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UN could have saved P’karan


The UN is weeping buckets for the dead terrorists in Sri Lanka and demanding to know how some of them perished in the final phase of the war. It is working like billy-o to press war crimes charges against this country.

War crimes, or all crimes for that matter, must be probed and perpetrators brought to justice. The UN, no doubt, has a right to inquire into such matters but it needs to make specific charges without going by hearsay and be nonpartisan in conducting investigations.

Instead of giving Sri Lanka a bad name by hurling wild accusations, the UN must be able to mention specific instances of war crimes, if any, committed in the Vanni. The UN method of setting about war crimes investigations runs counter to all judicial norms. What if the member states adopt that modus operandi as regards criminal investigations and prosecutions? There would be no need for investigations and charge sheets as such; people would just be picked from streets according to the whims and fancies of investigators and hauled up before courts leaving it to the learned judges to find whether they are responsible for any transgressions of the law! And the judges would tell the suspects, "So and so said you committed such and such a crime and what have you got to say to that?" The UN could have saved Prabhakaran and his confederates! What made a cocky and arrogant LTTE dupe itself into believing that its terror campaign would reach fruition one day was the backing it received from the West and the UN. They turned a Nelsonian eye to all its crimes ranging from civilian massacres to high profile political assassinations. The UN, which has expressed shock and dismay over the killing of some terrorists responsible for a plethora of crimes against civilians, regrettably limited its reaction to the issuance of some condemnatory notes that blamed ‘both sides’, even when the LTTE assassinated Sri Lankan political leaders such as President Ranasinghe Premadasa and Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar and made an attempt on President Chandrika Kumaratunga's life.

Minister Kadirgamar was assassinated and scores of police and security forces personnel were brutally killed while a CFA was still in force! They were blatant war crimes but the UN and the West looked the other way. Prabhakaran also had the UN compound in the Vanni raided and the UN flag pulled down and torn. Thereafter, his men abducted two UN workers and the UN Colombo office chose to keep the matter under wraps and stooped to the level of having secret negotiations with the LTTE to secure the release of its employees!

Although the UN listed the LTTE as a terrorist group using child combatants, the Security Council skirted tough measures proposed by human rights outfits to deal with those terrorists. The UN, the US and EU did not care a damn about the LTTE’s crime of using abducted children as cannon fodder. They allowed the outfit to operate from western capitals, such as London and Paris. Rudrakumar, a key Tiger, responsible for co-ordinating the LTTE' international operations, is still operating from the US, where the LTTE is banned. Assistant Secretary of State Robert Blake minced no words when he told the media during a recent visit to Colombo that the US would not take action against Rudrakumar!

If the West and the UN had taken action against the LTTE's crimes as and when they were committed, Prabhakaran would have realised that the sky was not the limit for his violent campaign. Unfortunately, their shameful indulgence emboldened the most pampered terrorist in the world, Prabhakaran, to go ahead with his terror project in the hope that they would come to his rescue, should he get into trouble. Intransigent and overconfident, he rejected all peace deals out of hand and continued to unleash hell on this country.

When the Vanni offensive commenced, it may be recalled, Prabhakaran summoned the TNA MPs to Kilinochchi and urged them to drum up international support and promised to hold out until adequate foreign pressure mounted on the government to call off the offensive. His strategy worked to some extent in that the western governments made an attempt to scuttle the war and save him trapped in the Vanni.

If the UN, the US, the EU and Norway had desisted from giving Prabhakaran false hope and kept him on a tight leash instead, he would have given up fighting and either surrendered or fled the country long before he was trapped on the banks of the Nandikadal lagoon, where he met his Waterloo. Why they did not ask Prabhakaran and his fellow terrorists to give themselves up through the ICRC, which had access to the war zone, is the million dollar question!

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