Saturday, April 22, 2006

an examination of bias in recent ngo report on trinco riot

after the recent riot in trinco some ngo activists (mainly from center for policy alternatives-cpa) have released a report titled 'call for immediate action on trincomalee situation'. this document nominally a press release according to cpa claims to be expression of 'grave concerns' raised by 'findings' of a 'fact-finding team of civil society representatives'(btw its not made clear that this team included all those who signed the statement) and even has recommendations for various parties. accordingly it will be examined as their report on the situation until more details are made available.

(report was highlighted in moju and this post is derived from my first comment there (with minor edits, highlighted in brown, in the interest of clarity)).

this is an examination and exposing of lack of transparency , representativeness, proper procedure, and most importantly impartiality, of this group of individuals who call themselves a 'fact-finding team of civil society representatives'.
it is also a examination of the content and recommendations of the report itself and its all too obvious bias against the government and the military .

it is not intended as a personal attack against any one of those ppl.

let us hope they are able to allay shortcomings exposed by producing at least some the details asked for.

I will not republish the report itself in the main post you may read it at cpa or moju or as a comment here.

lets start.
---
first lets examine the participants', inquiry's, and report's credibility, then we will go into content and recommendations.

participants:
even a glance show that this fact finding group consists of few ngo ppl whose impartiality has been questioned before. true?
how and who chose the participants?
was there open invitations to ppl who are not that transparently biased?
was there for instance, invitations to professional bodies like bar association, chartered accountants, etc.?
was there an invitation to the chambers of commerce?
was there an invitation to religious leaders?
if not in what way could this be termed 'civil society'? ( if one take the literal meaning if the term and not as just a synonym for peacenik ngos )

inquiry:
what were the methods of inquiry?
did all members of inquiry travel to trinco?
are transcripts of interviews available for scrutiny? and where? and why not?
were the 'fact finding' open to public?
were all relevant ppl interviewed? what were the procedures implemented to ensure this?
were medical evidence collected as to causes of death etc.?are these attached? if not why?
were the military interviewed? did they refuse? if so why was this not noted?
were the ltte cadres interviewed? did they refuse? if so why was this not noted?
what procedures were implemented to ensure the veracity of witnesses?
when and where was the inquiry held?( full details pl)

report:
is this merely a summary ?
where is the complete report with all the details missing here?
was this published anywhere else? at least at cpa website? and why not?(at moju cpa link was not provided in the main post it was posted as a comment later so far this is the only question answered )
were all the signatories completely in agreement?
where can one find the original with the signatures?

unless one can hear credible answers to those questions one has to doubt the impartiality, representativeness, and methods of this 'civil society' ' fact finding'.

now for the content. (this would be fun to deconstruct, if not for the tragedy of the actual event forming the basis of it)

bias reeks through the sentences:
Within 15 minutes of the explosion, a gang of armed Sinhala persons began a rampage through the business area of the town,
even jeyraj (a person who does not hide his bias to his credit) did not go that far, he at least gave 30 min for the military to organize the goons.
or may be this was spontaneous anger spilling over ? was this ever considered?

no, it seems, bc they have an explanation for the 15 min efficiency of the military ( there is lot that can be said in praise of the army but efficiency is not one of them)
The speed with which the violence erupted after the explosion seems to indicate an element of pre-planning that is extremely disturbing.

so this fact finding group have a bomb (no doubt pre planned by military) that kills soldiers( no doubt expendable ones, these army guys are ruthless no?) and a mob(don't forget it was sinhala only too!) in 15 min ( who were armed with petrol etc. and in civilian cloths loaded into trucks waiting with impatience to hear the sound of their colleagues dying in the market place)

man, that's very believable no?(esp. if you are a peacenik ngo given to hate to army but to others not so given?)

Two observers referred to the situation as being reminiscent of the anti-Tamil riots of July 1983
now that's testimony i would really like to hear. in what way was it reminiscent ? scale ? or is it just that all fires look alike.

The burning of bodies has resulted in delays in identification, and has destroyed traces of mutilation and sexual assault prior to the death.
so are they not sure who these victims were? tamil? sinhala? muslim?
were postmortems conducted? if not why?
how exactly do these ngo ppl become so sure that there was 'mutilation and sexual assault' prior to burning? pl explain bc the statement sound so sure. or was it just bias sneaking out?

It appeared that several large shops were specifically targeted – among them were Hari Electricals, the Dollar Agency, the Dialog Company and the Sunlight (Lever Brothers) Agency. The mob also attacked the Hatton National Bank.
why? i was really surprised that this group did not find a reason for mob attack on this kind of company? it can't be ethnicity .
but they say they were 'specifically targeted'?
as far as i know neither dialog or hnb has confirmed this. in fact if this 'specifically targeted' part is correct or if the damages were great these companies will be guilty of not complying with disclosure requirements of colombo stock exchange (they have not, i know). they disclosed their damages in previous tragedies like tsunami promptly and are known to be exemplary corporate citizens, so this statement is highly questionable to say the least.

During this entire period the armed forces and the Police did almost nothing to prevent the violence from taking place. There are several very credible eye witness accounts to the manner in which the security forces stood by and allowed the burning and killing to take place.
please give the details of 'several very credible eye witnesses' ? who were they? where exactly were they? how did they escape? how was the credibility established? just plain statements by several biased ppl who were in colombo at the time just don't cut it.

as i have been asking again and again in the previous discussion,(at moju there was an earlier discussion about unsubstantiated allegations about military involvement in the trinco riot) for god's sake please produce the evidence for others to examine if you have them.
why keep them hidden? is it (god forbid!)bc they are not credible? or were just hearsay witnesses instead of eye witnesses? we will know once they come in to open. if not this statement is just another restatement of rumor. and these ppl are devaluing their already tarnished reputations further by doing what a low grade would be rumormonger did in other discussion.

