Thursday, December 02, 2010

update: wikileaks on sri lanka - american ambassador's report on 01/15/2010 on alleged war crimes accountability

of the leaked 251,287 american diplomatic "cables " only 553 have been published so far. of that only 4 were on sri lanka (even though there are are reportedly 3,225 on sri lanka in total.) i have posted some thoughts on first 2 published earlier.

i published another post based on the 3rd document earlier today. it is on how british foreign minister miliband was fishing for uk tamil votes when interfering in sri lanka just before the terrorists' defeat.
(curiously even after 3 hours it is not in kottu blog aggregator while it is in feed readers. other posts from other blogspot blogs published later are in kottu. whether intentional or technical it goes to show that blog aggregators are not the best way to get the all view points of sl bloggers. so kindly subscribe to my feed if you have not already done so, many thanks to those who already have ) .

this post will be about the 4th leak on sri lanka that came out last night sri lankan time.

btw wikileaks website was offline most of the evening sl time due to the fact that it was under a unprecedentedly massive (ie probably government sponsored ) cyber attack and its eurapean servers could not handle it. also servers rented from american based amazon were denied to them by that company yesterday due to u.s. government pressure. so much for american freedom of expression.

since it is possible that wikileaks can go offline again, i will soon post the full text of all sl related leaked documents elsewhere and provide links to them too when referring to them in posts. i will of course always link to the wikileaks site


now lets looks at the report titled "SRI LANKA WAR-CRIMES ACCOUNTABILITY: THE TAMIL PERSPECTIVE" authored by american ambassador to sri lanka patricia butenis. (new link to same from new wikileak site)

this was written on january 15, 2010. that is during final stages of presidential elections.

here is the summary in full
"There have been a few tentative steps on accountability for crimes allegedly committed by Sri Lankan troops and civilian officials during the war with the LTTE. President Rajapaksa named a committee to make recommendations to him on the U.S. incidents report by April, and candidate Fonseka has discussed privately the formation of some form of “truth and reconciliation” commission. Otherwise, accountability has not been a high-profile issue -- including for Tamils in Sri Lanka. While Tamils have told us they would like to see some form of accountability, they have been pragmatic in what they can expect and have focused instead on securing greater rights and freedoms, resolving the IDP question, and improving economic prospects in the war-ravaged and former LTTE-occupied areas. Indeed, while they wanted to keep the issue alive for possible future action, Tamil politicians with whom we spoke in Colombo, Jaffna, and elsewhere said now was not time and that pushing hard on the issue would make them “vulnerable.”"

its a good summary of the document and cover the main points made in main text of doc.

alleged war crimes
war crimes are correctly prefaced by word 'alleged'. good. because no kind of evidence is presented to say that any war crimes actually were committed by sri lankan government side. nor is there any indication in the document to say amercan diplomats have seen any evidence to that effect.

in fact nobody has seen any verifiable evidence of these alleged war crimes by "sri lankan troops and civilian officials" anywhere. those who continue to speak about them please let us, sri lankans, have the evidence.

ppl who continues to accuse us of war crimes and fails to produce the evidence, are slandering us and depriving us of our rights. such accusers by blindly following unsubstantiated allegations made by tamil tiger terrorist's remaining foreign based supporters have become tools of those murderers .

also if anyone is applying a double standard and is reluctant to use the same words "war crimes" in accusing american and other western governments and military and fail to call obama, bush, blair, etc etc. "war criminals" (in spite mountain of verifiable solid evidence of war crimes by them in iraq, afghanistan, and pakistan) they are also racists.

now there is some confusion with meaning of following para in this document.

"There are no examples we know of a regime undertaking wholesale investigations of its own troops or senior officials for war crimes while that regime or government remained in power. In Sri Lanka this is further complicated by the fact that responsibility for many of the alleged crimes rests with the country’s senior civilian and military leadership, including President Rajapaksa and his brothers and opposition candidate General Fonseka."
is the ambassador saying "sri lankan president responsible for "alleged war crimes"", in the sense they have personally committed war crimes?of course not. it clearly does not say that.

in fact it does not say what these alleged crimes were and their nature so we cannot say how anyone can be held responsible for them.

is it saying that ultimate responsibility for any war crimes even if committed by any military or government officials rest with rajapaksa brothers and fonseka in their then official capacity? maybe, but that would be true of any country. so why then the use of words "In sri lanka this is further complicated ... "

only the ambassador butenis can clarify this and she should.

