The British Tamil Conservative lobby’s demand - Some views


David Milliband,David Cameron

According to a press report (Sunday Island - 05.01.14 ), the British Tamil Conservatives (BTC ) are lobbying the British government for travel bans and asset seizures (and what else!) of Lankans alleged to have committed war crimes and crimes against humanity. The BTC claims to be a full affiliate of the Conservatives and practically to have the British Prime Minister in its pocket.

Considering the strength of the Tamil vote in the UK, (to which even the Labour Party’s then Foreign Minister, David Milliband admitted to having to bow down to in order to secure its vote bank, and David Cameron , the British PM also clearly showed that the Conservatives too had to do likewise, by his openly crude, partisan pro-Tamil behaviour on his CHOGM visit here in Nov 2013), the BTC’s claim of having ‘Cameron’s in our pocket’ must be true.

That being so, it is meet, right and almost mandatory for the British government (indeed whether Conservative, Labour or Liberal), in its own interests to pander to and comply with British-Tamil demands. So in this case, the British government may have to comply with the proposal made by the BTC. British compliance would be irrespective of the merits and fairness of the Tamils demand, and purely for purposes of their own political self preservation. So, one should not be surprised if the British government agreed to the BTC’s demands.

For the record, it must be pointed out that if the British government were to adopt the BTC’s demand of ‘a Policy Mix’, including travel bans and foreign asset seizures of Sri Lankans alleged to have committed war crimes and crimes against humanity (to quote the BTC’s Arujuna Sivanathan), it must, in order to give such measures at least the semblance of a degree of fairness and impartiality, comply with the following too:

(1) Ensure that not only the alleged perpetrators, but also all those who aided and abetted, directly or indirectly by whatever means, the alleged commission of such crimes are brought within this ‘Policy Mix’ as demanded by the BTC. Aiding and abetting the commission of an offence is itself an offence per se. Any sanctions imposed by the British government must encompass not only the man who pulled the trigger, but also all those who arranged the supply of weapons, the finances and logistics and planned the strategy / tactics, gave the orders, and supported/encouraged actively or by silence the commission of such crimes. "Aiding and abetting" must include such acts/behavior, as speaking in full support of such alleged perpetrators /outfits, maintaining an ear splitting silence and not denouncing such crimes and their perpetrators, refusing to support and/or obstruct the forces battling the commission of such crimes and their alleged perpetrators etc.

2) Note that the British government (among many other governments), have banned the LTTE as a terrorist organisation. Therefore, all impediments attaching to a banned outfit needs to be applied to the LTTE and its members. Also, all those who aided and abetted LTTE terrorism in any one or more ways as set out at (1) above needs to be included as perpetrators of war crimes as envisaged by the BTC. On that basis, the ‘Policy Mix’ called for by the BTC must be applied to all the foil categories, in order to ensure a just enforcement, if any:

(i) LTTE members in Britain, including the wife of the late Anton Balasingham, Mrs. Adele Balasingham, notorious as one who aided and abetted the LTTE in its war crimes and crimes against humanity;

(ii) Members of the Tamil Diaspora in Britain, who likewise aided and abetted the LTTE in one or more ways mentioned above.

(iii) Subject to the proviso hereunder, members of the Tamil National Alliance, specially the members of the ITAK, who not only actively supported the LTTE’s war crimes, its policies and its aims, but maintained a deafening silence thereon, a silence that enveloped even the assassination by the LTTE of the ITAK’s then leader, Amirthalingam and other leading Tamils as well, apart from its normal killings of civilians of all communities, destruction of property etc. However, TULF members, and its leader, the fearless Anandasagari, who had the guts to openly defy the LTTE’s bloody campaign of assassinations, terror and war crimes, in contrast to the abject cowardice of Sambandan, Sumanthiran & Co, will not be included here as aiding and abetting the LTTE’s war crimes. In fact, they resisted/condemned them.

(iv) Other leading aiders and abettors of the LTTE’s "war crimes against humanity" (as the BTC terms it) on the basis of (1) above would be the former British Labour Foreign Minister, Mr. David Milliband, the then French Foreign Minister (name forgotten!), Mrs. Hillary Clinton, then U.S. Sec of State, and the then Norwegian pseudo-Peace Negotiator, Eric Solheim. All these individuals strenuously attempted to prevent the destruction of the LTTE, internationally banned as a terrorist outfit, and hence to acquiesce and tolerate the indefinite continuance of LTTE war crimes.

(v) Indians who may be alleged to have committed war crimes, (as the BTC says similarly of Lankans) will need to be included. They would be members of the IPKF, many of whom are alleged to have violated human rights against the civilians of the north and east, when fighting the LTTE in the 1980s.

It is not clear as to why the BTC confines its call to the British government for a ‘Policy Mix’ of travel restrictions and asset seizures only to Sri Lankans, if its intentions are to help bring to book those who are alleged to have committed war crimes against their kindred in Sri Lanka, when even non-Sri Lankans (as shown above) can be charged likewise. Or is this brazen discrimination merely a continuation of the Tamil Diaspora chagrin and anger at the Sri Lanka governments successful elimination of its terrorist ally, the LTTE. And so the UNHCR sessions to come (March 2014), can be taken advantage of in furtherance of its dishonest campaign. That’s exactly it.

Finally, it has to be stated that the position set out at Para (2) above, is predicated on a very significant aspect in so far as accountability is concerned. It is fundamental to this Issue. To clarify:

The U.S/U.K Resolutions at the UNHRC sessions in Geneva against Sri Lanka over the past few years as regards the conduct of the war at its latter stages, based on allegations that the armed forces violated human rights etc, and the need for accountability therefore, cited both the Sri Lankan forces as well as the LTTE, as having violated human rights and so on. The imperatives then is that both should have been made accountable, not one party only. The LTTE, having been eliminated, it obviously cannot now be called to account. That cannot mean that those who in the many ways set out above, aided and abetted a party named in the US/UK Resolutions as having violated human rights, viz, the LTTE, indeed was worse so far as such violations are concerned can be exonerated from being made accountable for their part in the alleged violations. It’s fundamental.


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