At a recent meeting of professionals of the Sri Lankan Diaspora it was stated that the Government of Sri Lanka was not engaging with its citizens – that there was no dialogue. A true Australian knows that this is also the case with Australian Government. It may ‘seem’ otherwise to ‘outsiders’ – including some parts of the Sri Lankan Diaspora. They have to produce evidence of direct connection when accusing an Australian or a Global citizen which all High Commissioners are.
l Gaja Lakshmi Paramasivam
(October 17, Melbourne, Sri Lanka Guardian) This morning’s mail brought news regarding the actions by the Australian Tamil Diaspora, against the current Sri Lankan High Commissioner to Australia, former navy Admiral Thisara Samarasinghe.
The Age reports in this regard ‘SRI Lanka’s high commissioner to Australia, former navy Admiral Thisara Samarasinghe, should be investigated for war crimes, a brief before the Australian Federal Police says.
The submission, from the International Commission of Jurists’ Australian section, has compiled what a source has told The Age is direct and credible evidence of war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Witnesses – former Sri Lankan residents now living in Australia – can attest to the crimes, the source said.
Admiral Samarasinghe was the commander of the Sri Lankan navy’s eastern and then northern areas, as well as naval chief of staff, during the final years of the country’s bloody civil war with separatist terrorist group the Tamil Tigers.
In the final months of fighting in 2009, according to the United Nations, up to 40,000 civilians caught in the north and east of the country were killed when government forces moved against the insurgent army.
Separate and independent allegations have been made, to the jurists’ commission and other investigators, that naval ships fired directly on unarmed civilians as they fled the conflict.
There has been no evidence Admiral Samarasinghe was involved in shelling, or gave direct orders to that effect, but the submission before the AFP states military superiors hold a responsibility for the actions of those under their command.
A spokesman told The Age that ”the AFP is currently evaluating the submission. Therefore it is not appropriate to comment further.”
Admiral Samarasinghe told The Age that all of his – and the navy’s – actions during the conflict were legal. ”There is no truth whatsoever of allegations of misconduct or illegal behaviour,” he said.
”The Sri Lanka Navy did not fire at civilians during any stage and all action was taken to save the lives of civilians from clutches of terrorists.”
The commission submission has been sent to the AFP and the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions, as well as to the offices of the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister. It calls for investigations into Admiral Samarasinghe and other key military and political
figures, including President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who is commander-in-chief of Sri Lanka’s armed forces, with a view to issuing arrest warrants against those responsible.
The International Commission of Jurists is an independent international law body, based in Geneva. It holds consultative status with UNESCO, the Council of Europe, and the African Union.
The Australian section made a similar submission over allegations of war crimes during East Timor’s struggle for independence – and evidence it gathered was used by that country’s
Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation, the official body set up to investigate human rights abuses.
President of the Australian section is former NSW Supreme Court justice and attorney-general John Dowd. He declined to comment.’
Recently, a Law Academic associated with the University of NSW asked me in relation to my legal actions against Professor Rory Hume, then the Vice Chancellor of the University of New South Wales and on the same issue against Mr. John Howard – then the Prime Minister of Australia, on the basis of unlawful Racial Discrimination – the following question: ‘Was there any evidence that the Discrimination was on the basis of Race?
I said ‘There was,
(1) objective evidence of loss,
(2) apparent majority power of those using their authority which resulted in that loss and
(3) absence of lawful reason for punishing me
That was how Sharpeville massacre was taken as the basis for the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.’
To my mind, both Professor Hume as well as Mr. Howard were Guilty due to their failure to view my complaints on the basis of my conclusion / judgment that the loss was due to Racial Discrimination. I had raised the standard of my work and therefore the loss, to their levels – through painful step/defeat after painful step/defeat. That is the Citizen’s path known to me. I lost the cases against the persons and took action against the ‘systems’ – the State and Federal Governments as well as the University of NSW. I lost again. But due to my work to understand the principles of Equal Opportunity I now consider myself to be the best expert known to myself in this issue. I am able to help other victims find their own completion. The above mentioned Law Academic said that I was a lawyer in substance. I said that was what some Australian Barristers representing my opposition also said to me outside the trial area. That helped me complete my cycle and I took their expressions as confessions that they were doing their jobs without belief in the issue before the Courts.
