Prof. Channa Jayasumana’s shocking revelation: Darusman panel’s 40,000 figure was plucked from what Ranil Wickremasinghe said in 2008!

Prof. Channa Jayasumana has made a startling revelation & one that will add to the already increasing embarrassments the UNHRC is facing. We have all been wondering from where this 40,000 figure that was battered across mainstream media came from & first officially quoted by the Ban Ki Moon personal panel. Initially, it was thought the figure was copied from the media drama associated with Srebrenica ‘genocide’. Same figures – same war crimes /genocide allegation drama. But Prof. Channa Jayasuma using wikileaks cable from the Colombo US office as evidence shows that the figure of 40,000 was FIRST quoted by then Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremasinghe in 2008 & the Ban Ki Moon personal panel simply copied the figure and Wickremasinghe’s ‘as many as 40,000’ deaths became ‘may have’ died. The most hilarious part of this quote comes that it was made by the Opposition Leader on 11 January 2008 to the Co-Chairs & other ambassadors.

Prof. Channa Jayasumana’s revelation was made to a packed audience at a meeting organized by Eliya in which he had asked the Tamil Diaspora in Geneva the source of the 40,000 dead & when pressed they had quoted the Prime Minister. It was as a result of this claim that Prof. Jayasumana sought the wikileaks cable to discover that the figure of 40,000 did in fact originate from none other than Ranil Wickremasinghe.

Prof. Channa Jayasumana refers to the wikileaks cable 08COLOMBO62_a titled OPPOSITION LEADER PROVIDES GLOOMY ASSESSMENT TO CO-CHAIRS” following a meeting he had with Co-Chairs & foreign envoys on 11 January 2008 (1 ½ years BEFOR the conflict ended in May 2009)

The US embassy issues the communique on 16th January 2008 – 5 days after Ranil Wickremasinghe’s meeting and on the very same day that the 2002 ceasefire was abrogated by the GOSL.

The US Communique is issued to: Defense Intelligence Agency France / India – Chennai & Delhi / Japan Tokyo National Security Council / National Security Council Norway / Secretary of State Slovenia / US Mission to European Union in Brussels / United Nations in Geneva / United Nations New York / United States Pacific Command

This means that the UN system, UN office in New York & India were well aware that Sri Lanka’s Opposition Leader was predicting a figure of 40,000 deaths as far back as in January 2008. 


At the said meeting on 11 January 2008 then Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremasinghe had also discussed the following with the Co-Chairs & Ambassadors

  • Criticizing Rajapakse government for abrogating the 2002 Cease Fire Agreement
  • Criticized Rajapakse government for not coming up with a devolution package
  • Human rights abuses
  • RanilW predicted a military solution with thousands of casualties & IDPs
  • RanilW claimed to have consensus candidate for constitutional council which would remove president’s appointment & enable commissions to function independently
  • RanilW berated the delay in APRC proposals by Rajapakse government which would go beyond the 13a.

For then Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremasinghe to quote a figure of 40,000 there has to be a valid basis.

The Liberation of the East began in July 2006 & ended in July 2007. The liberation of the East would not have commenced had the LTTE not closed the Mavil Aru sluice gates denying water to thousands of Sinhala & Muslim villages. In what can be said as asking for trouble the armed forces were ordered to open the sluice gats on 28 July 2006. Asking for further trouble, the LTTE began attacking the armed forces from multiple fronts & this led to the security forces deciding to liberate Sampoor on 24 August 2006 which ended on 4 September 2006. With the liberation of Vakari, Batticoloa Bowl, Thoppigala & Trincomalee North the entire Eastern Province was liberated from the LTTE by 10th July 2007. Elections were held for the Northern Provincial Council on 10 May 2008. Throughout the liberation of the East, except for highlighting plight of the displaced there was no claims of excessive civilian casualties that prevented the armed forces proceeding with their quest to liberate the north.

The operation to liberate the North commenced on 5 March 2007.

Poignant to note is the report of the Norwegian Refugee Council covering period April 2006 to April 2007 by Kavita Shukla who claims deaths of 4000 (four thousand) throughout this period. She also highlights 60,000 Muslim IDPs living in Sri Lanka’s western Puttalam district who had been displaced for 17 years! What is interesting about the report is that while it highlights with figures on the displaced it does in no way claim figures of deaths.

When the Opposition Leader met up with Co-Chairs & envoys in January 2008, he had to have a valid basis to claim 40,000 likely deaths and from this report it is baffling how he could even come up with a figure for Kavita Shukla does not cite thousands of deaths in th liberation of the East which was complete by July 2007. What it means is that the 40,000 figure by Ranil W would have been just a figure quoted without any basis & hijacked by the Darusman panel since the figure was floating through the UN system & among foreign envoys!

While none of us take the personally appointed 3 member panel report infamously known as the Ban Ki Moon Panel – Darusman Report seriously, we now have further reason to discard it in the light of it hijacking the 40,000 figure from the present Prime Minister who made the claim in January 2008, one and a half years before the conflict ended in May 2009. Now we know why former envoy Robert Blake too quoted 40,000 figure to the US Congressional Hearing Committee.

The lies & hypocrisies surrounding Sri Lanka’s conflict are many all out of jealousy & revenge for eliminating a terrorist movement that helped a handful of people thrive.

Plucking out a figure – 40,000 and battering it without basis is a shameful act & everyone that has used this figure without any evidence should feel ashamed.

Shenali D Waduge (listen to Dr. Channa Jayasumana in Sinhala)

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