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Sep-13-2011 16:25printcomments

Sri Lanka Recalls Diplomat Accused of War Crimes

Swissinfo, an enterprise of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation is reporting that former General Jagath Dias, currently stationed in a diplomatic post in Europe is being recalled by Sri Lanka.

General Jagath Dias
General Jagath Dias Photo courtesy: Colombo Page

(SALEM, Ore.) - Sri Lanka is slowly being forced to accept the sins of its rampaging military units. The beautiful island nation with what should be a thriving tourism industry, was the scene of unspeakable carnage two summers ago when government forces made a final push against the resistance fighters, the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam), better known as the 'Tamil Tigers'- leaving somewhere between 40,000 and 100,000 human beings dead in a blood orgy that involved horrific sex crimes.

Sri Lanka has now recalled its second most senior diplomat to Switzerland and Germany in response to accusations he was involved in war crimes. Former general Jagath Dias led the 57th division of the Sri Lankan army (SLA). Dias stands accused of ordering his troops to fire upon civilian and hospital targets during the army’s final offensive against the rebel Tamil Tigers in 2009.

A report by the European Centre for Constitutional and Human Rights also accuses Dias of participating in acts of torture and the execution of rebel fighters. It was confirmed last month that the Swiss foreign ministry had contacted Sri Lankan authorities about the case, which it believes is of “great significance”.

In May 2009 reported the agony that was taking place in the north of Sri Lanka. A mass slaughter of Tamil people who were mostly Hindu, was carried out by Sri Lanka's Sinhalese Buddhist government and army.

We wrote at the time of the Genocidal events, that the United Nations staff is who called attention to what was taking place. Later we learned through the Channel 4 Documentary 'Sri Lanka's Killing Fields' that those UN officials are forever impacted, even haunted by those terrible days just over two years ago now, that saw people suffering and dying in ways that are nearly unfathomable to the western mind.

In UN Says Urgent International Scrutiny Needed in Sri Lanka on 10 May 2009, our group, along with a few other agencies in the world, tried to raise the flag to show that Sri Lanka was buckling in tragedy. This took place while Americans, the so-called world police, did nothing, said nothing, allowed it all to happen. There are other western governments much more closely tied to Sri Lanka's Tamil population who also did nothing.

From the report: UN Says Urgent International Scrutiny Needed in Sri Lanka

A group of independent United Nations experts today called on the Human Rights Council to urgently set up an international inquiry to address the “critical” situation in Sri Lanka amid fighting between the army and Tamil rebels.

“There is an urgent need to establish an international commission of inquiry to document the events of recent months and to monitor ongoing developments,” the experts dealing with summary executions, right to health, right to food and water and sanitation said in a joint statement issued in Geneva.

We have been writing about it ever since, waiting two years for the Sri Lanka government to finally emerge from damage control mode and begin showing a semblance of responsibility for what took place. The bottom line is that those with privileged positions should find no favor, however unlikely that is.

Shavendra Silva

Brigadier Shavendra Silva

General Jagath Dias commanded the 57th Division, however from what we understand, it was Brigadier Shavendra Silva's 58th Division that was on the front line during the final assault.

With regard to war crime charges, we revealed in the report, Channel 4 - Witness Says Sri Lanka 'War Crime' Soldiers Were Ordered to 'Finish the Job', that two Sri Lankans who witnessed the violent final showdown of the country's 26-year civil war claim a top military commander and Sri Lanka's defence secretary ordered war crimes.

However this wasn't about General Jagath Dias.

It was a war crime accusation against Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa - brother of President Majinda Rajapaksa- for ordering Brigadier Shavendra Silva to execute Tamil rebel leaders, after their safe surrender had been guaranteed by the president.

The accusation from a Sri Lanka Army officer, is that the Brigadier was ordered by the defence secretary "to finish the job by whatever means necessary." It is a strong charge, and coming from one of Silva's own junior commanders, makes it far more credible.

It is also important to recognize that much of the video and thousands of photos documenting the mass killings were delivered to Channel 4 and Salem-News by members or former members of the SLA.

Men like Silva seem only able to say the "footage was faked" and he calls the survivors things like 'actress' to undermine their legitimacy.

