While a section of pro-establishment Indian media and journalists have attempted to the shield the Sri Lankan government from an external war crimes enquiry, an article published in Tehelka, an Indian magazine reputed for its investigative journalism, slams the hollowness of the LLRC citing UN panel report and referring to recently emerged images of civilians executed in cold blood when those who bear command responsibility for the atrocities have been given promotions. The article ‘Why are we not looking at these war crimes?’ dated 24 March by Tehelka’s correspondent Sai Manish further adds that future for justice for the Tamils does not lie with the pro-LLRC US resolution but “It depends more on how India can use its power to ensure that the innocent women and children who died don’t just get counted as collateral damage — as Colombo wants to make the world believe.”
“The United Nations has noted that not only did the Sri Lankan forces disobey all rules of war by deliberately forcing fleeing citizens into areas that were being carpet bombed, their blood-thirsty campaign led to crimes that would even put the warring African militias to shame.”
“The government not just shelled three no-fire zones (NFZs) where it was encouraging the concentration of civilians but also subjected the victims and survivors to further suffering as hordes fled the incessant pounding. The UN expert panel report says, “Screening of suspected LTTE cadre from civilians was done without transparency or external scrutiny. Some of those who were separated were summarily executed and women may have been raped.””
“And now with pictures of systematic torture of LTTE cadre coming out in the open, things are becoming clearer. Sri Lanka’s dirty war closet holds untold tales of torture and the insane violence unleashed by soldiers and commanders who were yearning for sadistic pleasures.”
“The UN’s distrust with Sri Lanka’s internal processes have been fuelled partly by the manipulation of the mass media by Rajapaksa to make ordinary Sinhalese believe that their “sovereignty is under threat from the West” and by the fact that the war was run by the Rajapaksa family and all the top commanders who abused civilians are already well cocooned from any domestic or international law.”
“Because if the United Nations findings were anything to go by, the Lankan war room, including military top guns, would be guilty of “murder, extermination, persecution, enforced disappearances and intentional attacks on civilians” — in effect, the entire gamut of violations of Common Article 3 of the Geneva Convention.”
“In the heat of the war, the Lankan army misled people to flee into death traps. Those Tamils who survived these traps were then screened and randomly tortured and executed,” Mr. Manish writes, placing emphasis on India to use its power to secure justice for the Eezham Tamils.
While this opinion of a mainstream Indian journalist is most welcome, whether India which seems to be pro-actively upholding the interests of the unitary Sri Lankan state and endorsing the genocidal solution in the name of ‘friendly relations’ will treat the Eezham Tamils justly without adequate pressure from Tamil Nadu is a question to be considered, a political observer from Colombo told TamilNet.
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