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Big Trouble for Sri Lanka: UN Has Cluster Bomb Evidence from Northern ProvinceTim King Salem-News.com
Discovery is further proof of war crimes committed against Tamil civilians in 2009.
(SALEM) - You have to wonder about the life span of a lie - they all have one after all. Dead men tell no tales, but living witnesses, photo and video evidence, and actual battlefield remnants of war crimes... have plenty to say. Those elements when combined, can lead to the sound of prison bars slamming shut.
A government's use of inhumane weapons on civilian populations is a dishonorable and illegal act; investigations armed with the evidence now mounting against Sri Lanka, generally expose government scoundrels who have no business leading anyone, and their lies make the process of ushering in the truth an even uglier task. Defiance over war crimes is nothing new, but Sri Lanka's has been nearly unprecedented, by anything in modern history.
Colombo's Rajapakse regime went way too far, they have refused to be accountable for what took place: the slaughter of what may have been well over 100,000 Tamils. Now, United Nations inspectors have pinned the tail on the donkey, one might say, locating evidence of cluster bomb use, something Sri Lanka has repeatedly, vehemently denied, even though it was reported at the time, as further indicated below.
Of course SL denies the use of illegal weapons, and they deny killing civilians, they denied routing those civilians into smaller and smaller areas in order to pound them with all types of munitions; they basically deny everything. Then of course is the fact that after the bombing ended, government forces entered the remaining refugee areas and slaughtered civilians ruthlessly with guns, machetes, and other weapons.
Photo and Video Evidence
One photo shows a woman with a rocket that literally pierced her lower half, but failed to explode. These are heinous images that the government of SL did everything to prevent being seen, but they had no such power. Even well-planned lies leak visions of truth very early.
In fact it is all very perverse, as shown by the fact that the soldiers recorded themselves on video, gloating over the silenced victims of sexual abuse, as their thrashed bodies; young, stripped of clothing and dignity; raped, dead and dying, are thrown carelessly into the back of a truck. These men of the Sri Lanka army regarded the women as Tamil 'terrorists', implying this gave them a license to get away with rape and murder.
Indeed, it is their own doing, as the outing of that crucial evidence shown by Channel-4 in their pair of documentaries, the series 'Sri Lanka's Killing Fields', seemed to be among the elements that tipped the scales and proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that Sri Lanka was itself guilty of terrible crimes against humanity.
The lies that have accompanied their story from day one, make the emergence of the truth a labor-intensive birth; it hurts more and is far more dangerous to the real health of this country than the Sinhalese Buddhist majority had possibly anticipated, as they conducted their bloodbath of Tamil people; civilians, just children in cases, so much grief, so many tears, and all of Sri Lanka's officials denied every part of it, and accused human rights groups and one particular London television station, of being blatant liars, as they have stated about all parties who refuse to be silent about this.
Cluster Bomb Evidence
The AP and many other sources, have reported that unexploded cluster munitions were located in the Puthukudiyiruppu area of northern Sri Lanka. This appears to confirm, for the first time, that these illegal weapons were in fact used in Sri Lanka's long running civil war.
The news agency speculates that this new finding will increase existing calls for a thorough, international investigation into possible war crimes connected to the last months of the fighting that ended in May 2009. It has been widely reported, that the government of Sri Lanka has exclusively denied all allegations of having used cluster munitions during the final months of fighting.
The Associated Press wrote:
Badly Designed Illegal Immoral Weapon
Cluster bombs are also prone to failure as containers tend to open at the wrong height, or the bomblets don't fuse properly, or their descent is broken by trees, or they land on soft ground - they may not detonate. This is a dire problem for people who live in these areas, as a slight touch can set them off, which happened in Puthukudiyiruppu.
i tvs reports in the article Bombies, that cluster bombs disperse widely and are difficult to target precisely, they are especially dangerous when used near civilian areas:
Cluster Bomb Attack at Puthukudiyiruppu was Documented
The news of this discovery is a direct connection to a story published by IBN Live during the peak of the war, about a cluster bomb attack on a civilian hospital, no less, in Puthukudiyiruppu, on 4 February 2009:
Revelations and Lies
As Channel-4 revealed in their powerful set of documentaries, United Nations crews were in place in a refugee zone when bombs began falling on their heads.
The UN members on the ground taking care of desperate Tamils, called Colombo to report that the bombs were landing in their immediate area. Shortly after that, the SL army redirected their fire into a different part of the refugee camp, proving conclusively that the government itself was directing the deadly fire, not the Tamil Tigers, against their own people.
New York-based Human Rights Watch, said it would have been disastrous to use such weapons among the hundreds of thousands of civilians crowded into the Sri Lankan war zone.
"If there is evidence that cluster weapons were used, it would show yet again, the government's constant attempts at deception and underscore our demand that there should be an independent international investigation into all allegations of laws-of-war violations," said Meenakshi Ganguly, South Asia director for Human Rights Watch.
Sri Lanka found itself in Geneva recently following a resolution filed by the United States government, the conclusion was an extension of the wrist slapping that has been continuing for years now; however it certainly angered the majority Buddhist population who believe the problems relating to the civil war should be dealt with internally, in fact the repeated statement that it is "not for the world to decide" is similar to sentiments of many past war crime governments.
