'HR as a weapon' - Island Editorial
"It's like someone turned on the kitchen light late at
night, and the cockroaches started scurrying. We finally got them out
where we can find them and kill them".
"[They were like] sheep, flushed from a pen ...
bewildered and terrified, jarred from sleep and fleeing their bunkers
under a hell storm of fire. One by one they were cut down by attackers
they couldn't see or understand. Some were literally blown to bits by
bursts of 30mm exploding cannon shells."
This was how thousands of defenceless combatants
offering to surrender were butchered in a war. Was that crime committed
in the recently concluded Sri Lanka's war on terror? No! It is a graphic
description of how the US Air Force and the US and British troops
massacred Iraqi soldiers after the latter had given up fighting in the
first Persian Gulf War. (The two quotations concerned find themselves in
Newsday and the Colombia Journalism Review respectively.) One may get
some idea of how the western countries treat their prisoners of war!
In Iraq alone hundreds of thousands of civilians have
so far perished in war. In 1996, former US Secretary of State Madeleine
Albright, in an interview with CBS, when it was pointed that over half a
million children had died due to invasion of Iraq, had the temerity to
say, "We think the price is worth it." Today, the US is shedding tears
for civilians caught up in strife!
The US-led forces are unleashing hell on Afghanistan,
where thousands of civilians continue to die. In 2007, President Hamid
Karzai wanted US airstrikes stopped forthwith owing to mounting civilian
casualties. "While the enemy has killed hundreds of civilians this year,
a similar number of civilians have been killed by American forces," he
said. But, US air raids continue in his country against his wish! This
month, an air attack on an Afghan village killed over 100 people
including many children. Anti-terror operations conducted by the
Pakistani army at the behest of the US have left 2.4 million people
displaced and thousands of civilians dead. Even pro-American CNN has had
to report that their living conditions are worse than 'hell' and that
they are being made to eat food unfit even for cattle! It was only the
other day that British PM Gordon Brown stressed in Afghanistan the need
to step up anti-terror operations in that country so that the streets of
London would be safe. President Barack Obama is committing more troops
to a never ending war in Afghanistan.
It is against this backdrop that the US-led human
rights campaign to harass Sri Lanka should be viewed. Nothing explains
why the world has come to be plagued by terrorism than what is going on
in Geneva, where the West has ganged up against Sri Lanka in a bid to
spoil her victory over 'the world's most ruthless terrorist group'.
Terrorism thrives on such duplicity. Ironically, the US, which once used
terrorism to frighten countries perceived to be hostile into submission,
is now using human rights as a bludgeon to achieve that objective.
Britain, in spite of its history of committing gendercide and genocide
in this country to quell rebellions against its empire - in 1817/18, the
British army massacred over 30,000 males including children in Wellassa
and resorted to the scorched earth policy to put down an uprising in
that part of Sri Lanka - is also campaigning for a human rights probe by
way of punitive action against Sri Lanka for not heeding its call for
sparing terrorist leaders trapped in Mullaitivu. This kind of stinking
human rights record of the countries that have joined forces against Sri
Lanka in Geneva may have prompted Ambassador Dayan Jayatilleka to lash
out at 'colonizers' at Friday's meeting on the Swiss-EU draft resolution
on Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka's friends in the UNHRC answered her critics
eloquently and adequately. Egypt said there were 'double standards' at
the council as it addressed Sri Lanka and not
Palestine/Afghanistan/Iraq. Thailand questioned the UNHRC's wisdom of
having a special session. China wanted Sri Lanka commended for her
transparency and inclusiveness and Japan called for international
assistance to Sri Lanka. Dayan was spot on when he said there was no
need for a special session as the conflict was now over and nobody was
The outcome of yesterday's hang-Sri Lanka campaign was
not known at the time this comment was written. Whatever it may be, no
one will ever be able to bring the LTTE back to life. Miliband, Clinton
Kouchner and others will have to settle for some perverse pleasure at
Sri Lanka's expense. What they ought to realise is that they themselves
will be victims of their policy of promoting others' terrorists while
fighting theirs, as we saw when the satanic forces they had nurtured in
Afghanistan came home to roost in London and New York.
Courtesy : The Island