The Use of Cluster Bombs in Sri Lanka: Fiction rather than Fact

Citizen Silva, 1 May 2012,whose original title  runs “The Use of Cluster Bombs in Sri Lanka: Fiction or Fiction” — with the editorial change anticipating his conclusion. **
cluster-bomb 33The recent revelation about the alleged discovery of sub-munitions in the Wanni East has re-opened the debate about the use of Cluster Bombs in the Sri Lankan Conflict. The story initially broke as follows on April 28, 2012 (Title: UN finds Cluster Bombs in Sri Lanka ): “The Associated Press obtained a copy Thursday of an email written by a U.N. land mine expert that said unexploded cluster bomblets were discovered in the Puthukudiyiruppu area of northern Sri Lanka, where a boy was killed last month and his sister injured as they tried to pry apart an explosive device they had found to sell for scrap metal. The email was written by Allan Poston, the technical adviser for the U.N. Development Program’s mine action group in Sri Lanka. “After reviewing additional photographs from the investigation teams, I have determined that there are cluster sub-munitions in the area where the children were collecting scrap metal and in the house where the accident occurred. This is the first time that there has been confirmed unexploded sub-munitions found in Sri Lanka”, the email said. RAVI NESSMAN, Associated Press cluster-bomb 11

FOR THE REST OF THIS EXEMPLARY STUDY,with its extensive illustrations  SEE …. before taking in the conclusions that run thus

………The fact that none of these distinct features are present on this image of the Bomb, nor is there any inclusion of imagery of unexploded sub-munitions to bolster the claim made in the article, makes this the latest example of yet another occasion TamilNet has been found to be misrepresenting pictorial evidence.

Conclusion: The current analysis has shown that the pictorial evidence used by TamilNet, and subsequently re-used by Groundviews, to substantiate an allegation that the SLAF used Cluster Bombs on civilian areas, is found to be untrue and a deliberate distortion of the facts. TamilNet’s use of such imagery to misrepresent the truth provides a useful opportunity to question another TamilNet allegation from 2009, a story that still appears to find its way into numerous western publications – The alleged use of White Phosphorous by the Sri Lankan Army on civilian population centres in Northern Sri Lanka. It should be noted that the former American Ambassador Robert Bake had this to say in a Classified Cable dated April 10, 2009:

Ambassador forwarded reports from Tamil groups that the GSL has used chemical weapons in fighting to Foreign Secretary Kohona urging the GSL to respond publicly. In a private reply, Kohona categorically denied that the GSL had ever acquired chemical weapons and reported that the government has requested an investigation from the Office for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons into charges of chemical weapons use by the LTTE. (Note: any investigation would cover both sides.) Additionally, both ICRC and the Indian Ambassador reported that their medical teams treating wounded have come across no evidence of CW or phosphorous use. …..   Amb. ROBERT BLAKE, Cable: 09 COLOMBO412

As stated earlier, the only definite means of confirming the existence and subsequent use of Cluster Bombs in Sri Lanka will be to produce legitimate, authenticated images of unexploded sub-munitions or bomb casings from an exploded or unexploded Cluster Bomb. As of yet, no such imagery has surfaced from Sri Lanka. Until such pictorial evidence comes to light from the latest evolution of this story, thealleged use of Cluster Bombs by the Sri Lanka Armed Forces will continue to be just that, an uncorroborated allegation, one of many put forward by a vindictive Sri Lankan Tamil Diaspora looking t oimplicate members of the Sri Lankan Armed Forces and civilian representatives in Government in the commission of War Crimes.

Citizen Silva refers to a Sinhalese whose parents migrated when he was a toddler. Educated in the West and working as an engineer, he is committed to open-minded research and solid empirical investigations. His affinal links and multi-cutural work/freiedship networks encourage him to remain anonymous.


Filed under accountability, historical interpretation, law of armed conflict, life stories, LTTE, military strategy, news fabrication, politIcal discourse, propaganda, Rajapaksa regime, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, Tamil migration, truth as casualty of war, unusual people, world events & processes

2 responses to “The Use of Cluster Bombs in Sri Lanka: Fiction rather than Fact

  1. Pingback: Striving for Evidence of War Crimes: “Cluster Bombs” and Other Dud Weaponry | Thuppahi's Blog

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