14 December 2017

Colonialism is the root cause for the majority of present global issues

The World Bank says 1.4 billion people in developing countries are living under extreme poverty. All of these are former colonies drained off their wealth. Not many know or are informed of the legacy of colonial crimes committed by European colonial explorers together with the Church. Invasion, occupation, plunder, murder, elimination of everything traditional was their objective. Every Christian/Catholic in Americas, Asia, Africa & Australiasia came to be so as a result of forced/coercive conversions. While all these crimes are still unaccounted, the same perpetrators are using UN and international legal systems & nomenclatures like R2P to militarily invade and occupy, economically entrap to debt & plunder resources while using various insidious methods to depopulate these same third world countries in what is today known as neocolonialism. The world should not turn a blind eye to the perpetrators continuing their corrupt ways while pointing fingers at others. They have no moral authority to do so.
Church-European Explorers use Terra Nullius (Nobody’s Land) to confiscate lands that were non–Christian
The Papal Bull orders of Pope Nicolas V on January 8, 1455 to European explorers to grab lands was clear.
…–invade, search out, capture, vanquish, and subdue all Saracens and pagans whatsoever, and other enemies ofChrist where so ever placed…” and to …reduce their persons to perpetual slavery”. Papal Bull Inter caetera divided the Non-Christian world between Spain and Portugal.
How can you ‘discover’ land that was already occupied? Columbus never discovered America – people werealready living in America.
That was not all that the European invaders ended up doing – they murdered, plundered, destroyed traditional tribes, cultures, value systems, introducing English education to create Western-worshipping locals, forced conversions, replaceable traditional administrative and legal systems with western, non-Christian places of religious sites and on top of these sites erected Churches, they destroyed traditional agriculture and replaced with cash crops thus ruining the soil and these countries are suffering as a result. The virtual same is being done through transnational corporations and privatization and present use of UN’s R2P military interventions and illegal occupations.
Until Canada gives Indigenous people their land back, there can never be reconciliation” so said Arthur Manuel.
Canada is just one of many settler states created by Great Britain having usurped the lands from the indigenous natives. Settler immigrants have taken over all lands that once belonged to the indigenous natives. Modern Canada loves to preach and dictate completely ignoring the racial discrimination, constitutional and legal discrimination, human rights & child rights violations, The name Canada sprang into being only in 16th century with the question ‘are indigenous people Canadians’. What good is Canada ratifying all of the UN’s Conventions when it is denying fundamental rights of the indigenous.
Up until the 15th century North America belonged to indigenous Native Indians. Christopher Columbus voyaged to the Americas in 1492. Americans have been declaring a holiday as Columbus Day completely ignoring the murderous history of this European explorer. The name America derives from Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci.
Then came the British headed by Sir Walter Raleigh in search of land and gold. Virginia was named in honor of Elizabeth, the Virgin Queen and English immigrants began settling in Jamestown in 1607. The Great Migration (of 50,000 British convicts) between 1620-1640 led to the 13 colonies. By 1800s there were 2m English migrants. By 1910, Eastern & Southern Europeans made up 70% of the immigrants to US.
According to the 1775 Phips Proclamation in Massachusetts, King George II of Britain called for subjects to embrace all opportunities of pursuing, captivating, killing and destroying all and every of the aforesaid Indians.”
An interactive map shows how the white migrants took 1.5billion acres of land belonging to Native Indians in America http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_vault/2014/06/17/interactive_map_loss_of_indian_land.html
12million Native Americans before arrival of Europeans came down to 237,000 Native Americans by 1900. The British purposely gave smallpox contaminated blankets to kill people. The Mandan tribe was virtually exterminated through smallpox. The British convicts lived like cannibals – http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/10031678/British-settlers-in-Jamestown-resorted-to-cannibalism.html
In 1493 Pope Alexander VI issued the bull Inter Cetera giving Spain rights to conquer lands that Columbus had already ‘discovered’.
On the island of Espanola, on orders of Columbus 50,000 native people died within months following the establishment of the first Spanish colony. It took just 50 years to exterminate 95% of natives in Honduras. According to Pedro de Cieza de Leon, the Spanish chronicler of the Inca conquest, Roque Martin kept “the quarters of Indians hanging on his porch to feed his dogs with, as if they were wild beasts.”
European conquests of South America virtually destroyed civilizations of Incas, Mayas & Aztecs.
South America was forcefully evangelized in the 16th century but even after 500years the Church is dependent on US/European support.
The Tupi people inhabited almost all of Brazil’s coast when the Portuguese first arrived and virtually disappeared because of European diseases.
Spanish and Portuguese empires stole from Bolivia, Mexico and Peru the natural riches of silver and gold that became the economic base of all modern industrial economies. United States has sent more than 180 military operations to Latin America since 1890 to protect private American business interests but at the US taxpayers cost.
European exploration of Africa began with the Greeks and Romans, who explored and settled in North Africa. Portuguese explorer Prince Henry, known as the Navigator, was the first European to methodically explore Africa. The Scramble for Africa began in 1880s. Britain, France, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Portugal, and Spain began competing for power and to address the issue German chancellor Otto von Bismarck convened a diplomatic summit of European powers infamously known as the Berlin Conference from November 1884 to February 1885.
Using a PEN and WITHOUT African participation 14 countries drew territory as they liked and divided Africa amongst themselves. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FTjBNppdk-M
Major colonial holdings included:
·        Great Britain desired a Cape-to-Cairo collection of colonies and almost succeeded through their control of Egypt, Sudan (Anglo-Egyptian Sudan), Uganda, Kenya (British East Africa), South Africa, and Zambia, Zimbabwe (Rhodesia), and Botswana. The British also controlled Nigeria and Ghana (Gold Coast).
·        France took much of western Africa, from Mauritania to Chad (French West Africa) and Gabon and the Republic of Congo (French Equatorial Africa).
·        Belgium and King Leopold II controlled the Democratic Republic of Congo (Belgian Congo).
·        Portugal took Mozambique in the east and Angola in the west.
·        Italy’s holdings were Somalia (Italian Somaliland) and a portion of Ethiopia.
·        Germany took Namibia (German Southwest Africa) and Tanzania (German East Africa).
·        Spain claimed the smallest territory – Equatorial Guinea (Rio Muni).
By 1914, 90% of Africa had been divided between seven European countries with only Liberia and Ethiopia remaining independent nations.
