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Formal dialogue needed at UN Human Rights Council to discuss both the LLRC and UN reports on Sri Lanka

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Justice Louise Arbour-Credit: Larry Munn, photographer Supreme Court of Canada Collection

By Louise Arbour

Hello Friends

Louise Arbour is a distinguished Canadian whose name is not unknown to many in Sri Lanka. She served as a Judge on the Canadian Supreme Court and also the Ontario court of Appeal.

Louise Arbour was the chief prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in Arusha and the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in Hague.It was she as chief prosecutor who indicted Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic for war crimes. It was the first time a serving head of state was called to account before an international court.

Louise Arbour later served as UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and visited Sri Lanka during her tenure of office. Her vigorous campaign to set up a UN field office for Human Rights in Sri Lanka aroused much resentment and hostility towards her in the Sri Lankan corridors of power.So too did her attempt to get the International Community establish an accountability mechanism to probe the alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity in Sri Lanka during the war.

Arbour who won the prestigious Thomas J Dodd prize for International Justice and Human Rights has also been warded honorry doctorates by twenty-seven Universities

She now serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of the International Crisis Group.Arbour continues to champion Human rights and constantly focuses on the Sri Lankan Human rights situation in her current capacity.

With the UN Human Rights Council being scheduled to meet in Geneva in early March ,Louise Arbour has written an opinion piece on Sri Lanka and the UNHRC where she advocates as a minimum measure “a formal dialogue at the council to discuss both the LLRC and UN reports, to ensure that the full range of credible allegations of war crimes, and the deficiencies in domestic accountability processes, are addressed openly and in detail”.

She also calls upon Canada and other HRC members to be “prepared at this June’s session to endorse an international inquiry, absent a truly credible domestic accountability process – an all but inevitable result”.

Louise Arbour sums up the Sri Lankan situation thus-

“As the international community seeks, laudably, to recommit itself to the protection of civilians in armed conflict, it needs to reflect seriously on what happened in Sri Lanka: arguably one of its greatest single failures to provide even a modicum of safety to hundreds of thousands innocent victims of war. If the opportunity is again missed to provide some form of accounting, the sustainable peace that all Sri Lankans deserve after so many decades of civil war and political violence will be only further out of reach”

The opinion piece by Louise Arbour relating to Sri Lanka has been published in many Canadian newspapers. I am reproducing it here on my blog now for benefit of worldwide readers.

Here it is Friends-DBS Jeyaraj

Formal dialogue needed at UN Human Rights Council to discuss both the LLRC and UN reports on Sri Lanka

By Louise Arbour

For Tamils, the end of Sri Lanka’s civil war has brought no peace dividend; for Tamil women, peace has brought with it a continuation – and in some cases an intensification – of violence and insecurity. In the country’s predominantly Tamil-speaking north and east – a region half the size of Nova Scotia – tens of thousands of “war widows” have been living under the control of the central government and Sinhalese security forces since 2009 and the end of the civil war, whose last few months saw as many as 40,000 civilians killed.

There has been an alarming increase in gender-based violence, including domestic violence, within the Tamil community, as well as forced prostitution and trafficking. All of this is against a backdrop of credible evidence of wartime sexual violence by government forces, including video footage showing soldiers making sexual comments while handling dead, naked bodies of female suspected Tamil Tiger fighters, some with their hands bound. At the UN Human Rights Council session opening late next month, there is a chance to finally ensure accountability and to address the current state of insecurity; Sri Lanka and the international community, including Canada, should take it.

To date, the government’s response has been to deny the existence of threats to women’s security – past or present. Sri Lanka’s ambassador to the U.S. recently claimed that there is “no discrimination for women in Sri Lanka” and reduced the existence of rapes to a “couple of cases,” while a military spokesman said there was no “insecurity issue” for women in the north and east. This would come as a surprise not only to the women and girls from that region who have been victimized over the last three years, but also to women across Sri Lanka who have seen increasing gender disparities in income and higher education, as well as many recent cases of murder, rape and sexual harassment in the south by current and former security force members.

