– by Shenali D Waduge –
The mainstream news released what is said to be the script of the supposed Resolution (3rd) America is hoping to pass in Geneva next month. It is a calculated move to send 2 messages to Sri Lanka’s leaders – to subtly give a clue what US wants and how Sri Lanka’s leaders can get off the hook by giving what US wants.
While US is dangling carrots before Sri Lanka’s leaders, the world public and Sri Lanka needs to take note of some facts:
LTTE is a terrorist organization.
- LTTE is banned by 32 nations including America. Inspite of that US even considered saving the LTTE during the final stages of the conflict in 2009. http://www.island.lk/index.php?page_cat=article-details&page=article-details&code_title=68207 While the ground force and LTTE leader may be eliminated, the other brains behind the LTTE are very much alive and domiciled overseas owning foreign passports. The calls for their accountability and arrest given that LTTE continues to be banned remains. Where are the arrests of these individuals by these foreign Governments? Why have they not been rounded up and investigated or even questioned? Should the US not apply its own rhetoric and take action against ALL LTTE FRONTS operating from the US, UK, EU, Canada and Australia as well as elsewhere?
What did US do to stop LTTE terror & what will US do about LTTE fronts?
- The people of Sri Lanka did suffer. Why did the US and allies call for only the last 4 months to be investigated? Have they forgotten that LTTE terror reigned for 30 years? Why did the US and other entities now calling for accountability fail to submit Resolutions against LTTE and take actions against them or at least go after the LTTE fronts run by Tamils holding foreign passports. Given that children are such a concern now why has no action been taken against Adele Balasingham the nurse and head trainer of the child soldier training unit who taught children to kill and kill themselves by biting a cyanide capsule?
US is a criminal says War Crimes Tribunal
- The LLRC was appointed by the Sri Lankan Government in March 2010 and despite this the UNSecretary General thought fit to appoint a Panel of Experts and this has become the source on which US and Navi Pillay are attacking Sri Lanka. What about US war crimes in Iraq. A Citizens Tribunal was held after Gulf War 1 (http://deoxy.org/wc/wc-index.htm) The Members of this Tribunal concluded : “The Members urge public action to prevent new aggressions by the United States threatened against Iraq, Libya, Cuba, Haiti, North Korea, Pakistan and other countries and the Palestine people; fullest condemnation of any threat or use of military technology against life, both civilian and military, as was used by the United States against the people of Iraq”. The US was found guilty of 19 crimes. These charges included conduct attempted to provoke Iraq to justify military action, US plans to destroy Iraq economically and militarily in 1990, US ordering destruction of facilities essential for civilian life and economic productivity, US bombing civilians, destroying business districts, schools, hospitals, mosques, churches, shelters, residential areas, historical sites, civilian government offices, US intentionally bombing indiscriminately throughout Iraq, US intentionally bombing Iraqi military personnel, killing soldiers seeking to surrender those who were often unarmed and not in combat zones and destroying materials related to ceasefires, US using prohibited weapons resulting in suffering to both Iraqi civilian and even US military lives, US encouraging and aiding Shiite Muslims and Kurds to rebel against Iraqi government, US intentionally deprived Iraqi people of medicines, water, food. SUCH A COUNTRY SHOULD BE PROHIBITED FROM DRAFTING ANY RESOLUTIONS.
US sold chemicals to Iraq and accuses Iraq of possessing chemicals
- To kill one man (Saddam Hussein) did the US need to use 88,500 tons of bombs dropped in over 109,000 sorties flown by a total of 2,800 fixed-wing aircrafts as well as 2,095 HARM missiles, 217 Walleye missiles, 5,276 guided anti-tank missiles, 44,922 cluster bombs and rockets, 136,755 conventional bombs, 4,077 guided bombs. What is laughable is that US accuses Iraq of possessing WMDs and America is found to have given them to use against Iran! http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-153210/Rumsfeld-helped-Iraq-chemical-weapons.html – and this is the country that has the audacity to bring Resolutions against Sri Lanka that saved 300,000 civilians at the cost of 2600 military lives! In terms of military lives how many of the American people know that Gulf-era veterans since 1991 number 518,739, that out of 580,400 soldiers who served in the Gulf War 1, 11000 are dead, by 2000, there were 325,000 on permanent medical disability.56% of all soldiers served are suffering medically.(Terry Jemison/Dept Veterans Affairs)
Tamil Grievances – Name them first
- What needs to again be reiterated is that Sri Lanka fought and defeated Terrorists and not Tamils. Tamils need to realize this. If Tamils claim to have a grievance those grievances have to be ones that they exclusively suffer from and are only enjoyed by Sinhalese alone. We need real grievances with facts and not concocted ones. There is not a single grievance that can be given that ONLY Tamils suffer legally denied to them.