How valid were these ‘treaties’ signed? Moreover on what legal basis could illegal occupiers grant ‘independence’ to colonies artificially divided for exploitation & plunder?
Germany ruled South West Africa, now the Republic of Namibia, between 1904 and 1907. Germany also controlled all or part of modern Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Togo and Cameroon.
King Leopold II of Belgium is said to have ordered the deaths of half of the Congo’s population, or up to 10 million people. http://www.walkingbutterfly.com/2010/12/22/when-you-kill-ten-million-africans-you-arent-called-hitler/
Europeans had now created artificial states. The PEN divided families and tribes. Europeans then began establishing colonial administrative systems to facilitate their exploitation. If we were to redraw Africa’s borders to have each ethnic group in their own country, we would have at least 2,000 countries” said Christina Mungal. She goes on to say  Nearly half (44%) of Africa’s borders are straight lines or follow lines of latitude or longitude, splitting at least 177 ethnic groups in two or more countries.” Four in ten Africans today belong to an ethnic group that has kin across borders. A study showed that length of a conflict and its casualty rate is 25% higher in areas where an ethnicity is divided by a national border as opposed to areas where ethnicities have a united homeland. Somali are split between five different countries – northern Kenya, southern Ethiopia, Eritrea and Djibouti. The Malinke of West Africa are split into six different countries – Senegal, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Cote d’Ivoire and The Gambia. http://mgafrica.com/article/2015-01-09-africas-real-borders-are-not-where-you-think
·        Similarly, Tarek Osman too says the border lines DRAWN WITH A RULER in World War 1 still rocks the Middle East. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-25299553
·        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kxEpSqz57Vc (Sykes-Picot Agreement)
When the Africans after realizing the fraud began resisting the response of the Europeans was to mercilessly murder them. These are the nations today preaching about ‘mutually agreeable solutions’ and drafting conventions against genocide! It was the British that created concentration camps for Boers not Hitler!
The Kingdom of Congo was converted to Christianity in 1495. These are the countries today preaching religious rights & freedoms! Portuguese began the transatlantic slave trade when they exported 235 Africans from present day Senegal in 1444. The British joined the trade with John Hawkins’ expeditions from 1564. It is said that 12 million Africans were forcibly transported from their homes across the Atlantic.
Africa’s kingdoms were powerful & sophisticated with rich cultures but Europeans described them as ‘savages’ ‘uncivilized’ and ‘subhuman’. They called it the ‘white man’s burden’.
The East India Company controlled much of the Indian subcontinent by 1818. Francis Drake, one of the most notorious pirates in history, and Robert Clive, pillaged Bengal. William Dalrymple’s review of The Tears of the Rajas by Ferdinand Mount declares the British empire was erected on the dead bodies of hundreds of thousands of its Indian subjects. However, a YouGov 2014 poll declared almost 60% of Britons were proud of the British Empire and almost 50 % thought it had made the colonies better off. Government of India Act of 1858 led the British crown to assume direct control. By 1890 about 6,000 British officials ruled 250 million Indians. Up to 35 million died unnecessarily in famines. In 1943 nearly four million Bengalis died Churchill said ‘It was their own fault, … for breeding like rabbits”.
Sri Lanka too suffered from not only Indian invaders but 3 colonial European invaders – Portuguese, Dutch & British. None were better than the other. Murder, pilferage, plunder, destruction of non-Christian places of worship, killing of children and women, scorched earth policy, killing elephants as a sport, enjoying breakfast while natives were being hung, stealing lands and growing cash crops, importing labor who are today demanding separate states, creating ethnic and racial tensions and disharmony through administrative systems are just some of the policies adopted by these colonial rulers who have the audacity to preach on subjects that they violated as a policy and which they refuse to account for.
All of the colonial rulers and present day Big Powers have blood on their hands which have not been accounted for. None of these countries can speak of human rights, quote the law or introduce conventions without atoning for their sins.
Their invasions & occupied rule dehumanized people who were living peacefully in their lands. The indigenous natives were forced to adapt foreign cultures, racist ideologies that divided people, they were suppressed & subjugated. These powerful nations have no moral right to speak on any subject having invaded nations and stolen their raw materials and used locals as cheap labor while importing people from other nations and creating migrants now demanding piece of land & autonomy.
There are now more than 150 disputes that involve territory, mostly in Africa, Asia, and the Pacific region, but also in Europe and the Americas – all due to colonial European rulers and their artificial demarcations.
Industrialization in Europe created unemployment, poverty, homelessness, social displacement from rural areas etc as not all could be absorbed into the new capitalist industries. To resolve this Europeans began exporting populations and white settler colonies were created in Algeria, Tunisia, South Africa, Namibia, Angola, Mozambique, Central Africa, Zimbabwe and Zambia.
The colonial rulers through education and indoctrination created sub-groups of locals who would continue to foster the culture of privatization, inequality, racism, divisionary politics birthed by colonials and handed over to elite locals to follow. Any local leader not following norm was quickly removed by assassination – Aung San of Mynmar & Patrice Lumumba of Congo or removed by regime change in lieu of installing puppet leaders – present Sri Lanka.
Colonized nations had to suffer agro-export economies, access to land came under privileged few, income and poverty inequality divided people, natural resources became exploited, environment became destroyed, people became source of cheap labor transported under various incentive schemes,
The worst war crimes & genocide against humanity has been committed by Britain, France, Portugal, Netherlands, Spain, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Denmark, US, Ottoman Empire.
None of these countries can raise a voice or point fingers at any country. None of these countries can speak on human rights when they ignore even compensating for the violations they committed on every nation they illegally invaded & people they murdered.
None of these countries can come forward as conflict resolutionists as every issue the world suffers today has emerged from the seed colonials planted as a policy of divide and rule.
None of these countries have any moral right to demand tribunals against other countries for none of their crimes have been allowed to be brought to a tribunal while it is these very countries that determine the laws & who gets indicted and punished.
None of these countries can point fingers at any nation accusing them of being dictators or murderers when these Christian European nations AS A POLICY and WITH CLEAR ORDERS from the superiors put to death MILLIONS OF INNOCENT PEOPLE who were only defending their land.

