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'No Song and Dance' Over Sri Lanka War Crime AdmissionsTim King Salem-News.com
Sri Lanka' government says it will probe Human Rights violations Army personnel committed during Tamil Genocide.
(SALEM, Ore.) - Colombo may be prepared to admit its army carried out Human Rights violations against the minority Tamil population in Sri Lanka, in a civil war that ended just more than two years ago.
A swift government invasion of the island nation's northern coastal areas was conducted with complete prejudice by all accounts, with a goal of doing away with the political and military elements of the Tamils, namely the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam). Tens of thousands of civilians perished in the brutal series of campaigns launched by the SLA (Sri Lanka Army).
Estimates of casualties range between 30,000 and 100,000 or more human beings. The destruction of records and razing and bombing of Tamil areas makes clear accounts nearly impossible.
An admittance of past wrongdoings is good, but how far and how complete any internal investigation in Lanka will be, or how many culprits will be brought to justice, remains to be seen.
The most incriminating or troubling aspect for President Majinda Rajapaksa and his administration, may be very credible recent reports that the orders to carry out the literal exterminations of people, came from the highest order, the president himself.
In their current article, NCTV explains that the government is only indirectly admiting that some of its army personnel may have indulged in human rights violations in the final phase of the war.
Wijesinha added that he believes the white flag incident needs to be investigated. "I hope very much that the LLRC would recommend it. In the eastern province where there is impunity someone has been indicted. But we are not going to make the trial public. We are not going to make a song and dance of it."
The 'white flag incident' involves Sri Lankan army troops reportedly gunning down LTTE forces who were surrendering, towards the end of the civil war. Along with the rapes and sex crimes, the abuse of dead and dying people, murders of children and elderly, this particular incident attracted international condemnation. It is one of the chief reasons for the government probe announced today.
The United States government like most others, has its own list of war crimes in its past, perhaps the most notorious was the My Lai incident in Vietnam which involved the systematic elimination of almost every person from a particular coastal village. In the end, one single U.S. soldier was charged and convicted, and after having his wrist barely slapped, he received a full pardon from then-President Richard Nixon.
Will Sri Lanka's probe be a repeat performance of this irresponsibility? With a clear statement that this is "not a witch hunt", we know that this development is likely more show than go.
It is an opportunity for Sri Lanka to be responsible, but it is doubtful that this government that has consistently, embarrassingly denied war crime charges, while claiming that thousands of photos of the Genocide and hours and hours of video detailing the incidents, were "fake" and actually "manufactured" by Channel 4 in London, will probably miss the boat.
Sri Lanka's rejection of the tragedy became like a broken record, with only repeated denials of any wrongdoing. Now we know that phase of the political stage act is over, but what comes next remains to be seen.
People can't be brought back and mistakes can not be withdrawn, but that doesn't mitigate the fact that people live forever with the results of bad political and military decisions.
The answer to remedy this level of government terrorism does not exist, however the establishment after so long, of Tamil Eelam, and a guarantee from the government of Sri Lanka that a separate state will finally exist with autonomy, security and peace, is the closest we are going to come to an answer. The pain will go on for a very long time, but if something positive and powerful can rise from the ashes of this abomination, then all will not have been lost.
Sampling of Salem-News.com reports on Sri Lanka:
Mar-15-2009: Sri Lanka: Possible War Crimes - Salem-News.com
There are many, many more very current reports on Sri Lanka, visit: Salem-News.com Sri Lanka articles Page 1
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