What rule of law in the US!
- Rule of War and the supposed freedoms and decentralization of powers the US pretends to promote omits to say that in America, every American is being watched (NSA Whistleblower William Binney) while America tells Sri Lanka to give more freedom, America does not mind eavesdropping on German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the entire EU! A good read of the US Patriot Act and Homeland Security Act reveals that unknowingly Americans are prisoners in America under a bogus “protecting America” slogan – but the Americans are finally waking up. While US is calling Sri Lanka to scale down on its military – America’s population in Washington is 646,449 but Washington DC has 854,000 people with top security clearance! Some of Edward Snowden’s revelations show that Americans are disillusioned if they think they live in a free land with free media. That media makes sure they filter what the Americans should know and they don’t know much of what is really happening around the world. With all the talk of rule of law why does the US have the highest prisoners numbering 2.2million with 70,792 juveniles in detention in 2010?
Sovereign nation cannot be dictated to
- US is just another nation – how can US decide the internal processes of another country or how those processes should be conducted? Do we pass Resolutions to ask US to stop surveillance in America? Do we ask to visit America’s prisoners and question how well the US prisoners are being looked after?
- Sri Lanka’s military is located on its own sovereign soil. The land whether north, east, south or west belongs to Sri Lanka and the Government has every right to decide where to position its troops which can be done for strategic reasons or even security reasons or for any other reason. They do not need to explain why or where or how many they position to another country. America does not seek approval of other nations on where or how to station its troops. However, given that the argument revolves around troops – why does the US not respond to its illegal occupation of Iraq, Afghanistan and scores of 1000 other bases around the world through an agreement called Status of Forces Agreement? Are the people of Okinawa not fed up with US troop presence? Is it possible that the sudden interest in Sri Lanka comes with US now hunting for a military base in view of Diego Garcia lease not being extended? As far as resettlement is concerned we would like to know how many of civilians in Iraq, Afghanistan, Yugoslavia/Kosovo, Libya the US/Allies have resettled given that these invasions and occupations were all illegal. There are 1.3million Iraqis who are homeless since 2003. Sri Lanka resettled virtually all of the 300,000 within less than 3 years of the end of war. Yet, after all its violations US has only allowed 19,491 to be settled in US. http://refugeeresettlementwatch.wordpress.com/2013/10/11/iraqis-top-the-list-of-refugees-admitted-to-the-us-in-fy2013/
Name the Allegations
- Instead of making sentence allegations, it is good for the US state department to provide what these allegations of torture, abuse of detainees, arbitrary arrest and detention are – when US talks of detainees all that comes to mind is what are the US doing about detainees in Guantamo Bay, Diego Garcia and the scores of extraordinary rendition programs. We recall the reference to 19 journalists in an attempt to accuse Sri Lanka of media attacks yet it turned out that of the 19, 4 of them were not journalists but members of the LTTE, while 7 of the 19 were killed by the LTTE – therefore all these loose allegations need to come with names.
- The press and those local NGOs who are paid from foreign sources did not condemn the LTTE beyond a general statement no different to the diplomatic ones issued. None of the current lot of ‘intellectuals’ ‘lawyers’ ‘media personnel’ went out of their way to globally travel and call for bans and arrests of LTTErs but now they have enough of funds to claim there is no rule of law! Interesting.
- The level of freedom media enjoyed can be given by one example easily. Whereas the US wetted every article written by chosen journalists who functioned as embedded journalists, India’s Murali Reddy not only had free access to the internet inside the war zone, but nothing of what he wrote was ever even looked through and passed by the Sri Lankan military. His accounts are revelations of the extent of freedom he enjoyed. http://www.eurasiareview.com/23122013-sri-lankas-war-witnesses-indian-journalist-b-murali-reddy-oped/
- However, by media freedom if what US is indirectly implying is to allow Western-biased, Western-paid local media entities to distort truth, create lies, carry out malicious media campaigns as they currently do all we need to ask is would the US allow such a similar scenario on its turf ? America needs to solve its own domestic matters -3 trillion in debt is what the Government has subjected its people to.