Another accusation frequently heard from Sri Lankan officials in recent months, is that the documentary by Jon Snow and Channel 4 "shadowed faces" which is one of the oldest approaches used by TV news broadcasters in concealing identities, and the Lankan officials also were critical that the program did not use real names for witnesses. This, when Sri Lanka knows better than anyone that those admissions would only result in a death sentence.

Shavendra Silva attacks the Channel 4 video documenting Genocide
carried out under his command in the summer of 2009.

That is how business against Tamil sympathizers is carried out in this country, the land of 'white vans' that disappear people; even Sinhalese, who display the wrong political disposition, or reported the wrong 'fact' that conflicted with the needs at that time of the Sri Lanka government.

Even if there is change at hand, the government missed its opportunity to make a difference. The killings and disappearances may have lessened, but people do not feel safe. Tamil people in the affected areas tell Salem-News, there is little freedom, as they continue to live under a massive military occupation.

For their part, the majority of Sinhalese Sri Lankans seem to be standing with its government, though many have expressed their shame and sadness over what took place. With more than 80% of the population Sinhalese, the Tamil minority has little to say.

One of the biggest reasons Sri Lanka was able to carry out the Genocide, as I revealed in my article, Sri Lanka Tamil Genocide: Killing the Messenger, is the barren, simple fact that journalists who write truth about Sri Lanka's rampant state terrorism are killed, or simply never seen again. I hope readers who have not seen the above article do take the time, because among other problems, Sri Lanka has now eliminated its right to champion the rights of other human rights issues. Who after all would listen? That is a bruise on the skin of a nation if there ever was. The Tamil people themselves will likely always be there to rally for human rights, but residents of this country who do not support Tamils, will be impacted for a long time.

Staunch defenders of the established government, the Ceylon Daily News offers a strong defence of Sri Lanka's Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, in their article this week, No evidence to prove Defence Secy ordered to eliminate LTTErs'

There is not an iota of evidence before court to prove that Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa gave orders to the Army to eliminate LTTE cadres with white flags to surrender, at the end of the war, according to the evidence led before court during the lengthy trial in the White Flag case, said Deputy Solicitor General Buwaneka Aluvihare making his oral submissions before the Trial at Bar.

The Trial at Bar consisting of three High Court judges hearing the White Flag issue earlier directed the prosecuting team, led by Deputy Solicitor General Aluvihare, to commence their oral submissions yesterday.

That has all the objectivity of a Jerusalem Post article reviewing Palestinian land confiscations in the occupied territories. It is sad to see journalists so willing to back the government's position with regard to war crimes, but then I live in the land of FOX News and I probably shouldn't be very surprised. I still see non-objective media as one of the largest problems; if all of Sri Lanka's media had taken a stand they might have a lot more citizens today.

The Swiss news agency reported on Tuesday that diplomatic sources had confirmed Dias had been recalled to Sri Lanka. This is at least a step. The embassy for Sri Lanka in Berlin also has diplomatic responsibility for Switzerland and the Vatican. On that note, it is important to know that Sri Lanka does have a Christian population that exists throughout the country. Rev. Fr. Prof. Dr. Seemampillai Joseph Emmanuel; Sri Lanka's leading figure in the Catholic Church wrote on 30 July 2011:

Dear Tim, as President of the global Tamil Forum, let me thank you for the service you are doing in service of Truth and Justice wrt Sri Lanka. Wish you well for the future. sjemmanuel.

This is the type of comment that literally empowers a reporter to go on doing this type of work.

Special thanks to SwissInfo

Here are links to a few our our past reports on the Tamil Genocide in Sri Lanka;

May-30-2011: Confronting the Tamil Genocide in Sri Lanka - Tim King

May-27-2011: New Song 'Depression' - Graphic Truth of Sri Lanka Tamil Genocide - Song by Agron Belica Story by Tim King

May-21-2011: Sri Lanka Tamil Genocide: Killing the Messenger - Tim King

May-10-2011: Rally Demanding Justice for Genocide Victims of Thamil Eelam -

Apr-27-2011: Tamil Genocide in Sri Lanka Emerges Into Public View - Tim King

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

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

Mar-15-2009: Sri Lanka: Possible War Crimes -

May-10-2009: UN Says Urgent International Scrutiny Needed in Sri Lanka -


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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'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.

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