November 20th, 2012
02:39 PM ET

Time to push back over Sri Lankan impunity

By Alan Keenan, Special to CNN

Editor’s note: Alan Keenan is the International Crisis Group's Sri Lanka project director and senior analyst. The views expressed are his own. ICG’s new report on the issue can be downloaded here.

International attention on Sri Lanka has focused recently on a devastating report from the United Nations reviewing its own failure to protect civilians during the humanitarian catastrophe of the final months of the island nation’s civil war in 2009. Yet as many in the international community have been looking back, a new, quieter crisis is threatening Sri Lanka’s battered democracy – and the chances of lasting peace – with the government of President Mahinda Rajapaksa moving to impeach the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

Should the impeachment effort succeed, it will complete a constitutional coup begun in September 2010 with the 18th amendment to the constitution, which ended presidential term limits and removed the independence of commissions on the police, human rights, judiciary, bribery and other areas of governance.

What some have framed as a battle for power between the judiciary and executive is in fact a one-sided assault on an already weakened legal system, which has for decades, but particularly under President Rajapaksa, routinely done the executive’s bidding.

Once known as a Rajapaksa loyalist, Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake angered the president and his brothers when she helped strike down portions of proposed legislation that would increase the resources under the control of the president’s brother, the powerful economic development minister, Basil Rajapaksa. By removing some of the limited powers held by provincial councils, the proposed law also contradicts efforts to devolve further powers to the northern and eastern Tamil-speaking areas, an essential step in any lasting solution to the ethnic conflict.

More from GPS: Tamils want inquiry

Following the court’s ruling in September, the chief justice and other senior judicial officials were summoned to meet the president, while state-run media launched ferocious attacks on the chief justice. In early October, the secretary of the judicial services commission was assaulted by a group of armed men and badly injured, days after publicly criticizing government attempts to stifle judicial independence. The attackers, as in so many other cases of politically motivated violence, remain “unknown” and at large. On November 1, government legislators initiated impeachment proceedings in parliament.

The attempted impeachment of the chief justice is a direct attack on the independence of judiciary. It also sends a clear message to the rest of the country that dissent is not permitted and that nothing will stand in the way of the further concentration of power in the Rajapaksa family. The damage to what remains of Sri Lanka’s democracy, as well as to the rights and interests of Sri Lankan Tamils and other Tamil-speaking minority communities, will be enormous.

The formal charges against the chief justice allege secret bank accounts and other financial misconduct – allegations the chief justice has publicly rejected. She is also accused of conflict of interest, including hearing cases involving her husband, who is now under indictment for financial fraud while head of a government bank. The formal charge sheet has been publicly ridiculed, with many pointing to its factual errors, unclear writing and ambiguous allegations as further evidence of power politics.

Seven of the eleven members of the parliamentary select committee hearing the case are government legislators. Reports from the committee’s initial meeting suggest the government majority intends to move fast, giving the chief justice little time to mount her defense. Rules of evidence and due process that are routine in formal judicial proceedings have been thrown out under the parliamentary procedures that govern impeachments. A simple majority vote of the legislature is all that is needed to find the chief justice guilty; the government currently has a more than two-thirds majority.

An unusually wide range of Sri Lankan organizations has spoken out strongly and publicly against the impeachment – not only opposition political parties and the usual human rights dissenters, but also much of country’s civil society: the bar association, the most senior of Sri Lanka’s Buddhist monks, Catholic bishops, university teachers, pro-government private media, and even two leftist parties that are part of the government coalition.

Governments and international institutions concerned about Sri Lanka’s post-war stability and a lasting political settlement to the ethnic conflict must also speak out against the impeachment, while sending tough private messages to the Rajapaksas. The ruling family needs to know that there will be a serious price to pay if they pursue the case against the chief justice.

In particular, the Rajapaksas should know that pressure will increase at the U.N. human rights council when Sri Lanka’s compliance with a U.S.-sponsored resolution against Sri Lanka is considered again in March 2013. The politically-motivated impeachment of the chief justice undermines government claims to be implementing the council’s March 2012 resolution, which called, among other things, for strengthening independent institutions like the judiciary.

With the next commonwealth heads of government meeting (CHOGM) slated for October 2013 in Sri Lanka, leaders of commonwealth nations have a particular responsibility, and opportunity. They need to follow the lead of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and announce in advance that they won’t be attending the next CHOGM unless the impeachment is abandoned and real progress is made to end Sri Lanka’s institutionalized impunity for human rights violations. Progress should include a credible investigation into the atrocities and mass civilian deaths at the end of Sri Lanka’s war in 2009.

The commonwealth secretariat, in turn, should reaffirm its commitment to basic commonwealth values and make clear their grave concerns about the apparently political nature of the impeachment and the lack of due process being afforded the chief justice.

