Amnesty International Secretary General Agnes Callamard arrives to commemorate LTTE dead in Mullaivaikkal

In 2011 AMNESTY accepted $50,000 from a Canadian based LTTE front, so naturally it is not a surprise when AMNESTY International’s Alan Keenan quoted 40,000 to 147,000 dead. Can Amnesty produce names of even 10,000 dead, we think not. Interesting that the photo of the commemoration with Agnes Callamard bowing & offering flowers was in an area adorned with LTTE terrorist emblems & flags. Fancy taking a flight to lay flowers for terrorists. She describes this as “very moving” and that she “met with 20 mothers” (where were the 40,000 mothers) and listened to “their anguish”.

Lets first get somethings sorted out & ask Agnes Callamard some questions.

If, as per Amnesty’s quote about 40,000 – 147,000 killed …. Why were there only 20 mothers? Where were the mothers of the rest?

Who are these mothers?

  • Are they mothers of only LTTE dead?
  • Are they mothers of other Tamil militants?
  • Are they mothers of those killed by LTTE?
  • Are they mothers of those killed during hostilities?
  • Who are these dead – LTTE or any others?

She speaks about “everyone’s failures” – she is right about that. The UN & international agencies failed to stop LTTE killings across 30 years. How is that the UN & these international agencies are shedding crocodile tears only after LTTE is deiminated?

Have they come to commemorate the dead killed inside the sacred Sri Maha Bodhi temple in 1985? The Muslims killed inside the mosque while praying in 1991? The innocent people killed when LTTE bombed the Central Bank of Sri Lanka in 1996? The 66 passengers killed by LTTE in Kebethigollewa in 2006? The 65 train passengers killed by LTTE in Dehiwela in 1996, the 35 Buddhist theros killed in 1987 in Aranthalawa? The 14 unarmed people killed in Akuressa in 2009 months prior to the end of the conflict?

We can present over 300 such attacks by LTTE over 30 years – why has Agnes not landed to lay flowers on behalf of them? Why does she fly only to Mullaivaikkal where the LTTE was vanquished & where LTTE flowers and emblems prevail?

Yes, everyone is “craving for justice” but it is not justice for LTTE.

Agnes & Amnesty must realize as difficult as it may be that LTTE is a banned terrorist movement. In fact, India has just proscribed LTTE for a further 5 years even 15 years after LTTE defeat claiming they continue to pose a threat. Is this threat because large numbers are getting training in the Swiss national army?

Agnes hit the nail on the head when she says “disappearance is the worst crime” but unbelievably she & Amnesty are stoic silent on the 5000 missing soldiers from the national army. These families even sent dossiers with details of the missing soldiers including their names & IDs to the UNHRC’s OISL … where is the justice for these soldiers. Has Agnes gone to lay one flower for these soldiers or spoken a single word to these women (mothers, wives, daughters & sons) living in anguish. Is there no “emptiness” for these families who don’t know where the bodies of these soldiers are? These soldiers fought to defend the nation. They didn’t fight to separate the country. So, isn’t it fair that Agnes should visit at least one of them or lay a flower for these soldiers?

Agnes says “people come together to remember” will Europe allow Osama bin Laden to be remembered? Will she go all the way to Pakistan and lay a flower at the site where US Navy Seals landed secretly & assassinated Osama bin Laden & his family?

Justice has certainly not been delivered – but not the justice Agnes wants for only LTTE. What about every single person killed by LTTE which included

  • A foreign Prime Minister
  • Foreigners (killed when LTTE bombed an Airlanka plane)
  • A sitting President & attempted to kill a sitting President
  • School principals & students
  • Passengers on buses & trains
  • Employees in public & private sector
  • Religious representatives
  • Politicians
  • Farmers & villagers in a bid to chase them out of areas LTTE wanted to control
  • Unarmed soldiers and policemen
  • Unarmed soldiers returning home

The list goes on …. But we have not seen a single statement from Amnesty for these deaths or calling for justice for these deaths. This highlights their hypocrisy.

With these facts clear, people should not be surprised when she is seen calling the international community to take action by referring Sri Lanka to the UNSC. Well, she may have forgotten that the UNHRC heads at that time did not even table the Ban Ki Moon 3 panel report to the UNGA or the UNSC, wonder why they chose to leak it instead?

It appears Agnes and the whole coterie of NGOs/INGOs are bathing in their own lies & need to be reminded that to claim genocide or even simple deaths – there must be dead bodies, at least skeletons of the supposed to be 40,000 dead. No one can name them even after 15 years. The UNSG went by helicopter over the conflict terrain 3 days after the conflict ended – surely everyone would have even got a rotten stench of 40,000 dead bodies or seen newly dug graves to dump 40,000 dead. Just imagine for yourself how ridiculous this allegation has become. Before calling for universal jurisdiction at least name the 40,000 supposed to be killed people. No one can be accused of killing anyone without a dead body. To claim anyone is missing, they must give the names of the missing. Have the families filed complaint with the police? Have they filed a habeas corpus. Have they filed with the Presidential Commission on Missing Persons or with the Office of Missing Persons. Even in 2018, the figures of missing was only 23,586.

Interestingly, why is Amnesty going after a conflict that has ended 15 years ago? What about the ongoing conflicts? Why don’t they try to stop those? Then again, why only Sri Lanka, what about going after conflicts that have ended in other countries & calling for justice there too? Or are these calls only subject to funding?

Just to refresh Agnes’s memory

The Lessons Learn & Reconciliation Commission of Nov 2011 listed:

  • 22,247 LTTE dead
  • 11,812 LTTE dead identified with names
  • 10,435 LTTE dead not identified

Why did these 10,435 families not come to meet Agnes?

Why didn’t the families of these 10,435 LTTE dead not log their names with the President Commission on Missing Persons in 2017 or the OMP?

We would like to remind Agnes of the incident of Thyaparaja who UNHRC, UTHR claimed was “missing” since September 2009 & was accused of being killed by the Sri Lankan Army… but the guy & his family were arrested by Indian police in 2014. How many more such cases like Thyaparaja is there of the “disappeared/killed” reappearing?

Incidentally, the Office of Missing Persons lists 23,586 of which 5000 is listed as Missing Soldiers of the Armed Forces. So, there is little or no basis from all the official units appointed to even claim “genocide” except for cheap well funded publicity.

No soldier or officer can be called a war criminal without dead bodies, names of the dead, skeletons of the dead or even families logging the details of the missing or the dead.

If anyone should be investigated it is entities like Amnesty whose “work” depends on sponsorships as done by Australia recently when it passed the Electoral Funding and Disclosure Reform Bill and the National Security Legislation Amendment & foreign interference laws.

Shenali D Waduge

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