To my mind, the case against High Commissioner Samarasinghe is similar to the case against Prime Minister Howard and Vice Chancellor Hume. The citizen ought to believe that s/he has governed well and needs to complete the experience in areas where s/he is the Governor, using discretionary powers based on belief. Then that citizen would naturally identify with her/his side of national and global governments. Beyond that we are only hallucinating when finding fault with the leadership of one side or the other.
I said at a recent meeting of Sri Lankan Diaspora, that all those who are occupying their CEO positions in families and institutions would identify with the much condemned 18th Amendment to the Sri Lankan Constitution through which – as per my understanding – the time limits of the position of the President were removed. To my mind that is the time parallel of LTTE’s place based claim of them being the Sole Representatives of Tamils. Those who take revenge would claim victory in an ‘internal’ war and therefore would carry the same flaws – gunas / traits – in various forms – as in Sooran the demon who challenged Lord Muruga.
I complained through the Australian Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission and as per the above report, these victims are complaining through the International Commission of Jurists’ Australian section, under the Presidency of Mr. John Dowd, former Attorney General of New South Wales.
In both cases we, the victims are able to produce evidence of loss, pain and anxiety we have suffered. In neither case are we able to prove that the loss, pain and suffering happened due to Racial Discrimination and/or in breach of the appropriate laws/statutes relating to the activity in that environment – which was Higher Education for me and War for the above group.
As an Australian, I complained through Racial Discrimination Act 1975. I do not know which Australian legislation covers the above complaints through former Attorney General of New South Wales. To my mind, if Mr. Dowd, as Attorney General, had implemented strong Anti Discrimination practices within New South Wales, including at our Universities, it is highly likely that I would have been saved the pain and loss that I experienced at the University of New South Wales whose Governing Council included a representative of the State Government that Mr. Dowd was part of. Similarly, if Sri Lanka had had in place appropriate anti racial-discrimination laws in place at our workplaces it is highly likely that the above victims would have been saved the pain and loss they have experienced.
As an Administrator, the Prime Minister and therefore Mr. Howard at that time was responsible for the pain and loss I suffered. Every practitioner of Equal Opportunity values would look at this issue through her/himself. If Mr. Dowd has invested more deeply than I in this issue then he and his Australian Section of the International Commission of Jurists have the responsibility to first look into my complaints against the former Australian Prime Minister – going down to what happened at the University of New South Wales which is the parallel of Sri Lankan Navy in the above mentioned complaint against Admiral Samarasinghe. Those who believe in Racial Equality would believe that Australia is Equal to Sri Lanka – until proven otherwise. The Heads of the two countries and therefore their agencies also need to be taken on Equal footing by Global Agencies, until known otherwise. Likewise, the various administrative arms of these countries and their Heads – such as the Vice Chancellor of the University of NSW and Head of Sri Lankan Navy.
Out of the three forms of proof – (1) Facts (2) Apparent (Majority) Power (3) Personal Belief – the first form needs to be high where the two sides consider each other to be ‘external’ – as Sri Lanka is to Mr. Dowd who is also Chancellor of Southern Cross University. Both Chancellors of the University of NSW, during my time of active conflict – Sir Anthony Mason – a law expert and Dr. John Yu – honored as a caring Australian migrant, expressed in action that they considered my complaint to be of substance. To that extent to me they were ‘internal’ and therefore I did not need to know whether I would win or lose to act as per advice from them. I withdrew my complaint against the Vice Chancellor at the request of the Chancellor, due to this ‘internal’ factor. Since the Vice Chancellor did not demonstrate that he considered me to be ‘internal’ I assembled peacefully in the Public Area of the Office of the Vice Chancellor. That is the ‘bottom up’ approach available to a citizen who feels ownership.