then there are the recommendations:
The government should devise some means of accepting accountability for the inability of the security forces to prevent the violence; a collective apology from the state and from southern political parties to the people of Trincomalee would go a long way towards re-building bridges of communication and trust;
An independent investigation into the violence following the bomb explosion on 12th April should be undertaken by a team comprising representatives of government and non-government bodies; the investigation should aim at recording the various testimonies regarding the incidents and at making recommendations to the government regarding justice and redress for the victims
these are stated in that order
first the verdict
then the inquiry
in the same report, at the same time.

shouldn't the verdict come after an impartial inquiry is held? i thought that was the normal procedure in law. am i wrong?
do these fact finders still claim to be impartial after that?

that is part of recommendations for government and others in the south, most of the other recommendations are the usual platitudes long on words short on concrete steps.

but when it comes to ltte , there are two, one is a platitude as the ones referred in the previous statement. lets get to the relevant one.
Halt these acts of violence and commit to the pursuit of its objectives through non-violent and democratic means;

is that all?
no condemnation? no request to accept responsibility as with government? no apology?
may be the fact finders suddenly remembered that they should not pass the verdict before a proper inquiry?
but there is no appeal to ltte to help the government in conducting the inquiry, say by handing over the ppl who threw bombs to the slmm? and other cadres too so that they can be examined by the inquiry.

no they hold only the government responsible ltte is free to go and conduct attacks and provocations.

as is clear to anyone after examining this report in detail. these biased 'fact finders' seems to have prejudged the case and held only the government responsible using unsubstantiated evidence .
if anyone disagree pl reply to the concerns raised in this post in detail.
--
update
here are some additional questions to the 'fact finders' that illustrates the bias and resulting selective nature of this so called 'fact finding'
what is the evidence that makes these 'fact finders' so sure that only a sinhala mob operated during the riot?
did they or did they not find evidence for groups of tamil youth goading the sinhala mob with several hand grenade explosions and other provocations throughout the riot ? why not ?
did they at least examine the evidence left behind by these grenade explosions ? why is there no reference to them in their report?

even jeyaraj seems to admit to these grenades which were reported on sl media at the time.

32 comments:

sittingnut said...

this the report examined in the main post included here for record purposes
-
PRESS RELEASE

CALL FOR IMMEDIATE ACTION ON
TRINCOMALEE SITUATION

A fact-finding team of civil society representatives traveled to Trincomalee on 16th and 17th of April 2006 in the wake of reports of civil unrest in the District.

The findings of this mission have left us gravely concerned by the events that have unfolded in Trincomalee over the past week; events which have left over 20 civilians dead, over 30 shops and 100 homes destroyed by fire and over 3000 persons displaced and seeking refuge in schools and places of worship.

On 12th April, a bomb exploded in the vegetable market in Trincomalee town, leaving five persons, including one child, dead. Within 15 minutes of the explosion, a gang of armed Sinhala persons began a rampage through the business area of the town, setting Tamil shops on fire, and looting goods. According to bystanders, though the gang never consisted of more than 100 at any given time, there was no reasonable attempt made by the security forces to prevent the violence.

Several people have been reported killed in and around the market on the 12th during the course of the rioting. Some bodies were thrown into the flames of the burning shops. 19 deaths, including of 7 women, have been reported so far; however the figure is rising daily. The burning of bodies has resulted in delays in identification, and has destroyed traces of mutilation and sexual assault prior to the death.

Over 30 shops were burned in all, the majority belonging to Tamils and 2 to Muslims. It appeared that several large shops were specifically targeted – among them were Hari Electricals, the Dollar Agency, the Dialog Company and the Sunlight (Lever Brothers) Agency. The mob also attacked the Hatton National Bank.

Other incidents of violence, including arson and murder took place outside the town. The body of a young Sinhala man, identified as Nissanka, was found in Mahindapura on the 14th April. He had been missing since the 13th. Subsequently the Sinhala villagers of Mahindapura went on a rampage in the neighbouring Tamil village Nadesapura and set fire to over 40 homes. The office of the Trincomalee District Youth Development Organization (AHAM) was attacked and several vehicles belonging to the organization were set on fire; the Hindu temple in the village was also attacked. Similar incidents have taken place in Thuwarangkadu, resulting in the displacement of almost 1000 persons, and in Andankulam, where several houses were burnt down. The houses in Andankulam were new, built under a post-tsunami reconstruction scheme.

The violence, as well as the fear and insecurity experienced by the civilians, has led to a fairly substantial displacement. As of the 20th April, the District Secretariat, Trincomalee, had this figure at 2673 persons (723 families). This does not take into account the large numbers who are residing with family and friends, and those who are simply leaving their homes at night-time for more secure locations. The response to the displacement, even from NGOs, has been slow, hampered by the prevailing tensions and lack of personnel. In some areas government assistance was received only on the 18th April, despite the fact that people were displaced on the 14th April.

The speed with which the violence erupted after the explosion seems to indicate an element of pre-planning that is extremely disturbing. Two observers referred to the situation as being reminiscent of the anti-Tamil riots of July 1983. The rioting lasted for over two hours, during the daytime. During this entire period the armed forces and the Police did almost nothing to prevent the violence from taking place. There are several very credible eye witness accounts to the manner in which the security forces stood by and allowed the burning and killing to take place.

Although there is a multi-ethnic Citizens’ Committee led by religious leaders of all communities in Trincomalee town, as well as Peace Committees initiated by the Police at the level of every Grama Sevaka Division, they have been ineffective in the face of the recent incidents of violence. There is a very high degree of mistrust and animosity between the Sinhala and Tamil communities in particular. Groups remain polarized on the basis of ethnicity and there is no structure that has the capacity to bring them together in a positive and constructive manner. Even well-established social activists expressed their fear of taking the initiative to assist those affected by the violence; some of them were already receiving threatening telephone calls.

Given that Trincomalee has always been a flashpoint for ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka, it is imperative that civil society organizations in the south concentrate on strengthening existing networks and building new ones, to give a truly plural character to the moderate and peace-loving voices of Trincomalee’s peoples and to ensure that a slide back into barbaric ethnic tensions does not arise.

