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"If UN wont protect us then we will have to seek protection from countries like Russia and China" - Gotabhaya Rajapaksa

Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa yesterday lashed out at the UN experts panel report on the conduct of the Sri Lanka government and armed forces during the last stages of the war against the LTTE in 2009, saying there was an agenda behind the report and if the United Nations cannot protect one of its member states, Sri Lanka will be forced to look for protection from Russia and China.

He said the UN seemed to have been "hi-jacked by some countries" and that Sri Lanka as a member-state of the UN needs its protection. "This will push us to other countries to protect us. The UN should not be a pawn of some countries,” he added.

Mr. Rajapaksa said the experts panel was "white-washing the LTTE" and had failed to recognise that the LTTE was a terrorist organisation which, at one time, had control of one third of the country.

"The LTTE had an air wing and a sea wing in addition to cadres fighting on land. It sent suicide bombers to the south and bombed civilian buses and buildings and targeted politicians. It overran army camps and killed thousands in one night. This was not an organisation that could be neutralised by the police. The UN, the US, Norway and others, told us we can’t fight such a ferocious enemy. We had to send in our armed forces and use superior fire-power to overcome them".

In an interview with the Sunday Times, Defence Secretary Rajapaksa said the UN report seemed to have ignored reports of UN agencies like the World Food programme (WFP) or the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

"Had they asked the WFP or the ICRC, they would have been told how humanitarian aid including food was distributed to civilians caught up in the fighting during the last stages of the war. It was the LTTE that held these civilians as human shields. In the final days, the LTTE had forced them into a lagoon area. When food convoys could not reach them because of the water that surrounded them, we allowed the LTTE to even pick up the food from the sea and hand it over to the civilians".

He said there was a Consultative Committee on Humanitarian Assistance (CCHA), a high level government body that included several foreign ambassadors, UN agencies and NGOs that over-looked humanitarian aid during the height of the fighting.

"We have a legal process in Sri Lanka with a democratically elected President. When fathers and mothers can’t send their children to school, or they are abducted by the LTTE to fight for them, and when two parents don’t travel in the same bus because of the fear of LTTE bombs, or when people praying in mosques and student monks are killed, it is the duty and the responsibility of the government towards the people who elect it to protect them by eliminating the scourge of terrorism.

Answering some specific issues raised in the UN report, Secretary Rajapaksa said one of the issues raised was about disappearances or missing persons. He pointed out that 6,000 government soldiers were killed during the last four years of fighting and 20,000 injured of whom 10,000 were critically wounded.

He said the the LTTE's casualty rate had to be greater because the military had superior firepower. "When people complain that someone is missing it could well mean that he was killed in action fighting for the LTTE, but they don’t say that. They only say he is missing.” He estimated the number of LTTE cadres who died in battle to be close to 30,000.

Referring to a passage in the report that states that the Army fired on hospitals during the last stages of the war, the Defence Secretary said he had it "in writing" that the hospital had been vacated before the firing had started. "The LTTE moved its heavy guns close to the hospital and started firing at us. We retaliated only after the patients and doctors had left. We dropped leaflets, announced on loud-speakers, declared no-fire zones and had restrictions (on the use of heavy artillery). The report should have taken into account the amount of heavy artillery used by the LTTE. We had a clear justification for the use of force".

Describing the report as an unreasonable analysis, the Defence Secretary admitted that the government should have better engaged the UN on this entire issue. He said there was an argument that the report was orchestrated by "certain western powers" and therefore Sri Lanka should challenge its legitimacy and the procedures adopted.

"We will now engage with the UN provided it has no hidden agendas,” he said. "The UN must see the benefits that have accrued to the people as a result of the end of terrorism. It takes time to bring in changes and change the mind-set of the people who have been under the influence of the LTTE for a quarter of a century, but normalcy is quietly returning to the once war-ravaged north and east and the people will benefit in time to come with the return of peace,” he added. ~ courtesy: Sunday ~


Ahhhhhhh....Gota is shedding numerous crocodile tears and skillfully playing a victim card. Another deceitful attempt to hoodwink the world

And who can protect the Tamils from your brutality. You reduce them to the level of street beggars with no future or hope. You ruthlessly colonizing their land and enslaving them .

Posted by: Sivaraja | April 17, 2011 03:44 AM

Mr Gota,
If Srilankan Government and UN canot protect civilians living in The Island of Srilanka to whom we should turn for protection???, Of course the Government officials and military can turn to Russia and China for protection!!!

Posted by: Anonymous | April 17, 2011 04:18 AM

Gothabaya the sibling of the president will say all these now ignoring the fact that it was on the basis of the understanding reached between his brother and the LTTE leader following the enormous sums of money that changed hands,that the Tamil people were prevented from voting, which ensured the incumbant's election to office of President.The rest is well known history as it stands today...

Posted by: Uthungan | April 17, 2011 05:29 AM

I thought BRICS will be the regimes'new Godfather .

I wonder why the more democratic BIS.. are made redundant and now falling back entirely on RC and bring back a new cold war in the world to avoid just accountability. This way they are failing to to remember the Vishnu's 10th Avatar "Katki" ( which I beleieve is something to do with tectonic plates ) is yet to come. Looks like more karma in the pipeline.