maybe she is lousy sloppy writer? possible. there is evidence of sloppiness even in this para. she refers to "President Rajapaksa and his brothers (sic)" now only one brother (defense secretary gotabaya rajapaksa in addition to president can be held responsible for any alleged war crimes if they were ever committed. other brothers were not directly involved in defeating terrorists with military means. so clearly a slip of the pen there.

so ms. butenis do explain your words!

it would be unwise to come to unjustified conclusions or second guess such vague and imprecise words.

this is esp vital since certain media organizations have intentionally mis-characterized her words. (more on that in another post)

accountability and reconciliation
what is said in this document about progress in establishing a mechanism for accountability is redundant. president rajapaksa has since then appointed 'the commission on lessons learnt and reconciliation' well past anything mentioned by ambassador butenis on that count.

she was right in her assessment that all these alleged war crimes and accountability not being a main issue of the election apart from president's promise to "personally to stand up to any international power or body that would try to prosecute sri lankan war heroes". which was a popular and morally correct stand to take on his part.

tamil diaspora vs sri lankan tamils
we already know that tamils in sri lanka and racist tamil activists in diaspora have different interests and butenis confirms this in this document..

sri lankan tamils are more focused "on current bread-and-butter issues". and imo government should stick to them too. bc racists in diaspora will not be satisfied until tamil tigers are revived and again start murdering sri lankans so that they can continue to claim asylum in west.

r sampanthan
tna leader r.sampanthan says he "would not discuss “war crimes” per se in parliament for fear of retaliation" !? this from a person who supported tamil tiger terrorist murderers and whose party acted as terrorists' proxies. we sri lankans have forgiven him for that vile crime without any 'retaliation' whatsoever. but he still slanders us. so much for any desire for reconciliation on his part. he is a liar. period.

sarath fonseka
it seems sarath fonseka made private promises to mano ganesan without disclosing them to public to get his support, of course this was suspected at time ( i and others said so. see my election posts) . given that ganesan supported ltte terrorists and is yet to regret that support, these promises could very well be harmful to sri lanka. ganesan and fonseka should explain themselves to sri lankan public .

mano ganesan
"On accountability, Ganesan told us that while the issue was significant XXXXXXXXXXXX accountability was a divisive issue and the focus now had to be on uniting to rid the country of the Rajapaksas."

now Xs seems to indicate a self censorship/redaction on wikileaks part ( they maybe mere noise in document formatting). they do that only if real danger can result from leaving it uncensored in wikileaks editors opinion. what dangerous thing did ganesan have to say on riding the country of the rajapaksas?
ganesan should explain.

international community "push"
[few unnamed tamil politicians] "have suggested to us that while they cannot address the issue[national reconciliation and creating a political system more equitable to all ethnic communities], they would like to see the international community push it. such an approach, however, would seem to play into the super-heated campaign rhetoric of Rajapaksa and his allies that there is an international conspiracy against sri lanka and its “war heroes.”"

ambassador butenis is right that so called "international community" pushing anything on sri lanka will not be welcomed by sri lankans. to call such a natural desire for freedom from interference a mere "super-heated campaign rhetoric" only point to limitations of her mind. maybe she has got used to working with willing slaves in other countries? then she better learn to change her attitude.

in conclusion ambassador butenis and some sri lankan politicians especially ganesan and fonseka should explain themselves.

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Anonymous said...

You should write a blog on irresponsibility and creation of an artificial anti Sri Lanka narrative by Media founded on this neutral account by US Ambassador.

දේශපාලුවා said...

good analysis, have you seen the NGOs are yelling that this document proves that"USA accepted SL committed war crimes".

If the president is responsible for war crimes because of chain of command, what does she say about US war crimes in Iraq and Afganistan?

People were found guilty there, gitmo, and some rape and murder cases in iraq are some example.

So should UN hold Bush Cheny and rumsfeld accountable?

Anonymous said...

Hey did you go to the protest in front of the BHC?

sittingnut said...

couldn't i am in eastern province at present

Anonymous said...

Hey retard why should Butenis explain anything ? There are leaked secret stuff .what matters is stuff she says in public deplomactically. Since she publicly never accused sri lanka of crimes we dont have to worked up about this .by the way are you sitting on your brain ?

sittingnut said...

for typical irrationality displayed by slaves of west see above comment .