Item in the DAILY MIRROR, 28 April 2023… with this title “Designating Karannagoda; Russia hits back at US: Says West should not interfere in other countries affairs”
The United States has designated former Navy Commander Wasantha Karannagoda, for his alleged involvement in gross violations of human rights. The US State Department said that Karannagoda has been designated pursuant to Section 7031(c) of the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2023, due to his involvement in a gross violation of human rights during his tenure as a Naval Commander. As a result of today’s action, Karannagoda and his wife, Srimathi Ashoka Karannagoda, are ineligible for entry into the United States.
The allegation that Wasantha Karannagoda committed a gross human rights violation, documented by NGOs and independent investigations, is serious and credible, the US State Department said. By designating Wasantha Karannagoda, the United States said it reaffirms its commitment to upholding human rights, ending impunity for human rights violators, acknowledging the suffering of victims and survivors, and promoting accountability for perpetrators in Sri Lanka.
The bilateral relationship between the United States and the Government of Sri Lanka is based on 75 years of shared history, values, and a commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific. “As we continue to build our bilateral relationship, we are committed to working with the Sri Lankan government on advancing justice, accountability, and reconciliation, including promoting security reform that maintains human rights at the forefront while ensuring Sri Lanka has the resources and training to properly address emerging security concerns,” the US State Department said.
In 2020 the US designated Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva, then Commander of the Sri Lanka Army and Acting Chief of Defense Staff, due to credible information of his involvement, through command responsibility, in gross violations of human rights, namely extrajudicial killings, by the 58th Division of the Sri Lanka Army during the final phase of Sri Lanka’s Civil War in 2009.
PERTINENT CONTEXTS …. Dating from early-mid 2008 till May 2009
A: “the rebels [i. e. Tamil Tiger forces] prolonged the conflict by keeping hundreds of thousands o women and children trapped with them. They hoped for a humanitarian intervention. Puli [that is, Pulendran the head of the civilian administration of the LTTE] had been quite open about this approach. He told European friends that, just as in Kosovo, if enough civilians died in Sri Lana the world would be forced to step in. It was callous brinkmanship, played with innocent lives.” …. Frances Harrison: Still Counting the Dead, London, Portobello Book, 2012, pp 62-63…..
B: This became a central dimension in the LTTE’s inhumane defensive strategy once (B1) they had lost control of the Eastern Province and once (B2) their supply routes for arms and munitions from India and/or the sea were cut off by the SL forces advances sealed off the north-western sea frontier from Mannar to Pooneryn and (B3) the SL Navy sank several of their supply ships in the Indian Ocean in 2007.
Seishin on fire & sinking Sept 2007 …
C: Quite significantly, this strategic LTTE policy-plank was endorsed by Bishop Rayappu and other prelates of the Catholic Church within the LTTE dispensation.
D: The strategy was endorsed by the United Nations Secretariat in New York, namely Navy Pillai in the human rights branch and Ban-ki-Moon as its administrative head and witnessed in their active interventions during the war –especially through a series of visits to the island by an array of senior officials during the first four months of 2009 and Ban-ki-Moon’s hasty visit just after the war had ended in mid-May …
E: … while European Foreign Ministers in the persons of Miliband and Kouchner even rushed to Sri Lanka at the end of April 2009 and sought to pressurize President Mahinda Rajapaksa face-to-face by requesting him to restrain his armed forces from delivering a coup de grace…. https://thuppahis.com/2016/07/05/david-milibands-imperious-intervention-in-lanka-left-in-tatters/
F: … with the latter intervention following the US ambassador Blake’s ‘gentle’ [ha-ha] verbal demand face-to-face with military chief Gotabhaya in mid-April 2009: get your armed forces to cease operations ….
some pictorial illustrations of conditons in the ‘Nandhikadal Pocket” in February to May 2009…and, then, of Tamil civilians fleeing when SL Special Forces penetrated the arena in late April 2009
G: …. and many mainline Western news agencies with journalist personnel in Colombo, such as Ravi Nessman of Associated Press, served up news reports that favoured this policy of restraint on ‘humanitarian’ grounds…. [though Bryson Hull and his Reuter’s personnel sustained much more balanced readings –as did Muralidhar Reddy, Balachandran and Kanchan Prasad representing Indian news agencies}]; ….. the ‘balance’ — in my reasoning– being dependent on map-reading, contextuality and a grasp of the both the strategic and tactical features of the battle scenario .
So, do absorb some aspects depicted in the photographs below and do so while supplementing your evaluation with all –repeat ALL — Serge de Silva-Ranasinghe’s incisive representations of the battle arenas in the course of 2009 and 2010.