Lord Naseby exposes the lies & hypocrisies of UN-US-UK & EU Governments
On 12th October 2017 addressing the UK Parliament, Lord Naseby brought to light some shocking news. Using the Freedom of Information Act Lord Naseby ventured to find the truth about the civilian deaths attributed against Sri Lankan Army during the final phase of the conflict from the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office. His application had first been rejected, even 2 appeals to the Foreign Office had been rejected and thereafter not giving up Lord Naseby had appealed to the Information Commissioner and a heavily redacted with many pages missing, document was made available to him. Why would figures and information need to be kept hidden by the British Government? What other lies are being kept under wraps & who else is involved & why are questions we need to now ask & have answered.
Lord Naseby has been a friend of Sri Lanka and has been associated with Sri Lanka for over 50 years. He formed the All Party Parliamentary Group on Sri Lanka in 1975.
He brings to light some facts that not many non-Sri Lankans have wanted to do while most non-Sri Lankans have fallen prey to lies while others have been happy to fall prey for money & other incentives.
Lord Naseby has correctly understood repercussions of the incursions from South India following the occupations of the 3 European rulers – Portuguese, Dutch and the British who brought lakhs of South Indian Tamils to work on plantations while divide and rule legacy meant affording opportunities for the minorities to dominate the majority thus giving them a feeling of being superior to the majority community and as such making demands that would with time result in animosity.
Lord Naseby has correctly surmised that it was to rectify historical injustices and discrimination to the majority Sinhalese that the Official Language Act was introduced to give the Sinhala language its due place. What needs to be reiterated here is that the introduction of the Official Language Act was never to target Tamils as is being alleged but to return to the Sinhala language its due place that was usurped after foreign occupation in 1505. Let it be reminded to all that Tamil was never a language of administration before colonial invasions in 1505 or after colonial occupation. Nevertheless, the Official Language Act was magnanimous enough to give reasonable use of Tamil, a status that Tamil language had not enjoyed ever.
The importance of Lord Naseby’s address to the UK Parliament is the manner someone is finally questioning the lies & hype surrounding ‘civilian’ deaths.
Lord Naseby has rightfully identified that everyone who has been bandying the figure of 40,000 dead have all been and continue to be LTTE Tamil Tigers supporters.
Lord Naseby makes reference to the UNPUBLISHED report by the UN Country Team whose death toll figure is 7721 covering August 2008 to 13 May 2009. He quite rightly says that from 13 May to 19th May 2009, it is impossible for 40,000 to have been killed.
Lord Naseby also mentions Gordon Weiss the former UN spokesman who initially claimed 7000 civilian deaths in 2009 while also reiterating that it made no sense for the Sri Lankan Army to kill civilians a sentiment echoed by the University Teachers for Human Rights who say that the ground troops took great trouble not to harm civilians.
Lord Naseby also quotes
· Sri Lankan Census Department – 7000 to 8000 missing
· US Ambassador Robert Blake – 4164 deaths from 20 January to 6 April 2009
· Maj. Gen. Holmes – 7000 to 8000 deaths (report in March 2015)
Another important point Lord Naseby highlighted is that all those whom he quoted casualty figures had also stated that there was ‘no policy to kill civilians’.
Lt. Col. Anton Gash had informed Lord Naseby in January 2009 that he was surprised at the ‘controlled discipline and success of the Sri Lankan Army and in particular the care that it was taking to encourage civilians to escape and how well they were looked after’.
The information he discovered from the dispatches to the UK Government reveal much
· 20 January 2009 – “no cluster munitions were used” (remember the lies that were concocted on cluster weapons)
· 28 January 2009 – “It is not possible to distinguish civilians from LTTE cadres as few are in uniform”. (The 12,000 LTTE cadres that surrendered were all in civilian clothing)
· 16 February 2009 – “IDPs being cared for in Trincomalee – welfare appears to be overriding security considerations” (who knows how many of the 295,000 people that the Sri Lankan Army saved were LTTE cadres?)
· 26 April 2009 – “civilians killed from 1 February to 26 April 2009 – 6432”
Lord Naseby appeals to the UK Government which we commend with much appreciation
1. “UK must now get the UN and the UNHRC in Geneva to accept a civilian casualty level of 7000 to 8000 not 40,000”
2. “UK must recognize that this was a war against terrorism, so the rules of engagement are based on international humanitarian law (IHL) not the European Convention on Human Rights”.
