After three hectic days of official work in Wayamba Province, inspecting and evaluating the progress of work related to Rural Electrification Programme, I was happy to be able to settle down on the immediate Sunday, to commence reading a very interesting and informative book on Wikileaks, authored by award winning Guardian (UK) journalists –David Leigh and Luke Hording. When reading the book carefully, my special attention was drawn to three noteworthy sentences.
The first was an utterance attributed to a US helicopter gunship pilot. When asked to comment about the deaths of twelve innocent people, including two Reuters journalists and injuring two young children in Iraq, in 2007, over his bombing, the pilot lost no time in saying, “well, it’s their fault for bringing their kids into the battle…” I was wondering about UK-US diplomatic responses, if one of our Kefir or Crocodile helicopter pilots had made such a remark, when fighting the LTTE- notorious for using children as human shields.
The second utterance attributed to the famous US General Tommy Frank is more noteworthy. When confronted with the high rate of civilian casualties in Afghanistan, “well, we don’t do body counts…”quipped, the General. There again for a moment I wondered about UK-US diplomatic reaction, if a similar remark had been attributed to one of our Major Generals or Lieutenants Generals, over the civilian casualties in North, during the height of fighting in the period, 2007-2009.
The third, but the most noteworthy sentence I picked was about the civilian deaths in Iraq. According to the Wikileaks leaked cables on Iraq war logs, at least 109,032 deaths had occurred during the period 2004-2009, out of which, 66,081 were confirmed as civilian. I just could not imagine the volume of queries we would have been confronted with, if our war logs on humanitarian operation against Neo Nazi LTTE had come out with a similar figure on civilian deaths. (The population of Iraq is nearly equal to that of Sri Lanka)
Having read the most noteworthy parts of the book, it was time for me to read the newspapers of the day. The banner headline of “The Sunday Times” drew my attention.” The US delivers demarche”. According to the news item, under the curious headline, the United States of America wanted the final report of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC), to be discussed at the 19th secession of the UN Human Right Council, scheduled to be held in Geneva, March next year (2012)
It is interesting to remember that, once again it was the US, in the previous UNHR session held in Geneva (May 2011), raised our accountability issues related to the LTTE. The US insisted on having details about the final phase of the war, which we were compelled to wage against a terrorist outfit that brought about unaccountable destruction and misery to all Sri Lankans for a period over thirty years. The entire world was aware as to how the desperate attempts made by the US led western powers to rescue Velupullai Prabhakaran and his neo Nazis mafia had failed, during the final stages of war.
Smarting over their failure, they have now resorted to an interesting course of action. They want us to respond to their quarries over so-called accountabilities. The US led western powers made the same mistake when Jammu and Kashmir separatist terrorists hijacked an Indian Air Line plane-IC 814-,with 160 passengers, on 24th December 1999.The demand made by the hijackers was to release their terrorists leaders and a ransom of US $ 200 million. At the time, India was governed by Baharath Janatha Party (BJP) and it is interesting to take note of what L.K. Advani has to say about the episode in his autobiography.
“..When the (hijacked) aircraft landed in Dubai, I spoke to Robert Blackwell, the then US ambassador in India, seeking urgent US assistance. We had received information that the US ambassador in UAE had reached the airport. Curiously, the UAE authorities had not allowed the Indian ambassador in Dubai to enter the airport. I felt that the Americans with their considerable military presence and diplomatic influence in the Gulf region could have taken some effective proactive steps to put the hijacked plan out of action. I was deeply disappointed that they did not even try. A few days after the crisis had ended. [After releasing most wanted three terrorists at the exchange of passengers, later they proved their capability in terrorism by way of planning and executing 9/11 disaster and the attack on Indian Parliament (13 Dec 2001)]. When Blackwell called on me, I expressed my displeasure to him. This is not what we understand by Indio-US cooperation in fighting terrorism….” Fortunately, what the veteran Indian politician failed to understand was clearly understood by the Sri Lankan leaders when they encircled the LTTE leadership in May 2009.Our leaders did not seek any help from Robert Blake and others, who were trying to project the Mullivikkal incident as a great hostage drama that warrants freeing of certain leaders to a safe destination in exchange of civilians. This plan was later confirmed by Kumaran Pathmanathan(K.P.) and others. Unfortunately, India gave in to what the US and the West wanted, and thereby paved the way for the released terrorist leaders to continue their destructive activities on Indian soil, at least for another decade.
