Is UNHRC another LTTE terrorist-front?
When organizations and individuals banned as LTTE fronts in particular those that openly provided material support to the LTTE over the years and have unabashedly commenced websites seeking donations and support to create the very Eelam that the LTTE was fighting for, are regular visitors to the UNHRC and are instrumental in pushing for war crimes tribunals against the Sri Lankan Armed Forces, the UNHRC needs to seriously re-assess itself.
What UNHRC cannot ignore
Questioning silence of UN/UNHRC and international community for 30 years in dealing with LTTE terrorism since 1980s inspite of LTTE being banned internationally and having international security intelligence reports of LTTE’s illegal networks operating from Canada, US, UK, EU, South East Asia, India and Australia. UN’s failure is confirmed by its own Charles Petrie report.
Questioning serious discrepancies and bias of UNHRC & UN system. From the first resolution commending Sri Lanka a plethora of resolutions emerged making wild allegations against the Sri Lankan army. After requesting Sri Lanka to investigate (LLRC appointed in May 2010) weeks later Ban Ki Moon for the first time ever appoints a personally commission expert panel to appraise HIM of the final phase (strange that he did not undertake the same for the illegal interventions in Iraq, Afghanistan or Libya). How did a personally commissioned report (not sanctioned by the UN General Assembly or the UNSC) become used against a UN member country? How did a report meant to be only for the personal knowledge of the UNSG end up in the public domain? The Report was never tabled in the UNGA or UNSG. Serious lapses and violations of the UN Charter have taken place – UNHRC head has violated Article 7 by interfering in the internal affairs of a sovereign UN member state. We would like to know why OHCHR set up “a special investigating team within the OHCHR in Geneva when Paragraph 10 of the Human Rights Council’s Resolution on Sri Lanka specifically states: “…the need for an international inquiry mechanism in the ABSENCE (emphasis added) of a credible national process…”. Why is the UNHRC going out of its way to make up a case against the State of Sri Lanka, the entire National Army?
If individual soldiers had misbehaved there are military courts that can take up these cases if there is substantial proof against a soldier. Moreover, the UNHRC resolutions cannot cover only a certain period, given that LTTE was a terrorist outfit and had attacked all citizens of Sri Lanka since 1980s, it is wrong for the UNHRC Resolutions to pinpoint only one phase because it ended up defeating the LTTE. Even the statements issued by the UNHRC head (both former and present) are derogatory and violate the UN Charter.
Questioning inability of UN/UNHRC and international community to stop the induction of children as child soldiers despite inundated reports gathering dust inside UN and foreign embassies giving statistical accounts of numbers of Tamil children kidnapped and turned into child soldiers. Was their silence due to these children coming from poor and low caste homes? Those Tamil Diaspora questioning the rules of war were all silent about the fundamental rights of children being denied by LTTE.
Questioning the links of LTTE Diaspora and TNA – while the Sri Lankan Government officially banned 16 entities and over 400 individuals as LTTE fronts bulk of whom were operating from the very nations that continue to maintain its ban on the LTTE, why were these entities not investigated despite handful of arrests wherein foreign security intelligence are well aware of how linked and connected all of these entities are to each other. Some of these entities had even attempted to bribe US FBI into removing the LTTE banned status. Additionally, TNA was formed by the LTTE immediately after the ‘war against terrorism’ was announced following 9/11 in 2001. The head of the EU Observer mission at the elections has established that LTTE helped TNA come into power. TNA MPs have been regular speakers at events organized by the LTTE Diaspora. Surely, UNHRC officials have looked at the demands made by LTTE, the TNA and LTTE Diaspora to assuage that they are identical and the same!
