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Friday, February 23, 2024

LLRC Report Recommendations: Arangetram started; now you dance

Dr. Vickramabahu Karunaratne
 According to government media, President Mahinda said on the Independence Day “This is not a task confined to one individual or a party. Remember, the country would not benefit by trying to please selfish groups who receive foreign funds.
Similarly, solutions cannot be obtained by implementing the proposals of extremist groups of whatever persuasion.

What is required today is the formulation of policies based on a vision that is commonly applicable to the whole country. Ethnic communities have no separate regions. The entire country belongs to all ethnic communities. The Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission has stated that all are responsible for this problem. All those who act according to their conscience should take heed of this statement.

Therefore, we have already started implementing what was in the Commission. The report was tabled in Parliament on December 17. Since then we have done a lot. Acting against public opinion using executive power is not democratic. We are committed to Parliamentary democracy as well as to the country’s law, independence of the judiciary and good governance.

Sri Lanka is the Asian democratic state which has practiced universal suffrage without gender discrimination uninterrupted for the longest period. We are committed to defend the right to make and break governments through universal suffrage. We all know that Parliament representing people including all parties, ethnic communities and religions is the supreme democratic institution.

Therefore, we believe that the mechanism for solving the National Question is the Parliamentary Select Committee. It is the duty of all parties in the country to solve problems according to the people’s wishes by participating in this Parliamentary Select Committee rather than relying on imported solutions and utilizing foreign influences.”

Man has made this statement forced by the unfolding socio political reality. Men change ideas not according to abstract arguments and subjective thinking, but by the needs of the objective situation that they face.

While Mahinda has to talk about democracy and solution to the national question there are pundits of yester years who still chew the chauvinist rubbish that they invented for the mystification of mass thinking.

In a recent meeting held in Colombo they have put forward views and arguments that need no answers but useful for humour and laughter.

At the above workshop, two crackpots held a view that the LLRC Report findings and recommendations are based on erroneous application of legal principles. The failure of the commission to accurately define “combatants” and “civilians”, in applying the law and rules of ICRC, in its correct perspective, means that the report should thus be totally rejected.

Apparently the LLRC erred in its treatment of uniformed LTTE cadre only as combatants and treating all those civilians willingly or unwillingly supporting the LTTE in building bunkers, running errands and doing other civilian tasks of helping and facilitating the LTTE as non combatants / civilians.

They argue that even those who placed their temporary homes, abodes and shelters near LTTE artillery positions or stayed in hospitals taken cover by the LTTE, as well as even under coercion joined in forming human shields for the LTTE, are combatants in civilian clothing and are not civilians.

Thus any findings portioning and making findings and recommendations treating these combatants in civilian clothes as civilians is wrong in principle. Therefore even the entirety of the civilians who came over to civilian custody even breaking the LTTE control as well as those rescued in the last stages by the forces are to be classified no different to LTTE combatants and they cannot get protection under International Human Rights Law.

Thus neither the government nor the forces are accountable to those described above as civilians and they fail to get classified as civilians, a status they lost voluntarily or otherwise coming under the LTTE. Due to the above misdirection by the LLRC the government can feel victimized by the report findings and recommendations and to that degree the reconciliation process will be impeded as a proper perspective has not been adopted by the commissioners.

What a magnificent argument to justify genocide! All Tamils dead or disappeared are obviously willing or unwilling collaborators of the LTTE and hence no need to account for them. What is more Mahinda has erred, by not bringing out the above distinction forcefully, and by not rejecting the findings on that ground. Not only that; Mahinda erred in 1991 when he joined us in the campaign to protect the Sinhala youth suspected for insurgency.

All those who were killed or disappeared in that period were also collaborators of the JVP led insurrection, according to the argument put forward by these lunatics. Why the hell did Mahinda crawl all over the world seeking redress for the youth suspected of JVP led insurrection of 88/89?

I am no defender of politics of Mahinda, but I am pleased that he has rejected the loony arguments of these crackpots and accepted the LLRC report and made a commitment to implement its recommendations.

Obviously, to implement these recommendations he may have to get approval for the legal structures necessary, from the parliament. LTTE is defunct and there is nobody here to take the responsibility for the armed insurrection.

Hence it is futile to put the responsibility of the insurrection on the TNA or any other Tamil organisation. Such tomfoolery we have heard only in the court of mythical king Kekille. Do they expect few more Kekille rulings from Mahinda?

Mahinda and the cabinet has accepted the LLRC report and given an assurance in the parliament to implement the recommendation. Arangetram started; now you dance


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