Detention Camps in Sri Lanka and "genocide"

So the question is asked by some of us, in desparation:  What if you had One day left to Stop Ethnic cleansing?

Well now there is the Channel 4 report with exclusive footage (by slipping camera past tight security) of those detention camps that the diaspora has been desperately trying to let the world know really exist.  They have been told "genocide" and "ethnic cleansing" are terms that are "unhelpful" by those even in the Sri Lankan intelligensia.

Now Sonali Samarasinghe, widow of Lasantha Wickramatunga, in her latest public statement has this to say:

"That this is a racist war is not a secret. I would not go so far as to use the word genocide, but it would not surprise me to see it used in future international legal action against the government. At any rate, the government itself has plastered the countryside with enormous placards lauding the military with the slogan, in Sinhala, the language of the Sinhalese majority to which I too, belong, stating: "Soldiers, our race salutes you!" Not "the people", not "the country", but the race. And all these placards exhibit the stated provenance of the Ministry of Defence or other government institutions. Interestingly, none of these hoardings are in Tamil, the language of the people the government claims it is seeking to liberate.

I make this point because it is urgent and important that the world realizes what is happening in Sri Lanka before it is too late."

So what about the Responsibility to protect (R2P)? What has Ban got to say about it?  Isn't this a very obvious case in which the UN has a mandate to use R2P?  Apparently not the case according to Mr. Ban:

The responsibility to protect is just "a concept" that does not yet have "an effective mechanism"

The reporter from innercity press also asks Ban for his reaction to the Channel 4 video.  The reaction from Ban is...well...words fail me.  Keep reading and you can make your own mind up.

By: on 7 May 2009

Comments

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Well, what are you doing

Well, what are you doing other than ranting?

It does seem premture to claim genocide against the Tamils, but we know from history how these sorts of internment camps seem to go (see, e.g., original "concentration camps" of Boers by the Brits about a hundred years ago).  So, we should focus on making sure media get in there with access to all the camps--that should stop deaths.

While it is certainly vital

While it is certainly vital to get the media in there, it will not necessarily guarantee deaths would stop.

What happened in Bosnia is a case in point, where people were held in UN funded camps and attrocities happened even when the cameras kept rolling.

This is why R2P was adopted by the UN.  To prevent genocide before it actually happens.

Tamils reap what they

Tamils reap what they sowed

Jonathan Kay, National Post  Published: Tuesday, May 05, 2009

The conflict between the Sri Lankan government and the Tamil Tigers has deep, tangled roots. But to a rough order of magnitude, the moral stakes can be reduced to a single act of terrorist savagery that took place on July 29, 1999 - the day Neelan Tiruchelvam was blown out the side of his Nissan sedan by a female suicide bomber riding a moped.

Tiruchelvam was a Sri Lankan Tamil, but not the kind that makes excuses for terrorism, or for the nihilistic death cult led by Tigers chief Velupillai Pirapaharan. Instead, he sought to bring justice and self-determination for Sri Lanka's Tamil minority through negotiation and constitutional reform. In Sri Lanka, he was an elected parliamentarian and the founder of two major think tanks. In the United States, he taught at Harvard University, enlightening Western students about human-rights abuses committed in Sri Lanka - by the nation's military and the Tigers alike.

He was a moderate, in other words - the Tamils' answer to Yitzhak Rabin or Nelson Mandela. And that's why he was assassinated: The Tigers despise any Tamil who does not share their commitment to war and terrorism. Tiger propaganda - including the terrorist group's own "poet laureate" - spent years vilifying Tiruchelvam as a traitor prior to his assassination. Muzhakkam, a Tiger-controlled newspaper here in Canada joined in the campaign.

http://www.nationalpost.com/most-popular/story.html?id=1566206

I'm not going to get into an

I'm not going to get into an extended argument about this, but if you're going to post something like 'Tamils Reap What they Sowed' while there is an ethnic cleansing operation going on by the GoSL, then you should at least take into consideration the trajectory of Tamil politics in Sri Lanka and Sri Lankan politics more broadly.  The emergence of the current situation is the product of a long process that did not begin with the formation of a violent political group, but ended with it - whatever they're sins, they are disproportionately weaker than the Sri Lankan government right now, which is why that government is taking the blame.  Further more, any article that conflates 'the Tamils' with 'the LTTE' deserves to be ignored, rather than linked to,  in my opinion.  I will leave it at that.

If you have a problem with

If you have a problem with the title of the article posted, please talk to the National Post.

And you say "Further more, any article that conflates 'the Tamils' with 'the LTTE' deserves to be ignored"

Tell that to the diaspora Tamils screaming that the LTTE is their sole representatives.

You posted this article as a

You posted this article as a comment or part of some sort of hopefully coherent discussion related to what was posted on this specific thread. Therefore it makes perfect sense if someone expresses their opinions of what was posted, addressing you, me and/or others they think will read this specific thread, not the national post or some random person in the "Tamil diaspora" who hasn't even read the thread.  We are going off on a tangent here.

Your assertion that I

Your assertion that I "...posted this article as a comment or part of some sort of hopefully coherent discussion related to what was posted on this specific thread" is an assumption. It's great to see you base your arguments on assumptions. And no it doesn't make "perfect sense" - I didn't write the article.

If you have a problem with

If you have a problem with the title of the article posted, please talk to the National Post.

And you say "Further more, any article that conflates 'the Tamils' with 'the LTTE' deserves to be ignored"

Tell that to the diaspora Tamils screaming that the LTTE is their sole representatives.

That's strike one for contributing to a helpful discussion on these issues.  If you want to talk about why you're upset about this conflictn from a different perspective than what's been presented or why you feel LTTE is problematic in a way that's thoguhtful and useful, then, by all means, feel free to do so.  Many others have, ande we're opening and welcoming here.  However, if you're going to post incendiary remarks like 'Tell that to the diaspora Tamils screaming that LTTE is their sole reprsenatives' without any consideration of the circumstances, the context, or the history, expect to get moderated.
 

As they say on Open Left - be good to each other - and you're not being good to us right now.  If you can't see why, I'm happy to explain or someone else I'm sure will gladly do so.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.