LLRC presents a holistic narrative – Indian daily
Contrary to popular expectations the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) presents a holistic narrative of the conflict as it unfolded between 2002 and 2009 an editorial of The Pioneer, an Indian English daily states.
The editorial under the heading Facts versus fiction: LTTE sympathisers’ lies stand exposed which many observers believe was the best editorial comment todate in an Indian English journal on Sri Lanka also states: “Even Mr. Rajapaksa’s shrillest critics, who had rubbished the report even before it was published as an attempt by the Sri Lankan government to deflect international pressure have to now concede that the Commission has made an honest effort to document the truth, even questioning some of the government’s versions of the conflict.
The Editorial titled ‘Facts versus fiction’ states:
For far too long, certain sections of the international community have been slamming the Government of Sri Lanka led by President Mahinda Rajapaksa for human rights violations that have been allegedly committed by its security forces in the course of its successful battle against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. Now, it is time the world stopped the rant and took note of the comprehensive report that the Government has recently released of a fact-finding commission established to look into the last and decisive phase of the conflict during which the security forces have been accused of committing atrocities against an organisation that was bent upon dismembering Sri Lanka through the use of brutal force. In May 2010, Mr Rajapaksa constituted the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission to investigate into the events that marked the seven-year-long last phase of the conflict. On December 16, 2011, the LLRC’s final report was placed before Sri Lanka’s Parliament, and contrary to popular expectation, it presents a holistic narrative of the conflict as it unfolded between 2002 and 2009.
Even Mr Rajapaksa’s shrillest critics, who had rubbished the report even before it was published as an attempt by the Sri Lankan Government to deflect international pressure, have to now concede that the Commission has made an honest effort to document the truth, even questioning some of the Government’s versions of the conflict. For instance, the LLRC report makes it clear that “considerable civilian casualties had in fact occurred during the final phase of the conflict”, and even accepts that there is a “possible implication of the security forces for the resulting death or injury to civilians”.
Similarly, the report is also decisively critical of the Government for the manner in which it has administered the Tamil-majority Northern Province – the only place in the country where Mr Rajapaksa’s popularity is on the wane.
It has also suggested several initiatives, such as key land reforms, that the Government should undertake to develop the Province. There is reason to believe that at least some of these suggestions will be implemented this year.
Now that the Rajapaksa Government has come clean on the issue, it must be allowed to concentrate on the task of rebuilding the battle-scarred island-nation.
“Critics of the Rajapaksa regime lose sight of the reality that the security forces had been pitted against a ruthless terrorist organisation which had brutalised an entire country and held it to ransom for nearly three decades. They also miss the point that the security forces stepped up the offensive after the Tamil separatists breached a 2002 ceasefire that had been agreed upon between the Army and the LTTE to create an environment for a resolution of the crisis through talks. They should now keep quiet.”
Courtesy: Daily News
The Indian English Daily, The Pioneer, has written an honest, independent assessment of the LLRC Report, which should make the International Community sit-up and take note. It is a very balanced assessment.
The diaspora Tamil/LTTE critics should now shut-up and assist the Tamils in SL to re-build their broken lives in peace, which had been vandalised by the brutal LTTE regime. They suffered most from the militant misadventure of VP and his LTTE in pursuit of eelam, through deceit and terrorism. The diaspora Tamils/LTTE should not seek to pursue militancy again to gain Tamil autonomy in SL for 3 million Tamils. Let them seek Tamil autonomy in Tamil Nadu instead, for their 70 million Tamils.
In any war, there is colateral damage to some extent. Destruction of infra-structure and civilian casualties is inevitable. Even in the recent wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya this was quite apparent. However, the US, British and the NATO Forces could have minimised the destruction and casualties, if the wars were conducted in a humane way, just as the SL Forces conducted its war against the terrorist LTTE on the specific orders of Hon President Mahinda Rajapaksa. In that respect, Hon President of SL has set a precedent and a model of how to conduct an inevitable war with minimum colateral damage.
The use of superior highly sophisticated heavy weapons by the US and NATO forces, in their blitz of Iraq and Libya was totally unacceptable. These weapons were responsible for the unnecessary deaths and injury of millions of civilians. Blanket-bombing with bunker-blasting bombs of civilian areas, unleashing of massive numbers of cruise missiles willy-nilly on innocent villages and towns with wanton destruction, targetting cities with laser guided missiles deliberately was totally unacceptable. It reduced invaders’ own casualties but caused massive civilian casualties and destruction of infra-structure, which they lamely called colateral damage, as if it was alright. It was totally morally unjustifiable on the part of the imperial West, the invader, for vested interests.
