| by P. Sivakumaran
(October 26, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) After creating much sensation by the Australian Prime Minister herself confirming on a federal police investigation of a war crimes case against SL president and envoy, the Attorney General of Australia on Tuesday quashed the case as it would be in “breach of domestic law and Australia’s obligations under international law,” bestowing genocidal Sri Lanka with a well-timed diplomatic victory on the eve of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meet in Perth, Australia. Meanwhile, the Sri Lankan delegation in Australia went to the extent of even denying the occurrence of any war at all in the island. “Number one, there was no war in Sri Lanka. There was brutal terrorism in Sri Lanka led by the Tamil Tigers (LTTE),” said Bandula Jayasekara of the Sri Lankan delegation to ABC.
Sydney-based Lankan Tamil, Arunachalam Jegatheeswaran filed a case in the Melbourne Magistrates Court, against SL President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Sri Lanka’s envoy Admiral Thisara Samarasinghe, indicting them for war crimes and crimes against humanity. The envoy directly led the naval operations during the war.
The Australian Federal police took up the case for investigation and confirmed that it had also received a submission in this regard from the International Commission of Jurists.
In the wake of media and parliamentary highlights of the case, Australia’s Prime Minister Julia Gillard told in a press meet last week that “These allegations have come to light since the Sri Lankan High Commissioner has come to Australia. These allegations are now being looked at by the Australian Federal Police.”
The prosecution of the case needs the consent of the Attorney General of Australia.
A spokesman of the Attorney General, McClelland announced that, “The attorney-general has refused to grant this consent as continuation of the proceedings would be in breach of domestic law and Australia’s obligations under international law.”
The spokesman also cited Commonwealth laws extending immunities to heads of state and heads of diplomatic missions.
“Those immunities include personal inviolability, including from any form of arrest or detention and immunity from the criminal jurisdiction of the receiving state,” the Attorney General’s Spokesman was cited by The Age.
But Australia could have very well refused credentials to a war crimes accused to come as an envoy. It can also at anytime ask the envoy to be withdrawn. Australia not only has received such an envoy but also justifies the continuation of such an envoy through the procedures of the Attorney General, ultimately justifying State carried-out genocide as accepted means of contemporary international polity, commented Lankan Tamil civil activists in the diaspora.
At the very beginning when the genocide was reduced into mere war crimes accusations by the so-called international community and the UN panel report, and when there was the call for ‘international investigation,’ providing avenues for delay and escape, SL President Mahinda Rajapaksa confidently said that “We have friends.”
One friend was recently exposed in the UK.
A meeting of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) with the US State Department is timed for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meet in Perth.
A newly formed Tamil political party Tamil National People’s Front (TNPF) hinted on Sunday that the meeting could have an agenda to barter war crimes accusations for some unspecified political concessions blunting Tamil aspirations.
From where the orchestrations manipulating genocide of Lankan Tamils and crimes against humanity originate and terminate has to be carefully comprehended, said a veteran Tamil politician in the island.
The question of the section of Sinhala elite (responsible for the execution of the genocide) that now looms large is, ‘how could they indict us for doing what they had instructed us to do so to set their own paradigm?’
Meanwhile, Colombo has once again started deals with Oslo.
Media reports hinted that the recent visit of an SL Minister Sripala de Silva, a close confidant of Mahinda Rajapaksa dealt with encountering the Lankan Tamil diaspora.
Another Sri Lankan delegation is expected in Oslo this week.
In 2010, Norway provided large monetary assistance to Green Movement, an NGO connected to chauvinistic Sinhala political party JHU, to work in the land of Lankan Tamils occupied by genocidal Sri Lanka. One of the programmes of the NGO, according to its report was teaching Sinhala to ‘carefully selected’ youth called ‘Green Brigade’ in the Eastern Province and it plans to extend the programme to the North too.
Norway exerted much pressure on diaspora Tamils to work with the Sinhala NGO if they wanted ‘funds’ and there were some in the diaspora who fell a prey for it.
Commenting on Australia’s approach to Sri Lanka, Bruce Haigh, a retired senior diplomat who had served in Sri Lanka, told The Drum Opinion of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation on Tuesday that the “Australian narrow self-concern is surpassed by that of the Sri Lankan government.”
The following were further comments from Bruce Haigh:
“Two years after the end of the war and all indicators are that Tamils are being pushed to the margins of survival.”
“The Commonwealth heads of government are meeting in Perth from October 28 to 30. Sri Lanka has violated and continues to violate every tenet of Commonwealth membership, the most basic being genocide. On this basis alone it should be suspended.”
“Zimbabwe was suspended for the basic transgression of the human rights of many of its citizens; Fiji was suspended for lesser crimes and for far less than Sri Lanka is guilty.”
“The Sri Lankan military has its fangs around the throat of the defeated Tamils and they must be made to let go.
“After basic infrastructure, health and other resources have been restored the Commonwealth might then use its good offices to broker a peace, allowing dignity and hope to be restored to both sides, but particularly to the vanquished Tamils.
“Not to do so offers the prospect of further violence from the next generation of young Tamils, who are growing up without the benefit of formal education and against a background of deprivation and dislocation which will breed anger. Further mindless cruelty against Tamils trapped in this nightmare on Sri Lanka could also come, in time, to galvanize Tamils offshore. We don’t need that.
“There are people at the top of DFAT who understand this, their considerable experience and understanding must be allowed to prevail in the final run into CHOGM,” Haigh said.
The suggestion of Bruce Haigh, who still considers Lankan Tamils as a “minority” and not as a nation needing independence, is that of a “stepped approach.”
“A stepped approach might work better; if Sri Lanka were to be offered the prospect of staying in the Commonwealth if it allowed a monitoring force of 3,000 to oversee and facilitate the provision of food, health and basic services to the Tamil population and oversee the withdrawal of the bulk of the Sri Lankan armed forces to military duties in areas away from the traumatized Tamil population,” Bruce Haigh said.
When is the IC that is greedy of its own moves to get into the island is going to concede to the fact that the Sinhala perspective is capable of converting every IC move into facilities for genocide of Tamils, if the Lankan Tamil nation, its self-determination and sovereignty are not recognized, is the question that comes from Lankan Tamils experienced in the ways of the Sinhala State.