The LLRC recommendation of the majoritarian and genocidal state of Sri Lanka is clear on the point that ethnic territories cannot exist in the island, and ‘trilingual’ society (ostensibly paving way for total Sinhalcisation) should be achieved by 2020. While Sri Lanka in Geneva sessions wants implementation of its agenda left completely to itself, the US-backed resolution seeks international endorsement to the LLRC recommendations and international commitment from Sri Lanka in the implementation and phases. In an exclusive interview to Ceylon Today on Thursday, the US ambassador in Colombo, Patricia Butanis praising the LLRC for coming out with “some excellent recommendations,” argued why then the qualms in publicly committing to implementation. The squabble is just on whether publicly hang or secretly slaughter the Tamil nation, commented an Eezham Tamil politician.
“It’s the Sri Lankan Governments own commission, with some excellent recommendations. I have to say that on accountability we find that it is disappointing, and really fell short of things we think need to be addressed. But by and large it’s a good report. So what we would like to know is – where is the Government’s action plan? Which of these recommendations has the Government embraced and which do they feel they can’t? That information is not publicly available. This was the substance of our discussions with the Government on these issues,” the US ambassador in Colombo said.
According to the US ambassador, “When the fighting ended, there was tremendous relief.” She added, “I think everyone would agree to that.”
The way the war was brought to an end caused jubilance in the Sinhala South, apprehension to Tamils all over the world, but of course an air of relief in the New Delhi Establishment too.
“The Indian External Affairs establishment in fact seems to consider its handling of the end of Sri Lanka’s war a relative success,” said, Norway’s report on the failed peace process (p79).
The US ambassador in her interview worried about a variety of individual human rights in the island, but not collective rights of Eezham Tamils as a nation. Political outlook, coming from new nations like the US, aimed at bulldozing realities in the old world for its monopoly, is jaundiced, is the feeling in the Eezham Tamil circles.
The US ambassador was also commenting that the demonstrations in the island were orchestrated by the Colombo government and were not spontaneously coming from the people [she implied the Sinhalese].
“But I do think that it [demonstrations] did reflect the anger and the reaction of the Government against what was happening in Geneva. I did not take it as repudiation by the population of Sri Lanka against human rights issues,” Ms Butanis said, adding, “I think that people have day-to-day issues – bread and butter issues.”
“When I looked at the recommendations [LLRC], I think they would make this society, stronger,” Ms. Butanis said, lamenting over the majority Sinhalese not understanding it.
Ms. Butanis has totally forgotten that it is not bread and butter for Eezham Tamils but life and death of a genocide-affected nation, the Tamil politician responded, citing professionals commenting on the point of collective consciousness of the genocidal victims of the Tamil nation, and said that this reality is never taken into account in any of the international or diplomatic deliberations. Even the professionals who identified the collective consciousness are now lured to do no justice to it in their recent statements, the Tamil politician added.
Answering a question, whether the US-backed resolution may not be tabled at all in Geneva, the ambassador said, “I think for the record we would say that it is still under discussion,” adding, “We were pretty clear about what we think needed to be done but until we actually get to the point where the resolution is introduced, I would not want to commit to it. Neither do we want to give anyone the expectation that there is still a chance.”
Ms. Butanis specified that the USA is not aiming for any ultimatum on the Colombo regime. “We are in this for the long haul. I don’t see us walking away and throwing up our hands and saying ‘you’re on your own, we’re going to take whatever action we feel is necessary,” she said.
Commenting on Sri Lanka’s military court on war crimes as it is for “the Government to explain how a military court of inquiry would be seen as independent, ” the US ambassador said, ”We and the rest of the international community have offered technical support, advice, expertise on how to do this,” adding “The Government has not so far chosen to take advantage of those offers.”
Prodding Rajapaksa to make some “hard decisions” in patching up the international blunder committed in the island is the US agenda in proving its success of the ‘counterinsurgency’ and ‘war on terror’ paradigms, as Rajapaksa, convinced by the US and India, has already made a ‘hard decision’ in committing genocide in the island, the Tamil politician commented.
The US deliberations, supporting genocide and annihilation of the nation of Eezham Tamils through architecting war and through the post war LLRC recommendations, but worrying only about international endorsement of them and a mechanism for the war crimes accountability targeting small fry, remind us of certain hypocrisies of the Roman Empire, was the comment of an academic in Jaffna.
When the early Christians were persecuted by the Roman Empire, a regional governor in Eastern Europe arrested a number of them secretly practicing Christianity, based on anonymous petitions, and executed all those who didn’t regret practicing Christianity and refused to come out of it.
When the governor reported that matter to the Roman Emperor, the emperor in a reply letter told the governor that he was perfectly right in executing the Christians when they were insisting on the faith, but he was illegal according to Roman law in arresting them based on anonymous petitions.
The end of that Roman Empire paving way for Holy Roman Empire of Christian faith and even that becoming “neither holy nor Roman, nor an empire” are matters of history, the academic in Jaffna commented.