These government denials should also be a red flag to anyone wanting to believe that Sri Lanka’s Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission – whose long-awaited report to President Percy Mahendra Rajapaksa was made public in December – represents a change in the regime’s approach to accountability and reconciliation. The government has already shown no compunction in ignoring the LLRC’s finding that women in the north and east “feel unsafe in the presence of the armed forces,” and, given past performance, there is every likelihood it will disregard the LLRC’s sensible recommendations on governance, land issues and a political solution.

Indeed, any positive outcomes that could flow from the LLRC report will likely remain theoretical, given that the report failed to provide a thorough and independent investigation of alleged violations of international humanitarian and human rights law in the final stages of the war, as demanded by the UN and others, including Canada. From the beginning, the government hamstrung the LLRC by giving it a feeble mandate, choosing pro-government commissioners with clear conflicts of interest, and failing to provide any witness protection.

The LLRC’s report accepts at face value the largely unexamined claims of senior government and military officials who planned and executed the war, fails to adequately address the many credible allegations detailed in last April’s report of the UN Secretary-General’s panel of experts on accountability in Sri Lanka, and rolls back well-established principles of international law. In the end, the LLRC works to exonerate the government and, in so doing, undermines its own limited calls for further inquiry, including a call for yet another government investigation of the above-mentioned video footage, which officials repeatedly have described as “faked.”

There is, however, an opportunity to address Sri Lanka’s entrenched culture of denial and impunity – including for crimes against women – at the upcoming session at the UN Human Rights Council. Canada has already played an important role in recent months by reminding the world about the need for accountability and justice in Sri Lanka. Now is the time to put their principles into action in Geneva. Canada should take a firm stand at the HRC and work closely with the United States, Britain, other members of the European Union and, critically, African and Asian states – especially India – to make sure this marks the beginning and not the end of a real accountability process.

At a minimum, there should be a formal dialogue at the council to discuss both the LLRC and UN reports, to ensure that the full range of credible allegations of war crimes, and the deficiencies in domestic accountability processes, are addressed openly and in detail. It is essential that the council remain seized of this matter and mandate a high office – such as the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights – to monitor and assess the Sri Lankan government’s implementation of the LLRC’s recommendations and any further accountability efforts. Finally, Canada and other HRC members should be prepared at this June’s session to endorse an international inquiry, absent a truly credible domestic accountability process – an all but inevitable result.

As the international community seeks, laudably, to recommit itself to the protection of civilians in armed conflict, it needs to reflect seriously on what happened in Sri Lanka: arguably one of its greatest single failures to provide even a modicum of safety to hundreds of thousands innocent victims of war. If the opportunity is again missed to provide some form of accounting, the sustainable peace that all Sri Lankans deserve after so many decades of civil war and political violence will be only further out of reach.

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44 Comments

  1. I am sorry but no good can come out of this.

    The reason I say this is where was the UN when Sirima killed (executed) 50,000+ JVP SriLankans (99% Sinhala) and when JR/Premadasa killed (executed) 30,000+ JVP SriLankans (99% Sinhala)?

    Now the JVP is in a position of power in the parliment and function freely in the country.

    Sri Lanka and Sri Lankans CAN heal themselves.

    Foreigners are not welcome.

    By the way, i don’t like and would not vote for any of the Rajapakses but I will not support outside intervention from anywhere. This is a common feeling among people who support and do not support the Rajapakse dynasty.

    By pushing the Rajapakses this way, the outsiders are only prolonging their rule and their progression to demi god status.

  2. Thank you for posting this commendable piece by Ms.Arbour here Mr.Jeyaraj.What she suggests here are sound proposals.I hope Canada gives the lead to International community on this issue

  3. So MR & co. must be feeling the heat now.

    MR will inevitable will face the consequences of all his wrong moves, to appoint his close relatives and friends as ambassadors.

