The title crudely portrays the hypocrisy that prevails in the present government’s policy in not siding with the national army against a banned terrorist movement that does not enjoy any international legal provisions given its status as a banned non-state actor and a country has every right to take action against it in the larger interest of the citizens that were affected by its terror reign. While the world seems to be alert & taking action against LTTE terrorists, Sri Lanka’s Government is not only releasing hard core LTTE cadres from prison but inviting the runaway cadres to return to Sri Lanka while engaging with LTTE fronts that run the LTTE foreign networks but arresting Sri Lankan soldiers & putting them in prison without bail. The world must be watching with shock & laughing at the stupidity of the Sri Lankan government that is agreeing to do everything that anyone is demanding of it.
News has been abuzz of the German authorities in Duesseldorf arresting on the orders of a judge 36 year old Sivatheeban B for killing 16 soldiers in 2008.
This news comes alongside the claim by former Malaysian Inspector General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan that LTTE ideology & sympathizers still exist inspite of LTTE defeat in 2009. He went on to say that in view of the LTTE’s ideology & support base, LTTE still posed a threat to countries including Malaysia and that LTTE should not be taken lightly. This is so true as two newly armed groups have emerged in the North (AAVA Group & Dhanu-Rock Group) both which did not exist before January 2015 while regular cache of arms & ammunitions are springing up across the country which should raise serious concern given that the Government has pruned down the army & reduced bases in the North & given up strategically located bases as well.
The relevance of this can be understood in the context of every country that banned LTTE continuing to maintain the ban even after 2009 while the Sri Lankan Government for no reason has delisted 8 of the 16 LTTE fronts banned by the previous government incorporating UNSC Resolution 1373.
Some of these deproscribed LTTE fronts are now directing policy of the present government & dictating how the Sri Lankan Government should govern the country!
Moreover, a deputy MP of the ruling Sri Lankan UNP has publicly stated her goal is the return of the LTTE (UNP Vijaykala Maheswaran is now under investigation for this statement) while in Malaysia the Penang Deputy Chief Minister Dr P Ramasamy is under heavy criticism for his involvement with the LTTE. Malaysia had arrested even lawyers & accountants for involvement with the LTTE in the past.
That the LTTE networks continue to exist was confirmed even by the US State Department – Country Terror Report
http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2018/07/31/ltte-ideology-still-poses-threat-says-ex-igp/(LTTE ideology & support base still exists – Malaysian IGP)
https://indianexpress.com/article/world/asia/lttes-international-network-financial-support-still-active-us-terror-report/ (LTTE international network & financial support still active – US)
However, Switzerland in early 2018 released 13 LTTE financiers http://www.sundayobserver.lk/2018/06/17/news/swiss-court-releases-thirteen-alleged-ltte-financiers
There are calls to release LTTE claiming them to be ‘political prisoners’. There is no international legal definition for terrorists, however, LTTE are unlawful combatants engaged in a non-international armed conflict (NIAC) and the applicable laws for NIAC are International Humanitarian Law, Customary IHL & Local laws.
While IHL does not confer legal status to a non-state actor like LTTE, LTTE does have to abide by laws that govern IHL.
IHL Treaty Law permits a state’s domestic law to determine appropriate detention & internment & IHL does allow a government to domestically deal with a non-state actor. Therefore, the Sri Lankan Govt has every right to put on trial even Prabakaran posthumously for his crimes over 30 years. LTTE are not immune from criminal charges in a domestic court for violations of IHL. Therefore, why is the GOSL releasing them without charging the LTTE for their crimes?
Laws governing NIAC are the Common Article 3 to the Geneva Convention, Article 1 of the 1977 Additional Protocol II to the 1949 Geneva Conventions. NIAC does not confer the title of combatants or prisoner of war to armed non-state actors. LTTE are unlawful combatants/illegal combatants/belligerents & are not entitled to prisoner of war status. Unlawful combatants are not protected by conventions on civilians as civilians engaged in hostilities lose their civilian status.