I was somewhat curios when I came to know that Tamil Nadu had been on Ms. Clinton’s itinerary when she visited India recently. Why was she so anxious to call on Ms.Jayalilithaa when it was known that she was opposed to the Delhi government? Why did not she opt for Ms. Sushma Swarji (BJP opposition leader),Ms. Mamatha Banergy (who defeated 30-year-old Communist rule in Bangalore) or Ms. Mayawathi (the leader of oppressed Dalits and the Chief Minister of powerful Utara Pradesh?)The intentions were clear. The US wanted to send a message to Sri Lanka. Now the US is leading Human Rights and accountability issues against Sri Lanka, worldwide.
How can the US talk about Channel-4 footage, which is of some questionable origin, when they had been confronted with their own video footage, which clearly showed how they killed journalists and kids using AH-64 Apache helicopter. When David Leigh of Guardian (UK) met famous celebrity on Right to Information, Julian Assange on 21st March 2010, in Quality hotel, Tonsberg Norway, he was shocked to see that video footage, taken by an AH-64 Apache military camera, as it hovered over a Baghdad suburb, firing its 30 mm gun, while virtually being invisible to those on the ground. The helicopter was one kilometer up in the sky. That was a classified record of a scandal.
In 2007 The US army pilots in a pair of circling helicopters had managed to kill two innocent employees of the Reuter news agency-Sqeed Chmagh and Namir Noor Eldeen. Altogether twelve innocent people were killed; two young children were critically wounded. Told on the radio traffic that children were hurt, a pilot transmitted, “well it’s their fault for bringing their kids in to battle.”(David Leigh and Luke Harding on wikleaks-2011.
Now US officials are talking about the deaths of innocent civilians during the final days of war against neo Nazi LTTE terrorists, simply based on CH-04 video footage and Darusman’s one-sided report. They continuously keep calling for international investigation. Why are they not investigating, Bradley Maning’s revelations of US crimes against humanity in Iraq and Afghanistan? In March 2010 they tortured and jailed a young Information-age soldier for passing on a million classified military documents to Wikileaks.
One of the shocking videos he up-loaded to U tube was an Apache gun fire. Manning, once noted that “Thereafter (after having gained access to the US secret files) everything started slipping. I saw things differently. I had always questioned the (way) things worked and investigated to find the truth. But that was a point where I was part of something, actively involved in something that I was completely against…” (wired.com) Manning had a consciousness and confusion as a human being. So he rose against the Hypocritical US military-politico system which preached others to follow human Rights and accountability while they breached it in every sense.
When Wikileaks founder Julian Assange had a deal with Guardian (UK),they had seen millions of Iraqi and Afghanistan war logs written by US soldiers. Here was David Leigh and Luke Harding’s account on Iraqi war logs.
“………The Iraqi war logs were all about numbers. Both the US administration and the British Prime minister refused to admit how many ordinary Iraqis had been killed since the mixed blessings of their being “liberated” by US and UK troops. General Tommy Frank had notoriously been quoted in 2002, saying, – “we do not do body counts” – a year before he led the US military invasion in Iraqi.
“We do not do body counts” became an unspoken Mantara of Bush and Blair as well. Authorities meticulously recorded that 4,748 US and allied troops lost their lives up to Christmas Day 2010. But Western governments claimed for years that no other official casualties existed.
The publication of the huge leaked data base of Iraqi field reports in October 2010 gave the lie to that. The logs disclosed detailed incident by incident record of at least 66,081 violent deaths of civilians in Iraqi since invasion. The database begins a year late in 2004, omitting the high casualties of direct 2003 invasion period itself and ends on 31st December 2009. Furthermore, that the US figures are plainly unreliable in respect of the most sensitive issue-civilian deaths directly caused by their own military activities.
For example, the town of Falluja was the site of two major urban battles in 2004, which reduced the place to near rubble (All the hospitals, schools and humanitarian shelters were bombed and destroyed.) Yet no child deaths whatever are recorded by the army loggers!(Now they keep asking us for Puthumathalan casualty figures!) According to their war logs the total number of deaths amounts to 66,081 civilians, plus 15,196 members of Iraqi security forces, 23,984 people classed as enemy, overall the war logs detailed 109,032 deaths!
No internal or International Investigations. No UN panel was appointed to advice UNSG for these deaths, disappearances and torture. No debates in UN Security Council. No resolutions through UNSC or UNHRC. No lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commissions appointed.
Now the naked truth is that, their hypocrisy is leading not only Bradley Manning and Julian Assange to wage war against secrecy and hypocrisy. They are reawaking a kind of neo Nazi knights of Templars like Andre’s Breivik, a Christian fundamentalist crusader against the Muslim world. The President Obama, Mrs. Clinton and Prime Minister Cameron should note that politics, devoid of ethics and morality invariably reduces humans to a level of beasts. Now it is evident that their hypocrisy creates beasts on both sides, Alsawahari in on one side and Andre’s Breivik on the other. Let us please ask them not to drag us on to either side.