Sri Lanka’s humanitarian disaster of 2009, in which some 40,000 civilians are thought to have died in flagrant violation of the laws of war, was made possible in part by the international community’s failure to speak out loudly and quickly in the face of mounting evidence of suffering and possible war crimes. Sri Lanka’s current political crisis also demands an immediate and strong international response, able to add weight to domestic defenders of democracy and make the Rajapaksa government think again about dismantling the last pieces of Sri Lanka’s damaged but still legitimate institutions.

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Topics: Asia • Human Rights

soundoff (65 Responses)
  1. birchmount

    It is a clarion call by ICG's Alan Keenan that leaders of commonwealth nations have a particular responsibility, and opportunity.
    Yesterda, Reuters Frank Jack Daniel reporting from Jaffna in North Sri Lanka wrote how the presidential siblings control the economy of the country in their favour and sustain family rule by keeping the ultra-nationalism and Tamil issues to the satisfaction of majority population.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/11/19/uk-srilanka-dynasty-idUSLNE8AI01A20121119

    November 20, 2012 at 2:59 pm | Reply
  2. Joseph McCarthy

    Here's another great tragedy of our times, the subjugation of the Tamils by the Sri Lankans some three years ago. This is very lamentable indeed. As JFK once said, life is not fair!

    November 20, 2012 at 4:40 pm | Reply
    • billy

      here we go again... tamil are not the only minority in the country, probably not be even the largest minority..while muslim and indian tamils who also speak tamil must be out grown sri lankan tamil by now. If other can cohabit what is this problem tamils have..no boy in the country agaist tamils having equal rights, but what they want is special and exclusive rights for tamils only which no body can agree to..creating ghettos will not achieve equality also this kind of accusations which dont have any substance or any credibility when people observe how civilians are being killed openly in palastine, iraq or in afghanistan...sri lanka faced a unique situation where an entire population was takenhostage and human shield by atamil terrorists and they managed to give a second chance in life to over 12000 terrorists and over 300000 civilians, which country can boast of such and achievement...if any body need to be blame then it must be the UN and western country who allowed and helped a ruthless terrorist organization to grow the level they grew and keeping a blind eye when those people were heard like cattle as a human shiled and not giving enough support to sri lanka..this hypocrisy need to end...

      November 21, 2012 at 4:52 am | Reply
      • Lanka Liar

        Billy
        Now the world has seen photographed and caught the real terrorists murderers and rapist. Let us help the world to deal with them. That will help Sri Lanka to become a civilized country. Then all of you will become citizens of a civilized country. Until then you remain a citizen of a genocidal terrorist and war criminal nation. I think good times are ahead for you.

        November 21, 2012 at 5:01 am |
      • banda

        This story that UN failed in srilanka is the latest ploy by these countries with vested interest in destroying what ever chances Srilanka has after a 30 years of suffering, in going in for progress. It looks as Srilanka is a powerful country that side lined UN,UK,US etc, NO the fact is Tamil Diaspora is powerful to dictate terms to the UN. They can do that as the western countries want a regime change in Silanka on Geopolitical strategy.Until they succeed in having a pro western government these bickering s will go on.

        November 21, 2012 at 11:55 pm |
    • Michael

      Try writing something when you know what your talking about. This article is so biased its not even funny. As Suren notes, this is an article with a crooked agenda. They can't even get facts straight. The UN's count is at around 7737. Very close to what the census conducted in the north a year back came up with. Around 6,000 Sri Lankan soldiers also laid down their lives in the process of freeing the human shields from the LTTE. Who are you trying to kid! Only fools can fool fools.

      November 22, 2012 at 12:04 am | Reply
      • Banda

        Actually the fools are the western governments, the Tamil diaspora knows to play their cards. Most of them are economic refugees in Those countries, they need to keep this struggle going in for as long as possible with lies and impossible demands on the government. Srilanka could have avoided it if they fell in line with the western governments, but then the war wouldn't have ended then.Two sides of the coin.

        November 22, 2012 at 12:37 am |
  3. Lakbima Fernando

    How about the Sinhalese victim? This report has the stink just like the stink from dog “you know what” that I sometimes step on.
    This writer is another drone in the liberal/progressive entertainment media industry that is responsible for promoting ideological terrorism (as the military side was crushed by the brave Sri Lanka military). The ltte was masters at waving white flags and then shooting, the ltte was maters at shooting (being killed) and then joining (adding) to the human shield they used to inflate the number of “innocent civilians. As the ones that gave a life line to the ltte in their murderous ways, and as the only ones who are still doing this on behave of only a selected group of humans, they have blood on their hands. Who else will represent the ltte side in this call for human rights investigation by the human rights industry (all are born equal, but some peoples’ suffering is not useful for political and journalistic ends).

