If LTTE hardcore killers can be pardoned why shouldn’t Sunil Ratnayake be pardoned?
By Shenali Waduge
As if we did not have one global virus to contend with – there is another biased virus. A bandwagon calling themselves human rights activists deem the pardon of ‘butcher’ Sunil Ratnayake to be an unpardonable offence by President Gotabaya Rajapakse.
Where were these angels when LTTE were killing pregnant Sinhalese mothers in Kent & Dollar Farms in 1985? Of course, it’s important to understand that the attack against Sunil Ratnayake is in reality an indirect attack against the President who was gaining popularity amongst the people for his professionalism in handling the covid-19. That professionalism was spraying charcoal over those that they brought to power in January 2015. Let these goody-two-shoes bathe in their glory-minutes as the pardon has afforded a life-line to those that had been biting their nails searching for some news to make them relevant. Bless you, Sunil Ratnayake, they must be saying!
The manner of the one-sided justice and human rights mechanism is today exposing itself globally and it won’t take too long for people to call their bluff or perhaps corona-karma might visit them before that, but whoever is parroting about the injustice in releasing Sunil Ratnayake must also explain why they have failed to object when hardcore LTTE combatants were equally released even by the Mahinda Rajapakse government?
Why didn’t the same media and human rights group object when 594 Tamil child soldiers were also given presidential pardon after May 2009? Why didn’t they demand justice for attacks by LTTE on innocent villagers killing sleeping women & children, on mosques killing people in prayer, on Buddhist temples killing those in meditation, on Buddhist student priests killed one after another inside a bus? On innocent passengers in buses and trains blown to bits for doing no harm to LTTE?
President Sirisena pardoned convicted LTTEr Sivaraja Jenivan at a ceremony too in 2016.
Why didn’t this same media & human rights organizations call LTTE as ‘butchers’ – why is the reference to murderers applicable only to the Sri Lankan Army?
While LTTE terrorists carried out over 300 such attacks against innocent civilians, the case of Sunil Ratnayake is dependent on one flimsy ‘witness’ account of a man who managed to escape from 14 Sri Lankan soldiers! If these soldiers could kill 8 why did they spare this ‘witness’ whose testimony is as a result of him having his eyed bound by his sarong and then thrown to a fence and then his blindfold getting removed allowing him to see Sunil Ratnayake and escape 14 soldiers!
Sensationalism at its best.
Those parroting reports on Sunil Ratnayake – pause for a few minutes and ask yourselves these questions about this supposed ‘massacre’
Tamil civilians were barred from coming to the area where the Army was located?
LTTE dressed like civilians and came pretending to gather firewood and other items to carry out terror attacks or collect information.
Could SL Army identify LTTE from a Civilian? No
The LTTE had a separate Tamil Civilian Armed Force (MAKKAL PADAI BRIGADE) who were trained to kill. This civilian armed force comprised children as young as 7years. So whether they were 7 or 10, 19, 35 or age old grannies, LTTE had trained them in combat to kill Sri Lankan soldiers.
At any given time 10,000 TAMIL CIVILIANS were trained in combat operations by LTTE. These LTTE CIVILIANS do not qualify to be called CIVILIANS.
But how is anyone to IDENTIFY THEM as CIVILIAN as per international definition? How is the Sri Lanka to IDENTIFY THEM as CIVILIAN?
Can any human rights pundit provide an answer?
More importantly, can this witness Ponnadurai Maheshwaran prove he or his family were not members of this LTTE Civilian Armed Force?
If he was a member of the LTTE Civilian Armed Force, what is his credibility in accusing a Sri Lankan soldier of murder?
LTTE had enough & more times killed their own people and attempted to pass blame on to the Sri Lankan soldiers?
LTTE certainly blurred distinction for the Sri Lanka Army. The Sri Lanka Army CANNOT be faulted for presuming a civilian to be LTTE for LTTE functioned as civilians. In fact, LTTE killed Tamil civilians who wanted to have nothing to do with LTTE and were providing insider information to the Sri Lanka Army.
We must also not forget that 12,000 of the LTTE that surrendered to the Sri Lankan Army in May 2009 were ALL DRESSED IN CIVILIAN CLOTHING and all of them lived to surrender and was alive after surrendering.
The case of Sunil Ratnayake is interesting because it carries a political twist and lots of political bias.
The incident occurred during the tenure of President Chandrika Kumaratunga but a change of government took place in 2001 installing the pro-West government of Ranil Wickremasinghe, immediately followed by a Norway-backed cease fire agreement that had no problems in giving state territory to a terrorist organization, confining the Sri Lankan Army to barracks but allowing LTTE to roam any part of the country carrying guns and setting up offices claiming them to be ‘political offices’. It was this same government that agreed to try the arrested army officers without a jury in 2002.
Names associated with the case against Sunil Ratnayake are heavily associated with the supposed ‘civil society’ that was part of regime change.
They are selective in their topics – raise hell and then disappear awaiting another slogan. The same voices up in arms over President Sirisena giving a presidential pardon to one accused of murdering a young girl too have faded away!
With regime change in 2015 the same government that acquitted 13 soldiers for lack of evidence in the same supposed murder but declared death sentence against Sunil Ratnayake on 15th June 2015 – why? Lack of evidence for 13 soldiers but 1 gets death row! Incidentally this sentence was under a legally questionable government that came to power after a Presidential election.
How incriminating was this ‘witness’ evidence after 15 years to declare death sentence?
What about the injustice to the accused? Of the 14 soldiers allegedly 13 were released for lack of evidence except Sunil Ratnayake.
How politically motivated was the decision given that a plethora of army personnel had been dumped in prison on trivial allegations by the same government without filing any charges against them. Anyone questioning the justice system must be asking why soldiers have been arrested and put in prison without filing charges against them! Every time a foreign delegate was to land in Sri Lanka, it meant a soldiers was arbitrarily arrested and dumped in jail! Who came forward to question this?
What kind of justice system was this to satisfy the geopolitical gallery salivating against Sri Lanka’s military and waiting for any opportunity to avenge for militarily eliminating their tiger cubs?
Many commenting about the pardon are pretending this to be the only ‘murder’ that took place in Sri Lanka and that too something that took place 20 years ago. They completely neglect the horrendous murders committed by the LTTE.
Where have all of these proponents of human rights and media reporters have written a word for the victims of LTTE? LTTE in one bombing have killed over hundreds of innocent people and maimed them for life in incidents that took place from 1980s to 2009.
If we are going to be commenting on anything let there be a level playing field. Simply whitewashing LTTE and witch hunting the Sri Lankan Army is totally wrong & unacceptable. Moreover, who are the mouthpieces commenting on the pardon – they are either LTTE propagandists, LTTE fronts, LTTE paid lackeys or geopolitical organs who want to grab at any incident to downgrade a legitimate government.
Where were these voices when US President Trump said he would kill the families of terrorists in December 2015? Trump repeated the call in 2018 when he “We’re fighting a very politically correct war…When you get these terrorists, you have to take out their families! …….. But you have to take out their families.”
Then in March 2020, the US even threatened families of ICC judges – US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo threatened the family members of International Criminal Court staff, vowing that Washington will take punitive action against them if the court tries American soldiers for war crimes.
How is it that no one even the UNHRC or its head is going after the US for its open threats? Or is it because US walked out of the UNHRC calling it a cesspool of political bias! We will certainly agree with US on this statement!
Any public commentators or anyone in public office who cannot condemn impartially have no moral right to be going after Sunil Ratnayake. The decision to pardon him was the right of the head of state of a sovereign nation. We do not need pay much heed to empty biased and partial vessels that make the most noise selectively!