At a recent meeting of professionals of the Sri Lankan Diaspora it was stated that the Government of Sri Lanka was not engaging with its citizens – that there was no dialogue. A true Australian knows that this is also the case with Australian Government. It may ‘seem’ otherwise to ‘outsiders’ – including some parts of the Sri Lankan Diaspora. They have to produce evidence of direct connection when accusing an Australian or a Global citizen which all High Commissioners are. They are like the Chancellors and hence carry diplomatic immunity and could be tried only when their current actions are in breach of our laws – the laws of their current environments.
Likewise, new Australians – using our Australian systems need to produce objective evidence of current actions by Mr. Samarasinghe if they are to have the benefit of direct Police Action. As for Australian Federal Police – they tried to bully me into submitting to them when I refused to obey them in relation to the use of my account with St George Bank. The Bank treated us as outsiders and I demanded that they act as per the ‘technical rules’ of the Bank. When they refused to make good the loss, I reported them to the Ombudsman. Like with Mr. Howard who lost his seat in the elections, another Community Based agency included our complaint in suing the Bank. If I had submitted to the bully by Australian Federal Police – I would have downgraded myself and my investments in Australian Management systems. By submitting my work to a wider institution / citizens’ group which believed in us – I got even with the Australian Federal Police and the St George Bank and to that extent, I have helped raise the foundation of our real standards of democracy to the higher level. If the Australian Federal Police were right in bullying me of Sri Lankan origin, then they have no moral authority to take up these investigations regarding other Sri Lankans until they seek redemption for their actions against me.
Internal proof is through belief and its influence on subjects. On that basis I ought to have priority access to the resources to be spent on this issue rather than the new victims who in substance are still Sri Lankans than Australians. As per United Nations (based on Sharpeville experience) force against minority race by majority race, is taken as proof of racial discrimination until proven otherwise. On that basis Dr. Palitha Kohona, a fellow Australian against whom I did complain to the Australian Human Rights Commission on the basis of his current expressions, needs to be brought before the Australian Section of the International Commission of Jurists headed by Mr. John Dowd, before High Commissioner Samarasinghe who is Sri Lankan only and therefore does not have the protection of Australian Belief that Dr. Kohona enjoys. As per the core values of the system of Diplomatic immunity allegations against a Sri Lankan individual needs to be supported by Objective Evidence – the same way the Australian Police needed to produce objective evidence of Trespass when they arrested me at the University of NSW and listed me as Sri Lankan. In summary – If External – Objective Evidence is needed. If Internal – belief is needed.
The Police listed me as Sri Lankan despite my strong protests. They needed to produce stronger objective evidence that I was guilty of their charge. Likewise, between Dr. Kohona and Mr. Samarasinghe – Australians need to produce stronger objective evidence before acting against Mr. Samarasinghe than against Dr. Kohona who was part of the Senior Management of our Federal Government. Otherwise, it amounts to cover up of Australian without any logical difference. There is no room for personal belief based decisions by those who hold positions of judgment, except through discretionary powers. The right of the citizen to govern and act as per personal belief within her/his local boundary, is enshrine into our Constitution through the system of voting. It’s parallel at country level is Sri Lanka’s Sovereignty and the rights to use belief within its national borders.
It looks as if some part of Australian leadership is busy cleaning Sri Lankan leadership before its own. I strongly protest in the Court of Natural Justice against those who give priority to lesser Australians than myself in the issue of Racial Equality. The Court of Natural Justice is driven by Truth and Belief and has never failed me. My Community all over the World including in Sri Lanka need me to continue to be driven by that Belief and submit to the Judgments of the Court of Natural Justice which manifest themselves in Natural Areas where I am an observer.