Shenali D Waduge

Sources:

British historian Thomas Packenham, in his comprehensive 1991 book The Scramble for Africa, White Man’s Conquest of the Dark Continent from 1876 to 1912

09 December 2017

If India had not helped Prabakaran escape in June 1987…there would be no May 2009

How many are aware that Prabakaran was cornered in Vadamarachchi in June 1987? How many are aware that India actually threatened Sri Lankan Government to order its troops to set him free? How many are aware that India helicoptered Prabakaran out of Sri Lanka to India? The order came from the very man that LTTE eventually blew to pieces in India itself. Why would India want to save a terrorist leader? If India had not threatened Sri Lanka to release cornered Prabakaran in 1987 thousands of lives would have been saved. There would have been no 30year conflict. India therefore, has much to account for and not a single apology has been made for what India did to a friendly neighbor.

In 1987 JRJ was President. Lalith Athulathmudali was Minister of National Security. The Overall Operations Commander was Brig. G H de Silva while troops were led by Brig Denzil Kobbekaduwa and Col. Vijaya Wimalaratne. The offensive was launched on 26 May 1987 with 8000 troops from the Gemunu Watch, Gajaba Regiment, Sri Lanka Light Infantry. Lt. Col. Vipul Boteju, Lt. Col. Wasantha Perera, Lt. Col. Sathis Jayasundara, Maj. Gotabaya Rajapakse, Maj. Sarath Handapangoda, Lt. Col. Narada Wickramaratne & Maj. Sarath Fonseka were noteable figures in charge of the troops.

LTTE had blown up the Thondamanaru bridge to delay troops reaching Valvettithurai and area was heavily mined resulting in many soldier deaths. But troop morale was high. By early June the troops had gained control over entire zone but offensive had to be abandoned following the Indian threat and the forced dropping of food supplies on 3 June 1987 (just 25 tons of food from a country where their own citizens die daily of no food).

The importance of this revelation is that the parippu drop (Operation Poomalai) was on 3 June 1987 giving just 30 minutes notice to the Sri Lankan Government with threats not to react leading to the signing of the Indo-Lanka Accord on 29 July 1987 with IPKF landing on 30th July 1987.   

Many of the key personnel who took on the first biggest military operation are sadly not alive today. Many of them killed by the very terrorists they were forced to let loose. Had Prabakaran been caught they would all be alive today.

The takeaway from this is that in 1987 our troops cornered Prabakaran and was about to capture him alive when India threatened to attack Sri Lanka unless it stopped its military onslaught against LTTE. There ended Operation Liberation that commenced on 26 May 1987. The combined troop action with several regiments joining for the offensive & use of diversionary troops was repeated and led to the final defeat of the LTTE in May 2009. Intelligence was also in place helping the Armed Forces pinpoint exactly where Prabakaran was located. Ironically, Operation Liberation mirrored the ‘hearts & minds campaign’ to win over the Tamil people repeated in the military cum humanitarian offensive that ended LTTE leader & ground cadres in May 2009. By 3 June 1987 entire Vadamarachchi area came under the Sri Lankan Security Forces including the main town Velvettithurai the birthplace of Prabakaran.

It was on 21 July 1987 that India sent 6 helicopters to Sri Lanka from India to transport Prabakaran, his wife & family to Delhi. They were kept at the Ashok Hotel in Delhi. He was flown back to Jaffna from Delhi after Rajiv returned to Delhi on 2 August 1987. Close to two weeks in Delhi, Prabakaran would have been biting his nails at his fate if India did not allow him to return! This showed that India kept its cards close to chest making sure Prabakaran had no access to his men until India got what it wanted the Indo-Lanka Accord & the 13th amendment creating the provincial council system.

