19 May 2009
On War Crimes in Sri Lanka
The "War on Terrorists" that was waged during Bush regime, turned to "Humanitarian Operation" during Obama's presidency. The goal of "Pursuing and eliminating LTTE terrorists" changed to "liberating civilians from terrorist controlled areas."
Independent verification of the death of civilians and LTTE military and civil personnel will reveal the number of people killed, cause of death and other facts that need to be noted down for making a case against the government of Sri Lanka and other actors, in the war crimes and crimes against humanity. Going by the weaponry used, locations attacked/bombed, violations of humanitarian laws and norms, or the incapacity to make accurate assessments about scale of humanitarian catastrophe and massacre it had unleashed on Tamil people, the Sri Lankan government is in for some heated episodes of international scrutiny.
War crimes and crimes against humanity may have been tolerated more in the era of "Global War on Terror." Now the architects of such an approach have been mercilessly thrown out of power, not just for the crimes against humanity, war crimes, torture, illegal rendering, but also for putting the world at risk economically, a kind of economic extremism that brought about the global meltdown and associated consequences for millions of people around the world.
In such a scenario the Sri Lankan government is unlikely to get away with the crimes it had committed despite the support it has from China and Russia. With the diaspora mobilizations for truth and justice gaining momentum I am sure there will be calls for independent verifications and truth commissions. A lot depends on how GoSL handles the humanitarian catastrophe it had caused, whom it allows in and whom it keeps out, and what it does in covering up. Going by reports coming in from Europe and other sources it looks like Sri Lanka is under a microscope already and cases being built on Rajapakshe brothers and several others for crimes against humanity and war crimes. Legal moves including trying Rajapakshe brothers and senior military leaders outside Sri Lanka is rumored.
Though GoSL claims it has killed LTTE chief Prabhakaran, it is hard to reach such a conclusion with scant evidence.