    November 20, 2012 at 4:54 pm | Reply
    • Shiva

      LTTE was a product of Sinhala oppression and state terrorism and nto a product of the Tamils.

      LTTE was aided and trained by the famous Indian leaders including Mrs. Indra Gandhi and MGR to mitigate state trrorism and to protect the civilian Tamils.

      What about the sSinhala state sponsored race riots, state terrorism since independence and prior to the LTTE era.

      While the Tamils and global human rights groups, leaders and the International community denading for independent international war crimes investigation, why the Sinhala regime and some other Sinhalese are denying it? This itself shows that they have a guity mind.

      All crimes must be investigated including the LTTE, State forces, Sinhala hooligans and state sponsored gangs.

      November 20, 2012 at 6:05 pm | Reply
      • prasad

        hello shiva,
        LTTE is not a product of sinhala oppression but the greedyness of Tamil politicians who had dreams to establish a tamil only state grabbing nearly 50 percent of the land and over 70 percent of the coastal belt dedicating to only 15 percent of population of Sri Lanka while eleminating other communities. It is correct that group of Sihala extremist politicians who looked their own sake made the situation worst. That theory tamil only state promoted by tamil some tamil politicians but not the ordinary people was practiced by the LTTE successfully eleminating all sinhalese and muslims from the northern province by mosly through mass killings(refer to the actual history) LTTE were practicing the same in the easthern province. even today Tamils live in many parts of the country but still there are no sinhalese and muslims and the so called tamil areas. But please note huge majority of tamils in Sri Lanka do not want the seperate state but they want live harmoniously with other communities. Sri Lankans dont trust the so called independent international inquiry because so far the UN and all other international boides proved to be with the pro seperatist Tamil lobbist view, that making sri lankans demons and namin ltte killers as saints. now there is not a single word by the international bodies about the crimes committed by LTTE against tamils and other communities. Everybody know that anti tamil riots last took place 1983 and it was mainly handled by handful of politicos but not the majority of sinhalese. after that LTTE killed thousands of men women and chiledren belonged to sinhalese, muslim and modarate tamils but there were no anti tamil riots in sri lanka after 1983 even ltte detonated a bomb after bomb in many parts of the country killing scores of civilians. And dont forget LTTE paid back Indila for its support by killing India's most powerful leader Rajiv Gandhi and over 2000 Indian solders. Tamils Sinhalese and Muslims in Sri Lanka are trying to build up their lives shatterd by the 30 years of war. You must help them to unite.

        November 20, 2012 at 9:52 pm |
      • Eelan

        Shiva,

        Do not worry thambi, days will come when all those responsible Tamil Genocide will be put in cage and allowed to be kissed by those who were put in manic farm.

        November 21, 2012 at 12:30 am |
    • Lanka Liar

      All victims deserves justice. Those who killed Sinhalese police men murdered Muslims slaughtered Buddist monks are all in the Sri Lankan government now. Very easy to catch try and sentence them. Just go to parliament you will see all of them in the government. Karuna Douglas Pillaiyan KP ......

      November 21, 2012 at 5:05 am | Reply
  4. Name*vijaya fernando

    An independent judiciary is so important for a civilised country. When such indpendence is threatened it is a matter of grave concern for all. Not just those living in Sri Lanka but all who have an interest in justice and humanity.
    As a famous author said about the Nazi holocaust.".....and then they came for me"

    November 20, 2012 at 6:10 pm | Reply
  5. Al

    There is this whole fiction of killing civilians during the last phases of the war. LTTE took 300,000 people for hostage and marched them like animals over 150 miles. Finally when LTTE was cornered on the beaches of mulativu people were not allowed to leave, instead LTTE shot many families to prevent this. When the Sri Lanka armed forces opened multiple flanks and eventually broke through did the civilians were able to cross to freedom. LTTE had bombs buried in civilian areas and multiple artillery/motor batteries located in these areas too. The number of dead these people talk about are the LTTE cadre who died, they are also adding about 1800 civilian deaths. In the end 15,000 LTTE soldiered died, they testified of the horrific situation of the LTTE leadership when they were ordered to kill sick and wounded LTTE cadre. If you want to think about LTTE I want you think about Hitler x 10. It was that bad! LTTE took ethnic cleansing to its purest, puts the Nazis to shame. The LTTE supporters who LTTE managed to smuggle out during the 30 year war are the ones who are now crowing as they release their final breath to create a mono-ethnic state. Tamil homeland is in Tamil-nadu (the land of the tamil). Please do not make Sri Lanka another homicidal zone.