However, the country that saved Prabakaran attempted to kill him according to Maj. Gen. Harkirat Singh commander of IPKF who says he was ordered to eliminate Prabakaran twice in September 1987. The order came after India & RAW had begun to train & arm ENDLF (Eelam National Democratic Liberation Front) to replace Prabakaran. ENDLF comprised splinter groups from EPRLF, PLOTE, TELO. If India assured Sri Lankan Government it would disarm militants in 72 hours what was India doing training and arming ENDLF?

India that threatened Sri Lanka not to capture Prabakaran and whisked him off to Delhi using the IPKF declares war on LTTE on 8 October 1987 exactly 70 days after landing in Sri Lanka. IPKF left Sri Lanka in March 1990 and on 21st May 1991 Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated in Tamil Nadu. If Gen. Harikat had carried out orders then Prabakaran would be dead & Rajiv Gandhi would be alive too!

There are some puzzling points – India saves Prabakaran from capture by Sri Lankan troops & is transported to Delhi where Indian PM Rajiv Gandhi presents his own bullet proof vest and then India tries to bump Prabakaran off after signing the Indo-Lanka Accord & placing Indian troops in Sri Lanka! But Prabakaran beats Rajiv Gandhi at his own game and Rajiv ends up in smithereens. What does this all add upto?

It could only mean that the Tamil militancy was used as a means to justify Indian presence in Sri Lanka & the Tamil grievance issue is also being used to justify Indian interference in Sri Lanka. That Tamils are aware of this but is using it to advance their own agendas is good to take note of. Let’s all realize that the Tamils that died who were victims of LTTE were all low caste, poor or promising future leaders. Against this 1m Tamils because of LTTE terrorism found their way to live in foreign shores & have helped their families prosper from foreign remittances. Naturally, Tamils are silently thankful for the windfall. 1m Tamils would not be living overseas if not for LTTE terrorism.

If India could exert this much influence over a neighbor it would have been peanuts to influence the 1983 riots thus creating the necessary environment to bring out the LTTE into the open & use the attacks on Tamils as a global propaganda to justify LTTE existence. The Indian role in creating ground work for the 1983 riots was nicely brushed into the background & instead the propaganda channels ensured the Sinhalese were branded as murderers ignoring that the attacks were systematically done with government involvement. Many rumours still remain that Indian intelligence were also heavily involved from the background while the cream of the Tamil society were kept safe & protected.

The Indian roleplay is confusing in the light of certain discrepancies questioning who was ordering whom & who were deciding what cards to play. If Indian intelligence trained Sri Lankan Tamil militant groups clandestinely referring to them as ‘our boys’ it explains why the IPKF were not given proper maps & ill-prepared for the task that Indian Government committed to under the Indo-Lanka Accord. What was the real purpose in Indian troop presence – they did not speak Tamil, they did not know to identify Tamils, Sinhalese or Muslims or even LTTE. Therefore, when Dixit wrote to Delhi on 19 September 1987 that IPKF was totally unprepared for the task at hand we want to know what that ‘task’ actually was.

India is notorious for its poor relations with all of its South Asian neighbors. Destabalizing tactics by Indian governments has been a strategy to keep all of these neighbors under Indian rule of law & influence. India maintains its self-appointed status quo as big-brother by creating influencers for which India demands a role in its solutions. It means India is no neighbor to trust and is not a reliable friend or partner. Sri Lanka’s governments have lacked a diplomatic strategy for India, to maintain cordial relations while not allowing India to bully or bulldoze Sri Lanka or Sri Lankans. Our diplomats & advisors have failed to formulate a plan to counter act / balance & defend Sri Lanka against Indian tirades, instead all have opted to take the appeasing India formula. To deal with countries playing double games, one must also have a double game.

Be that as it may, the brave commanders & troops that led Operation Liberation cornering Prabakaran in his own birthtown and minutes away from capture was stopped by India in 1987. Working on ‘what ifs’ he Prabakaran been captured in 1987 every single person that died by LTTE suicide bomber, LTTE claymore mines, LTTE bombs and assassinations would all be living today including Rajiv Gandhi, R Premadasa, cream of the UNP leadership, Lakshman Kadiragamar, scores of Tamil children would not have been kidnapped and turned into child soldiers, scores of cadres could have done something more than taking to a gun & killing, there would have been no LTTE diaspora giving everyone a headache, there would have been no LTTE illegal international network from which they are drawing millions to buy people, Sri Lanka would not have had to spend trillions on a war budget or repairing infrastructure bombed, the country would have developed and the people would be living in better conditions than they are now. The inability to do all this was because India stopped the capture of Prabakaran in 1987 and India should not only apologize but should compensate for all of the losses.

Instead India wants to take over Trinco turn it into a naval base, take Mattala and turn it into an Indian airforce base to spy on China, force Sri Lanka to sign ETCA and flood Indians into Sri Lanka to turn it into a virtual Indian colony, take Sampur, grab our energy & food security and we have a bunch of fools in Parliament who are clueless to even imagine the consequences and dangers of India’s manoevres.


