( March 6, 2014, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) Although the war and the related commission of crimes is over the human rights abuses keep recurring with impunity. Numerous explanations are being attributed by the apologists for human rights abuses and war crimes that it is either too premature and or inopportune to hold an international investigation at this stage basing their arguments on very flimsy grounds.
Thanks to the advanced technology and the possibilities of satellite tracking it is now not necessary for matters to be established unlike in the past which took decades to establish the commission of war crimes and abuses of human rights by a government or a State. In the case of Sri Lanka there is not only sufficient evidence of war crimes there is also a prima facie case established to justify an impartial international inquiry. In fact, to say the least Ban ki Moon the Secretary General of the UN was witness to the evidence of the massacre on the ground when he toured the war zone almost immediately after the war in May 2009 upon the invitation of the Rajapaksas to see their handiwork and to celebrate this at a dinner in Kandy in the central province before he left to South Korea. Thereafter he described what he had seen as "appalling" at a CNN interview not long after.
The Dharusman commission appointed by Ban ki Moon did establish in its findings, a prima facie case justifying an independent international investigation into the war crimes and human rights abuses. What is more a complete and comprehensive picture of the war crimes and the crimes against humanity has been provided by no less a person than the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay who was in Sri Lanka last year.
We have been calling for an international inquiry as opposed to a domestic one not only against the crimes committed by the Sri Lankan government but also the members of the LTTE. As pointed out by the Human Rights Watch, some former LTTE stalwarts have been rewarded by the government with one even being made a cabinet minister while there others who are languishing in prisons being "rehabilitated" an euphemism for being periodically tortured and still others who we suspect have disappeared for good.
Rajapaksa while trying to avoid an international inquiry is able to impress his Sinhala chauvinist extremists that he is being haunted out for defeating the LTTE thus gaining ground for his next election as president which for him is a positive in this whole episode. However human rights abuses by the military continue unabated, women and their children being sexually abused, private lands being forcibly taken over, the regular discovery of shallow graves, the complete breakdown of the rule of law with a completely corrupt justice system with no less than the prime minister's office involved in the importation of drugs and places of worship of minority religions being attacked.
Rajapaksa will be attending the meeting of the CHOGM to be held in London for fear of being further exposed to accusations of war crimes and human rights abuses let alone genocide leaving the disgraceful secretary Sharma to do the honours.
John Kerry the US secretary of state recently stated: "We'll do so in Sri Lanka, where the government still has not answered basic demands for accountability and reconciliation, and where attacks on civil society activists, journalists, and religious minorities sadly continue. Our concern about this ongoing situation has led the United States to support another UN Human Rights Council resolution at the March session".
Several presidential commissions have been appointed by president Rajapaksa as claimed but except for the LLRC the reports of several other commissions have not seen the light of day while the conduct of these commissions has only resulted in the miscarriage of justice. Currently there is indeed the Presidential Commission on disappearances of Tamil youth and others during the war. The chief architect of the disappearances after the war and immediately prior is no less than the President's brother the secretary for defence Gotabhaya Rajapaksa an American citizen. It must be remembered that although the commissions are called Presidential commissions they should not be equated to the level of "royal" commissions and given the same level of sanctity.
We understand that the Northern Provincial Council has recommended that a joint inquiry combining the domestic and the international elements be held. This will be disastrous as it will not only delay the process but also deny the delivery of justice.
It is obvious that the Rajapaksa and his war criminal cohorts are trying to do whatever is possible to avoid an impartial international investigation into their war crimes and the abuses of human rights constituting the crimes against humanity and the international community should not be privy to these machinations.
( The writer is the editor of the Eelam Nation, an online journal)