Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Sri Lanka: Jus Ad Bellum ?

By Chandi Sinnathurai | Counter Currents

The dirty war against the Tamil Tigers went ahead with the co-operation of the international community - that is to say, with a subtle nod and a wink, some 13 months ago. The agreed purpose was that this is part of the global WAT ["War Against Terror"] project. The Rajapaksha regime had and still has the full-backing of the whole region. The UN played most part a silent, yet an active role in the 'success' of this initiative. Even when thousands of starving Tamil civilians were trapped between the tigers and the Sri Lankan Armed forces, the UN was only issuing token statements. The West wanted the scourge of terrorism to be completely eradicated from Lanka.

The plight of the trapped Tamil civilians was an open secret. But no international player called for the war to halt in order for civilians to be evacuated. Why? Because the international intelligence community knew, in this strategic push, the Tiger leadership, including V Prabaharan and his family were getting cornered. The submarine-escape of the tiger leader/s was not worth trying as the Indian naval force was on high alert. Total neutralisation of the leadership was part of the plan. Hence, no one - not even the UN wanted to miss this 'golden opportunity.' And the war ended as it did.

Even the so-called 'White flag' incident of some Tiger political leaders organised by the UN officials were seriously flawed. All of them were shot and killed.

The global WAT project, gave Lanka the cover of Jus Ad Bellum - "Right to wage war." There was an international consensus, particularly among powerful nations, that Colombo entering into war or the push into the "Nascent state of Tamil Eelam" is justifiable. This is not a war against the Tamil people, it was declared. But this is a war against terror. The argument of a just war did not enter in, but to all the international actors, the war was certainly justifiable - even when the trapped Tamils were getting massacred as human shields!

But now, when the spoils of war and the pie of development contracts, and multi-billion dollar deals are getting distributed - particularly between India and China, suddenly there is a change of direction in the international trade winds.

Once the blood is shed, people are maimed, massacred, scarred and traumatised for the rest of their lives, and mass burials have occurred in the heat of the war...Now that the mission is accomplished, and the war is over...The accusing finger is pointed. War crimes? Crimes against humanity? War in its very intrinsic nature is a crime. No one wanted to halt the war and rescue the civilians - that is a terrible crime. How many are responsible on the international stage for such a horrendous war crime?

The international community never once admitted that there is a genocide happening in Sri Lanka.

The retired General Fonseka was leading the crime against the Tamils and now he is pretending to be whiter than white!? Yes, invoking Jus Cogens could also mean that, Sarath Fonseka can claim the non-applicability of the defense of "obedience to superior order." Rajapaksha regime wanted to wipe out the tigers, and they did it with the support of the international community. The UN very well knew then, as it does now that, this was war conducted without any witness. So were the war in Iraq, and now in Afghanistan. What we hear in the corporate media about these wars is about what we need to hear. Not much is said about the plight of civilians. So now, what's all this kicking up the dirt? What a lot of hypocrisy!

In all this finger pointing, politicking and big money legal wrangling, sadly the spirit of the law is buried. The tears and pain of the poor and destitute Tamils continues in IDP camps and else where. What crime did these innocent women, men and children commit to deserve such squalid and shabby treatment?

That is truly a crime against a sea of "living" humanity. That ought to be the priority of the global Tamils. The rest can play with high brow Latin words.

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