    Let us watch & see how our SL experts will take this challenge.

    Will they realise even this late that the foreign service should be in the hands of experts and experienced diplomats?

    Ex-minister Rohitha Bogollagam made a mess of the external affairs and now look at the consequences.

    I also agree with Louise Arbour on ‘It is essential that the council remain seized of this matter and mandate a high office – such as the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights – to monitor and assess the Sri Lankan government’s implementation of the LLRC’s recommendations and any further accountability efforts.’

  4. Is MS Arbour trying to pin the blame of Tamil men bashing their wives on the Srilankan Govt too?

    Has MS Arbour got any factual evidence to prove that Sinhala men are acting as pimps for the proptitution of Tamil Girls and Tamil Women whom she alleges to be rampant in the North?

    Is there any evidence of toture ,urinating on dead bodies, religious insults and even verballing and water boarding type action on the people who were in the confined area where MS Satyadevi was camped before she took the boat to Sea and subsequently escaped into Army held safety zones?.

    Does Ms Satyadevi give any indications or clues to the effect that she was treated badly,by the Victorious Naval Officers despite being the wife of the Sea Tiger Leader , who killed thousands of Navay personnel, including several high ranking officers?.

    Wouldn’t it be natural for the Navy personnel to take revenge in a bad way ,if they were” baddies” as Ms Arbour try to portray, when they got hold of the whole extended family of their number one enemy Mr Soosai, who slaughtered thousand of their mates?.

    Has Ms Arbour seen Ms Satyadevi’s ,elaborate and forthright interview with the Journalist from the “Nation” that was published here too?.

    Has MS Arbour tried to get some first hand information on the current living conditions of the escapees in the North, before she makes this strong plea to the Geneva Conference to initiate War Crime charges?.

  5. UN report raised a few eye brows. In order to bring some credibility to the report, TNA should collect and publish names and addresses of at least 2000 civilians killed or MIA. It should not be that hard given 40,000 said to have been perished during last phases.

  6. I remember our Dayan (not Moshe)J reprimanding Louise Arbour asking her which part of “NO” dont you understand? Within weeks of insulting her Dayan was called back from Geneva.

    Louise also didn’t get her second term at UN

    In both cases they were victims of Zionism.Mighty atom Israel calls the shots then and now

  7. The great Slobodan Milosevic was riding high as uncrowned King of Serbia after balkanisation of Yugoslavia

    Alas!sceptre and crown came tumbling down soon thanks to the untiring efforts of Canada’s Iron lady Louise Arbour

    Gone was the glory and grandeur when Milosevic the Magnificient turned war criminal died “unwept and unsung” as he met his maker.

    Now Why do I recall this?

    What does all this have to do with Mahinda the Monarch of Medamulana?

    Nothing except to say the wheels of justice grind slowly but surely and to point out that all the perfumes of China and India are not enough to make the hands stained by the blood of Mullivaikkal victims smell fragrantly!

  8. It was great of Louise Arbour with such remarkable credentials to have made a very compelling statement. The travails of the Tamils and particularly of Tamil womanhood in north Sri Lanka have touched her sensibilities. She can fully understand the difficulty of 250’000 women and girls in Jaffna, living in an alien KHAKI JUNGLE of over 50.000. Lending support to her to make amends is our responsibility.

    Sri Lanka has a few firsts in the world. Now is the turn to have the pleasure of a second. Milosevic was the first serving President to stand trial in an international court. SL President may be the second to be so arraigned. Still he can be the first in the world, if convicted before his demise. Retributive justice is unerring in it’s quest. So says a Tamil classic.

  9. Sri Lanka should take all you bleeding hearts to the international court for financing the 30 year war. If not for 9/11, You would be still causing havoc in Sri Lanka.

    Yes… we blame people like you for the blood that was spilled. Sri Lanka does not need you or your advice on how to go about our business.

    So, with all due respect, go worry about the poor baby seals and the drunk native population in the wilderness. Leave us alone!

