefore that you will study the attachments carefully, and let me know whether you still stand by the claim that there are ‘forcible returns of internally displaced persons to unsafe areas’ and ‘a brazen disregard for the safety and well-being of civilians’ on the part of the government. Civilian casualty figures for operations in the East make clear that claims that government forces directed ‘artillery fire at military targets and civilians without distinction’ is a canard as I had pointed out earlier. At the very least, in a document issued last week, some reference should have been made to these facts, as also to the report on resettlement issued by UNHCR.’
Such naivete on the part of Prof. Wijesinha in seeking to engage actively with Ms de Rivero was understandable then, but her continuing silence should have taught Sri Lanka that the promotion of Human Rights was not a Human Rights Watch priority. Sri Lanka nevertheless sought to engage with Kenneth Roth, Director of Human Rights Watch, when he was in Geneva last month, but that meeting too was dodged.
‘Under the circumstances we can only conclude that Human Rights Watch is hell bent on its own agenda, and it does not care if thousands of Tamil civilians are sacrificed through its backhanded defence of terrorism,’ said Wijesinha. ‘Employees of Human Rights Watch are individually accountable for the successes and failures of the organization. Employees in the future will need to take their responsibilities more seriously or compromise their credibility by turning a blind eye to terrorism and well documented human rights abuses whilst making wild allegations without any substantive evidence against states dealing with the abuses of terrorists.’.
Secretariat for Coordinating the Peace Process