On the basis of its findings, we wish to highlight the following areas of concern and appeal to the government, political parties, non-governmental organizations and all members of civil society:

* Immediate steps must be taken to ensure that all emergency and humanitarian assistance necessary is extended to those displaced by the violence; rebuilding of houses should be a priority;
* A delegation of senior members of all leading political parties should undertake a visit to Trincomalee to meet with all sections of the population as a confidence-building measure;
* The government should devise some means of accepting accountability for the inability of the security forces to prevent the violence; a collective apology from the state and from southern political parties to the people of Trincomalee would go a long way towards re-building bridges of communication and trust;
* An independent investigation into the violence following the bomb explosion on 12th April should be undertaken by a team comprising representatives of government and non-government bodies; the investigation should aim at recording the various testimonies regarding the incidents and at making recommendations to the government regarding justice and redress for the victims;
* These measures should take into account the culture of impunity that has prevailed in Sri Lanka, taking on board the experiences of previous commissions, and ensure that concrete steps are taken and implemented by the government to end impunity;
* Civil society organizations should create a ‘rapid response’ network that will make regular and systematic visits to their partners and colleagues in Trincomalee in order to monitor the situation;
* Payment of compensation should be transparent, unbiased and acceptable to all affected parties;
* Institutions such as the District office of the National Human Rights Commission should be reinforced with material and human resources to enable it to act more effectively in a time of crisis such as this;
* The Citizens’ Committee should be strengthened so that it can act independently and with the recognition of the authorities;

We note that the LTTE have been engaged in acts of armed attacks against the security forces resulting in further heightening tension and fear within the community and the Trincomalee area.

We appeal to the LTTE to:

* Halt these acts of violence and commit to the pursuit of its objectives through non-violent and democratic means;
* Ensure that there are no obstacles in providing emergency and humanitarian assistance to those displaced by the violence and facilitate in creating a safe environment for the implementation of aid work by agencies and individuals;

It is imperative that all political actors are aware of the dangers involved in not taking control of the situation and ensuring that the potential for heightened violence in Trincomalee is curbed. The creation of an environment in which people can return to their homes and their livelihoods should be given priority. In the current climate of insecurity, attempts by some politically motivated groups to incite ethnic and religious hatred should be dealt with immediately and all citizens need to be more vigilant about these manipulations. The fragility of the peace process at this moment calls for a concerted initiative to safeguard the CFA and strengthen the voices for peace in Sri Lanka.

Sunila Abeysekera, Udaya Kalupathirana: INFORM
Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu, Rohan Edrisinha, Devanesan Nesiah, Bhavani Fonseka, Mirak Raheem: CENTRE FOR POLICY ALTERNATIVES
Ramani Muttetuwegama: LAW AND SOCIETY TRUST
P.D. Gunatilaka: DEVASARANA DEVELOPMENT CENTRE
Buddhika Weerasinghe: FREE MEDIA MOVEMENT
Ambika Satkunanathan, Soundarie David, Charan Rainford, Nimanthi Rajasingham, Sonali Moonesinghe, P. Thambirajah, S. Varatharajan, INTERNATIONAL CENTRE FOR ETHNIC STUDIES
Nimalka Fernando, INTERNATIONAL MOVEMENT AGAINST RACIAL DISCRIMINATION
Kumudini Samuel, Sepali Kottegoda WOMEN AND MEDIA COLLECTIVE
Jayadeva Uyangoda, SOCIAL SCIENTISTS’ ASSOCIATION
Rukshana Nanayakkara, TRANSPARENCY INTERNATIONAL, SRI LANKA
Anita Nesiah
Manouri Muttetuwegama
Darini Rajsaingham
Tharumini Wijekoon
Samatha, Jawaharlal Nehru University

21st April 2006

Janapathi said...

Have a look, then YOU decide..


http://www.lankapolitics.com/blog/2006/03/ltte-atrocities.html

Mahisha said...

I read your post. I read the CPA statement. I am lost for words.
I have a friend in Trinco - will ask her as to what actually happend. She is a Tamil speaking girl; detests the LTTE, she does not like the army either....but she has always said that the army (the soldiers from the army - did not mention navy/ air-force / police) always treated them well...

sittingnut said...

it has emerged that this report is a partial plagiarism of writings of jeyaraj see my next post

sittingnut said...

can anyone provide me with email addresses of the ppl who signed the cpa report.
i intend to ask each one whether they actually took part in a bona fide fact finding mission, and if they did whether they can answer the questions i have already raised about it. in addition i will ask how they were persuaded to put their name on such a piece of blatant plagiarism.
my email address is sittingnut(at)gmail(dot)com
if you are unable to send addresses for some reason but is in contact with any one of those ppl . pl ask the said questions yourself and post the answers.

Yaaro said...

So S, are you saying that the killings/riot in Trinco was not conducted by sinhalese mobs?

sittingnut said...

are you really yaaro? if so i am very glad you commented. :-)

as for your question
are you saying that the killings/riot in Trinco was not conducted by sinhalese mobs?
no, i never denied that, only it was more complex than that .
as i have said elsewhere before as far as i know a riot did take place after the bomb almost immediately. it included mobs (or at least groups) from both sides. this is clear from the fact that of the 20 or so ppl killed only about half were tamil. of the families displaced in trinco itself over one third are sinhalese.

the riot was brought under control within two or three hours at most. even ngo ppl have to acknowledge that. well before any call from indian pm as some allege.

after that few sporadic incidents took place in some villages.

these facts (reported by sl as well as foreign media with evidence) were ignored by the ngo ppl writing this report. instead they (like more understandably ltte propagandists) are trying to imply that a government or at least a military conspiracy took place and that the whole thing was done under military orders or at least indifference. which given the facts was simply not true.

such imputation of blame on government however fit well with ltte's drive for war which as i have been saying all alone they seems to have decided on sometime last year.