    November 20, 2012 at 7:48 pm | Reply
    • birchmount

      Hello AI,

      Where did it happen 'LTTE took 300,000 people',? (BTW, 'people' in your language are Tamil civilians made to starve for six months and chased to a narrow corner by a mono-ethnic military, the number was then only 70,000)

      Please read the reports or at lease browse news. There is no day without news on the ruling brothers. You should serve them and learn obscenity and expetive language from them.

      why learn? -LOL

      November 20, 2012 at 9:10 pm | Reply
      • DJ

        Who herded these civilians from first from Sampur sector to Vakarai in the East in the initial stage of conflict thinking SL military would not sustain the offensive and giving imaginative hopes for them? Then from Mannar sector through Paranthan and Kilinochchi finally to Nanthikadal hoping that West and so called global Human Rights industry would save them with their Son God. And your Son God was so big headed he did not listen to anybody and he perished with many other Tamil Terrorists and others who were herded and believed in a mythical Tamil Ealam.

        November 21, 2012 at 1:56 am |
      • Raja

        Mr Birchmount, please know your facts before you jump to conclusion. Massacres were carried out by Tiger terrorists and it was the duty of the security forces to eliminate them if they refuse to surrender. The ground reality is the Tamil civilians taken hostage by the Tigers as well as the people of SriLanka are grateful to the Govt and the armed forces for saving them from the terrorists, when the UN looked the otherside allowing the terrorists to operate as they wished. Now the unthinkable has happened with the "undefeatable" terrorists defeated, all hostile forces have gathered togetrher to accuse the armed forces whilst giving protection to those who supported the terrorists from overseas. Actual number killed according to the doctors at the scene were only around 1500 and that too due to Tiger terrorists shooting at them and exploding "suicide"bers amongst them. The so called 40000 was afigment of imagination of one man, that is Gordon Wheis who was an employee of the UN Colombo Office.

        November 21, 2012 at 2:50 am |
      • Lanka Liar

        Forget about the number for a moment. Sri Lankans are very poor in mathematics. Focus on the criminals now. The war criminals rapist murderers and the looters. Pretty easy to catch them. We must rehabilitate and make into civilized people that is very important.

        November 21, 2012 at 5:07 am |
  6. Al

    I want to help others understand what a tragic situation Sri Lanka was in because of this LTTE group. They had killed since 1974 at least 50,000 people. The sri lanka war took the lives of over 90,000 people over 35 years. Compare this to the violence and attrition in Iraq and Syria both with similar populations as Sri Lanka but with a much less population density; death toll during Allied war in Iraq

    November 20, 2012 at 7:52 pm | Reply
    • K.Pillai

      AI, your statement “They (LTTE) had killed since 1974 at least 50,000 people” is not true at all. LTTE came into existence after 1983. Since independence in 1948, successive Lankan governments openly discriminated Tamils. Peaceful democratic protests were met with state sponsored pogroms directed against Tamils in 1958, 1977 and in 1983. The 1983 pogrom was particularly brutal with up to 4000 Tamils literally slaughtered by Sinhala goons. By the way, the Lankan “rescue” operation in May 2009 resulted in over 150,000 Tamil civilians unaccounted for.

      November 21, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Reply
      • DJ

        Now you can make the unaccounted figure to 149,999 since one figure was found in you. BTW Tamil economic migrants in the guise of 'innocent refugees' can not be counted in many places concurrently in Sri Lanka and in Canada, UK, Australia, France or Toilet Nadu. So they are counted missing in Sri Lanka. Add to that these people use several passports in their luctrative business to confuse stats!!

        November 22, 2012 at 4:29 am |
  7. Kaputa

    Mr Keenan, how come you are not writing about 500,000 civilians killed by the US forces in Iraq, 200,00 in Afghanistan, and still being killed in Pakistan. I am sure you have a moral duty to write about these killings as well. Those people are not humans? SL government liberated the country from a terrorist group, but it did not invade another country. Think about that...Western forces are still killing civilians in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

    November 20, 2012 at 8:44 pm | Reply
    • Lanka Liar

      Oh yea what about Iran Pakistan Pol Pot Idi Amin. Your argument is called Lankanisia. If someone can kill someone somewhere why cant we kill someone. That is the clear sign of Lanknisia.

      November 21, 2012 at 5:09 am | Reply
    • Quigley

      Thank you, Kaputa. You nailed it!

      November 21, 2012 at 8:51 am | Reply
  8. Sunil

    Mr. Keenan,
    How about some push back on Israel that is killing civilians with impunity with the tact approval of US and the West? Any difference between Sri Lanka eradicating a gang murderous terrorists and Israel trying to eradicate Hamas?

    Or is it self defence and collateral damage when an ally of US does it and genocide with a country that is not allied to West does it?