  10. Demilitarization and down-sizing of the Sri Lanka armed forces and an end to MILITARY BUSINESS and the MILBUS model of “economic development” which is a very dangerous erosion of democratic governance must be up front in a discussion to end the entrenched culture of state terror and impunity.
    Unfortunately since the U.S. led global ‘war on terrorism’ in Af-Pak the South Asian region has been awash with weapons and terror-talk that enables violent States and govt.’s to militarize with impunity and fight wars against their own citizens as poverty increases in South Asia – one of the world’s poorest regions!
    The Rajapakses have benefited from the U.S. model of aid to Pakistan – expanding the military till it takes over the country and its only now that the US govt is realizing the folly of so much “aid” to the Pakistan military. The Rajapakses regime is following the Pakistan model

  11. **Is MS Arbour trying to pin the blame of Tamil men bashing their wives on the Srilankan Govt too?**
    after UN intervention tamil men bashing their wives also dramatically reduced, Why?
    Im Eelam

  12. ***Has MS Arbour tried to get some first hand information on the current living conditions of the escapees in the North, before she makes this strong plea to the Geneva Conference to initiate War Crime charges?.***
    Old enmity ( Mahavamsa era??)And influence of alcohol now playing role in attaching Tamil civilians currently reported from kawatta and Trincomalee
    Im Eelam

  13. Haganah, by the way that’s a single ‘n’, not double, you are wrong: I was ‘recalled’ (not really, because I served my two year term but was deprived of the third year which I had not requested but was given) a full year after I said that to Louise Arbour. She took off,not seeking another term, when I was very much there as part of a NAM + BRICS coalition that fought back and would have made a second term difficult.

  14. If Peries confine the political problem to just 30 years of war and blaming the West, why on earth even the Sinhalese Diaspora numbers keep on growing in the Western countries? Why Even after the war is over, human rights abuse is going on more on Tamil Civilians than others ?

    It is just not 9/11 was the turning point.There are more to it with the vested geo-political and economic interests by Asian giants as well as Western powers.

    It is sad the Sinhalese like Peries still does not want to accept the fundemental political problems that existed and unresolved since 1948. I think Jehan Perera has higlighted this in his recent analysis.

  15. Thanks DBS J for sharing this.

    I wish to congratulate Justice Louise Arbour for successfully prosecuting the Serbian Leader Slodaban Milosevic. Her effort seeking justice for voiceless, vulnerable and helpless must have gone beyond the call of her duty. Watching the notorious horror footage of the massacre committed by Serbian forces, I was wondering how the criminals going to spend rest of their lives. Would not these flash backs come and hound them? Maybe this could be the punishment for those soldiers who had directly involved in. The ones who ordered were the ones who had been extradited to Hague it seems. Although the war had been won, these masterminds of this war could not enjoy the dividend that it brought. Rateo Mladic captured only recently, 16 years after the war had ended.

    GoSL should consider Justice’s push to have a debate on this issue, which tarnishes the SL’s image at the next HR session at the UN should be seen as an opportunity; an opportunity to clear its name with the backing of LLRC report. The country’s reputation should be held high. The UN report not only implicated Govt forces but LTTE also. Given these two wives, KP, Karuna, Daya and George masters are in their patronage, why cannot they take on her offer and put an end to these allegations. Looks like Dr DD had got justice LA’s measure, why not him to be brought back to the UN, and together with Prof GLP, Dr K and Shevendra, they would give a real pounding to the UN.

  16. The vital and critical portion in Louise Arbour’s message is this excerpt “absent a truly credible domestic accountability process”…

  17. Trumpeting Serbia and it’s fate doesn’t whitewash the fact that the place was bombed to smithereens by unilateral NATO action without a UN mandate, and eventually descended to acts against civil targets and not military ones and for whom Arbour acted as a principal cheerleader..