Yaaro said...

sitting nut- I AGREE that the LTTE are a bloody bunch of war mongers. No seconds thoughts about that but what happened in trinco is not what you seem to think happened. The army/police watched, whilst people were being butchered on the streets. This is not from any media reports nor any ngo reports- merely a first hand account from a civilian. And this is what happened in 83 when the government just stood by watching the bloody extremist walk around killing people. The only difference is that this time the JVP had the assistance of the JHU. Of course I am not referring to the scale at all- I am only referring to the concept! As for plagiaring DBS Jeyeraj’s article- I think you have to think about that one S. Has the man himself accused them? (oh and btw DBSJ is NOT an LTTE sympathiser, in fact he probably is on their hitlist. Have you been following his articles for the past 7-8 years?You’ll know if have been)
These attacks are of course provoked. I admit and I am not going to deny that. That’s why Thamilchelvam needs to be shot! But when the government does not want to safe guard their citizens irrespective of which race they belong to, then why would you expect these people to, NOT support the LTTE?

sittingnut said...

yaaro:
for plagiarism issue see my comment in the next post in reply to you

note: i only refer to unsubstantiated eye witnesses i have heard (which i have so far not done on purpose)in here bc you refereed to one. their accounts are highly confused and not complete and i suspect all eye witness accounts if truthful will be like that. i am not in a position to produce them. as such if anyone wishes to disbelieve me they are free to do so and right to do so imo bc these accounts are unsubstantiated. in fairness however the accounts i have heard roughly tallies with the substantiated accounts in media. my case against cpa report is not based on unsubstantiated eyewitness accounts but on substantiated accounts of the riot. if anybody like cpa ppl want to challenge the substantiated account they should produce the evidence for scrutiny as i have requested repeatedly here and elsewhere. they have not done so.

The army/police watched, whilst people were being butchered on the streets
i have to disagree
first bc substantiated reports don't agree with that.
second according to eye witnesses accounts i have heard there were clashes by small groups of ppl in several places with grenades thrown here and there and looting of shops. there were only a few security personnel ( quite inadequate to to cover the town)mostly police in the town at the time and they were frankly paralyzed (from fear according to one) which is quite understandable given that they were being targeted daily. when more military arrived the riot was controlled by about 6 pm.
this as i said roughly tallies with substantiated accounts in the media, which as you say do not agree with your witness's account.
btw how does your eyewitness explain the varied ethnicity of victims?

its quite unfair to accuse the military for not putting up road blocks and posting large numbers of military in the town before the riot. as they have done since. if another riot take place in trinco this week while new security measures are in place you will be correct to accuse the military.

pl note that riots even in developed countries (remember french immigrant suburbs recently) take some time to control and two to three hours is fairly quick by any standards.

The only difference is that this time the JVP had the assistance of the JHU.
as you know i am no fan of either but i am not sure even they had any role in the actual riot which seems have been a spontaneous affair. they may have had a hand in some incidents that happened afterwards in some villages.

the government does not want to safe guard their citizens irrespective of which race they belong to, then why would you expect these people to, NOT support the LTTE?
but given the facts in the ground i don't see how the government could have acted any differently than how they actually did. only other way would be to put every town in east as well as north, not to mention colombo under a very restrictive security blanket so that ltte is completely prevented from making provocative attacks in towns. i don't think government has the resources to do that or that situation warrants that at least for now. besides even the best defenses can be breached.

DBSJ is NOT an LTTE sympathiser, in fact he probably is on their hitlist
he may or may not be in the hitlist but that proves nothing. he is more or less in the same position as tna mps. his posts now echo their speeches, thus ltte's stance( may be reluctantly). in other words he is not impartial by any sense of the word any more than tamilnet can be called impartial. it may be forced sympathy for ltte due to the reality of the situation but it is still that.

ashanthi said...

Welcome back Yaroo - I have missed you.

s/nut - I appreciate your forthright comments, honest discussions and genuine attempts to bring out the truth.

There is only one thing that upsets me when I read your posts - I feel for someone who is actually living in SL you write as if you were talking about some kangaroos getting shot at a hick fest in far North Queensland.

You are talking about human beings. First let us be respectfull and acknowledge that people have been killed. Communal violence is when SL shows it's worst & darkest ugly side.

You know S/L is a small Island, people feel these things village to village. It reverbrates throughout the land.

I ask that you do one thing first - put yourself in these peoples shoes. Feel their terror, horror & try and understand what it is like to be treated with such contempt. These are the people who are in the middle. They were killed by the Indian army (Ivap's comments is just beyond belief) they are killed by "Tamil Terrorists" they are killed by the Army, they are killed by the Police & they are killed by anyone that feels like killing - that includes the JVP, they JHU or anyone that has a gun that just wants to do away with them.

How are these people, human beings who have just as much right ot live on this planet as we do, supposed to survive all this killing.

I can already hear s/nut going - "Oh you're getting too carried away, it's not THAT bad"

Yeah - yada, yada, yada - IT's FUCKING WORSE!!!

Score as many points as you like re the "Tamil Tigers"
It really isn't the issue. Will Sinhalese people stop killing Tamil people just because there are more of them & the army & police & Buddhist monks & govt will stand aside and watch.

sittingnut said...

ashanthi:
as for my lack of feeling,
i may be a bit of a cold fish :-)
it may be my writing style. ppl easily misunderstand when one try to express strong feelings and argument degenerates into trading of insults. case against this report is made in all seriousness i don't want to devalue it.
or i may have got used to all that violence as a person who spent most of his life here, as a sri lankan (it may be more than the average in my case) i have seen enough murdered ppl from childhood up than most ppl elsewhere would not see in few lifetimes.

Communal violence is when SL shows it's worst & darkest ugly side
agreed.

You know S/L is a small Island, people feel these things village to village. It reverbrates throughout the land.
actually that may be wrong. most ppl here do not. 20+ years of war and unspeakable atrocities has taught us that. it may even be a good thing. otherwise there will be more violence as the news 'reverbrates'.

I can already hear s/nut going - "Oh you're getting too carried away, it's not THAT bad"
Yeah - yada, yada, yada - IT's FUCKING WORSE!!!

well it is bad but it is not worse bc it was controlled.
this is in no way 1983 and trinco is getting back to normal slowly as i write.

what would be 'fucking worse' is restart of war as ltte wants and actively pursues by these provocations.