    November 20, 2012 at 9:56 pm | Reply
    • Lanka Liar

      Clear sign of Lanknesia – "If Israel can kill why not Sri Lanka". There are so many nations who are not killing any body. You fail to see them. By the way there is a clinic in Iran which treats Lanknisia. If Sadam was hanged why not Sri Lankans.
      If Pol Pot was tried why not Raj Pak. Why your Lanknisia doesn't work here

      November 21, 2012 at 5:17 am | Reply
    • Naman

      The Israelis are giving 5 minutes warning to the civilians before bombing the buildings unlike the GoSL targeting the Hospitals,No Fire Zones,and torturing and killing the surrunding civilians and LTTE members.

      November 21, 2012 at 6:31 am | Reply
  9. Bandula Jayasekara

    Oh Keenan, We know you work for this crisis group and we have no doubt you are getting a fat cat salary. After LTTE terrorists were defeated the groups overseas are spending their money to get lobby groups such as yours. How come you are so quiet about the drone attaxks and what is happening in Gaza. May be for few more dollars or fistfull of dollars?

    November 20, 2012 at 10:31 pm | Reply
    • Lanka Liar

      Let us now defeat and eliminate the Sri Lankan terrorist now so that they will not be spending the money further.

      November 21, 2012 at 5:14 am | Reply
  10. Real_peace

    Well thought out article to reveal more TRUTH.

    To all readers,
    1. Alan Keenan of ICG has held BOTH parties responsible in his articles. We can see some people guilt tripping as MORE TRUTH came out last week with the Leak and then the release of UN Report.

    2. if you want another INDEPENDENT source look at the site: Sri Lanka campaign for Justice and Peace for real stories from Sinhalese and Tamils.

    3. For those conscientious ones, a good read is the recent book by Frances Harrison: Still counting the dead.

    4. For those who perceive this as one-sided, it should be obvious: Media attack by GoSL in killing a Sinhalese Journalist, and now the Chief Justice !!

    International Independent Investigation – final answer(if there is nothing to hide!)

    November 21, 2012 at 12:21 am | Reply
    • billy

      what is there to hide, if such things were truth even after 3 years why no substantial truth have come up..still people just qutoe the darusman report and figures like 40000 without attributing to any credible source.. why dont these western cry babies first start from their own countries, why dont they investigate on the 1000s of tamil terrosist sponsors and terrosists now residing in the west..can start from adele balasingham..etc....this allegations have nothing to do with truth..we know that amensty international received money from tamil terror fronts in canada and who can say that these ICG and HRW are not getting tiger blood money..otherwise why r they harping on a small country which is trying to stand up after 30years of tamil terror..why dont we see such aggresion against the established crimes committed by US,britten,Isral..etc

      November 21, 2012 at 5:00 am | Reply
      • Lanka Liar

        This is not about number. This is about war crimes and war criminals, killers rapist murderers .... When we investigate these crimes we can get the correct number. Isnt it. So let s investigate the crimes.

        November 21, 2012 at 5:20 am |
  11. Real_peace

    Just to give an idea what happened even before LTTE time...(> 1976)
    In 1959 a Sinhalese 'monk' shot and killed the then Prime minister Bandaranayake. see wikipedia: Talduwe Somarama.

    It is about time both the average Sinhalese and Tamils lived in peace after Accountability, Justice and Reconciliation.

    November 21, 2012 at 12:30 am | Reply
    • billy

      whats ur point..do u know that man who killed bandaranayake died as a christaian..just because some body wore a robe that doesnt make him a a monk or a buddhits... reconciliation cant be achieved by satisfying racist demand of one section, it has to be both ways...if sinhalse and muslims can move forward forgiving crimes committed by tamils in the last 30 years..why just tamils cant do the same...dont forget its not the local tamils that seeking revenge, its the overseas tamil diaspora who are looking for their return on their investment on tiger terrorism

      November 21, 2012 at 5:06 am | Reply
      • Lanka Liar

        Are you asking the war criminals to become Christians.

        November 21, 2012 at 5:23 am |
  12. 123

    Prasad and AI

    I think its a bit too late now for you two guys to hope that the international community is going to believe your " SL Government humanitarian rescue mission", Tamils are all living in SL as equal citizens in a rose garden etc". I think you are a teeny bit late as everone knows the truth now : ).

    Maybe its time to convince your government to hold a referndum in the North and East and allow the Tamils and their homeland to be free???

    But i guess not yeah : ) – BECAUSE THE GREED OF THE TAMIL LANDS led your race chase and wipe out 60 % of the Tamil population from the North and East. (SL Tamils who were previously 12% of the population and now just 5% of the SL population now)

    As for genocide if this is not Genocide what is?

