Trevor Grant ‘Sri Lanka’s Secrets: How the Rajapaksa Regime Gets Away With Murde

  • Trevor Grant ‘Sri Lanka’s Secrets: How the Rajapaksa Regime Gets Away With Murde

    Posted by Vel on March 13, 2022 at 3:50 pm

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/SRI-LANKA-SECRETS-Investigating-Power/dp/1922235539/

    From the Foreword by Geoffrey Robertson Q.C. to the book by Trevor Grant ‘Sri Lanka’s Secrets: How the Rajapaksa Regime Gets Away With Murder’….

    “When the Rajapaksa government forces moved in for ‘the final solution’ to the Tamil Tiger problem, they first banned all foreign journalists, human rights monitors and UN observers. Thinking themselves safe from outside scrutiny, they mass murdered tens of thousands of innocent civilians through bombardment from land and sea.

    But truth will out, initially captured in fleeting and grainy images on cell phone cameras, often held by perverted Sinhalese soldiers wanting a souvenir of their crimes and confident of their impunity. Some of these images are too grotesque for this book: they show summary executions, naked female bodies on the beach, violated and drowned, lines of captives beaten on the head with rifle butts, shot where they crouched in handcuffs. Here, we have photographs taken at the risk of their lives by medical and social workers (notably by the courageous ‘Maravan’) which show the everyday actuality of the so-called ‘no fire zone’ – boys hiding in bomb craters awaiting the next hit, families overcome with grief for the death of their loved ones, the barbaric conditions of ‘welfare centres’ where food and medical supplies were wilfully refused.

    This was the reality of the ethnic cleansing committed by the Sri Lankan Government in 2009, a form of genocide that has never been punished by the international community and which has more recently been condoned by the Australian Government. Trevor Grant’s book is important because it explains to Australians, in words and pictures worth a thousand words, why their government’s policy is not only wrong, but immoral.

    Mr Grant tells of the long history of persecution suffered by the Tamils but concentrates on how, in May 2009, they were lured onto thin strips of land, ‘no fire zones’, where they were promised shelter from the war. This was a trap – when the bombs did fall, there was nowhere to escape, other than to the beaches where they were shot from waiting warships. He covers these events through eyewitness accounts from victims of shellings, of torture and of rape – at the hands of soldiers who believed, correctly, that they would never face prosecution. The evidence for the killing of the rebel leader’s twelve-year-old son – photographed in captivity eating crisps one minute, then dead the next, with his chest riddled by bullets – is the clearest proof of a particularly nasty war crime. It has, of course, never been investigated by the government, one of whose ministers has been credibly accused of ordering the crime of assassinating a prisoner of war, who happened to be someone’s child.

    Australia stands with China, and with other such stalwarts of human rights as Cuba and Russia and Venezuela, in wanting to ignore these crimes against humanity. Only the other day Tony Abbott wrote to me, in response to criticism of Australia’s failure to sponsor the UN Human Rights Council resolution calling for an international enquiry into the atrocity –

    ‘The Australian Government takes all allegations of human rights abuses and international crimes seriously. The government considers that engaging with Sri Lanka, not isolating it, is the most effective way to encourage and advance progress on human rights and accountability, the rule of rule and reconciliation.’

    This is a seriously mistaken policy: if history proves anything, it shows that you do not help human rights by ‘engaging’ with (i.e. appeasing) tyrannical governments which destroy them. ‘Engaging’ by gifting gunboats to a navy that pumped shells into clusters of women and

    children is no way to ‘take international crimes seriously’, it is the way to make mockery of attempts to punish international crimes….”From the Foreword by Geoffrey Robertson Q.C. to the book by Trevor Grant ‘Sri Lanka’s Secrets: How the Rajapaksa Regime Gets Away With Murder’….
    “When the Rajapaksa government forces moved in for ‘the final solution’ to the Tamil Tiger problem, they first banned all foreign journalists, human rights monitors and UN observers. Thinking themselves safe from outside scrutiny, they mass murdered tens of thousands of innocent civilians through bombardment from land and sea.
    But truth will out, initially captured in fleeting and grainy images on cell phone cameras, often held by perverted Sinhalese soldiers wanting a souvenir of their crimes and confident of their impunity. Some of these images are too grotesque for this book: they show summary executions, naked female bodies on the beach, violated and drowned, lines of captives beaten on the head with rifle butts, shot where they crouched in handcuffs. Here, we have photographs taken at the risk of their lives by medical and social workers (notably by the courageous ‘Maravan’) which show the everyday actuality of the so-called ‘no fire zone’ – boys hiding in bomb craters awaiting the next hit, families overcome with grief for the death of their loved ones, the barbaric conditions of ‘welfare centres’ where food and medical supplies were wilfully refused.
    This was the reality of the ethnic cleansing committed by the Sri Lankan Government in 2009, a form of genocide that has never been punished by the international community and which has more recently been condoned by the Australian Government. Trevor Grant’s book is important because it explains to Australians, in words and pictures worth a thousand words, why their government’s policy is not only wrong, but immoral.
    Mr Grant tells of the long history of persecution suffered by the Tamils but concentrates on how, in May 2009, they were lured onto thin strips of land, ‘no fire zones’, where they were promised shelter from the war. This was a trap – when the bombs did fall, there was nowhere to escape, other than to the beaches where they were shot from waiting warships. He covers these events through eyewitness accounts from victims of shellings, of torture and of rape – at the hands of soldiers who believed, correctly, that they would never face prosecution. The evidence for the killing of the rebel leader’s twelve-year-old son – photographed in captivity eating crisps one minute, then dead the next, with his chest riddled by bullets – is the clearest proof of a particularly nasty war crime. It has, of course, never been investigated by the government, one of whose ministers has been credibly accused of ordering the crime of assassinating a prisoner of war, who happened to be someone’s child.
    Australia stands with China, and with other such stalwarts of human rights as Cuba and Russia and Venezuela, in wanting to ignore these crimes against humanity. Only the other day Tony Abbott wrote to me, in response to criticism of Australia’s failure to sponsor the UN Human Rights Council resolution calling for an international enquiry into the atrocity –
    ‘The Australian Government takes all allegations of human rights abuses and international crimes seriously. The government considers that engaging with Sri Lanka, not isolating it, is the most effective way to encourage and advance progress on human rights and accountability, the rule of rule and reconciliation.’
    This is a seriously mistaken policy: if history proves anything, it shows that you do not help human rights by ‘engaging’ with (i.e. appeasing) tyrannical governments which destroy them. ‘Engaging’ by gifting gunboats to a navy that pumped shells into clusters of women and
    children is no way to ‘take international crimes seriously’, it is the way to make mockery of attempts to punish international crimes….”

    Vel replied 3 months, 2 weeks ago 1 Member · 0 Replies
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