Shenali D Waduge    



07 December 2017

Media Freedom under UNP

The Prime Minister loves to take pot shots at opponent’s every time he lands himself in a quandary. It is his tactic to divert attention from his misdemeanors. The Bond Scam being a prime example has seriously damaged his clean record that has been his saving grace among UNP voters to argue in favor of his leadership. Now UNP support base finds themselves in a soup given that the vision has delivered nothing but a sell-out of or privatization of national assets to foreign countries & foreign firms with nothing delivered to the general masses. A favored subject of the UNP election campaigns has been to claim itself the beacon of media freedom & democracy. Actions speak volumes and to highlight and leave it for readers to judge, the speech made by Information & Media Minister Mangala Samaraweera made on the adjournment Debate on the demise of late journalist Sivaram Dharmaratnam (Taraki) on 6 May 2005 is extensively quoted.

“No Government brought pressure to bear upon the media in this country prior to 1977, as a matter of principle. The UNP regimes since coming in to power in 1977 considered influencing the media as a matter of state policy.”

As soon as the UNP gained power in 1977, state owned media institutions, Lake House and the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation were brought under the control of the Sirikotha”

“The staunch UNP member Ranapala Bodhinagoda was appointed as the Chairman of the Lake House. Ranjan Wijeratne, who subsequently became a strong Minister was appointed as a Working Director.”

“They started their control over the Lake House by harassing the SLFP and other leftist employees in various ways. Senior journalists such as Silumina Chief Editor Wimalasiri Perera, Dinamina Chief Editor Peramunethileka, Daily News Chief Editor S. Pathiravithana, Silumina Deputy Editor Nimal Horana, Dinamina Deputy Editor Poojitha Wijetunga, Dinamina News Editor Dayananda Kumaradasa, Dinamina Sub-editor Wimalaweera Perera, Daily News News Editor Nihal Ratnayaka and Dinamina Staff Reporters Upali Rupasinghe, Yapa Karunaratne and Kulatunga Somaratne were dismissed by way of political victimization.”

“SLBC leading media person, Sinhala services Director H. M. Gunasekera, Amarabandu Rupasinghe, Premakeerthi de Alwis, and Newton Gunaratne were interdicted.”

“The "Times" Company which published the leading newspaper "Lankadeepa" continuously over decades was taken over by the Government and was closed down.”

“When Lankadeepa reappeared in circulation under the Vijaya newspaper group, President Premadasa pressurised it at length and at a certain stage, being annoyed by a news item appeared in the Lankadeepa, went to the extent of threatening its owner Ranjith Wijewardena in public saying "Ranjith, be aware of what is going to happen to you".”

“He (Premadasa) held out threats of murder in Parliament against Upali Group newspaper owner Upali Wijayawardena who defied UNP commands.”

“By and large the private media were totally denied the media right of criticising the Government.” (UNDER UNP)

“The newspapers "Attha", "Janadina", and "Sirilaka" were sealed over and over again.”

They were subjected to many harassments and the transport of their newspapers by bus was prohibited. Government advertisements were denied to them.”

Private institutions which gave advertisements to these papers were influenced. Such influence was exerted not only to political papers but also to independent newspapers.”

“The raid of "Attha" press and taking its editor to the 4th floor became a daily routine.”

“As far as the Lake House papers were concerned, not only the lead news, but also the headlines, pictures, captions and even page settings were the decisions taken by the Presidential Secretariat.”

Taking the pages of the Lake House papers to the President or their approval by the Information Officer was the general order of the day during that period.”

“There was a habit of the President's Information Officer visiting the News Unit of the SLBC at 3.30 a.m. everyday during that time. Ignoring all other important information, the News Broadcast had to begin with some news to bolster the President's image. Each media institution had a Special Presidential Unit.”

“The UNP, soon after coming into power in 1977 completely prohibited publication of Cabinet secrets in violation of the people's right to be aware of information.”

“The first action was filed in court under the State Secrets Act by former Minister Ronie de Mel against journalist Prasad Gunawardena of the "Island" newspaper.”

For the first time in history, newspaper editors were summoned to Parliament and tried under Parliamentary Privileges Act and were punished.”

“On one occasion the "Observer" editor was summoned to Parliament for inadvertently inter-changing captions of two pictures.”

“The Parliamentary Powers and Privileges Act was passed in Parliament within three days on January 30, 1978 as an act of urgent national importance.”

“On February 02 (1978), the two media men Philip Cooray and Herald Peiris were summoned to Parliament functioning as a Court of Law and they were punished.”

“On that occasion Prime Minister J. R. Jayewardene in his address threatened that "In future offenders will not escape this place with a punishment of this leniency".”

“Journalistic activities of veteran journalist Dayasena Gunasinghe were subjected to injunctions for the sin of writing an editorial in the "Divaina" criticising President J. R. Jayawardene's public announcement that "each person must look after his own security".”
“The then Justice Minister Nissanka Wijeratne misused the law in an attempt to control the media. An attempt was made in 1984 to amend the Press Council Act to prohibit writing articles in newspapers under pseudonyms.”

“The UNP influenced not only the media institutions. They harassed media men endlessly.”

Richard de Soyza, the mediaman of international repute was abducted in the night of February 18, 1990, and was brutally killed and his body was thrown into the sea.”

“All media personalities and civil organizations clamoured in chorus demanding a fair inquiry into this murder. UNP regime only lingered on a mild form of investigation while ignoring our cry as the Opposition in Parliament for a parliamentary debate on this murder.”

“Following Richard de Soyza's assassination, his contemporary colleagues Amal Jayasinghe, Arjuna Ranawana, Varuna Karunatilleke and Aruna Kulatunga fled away from the country to save their lives.”

