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Aug-31-2011 21:16printcomments

'No Song and Dance' Over Sri Lanka War Crime Admissions

Sri Lanka' government says it will probe Human Rights violations Army personnel committed during Tamil Genocide.

Courtesy: nowpublic.com

(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.
This will be welcome news to some, but too little too late for most.

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.

They add that these army personnel may therefore be indicted in coming months. According to Rajiva Wijesinha, Adviser on Reconciliation to the Lankan President, some of these army personnel have been found guilty of killing civilians during the final phase of the war against the LTTE, and accordingly action will be taken against them.

The Sri Lankan government has been under tremendous pressure from the international community for some time now for the alleged killing of killing of several thousand civilians during the civil war. According to Wijesinha, the government is dealing with this by setting up the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) which is going to recommend changes to the government. He says the LLRC has already made some reports which calls for potential indictment of some army personnel. The final report is expected in November.

But Wijesinha also makes it clear the LLRC will not be a witchhunt. "We are not going to run around asking everyone did you indulge in war crimes? If we have prima facie evidence that would be investigated."

Source: Sri Lanka to probe human rights violations by its army personnel - NDTV

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:

Apr-22-2011: World Ignores Genocide of Sri Lanka's Tamil Population

Aug-07-2010: Grisly Photos Reveal Genocide by Sri Lankan Government Against Tamil People - Muthamizh Vendhan for Salem-News.com

Mar-15-2009: Sri Lanka: Possible War Crimes - Salem-News.com

May-10-2009: UN Says Urgent International Scrutiny Needed in Sri Lanka - Salem-News.com

There are many, many more very current reports on Sri Lanka, visit: Salem-News.com Sri Lanka articles Page 1


Tim King: Salem-News.com Editor and Writer Tim King is a former U.S. Marine with twenty years of experience on the west coast as a television news producer, photojournalist, reporter and assignment editor. In addition to his role as a war correspondent, this Los Angeles native serves as Salem-News.com's Executive News Editor. Tim spent the winter of 2006/07 covering the war in Afghanistan, and he was in Iraq over the summer of 2008, reporting from the war while embedded with both the U.S. Army and the Marines. Tim holds awards for reporting, photography, writing and editing, including the Silver Spoke Award by the National Coalition of Motorcyclists (2011), Excellence in Journalism Award by the Oregon Confederation of Motorcycle Clubs (2010), Oregon AP Award for Spot News Photographer of the Year (2004), First-place Electronic Media Award in Spot News, Las Vegas, (1998), Oregon AP Cooperation Award (1991); and several others including the 2005 Red Cross Good Neighborhood Award for reporting. Tim has several years of experience in network affiliate news TV stations, having worked as a reporter and photographer at NBC, ABC and FOX stations in Arizona, Nevada and Oregon. Tim was a member of the National Press Photographer's Association for several years and is a current member of the Orange County Press Club. Serving the community in very real terms, Salem-News.com is the nation's only truly independent high traffic news Website. As News Editor, Tim among other things, is responsible for publishing the original content of 82 Salem-News.com writers. He reminds viewers that emails are easily missed and urges those trying to reach him, to please send a second email if the first goes unanswered. You can write to Tim at this address: newsroom@salem-news.com

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Jaya September 5, 2011 8:14 pm (Pacific time)

This seems to be more subjective and single-sided. What about genocide of Sri Lanka's Sinhala and Muslim (unarmed) population made by LTTE? Problem is the Nazism of politicians of both Sinhala and Tamil groups.

Tim King: I offer no defence for Genocide, every.  The expulsion of the Muslim population in the 1980's by the LTTE was very wrong.

Indira September 3, 2011 11:13 pm (Pacific time)

Thank you King for your reply to John. I am do not want to blame John, rather i would blame the racist politicians who are playing the racial card to get the votes from the Sinhala majority. The Sinhala Buddhist has no idea about the Tamil heritage and they think that we are a bunch of unwanted population there and thats what they have been taught right from there erly education and elsewhere in Lanka. We Tamils dont have oil, but we have the courage, determination and dignity and we will try every way to achieve what we deserve.

Tim King: Thank you Indira

Shiva September 3, 2011 4:06 pm (Pacific time)

Thanks Tim for the response to John.

Sri Lanka has no history of fairness, rule of law, equality, freedom, human rights, freedom and the Sinhala leaders only understand violence, brutality and barbarianism. Only an independent international war crimes and human rights investigation will bring meaningful solutions and reconciliation.

Sri lanka regime is yet to investigate several brutal murders including 5 students were gunned down by the state forces in Trincomalee and 17 French Charity workers killed.

Tim King: Absolutely.

Shiva September 3, 2011 4:02 pm (Pacific time)

Sri Lanka never had a history of independent investigation of crimes against the Tamils as the Sinhala Buddhist Apartheid regime was unleashing terror on innocent Tamils. Thus only an independent internationsl body can investigate crimes against humanity and that can be acceptable for all to deliver justice and accountability.

Keerthi September 3, 2011 11:46 am (Pacific time)

Thank you so much for publishing a truthful article. I am a Tamil form Sri Lanka and I thank you so much.

David Hikoshike September 2, 2011 11:12 am (Pacific time)

Thanks Tim for your excellent work to bring the truth out. This Genocidal goverment is the only one in the entire world to undertake aerial bombardment on innocent people,it's own citizens while claiming fighting terrorism. LTTE had violated basic human rights too,but it is far less than what majority dominated arm forces did it to Tamil minority. If There needs to be a healing,bring all president and his brothers to Hague.

John September 1, 2011 12:33 am (Pacific time)

How much blood money are you getting from the racist/terrorit LTTE overseas rump to publish this blatantly one sided rubish. Who spoke for human rights of the thousands of innocents killed by bombs and other methods by the LTTE. These were targeted killings of innocents in crowded City centres, buses and trains etc. This is in addition to killing their own Tamil people who were moderate politicians, academics, intellectuals, journalists or others opposed to them. You should be investigated for promoting terrorism. This is absolutely shameful. Find out more than what is fed to you by Tamil racist/chavinists. The LTTE was one of the most organized, ruthless, barbaric movements ever to exist with a strong overseas funding and propaganda arm. You willingly or ignorantly are part of this racist agenda to create a mono ethnic enclave to spread their vile racism to the region. Israel is nothing compared to what Tamil Eelam will do to the region and the world. The tamil homeland is in Tamil Nadu India with more than 60 million Tamils. Why do they need a another homeland in a tiny country? It is simply because tiny countriess can be bullied into giving them what they want even though more than 55% of Tamils in Sri Lnka are living peacefully with other communities in other parts of the country. Your journalism is ignorant and just an outlet for the racist Tamils or you are in their payroll. I favour the latter and some day will come to light however you try to hide it.

Tim King: Salem-News.com has never received support or payment from the LTTE or any similar agencies.  By the same token we know the real history of this region through extensive research and the current situation is shameful.  The Tamil people simply wanted to be allowed to live, they sought a peaceful answer for three decades and then were forced to violence, by acts of violence.  Sri Lanka attempted to eliminate this language and culture, it is indeed the push to make Lanka a Sinhalese Buddhist country that is behind all of this.  Your 'terrorism' allegations are weak and simply are a way for you to capitalize on this war of nomenclature and classification.  Funny, the people who did all the killing call their victims 'terrorists'.  Indeed, shameful to the hilt.  As far as racism, again, this is a group that simply wanted autonomy and to be left alone.  Your past is twisted and jaded due to the bigotry toward Tamil Hindus from the Lanka govt.  

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