Posted by: Parthasarathy S/O of Bramha | April 17, 2011 05:29 AM

Ok... you can fool your peoeple little while, not too long..

Army commander him self told world press they there well 1000 LTTE back in 2008.
where did you come with number 17,000 ltte ?

Just take a white flag and surrender to the UN, we will spare you life.. we do not shoot the surrendered enemy.

You rob the country all the money they have, when the times come you will loose every penny like Col Gadaphy.

Posted by: xsrilanka | April 17, 2011 06:23 AM

To a swollen headed bull in a China shop facing the truth and reality must be sending shivers down his spine.

If only the bulls in China's shop had cooperated with the likes of the UN, all of these could have been avoided,

Being a lawyer himself the now might less president would have known what an exparte judgement is.

When a defendant or the respondent who has had summons served on him does not defend himself or herself the judge has no other onus of tightening the nose around the accused.

Even an uneducated yokel like me knows it.

I am awaiting the outcome of the civil law suit filed in the American legal system. A j.

Posted by: rohan j | April 17, 2011 10:15 AM

I am sure this report will make Russians and Chinese to distance themselves from the Sri Lankan regime !

Posted by: kc | April 17, 2011 10:30 AM

Ban Ki-Moon has been protecting the Rajapakses and he'll continue to do so.

UN has been made inactive over the last five decades by human rights violating countries ganging up together. It will continue - there is no sign there will be any change.

Ban Ki-Moon was not on his guard - the truth is too much:
U.N. secretary-general: Sri Lanka sites for the displaced 'appalling', 24 May 2009:
"I have traveled around the world and visited similar places, but this is by far the most appalling scenes I have seen," Ban told CNN. "I sympathize fully with all of the displaced persons."

Posted by: ward | April 17, 2011 11:24 AM

"If UN wont protect us then we will have to seek protection from countries like Russia and China" - Gotabhaya Rajapaksa

Hey GR how about INDIA?

Are you saying that you would KISS Russia or China but not INDIA?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 17, 2011 11:36 AM

After you got exposed by the UN pannel of your criminal acts on the innocent Tamil poeople in Wanni during the war. I bet this time even the devil will not help you after knowing what you did during the last few months of war. This is like Hitler asking Russia and China to help to cover his criminal acts. What a joker you are Gotabaya!!

Posted by: Martin Thomas | April 17, 2011 11:57 AM

Not a sinhala dude has written his or her two cents worth of garbage to defend the gutless wonders of south east Asia.

They after the antics of lemon puff weerawansa must be patiently awaiting the antics of the likes of the Chinese and the Russians to save them from soiling their nappies with the so called veto powers.

The lord works in mysterious ways, the present day happenings in the Arab world must be sending shivers down the spines of the jarapaske clan and their cronies. Came to power using the kindness of the late Velupillai Pirbakaran who ensured that the Tamil people will not vote for Ranil Wickremasinghe. Who would have made thr best president sri Lanka would have ever had. R j.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 18, 2011 03:05 AM

For this man and his brother, does a tamil civilian life mean nothing? These people slaughtered tens of thousands of tamils (can be as high as 140k, per the recent CH4 report), just because they are tamils. In the name of motherland and in the excuse of punishing LTTE, these people committed crimes against humanity and international laws with their full knowledge, as documented in the UN report. These people are already starting to confess to their crimes; the excuse is motherland!

Posted by: Karu | April 18, 2011 04:02 AM

The letter writers in this article fail to grasp one important iota of the conflict. It was war and war is brutal especially with a ruthless enemy such as the LTTE. The Sri Lankan government tried its very best to evacuate all non-combatants from the grasp of the LTTE, but the LTTE utilised it own civilians for strategic purposes as a human shield.

The government forces tried their level best to separate the non-combatants from the combatants as it was humanely possible, but in the end the LTTE held onto its solo trump card albeit the human shield. It is paradoxical that the very institution of the LTTE that was supposed to protect the Tamil populace from the so called genocidal Sri Lankan forces used these innocent civilians as cannon fodder to protect their leaders.

In war any opposing combatant is fair game. Gordon Weiss’s figure of 30,000 dead lacks the factual numbers of how many of this estimate were combatants of the LTTE. If as the GOSL estimates all but a handful were combatants then the killing in the theatre of war is justified. Compare this with the figures available for Iraq where estimates of 600,000 civilians are believed to have died as a result of collateral damage during the Iraq conflict.

Posted by: Merlin Van Tweest | April 18, 2011 07:38 AM


Posted by: S.Ramanathan UK | April 19, 2011 06:48 AM

It is repeatedly claimed that SF was the Hero of this
war by most sections of the Sinhala Society but politics
came in between, which was not in the things envisaged.

This UN backed Report is turning the tides and another
political stunt will have to take place shortly to
straighten matters locally - even the May Day stunt
will be a fore-runner in things to come up within GOSL.


Posted by: anonymous | April 19, 2011 11:42 AM

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