“The "Divaina" newspaper photographer Wimal S. Surendra who took a photograph of a powerful UNP female activist in 1983 was mysteriously murdered on the road right opposite the house of former Minister John Amaratunga.”
That was a death that remains a mystery to date.

H. E. Dayananda who serialized "Wame Kathawa" in the Wednesday supplement of "Divaina" newspaper was murdered.”

“The script writer of "Kavuda Me, Monawada Karanne" drama, Dehiwala MMC of the UNP itself disappeared mysteriously.”

Kithsiri Samaranayaka, the Lankadeepa journalist who at times criticised the Government severely, was stabbed to death at the bus halt opposite the mosque of eye hospital junction.”

“The Dickwella area correspondent Gunasena Kasturiarachchi was murdered mysteriously.”

“Apart from this, the Government never bothered to hold a formal inquiry in respect of the murders of veteran journalists of high esteem like Premakeerthi de Alwis, Thevis Guruge and Kulasiri Amaratunga.”

“The Bomiriya residence of the "Divaina" newspaper was attacked with bombs.”

“"Attha" cartoonist Yoonus' mouth was cut by employing thugs.”

“The doors of the SLBC were closed to artistes of the highest national fame like Premasiri Khemadasa, Pandit W. D. Amaradeva, Nanda Malani, Vijaya Kumaranatunga, Sugathapala de Silva, Professor Ediriweera Sarachchandra and R. R. Samarakone because they demanded the withdrawal of a proposal to abolish former Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike's civil rights.”

Piyadasa Malalgoda who wrote and published the poem "Devadattha of the modern era" was taken to the dubious 4th floor on 12 occasions for interrogation and he was prosecuted.”

“…private electronic media had no chance to announce news”

“Announcement of news was a Government monopoly.”

“The resignation of Lalith Athulathmudali and Gamini Dissanayaka from their portfolios over the impeachment issue was prohibited to be published.

“The UNP which did not tolerate workers' agitations over their 17 year rule completely banned publication of news relating to workers' strikes through the State media.”

“The State radio and television left no room for publication of news pertaining to the opposition and completely banned showing opposition members on the television.”

“The UNP who toppled the Freedom Alliance and regained power in 2001 resumed their usual media policy which they pursued throughout their 17 year rule since 1977.”

They dissolved the Information Department. A separate media unit was established under the Prime Minister's Office.”

“All the State media institutions were brought under the control of UNP henchmen within that unit.”

“The decisive posts of private media institutions were filled by appointing their henchmen. It was these henchmen who were necessarily participated in the foreign tours and discussions abroad attended by the Prime Minister.”

“The international sojourns by these groups at the expense of public funds became the order of the day. The selected crowd of journalists obedient to Government received highest perks. An invisible mechanism of horror was in motion against independent journalists.”

“The victims of this mechanism included not only the local journalists but also the foreign journalists. The deportation of the internationally renowned journalist Paul Harris is the best example in this regard.”

While Ranil Wickremesinghe was the Prime Minister, the doors of State media institutions were completely closed to the opposition.”

“The journalists who were deemed not loyal to the Government were deprived of their employment. Some were transferred.
Some were intimidated. Opponents were tortured mentally and physically.”

“Live political debates participated by politicians of the opposition were completely barred from telecast.”

“Even in case of dialogues among the ruling party members, if a listener were to express opinion, it had to be approved in advance before the programme is telecast.”

“The State media was used perennially to slander and unease organisations and individuals not supportive of the Government.”

‘A number of North East journalists came to be brutally murdered even while a ceasefire was in force. "Dinamurusu" newspaper Editor Ramesh Nadarajah belonging to the EPDP was murdered. Aiyadurei Nadesan, the "Weerakesari" reporter was killed on May 31, 2004.
Kandasamy Aiyar Balanadarajah (Sinnabala), another journalist was murdered on August 16, 2004. On July 26, 2004, "Dinamurusu" newspaper free lance reporter S. Kamaladasan was shot at on his legs. On March 06,2005, "Dinamurusu" reporter Sathasivam Kamalanathan was shot at causing him fatal injuries. This murder was clearly a result of the power struggle among armed groups in the North East. We have to severely condemn these killings, whoever the perpetrators were.”

What is poignant about the above quotes is that it is being said by the same minister now holding the post of Media & Finance under a UNP government that he alleged.

In all the number of deaths attributed against UNP is over 10
The number of persons killed or intimidated is no less than 40.

Since 1977, this is the third stint of UNP rule – have policies towards media changed?

  

Shenali D Waduge

05 December 2017

Sri Lanka Civilian Casualties – why is UNHRC refusing to accept 7721 figure?

Hot on the heels of Lord Naseby questioning the British Government & exposing the duplicity & bias of the UNHRC, it is time for the UN to come clean and explain why they have been selective in picking civilian casualty estimates. Why are they shy from releasing the UN Country Team report giving 7721 deaths? Anyone alleging war crimes must explain why the Sri Lankan Military would allegedly kill ’40,000’ but physically save 300,000 of which 12,000 were LTTE cadres surrendering in civilian clothing! All of the guestimates it must be pointed out come from third party sources with invisible or possibly non-existent ‘witness’ accounts. However, a war crimes tribunal cannot be established based on these flimsy lies & media stunts & a country’s national army cannot be taken to the gallows on such lies & hyped allegations sans proof.