Questioning foreigners on LTTE payroll – money can buy people but we are shocked that people who are in responsible roles can and have also been bought over. We cannot explain their conduct otherwise. All of the foreign MPs, UN officials, foreign media chirping the same demands made by LTTE, LTTE Diaspora and TNA should be investigated for monetary transactions and other favors disbursed to them by LTTE diaspora given that the USD300million annual profit made during the war must have no enlarged since expenses for procurement of arms, ammunition, upkeep of LTTE cadres no longer arises since May 2009. Therefore the LTTE kitty is now larger than what it was a decade earlier. LTTE – LTTE Diaspora or even TNA can make demands but it takes sensible people to verify the authenticity of these demands taking to consideration facts and not stories or edited documentaries. We would like UNHRC and UN to release how many times they have had meetings with LTTE fronts and their heads since May 2009! British MPs are even CEOs and strategists of LTTE fronts!
Questioning why UN/UNHRC and international community are ignoring verifiable reports. Why has the reports of Murali Reddy who was the Indian journalist reporting with the armed forces not taken to account. His daily reports clearly nullifies claims of baseless allegations of genocide and indiscriminate shooting by the armed forces. The UN/UNHRC and foreign embassies keep a tab on local news/reports and other articles regularly published. These raised pertinent questions that the UN system should have taken stock of but didn’t. UNHRC head visited Sri Lanka several times but at no time were victims of LTTE terror entertained. It was only Tamils and statements issued was clearly with bias. Why have they not taken to account the doctors reports, why had the Ban Ki Moon panel completely thrown out the UN Country Team report, ICRC reports, SLMM reports, the statistical reports compiled by people on the ground, the Consultative Commission on Humanitarian Assistance which met every 2 weeks and were briefed of every steps taken by the GOSL and the Army. Instead UNHRC are relying on reports coming from third parties and parties linked to LTTE! Moreover why have the public reports by the international terrorism experts – Sir Desmond de Silva, Rodne Dixon, Geoffrey Crane, who have given strong legal arguments taking to considering all international laws. The Ban Ki Moon panel report nor any of the reports upon which the resolutions are based come anywhere legally near the arguments presented by these international legal luminaries. UNHRC is throwing egg at its own face in trying to please LTTE Diaspora lies.
Questioning the allegation of discrimination – it is true LTTE propaganda is sophisticated and lots of money has been pumped to created sophisticated lies and promote them globally using a plethora of LTTE tv, satellite, radio, social media and other channels. However, any intelligent person should take these allegations and verify their truth before accepting them lock, stock and barrel. LTTE-LTTE Diaspora & TNA says Sinhalese are discriminating them. Has UN or the International community asked the basic question – what is legally, constitutionally, legislatively denied to Tamils which is given to only Sinhalese? Have they looked at the national flag – not many countries depict the minorities as Sri Lanka has. Look at the number of holidays given to the minorities and the stamps issued for them. Look at the number of businesses operating in Sri Lanka and see how many of the top company CEOs are Tamil while some of the booming companies are also Tamil. Look at the secretaries in public sector, the Chief Justice, the IGP, they were all Tamil. In proportion to their population, Tamils enjoy far better living standards than the majority Sinhalese and all these can be statistically proven. So why has the UNHRC ignored these? If there is no systematic discrimination this argument is just a red herring.
Questioning the humanitarian supplies – Let it not be forgotten that even when LTTE was running its defacto territory the GOSL still sent provisions to the North when Tamils who were taking payroll as public servants were also working for the LTTE. Regular updates were made of the provisions sent to the North and there were regular meetings at envoy and ICRC levels where any shortcomings could have been dealt with. Recently the former defense secretary is on record to say that the UN and envoys requested the GOSL to send not food or medicines but cement and other equipment. It doesn’t take rocket science to realize for whose purpose the cement was for!