The war against the Tamils is a long, complicated, mournful story. It has been a perilous engagement for both sides and many needless deaths have prolonged the suffering.
The most important thing, the real reason that everything went so wrong in a place that truly defines the expression, 'island paradise', is not found in any part of Asia; the reason there was a civil war, cultural strife and ethnic cleansing, relates back to the same problem that India, and Afghanistan, and Palestine, and so many other countries suffered: British colonialism.
Root of All Evil
In Sri Lanka, or Ceylon as it was formerly known, the British viewed the Tamils in a more positive light, and gave advantages to their Hindu and Christian culture, while affording no similar treatment for the Sinhalese. After the British finally left in 1948, the war for religious domination began, and the Tamils, who had like their counterparts lived here for thousands of years, tried for three decades to use a peaceful, non-violent approach to maintain their rights, relying on political solution, never turning violent.
But their rights were eroded, programs were enacted to remove their language and strike their culture from the record. By the 1970's, a resistance group formed in the northern Tamil area called the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).
There was a continual escalation of tension and fighting, the Tamil Tigers had changes, inner-problems, division and treason. There was also a driving goal to establish the breakaway state of Tamil Eelam. To avoid this secession, the government would eventually become willing to commit Genocide against an entire culture.
In 1983 the victory of Tamil Tigers over government forces in a particular battle that left a handful of Sri Lankan Buddhist soldiers dead, led to rioting and plundering. Murdering hordes of Buddhists storming Tamil communities in revenge, were spurred into action by a militant Buddhist monk who today is a powerful political figure. After that ruthless retaliation against Tamil civilians over a military victory, the LTTE increased their violence against the government, and civilian blood flowed on both sides.
A cease fire agreement was in place when the current President, Majinda Rajapakse, took office in 2005. This internationally brokered treaty was apparently meaningless in his eyes, and those of his administration, of which two of his brothers occupy top posts.
With engineering assistance from then-US President George W Bush, the Sri Lanka government had its internal opponent, the LTTE, declared a terrorist organization and then the Tamils lost their political bargaining power. That is when the government began preparing for its final showdown.
One big part of this was the GoSL's elimination of the journalists in Sri Lanka who were sympathetic to Tamils, and they disappeared; often in the notorious 'white van' incidents that continue today, and were often found, murdered, sometimes tortured, sometimes they never are found.
It is ironic that 'terrorist' only applies to Tamils, when they continue to live as one of the most terrified populations on this planet. The discovery of the cluster bomb evidence just might be the bomb that blows up in Majinda Rajapaksa's face.
Special thanks to Muthamizh Vendhan
Tim King's previous Salem-News.com reports on Sri Lanka:
Apr-10-2012: Sri Lanka: Genocide and Poor Toilet Training
Mar-18-2012: Is Google Earth Hiding Sri Lanka's Ghosts?
Mar-11-2012: War Crime Court and its Conflicting Interests
Mar-08-2012: Sex Abuse and Murder in Sri Lanka- New Photos Emerge
Feb-28-2012: Tweets from Tamil Eelam
Feb-24-2012: Two of Sri Lanka's Foulest War Crimes
Nov-24-2011: Fear, Genocide and Torture in Sri Lanka
Oct-15-2011: Genocide 101: World and Media Apathy
Oct-05-2011: War and its Aftermath... a Real Killer for Tourism
Oct-01-2011: Sri Lanka in the Crosshairs of Canadian Parliament
Sep-13-2011: Sri Lanka Recalls Diplomat Accused of War Crimes
Jun-20-2011: Sri Lanka's Violence Toward Tamil Minority Continues
Jun-02-2011: UN Experts: Sri Lanka Tamil Genocide Video is Real
May-31-2011: Sri Lanka Tamil Genocide: Killing the Messenger
May-03-2011: Confronting the Tamil Genocide in Sri Lanka
Apr-27-2011: Tamil Genocide in Sri Lanka Emerges Into Public View
Tim King has more than twenty years of experience on the west coast as a television news producer, photojournalist, reporter and assignment editor. Tim is Salem-News.com's Executive News Editor. His background includes covering the war in Afghanistan in 2006 and 2007, and reporting from the Iraq war in 2008. Tim is a former U.S. Marine.
Tim holds awards for reporting, photography, writing and editing from The Associated Press the National Coalition of Motorcyclists, the Oregon Confederation of Motorcycle Clubs, Electronic Media Association and The Red Cross In a personal capacity, Tim has written 2,026 articles as of March 2012 for Salem-News.com since the new format designed by Matt Lintz was launched in December, 2005.
Serving readers with news from all over the globe, Tim's life is literally encircled by the endless news flow published by Salem-News.com, where more than 100 writers contribute stories from 20+ countries and regions.
Tim specializes in writing about political and military developments worldwide with an emphasis on Palestine and Sri Lanka, Iraq and Afghanistan, and the U.S. Marines. You can write to Tim at this address: email@example.com. Visit Tim's Facebook page (facebook.com/TimKing.Reporter)
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