Yukio Takasu, the 2009 President of the UN Security Council (UNSC) on the critical month of February, was one of the key UN officials who allegedly prevented Sri Lanka from being dragged into the UNSC for the unfolding mass scale killings in Mu’l’livaaykkaal, public statements made by UN officials during media stakes reveal. While some UN Security Council (UNSC) permanent members may have agreed with Takasu’a views, in a media stake out, Takasu lays out his "own" critical view of the "terrorist LTTE," and the primacy of political and security need to "defeat" the Tigers over imminent large scale civilian casualties. Political observers believe that Japanese cultural views on refugees, asylum seekers may provide clues to Takasu’s approach and conduct in the UNSC that led to the disastrous outcome for the Tamil refugees trapped in Sri Lanka’s civil war.
Yukio Takasu was the President of the UNSC during February 2009 and later in 2010. He was also Japan’s Ambassador to the United Nations.
In the three media briefings on 9th, 20th and 27th February at the UN, Takasu, lays out the strategy adopted at the UNSC. Political observers commenting on the video pointed to the unmistakable hand of Takasu in adopting the chillingly cruel UN strategy to allow, in the name of security and politics, Colombo a free hand in the impending brutal massacre of more than 40,000 civilians (from Petrie Report).
In articulating first the UN’s motivations, and then responding to probing questions from a few journalists, Takasu is seen drawing his decades of experience in being a UN bureaucrat, as he switches between his three roles, the President of the UNSC, the Ambassador and as a Japanese private citizen, to deliver his message: that LTTE is the problem, and needs to be taken out. As a private citizen he confesses that no one wants to see “damage” to civilian people, but it is unfortunate [that we should allow that to happen in this instance]."
The videos and the associated news coverage by Innercity Press’s Matthew Lee during the civilian carnage at Mu’l’livaaykkaal, establishes, with reasonable certainty, Takasu’s involvement in continuing to refuse to taking up the matter at the Security Council.
Tamil activists also accuse another Japanese, Yasushi Akashi, the former Special Envoy of the Tokyo Co-chair to the Peace Process, for allegedly supporting US South Asia’s Secretary Blake, in architecting the defeat of Tigers. The co-chairs assembled a coalition of countries to first proscribe, then to arrest activists in the US, Australia, Canada, and in several European cities in a well-coordinated action to blunt the support from the Tamil diaspora by inculcating fear. Political observers say the Blake-led action, supported by co-chairs provided a internationally muted, clear political space for Colombo to carry out the massacre.
On Akashi’s visit in August 2012, three years after the Mu’l’livaaykkaal massacre, a Jaffna social activist commented: “Architects of the genocidal war cannot be mere listeners. They are answerable to the affected people and to the world. There is no foreign establishment involved in the island that doesn’t really know what is happening. Therefore, the boldness with which the grass-root aspirations of the nation of Eezham Tamils has to be politically translated in a befitting way should never be compromised in the island and in the diaspora."
Observers also point out that specific to Japan-Sri Lanka relationship, the role of common bond through religion [Buddhism] and sympathetic overtures offered by Sri Lanka towards Japan following the WWII defeat, reinforce the skewed position of Japan in speaking in favor of Sinhala-centric political goals in Sri Lanka.
Research indicates that the Japanese society abhors refugees and asylum seekers to maintain a homogeneous population, and activists argue that this cultural instinct may have played a role in the Japanese officials’ mindset to allow humanitarian issues take a secondary role, and a factor behind the perceived insensitivity of the Japanese officials to the plight of Tamil civilians as hundreds of thousands were made refugees in their own homeland by deliberation action of the State. Takasu charaterizes the "impending crime-of-the-century" as "damage" to the "civilian people."
Japan also remained the biggest donor nation to Sri Lanka for many decades as the state sponsored discrimination of Tamils and pogroms against Tamils plagued the Island- another Japanese, Colombo affiliation that may have likely played in the Takasu-Akashi involvement in the war which led to disastrous consequences to the Tamil civilians, political observes point out.