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Ch 4: Despite the UN Panel's tough words, will anyone be held to account?

Version of the long-awaited report by the United Nations Secretary General (UNSG) panel reveals "credible allegations" of war crimes which - if proven - suggest a "grave assault on the entire regime of international law".

Despite the UN Panel's tough words, will anyone be held to account?

The report estimates that tens of thousands of civilians were killed in the final four months of Sri Lanka's civil war in 2009.

It indicates that actions by both the Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) could amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity:

'Crimes against humanity'

13 Comments

Certainly someone will be held to account. The SL armed forces will be held account for finally bringing peace after 3 decades after destroying a bunch of rouges.

Posted by: Panhinda | April 17, 2011 03:51 PM

The whole thing is a big fiasco for the govt (despite all the underhand support from Ban).

I am interested to know what stand the opposition UNP will take.

Whether they are truly honourable people or mere patriots is worth observing. (Qualified) Patriots is my guess.

Posted by: Velu Balendran | April 17, 2011 07:25 PM

Much water has flown under the bridge and it is unlikely that Sri Lanka will be subject to any serious action. At the most there will be gentle reprimand urgeing for action to be taken and so on.

At the same time this will be a subject for all our people on both sides to rant and rave about, wasting everyones time and money.

Modawanse can again spring into action and display his dire patriotism. Hope this time he decides some other course of action to a fitting finale.

Posted by: SriLankan | April 17, 2011 09:13 PM

WELL DONE UN. NOW THOSE RESPONSIBLE FOR THESE WAR CRIMES SHOULD BE BROUGHT BEFORE THE INTERNATIONAL JUSTICE COMMISSION. IT TOOK 2 YEARS FOR THE UN TO FIND OUT ABOUT THE KILLINGS OF OVER 30,000 INNOCENT TAMILS AT MULLI VELLIVAIKKAL IN THE MULLATIVU DISTRICT. SHAME ON THESE RAJAPAKSE GOONS. CHANNEL 4 YOU ARE GREAT TO PRODUCE THESE GRUESOME PICTURES OF POINT BLANK RANGE KILLINGS BY THE SRI LANKAN ARMY. SHAME! SHAME!

Posted by: PAKI-MOON | April 17, 2011 09:48 PM

Channel 4 do not seem to have taken into account the fact that the 100,000 or so IDPs who were originally from Jaffna and only moved to the Vanni with the LTTE during the 1995 Jaffna offensive have been sent back to Jaffna and not the Vanni. They claim the Vanni population has decreased but have omitted to mention how the Jaffna and Eastern Province populations have increased after the war. To imply that the reduction in population in Vanni corresponds to the number to killings is slightly mischievous.

The stupid government could have put this thing to bed by admitting observers into the Mullivaikkal strip after the war was concluded. The world was prepared to accept a resonable number of civilian casualties as colatteral damage but the Rajapakses went on to boast that no civilian was killed and caused much damage to their credibiliy by trying to prevent the truth from getting out. They obviously did use artillery in the no fire zone but a condition for the nofire zone was that the LTTE did not did not try to crawl into it and fight from within it.

Also, the Human Shield made sense to the LTTE only because they believed that the Army would show restraint when attacking areas with civilians. If they did not show any restraint as the report suggests what was the point in holding them at gun point? Wouldnt the LTTE have surely have let them go without shooting them?

Are we to believe that 40,000 died in Mullaitivu when only 20,000 died in Dresden and 500 died in Coventry when far bigger armys and airfoces attacked civilian cities with thousands of aircraft and bombs? And how is the saturation bombing of Hanoi and Cambodia pardonable when this bombardment isnt?

Ch4 also seem to have changed its story about the execution video. First calling the victims LTTE combatants and now claiming they are civilians.

Posted by: dingiri | April 18, 2011 05:24 AM

Does Gordon Weiss’s estimate of 20 to 40 thousand killed include the combatants? If so in any war the killing of combatants is justified. Channel four’s higher figure of 100,000 missing from the census statistics does not include the movement of the population down south to escape the war and also those who have migrated abroad as war refugees to India and to the west. These figures are misleading and essentially a guess and only serve to sensationalise the figures and do not withstand the rigorous examination that is necessary before such false allegations are broadcasted.