* * *
Unfortunately, the ultimate thrust of the intentions of the US is not comprehended properly by the Tamil polity in the island, in the diaspora and regrettably in the mainstream polity of Tamil Nadu too, commented, a new generation Eezham Tamil politician in the island.
Both the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jeyalalithaa and the DMK chief Karunanidhi have come out with statements supporting the US-backed resolution in Geneva upholding the LLRC recommendations. Do they endorse the annihilation of the nation of Eezham Tamils in the island as envisaged by the LLRC recommendations is the question.
The Communist Party of India (CPI) has come out with an announcement welcoming the statements of Jeyalalithaa and Karunanidhi and has urged New Delhi not to shield Rajapaksa anymore, but to declare him in Geneva as responsible for the genocide.
The CPI has also announced that it would undertake a fasting campaign next week, demanding war crimes investigation, removal of the occupying Sinhala military from the North and East, reparations to Tamils, closure of internment camps, release of Tamil prisoners not involved in crimes, end of Indian military and monetary help to Sri Lanka, pledge from Sri Lanka on the nature of political solutions it envisages for the ethnic question, severance of diplomatic relations if Sri Lanka is not coming out with satisfactory answers, and placing Indian Coast Guard at the maritime boundary to save the life and property of Indian fishermen.
There was no reference that the genocide-affected Eezham Tamils should be vested with their right to self-determination to decide about their existence.
The Catholic clergy in the North of the island, in a statement signed by a host of parish priests and submitted to the UNHRC in Geneva on Thursday, rightly pointed out how previous commission recommendations in the island, including LLRC’s own interim recommendations were not implemented.
“We believe it is an independent international body that could best address concerns of truth seeking, accountability and reparations for victims in a way that victims, survivors and their families will have confidence. It is only by addressing these that we believe we can move towards genuine reconciliation,” the statement of the Catholic clergy said.
However in its concluding envision the signatories believed that it is imperative for the UNHCR to call upon Sri Lanka to implement the LLRC recommendations, present a time-schedule about it to the next session of the UNHCR, report progress to the 22nd session next year and accept supervision by an international mechanism.
Even though harping on the LLRC recommendations, the statement of the Catholic church of Eezham Tamils is in contrast to the regime-sympathetic stand of the Sinhala Archbishop in Colombo and to the publicly articulated stand of certain families of the American and Anglican Churches, political observers said.
The stand of the TNA that harps on Cambodian analogy, undefined political solution and unqualified support to the US move and to its ‘pressures,’ is well known.
While veteran Eezham Tamil political workers worry about illusions created, sections of campaigning media projecting the US plan as something to get Sri Lanka publicly committed to international order say that Ms. Butanis in her interview was “candid” and “extremely revelatory” in enlightening readers.
* * *
Excerpts of what the LLRC recommendations actually aim on the annihilation of the identity of Eezham Tamils as a nation of its territory in the island:
The following excerpts brought out here for the benefit of the gullible arguing in favour of implementation of the LLRC recommendations, show how unambiguous the recommendations are in the structural genocide of Eezham Tamils.
On language identity of the nation of Eezham Tamils:
No district or province should be categorized in terms of language (LLRC 8.240)
The Commission also recommends that the government should have a pro-active of policy to encourage mixed schools serving children from different ethnic and religious background. In this regard the Government should develop a carefully conceived policy facilitating the admission of children from different ethnic and religious groups to these schools (LLRC: 8.250)
The Commission therefore welcomes the Government initiative for a trilingual nation by the year 2020 (LLRC: 8.239)
While the distribution of meaningful powers to the periphery is essential, there are powers which form the core responsibilities of the State and which cannot be so devolved, and need to be retained and exercised by the Government at the centre. It is also important to ensure that any power sharing arrangement has inbuilt mechanisms that would effectively address and discourage secessionist tendencies and safeguard the sovereignty and integrity of the State. (LLRC: 8.224)
On land and homeland of Eezham Tamils:
The view was also expressed that no part of Sri Lanka belonged to any ethnic group. It was stated that due to terrorist activities, Sinhalese people from the North and East had been chased away, and that these people should be taken and resettled in the North (LLRC: 8.107)
The Commission is of view that the Government should expedite action on the establishment of a National Land Commission (NLC) in order to propose appropriate future national land policy guidelines (LLRC 6.104.12)
On the war and reputation of Sinhala Army:
In evaluating the Sri Lanka experience in the context of allegations of violations of IHL, the Commission is satisfied that the military strategy that was adopted to secure the LTTE held areas was one that was carefully conceived, in which the protection of the civilian population was given the highest priority (LLRC 4.262)
The Commission finds that there are troubling technical and forensic questions of a serious nature that cast significant doubts about the authenticity of this video and the credibility and reliability of its content. It is also observed that trauma evident on the bodies of victims does not appear to be consistent with the type of weapon used and the close range at which the firing is seen to have taken place (LLRC 4.374 e)
It is also the obligation of the Government to clear the good name and protect the honour and professional reputation of soldiers who defended the territorial integrity of Sri Lanka and particularly the many thousands of soldiers who perished carrying out their combat duties cleanly and professionally against a widely condemned terrorist group who used most inhumane tactics in combat (LLRC 4.376)