The article by the much-decorated Rear Admiral was a misnomer in its heading. The entirety of it was the ‘heroic and brave’ acts of the armed forces. No mention whatsoever of the victims of ‘missing persons’ who are the living relatives. No empathy at all! ‘Missing’ is assumed as ‘dead’ or ‘living abroad’!
Sri Lanka never conscripted into the armed forces. It was voluntary enlisting where every day mile-long queues of young men were outside Army Headquarters. They were desperate to enlist as it was at the most attractive employment available. Sri Lankan armed forces had hundreds of thousands of desertions. Many amnesties, even today!
To be a soldier is a job. Paid for your services, like any other. There is no glory or heroism or ‘sacrifice’. Soldiers are trained to fight for their country or another. Americans and Allied combatants fought in Vietnam, Iraq and WW I and II. Thousands are still in Afghanistan. No homage is paid.
The Nuremburg Trials were instituted immediately after the defeat of the German Army. Investigations of war crimes and atrocities are an important part of victory. Persons ‘missing’ or unaccounted for need closure.
Nobody debates the defeat of the LTTE. It had to be done. It was the sole responsibility of the State. No hallelujahs or genuflections are needed!
The UN Commission on Human Rights formed in 1946 was replaced in 2006 by the Human Rights Council in Geneva. It was only after 2006 that effective measures were enabled. After 2006 democracies were bound by the Commission within the framework of the UN General Assembly.
Human rights is fundamental to democracies. Respect of human life – living, dead, or missing – is of utmost importance. It is I believe an important aspect of military training. To differ is an abuse in itself.