Category Archives: law of armed conflict

Diehard Tigers Unpunished: Swiss Federal Court negates Its Prosecutors

News Item from Swissinfo,ch … where the title is  “No jail for Swiss Tamil Tiger financiers”

The Swiss Federal Criminal Court has given no prison terms to alleged financiers of the Sri Lankan Tamil separatist group Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (LTTE). The 13 accused were either given suspended custodial sentences or acquitted. The court on Thursday said accusations of participation in and support of a criminal organisation did not stand and released all of the accused.

It noted that the hierarchical link between the LTTE and WTCC was not sufficiently established. The judges also felt there was not enough concrete proof to consider the LTTE as a criminal organisation.  Continue reading

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Facing Palihakkara: Foreign Judges on Homeland Soil?

Darshanie Ratnawallie in Daily Mirror, 13 June 2018, with the title reading “Diplomacy and Foreign Judges”

Could there be a keener pleasure than to sit around a fire and discuss diplomacy with a diplomat? Of course, there is no fire; just coffee, and that only in plastic cups, which nevertheless provides the fire, inside, instead of outside, but with the same cheering and relaxing power.

  
It’s after the coffee break at the ‘Education Institute’ and Ambassador Palihakkara has invited questions. “You said we cannot operate in isolation. But we have opposed the intervention of foreign judges in HR issues. As a diplomat how do you view this?” a student asks. Palihakkara makes it clear that he views it with disfavour, and concern and has no doubts that the same degree of disfavour would be forthcoming from every country, were such a thing suggested to them.    Continue reading

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Let Maj-Genl Holmes Speak as the SL Army enters the Propaganda War Front

Lasanda Kurukulasuriya, in Daily Mirror, 21 May 2018, with the title reading as War crimes charges Sri Lanka Army takes battle to propaganda front” …. while the highlighting emphsis here is the work of THe Editor, Thuppahi

Sri Lankan armed forces have not been in the habit of talking about themselves, even during the 30-year war,  or after, when sinister allegations of misconduct were (and still are) levelled against them. Army Commander Lt. Gen. Mahesh Senanayake’s recent forthright media interaction with Colombo-based foreign correspondents therefore came as an eye-opener about the activities, outlook, military culture and future plans of the Sri Lanka Army (SLA).  Nine years after proving its professionalism on the battlefield as a victorious army, the SLA, as the country’s biggest reservoir of human resources, is engaged in transforming itself into a peace-time force with a focus on nation building and contributing to world peace, he said. The SLA will also engage in fighting its own case now, with regard to allegations of war crimes. This is one of the tasks mandated to be carried out by the army’s ‘Directorate of Overseas Operations’ that was opened last month.   

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Two Foreign ‘Excursions’ on the Demise of the LTTE Project … and A Local Lad’s Thoughts on the Basic Issues

Daniel Alphonsus, courtesy of The Sunday Observer, 13 May 2018, where the title is “Did the Government win the War or the Tigers lose?”…. the article being  a review of Peter Stafford Roberts’ “The Sri Lankan Insurgency: Rebalancing the Orthodox Position” and Stephen Battle’s “Lessons In Legitimacy: The LTTE End-Game of 2007–2009” … Note that emphasis in blue is the intervention of the Editor, Thuppahi

It is a truth universally acknowledged that in May 2009 the Government of Sri Lanka won the war. This extraordinary turn of events, we are told, resulted from the political carte blanche granted to the Gotabaya, Fonseka and Karanagoda troika. Licence from on high, the story goes, unshackled their hitherto caged military nous and single-minded, perhaps even bloody-minded, focus on military victory.

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Where USA sought to arm-wrestle Sri Lanka in March-April-May 2009

Michael Roberts

The ethnographic ‘nugget’ from Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama recorded by Professor Chandre Dharma-wardana in 2013 has set off a hornet’s nest.[1] In pursuing further inquiries, I have reached the tentative conclusion that Bogollagama has not presented a total fib.[2] He is probably referring to the entry of an US recce team rather than a commando force from America’s Pacific Air Command (PACOM in short) at some point during the last phase of the war – probably in February/March.. This would have been around the time the Western conglomerate in Sri Lanka known officially as the “Co-Chairs” had mooted the idea of “a sea-directed civilian rescue mission” in February.[3]

C-130J Super Hercules assigned to the 36th Airlift Squadron prepare to land at Yokota Air Base, Japan, May 4, 2018, during the 374th Airlift Wing Generation Exercise. The formation flight enabled the pilots to perform training necessary for them to remain current on their skillsets. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Juan Torres) — a snap which has nought to do with Sri Lanka but, like the second one below, serves to illustrate the power and reach of the US forces in general and those in the Pacific in particular

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The Bogollagama Gem: Thoughts on the Threatening US Spectre in March-May 2009

Michael Roberts

A = The ethnographic gem on events in 2009 provided by former minister Rohitha Bogollagama in 2013 that is now clarified by Chandre Dharmawardana is startling news even for those aware of the exchanges taking place in the (i) ambassadorial despatches now accessible via Wikileaks and (ii) the bare details of the secret meeting held in Kuala Lumpur at KP’s ‘office’ in February 2009 between Norwegian diplomats and LTTE operatives (with US cognisance).[1]

two symbolic snaps 

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An US Commando Force was at Katunayake in April 2009 prepared for a So-called ‘Humanitarian Intervention’

Chandre Dharma-wardana, an Item arising from our recent email exchanges and taken from his website …. http://dh-web.org/place.names/posts/blake.html ……….with emphasis in different colours added by me as Editor, Thuppahi

Rohitha Bogollagama was the Foreign Mininster (FM) in 2009, during the last days of the Eelam War-IV. On October 20, 2013 evening, I had a conversation with him in the presence of Mohanil Samarakoon (Address: 7 Rajapihilla Terrace, Kandy). We were at the Estate bungalow of the late Mrs. Sharmini Maththew, Korakaha Estate, Kurunegala. This was after dinner, when all other guests had moved out to the veranda. I was not personally known to Mr. Bogollagama until that afternoon. The three of us lingered further, seated around the dining table. I asked Mr. Bogollagama about the last days of the war. He spoke willingly, and with no further encouragement from me. 

Rohitha Bogollagama

Later it occurred to me that many of the things stated by Mr. Bogollagama were of historical significance; hence I wrote down from memory a brief synopsis of our conversation the following day, after I returned to Colombo. What Mr. Bogollagama said was as follows.

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