  18. http://www.npr.org/2012/01/30/146099709/guatemalas-former-dictator-faces-trial

    Guatemala’s former dictator — 85-year-old Efrain Rios Montt — is under house arrest, awaiting trial for genocide and crimes against humanity. During his 17-month rule from 1982 to 1983, the Guatemalan military carried out a scorched earth campaign in the Mayan highlands, in an effort to snuff out an insurrection by left-leaning guerrilla fighters. Prosecutors are now looking to hold him accountable for the deaths of at least 1,771 men, women and children. For years, Rios Montt was sheltered from prosecution because of legislative immunity, which expired earlier this month. Guatemala scholar Jennifer Schirmer talks with Melissa Block about the trial and its significance.

  19. No intermediary could ever have a meaningful dialogue either with the Sinhalese Governments or Sinhalese people when they out rightly deny that there was no discrimination against minorities nor war crimes nor rapes of dead or alive Tamil women by soldiers nor forcible land acquisition.Over the decades it has all been a monologue as evidenced by recent declaration by the Indian Foreign Minister Krishna that MR will implement 13 plus and MR denying it.None of the pacts for peace were ever implemented.

    How can anyone have dialogues with these untrustworthy people?

  20. U.S. punishing small nations, says Rajapaksa

    Hindu

    As the combined United States and European Union sanctions against Iran take effect, small nations like Sri Lanka are extremely worried. Sri Lanka depends almost entirely on Iran for its crude oil supplies and the only refinery in the country, Sapugaskanda, can only process Iranian crude. “We are discussing on what we should do,” Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa said, when asked what the options before the country were.

    I Am SAYING MAHINDA’S GOVERNMENT IS PUNISHING AND DISCRIMINATING MINORITY TAMILS IN SRILANKA!!!

  21. Mahindha Lies on 13th Plus and 0 Casuality policy are the same.There is nothing in the word other than showing Mahindha Mathamatical Educational Qualification.While poor Sinhala people Uneducated; He will be the King.
    Only International moniter can prove He is wrong and educate poor Sinhalese.

  22. I am so sorry for what this lovely Lady has undergone. I want to prostrate myself before her ,place her feet on my head,press her toes to my eyes and lick the dust off her soles as an act of penance on behalf of my people.

    I am a proud Sinhala soldier with a trusty sword as my weapon

    But this is not a time to fight but to seek forgiveness

    If she accepts my humble gesture and grants forgiveness I will keep her slippers in my shrine room and worship them forever

    I am willing to do the same for her daughter too if she would let me

  23. “The reason I say this is where was the UN when Sirima killed (executed) 50,000+ JVP SriLankans (99% Sinhala) and when JR/Premadasa killed (executed) 30,000+ JVP SriLankans (99% Sinhala)?”

    Dear SA,

    International community is not talking about Cannibalism but about Genocide here. Hope you understand the terms Cannibalism , Genocide and human rights.

    Divyan

  24. Pingback: Media reports – English – January 2012 – LLRC Archives

  25. “From the beginning, the government hamstrung the LLRC by giving it a feeble mandate, choosing pro-government commissioners with clear conflicts of interest, and failing to provide any witness protection.” — Louise Arbour.

    This is what every Sinhala government has been doing when any crime against Tamils had been committed and Tamils cry for justice, since the independence. This FUCKING arrogance must stop. For that, we need an independent inquiry into the final stages of the war and accountability accordingly. We Tamils all know, without any doubt in our minds because of our experience as being Tamils, that the organized crimes were planned by all levels of the government and executed by the state organs against the Tamil minority, which they swore to protect, because of the impunity the Sinhalese practice when they commit crimes against the Minorities of Srilanka.
    If any Tamil here in this blog cries, that we Tamils do not need any inquiry or accountability and only we need reconciliation, he/she must be having his/her brain between his/her legs only. If these so call (faded)Tamils, can cry against the LTTE crimes, and in the meantime justify the crimes of the Srilankan government/Sinhalese because of the crimes committed by the LTTE, these people really do not know what they are talking about. In fact, these are the real Eddappans who do not know what is justice is all-about. I do not want to name them here by their names, and again I am saying this not because of my anger, but I know, they could be worse dictators than Prabaharan and the LTTE, given a chance of power.