Grievances are political opportunities
- Whereas certain politicians, paid local NGO heads, anti-nationalist media working cohorts with West, anti-national lawyers may claim Sri Lanka had an ethnic problem, the rest of the people including the majority of Tamils are living and getting on with their lives. They are traveling freely from North to South and South to North and that journey is not taxed. Likewise, the Southerners are also travelling to areas they never could travel to. Reconciliation does not require foreign interference, foreign intervention, UN, UN HRC head, or international agencies. Throughout the war, the people worked and lived together and we had no issues. The politicians have issues because they need issues to survive. The people do not have issues – the people need to live in peace and we do not need outsiders coming and telling us how to live or on what benchmarks we should live. We will decide so let us decide. It is laughable to note how Reconciliation can take place if all the recommendations of the US and Navi Pillay are followed?
Sri Lanka General Public are Happy. Do not use them as guineapigs
- The people are well aware that Sri Lanka had a terrorist problem. Their terror came to an end after scores of peace talks, negotiations and ceasefires all promoted by the West failed miserably. The West could not offer any solution in all of the 30 years that terror prevailed nor did the West stop the LTTE inspite of allowing key LTTErs to live and function on their soil.
Reconciliation cannot have deadlines by West or UN
- Similarly, we question how far Reconciliation will succeed by allowing media, international aid agencies, human rights groups into all regions of the country. Is it for them to create the foundation for lies and set the ball rolling for a Western base in Sri Lanka thereafter turning the nation into no different a climate than Libya, Iraq, Kosovo, Haiti etc.
So this is what US is after…..
- Why is the US so interested about the North and the East all of a sudden. Did the LTTE not restrict access to these areas for them throughout 30 years? If so was it not a problem for the US to make similar demands from the LTTE or were these items that US is now recommended all enjoyed by the US during LTTE rule?
- The last recommendation really sums up the real intent of the Resolution and more or less puts the cat out of the bag. It spells clearly why the US finds the current Government a pain in the neck (to put it mildly).
- So what are US “interests” and it is because Sri Lanka is not giving these “interests” that these Resolutions are being brought. It’s a scenario no different to what Syria is experiencing but over there the US has sent scores of rebels claiming to be Syrian. The disclosure of the Resolution to the public probably has a catch and is meant to test the water to see how far Sri Lanka’s leaders may dabble with the idea of selling the country for its own survival. That option is one that no national leader should take. It may look an easy option out of the Resolution in Geneva but it will come at the cost of the Government and leaders to be declared traitors of the nation. By virtue of striking a deal in order to remain in power would realistically equate to mean the Government ending up losing power and popularity both of which they now hold. Given this catch 22 situation with a Hobson’s choice before the Government it is best that they devise ways to divert Sri Lanka’s interests to quarters that would not carry such shallow tactics as the US Government is doing to Sri Lanka and has been doing to all the nations that have faced similar overt/covert operations.
As for Sri Lankans it is imperative to now look beyond the current levels of thinking in particular the Opposition MPs and take cognizance of scenarios in all of the nations that the US/West through the UN/UNHRC have toppled by various ways but with the same objectives – securing Western white interests. In these countries none of those who helped topple the Government/Leaders ended up enjoying their perks!
We are looking at a future world of white supremacy once more in almost a replica of colonial rule where the West came to Asia, Africa and Latin America with men holding guns in one hand and the Bible in the other (commerce, conquest and conversion). Think a little further and picture the clash of the civilization theory where preparedness is in full swing for a clash between Muslims & this time a change in stance by outsourcing the job to converted Asians and Africans now that the West are giving up their faith having become disillusioned with the ills-taking place in the name of that religion – thus a growing number are now embracing Buddhism.
The people of Sri Lanka now need to look beyond and realize the dangers in store for Sri Lanka. A handful of our own locals have fallen prey to luxuries and perks heaped upon them to satisfy their personal interests – these too are a picture of the Indian sepoys who fought against their own on the side of the British and the Lascoreens who sided with the Portuguese in Sri Lanka.