Where’s the genocide – without dead bodies or even skeletons? This is quite elementary. No one can accuse anyone of murder without a dead body. As for the claim of genocide, the onus is on those making the charges to produce the names of the dead or at least show the skeletons none of which has been forthcoming. A Presidential Commission was launched while wives of Sri Lankan soldiers logged 5000 names of missing soldiers there were no 40,000 or even 200,000 names of Tamils logging to claim their dead! Moreover, UNHRC is rather silly to accept and allow LTTE diaspora to claim ‘genocide’ inside their offices when the census statistics proves that Tamil population has been increasing and there is no evidence to accept any claim of ‘genocide’. Moreover, within days of the end of the conflict UNSG Ban Ki Moon arrived and with a large contingent did an aerial tour of the final conflict – apart from the 3 mass graves located by US Satellite imagery which were LTTE sites, the ‘genocide’ claim comes to nought. These are facts that the UNHRC officials should have taken stock of before becoming fooled by the LTTE diaspora. More importantly LTTE fired at fleeing Tamil civilians – can the UNHRC or any of those making allegations at the Armed Forces give a number to the Tamils the LTTE shot and killed? These deaths cannot be passed off as being killed by the SL Army! John Holmes who brief UNSC in February 2009 confirms LTTE shot at civilians and even LTTE’s female political wing leader Thamilini in her book confirms LTTE shot at fleeing Tamils.
Whether they were LTTE in civilian or Tamil civilians, the local and Indian media who accompanied the Armed Forces recorded all of the people that the Armed Forces saved. The account of Indian journalist Murali Reddy is ample evidence of the numbers rescued. Can someone explain how an army can commit genocide and save 294,000 people at the same time?
Anonymous Witnesses – LTTE supporters cannot be witnesses neither can Third Parties living overseas – The UNHRC reports compiled quote witnesses who were not directly present during the last conflict. To deal with this they have come up with a 20 year witness protection claim which is highly questionable. People whose testimonies result in an innocent person being sent to jail has to wait 20 years to be told that the witness is not a real witness and then appeal for his release. This is highly immoral and unethical even for the UNHRC. The Ban Ki Moon report quotes extensively from LTTE propaganda channel Tamilnet, his panel even calls LTTE as ‘disciplined’, the lady panellist is a regular visitor to LTTE front events and they announce her as ‘comrade’ she is a paid EU employee and the EU has been funding reports by her claiming rape and other allegations all by ‘witnesses’ living overseas who are not named. We are just asked to believe them! What kind of court of law accepts such testimonies?
How can unknown, un-named ‘witness’ evidence be more credible than the witness accounts of people like Murali Reddy who was with the army or the photographer David Gray. C4 film was of ‘edited’ versions which kept being piled up and expanded and screened before every UNHRC session. Moreover C4 ‘star witness’ Vany Kumar turned out to be a LTTE youth cadre! Majority of panels that were making allegations against the Sri Lankan Army comprised Tamils living overseas linked to LTTE or white skins who were bought over by LTTE money! All these people should be investigated. The allegations made by UNHRC related to unlawful killings, disappearances, torture even rape are all quoting unnamed anonymous ‘witnesses’ all of whom are living overseas awaiting asylum/refugee status. The UNHRC is keeping the witnesses anonymous as well as sealing their medical records (presuming they exist)… what kind of trial is this? Sir Geoffrey Nice and Rodney Dixon who reviewed the Sooka report on rape by Sri Lankan soldiers concluded thus
“There is nothing - not one thing or person - to whom officials of the Government of Sri Lanka could turn as a result of this Report to start a proper forensic investigation of any of the crimes alleged”
“Asylum seekers have an obvious interest in showing that they have been the subject of severe abuse to guarantee the success of their applications to remain in the UK”
With medical experts not named, with witness statements not attached, with medical reports not submitted Sir Nice and Rodney Dixon’s conclusion of Sooka report is
“The review and measurement of the Sooka Report (and other reports) against proper legal standards is vital. It is these legal standards of fairness and due process which underpin the human rights norms on which the Report draws to condemn the Sri Lankan Government. Our review of the Sooka Report shows that it does not meet those standards”
Why didn’t UNHRC question LTTE for taking civilians? If the laws of war denies any harm to civilians, shouldn’t the UNHRC be questioning why it forcibly took lakhs of people and fired from among them while keeping LTTE arms and ammunition among civilians? If harm came to civilians it is the LTTE that has to be accountable. Even the UNSG appealed for the release of the civilians which the LTTE did not listen to. Moreover, UNHRC cannot ignore that LTTE had a civilian force as well as the fact that LTTE fighters fought in civilian clothing as well as in uniform. UNHRC has still failed to answer how many LTTE cadres died in the battle (in uniform and in civil), how many civilians died (civilians who had no part in hostilities either by force or voluntary). It is in determining this that UNHRC can make any allegation against the Sri Lankan Army.