  26. Thank you for the comments. It is really interesting if this so called madam could place her comments on the wara in the middle east. Such as in the Iraq, Afganistan, finally in the Libia. Aren’t there any Human rights abuses by the NATO guys? Why no any complaints to the GW bush, and others who KILLED lot of arabians in their own land. Would like to get any response from her regarding this.

  27. The very fact Louise Arbour has repeated like gospel truth, the fictitious figure of 40,000 civilian deaths, exposes her lack of credibility. She is merely trying to take revenge for SriLanka’s role in forcing her not to seek a second term at the UNHCR. She mighit have been a Canadian Supreme Court judge, but that does not make her a respectable unbiased woman. We got to judge her qualities from the level to which she is stooping, fabricating statements against SriLanka to satisfy her masters. Cant she see what happened in Libya, Iraq, Serbia etc where the USA and NATO bombed civilians indiscriminately?

  28. She is a shameless liar. She is lying and she is a pretender of human rights. All she has done was and is trying to do is to prosecute leaders of 3rd world countries and has no guts to charge big offenders such as USA, UK and France. So they have no moral authority.

    She can try and try but ultimately will fail. We are firmly behind Rajapakses when outside forces are trying to dictate terms to us.

  29. It’s significant that in this intemperate rant against the Sri Lankan government from Ms Arbour there is is barely a mention of the Tamil Tigers (LTTE) and no mention at all of their well substantiated crimes. Nor is there any call for the investigation of the Western based Tiger godfathers, fundraisers, lobbyists and propagandists who provided the essential support to enable the Eelam terrorists to carry out their fanatical war against the rest of the island and India for over thirty years. Most of those people are still resident in the West (e.g. dear old Aunty Balasingham) as the West’s security services are well aware, and though Ms Arbour can’t initiate an investigation in any Asian country, she could certainly call for investigations in Western states into how the Tigers managed to sustain themselves for so long and in such a powerful form. But if she did that she would never have received all those awards mentined, or got her present post with the International Crisis Group.

    Many are still waiting for her to call for investigations into George W Bush and Tony Blair for their illegal invasion of Iraq. For until she shows herself to be even-handed and unbiased in her accusations, the rest of the non-Western world will not take her seriously.

  30. Gamage ;

    Yes, I too agree with you, and DJ. she is lying. She is a white tiger. She is a paid propagandanist for Diaspora Tamils. She……………..

    Careful.Your sarcasm may be taken seriously………DBSJ

  31. Gamage!
    Actually, I became angry, when I read your comment but then sympathized with you, for your ignorance. I am not a White my-self or supporter/sympathizer of the Whites. But in the meantime, please, please never, never compare the USA, UK, France, etc with the Barbaric Srilanka. Though, those nations have committed mass crimes in the past during colonial times, they have developed their humanity and justice system tremendously, since then. Even George W Bush and Tony blair having to think twice before traveling out of their respective countries, though they are not personally or indirectly responsible for any crimes. But, I have seen, you barbarians always trying to compare these people with you. It is not laughable but irritating. It shows your utter foolishness. You people all from top to bottom are fooollls & criminals. Do not be angry, but let me say this to you from the bottom of my heart. If had learned that were there carpet bombings, targeted hospital attacks, mass rapes and killings of the surrendered prisoners, committed by my people(Tamils), I would really commit suicide because of the Shame I would feel as a Tamil. Believe me I would never, never defend these heinous crimes. My be, all of you Sinhalese, do not have human blood running in you.

  32. SA,
    Why did not you say this SRILANKANS CAN HEAL themselves during the last 30 years of war you begged and borrowed from the foreigners to buy arms and and ammunitions to kill Tamils and LTTE with out any discrimination (between Tamils & LTTE)/ Now you are saying something else. Why Srilankan could not heal themselves before LTTE were Born??