Sources quoting less than 10,000 deaths

·      UN country team in Sri Lanka placed dead at 7721 (Ban Ki Moon’s personally appointed a 3 member panel however declared the figure ‘too low to accept’

·      Survey by the GOSL in the North at the end of the conflict done by Tamils placed the dead and missing at 7400 including LTTE killed in combat & 2600 missing of this 1600 had been with LTTE whereas only 438 had disappeared in areas under military control

·      Population survey by Tamil Teachers of the North in July 2011 covering migration, deaths, untraceable persons from 2005 to 2009 revealed 7896 dead including LTTE. The dead from natural illness & sickness was 1102.

·      UNICEF-sponsored Family Tracing & Verification Unit 2011 listed 2564 untraceable persons of which 676 were children (64% had been kidnapped by LTTE)

·      Amnesty International (2011 report) quotes 10,000 civilian deaths. Thereafter Amnesty quoted figure of 40,000 dead.

·      Gordon Weiss – former UN official originally quoted 7000 dead, at his book launch he inflated the figure to 40,000 and changed it to 10,000 at his book launch & when cornered by a member of the audience he placed the error on the printer! Quoting dead has become a lucrative venture.

·      Tamilnet – the LTTE propaganda channel reported 7398 deaths

·      Data compiled by the South Asia Terrorism Portal, data “primarily based on figures released by the pro-LTTE Website Tamil Net”, put the casualty figure for civilians inside Mullaithivu at 2,972 until 5 April 2009.


Above 10,000 deaths quoted from third party sources

·      Darusman Panel selected to be members of the UNSG’s personally commissioned Panel immediately after producing their report co-authored an article claiming the Sri Lankan Government committed war crimes. Furthermore, Darusman report refers to LTTE as a ‘disciplined group’ – if so why has 32 countries proscribed it as a Foreign Terrorist Organization?

·      13 March 2009 – UN Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pillay’s press release said that ‘as many as 2800 civilians ‘may have been killed’.

·      US former envoy Robert Blake – quotes 40,000 dead (US Congressional Hearing)

·      Siobhain McDonagh (UK Labor MP) declared 100,000 dead (did she count from UK)

·      Satellite report by the American Association for the Advancement of Science identified 3 graves – one had bodies of 1346, another a LTTE graveyard with 960 bodies. Report did not detect 40,000 or more dead.

·      The Times of London – 20,000

·      The Guardian editorial (Sri Lanka: Evidence that won’t be buried (June 15, 2011),) – 40,000

·      Editorials by The Times and The Sunday Times in late May 2009 related investigations the papers had conducted that revealed more than 20,000 Tamil civilians were killed in the final phase.

·      Alan Keenan the Project Director of International Crisis Group Sri Lanka placed civilians killed in the Vanni between 40,000 – 147,000

·      The Institute of Conflict Management, Delhi – 11,111

·      The University Teachers for Human Rights-Jaffna in a Special Report no. 32 of 10 June 2009 and Special Report No 34 of 13 December 2009 placed the dead between 20,000-40,000

·      Dr. V. Shanmugarajah – says the death toll is closer to 1000 (thousand)

·      Charles Petrie reviewing UNSG’s report in 2012 gave 70,000 figure completely ignoring the UN Representative office figure of 7721.

·      Bishop of Mannar, Rayappu Joseph – claims 147,000 as missing (It is strange that he has not placed one single name of the missing with the Commission though he can rally numerous priests to sign letters and sent to the UNHRC calling for international investigations against Sri Lanka.

·      Independent Diaspora Analysis Group-Sri Lanka – 15,000-18,000

·      Rajasingham Narendran - ‘My estimate is that the deaths — cadres, forced labour and civilians — were very likely around 10,000 and did not exceed 15,000 at most’


·      Muttukrishna Sarvananthan of the Point Pedro Institute said “[approximately] 12,000 [without counting armed Tiger personnel] “.

·      Dr. Noel Nadesan: “”roughly 16,000 including LTTE, natural, and civilians”.

·      Publication titled “Genocidio: (Primera entrega) – La masacre de los Tamils en Sri Lanka,” [Genocide: (First Delivery) The Slaughter of Tamils in Sri Lanka], the Argentinean periodical La Tarde (diario) in a Spanish language article – 146,679 Tamils disappeared or killed between 2008 and 2009, of which 40,000 deaths occurred in the 48 hours of the final assault

·      Arundhati Roy, Indian commentator -”Government of Sri Lanka is on the verge of committing what could end up being genocide” and described the Sri Lankan IDP camps where Tamil civilians are being held as concentration camps. April 2009

·      Prof. Michael Roberts based his estimates between 10,000 and 18,000

·      ICRC press statement of 21 April 2009 declared that their estimates of Tamil civilians inside the no fire zone was 50,000 (In other words upto 21st April 2009, the ICRC did not know that LTTE had 300,000 people with them.  www.dailynews.lk

·      The UN High Commissioner for Refugees in November 2008 claimed there were 230,000 IDPs in the Vanni (Sri Lankan forces saved close to 300,000 – this continues to raise the question of how can we differentiate civilians and LTTE)

·      The International Crisis Group quoting ICRC says 150,000 were in the NFZ in early March 2009.

·      UN estimated on 13 May 2009 that about 50,000 civilians were trapped by the conflict, in a 300sq.km strip of land www.dailynews.lk

·      Indian embedded journalist Murali Reddy reported that from 13 May 2009 there were no civilians in the 1.5sq.km strip LTTE was restricted to.  

