My stupid dog sleeps in the porch, and as all dogs his intelligence is limited. In the morning when the dog is hardly awake when a dead branch of a tree or even a coconut leaf falls with a thud as they often do, our stupid dog begins to bark for nothing as if burglars have broken into the house.
That is not all when our stupid dog barks at least frightened by a falling branch, all the other dogs in the village and those in the surrounding villages begin to bark for nothing , just because my dog barked. And some times that goes on through out the day. It stops for some time and goes off once again…..They really begin to bark for nothing and perhaps ashamed of their stupidity invents something else to bark again.
That was how all these accusations and counter accusations against Sri Lanka, for violation of human rights also began. It was really nothing at the beginning. Salil Shetty there was a tsunami in Sri Lanka. That was way back in 2004 on the Boxing day, You may perhaps have heard about it. For after that a whole army of NGO’s debarked in Sri Lanka as the Countries that had collected funds for the victims of tsunami refused to pay the funds directly to the Government. Therefore the funds were being distributed and tsunami affected areas were reconstructed with the money the NGOs brought with them. This happened while Sri Lanka was being terrorized by a group of terrorists the ruthlessness and monstrosity of whom the world had never seen.
The Tsunami for them - the terrorists- was a blessing as they got friendly with the NGOs, playing the poverty line and complaining to the NGOs the step-motherly treatment they receive from the Government run by the Sinhala, because they are Tamils , ethnically different from the Sinhala. Making such complaints the terrorists got many NGOs to work in the areas that had been allocated to them under a Cease Fire Agreement by a not very intelligent Prime Minister of a Previous government of Sri Lanka.
Thus , because of the CFA, neither the Sinhala people who wanted to help the Tsunami affected Tamil people nor the Government of Sri Lanka was allowed into the areas by the terrorists. Hence it was accessible only to the NGOs or foreign government representatives. That was why the NGOs who worked with the Tamil victims of tsunami in the areas that were held by the terrorists thought these poor Tamil people were neglected and discriminated by the Government and the Sinhala people, because they are of the minority Tamil Community..
The Tamil people in these Terrorists held areas too had no access to Sinhala areas or the Government had no access to these people. They were under the terrorists, who recruited their children to fight along with them, or trained as suicide bombs. The NGOs saw a different side of the terrorists. These terrorists were kind to them very respectful and the NGOs like Nesbitt were treated like angels come from heaven.
The NGOs with the Money they brought for the Tsunami victims lived a very high standard life style living in good quarters, plying in Pajaro Vans, and taking calm holidays on the sea beach with paid home leave. which they would not have liked to have exchanged for any thing else in the world. They had nothing to complain they thought , over and above helping the Tsunami affected Tamil people in these territories. Then they thought that while they are there they may as well help these young “rebels” as they thought they were, to carve out that territory of land for themselves for their Tamil people separate from the racists Sinhala in the south..
Thereafter the NGOs of different professional qualifications, such as engineers, experts in production of bombs, construction of boats and submergeables boats( small submarines), printing presses, telecommunication engineers and underground bunker constructors came to help the terrorists, they took them to be rebels due to their extreme kindness and friendliness to them.
The absence of the Sinhala people or Sinhala Government Officials proved to them they were neglected because they were of the ethnic minority. These NGOs did not investigate to understand more about the minority Tamils, the 58 percent of them living with the Sinhala people in the South.
This new affection of the NGOs helped the terrorists, and they did every thing to make the NGO’s trust them the more , and in return help them break away from the rest of the country. The NGOs put up factories in the areas to prepare, bombs, and ship yards to construct boats, and even constructed three airstrips and brought aircraft parts and set up air planes.
Eventually the terrorists became a very strong military force . In addition to the NGOs the expatriate Tamils now living in different parts of the world were forced by groups organized by the terrorist sympathizers in these countries to collect funds for the benefits of the Tamil terrorists who were to create a homeland for them. They used the collected funds to buy modern military equipment, arms and ammunitions. The arms and other war material they could not clear from the customs were addressed to NGOs who had permission to take away Craters (full of these arms , ammunitions, plane parts, communication material etc.) unchecked.
The NGOs or even the representatives of the foreign countries including Robert O Blake did not take them for terrorists, and they were sure they or their countries had nothing to fear from them. The terrorists had even acquired Ships to transport heavy armaments they had purchased in different foreign countries.