  33. Why do these Westerners push Sri Lankans so much of their way of finding closure? Can’t they respect the fact that Sri Lankan people have their own way of finding peace/closure?

    There was no “western” style closure available to those who lost loved ones for JVP civil war in 1989 or when LTTE killed thousands of Sri Lankan soldiers in Mullativu or when LTTE killed thousands of civillians due to car/truck bombs or when IPKF killed so many Tamil civilians. Asian Tsunami killed more Sri Lankans than those combined.

    Somehow Sri Lankan people have found ways to let it go. They have moved on. They do not ask for war crimes or “Western style” closure.

    So, my point to Louise Arbour is, let them cope with their own way. Don’t try to scratch the wound which is healing or already healed.

    One thing Louise Arbour can do to help these folks is get her own country (CANADA) to provide financial help to these people, so that their lives will get better and hence helping them to get on with their lives quicker.

    Madam Arbour, If you care about these people so much, can you take this challenge?

  34. US, India and European nations have an obligation to help eelam Tamils at this stage, because they helped to eliminate LTTE and whose absense, MRR is balking at reconciliation accountability even after 3 years of war being ended.

    Eelamites should write to Hilary Clinton to remind her that US and India are the main supporters of SLA and they should control them atleast now

  35. I read the many comments and all I could think of was “talk of pouring water on a duck’s back!”

  36. Foreigner says:
    February 1, 2012 at 12:06 pm
    SA,
    Why did not you say this SRILANKANS CAN HEAL themselves during the last 30 years of war you begged and borrowed from the foreigners to buy arms and and ammunitions to kill Tamils and LTTE with out any discrimination (between Tamils & LTTE)/ Now you are saying something else. Why Srilankan could not heal themselves before LTTE were Born??

    Maturity comes with time. The JVP came into civil society in the mid 90s after two miserable bloody failures that spanned slightly more than 20 years. Have you wondered why there had been no more Sinhala-tamil riots even with bombs killing hundreds of people? it is maturity of taking stock of the situation and not killing innocents. I do not condone the killing of non combatants- on either side.

    The bloody span of the LTTE-SL gov era would not have lasted 30 years if it had not been for our wonderful Northern neighbour run by Indira Gandhi and her secret service RAW. They just took an opportunistic attitude to bring Sri Lanka back into their sphere of influence by training tamil fighters in India (documented fact).

    Dear SA,

    International community is not talking about Cannibalism but about Genocide here. Hope you understand the terms Cannibalism , Genocide and human rights.

    Divyan

    Dear Divyan,

    I do.

    I thing you need to look up the meaning of “genocide” because you – and lot of interest grps- use it incorrectly. (am sorry to be so blunt)

    “Genocide is defined as “the deliberate and systematic destruction, in whole or in part, of an ethnic, racial, religious, or national group”,[1] though what constitutes enough of a “part” to qualify as genocide has been subject to much debate by legal scholars.It has been found that “the part must be a substantial part of that group.”

    This is not the case with what has happened to SL Tamils.

    If this is the case, why is there still:

    1. High concentrations of Tamils in Sinhala areas going about their lives (same even during the height of the war).
    2. Tamils in high society – all facets including gov jobs and private sector through out the campaign including ministerships and even second in command of the SL Air Force at one point. A number of dead SLAF pilots are tamil (i can name atleast two). Similarly the other forces have tamils (and i dont mean ex militants).
    3, High number of Tamils still visiting SL despite them fleeing the country and getting refugee status outside. The Gov of Canada has shown this statistic and so has UK.
    4. Body count for Tamils lost in war almost equal to body count of Sinhala loses.
    5. Tamil politicians in parliament and representing the tamils throughout the campaign.

    In a court of law there will be a lot of more detailed ammunition to show that if there was genocide, it was from the LTTE i.e. mass evictions of Sinhala and Muslims from the North, , mass massacres of tamils from other grps.