    IRQI OCCUPATION – 2003 – 2011
    Iraqi total population: 31,494,287 ( 2009) World Bank, World Development Indicators
    Iraqi deaths in war:
    I01, 395 – 110,752 civilian deaths (Iraq body count – http://www.iraqbodycount.org/database/ ) = 0.35% of total Iraqi population
    601,027 ( Lancet survey 2006)
    = 1.91% of total I. population

    THE AFGHAN WAR – 2001 – PRESANT
    Afghan total population: 29,802,724 ( 2009) World Bank, World Development Indicators
    Afghan deaths in war:
    8,813 civilian deaths (http://www.unknownnews.net/casualties.html)
    =0.0295% of total population
    2,777 Civilian Deaths UN estimates (http://english.alarabiya.net/articles/2011/03/09/140880.html?PHPSESSID=3dfqsbk26thesvp4os3oh4id27 )
    = 0.0093 % of total population

    Sri Lankan civil war

    Total Sri Lankan population = 17.56 MILLION (2001) http://www.ancsdaap.org/cencon2002/papers/Sri%20Lanka/SriLanka.pdf

    Ceylon Tamil were 3.9 % of the total population in 18 districts censured in 2001 resulting in = 684,840

    in 2008 Tamil areas were under LTTE control and population of these areas were as follows

    Kilinochi and Mullaithivu = 430,000 (2008)

    Jaffna = 559,142 (2007) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Sri_Lanka)

    Total SL Tamil Population = 1,673,982

    Missing from the 2009 war in Kilinochi and Muallithivu in 2009

    (430,000 – 290,000 (who the army had in their internment camps in 2009 in the end of the war) = 140,000

    Percentage of the SL Tamil population that perished in the last 2009 war = 11.96% of the total SL Tamil population.

    Loss of property = Almost all the Tamils in the north and east have been refugees or IDP's as least 1 time in their life.

    Almost 90% of the Tamils from the North and east have lost all their belongings and majority have had their house shelled or bombed during their life time.

    if this is not Genocide what is?

    Total SL Tamil population =
    Total Ceylon Tamil population =

    November 21, 2012 at 1:13 am | Reply
    • billy

      haha thats a classic..so rest of the country is to blamed for consequences of the tamil terrorism and tribal politics they started since 1920s? ..only genocide happened in sri lanka was the tamils chasing away sinhalse and muslims from the north..once sangili and then prabakaran..even now with 1000s who have migrated as economic refugees claiming bogus discrimination the population of tamils in the north have not reduced that musch according the latest figures...sri lanka belongs to all, we will never allow to create mono ethnic ghettos in sri lanka..learn to live with test as one..no exclusive rights only equal rights...

      November 21, 2012 at 5:13 am | Reply
      • 123

        ---

        November 23, 2012 at 9:54 am |
    • Lanka Liar

      Lanknisia – Talking out of point. and irrelevant.

      November 21, 2012 at 5:24 am | Reply
    • Suren

      Tamils have a growth rate almost dobble the rate of the rest of the population.

      According Wikipedia the the ethinc group percentage of SL-Tamils is the same as before the war, when over 1 million SL-Tamils left for greener pastures in the west.

      At Independence in 1948 SL-Tamils were 11% and numbered 733,700. Now only the SL-Tamils in Sri Lanka is over 2 million while a million has gone to the west as bogus refugees. That makes the total SL-Tamil population about 3 million.

      This is ofcourse not counting the allegedly killed 40,000 -80,000 just in the last couple of months of the war.!!!

      WHERE DO THESE TAMILS COME FROM?

      REALLY PEOPLE!!! Just use your brains see through the Tamil lies.

      Tamils must stop lying and get on with their lives or just go back to Tamil Nadu.

      November 21, 2012 at 9:08 pm | Reply
      • 132

        Really Suren??? WOW the SL Tamil Population is growing strong???

        And your source is Wikipedia???

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Sri_Lanka

        To the reader – please view in this link how since 1983 the SL Tamil population figures are kept stable while the Inian Tamil population figures are falling.

        Is it not interesting the Indian Tamils who live in the Center of the country and never faught in the Civil war have lost 6% of this population from 1981 ( when the civil war properly started) and now are just 5.19% while the SL Tamil population is being kept stable??? That is the story of the SL government – if you have killed 50 +% of the SL Tamil population how do you escape lkiability in ine International eyes??? Oh yeah why now use the Indian Tamil population to fill the 50+% gap in the SL Tamil population. The International community is soo stupid they wont be checking the Indian and other race population of SL yeah?

        Wow such brilliance!!

        November 23, 2012 at 8:24 am |
  13. 123

    Further SL Government after 2009 AMANDED its citizenship rules by baring the Duel citizenship catogory. The main reson for this could be to prevent the expartiate Tamils to come back to SL.

    http://www.immigration.gov.lk/web/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=147&Itemid=186&lang=en

    Canadian Tamil man who tried to claim his land back from the SL military killed –

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-18039631

    November 21, 2012 at 1:27 am | Reply
  14. MagaDev Kumaran

    When there will be justice for innocent Tamils killed in thousands? What the use of having UN? Are Tamils considered as Humans? Is a sad story continued for the last 4 years and to be honest there won’t be any justice as the China and India protect the mass murders for their business interests. Where’s the West?

