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War Crimes In Sri Lanka

| by Ali Sukhanver
Views expressed in this article are author’s own

( August 24, 2014, Islamabad, Sri Lanka Guardian) A few years back, I remember, I penned down an article, ‘Sri Lanka Thanks Pakistan’; the article was published in various national and international papers and magazines. The background of this write-up was Sri Lanka’s achievement in wiping off the LTTE terrorists and throwing them away from the Sri Lankan lands. In response to my write-up, a professor from some Sri Lankan university mailed me a letter in which he categorically stated that without moral and military support of Pakistan, the LTTE terrorists could have never been defeated. He had further stated that the Sri Lankan nation would never forget the favour and support provided by Pakistan in that time of trial and trouble. I don’t know what type of favour and support did Pakistan provide to Sri Lanka in that matter but it was quite obvious from the letter of that professor that the Sri Lankan people have a great regard and respect for Pakistan. Everyone knows that after banishment of the LTTE leader Thumbi from Sri Lanka, the relationship between Pakistan and Sri Lanka took a very positive and cordial turn. This cordial relationship was certainly not very much pleasing for all those who are not in favour of closeness between Pakistan and Sri Lanka. So to create distances and hurdles between Pakistan and Sri Lanka, an attack on Sri Lankan Cricket team in Lahore was organized with the help of professional terrorists.

Thank God the Sri Lankan team remained safe in that incident but it really deeply hurt the whole of the Pakistani nation. The only aim and objective of this attack was to damage cricketing in Pakistan and to spoil diplomatic relations between the two countries. But fortunately the things did not go upside down. Though the Indian media tried its best to exploit the situation against Pakistan after the attack on Sri Lankan team but the government of Sri Lanka was wise enough to understand the actual plan hidden behind this activity. So the things kept on moving in a positive direction. The situation of diplomatic relations between the two countries is still very encouraging and progressing day by day and cricket is also being played between their national teams but this all is very much irritating and frustrating for the master-minds of all terrorist activities who simply want to create an air of distrust and disbelief between Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Now the United Nations has at once started realizing that whatever the Sri Lankan government did to crush the menace of terrorism in Sri Lanka, involved human rights violation. It is very strange that the same UNO which seems in a state of pain and agony at the human rights violations in Sri Lanka could never feel any pain over the Israel’s atrocities against the innocent people of Palestine; it never raised any note of resentment on the whole sale massacre of Muslims in Indian Gujrat and it never takes serious the brutal bloodshed of the helpless Kashmiris at the hands of the Indian forces. A few weeks back Mr.Navi Pillay, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights formulated a committee to investigate war crimes committed in Sri Lanka. This committee shall assist a UN team constituted to probe into the matter. According to the details this committee would comprise of three members including Mr. Martti Ahtisaari, Ms. Silvia Cartwright and Ms. Asma Jahangir. The investigation is expected to take ten months after its official commencement. However the Sri Lankan government has rejected the investigative panel.

Talking to the Reuters, the Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Gamini Lakshman Peiris said the government had not accepted the UN investigations due to concerns over its legality, fairness, and some conflict of interest issues. He further emphasized that Sri Lanka will not cooperate with United Nations’ inquiry into alleged war crimes by government forces and separatist Tamil Tiger rebels in the final phase of their 26-year war. According to the Reuters, the UN through a United States-led resolution, last month set an international inquiry into the alleged war crimes and human rights abuses after the island nation's government had failed to investigate them properly. Sri Lankan government has rejected the allegations. In short the government of Sri Lanka is not happy over this investigation because it is taking this investigation as UN’s interference in Sri Lanka’s internal matters. Unfortunately a very well- reputed, highly skilled and renowned lawyer of Pakistan Ms. Asma Jahangir has also been dragged into the investigation committee as a member. Her presence in the committee would simply damage the cordial relationship between Pakistan and Sri Lanka because the government of Sri Lanka is not delighted at the situation. Pakistan holds Sri Lanka in high esteem as a trust worthy friend under all seasons, so a Pakistani lawyer must not be the member of a committee which is supposed to work in Sri Lanka against the will of the Sri Lankan government.