    As you can see, it is not so simple Divyan.

    Best Regards,

    SA

  37. Trimmed of its verbiage, what Ms Arbour seems to be saying is that developing countries, such as Sri Lanka, must be accountable for their actions to the large Western states. If that does not happen, the Western states have “failed” and the populations of developing countries can never experience peace. In other words, the world must revert to the colonial system of the 18th and 19th centuries. Interesting idea, but completely impractical in the current era.

  38. Candidly says,
    February 2, 2012.

    “In other words, Ms Arbour says, the world must revert to the colonial system of the 18th and 19th centuries. Interesting idea, but completely impractical in the current era.”.

    No my friend, she is only saying, Sinhalese must come to age and learn to live in the current era, leaving behind their 14th century mentality.

  39. There’s is also somthing seriously wrong with Louise Arbour’s judgement. She starts her piece by writing:
    “For Tamils, the end of Sri Lanka’s civil war has brought no peace dividend; for Tamil women, peace has brought with it a continuation – and in some cases an intensification – of violence and insecurity.”

    There is no ambiguity or qualification in that opening sentence where she is claiming explicitly that Tamil people throughout the whole island have not benefited from the end of the war. She doesn’t even qualify her remark by writing “Tamils in the north”.

    Go and tell that to the tens of thousands of ethnic Tamil Sri Lankans who are no longer regarded with suspicion by their Sinhalese and Moslem neighbours in Colombo, Ms Arbour. Let alone the parents in the north whose children are no longer being forcibly recruited by the Tamil Tigers and are now able to return to school and higher education.

    In fact, if you think about these opening explicit words from Ms Arbour it seems that she is close to arguing that Tamils in Sri Lanka were better off when the Tigers ruled the northern and eastern regions than they are now under the present elected government. There is something seriously wrong with her judgement, in my opinion. Is this really the official position of the International Crisis Group? They need to give an answer so the rest of the world knows where they really stand.

  40. Candidly says;

    “In fact, if you think about these opening explicit words from Ms Arbour it seems that she is close to arguing that Tamils in Sri Lanka were better off when the Tigers ruled the northern and eastern regions than they are now under the present elected government. There is something seriously wrong with her judgement, in my opinion. Is this really the official position of the International Crisis Group? They need to give an answer so the rest of the world knows where they really stand.”

    Candidly!
    Still you are wrong, and Arbour is right! How do we ask the Tamils in the Island, who they prefer to live under, whether it is still LTTE or a Sinhala government? Is there a freedom of expression in Srilanka to answer the question freely. You really don’t get it, do you? You really do not understand the feelings of the Tamils, do you? The nearest we can conclude the opinion of the Tamils is, from the recently held elections where Tamils elected a pro LTTE party. At-least, doesn’t the government’s recent action of removing the LTTE’s political party tell you all. I know, according to your mindset, you are thinking, Tamils also must be like Sinhalese, as long as there is food in the table, you can swing your tail to anyone. No, Tamils are a different race from you people. I think, I do not have to tell you the story of ” A house dog and a stray dog. Like the stray dog, Tamils love their freedom more than their food.

  41. afool wrote:
    “Candidly! Still you are wrong, and Arbour is right.”

    So here is at least one person, who also seems to be an LTTE sympathiser, who agrees that Louise Arbour’s statement at the beginning of her article can be understood as arguing that Sri Lanka’s northern Tamils were better off under the Tigers than under the present democratically elected government. Interesting company Ms Arbour finds herself in!

  42. [the end of the civil war, whose last few months saw as many as 40,000 civilians killed.]
    ————————-
    Louise Arbour clearly states 40000.She does not say alleged 40000.With her vast experience in such matters,she knows.Soosai also in his last moments said that 25000 are dead and some more are getting injured and dying.Now let us see how the government is going to get out of its zero casualty figures.Maybe they have to go to hambantota and chant some malayalee manthras on some charms and bury it in the backyard of louise arbour’s house.

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