If America says it is doing what its people also think – the recently concluded Gallup poll reveals that 80% Americans don’t trust their Government – our thoughts exactly. http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2010/04/80-percent-of-americans-dont-trust-the-government-heres-why/39148/
As for countries voting against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC they must now ponder over one question only – “Today Sri Lanka: Tomorrow Us”
US Resolution against Sri Lanka
Following is the full text of the resolution:
Whereas May 19, 2013, marks the four-year anniversary of the end of the 26-year conflict between the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and the Government of Sri Lanka;
Whereas the people of Sri Lanka suffered greatly as a result of this conflict, the impact and aftermath of which has been felt especially by women, children, and families;
Whereas the Government of Sri Lanka established a Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) to report whether any person, group, or institution directly or indirectly bears responsibility for incidents that occurred between February 2002 and May 2009 and to recommend measures to prevent the recurrence of such incidents in the future and promote further national unity and reconciliation among all communities;
Whereas the LLRC report was presented to the Sri Lankan Parliament on December 16, 2011, and officially translated into Sinhala and Tamil on August 16, 2012;
Whereas the LLRC report acknowledges important events and grievances that have contributed to decades of political violence and war in Sri Lanka and makes constructive recommendations on a wide range of issues, including the need to credibly investigate widespread allegations of extrajudicial killings; enforced disappearances; intentional targeting of civilians and noncombatants; demilitarizing the north and the country as a whole; reaching a political settlement with minority communities on the meaningful decentralization of power; and promoting and protecting the right to freedom of expression for all through the enactment of a right to information law and additional rule of law reforms;
Whereas the Government of Sri Lanka developed the National Plan of Action to implement just 82 of the 285 recommendations of the LLRC in August 2011, and although the Government of Sri Lanka has made some progress on rehabilitation, resettlement of displaced persons, and improvements of infrastructure in the North and East, there are still many issues of major concern;
Whereas the Government of Sri Lanka has yet to reasonably address issues of reconciliation and accountability through internal processes;
Whereas the Department of States 2012 Human Rights Report on Sri Lanka outlines ongoing concerns regarding landownership and property restitution, particularly in the Jaffna Peninsula, where large numbers of persons have not received restitution for land that remains part of government high security zones, and while citizens generally were able to travel almost anywhere in the island, there continues to be police and military checkpoints in the north, and defacto high-security zones and other areas remained off limits to citizens;
Whereas the Government of Sri Lanka has not taken tangible steps toward demilitarization of civilian functions, particularly in the North and East, and continued military presence on private lands in the North is preventing the resettlement of internally displaced persons who desire a return to peaceful life;
Whereas the Department of States 2012 Human Rights Report on Sri Lanka also includes reports of serious human rights violations such as unlawful killings by security forces and government-allied paramilitary groups, often in predominantly Tamil areas; torture and abuse of detainees by police and security forces; and arbitrary arrest and detention by authorities;
Whereas the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) resolution supported by the United States and adopted by the UNHRC on March 21, 2013, expresses concern at the continuing reports of violations of human rights in Sri Lanka, including enforced disappearances, extrajudicial killings, torture, and violations of the rights to freedom of expression, association, and peaceful assembly, as well as intimidation of and reprisals against human rights defenders, members of civil society and journalists, threats to judicial independence and the rule of law, and discrimination on the basis of religion or belief;
Whereas the Government of Sri Lanka expressed its commitment to addressing the needs of all ethnic groups and has recognized, in the past, the necessity of a political settlement and reconciliation for a peaceful and just society; and
Whereas tangible progress on domestic and international investigations into reports of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and other human rights violations during and after the conflict and promoting reconciliation would facilitate enhanced United States engagement and investment in Sri Lanka: Now, therefore, be it
That the Senate-
(1) Commends the representatives of the United States on their leadership on United Nations Human Rights Council Resolution (UNHRC) 22/1, adopted by the UNHRC on March 21, 2013, which promotes reconciliation and accountability in Sri Lanka;
(2) Calls on the United States and the international community to establish an independent international accountability mechanism to evaluate reports of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and other human rights violations committed by both sides during and after the war in Sri Lanka;
(3) Urges the Government of Sri Lanka to allow unimpeded access for media, international aid agencies, and human rights groups into all regions of the country, as well as to detention sites that may hold political and war prisoners;
(4) Urges the Government of Sri Lanka to end its media restrictions, including the obstacles to the flow of information in the North and East, and bring to justice those responsible for attacks on journalists and newspaper offices; and
(5) Calls upon the President to develop a comprehensive policy towards Sri Lanka that reflects United States interests, including respect for human rights, democracy and the rule of law, economic interests, and security interests