Will Sinhalese people stop killing Tamil people just because there are more of them & the army & police & Buddhist monks & govt will stand aside and watch.
as long as ppl encourage tigers by these kind of unsubstantiated allegations tigers will keep in driving for war. if ppl want peace they should unconditionally condemn the ltte for the countless number of attacks they have carried out in the past few weeks and like the international community commend the government for its restraint .

unless ltte is discouraged they will have their war and we will all suffer.

ashanthi said...

Ah - ok I get it, before the ltte there was no communal violence, no killing of Tamils, nothing, nada...

For the record, just so that you never, ever imply again that I am an ltte supporter...

I, totally & wholeheartedly condem in the strongest terms any and all killings ever committed by the ltte in the name of the Tamil people & for the Tamil cause.

I also condem every bastard that has ever killed an innocent civilian, Tamil, Sinhala in what should be an example of Peace to the whole world, Sri Lanka.

Accept your responsibility - you don't have the luxury of being a closet racist (like Indi) nor do you have the luxury of being cynical - stop it, it lowers you & it lowers Ivap too.

There is only one thing that will save Sri Lanka - I've told you this before ....

Male, between the ages of 18 to 45, who are prepared to fight for Peace & help others (however inept you think they are) do so too...

Get on with it, before it is far, far too late.

Yaaro said...

I beg to differ again on the ground situation you've mentioned S/nut. "Substantiated evidence"?????- now may I ask you WHICH evidence you are referring to there? You seem to be fairly confident about it. There is only that much the media can cover and remember there are always two sides to a story. If the government had the situation in control there needn't have been a call from Manmohan Singh at all (which you claim happened only after the government brought the situation under control- so why did he call at all if his call wasn’t going to be of any use??? Rajapakse ignores a plea for help and then suddenly everything is brought under control without anyone intervening-is that what you are trying to say? That our president was on the job well before anyone in Sri Lanka /India knew about the situation? ).
My source- our driver in Trinco and his family (except his wife-my source) were killed. And what I told you about the army/police being of no use or being mere spectators came from this lady who now has no family. Her neighbours who also owned a grocery store had the same thing to say. No substantiated reports am I going with here –mere first hand experience. This is a fact and I can assure you that these people weren’t lying or exaggerating. If the general public are unable to accept this, then there is no point taking this conversation any further.

All I can say is neither of us were there when this happened and so we can’t validate any of what’s been printed in the media or any report for that matter.

My question to you is when we have a repetition of the 83’ riots in Colombo- do you think the police and the army will jump to the tamil people’s rescue AT THE CORRECT TIME or should we also give them time to “practice” controlling riots since it’s been a while since we’ve had riots in Colombo?

P.S: The people I am referring to in this are both tamil and were aware of 1 sinhalese gent being killed. They reckon, it was a mistake because he worked in a tamil shop (which is rare apparently).

Yaaro said...

D.M.Kasun Samantha 12-Apr-06 23 M
Thavarajah Mahaluxmy 12-Apr-06 42 F
Antonyraj Geethanadani 12-Apr-06 33 F
Thavarajah Selvakumari 12-Apr-06 18 F
Kandasamy Thiraviam 12-Apr-06 56 F
A.M.Sudubanda 12-Apr-06 39 M
T. H. Rashmi Dilrangi 12-Apr-06 8 F
Myoora Pedige Sivamani 12-Apr-06 30 F

Velu Nantheswaran 12-Apr-06 28 M

M.S.M.Rilvan 12-Apr-06 36 M

S.M.Farook 12-Apr-06 55 M
L. H .Ashanka
Milan 12-Apr-06 21 M
L.H.Susantha 12-Apr-06 20 M
Chandra
Mathiwus 12-Apr-06 50 M
M.Selvarajah 12-Apr-06 44 M
1 civilian 12-Apr-06
Nissanka 12-Apr-06 M
V. Venkatraman 12-Apr-06 30 M
T. Namasivarajah 12-Apr-06 28 M
S. Maheswary 12-Apr-06 60 F

yaaro said...

There you go- varied ethnicity of victims

ivap said...

ashanthi - I gave the ltte the benefit of the doubt until they enforced the election boycott and commenced the dec/jan violence. Nobody intersted in a negotiated peace would do what the ltte are doing.

I don't understand your position. How do you expect to deal with totalitarians? The PB led ltte 'are' the pigs in control of the animal farm. You seem to want tamil autonomy for freedom and equality as well as tiger(tamil?) totalitarianism. You can't have your cake and eat it too, can you?

I can understand your reluctance to trust the government. What would it take to win your trust (benefit of doubt)? A serious proposal on devolution ?

Just for the record I make a distinction between tigers and tamils and you know my views on all of this. I'd rather not have a war if pb and pottu can be neutered before that.

ashanthi said...

Good to hear Ivap.

However, don't put words in my mouth - of course I don't want any totalitarian govt, don't think that what Tamils are subject to now is not exactly that. Let's just take 3 points, Institutionalised racism, constant harrasment/arbitary arrests of Tamils & occupation of their land. Does this sound like a picnic to you?

In this context, the areas controlled by the tigers are operating in par with the GOSL except for ... the fact that their is no institutionalised racism especially where education is concerned. As you are well aware of Tamil (S/Lankan) culture, this is the big point. Education.

Given ground realities, I would say the first step to meeting the Tamil (not tigers') needs is to allow them to educate themselves in a manner that they see fit.

Of course ideally, I'd like a free North & East, they should run their affairs seperately (now that the Tamil - Muslim thing has been stirred up by the GOSL), I don't think a half-way step of devolution would work, unless it is introduced in a very controlled way and the JVP & JHU completely loose their grip on politics. Possible if moderate Sinhalese people become more & more vocal & active, but unlikely for the next 5 to 10 years.

