Sooka’s ITJP is a National Security threat: Sri Lanka must question EU & take Legal Action
“No Vetting for Sri Lanka’s New Major Generals”is the latest of Sooka’s witch hunt against Sri Lanka and adds to her record of issuing close to 70 reports against Sri Lanka since 2009. The disclosure of military details publicly by a foreign government funded entity raises serious concerns about the security and risks to the lives of Sri Lanka’s military personnel. The concern is valid given the debacle faced in 2002 as a result of disclosing military intelligence details that led to LTTE assassinating 58 intelligence personnel and close to 80 intelligence operatives whose identities had been disclosed to LTTE. It is clear that this witch hunt is by remnants of the LTTE operating from overseas and if the lives of these gallant officers that contributed to deliver peace in Sri Lanka are in any way compromised Sooka and her ITJP must take direct accountability. The GoSL must take serious note of the increasing threats to the Armed Forces.
Sooka or her ITJP have no legitimacy beyond the fact that they are a foreign funded entity. On what basis can they make public statements regarding the decisions of a sovereign country and publicize personal details of the armed forces. Is this not indirectly exposing them and making them an open target for misadventure similar to what took place in the Millennium City debacle of 2002?
Where does it say that an elected President of a sovereign country has to seek permission from a foreign government funded foreign NGO to appoint or promote military officers to its National Army? That’s the first question ITJP and Sooka must answer.
If Yasmin Sooka can question the choice of individuals and claim them as ‘highly politicized’ we too would like to question who Sooka is to pass judgement. She is not an elected political leader, she is nothing but a paid employee of a foreign government.
We would also like to know who she defines ‘victims’ – is it the victims of LTTE or the LTTE to whose events she gets welcomed as comrade – no wonder she sees the gesture of Maj. Gen. Priyankara Fernando as a crime and not the stomach slitting of pregnant mothers by LTTE during its attacks on villages or the butchery of other innocent unarmed victims of LTTE.
For Sooka a hand gesture is a crime but LTTE shooting to death 146 Buddhists in prayer in Sri Maha Bodhiya Temple Anuradhapura and killing 147 Muslims inside Kattankudy mosque is not even worthy of mention or even a report. A woman who has not said a word against LTTE’s crimes or produced a single report on LTTE crimes has no business to be making statements against anyone. It just completely nullifies her credibility.
Her apparent bias is further strengthened in claiming Isaipriya as a ‘Tamil TV presenter’ when she was SHOBA the LTTE TV anchor. Isaipriya’s LTTE ID card was 03424-T ESAYRUVI. She was married to senior LTTE Trincomalee sea tiger Siri Ram. She is no civilian and any female combatant dying during exchange of hostilities cannot feature as a civilian dead in any report.
Who are these torture suspects that the ITJP has interviewed? While she is rolling out the curriculum vitae of the Sri Lankan Armed Forces with their brigade details etc, why is she keeping secret the details of the ITJP interviewees. Is she hiding their identity because they are runaway LTTE?
Out of curiosity, given that her entity is not even set up to monitor Sri Lanka, why is her concentration only on Sri Lanka? What about civilian casualties from collateral damage by US and NATO bombings in countries they are illegally intervening in? How about running a dossier on these US NATO pilots and armed forces dropping bombs or shooting civilians? What is preventing her producing reports and naming Western army personnel?
Why is she gunning after only Sri Lankan Armed Forces? Sooka, your answers are long overdue.
Sooka is issuing these reports courtesy ITJP – International Truth & Justice Project which is incidentally administered by the Foundation for Human Rights in South Africa. The FHR was set up in 1996 funded by the EU to deal with issues related to South Africa. Sooka was its Executive Director from 2001 to September 2019. This means she was an EU employee while being selected as a member for the Ban Ki Moon personal report.
If the funding by EU is for South Africans, is EU funding ITJP too? If not, why is ITJP administered within a EU funding project for South Africa?
However, though she left FHR as its Executive Director in September 2019 there has been 13 reports since September 2019 on Sri Lanka. 9 ITJP reports in 2020 alone. Does this mean Sooya is still part of FHR but only ITJP? This type of witch hunt under the façade of human rights, accountability and other mumbo jumbo cannot denigrate a sovereign state and its armed forces and character assassinate their personalities and career track records.
Besides all this Sooka and the entity cannot be allowed to jeopardize their lives by exposing their details publicly. The US, UK, NATO or even India will not allow disclosure of their military personnel. The GoSL must also protect its Armed Forces by not allowing some publicity-seeking hardly known entities to make public, personal details about Sri Lanka’s Armed Forces.
The GOSL through the Foreign Ministry must question the EU and the South African Government as well as the present Board of the FHR regarding Sooka’s role in FHR and in particular reconfirm if ITJP continues to be administered within the FHR by Sooka.
If Sooka has left FHR as Executive Director does it mean she is still continuing the ITJP within the FHR or has ITJP been transferred elsewhere, if so, where to? ITJP’s latest report continues to be part of the FHR so we now question whether Sooka is still part of the FHR to continue ITJP work in which case EU, South African Government & FHR would still need to provide Sri Lanka an explanation.
The GoSL in protecting Sri Lanka’s Armed Forces and Intelligence Personnel must seek legal consultation to take action against ITJP and all entities linked to it for exposing personal details of a National Army and issue notices to them that they will be personally held responsible if any harm should come to them.
Shenali D Waduge