3. “The West in particular the US & UK, must remove the threat of war crimes and foreign judges that overhangs and overshadows all Sri Lankans, especially their leaders. We in the UK should reflect on the sacrifices of thousands of young Sri Lankan soldiers who died to create peace in that country”
“Sri Lanka came to our need in two world wars and had casualties, and it was one of just a handful of countries who supported the UK over the Falklands. Now it is time to offer the hand of friendship and act to lead the international community to recognize what the truth really was”.
What is Lord Naseby’s wish “I hope and pray that, as a result of this debate the UK will recognize the truth that no one in the Sri Lankan Government ever wanted to kill Tamil civilians”. This is the truth that we want to also convey to the world. We thank you Lord Naseby for taking the initiative.
What is shocking is that even by 24th October 2017 the Sri Lankan Cabinet had not taken up the remarks made by Lord Naseby. It is shocking that the present Yahapalana Government is not interested in even appreciating the effort taken by Lord Naseby, an effort that the present Sri Lankan Government has not even wanted to do. It is no exaggeration to say that this present government is not in the least interested in exonerating the good name and reputation of the Sri Lankan Armed forces as was evident when it co-sponsored a legally questionable UNHRC Resolution. Violations and interferences by the UN/UNHRC and foreign diplomats has been such that they have unabashedly advocated a new constitution, changes to Sri Lanka’s internal administrative structures and have even agreed to fund and pay salaries of those being tasked to do the changes. All these are violations of Westphalian sovereignty.
Shamindra Ferdinando writing to the Island newspaper highlights that the former government lacked a strategy to overcome the lies propagated by the West, which may well be true but when the Western lies were based on a larger overall agenda and plan, no amount of countering would have changed the status quo. Nonetheless, ample counter facts are available for anyone seeking the truth to weigh the lies and figure out the truth. However, the previous Government should have continued to demand the UN to release the report that placed the number of dead at 7721 and injured as 18479 from August 2008 to May 13, 2009.
To the list of liars and lies have to be included – Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission and its reports/statements, foreign mainstream media, human rights organizations, foreign envoys, foreign governments, UN officials. Lets also not forget the scores of UK parliamentarians who had been supportive of LTTE separatism. Siobhain McDonagh Labor MP claimed 100,000 were killed in Sri Lanka. These claims should have been diplomatically challenged through the Sri Lankan Foreign Mission.
Even after the previous Government banned 16 LTTE fronts under UNSC Resolution 1373 it did not persist in demanding that the foreign governments where the LTTE fronts & leaders were operating initiate investigations on them for terror links and material support.
Another opportunity came following the HRW report “Funding the final war – LTTE intimidation and extortion in the Tamil Diaspora, a case study of UK and Canada” which also highlighted the British Hindu kovils that provided revenue for the LTTE. There were ample LTTE events that had been organized openly in the UK inspite of UK Government banning the LTTE and pressure by the Sri Lankan Foreign Office would have gone a long way to curbing the menace. The Foreign Office could have easily alerted to British authorities to take action against the many illegal acts that LTTE fronts were upto in the UK like credit card scams, abuse of charity programs, money laundering, illegal acts all of which were affecting the purses of the British tax payers. The Sri Lankan Foreign Office should have insisted that the Government be kept updated on investigations against these and should have even sought action against Adele Balasingham for training children as child soldiers and teaching them to commit suicide when caught.
A nation’s Government must defend its territory, its people and the Armed Forces that defend both the Nation & its People. When Lord Naseby took it upon himself to question the guestimates that had been falling from the sky quoting all types of dead numbers, he went out of his way to seek clarifications from his own government and despite many obstacles & having his applications rejected, his persistence led to a conclusion that should have had the Sri Lankan Government IMMEDIATELY thanking him and issuing a statement officially through the Foreign Ministry to UNHRC with the findings of Lord Naseby. However that the present government chose not to goes to show that it does not stand by the Armed Forces of Sri Lanka and this is a very shocking but a fact that we must all now come to terms with.
A Government that does not defend its own troops will never defend the nation or its people.
Shenali D Waduge