Bottom line is this - if you & s/nut get your knickers in a twist because of the content & it's source of a press relase by a peace organisation & group of NGOS then really ... what hope do we have? ZILCH! So ... stop it!

sittingnut said...

yaaro:
i am sorry for your source.
(if i seem unfeeling and cold i am sorry that is not my intention)
however her being a witness whose testimony cannot be scrutinized just makes my point. it would help if you publish her full account somewhere for others to see, for instance as to where and when she saw the said military ppl watching and how many were there and how they were armed and what was her own condition at the time she saw this.
ppl i spoke to are connected to me too(professionally) though did not suffer in the same way. as i said in my note above i don't ask anyone to believe them just bc i say so, i don't have a right to ask that from anybody bc they are not available for scrutiny by others. i don't ask that my witness be believed while yours be not.

if any witness is to be substantiated their accounts should be made public and confirmed. this may seem unfair to some but that is how it should be done. otherwise everybody will be able to make various contradictory claims.
as you say
All I can say is neither of us were there when this happened and so we can’t validate any of what’s been printed in the media or any report for that matter.

that is why its pity that this fact finding mission failed to conduct a proper inquiry when it had the opportunity.
it didn't include a broader cross section of civil society, it did not make open inquiries, or publish testimony, it did not disclose procedures implemented to ensure veracity. instead it very unprofessionally took parts of a post from a ltte sympathizer(or as good as) and published it appending signatures of some ngo ppl. pity.

until we get a proper inquiry we have to go by reports of ppl who can normally be considered impartial and whose accounts can reasonably be believed and considered substantiated due to past experience. these include foreign news corespondents, slmm, and statements issued by foreign diplomats. if you have problems with their reports you can raise them as i have done with cpa report.

none of those accounts contradict the basic facts of this riots
that a riot took place after a bomb.
that 20 or ppl were killed
that 200 families in trinco were displaced
that victims included all communities (specifically only about half of those killed were tamil and that at least one third of those displaced were sinhalese)
the riot was controlled within 2-3 hours
none of them say military was involved in the riot or deliberately failed to act.
here are three bbc reports one, two, three, which broadly agree with this
if you want i will find more reports from other sources of this kind. notice the times of the report filed on 12th.

if you see any such report that says otherwise pl link.

so why did he call at all if his call wasn’t going to be of any use?
in the first place official announcement does not say anything about him asking buffalo to control the situation in trinco. it in fact says he commended the sl government.
even if he said what ever he is supposed by some to have said, remember he is in india he gets news late. he was calling few hours after the riot so he probably did not have the correct intelligence at the time. it is not as if they have satellites looking down from above at trinco at few cm resolution. (besides i don't think indians have much credit with buffalo at the moment after they flat out refused to get involved in december.)
you have to understand we live in an imperfect world (third world one at that). news and ppl travel slowly here. and three hours at most is quick by any standard.
(btw bogollagama was in trinco and in tv by about 6pm which meant he was sent before 5pm from colombo on 12th.well before that call.)

how long did it take to stop the riot that recently affected northern ireland? pl answer before reading the next sentence.

My question to you is when we have a repetition of the 83’ riots in Colombo- do you think the police and the army will jump to the tamil people’s rescue AT THE CORRECT TIME or should we also give them time to “practice” controlling riots since it’s been a while since we’ve had riots in Colombo?
we have no right to hold the military here to a higher standard than that of any other (including the british) if there is a riot in colombo(god forbid) it should be controlled with in reasonable time. but if gets to '83 proportions it should be condemned ( i would be doing it myself as i did the 'strangers night operation') but if it was quickly controlled i will not make false accusations as these cpa ppl are doing about this riot.

i must say i find the continuous comparison of this with '83 highly ... 'unsettling', given the differences. in the first place this happened in the place of attack immediately, and was controlled in 2-3 hours. 83 riot happened (or rather started) in colombo long time after the attack and continued for days. no significant effort was made to control it. original victims here were civilians in the market place probably friends and relatives of some of those in the mob. in 83 they were 13 soldiers and its unlikely that mob in colombo has any connection to those soldiers. and the scale...
this is not an excuse for spontaneous mob attacks but when they do happen they need to be controlled as quickly as possible, as happened here.
let us hope that british/americans/australians do that in iraq when the next shia shrine get attacked too. they let shia kill sunnis for days in february. that was in '83 scale.

sittingnut said...

yaaro:
your list of victims makes no point unless you say from where you got it?
i will show just one problem
Nissanka 12-Apr-06 M ?
is this the same nissanka who disappeared on 13th and found dead on 14th? according to this report.
as you see your list is useless unless you give source data . at least you give a list, cpa ppl just assumed .
as for ethnicity even jeyaraj says 7 were sinhalese, 2 muslims of the 20 or so killed on 12th.

sittingnut said...

ashanthi:
Ah - ok I get it, before the ltte there was no communal violence, no killing of Tamils, nothing, nada...
please say why you make that statement. nobody else here made such a claim.

Accept your responsibility
for what?
pl spell out. i can take anything.

nor do you have the luxury of being cynical - stop it, it lowers you
i am being realistic. unless one face the facts(substantiated) we wont go anywhere.

There is only one thing that will save Sri Lanka
for present that is ltte stopping its daily attacks on the military. unless that happens all other talk about peace is useless.

if you & s/nut get your knickers in a twist because of the content & it's source of a press relase by a peace organisation & group of NGOS then really ... what hope do we have? ZILCH!
it's ltte's attacks that make chances of peace 'zilch' nothing else.

Of course ideally, I'd like a free North & East, they should run their affairs seperately
under ltte? do you prefer that ? pl answer.

Possible if moderate Sinhalese people become more & more vocal & active, but unlikely for the next 5 to 10 years.
well ltte deliberately defeated moderate sinhala stance in election but since it was also the pragmatic one its still on offer as recognized by international community. but ltte just wants war it seems by their daily attacks..

Morquendi said...

Sittingnut,

Here's some info.

The people who visited Trinco:
Sunila Abeysekera (INFORM)
Udaya Kalupathirana (INFORM)
Bhavani Fonseka (CPA)
Ramani Muttettuwegama (LST)
Buddhika Weerasinghe (FMM)
P D Gunatileke (Devasarana)

The date of the visit:
16th and 17th of April, 2006

Sittingnut, you have obviously not taken part in any kind of fact finding mission of any sort.