Hon President of SL, on the otherhand, is on record for having used military force on the LTTE alone with clinical precision. It was a ‘humane war’ called the ‘Humanitarian Operation’ in the world’s biggest hostage rescue mission, against the world’s most heinous terrorist organisation in SL, the LTTE. It was not a civil war nor an invasion on another country. The Humanitarian Operation was to rescue SL Tamil civilians, held hostage by the LTTE as a human screen. These SL Tamil civilians numbered more than 300,000. They were enslaved by VP and the brutal LTTE for many years to serve him, to breed children as cadres for his war effort, to grow food and for other purposes. VP did not care for his own Tamils, he was supposed to ‘free’ from the so-called ‘Sinhala domination’. VP was an evil dictator who brutalised his own Tamil people. He committed many war crimes and crimes against humanity in the process. His final act of war crime was to hold his own Tamil people as a ‘human screen’ against the advancing SL Forces to rescue them. On his orders, the LTTE had even dug bunkers in the midst of Tamil civilian camps and located heavy artillery, to shoot at advancing SL Forces, knowing fully well the SL Forces have been ordered not to respond with heavy artillery and drop bombs against them. As a result it was the SL Forces that suffered most casualties. The LLRC Report has given some recognition to this, through liberal evidence given by the Tamil civilians themselves who were held hostage.
Let the International Community give recognition at last and praise the Hon President of SL, for the admirable and moral way he conducted the difficult but necessary Humanitarian Operation. Let them see in the Hon President of SL a role model, on how to conduct war on terrorism in a humane way, to minimise innocent civilian casualties and wanton destruction of infra-structure.
The invading imperial West forces are ofcourse uninterested in moral and humane conduct of war against terrorism. Their only concern is to inflict maximum destruction on the enemy, with minimum casualties on the invader’s side.
Thank You Sir,.the editor of the Pioneer, for your well spoken and unbissed view of the ground situation here in Sri Lanka.Coming as it is from the Indian educated elite we stand high ,we presume, in the eyes of our good neighbour.LLRC report has made a genuine attempt to restore the amicability between the two major contenders the Sinhalese and the Tamils,and also to recommend ways and means deemed fit to be followed against a future recurrence.
We had such nice cordiality amongst us,it it is very nostalgic to reminicend how very well we were treated by a friend,a teacher at Richmond College for a week’s holiday in Point Pedro.In reciprocation I entertained him and his family for a longer stay and taking them on a pilgrimage to Kataragama.My Prayer is let our children also enjoy each other’s cordiality and bonhomie.
In Sri Lanka, we are compelled to go through such motions as the LLRC commission and discuss its findings, critique its constitution, question its mandate and lament its naivety using methods and systems imposed on us by a “superior” justice system brought from Europe a few centuries earlier.
The so-called “international community” largely comprising of the global bullies and their acolytes, use the cover of the UN as a world representative body to dictate that since the world’s first such victory in Sri Lanka had been wrought under questionable practices and could be in breach of the “rules” it needs investigation. The idea is that since innocent people had been killed, we must make the perpetrators pay.
Those global powers which insist on extracting their pound of flesh know that the two parties to the war were more or less on a fairly level footing against each other, considering the complexities of politics, international law, power-broking, regional aspirations and motivations, and the length of time of its duration.
Donald Rumsfeld, the former Secretary of Defence in the George W Bush administration, in his capacity as overseer of the war of choice against Iraq on false pretexts and trumped up charges, manufacture of evidence to suit the purpose etc, had promised umpteen “investigations” into, for example, the massacre of twenty thousand residents of Falluja (where the exits from the town were first blocked off, and depleted uranium shells and white phosphorous were used in the night-time arial bombardment, specifically targeting civilians and obliterating the entire infrastructure of the city (not the usual “collateral damage” excuse) as the civilians had engaged in mass protests against the enemy before) the massacres of Haditha, where the entire village was wiped out wholesale (presumably for harbouring one Improvised Explosive Device laying “terrorist”) back in 2003-2005. Todate, not one report had been published by the Western media, not a single military officer punished in any meaningful/proportionate manner and no compensation to any survivors had been paid, where more than two million civilians were killed and four million exiled. The accounts of numerous other massacres can be accessed online.
The difference, my friends, is the disproportionate levels of power between the parties to the conflict. Iraq has been installed a puppet since then, and is in utter ruins, after the huge developments it had attained during the reign of Saddam Hussein (once a puppet too). Women of Falluja have been giving birth to babies with grossly horrifying genetic malformations on a scale unheard of since Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Here in Sri Lanka, we strain over the semantics of reports and labour points to death; we spend much time and money deliberating; we attempt to be fair by the other parties; we attempt to uncover the truth (within limitations imposed by vested interests) and we try to appear to be fair and unbiased, albeit with some shortfalls.We even feed and clothe our enemies and their kith and kin in war! But do the world powers practice what they preach from their lofty perches? The answer is a resounding NO.
So, the sooner Sri Lanka breaks its shackles of its colonial past and steer a modern path that enshrines the doctrines of oriental culture and norms, the better. In this unchartered area of social norms and influence on the prevalent legal system, our specialists must tread carefully. The government must also forge links with powers that will take us into the future and gain from their wisdom.
Dear ND and LP,
Your comments are very analytical, highly informative and above all are constructive in good faith.You both have touched upon the history of the immediate past,the vile intrigues of the present and added your contributions for a better future for our motherland.LP we invite you to be available with us more freely and add your valuable comments to make ‘On Lanka’reading more interesting. We were almost feeling more lakadaisical as almost our fellow bloggers seem to have abondoned us for no reason.Just go throuigh today’s On Lanka,and see the paucity of comments on almost all the news items.Let there be thousand blooms. It will be a pleasant sight to behold!