The Government has been arresting Sri Lankan Armed Forces personnel alleging them of murder even without a dead body https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/four-sri-lankan-soldiers-arrested-in-connection-with-claimed-abduction-and-murder-of-journalist-10471660.html
Immediately after coming to power from a well-orchestrated regime change, one of the first steps taken by the new government was to deproscribe 8 key LTTE fronts that were banned in April 2014. http://www.sundaytimes.lk/151122/news/eight-diaspora-groups-269-people-deproscribed-172578.html not stopping there without the mandate of the President or informing the general public the then foreign minister co-sponsors a legally questionable UNHRC Resolution that deems the Sri Lankan Armed Forces to have committed war crimes during the final phase of the conflict. This co-sponsorship runs contrary to the legal opinion sought by several international terrorism experts who had provided a clean chit to the Sri Lankan Armed Forces. The co-sponsorship also conflicts with the diplomatic-despatches sought by Lord Naseby using the UK Right to Information Act where Col. Anton Gash, the former Defence Attaché of the British High Commission despatches to the UK Government corroborates with the Sri Lankan Government figures of civilian casualty to be below 8000 of which 20% were LTTE cadres.
The basis for the resolution against Sri Lanka rests on the allegations of war crimes of Tamil civilians. While those that make the allegations cannot produce even names/details of the supposed 40,000 or more dead or even mass graves or skeletons, those making the allegations are mum on the Tamils killed by LTTE when civilians tried to flee from the LTTE.
To claim genocide or war crimes took place & create a tribunal against the Sri Lankan Army the least those making the allegations should do is to produce the names of the supposed dead or at least the birth certificates to prove they were actually born. Without any such basic & fundamental proof, how can a Sri Lankan Government even commit to co-sponsoring a legally questionable UNHRC resolution on the grounds that the Darusman Report was only a personal report to the UNSG which was never officially tabled in the UN General Assembly or to the UNSC but which the UNHRC head used as the foundation to the successive resolutions drafted against a UN member state where key statements in the report are not only questionable for truth & validity.
No one can even put a number to the LTTE killed in civilian clothing while engaged in hostilities or the number of civilians killed engaged in hostilities as LTTE had a civilian armed force trained in combat. While the government has in keeping with the demands of the UNHRC resolution established an office of missing persons, no official seem to be concerned about finding the missing 5000 soldiers all of whom have names, IDs & whose details have been handed over to the UNHRC after 2009. Are the 16 soldiers killed by this LTTE cadre arrested in Germany included into this 5000 missing soldier list?
Moreover, close to 12,000 LTTE cadres surrendered to the the Sri Lankan Armed Forces all of them were in civilian clothing of which 595 child soldiers were given a presidential pardon & rehabilitated by sending them to school, allowing them to sit public exams & training them in vocational activities. Some of these rehabilitated cadres are now acting, singing, some have married each other, others have married Sri Lankan Army soldiers while some are working in the civil defence force. Many of these LTTE cadres in villages like Vishwamadu & other areas of Kilinochchi were recently seen crying when the government announced the transfer of Col. Ratnapriya Bandu, the Sinhala soldier who had made them feel human & helped them restart their lives which no Tamil politician, no Tamil leader, no Tamil civil society worker had come forward to do. This was a major blow to the ‘let us look after our people’ song that the TNA, the chief minister Wigneswaran & other prominent Tamil leaders have been singing to the international community. Moreover, we now see new leaders like Dr. Ramasundaram publicly come out to say that the Tamil leaders are lying to the world & that the Tamil people love the Army, want them to remain in the North, that the Tamil people are virtually worshipping the soldiers & if the Sri Lankan Army is removed it will be the end of the Tamils in the North. These are shock waves for the TNA, the LTTE diaspora & even some Tamils in Colombo who have been carrying a distorted message to the Sri Lankan public & to the international community.
There are other Tamil youth too coming out to say that they don’t want federal constitutions & all they want is to educate their children, a home to live in, a job & infrastructure. https://www.lankaweb.com/news/items/2016/05/02/attention-international-community-we-want-homes-not-merging-of-north-east-says-tamils/
So invariably these political solutions the politicians & their cronies are promoting is only a means for them to control the people & have nothing to do with providing relief to the people. This is why any constitutional changes even amendments must be refused because it is lacking in honesty & genuine concern for the masses.
There is major mismatch in what people like Dr. Ramasundaram, Arun Tambimuttu, Wijayarathnam Surendram are saying praising the Sri Lankan Armed Forces & the lies & reports that have been generated by TNA, Chief Minister Wigneswaran, foreign paid NGOs, human rights activists working for foreign interests. It is based on these lies that the constitutional changes & other alarming administrative changes to Sri Lanka’s penal codes, PTA etc are taking place & these must be immediately stopped in view of the lies & hypocrisies that prevail.
Shenali D Waduge