With all these support from the NGOs and foreign Governments the terrorists who had become a strong military force terrorized the rest of the people and the country. They killed innocent people by exploding claymore bombs, in busses, train, market places, at sport meets and Office rooms, they used suicide bombers to kill VIPs, they killed a President a Prime Minister of India, several Ministers and attempted to murder and wounded a President and a Commander of the Army.
They killed innumerable number of Civilians, bombed the Air Port, Banks , and Buildings and they were a power to be reckoned with. . No foreign government came to the help of Sri Lanka to eliminate terrorism. Sri Lanka was left alone to sort out the problem.
Government of India fearing the Tamil Nadu state who were supporting the terrorists in Sri Lanka did not help but created more problems to Sri Lanka, by even refusing to sell arms and ammunitions which the Government had to purchase from Pakistan and China.
The people of Sri Lanka including the Tamils went through untold suffering for 30 years not sure of being alive tomorrow, not knowing whether to go out or not or not knowing whether those who have left homes will come back or not.
Salil Shetty, it was when we were in that situation that there was a Presidential Election in 2005 in which Mr. Mahinda Rajapakse was elected the President of Sri Lanka. He was determined to finish with terrorism for good. He comes from a family well known for their patriotism, honesty and the ability to fight through a situation without giving up half way. Mr. Mahinda Rajapakse the newly elected President of Sri Lanka came from that hard core of a stubbornly determined ancestry.
He began by peaceful negotiations with the terrorists, which failed, and when the terrorists closed a sluice gate of a tank depriving water to thousands of farmers, it was too much and the President ordered to deploy the Army to open the sluice gates. The terrorists shot at the army, and that began the military operations against the terrorists. When the military operations began the out come was uncertain. The terrorist were better equipped than the Government Armed forces. Many said that the terrorists were invincible.
They murdered and assassinated number of soldiers, security officers and Naval Officers. But the determination of the President Mr.Mahinda Rajapakse, to end terrorism did not slack. The military operations were taken in earnest coordinated by a former Colonel of the Army that had fought against the terrorists previously -Gotabhaya Rajapakse, and the Commander of the Army Mr. Sarath Fonseka had an axe to grind, having been an assassination target of the terrorists. He was also determined as much as the President to end terrorism. So were the Commanders of the Air Force and the Navy.
The military operations were continued and it was becoming dangerous for non combatants such as the NGOs in the terrorist occupied areas . Therefore the NGOs were asked to leave the areas immediately for the army to carry out their duties without putting the NGOs in danger.
It was then that the NGO’s who had settle down in the areas to help the Tamil people some affected by the tsunami began to complain against the Government and the Armed forces for discrimination against the Tamils calling the Military Operations were against the ethnic Tamil.
One woman NGO in the area a Nesbitt if I remember correct went to America and made a critical publicity campaign against Sri Lanka with the help of some of the American Media accusing the Government of Sri Lanka for discrimination against the minority Tamils and that the Government Armed Forces were violating their human rights. She Organised the Human Rights watch, a Media Federation and the call to stop violation of human rights against the minority Tamils in Sri Lanka was mooted.
Salil Shetty, now you remember our stupid dog sleeping in our porch, barking that morning when a branch of a tree had fallen down, and how the other dogs in the village and those in the villages around ours began to bark without exactly knowing why they were barking ?
Well , it was the same that happened when this NGO Nesbitt cried about violation of human rights. Every one who did not know exactly what was going on in Sri Lanka too took up the Nesbitt’s cry of violation of Human rights. The Amnesty International after all a Noble prize winning institution did not want to play second fiddle to Human Rights Watch and they too joined in. Thereafter the numbers of anti Sri Lanka voices in the West kept increasing.
The terrorists in Sri Lanka found it a good idea to encourage as many foreigners as possible to create a mayhem about Sri Lanka. They immediately instructed their Fundraisers in Foreign Countries to finance all these European and American Human rights activists who carry publicity against human rights violation by Sri Lanka against the minority Tamil Community.
Therefore, Salil Shetty, yours is not a lone voice, and you may be repeating what your predecessors, such as Irene Khan of the US$1.37 million pay off fame had been whining about Sri Lanka’s violation of human rights . Now you are the eight Secretary General and from India you have to do some thing more than what Irene Khan or Forester, you cannot simply cut and paste old reports to make them look new..
Therefore put as much poison into your writing about Sri Lanka. It goes, every one in the West beginning from Hillary Clinton loves Sri Lanka bashing. So many people live on that ask for instance Attorney Bruce Fenn,. He has made a mint of money from the Expatriate Pro terrorists Tamil Organisations to write a brief accusing Sri Lanka Armed Forces for Genocide. After all Amnesty International pays you well, perhaps better than the Human Rights watch despite its US$ 100 million from Soros.