Do not forget that this is a civil war against a ruthless enemy and in war innocent civilians do get killed if they are in the wrong place at the wrong time. What I find abominable is the allegation that the GOSL deliberately targeted civilians in the war as the GOSL made every effort possible to bring the civilians to safety despite the LTTE using these civilians as a human shield to protect their leaders.

Posted by: Merlin Van Tweest | April 18, 2011 08:38 AM

Gordon Weiss won't acknowledge inconvenient truths such as the civilians being killed off by the LTTE to discourage them from reaching safety - the accounts of such atrocities are numberless

Nor will he acknowledge that it is patently stupid and self-defeating for the GOSL and SL Armed Forces (or any other army) to deliberately target civilians. Weiss has a modicum of intelligence and must be aware of this fact so I can only assume deliberate and wanton ignorance on his part - which implies a hidden agenda.

Sri Lanka did not / does not have the luxury of saying "Oops!! Sorry!" if civilians did in fact, inadvertently get killed. This is a facility only afforded to the US and NATO in places where they conduct their theatres of war.. (out of sight of the UN as well) Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya etc.. the accounts of these are also beyond counting

In short, this is a self-serving article designed to sell books - for a good villian is always a good draw. Just look at the furor confronting Charlie Sheen and how TV viewership ratings are affected by news about him

Posted by: Anonymous | April 18, 2011 11:55 AM

I find it strange that so many posters don't realize how powerless SL is on the global stage. SL has absolutely no say in deciding whether or not it is guilty of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. This is a watershed moment in SL's modern history. The highest institution of global governance has levelled a formal allegation against SL, thereby putting it's own credibility and prestige on the line. The chances of the UN backing down now are non-existent. In 2-3 years the entire world will accept as fact, that SL committed genocide against the Tamil people in May of 2009. That's the end game. That's where we are headed. There is no wiggle room for SL, no angle to play, no friends to call on, nothing. All it can do is accept the cold hard truth.

Posted by: Patriot | April 18, 2011 01:44 PM

Why UN is interested only in war crimes happenned during the last phase of the war? Why not look into all 30 years?.It look like UN or other world powers want to punish the SL goveernment for destroying LTTE.UN dont care if the war continued for another 30 years and thousands more people die. Shame on UN!!.

Posted by: NEELA | April 18, 2011 06:12 PM

Sri Lankan,
Please note just because the Sri lankan government got away with the JVP war crimes dont expect they will be able to get away with the war crimes against the Tamils
It is only two years remember Pinoche that is is what is going to happen to all the criminals Gotha admitted in a video shelling hospitals is ok
Justice takes time
Nathen

Posted by: nathen | April 19, 2011 09:50 AM

Merlin,

You state "innocent civilians do get killed if they are in the wrong place at the wrong time".

The problem is, if heavy weapons are used against 300,000 people confined to a few square kilometers, it is called "GENOCIDE".

Posted by: Truth | April 19, 2011 05:31 PM

According to Inner City Press, the Russian government has opposed any discussion on Sri Lanka, on the basis of the UN Panel report, at the Security Council briefing. China will follow Russia soon. And BRIC will show its solidarity. The African Union, Arab league, Non Align Movement etc will do likewise. And this bias report of neo colonialists will end up in the dustbin period
Leela

Posted by: Anonymous | April 19, 2011 08:08 PM

Truth,

Please realise every effort was afforded by GOSL to evacuate the civilians that were held by the LTTE as a human shield. There are numerous occasions when Sri Lankan soldiers sacrificed their lives to get the civilans to safety. This is despite suicide bombers parading as civilians. In the final assault when the LTTE leadership was confined to a narrow strip of land and they knew that they had no chance but to perish they still held onto the civilians as a human shield.

What do think USA, Britain, Israel or NATO would have done in this situation when final game to vanquish the enemy that has killed over 100,000 innocent civilians and murdered all the Tamil intellectuals, a Sri Lankan President and an Indian Prime Minister was close at hand. Pray do tell me based on what we now know by Wikileaks and more. I rest my case.

Posted by: Merlin Van Tweest | April 21, 2011 08:07 AM

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