Something that I learnt as a journalist is that when an incident has occured, one cannot walk about with a pen and pad taking names and notes. Nor can one take a photograph of people. There are established methods of information gathering in conflict situations and you need to familiarise yourself with those methods before we continue with this discussion.

The kind of information gathering you refer to can be done only at a later date. And if you looked into the Trinco deaths you would realise that in many of the cases post mortems/inquests had not been carried out at that time so it would be silly to ask for a death certificate. You'd have known that if you had gone to Trinco.

I can put you in touch with some of these people and I assure you that they would love to talke you along on one of the next fact finding missions so that you too can understand what it feels like to be doing that kind of work. Want to go to Gomarankadawala? I can arrange that for you if you have the balls.

And for all your howling about writing and email to all these people, have you at the very least written an email to CPA to ask them why they published this report? Here are a few addresses you can write to:
inform[at]slt[dot]lk,
cpa[at]cpalanka[dot]org,
fmm[at]diamond[dot]lanka[dot]net,
lst[at]slt[dot]lk

The draft report was circulated on the 19th Wednesday. The press release based on the report was released on the 21st Friday. D B S Jeyraj's article came out on 23rd.

See something wrong with the timeline?

So ask D B S about it as well.

Morquendi said...

Sittingnut,

Here's some info.

The people who visited Trinco:
Sunila Abeysekera (INFORM)
Udaya Kalupathirana (INFORM)
Bhavani Fonseka (CPA)
Ramani Muttettuwegama (LST)
Buddhika Weerasinghe (FMM)
P D Gunatileke (Devasarana)

The date of the visit:
16th and 17th of April, 2006

Sittingnut, you have obviously not taken part in any kind of fact finding mission of any sort.

Something that I learnt as a journalist is that when an incident has occured, one cannot walk about with a pen and pad taking names and notes. Nor can one take a photograph of people. There are established methods of information gathering in conflict situations and you need to familiarise yourself with those methods before we continue with this discussion.

The kind of information gathering you refer to can be done only at a later date. And if you looked into the Trinco deaths you would realise that in many of the cases post mortems/inquests had not been carried out at that time so it would be silly to ask for a death certificate. You'd have known that if you had gone to Trinco.

I can put you in touch with some of these people and I assure you that they would love to talke you along on one of the next fact finding missions so that you too can understand what it feels like to be doing that kind of work. Want to go to Gomarankadawala? I can arrange that for you if you have the balls.

And for all your howling about writing and email to all these people, have you at the very least written an email to CPA to ask them why they published this report? Here are a few addresses you can write to:
inform[at]slt[dot]lk,
cpa[at]cpalanka[dot]org,
fmm[at]diamond[dot]lanka[dot]net,
lst[at]slt[dot]lk

The draft report was circulated on the 19th Wednesday. The press release based on the report was released on the 21st Friday. D B S Jeyraj's article came out on 23rd.

See something wrong with the timeline?

So ask D B S about it as well.

sittingnut said...

morqendi
thanks for replying. at least you had the courage to do that.

so only the ppl in named by you visited? other signatories stayed in colombo ?pl be clear
the questions i raised regarding their claim to represent 'civil society' stand in their entirety? in fact this has only added one more question.
why was the limited participation not mentioned in the report?

The date of the visit:
16th and 17th of April, 2006

as said before full details please.

when an incident has occured, one cannot walk about with a pen and pad taking names and notes. Nor can one take a photograph of people.
so these group took no notes or photographs ? what exactly is your point?
please give details on how they conducted the so called 'fact finding'.

There are established methods of information gathering in conflict situations and you need to familiarise yourself with those methods before we continue with this discussion.
what may these methods be and why should those methods prevent the 'fact finding team' from answering those questions i raised.
please give details as to how they came to conclusions in that statement they were so sure about

The kind of information gathering you refer to can be done only at a later date.
then why pass judgment before that? why no mention of the limitations in the statement ? why accuse the military when there is no evidence to back that accusation? why ask government to apologize when they are not sure what happened? as i said in the post why pass the verdict before the inquiry?

And if you looked into the Trinco deaths you would realise that in many of the cases post mortems/inquests had not been carried out at that time so it would be silly to ask for a death certificate. You'd have known that if you had gone to Trinco.
did they mention that in the report
and why did they write this ?
The burning of bodies has resulted in delays in identification, and has destroyed traces of mutilation and sexual assault prior to the death.
if they are not sure, they should not write as if they are.

I can put you in touch with some of these people and I assure you that they would love to talke you along on one of the next fact finding missions so that you too can understand what it feels like to be doing that kind of work. Want to go to Gomarankadawala? I can arrange that for you if you have the balls.
what would that prove? :-)
they should have invited the kind of people i indicated in my post. my going there does not prove anything. if the people mentioned by me refused you should mention that too with the reasons.

have you at the very least written an email to CPA to ask them why they published this report?
may i ask why it is imperative that i ask that? how does that change anything?
they are free to publish their report, i am free to point out its bias and plagiarism. neither they or me need ask each others permission.

thanks for email addresses as i said i will send emails to every one of the signatories.

The draft report was circulated on the 19th Wednesday. The press release based on the report was released on the 21st Friday. D B S Jeyraj's article came out on 23rd.
See something wrong with the timeline?

not at all
in the first place draft circulation is a private affair, that not my or publics concern. .
if you read my post you will see this
while the recent updated blog post of dbs jeyaraj was published after the cpa report there are enough evidence to show that authors of cpa report had access to the jeyaraj's writing before its publication and that cpa was plagiarizing jeyaraj and not the other way around.
so as you see timeline proves nothing. plagiarism was proved taking in to account jeyaraj's later publication. (though in fact jeyaraj's time stamp actually says 21st but that is besides the point)

if this is merely a press release btw where is the actual report? why was it not published? i asked that question too in the post

So ask D B S about it as well.
why?
as i said to yaaro only thing relevant to plagiarism charge is non mention of his name in the cpa report. his view on the matter does not change a thing. this is not a copyright case. don't confuse the two.

as far as i can see none of the questions were answered but then you are not from cpa(?). in fact the questions increased.