Your article “Commonwealth values put to test by Sri Lanka » is not bad though it is a repetition of what others had written. In fact there is nothing to invent all vitriols are there. As those other dogs in our village and in surrounded villages barked after hearing our dog for nothing just because they wanted to bark, now the Amnesty International, Human rights watch, Ban Ki Moon, Navi Pillai, et al accuse Sri Lanka because some one else did it, and for no other reason.
So go ahead Shetty despite being an Indian you may not know what really went on in Sri Lanka for thirty tears.
To make the accusations easy and to make that claim of war criminals to stick on the President of Sri Lanka and his Armed forces the period of investigation has been reduced to few hours before the elimination of terrrorist.
Because if you had taken the whole of 30years of terrorism in Sri Lanka, the Sri Lanka’s Military Operations after 2005 is just a drop in the bucket. It is we, the Sri Lankans - Sinhala, Tamil, Muslims and every one else who suffered not the terrorists. To-day we are all free and in peace because of the President of Sri Lanka Mahinda Rajapakse and the Armed Forces. That is the truth Salil Shetty.Salil Shetty, your opinion “ Government accused of war crimes, crimes against humanity and numerous human rights violations is due to take control of this organisation. “ is dramatized, highly exaggerated and it demonstrates your inaptitude to evaluate a country for what it really is. Just do not take a pride in repeating what those before you had said. Those opinions were second hand. They did not know what exactly went on in Sri Lanka neither at the last phase of the military operations to eliminate terrorists, nor during the whole of the 30 years of terrorism before , in Sri Lanka. Even , Nesbit who began all this crap about violation of human rights does not know what exactly went on in Sri Lanka with the terrorists.
Perhaps you in your bias and the official position in an organisation which has become disdainful , for depending on third parties rather than real direct investigation to accuse a country which is far from what you imagine it is with your distorted mentality. It is regrettable that you being an Indian cannot be more inventive in making convincing accusations about the President of Sri Lanka.
All what you have written has been prompted either to you, or to your predecessors by the pro terrorist Tamil expatriates, who have inherited large sums of money from a now defunct terrorists Organisation, and using that money not for the welfare of the Tamils in Sri Lanka, but to enrich Institutions like yours to scandalize, vilify and down grade a developing country which has through the indefatigable effort of its forward looking President and Officials has seen unprecedented development within two years after elimination of a 30 year old terrorism, to put the country on the way to an economic development.
But you sadly see only the negative side of this great country. Your statement « ignore the Sri Lankan Government's record in the closing days of its long war with the Tamil Tigers, and the long list of human rights abuses committed by both sides ……. » speaks loud of the inability of the Amnesty International to sift through responsibilities in accusing a Sovereign State.
How can you compare the atrocities committed by a group of ruthless inhuman terrorists to a Government exercising its democratic right to protect its people and its territory by eliminating the terrorists at all cost what ever happens in that exercise. Because the atrocities committed and human lives lost because of these terrorists are such that no sacrifice seem to be more important than the elimination of the terrorists.
That suffering only a people who ever went through it for 30 years will know, and no one of these humanitarians of the west trying to investigate the last phase of the military operations for the elimination of terrorism , will ever know.
Again your verbal hysteria has failed to portray the reality of the situation, despite your effort to hide your copying and pasting from previous Secretary General of the AI. You say,
« More than 300,000 people were trapped by the fighting in the final weeks of the war. Some were herded into government-declared "safe zones", only to be deprived of adequate food, water and medical care and systematically bombarded by the army's heavy artillery. Others were used by the Tigers as human shields or watched helplessly as their children were forced to join the rebel army. Those caught trying to flee were shot. By the end, more than 10,000 of them were dead. »
According to your description how many had been kept by the terrorists as a human shield and how many were the people trapped and how many were rescued by the army ?
You at least have reduced the number of deaths to “more than 10,000 “ from 40,000 for some .
It is not worth replying to your rigmarole as there is just accusations, scandalizing and running down of a Sovereign State without any substantial material to support your arguments.
Perhaps Canada’s Stephen Sharp, Australian Foreign Minster Kevin Rudd, UK’s David Cameron , the Green Party in Australia may feel good reading your second hand document, as they have committed more violation of human rights in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya and should really be accused for war crimes and crimes against humanity.