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UN team not sure of Sri Lankan visit


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  • கருத்துக்கள உறவுகள்

UN team not sure of Sri Lankan visit

The United Nations says it is not yet clear that its own investigators will travel to Sri Lanka to look into allegations of war crimes in the final stage of the government's conflict with Tamil Tigers rebels last year.

In an interview with the BBC's Sinhala service, a spokesman, for the UN secretary general, Farhan Haq said a team would meet members of the government's own commission of inquiry, but he said he wasn't sure where.

Referring to a statement made by the General Secretary, Farhan Haq said, "He said that he is pleased that the panel is now able to visit Sri Lanka to meet with the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliations Commission (LLRC)".

Contradictory statements

Government of Sri Lanka said last week that it would allow the UN team to visit the island, reversing its earlier refusal to grant them visas.

However, the UN spokesman refused to confirm or deny a visit to Sri Lanka. ."We can't confirm if the panel will travel to Sri Lanka or will meet the LLRC in some other location", Farhan Haq told the BBC Sandeshaya.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sinhala/news/story/2010/12/101220_unnotsure.shtml

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  • கருத்துக்கள உறுப்பினர்கள்

War Crimes By: Editorial

The success of the Sri Lankan government in winning an undeclared war against the Tamil citizens, branding the Tamils as terrorists does not absolve it from the atrocious crimes committed by the government and her security forces. The international governments, who labelled the freedom struggle as terrorism, the fair demand of the minority population of Tamils, -a people, who had their own defined area of domicile, a language, one of the earliest languages spoken for centuries, a culture that has no parallel,- have an integral share in the crimes that took place and continue to take place since the year 1948.

World opinion today confirms that there is enough evidence to successfully file a case against the government of Sri Lanka, and those responsible for the genocide of the Tamils and violation of human rights with the International Court of Justice. The government sponsored attacks on the Tamil civilians and the destructions of their properties, both personal and trades, went on for number of years, beginning in 1958 and continuing in 1967, 1970, 1977, 1981, 1983.

It became an undeclared war in 1983 with the exodus from the country of thousands and thousands of people belonging to the Tamil, Muslim and Burger communities. The first time the attention of the world was turned to the atrocities in Sri Lanka was in 1983, when the worst attacks on the Tamil civilians took place. The attitude of President, Junius Richard Jayawardane, did not disclose even an iota of sorrow or sympathy towards the many thousands of people, tortured, burnt alive, killed or displaced without food or shelter.

Anita Pratap, the first Indian journalist to cover the story of the war, reported in her journal (14-20), as follows:

"......It could be that President Jayawardena is a helpless spectator, hamstrung by uncontrollable armed forces that have taken the law into their own hands. Though this speaks very poorly of Jayawaradena's ability to run a government, it is more charitable than saying that the Tamil genocide and destruction of Tamil property has been engineered by the State authorities, which is what good many people believe. Though there is enough circumstantial evidence to support this charge".

His behaviour was comparable to that of a janitor of an apartment complex than that of a responsible head of a country. The indifference shown by him in not taking any, if not quick action to stop the brutal killings, and his failure even later to express sympathy was ample proof that he had a prior knowledge of the entire episode.

Paul Seigart of the International Commission of Jurist in his report entitled, "Sri Lanka: A mounting tragedy of errors,” had this to say. " Clearly this ( attack on July 1983) was not a spontaneous upsurge of communal hatred among the Singhalese people - nor was it, as has been suggested in some quarters, a popular response to the killing of 13 soldiers in an ambush by Tamil Tigers on the previous day, which was not even reported in the newspapers until after the riots began. It was a series of deliberate acts executed in accordance with a concerted plan conceived and organised well in advance".

Recently the Congress Party of India and the country had a commemoration for their late Prime Minister Mrs. Indira Ghandi, who was killed by her own body-guard. There was protests from the community to which the assassins belonged, demanded an apology for the murder of their members killed in a temple on the order of Mrs. Indira Ghandi. It would appear that the murder of Indira Ghandi was a revenge killing for a few members of the community to which her bodyguards belonged.

Rajiv Gandhi, the son of Indira Gandhi, brought in the Indian Peace Keeping Force to Sri Lanka, which in course of time became a fighting unit for the President Jayawardane's government. The thousands of Tamil civilians killed by the IPKF, should also be considered as war crime by the Sri Lankan government and the Indian government. Even though the killing of Rajiv Ghandi was linked to the Tigers, it has not been proved beyond reasonable doubt. Rajiv Ghandi has been responsible for the death of thousands of innocent Tamils in Sri Lanka, which included very talented medical professionals. Compared to the few presumed killed on Mrs. Gandhi's watch, the thousands of Tamils who were killed by the Indian Peace Keeping Forces are incomparable.

Anna Pararajasingham, Founder Secretary of Australian Federation of Tamil Association, referring to the killing of the 52 Tamil political prisoners wrote the following: "During this time, the blood stained hand of the authorities was clearly exposed in the brutal slaughter of 52 Tamil political prisoners held in the maximum security prison at Welikade, Colombo. The killing of those political prisoners was carried out over two days. Thirty five of them were killed on 25th July around 2.30 p.m., when Colombo was supposedly under a curfew.

According to an eye witness (K. Devanandan, a survivor of the prison massacre), Air force helicopters hovered over the jail while killings took place under the supervision of the deputy jail superintendent, aided and abetted by the army and security guards. After the killings the blood soaked bodies were piled in front of a statue of Buddha. S.A.David, another survivor of the prison massacre recalled that the murdered included Kuttimani and Jegan, whose eyes were gouged by the attackers".

Twenty eight years have passed, there have not been any strong evidence as to who the assassins were. Neither has there been an apology for the murders and the desecrations of the dead bodies. Times and mode of worship by Sri Lankan Buddhists appeared to have changed very much during the twenty eight year period. Murdered bodies of human beings were offered as sacrifice to Buddha at that time. Today animal sacrifice for some Hindu Deities is being protested by some of the neo-Buddhists.

An equally harrowing mass murder was witnessed by a Norwegian tourist, Mrs. Eli Skarstein and her 15 year old daughter Krinsten, as a mini bus full of Tamils was stopped by a Singhalese mob, petrol was poured and the bus set on fire, after ensuring that the doors were locked. The eye witnesses reported that over one hundred spectators watched as twenty Tamils were burnt to death.

Ghastly events that have followed the Black July and the mass exodus of the Tamils and the discrimination of Tamil civilians continues. The international community, who have been partners in crime by financing the purchase of arms and ammunitions to help the ethnic elimination of Tamils in Sri Lanka, have so far not taken any concrete steps to bring sanity to the government of Sri Lanka. They are fully aware that all funding for the rehabilitation of the displaced are being used for the elimination of the Tamils from their homelands.

The continuing onslaught on the Tamils, their culture, their places of worship and their daily lives, as well as their homeland are being controlled by the large number of security forces. The influx of more Singhalese on government assisted colonization to reduce the electoral strength of Tamils will not augur well for building a united country.

Courtesy: Tamil Mirror

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