    November 21, 2012 at 3:15 am | Reply
    • billy

      justice was done when the murderer parabkaran was killed just like ossama binladen in 2009

      November 21, 2012 at 5:14 am | Reply
      • Lanka Liar

        Let us kill the other murderers now so that we get more justice

        November 21, 2012 at 5:25 am |
  15. singing fish

    SIMPLE TRUTH,THERE WILL NO RECONCILIATION UNTIL THE WARCRIME IS INVESTIGATED BY AN INTERNATIONALBODY AND THE PERPETRATORS ARE PUNISHED WHOEVER IT MAY BE.

    November 21, 2012 at 3:15 am | Reply
  16. Doc Fprsythe

    As a western doctor working in the northeast of srilanka during the Tsunami period, I personally, the sinhalese srilankan army denying foreign aid to the tamils and diverting it to the sinhalese areas. The tamils and sinhalese of srilanka have very different language, religion, tradition and culture and srilanka is ethinically very polarized between tamisl and the sinhalese. Ever since the the british gave the majority northeast tamils of the northeast to be ruled by the southern sinhalese the country has become another Ruwanda. The 99% sinhalese army of Srilanka in 100% tamil areas has caused ethinic cleansing and genocide by the sinhalese srilankan government. For the last 50 years there has been violaence directed against the tamils by the sinhalese governemt sponsored serial "ethinic riots". Please read the hongkong based AHRC.HK website for more information on the tamils persecution by the sinhalese. Srilanka borrows money from Iran to buy weapons from Israel, china and pakistan to bomb tamil civilians by using cluster bombs for the last 25 years

    November 21, 2012 at 4:52 am | Reply
    • billy

      looks like u just a pathetic lair or tamil pretending to be osme one...ithere were never problems with tamil and sinhalse in sri lanka, even when the hight of the war majority of the tamils lived among sinhalse..and dont forget when ur parabakaran was controlling the north its the southern tax payers who provided u with food, medicine and education..if ur claims are true weould have finished the war much before that it dragged in to...what do u mean by british give sinhase the power...may u dont like democracy since during british time it was the minority tamils who ruled the country like south african apartheid...may u were looking for british to agreed to ur racist 50:50 rule...to bad buddy.. wake up to the real world..

      November 21, 2012 at 5:20 am | Reply
      • Lanka Liar

        You are reading wrong history. South African history is not Sri Lankan history. You seems to be confused.

        November 21, 2012 at 5:26 am |
    • Banda

      You must be one hell of of a black western doctor. Those are good for"Konda bandapu cheenunta"

      November 22, 2012 at 1:41 am | Reply
  17. Gama10

    The Hypocrisy is in big time, look at how when a small country with the legitimately elected government (from peoples vote) eliminate a 30 year terrorism vs big country invade and occupy other country for their special interest? What a joke here thanks to the internet.. writing completely bogus stories to earn big cash from a terrorist organization?

    November 21, 2012 at 10:43 am | Reply
    • 123

      you dont seem to understand what democracy is. Just because a gov is elected it does not give it right to kill off its minorities and commit gross HR violations. Nazi Germany also was a democratically elected Gov. Please dont write stupid comments and insult other intelligence.

      November 21, 2012 at 11:24 am | Reply
  18. Alex Pandian

    Sri Lanka has a long history of establishing ad hoc commissions to deflect international criticism over its very poor human rights record and widespread culture of impunity.Since independence in 1948, Sri Lanka has established at least 10 such commissions, none of which have produced any significant results.

    Every time the international community raises the issue of accountability, Sri Lanka establishes a commission that takes a long time to achieve nothing,"

    "World leaders who supported the war should put an quick end to this game of smoke and mirrors and begin a process that would ensure not only justice for all the victims of Sri Lanka's war but also prevent another group of young youths searching justice by take up armed political violence in future.

    Colombo Govt may well be continuing its Draconian laws and human rights abuses with these arbitrary arrests , illegal detentions and executions.

    Many Journalist who questioned the government have been killed or dissappiard or left the country, and so far nobody brought to books yet.

    The level of democracy in the island was best illustrated by the opposition presidential candidate called for the intervention of 'outside governments' to prevent dictatorship and to protect democracy in the island.

    "There is no law and order in this country,there is nothing we can do about it" he said.

    Recalcitrant Colombo still seeks to hold back the truth. Tamil grievances that led to war in the first place still there.

