Sri Lanka Need a Credible Local Investigation

Dilrook Kannangara

What happens in Sri Lanka today is far worse than a war crimes investigation. Using alleged war crimes as an extortion tool, Tamils, former imperialists and neo colonialists are making inroads into Sri Lanka’s sovereignty, national economy and the national security apparatus. Appeasing them, Sri Lanka wasted 85% of borrowings since 2009 on the north and the east neglecting productive development elsewhere, demilitarised the north to a great extent exposing national security gaps, refrained from resettling Sinhalese and Muslims evicted from the north, ushered in TNA (proxies of Tamil Terrorists) to rule the north, Indianized the local economy and scuttled further Chinese investments in the country. This madness must stop. A credible local investigation into all alleged war crimes by all parties can put this to rest for good so that the nation can get on with what is important. UNHRC 2013 resolution placed a deadline for a local independent investigation. This is a toned down version of the 2012 UNHRC resolution which called for an independent international investigation. However, a local investigation for the benefit for the nation must be done.

Investigate All Allegations against Security Forces

Most of these allegations have already been investigated. These include the Trincomalee case, Bindunuwewa case, various misconduct cases against security forces personnel. Further preliminary investigations were carried out by the LLRC. All other allegations against security forces must be investigated impartially by a local panel of experts with no interest in anti-Sri Lankan activities.

Investigate All Allegations against the LTTE and Affiliates

So far Sri Lankan investigations have been partial as they only focused on allegations against security forces. LTTE war crimes were never investigated! Thousands of LTTE war crimes must be investigated. Wrongdoers, accomplices and abetters of these crimes must be identified and punished.

Investigate All Allegations against Tamil Racist Political Parties and Riots

LTTE never had an ideological wing guiding it. LTTE’s ideology was invented, popularised and militarised by Tamil political parties including the All Ceylon Tamil Congress (ACTC), Ilankai Tamil Arasu Kachchi (ITAK), Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF), Tamil National Alliance (TNA), Peoples Liberation Organisation of Tamil Elam (PLOTE), Tamil Elam Liberation Organisation (TELO) and other ancillary groups.

Anti-Sinhala Tar Brush Campaign (1957-58), Vadukoddai Resolution which called for war against Sri Lanka (1976), demands to unleash barbaric attacks against ethnic Sinhalese by Tamil leaders and their spouses (1977), LTTE-TNA Memorandum of Understanding (2002) and TNA manifestos of 2001, 2004 and 2010 are some of the key war crimes instigation activities. These must be investigated and offenders must be punished. These political parties spreading racism and hate must be punished.

Riots of 1958, 1977, 1983, 1985 and 2002 must also be investigated. It is not too late to rest these cases. For instance in 2013 Bangladesh concluded an investigation into war crimes committed in 1971. Agreements with the LTTE war criminals including the 2002 Ceasefire Agreement (CFA) must also be investigated.

Investigate All Allegations against the Tamil Diaspora (LTTE Rump)

According to the internationally acclaimed defence journal Janes Defence, Tamil Diaspora remitted over $300 million to the LTTE in 2005 which it identified as a continuing activity. In 2006 FBI arrested 15 Tamils in Canada attempting to buy weapons. UK, Australia, France, Singapore and India also made similar arrests. As terrorist financiers, Tamil Diaspora and connected groups and persons including Adel Balasingham must be investigated. This can put the ball in the court of those alleging war crimes against Sri Lanka.

Investigate All Allegations against India, Norway and the Role of Colonials and Slave Traders

India supplied weapons and provided training to Tamil terrorist groups to commit horrendous war crimes. Indian politicians including MGR, Rajiv Gandhi, Vaiko and others supported the LTTE. Once LTTE’s war crimes are established (as above) war crimes of these persons can be established. Indian secret service R&AW also had a hand in LTTE war crimes. They too must be investigated.

IPKF committed horrendous crimes mainly against Tamils (1987-90). These also must be investigated.

Former colonial rulers displaced and caused to displace over a million Tamils from South India and also displaced hundreds of thousands of Sinhalese away from their land. Tamil migrants were used as agricultural slaves severely affecting the demographic balance within the island. These crimes must come under the microscope.

Norway, during the so called peace process, helped Tamil Terrorists and these activities must be investigated.

Investigate All Allegations against Religious Groups and Entities and NGOs

Certain religious groups and religious leaders were in the habit of justifying and supporting separatism, violence and LTTE war crimes. These persons and institutions must be investigated. A number of NGOs were supplying material to the LTTE and were promoting LTTE violent ideology. These must be thoroughly investigated and punished.

Only such a comprehensive war crimes investigation can put the matter to permanent rest. Only such an all inclusive investigation can bury the past so that the nation can move forward. However no investigation can take place within a short time frame of three months. A comprehensive investigation takes years, close to a decade. However it must be done.

Moles within the Government

However, there are LTTE Rump’s moles within the government who don’t want a comprehensive war crimes investigation. They want this drama to continue so that they remain important personalities. They use this climate of intimidation and suspense to extort as many appeasements as possible for the separatist and Tamil Elamist lobbies. Dayan and Rajiva are key anti-Sri Lanka elements within government ranks.

This government will not last forever. When it leaves office, the first thing the incoming government will do is a partial investigation against allegations of war crimes against current government personnel. That will be a politically motivated witch hunt. The only way to avoid such a witch hunt is to carry out an impartial local war crimes investigation now. Tamils, former imperialists and neo colonialists will never agree to an impartial war crimes investigation as it goes against their agendas. However, a comprehensive investigation covering all parties involved will leave them nothing to cling on to. Such an investigation will be a bargaining tool to force cooperation from these disruptive elements too.

UNHRC 2014 will be Another Defeat for Sri Lanka

Periodic changes have happened in UNHRC membership with China and Russia coming back. However, the overall composition doesn’t favour Sri Lanka. France,  Mexico,  the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia,  United Kingdom, Argentina,  Austria,  Benin,  Brazil,  Chile,  Costa Rica,  Cote d’Ivoire,  Czech Republic,  Estonia,  Germany,  India,  Ireland,  Italy,  Montenegro,  Peru,  Republic of Korea,  Romania,  Sierra Leone and  United States are certainly going to vote against Sri Lanka while Botswana,  Burkina Faso,  Ethiopia, Japan, Kazakhstan and Kenya are likely to be absent as in 2013. That leaves only 18 countries at most to oppose the resolution. It is not likely Sri Lanka will do better than 2012.

Another UNHRC resolution against Sri Lanka in 2014 will be passed. However, there is little sense in wasting time over the UNHRC which is biased as a Tamil heads it. What is important is not to be swayed by UNHRC demands and to do what benefits the nation.


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