As Lord Naseby has rightly pointed out NONE of those quoting dead have been on the ground. They are simply quoting from either LTTE support groups or parties linked to LTTE. Lord Naseby makes reference to the UNPUBLISHED report by the UN Country Team whose death toll figure is 7721 covering August 2008 to 13 May 2009. He quite rightly says that from 13 May to 19th May 2009, it is impossible for 40,000 to have been killed. Why has this UN report not been published? Why is it kept hidden from public domain?

The Lessons Learnt & Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) report tabled in Sri Lanka’s Parliament in 2011 concluded that the Sri Lanka military did not target civilians.

The Missing Persons Commission, also known as the ‘Paranagama Commission’ says the figure of 40,000 civilians killed during the final weeks of the war is a myth. http://colombogazette.com/2016/01/27/paranagama-commission-says-40000-figure-a-myth/

In fact no one speaks about the 5600 complaints received by families of missing soldiers and these are with name. The missing soldier families had even logged the details with the Parangama Commission as well as the UNHRC and to date no statement or effort has been made by any UN envoy to account for their lives and do justice by them. Instead the UN & UNHRC are going behind figures and guestimates which have no names, no details and whose details have not been logged by any family members. The Paranagama Commission had less than 20,000 names logged as missing of which 5600 complaints by soldier families.

In terms of ‘civilians’ voluntarily or involuntarily remaining with the LTTE or taking part in hostilities the international legal luminaries headed by Sir Desmond de Silva declared that it is extremely unlikely that some 20,000 cadres of LTTE, at that stage, could have taken up to 330,000 hostages against their will”. The implication is that civilians went voluntarily with the LTTE – how many went voluntarily is a question no one has answered. In the eyes of these legal luminaries LTTE had committed the act of perfidy an- act of feigning civilian status with the intent of gaining an advantage amounts to unlawful perfidious conduct.” LTTE is guilty of blurring distinction between combatants & civilians and therefore LTTE stands guilty of not complying with the principle of distinction. LTTE is guilty for unlawful use of human shields. The Sri Lankan Army complied with a no fire zone to which LTTE did not comply and if both sides are not in agreement there is no official No Fire Zone.



Some factors need to be repeated

·      Sri Lanka’s conflict categorized as a Non-International Armed Conflict denies LTTE any legal status as combatant or POW & requires LTTE inspite of its terrorist designation abide by international humanitarian laws. http://www.lankaweb.com/news/items/2015/06/19/chargesheet-against-ltte-we-demand-accountability-of-30-years-of-ltte-war-crimes/   http://www.sinhalanet.net/ltte-cadres-are-not-prisoners-of-war-file-charges-against-them-for-war-crimes-in-sri-lanka
·      That LTTE was designated as a terrorist organization & banned by 32 countries clearly destroys the myth that Sri Lanka suffered an ethnic conflict. Sri Lanka suffered a terrorist conflict as LTTE killed even Tamils.
·      The decision to militarily defeat the LTTE came after the country suffered 30 years of terrorism and after failed peace talks, ceasefires & third party negotiations. One incident (9/11) was enough for US & Allies to bomb Afghanistan, invade the country & remain occupying it since 2001!
·      LTTE & Prabakaran could not have become an internationally feared terrorist organization capable of even assassinating a foreign Prime Minister if it did not have ‘friends’ in higher places. All those calling for investigations nicely omit to mention the need to investigate who were the players that helped LTTE directly/indirectly, provided material support, financial support, training, propaganda & PR support, technical expertise, arms training, NGOs, foreigners, international organizations involved with & co-partnering with the LTTE to advance their own geopolitical objectives. When will these people & organizations be held accountable?
·      What is beyond belief is the manner foreign forces in the form of foreign governments, foreign organizations, UN & associate bodies, foreign MPs, foreign media are all congregating to demand answers from the Sri Lankan Government on the last 3 months that ended 30 years of terror but did NOTHING throughout 30 years to save innocent citizens from being blown to pieces by the LTTE. Let us not forget that that the Sri Lankan Armed forces inspite of its military offensive brought to safety 300,000 Tamils which included 12,000 LTTE cadres who surrendered in civilian clothing. If the intent was to kill as is being alleged how is that that these LTTE cadres in civilian clothing remained alive?
·      It is also puzzling why the UNSG chose only Sri Lanka to appoint a personal panel to appraise him of the last 3 months and we are stupefied how that personal report became the basis of successive resolutions by the UNHRC against a sovereign state when the report was never tabled in the UNGA or sanctioned by the UNSC. This questions the legality of the resolutions having being derived from an illegal & questionable process where the Ban Ki Moon panel has openly shown bias. Yasmin Sooka a member of the panel who is paid to be working in the interest of South Africa is 24x7 more interested in LTTE than her native South Africans! She is a frequent visitor to pro-LTTE stages and they address her as ‘comrade’ such alliance is a direct conflict of interest. Her fantastical reports are released close to some international session no different to the dramas by C4. The legality of the Ban Ki Moon report used for the UNHRC resolutions need to be investigated as well as the links of all those making allegations against the Sri Lanka Armed Forces for their financial involvements with LTTE fronts.


All these linked and taken together shows a large nexus of people riding on the LTTE using it as a cash cow for various purposes.

Why does UNHRC and foreign governments not want to accept the 7721 dead figure?


Shenali D Waduge