Yaaro said...

sittingnut- there is clearly no point in talking to you about this or trying to explain things when you seem to be stubborn and fixed to the ONE thought. If you accuse someone of plagiarism, i think you should have the DECENCY to raise it with the respected parties (let alone freedom of speech etc)-as in any institution for eg in universities - they don't go around putting up posters/sending out e-mails about how a student plagiarised. They speak to the student concerned FIRST- that's decency. Well, clearly like I said before, you haven't even made a slight attempt to get in touch with these people before doing this which again is not very polite at all.

P.S: Hope everything is calm in Colombo- heard the bad news.

sittingnut said...

yaaro :
that's your point of view. i will explain why i think your point is not valid
this is not some academic report submitted by a student.
it was published for public consumption
it was a document that was used for propaganda purposes almost immediately by tamilnet, long before i read it.
for what? to excuse killings by ltte and support its drive for war. todays events, just shows that.
so do not talk about decency.
that charge of indecency against me shows your limited understanding of the issue ad i wont consider it a personal attack and it is certainly is better than morquendi's recent posts against me.
ppl who cannot tolerate valid arguments and sink to the level of personal attacks with no provocative personal attacks only hurt themselves.

Yaaro said...

S/nut- No it is not any different to publishing work as a student (another example). When one publishes his work/thesis etc it is open to the public just like this report we have from the CPA. So I don’t agree with you on how we have two different scenarios here because we clearly don’t and in your case, you even mentioned wanting to contact them and clarify it with them initially- what happened to that thought? Why did you drop that idea? And as for what happened today- I have never denied the fact that the LTTE are a bunch of war mongers. But what I am trying to tell you now is NOT about the partiality of the document, it’s about your accusation brought upon on the signatories of the document. I will drop this topic from now on as we seem to not be able to come to an understanding on the topic. I think I was expecting too much from you

sittingnut said...

yaaro:
So I don’t agree with you on how we have two different scenarios here because we clearly don’t
well if you can't see the difference between this and a student's report i can't help you. but i will try one more time to make you understand.

are we to separate the bias( proved separately from plagiarism ) of this report and its all too obvious propaganda value(amply used by tamilnet almost as soon as it was published) in imputing extremely adverse motives to the military in order to destroy their hard earned (at cost of over 100 lives) reputation for restraint, from its all to obvious plagiarism?

am i to wait till these biased pl respond before going public? they did not wait to tarnish reputation of the military.
no! imo it was important that they be exposed soon as possible.

anyway
as far as i can see you are merely questioning my method proceeding, you have so far not advanced any counter argument against very real evidence of plagiarism.

you even mentioned wanting to contact them and clarify it with them initially- what happened to that thought? Why did you drop that idea?
who said i dropped it? see my comments in moju.
i am collecting individual e mail addresses of the signatories. thank you for providing one.

i sent a batch yesterday
i will send another batch today

as you may know moju websites' admin is from cpa but unfortunately i have not been able get those email addresses in spite of requests. they ask me to use the telephone. :-)
but i want evidence that is why i prefer email. can you ask them to send them to me. they might listen to you.
anyway don't worry i will get most of those addresses some how. and you will see a post after i give them some time to respond, with all the details of the correspondence if they chose to reply. or what i and world should think of them if they don't

ashanthi said...

Good to see s/nut & Morq being a little more civil to each other. I hadn't realised till just an hour ago that Morq was back at Nittewa - you can imagine my shock folks...

To both of you - re the list below, can you please give me the average age of the people listed below & how long (on average ) each one has been fighting for Peace.

Then I want to ask you 2 typical male egomaniacs why it is you think you should be sending old people to do young men's work.

You know why there is no peace in SL Yaroo because these 2 smart-alecs are fighting with each other while all around them their country burns. It burns with fire & hatred.

As I said, if only I could get the 2 of you in a room together, for hmmm - I reckon it would take a week for me to say all I had to say^!@#$!@#$^@#$$#

Sunila Abeysekera (INFORM)
Udaya Kalupathirana (INFORM)
Bhavani Fonseka (CPA)
Ramani Muttettuwegama (LST)
Buddhika Weerasinghe (FMM)
P D Gunatileke (Devasarana)

sittingnut said...

ashanthi:
i would settle for email addresses of those ppl.

ashanthi said...

Stop pussyfooting around s/nut - if you want to get in touch with them - just eamil Morq. You are both on each others "blog teams" after all.

Given your connections in Trinco - can you please provide more information on what is happening their on the ground - from ALL perspectives, not just the

I must say - many, many moons ago I made inquiries into possibly buying land around Trinco. None of my family ever want to see where they come from again after what happened to them there - so all our land is completely abandoned, it is about 1 mile from a huge military base, being so close to the sea. It is also nead the spot where those teenagers' bodies were thrown after being shot in the head & then a grenade set off to make it look like it was done by them, by the SL army.

Well looks like Trinco is well and truly a battlefield. I think the next town to go will be Vavinya & then Anradhupura. Jaffna is already a blood bath, people have been dying there on a daily basis. The other 2 towns are also places where Tamils & Sinhalese are in close proximity to each other, there's a few forigners for maximun attention grabbing.

Very, very scary.

sittingnut said...

others have written posts confirming the validity of questions raised regarding this cpa statement.

chandare

sumna

ivap

sittingnut said...

ashanthi:
if you want to get in touch with them - just eamil Morq.
but as evidenced by his posts he can't even understand a rational thought :-)

It is also nead the spot where those teenagers' bodies were thrown after being shot in the head & then a grenade set off to make it look like it was done by them, by the SL army.
you as always get you facts muddled . it was the stf that was implicated not the sl army .
besides it was proved that bullets did not come from stf guns. so don't make false allegations.

Trinco is well and truly a battlefield.
really who told you that?
attacks happed outside the town and were limited as confirmed by slmm. don't believe rumors
vavniya and a'pura is in government controlled areas, so is trinco . the attacks were against positions in tiger controlled areas