Shelling hospitals – the reports by John Holms the former Commander of the British Special Forces and the McKenzie Intelligence Institute report clearly establishes there was no deliberate shelling of makeshift hospitals by the Sri Lankan Army. The arguments used by the OISL and the Ban Ki Moon panel are unlikely to get anywhere in any legal court. Many of the statements by the Ban Ki Moon panel are contradictory – while accusing the army of indiscriminate shooting the panel confirms that LTTE “started point-blank shooting of civilians who attempted to escape from the conflict zone adding to the death toll in the final stages of the war” Ban Ki Moon panel also confirms LTTE fired from inside hospitals – “It also fired artillery in proximity to large groups of internally displaced persons (IDP‘s) and fired from, or stored military equipment near IDP‘s or civilian installations such as hospitals.” Even the OISL mentions that LTTE “occasionally in the vicinity of hospitals and United Nations premises, and used at times to fire from near hospitals”Then there is the statement by ICRC head of operations – Jacque de Maio who says
The affidavit of Dr. Shanmugarajah who served at the Mullaitivu hospital till the end of the conflict says
Why have these statements not been taken to consideration but instead the UNHRC are relying on people who are invisible and living overseas and whose witness accounts they want to withhold for 20 years by which time no one would even remember to demand answers!
While LTTE fronts who had been providing material support to LTTE murders are courting the UN and foreign officials, they have utilized their funds to infiltrate and influence the present government. The Singapore Principles of 2013 where the present government officials met LTTE fronts and agreed to a list of demands to implement once in power – the hybrid court, the new constitution are all part of those mutually agreed initiatives all of which have been put into full gear with the change of government in 2015.
These are factors that make us the general public uneasy about the developments taking place considering that most of the people now placed in positions of power at state levels all had connections with the LTTE at some point of time or the other.
We are not defending the armed forces without reason. If individual soldiers have acted outside of orders and committed any crimes not in accordance to the rules that govern them, there are military courts to deal with them but an entire army cannot be declared war criminals based on charges made by anonymous people most of whom we believe to be connected with the LTTE as the allegations are coming from parties and individuals who had been directly linked to the LTTE.
There are enough of cases that warrant real investigations – the JVP massacres of 1980s, the Batalanda torture chambers resulting in the disappearance, torture and death to thousands of youth, the IPKF rapes and murders are areas that warrant investigations as there are dead bodies, the dead have names and the dead have families who will willingly come forward and give evidence. The allegations of ‘dead’ without bodies, skeletons or names cannot be accepted and claimed as ‘genocide’ and this is where UNHRC is committing a grievous injustice to a sovereign nation.
UNHRC cannot be allowed to pursue this baseless tribunal given that they have a very flimsy case against a UN member nation and its national armed forces. The UN General Assembly and UN Security Council must immediately intervene and address this miscarriage of justice and abuse of justice and office by the UNHRC.
The credibility of the UNHRC is at stake. The legal rebuttal presented recently by a group of patriotic Sri Lankans clearly establishes the loopholes and legally nullifies the baseless UNHRC Resolutions and the Ban Ki Moon panel reports plus numerous other reports that had been funded to discredit the Sri Lankan Government and its National Army.
Shenali D Waduge