“I am sick and tired of war. Its glory is all moonshine…. War is hell’ (Gen William T Sherman the US General who made ‘Georgia howl’ and burned Atlanta in the Civil war)
The USA made sure that Sri Lanka dug its own grave in Geneva in 2015. Looks like the GTF, the Policy Alteration boys, and the International Community (read “white eyes only”) had been working overtime on wording the joint submission by USA and good old SL.
The so called HR abuses read like a US Army Regimental war diary from its many wars in so many countries (Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, and a hundred others).
The term ‘human shield’ which is how the LTTE kept the Sri Lanka army at bay for a time, are conspicuously absent from HRC Zeid’s final statement. This is weird. Only a few weeks ago a US DOD rules of war circular made it clear that if hostages are used as human shields by one party to a conflict, those engaged in taking down that party will not be held responsible for death or injury caused to the hostages.
Zeid knows that the USA floats Jordon with hundreds of millions in dollars as aid.
The knockout blow was to write off the Sri Lanka judiciary and the best of the Army, leaving Sri Lanka defenseless. Will Sri Lanka be under UN/US law while justice systems, judges, and lawyers helped by local collaborators? Will ‘white eyed’ troops replace Sri Lanka soldiers in the North? Will they invade Sri Lanka like they did in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Granada in recent memory?
After the harrowing 26-year-old conflict ended in the defeat of the terrorists, Sri Lanka was bullied at Geneva by the West for 4 years. Did they know what it was to live in Sri Lanka then? Diaspora funds propelled them, after all.
This time Sri Lanka’s tormentor is dressed as its savior, in made in Sri Lanka garments. The Foreign minister has asked the UN to give more slots to Sri Lanka’s armed forces on UN Peace-keeping missions. The President has offered infantry, Special Forces, transport companies etc.
Is this craven appeasement all over again? After all, the entire Madawachchi, Grandpass, Thoppigala mockingbirds are convening again.
Their leader once recalled that no one in 500 years had marched successfully through the Wanni. Was it any wonder that the ‘international’ community to whom prayers were offered on a 24/7 basis for years and whose praise for ‘democracy’ amusing, believed that the terrorists could not be defeated? When the unbelievable happened in 2009, these geography and history masters went into a spin.
Sri Lanka will not forget.
For some reason the delegation to Geneva forgot to mention the Paranagama report, contributed to by eminent people in Sri Lanka and foreigners like Sri Lanka-born Trinitian, Sir Desmond de Silva QC, Sir Geoffrey Nice, Prof David Oran, and former SAS Commander Maj Gen John Holmes, and their findings. Had they submitted it, the great HR merchandisers of IC and Jordon would have been stalled. Hybrid would have turned out to be Hermaphrodite.
The Foreign Minister, in yet another new suit, believed that the draft on Sri Lanka by the head of OHCHR at Geneva was not such a ‘hot potato’. However, distinguished diplomats and former diplomats said it was a ‘pol-mess’. The FM was beginning to boil in his own stew. Would he also have to fry in his own grease? The Sri Lanka diplomat has now apparently been told to direct all answers to questions in Geneva to the Ministry thereafter.
Meanwhile, the president couldn’t quite make up his mind on Geneva. He thought the new draft which he hailed was either 100 or 1,000 times better than the previous resolution. He did not bother to explain how this came about. One wonders what response a Military commander would get if he had told the then acting Defence Minister, identified by Channel 4, that he wasn’t sure whether the casualties in a battle were 100, 1,000, 4,000, 40,000 (Gordon Weiss), or even 100,000 (Frances Harrison).
Now what will be the quid pro quo this time? Will Sri Lanka have to allow rendition flights again since the old firm that allowed it in the early 2000s are back in the saddle? Or will Sri Lanka have to join the US/EU fight against ISIS or even al Qaeda disguised as UN Peace Keepers?
The Diaspora is giving high-fives and turning somersaults in glee. This is not only because the PM has ‘educated’ Sri Lanka that Diaspora does not mean Tamils always, but because they also see that their master-plan is being polished and calibrated by Sri Lanka itself. After all the Diaspora is not “all Tamil”, as our PM said. Of course, Sri Lanka knows that the terrorists waged their war against destitute Sinhala villagers in the ‘border’ villages and the Armed Forces. As peace prevails, those who procrastinated on ending the war can now boldly malign the LTTE. They, in the same breath while welcoming the ‘resolution’ that intends to purge the Forces, vouch that they will defend those same Forces.
The TNA, which then supported the LTTE unreservedly, now supports the government. It is adept at playing a double game if it is also inscrutable. They acted as a political mouthpiece for the LTTE. Were they not collaborators? They too have now turned about remarkably and added the LTTE to the evil doers list. Ranawaka has kept them in his sight.
Meanwhile, as all this went on, in Sri Lanka a spate of killings was highlighted in the media. This was in addition to spiraling numbers of RTA deaths and suicides. Mass hysteria developed island-wide. Calls went out for vigilante justice in Yahapalana. Ministers and even some priests joined in.
The president also, never to be left out, jumped in. He said he would bring back the death penalty next year (2016). It had been suspended for very good reasons for many decades in this 60-70% Buddhist land. Was this Yahapalanaya too?
At Geneva however the Foreign Minister had by then already assured the Council that the death penalty would be removed in the same year (2016). Sri Lanka had signed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to respect ‘Right to Life’. Going counter to it now appears to be an ill advised and crude exercise in cheap popularity.
Many concerned folks voiced their objections to the Presidential outburst on a Friday. The pre August Justice Minister broadcasted similar views immediately after visiting the heads of the Buddhist clergy. He may hereafter be best known in judicial circles for this extraordinary contribution, in the 21st century, to Sri Lankas system of justice.
The PM says that Geneva is ’more concerned with SL’s judiciary than with the military’. So it was when Supreme Court judges were stoned in their houses in the Dharmista government about 30 years ago in which the PM was then a minister. Did he not notice that?
If anyone would say that the Sri Lankan government is confused, confounded and mesmerized and running in circles, not many would disagree.
The Minister (for what is listed as “Mega Police” on the president’s website up to 27 September 2015 but is known as Megapolis too) queries about having external judges, prosecutors, and lawyers for a UN mandated inquiry into the conflict. He wants those who supported the terrorists to be taken to task. If so what about those who gave orders to the Armed Forces from 1983 up to 2015? Are the combatant troops to be hauled up?
Reconciliation may be a never-ending trial as the USA/UN wants the Sri Lanka forces in the dock. Geneva appears to want courts dishing out sentences as in 1915. But the leadership of the defeated LTTE is apparently not going to have to answer anything. It is said that all their leaders are dead. Are they? Who has the credibility in Sri Lanka to vouch for the deaths of the LTTE leaders? Is anybody in the IC or in India hiding them?
No mention, by the way, is made as to who was responsible for beginning the conflict that consumed 100,000 lives. Was it the terrorists or the Sri Lankan government or even as is often alleged, an outside power?
Should this war be considered ‘a bastard, born of an illicit love affair, without a father to acknowledge it’? (John Keegan).
Who then should be in the dock?