Category Archives: war crimes

Kunanayakam’s Incisive Review of the West’s Machinations at Geneva and Lanka’s Failures

Gus Mathews

This is a very incisive interview with Tamara Kunanayakam, a former ambassador to the UNHRC in Geneva. In a no-nonsense manner she unravels why the pursuit of Sri Lanka by the Western nations is taking place.

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Sustaining Memory as a Central Facet of Transitional Justice

Gehan Gunatilleke: “The Right to Memory: The Forgotten Facet of Transitional Justice* with highlighting emphasis imposed by The Editor, Thuppahi

The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting — Milan  Kundera, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting (1979)

Introduction

Memory does not explicitly feature among the four pillars of transitional justice: truth, justice, reparations and guarantees of non-recurrence. Hence the precise role memory plays within a transitional justice process is often left to those negotiating the contours of the process. Memory is a vital ingredient in ascertaining the truth and in securing evidence to ensure justice for victims and survivors. Moreover, memorialisation of loss has a place in the symbolic initiatives owed to victims and survivors under the reparations pillar. Meanwhile, public memorials commemorating man-made tragedies contribute towards a society’s collective commitment to non-recurrence. Thus memory often becomes the lifeblood that preserves and binds the traditional pillars of transitional justice.

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Ilse Weber: Two Lullabies

Tony Donaldson

Apropos of your item on Jewish lyrics and compositions from the depths of misery in Nazi concentration camps, I convey herewith  two lullabies by the composer Ilse Weber who was sent with her family to Theresienstadt concentration camp in 1942. She worked as a nurse in the camp, wrote poems and songs, and performed her songs accompanying herself on the guitar. Here are two songs – a quiet moving lullaby called Wiegala, and the song Ich wandre durch Theresienstadt (I wandered through Theresienstadt). It is said that she sang the song Wiegala while facing her death. She died in Auschwitz in 1944.

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Songs and Music from Auschwitz and Other Concentration Camps

Meagan Flynn, in Washington Post, 17 April 2018, where the title runs thus: “How thousands of songs composed in concentration camps are finding new life”

  Ilse Weber 1903-1944

Ilse Weber, a Jewish poet, was imprisoned at the concentration camp at Terezin in German-occupied Czechoslovakia when she wrote a song called “When I Was Lying Down in Terezin’s Children’s Clinic.” The song was about caring for sick children at the camp where Weber worked as a nurse. She had little-to-no medicine available. But she had her poetry and her music — some of which her husband managed to salvage by hiding the written verses in a garden shed after her death at Auschwitz in 1944.

Auschwitz Concentration Camp 

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Debating Human Rights in Warring Contexts

Chandre Dharmawardana, 30 March 2021, in Email Memo entitledAlleged Human Rights Abuses of the Sri Lankan Army” ………..  a memo commenting on responses to his previous Essay[i] … with highlighting imposed by The Editor, Thuppahi

Ramesh Somasundaram, (commenting on the Thuppahi website) is absolutely right in saying “that the Sri Lankan governments and the Sri Lankan military personal have been correctly accused of human rights abuses. “Sri Lankan Soldiers have been accused of grave crimes, and they should be investigated and brought to trial. Many of the soldiers were simply carrying out orders, and so the high command must bear the final responsibility except in cases where the soldiers exceeded their acts as soldiers and acted even more inhumanely than needed.

Situation Map 2 February 2009an excellent work by, I think?, the Daily Mirror

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Boom! 3rd May 1986: Air Lanka’s Tristar 36 blown up on Runway by LTTE

Menaka Ashi Fernando, whose chosen title is “The Deadly Flyaway Kit: Explosion in AirLanka Tristar, Part 1 –The Explosion and Its Immediate Effects”

Johann Chunchee

Every 3rd of May, for the past 34 years, like a bunch of anxious surfers, we catch the rising wave of grief, glide on the intensifying emotions for a while and fall back to our senses as the wave of reality breaks. Although words can never remove the ache, I have worded this in memory of our dear friend Johann Chunchee who was killed that fateful day, and in honour of all my colleagues and other Air Lanka staff who survived the carnage” 

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Lord Naseby targets Adele Balasingham …. and Lord Tariq Ahmad

Lord Michael Naseby, in Island, 5 March 2021, where the title is “Lord Naseby asks why Adele not prosecuted in UK for child recruitment”

Lord Naseby President of the UK all party British-Sri Lanka Parliamentary group, has questioned the failure on the part of the UK to prosecute senior LTTE leader Adela Balasingham, wife of the outfit’s late theoretician Anton Balasingham. Lord Naseby said that Adele, who had been involved with the LTTE for several decades, was responsible for recruitment and deployment of child soldiers.

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A Lament: The Geneva ‘Games’ and Lanka’s Failures

Sarath Gamani De Silva, in The Sunday Island, 26 February 2021, where the title runs  “Problems in Geneva: Facts that brought us here””

The annual patriotic taunts and the laments of the majority are heard as the day of reckoning approaches in Geneva. We are shouting ourselves hoarse, complaining that the whole world is ganging up against the brave Sri Lankans, to punish them for eliminating the most brutal terrorist outfit the world has ever seen. It is true that what was achieved in 2009 is something that no other country could do in eliminating terrorism. But does that guarantee peace when the basic grievances that led to civil unrest over the years have not been addressed?

This article is not an attempt to justify violence, untruth or deplorable and unprincipled activities of other countries. Nor is it to devalue the achievements up to 2009. The intention is to open the eyes of my own countrymen to the reality of the hopeless situation facing the nation.

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A German Scholar’s Incisive Review of the Western Powers’ Treatment of Sri Lanka, 2009-21

Mathias Keitle, a German scholar from Statalendorf ++

Sri Lanka eliminated a dreaded terrorist group, with intricate global links, but receives little credit for it! Unlike elsewhere in the world, Sri Lanka has succeeded in resettling 300,000 IDPs (Internal Displaced Persons). There are no starving children for the NGOs to feed but this gets ignored!

Sri Lanka has avoided mass misery, epidemics and starvation, but the West takes no notice of this. Sri Lanka has attained enviable socio-economic standards for a developing country while eliminating terrorism but gets no
acknowledgement.

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Lord Naseby’s Scathing Review of the UNHRC Report on Sri Lanka

  Sri Lanka – UNHRC-Ref A/HRC/46/20- 12 January 2021  = Report of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on Sri Lanka’

Assessment by the Rt. Hon. the Lord Naseby PC- Hon President All Party British-Sri Lanka Parliamentary Group. **++**

I have just finished a careful read of this extraordinary document which glosses over the full extent of the War when a group of vindictive terrorists tried to create a Tamil quasi neo-socialist revolutionary state by first murdering all the moderate Tamil leaders, then murdering President Premadasa and Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, as well as countless ministers, parliamentarians, civil society leaders and finally using extreme violence to wage war against the armed forces of the democratically elected Government of Sri Lanka. All in the name of Eelam.

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