    Tamils struggle for their political self determination has been brutally twisted and crushed.

    November 21, 2012 at 2:12 pm | Reply
  19. Suren

    This article if anything shows why Sri Lanka is stuck with a corrupt government – Its thanks to the Tamils and them hijacking the whole political scene starting from about 2 decades prior to independence. Not even a crow can shi.t in Sri Lanka, without it affecting Tamil rights and then we have huge case and corrupt analysts like the one responsible for this article writing rubbish.

    November 21, 2012 at 9:18 pm | Reply
  20. Suren

    WATCH:
    UN official numbers for Tamils in the war zone:
    UN Press Brief 23rd April 2009
    youtube.com/watch?v=nTgXJuX8kFE&t=6m09s

    Why do paid anaylists with their own agendas repeat the same lies over and again??

    Crisis group operates with a number of over 80,000 Tamils killed by the army in the last couple of months of the war – is it even possible, for 80,000 people to be killed in such a tiny area (under 3 square kilometers)? Where are the bodies? Videos by Tamils themselves from the war zone, show clean and clear land, while narrating about thousands of dead!!! Wouldn't deadbodies just float all over the place if 80,000 or even a couple of thousand people were killed in there?

    Aren't there any honest journalist who can find the truth about the real numbers??

    November 21, 2012 at 9:32 pm | Reply
  21. al

    It is the fake numbers game. Yes civilians were killed, but not to the extent that the UN or HRW or LTTE supporters have suggested. A total of 350,000 people were taken hostage by LTTE and marched to the beaches of Mulativu. The purpose of this was to use civilians as a human shield and also provide cheap labor and a recruitment basis for the LTTE operations. Initially the civilians heeded LTTE requests and made the trek, they were behind the forward defense lines and provided help to the LTTE by cutting ditches, loading ammunition, and any war related effort, they forced the civilians to work by rationing U.N/sri Lanka gov food supplies to those who cooperated. 350,000, another 40,000 LTTE soldiers. About 20% of this group were above the age of 50, 10% above the age of 70. Many died during the exhaustive march, many were saved by the Sri Lanka navy and army through red cross escort to safer zones. As land area diminished LTTE started to use Civilians as frontal shields and used their soldiers to protect flanks and attack the SL army. When this failed, LTTE started putting cannons in midst of the Civilians, hospitals, and safe zones began fireing at the Armed forces. Army targeting radar located the canons and hit back, sometimes causing civilian causalities. Total civilian death was about 2600 due to direct and indirect fire from Sri Lanka army. Total civilian death due to restricted freedom of movement resulting in medically related death were close to 8000-10,000 over 12 months. LTTE cadre lost were around 20,00, another 12,000 surrendered, another 1500 were massacred by LTTE to prevent them from falling in to Army hands this was over 20 months (2007-2009 may). Folks I ask you to visit this country and see for yourself, ask people in those areas, who used to live in refugee camps what happened, go to Youtube and see the atrocities LTTE committed. Stop this witch hunt, LTTE leader is dead, they chose the path of violence and paid dearly for it, end of story. did you know the world trade center bomber got his fake passport from LTTE? This group also trained al quida to perfect the suicide west and IED technologies that killed thousands of U.S and allied troops. The sri lanka government should put these figures out.. oh but they have already done so. After all those defeats LTTE diaspora still cant phantom the loss, because they pumped almost $500 million a year in to that outfit, they are asking where is that money?

    November 22, 2012 at 1:24 am | Reply
  22. al

    it is also funny to see that U,N numbers are based on people who were part of LTTE operations (they are the key witnesses), the U.N and HRW analysts have never been to sri lanka either. Behind all the war crimes statements there are at least 10-20 tiger (LTTE) agents. this is how money talks!

    November 22, 2012 at 1:35 am | Reply
  23. Srivanamoth

    Alan Kenan's account is factually correct. SL has been a failed state from year 1 of independence and keeps failing ominously 65 years later as result of murderous governance. It has got away so far by spiining its own false accounts in an attempt to deflect criticism and culpability. How many more massacres are needed for the UN (and its serious minded member nations) to execute its responsibilities under international human rights, humanitarian laws and even laws of genocide? Surely if the UN acted in like cases like Cambodia, even Rwanda, Bosnia what is holding it back from taking action in SL where mass crimes had been committed under cover of PTA and zero governance? The use of the word 'democracy' ill fits the ground realities in the country in the absence of rule of law and justice in an atmosphere pf abject corruption. Merely holding periodic elections is surely NOT democracy but a perfidious mechanism to fool people even governments.

    November 22, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Reply
  24. Martin_UK

    How come a reputed site like CNN publish this crap? Unverified claims and heresay from someone who has clearly been paid to do some dirty work.

    November 23, 2012 at 3:04 am | Reply
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