Daily News Online

Thursday, 11 June 2009

News Bar »

News: Revise Co-Chairs’ role ...        Political: TNA MPs fate to be decided on Friday ...       Business: Tri Star Apparel goes to Trinco ...        Sports: Lankans reign supreme, beat West Indies ...






Marriage Proposals
Government Gazette

Sri Lanka: Conviction by malicious British media

Our war on terror is now over, guns are silent and it is time to reflect on how awful it all was. Well-wishers rushed in with sound counsel on how to move forward to impose a lasting peace - now we have reached a phase for reconciliation and nation-building. Certainly we never spared the time to seek retribution as victors for we just underwent a cleansing ritual to eradicate terror from our nation, and a bloody one too.

However, one group of people on the planet thinks otherwise.

A section of the British media appears to have a ferocious appetite to come out against the Sinhala for defeating the LTTE the way we did, by hook or crook they are willing to prolong the stranglehold on our nation by bringing sleazy unsubstantiated "allegations" of "war crimes" despite the fact we just conquered the most ruthless terror outfit the world has ever seen using conventional warfare methods conducted within defined parameters.

I researched the barebones of their allegations and have come to the realization that they exhibit a perfect portrait of confusion over the definition of "war crimes." Let's look at the fundamentals of bringing such charges anywhere. In short, the burden of proof falls heavily on the "allegers," rather than on the proof of innocence by the "alleged perpetrators" of the atrocities against humanity. I must note that the standard of proving "war crimes" is exceptionally high under any circumstances.

In the absence of legal scholarly, the British media base their allegation heavily on dubious interpretations of international law and highly questionable evidence. They are compelling the rest of the world to accept unverifiable and manipulated evidence, especially from damaged goods (the IDPs) that do not have right presence of the mind to know what they really witnessed as they were traumatized, exhausted, hungry, some injured etc.

They are basically emotionally flat-lined to provide any accurate claims of who was firing shells or anything else at whom.

Misplaced truth seekers

Instead of seeking the truth, they pursue unethical exploits like fabricating evidence colluding with the notorious feigns in the Tamil Diaspora without any hesitation or having any personnel in conflict zones to corroborate.

What is callous is their attempt to paint acceptable casualties of war as true horrific crimes by dealing with unreliable or tampered evidence.

These media cheaters always found suckers or allege "victims," who are in plenty in the Tamil Diaspora, to garnish their stories to authenticate the "allegations."

Here is my fury, just because the Western media was not allowed into the battlefield, by default it does not lend to any "war crimes" by the SLA. This is the dishonest side of these media people, looking for anything newsworthy to print headlines. The stark truth is we do not need the Western media to come over and exonerate the SLA.

Moreover, neither the questionable chain of custody for crucial evidence is mentioned nor can this be verified even in the worst case. False or inaccurate claims are justified by saying that civilian witnesses reported to 'foreign' NGOs. Is that the criterion for collecting evidence of such crime of that magnitude? And most of all why 'foreign" NGOs are the most reliable evidence gathers? All reported cases of unproven abuse in recent incidents in IDP camps had direct association with NGOs that lack credibility as partner to their "crime" of deceit. Therefore, by association all evidence coming from NGOs are contaminated.

Fictional 'motive' & 'intent'

Hypothetically, let's assume that the charges were brought against the SLA. To present a successful case of "war crimes" any prosecution has to present its evidence, for the defence to exercise the protections and the discovery rights that are available to them, so they can find out what evidence they need to vigorously defend their client.

A trial process, which I seriously doubt, must be the fairest, just, and transparent process on Earth that exists to resolve divergent issues of facts on the ground and must come to a reasoned, solid and just conclusion.

This can only be achieved if the burden of proof is beyond a reasonable doubt. It could well be the clash of ideas, the clash of facts and clash of instigation. The burden for the prosecution is that they must prove the accused had committed the any "killings" with the intent of destroying Tamils, in whole or part.

Therefore, whatever the tribunal, it must take the wording to include a requirement of a "motive," namely, requiring proof of the fact that allege perpetrators committed these acts because they wished to destroy a particular group of people i.e. Tamils. A requirement of a "motive" paves the way for a defence, which was to win a war rather than to destroy a particular group, Tamils.

In 1948, when the definitions of "genocide" and "war crimes" being worked out, the concepts of both "intent" and "motive" were understood differently.

However, the common law does not differentiate between general "intent" and "special intent," and defines a crime includes an intent to commit some future act as well. What conduct exactly constitutes a crime under the 1998 Rome Statue has not been solved. Therefore, qualification of "motive" and "intent" is fundamental to initiate any "war crimes" tribunal.

There is no consensus of the concept of "crimes under international law" included in the Rome Statute and are subject to debate as to their status in current international customary law.

It is understood that international agreement on the criminality of conduct of under international law many only become possible if the Court applies the definitions of crimes prudently, in order to win the confidence of those whose cooperation with the court and whose participation in international lawmaking is needed.

In its defence, the counter measures of the SLA were propelled by circumstances beyond their control and no different to any other army in the West would do in conducting a hostage rescue in the face of the cowardly LTTE without facing the enemy.

My line of reasoning is that the SLA ought not to feel that they are bordering on the burden of proof. Without a doubt, there is no proof of 'motive,' willful or otherwise, deliberate or even reckless. These allegations are unsupported charges against the SLA of harming civilians without presenting evidence to back any 'motive' for killing civilians.


St. Michaels Laxury Apartments
LANKAPUVATH - National News Agency of Sri Lanka
Donate Now | defence.lk

| News | Editorial | Business | Features | Political | Security | Sport | World | Letters | Obituaries |

Produced by Lake House Copyright © 2009 The Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Ltd.

Comments and suggestions to : Web Editor