Sri Lanka, UK colonial rule and UNHRC

Thursday, 11 March 2021 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

By Shenali D. Waduge

The US has outsourced their 2021 Resolution against Sri Lanka to its poodle, the UK. UK is accusing Sri Lanka of killing 40,000 civillians towards the end of the war, and while this number cannot even be proved by providing in the least, the names of the supposed dead after 12 years, the UK’s killings in then Ceylon over almost 150 years of occupation hasn’t even been acknowledged or apologised for. UK should descend from its bogus virtuous ground and come clean on its colonial crimes, which are being burnt to hide the horrors committed in the name of the Queen/King. 

The killings by the British in Ceylon are far more than the killings by even the LTTE across three decades of terror. Will Britain atone for these murders? Will the UN take Britain to the dock for human rights violations, war crimes and crime against humanity? Can Britain, with soiled hands, covering a history of 500 years colonial rule, and Britain’s role in Iraq, Afghanistan and other modern wars/conflicts, be a judge when its own sins are not investigated? The travesty of justice is taking place in the UNHRC with the manner UK is heading the core group against Sri Lanka, whilst hiding its own crimes against the world.

The Kandyan Convention was signed in 1815, ceding powers of the entire island of Sri Lanka to the British. The subsequent breaches of promises assured under the terms of the convention resulted in the natives rebelling against the British. Brownrigg was later to say that he agreed to Clause Five of the Convention assuring the inviolable place for Buddhism, only to gain control of the Kingdom. Native Indians declared that the white man speaks with a forked tongue and this proved correct.

Crimes of the British Colonial Army – Madugalle Massacre – 9 Dec 1817

Major MacDonald committed arson in Badulla, burning down an entire village, which the Governor approved and praised, and held as an example to imitate – CO 54/56 7th Nov. 1817. How would UNHRC react to this?

Lt. J. Maclaine of the 73rd regiment hung Kandyan prisoners without trial and relished watching them being hung while having breakfast. How would UNHRC react to this?1 

Uva-Wellassa Massacre (1817-1818) – Kingdom of Kandy

The British soldiers were ordered to massacre the entire male population in Uva. How would UNHRC react to this? The British soldiers were ordered to kill all the cattle and animals, burn homes and property, destroy the irrigation systems and paddy fields, under what is today known as the scorched-earth policy. How would UNHRC react to this?

Lynching Tree by the British – 1818

Paranagama on the Kandy-Badulla pathway was where the British had a military post.

Matale Rebellion – 1848

The British were plundering lands under the Crown Lands Ordinance 1840/Wastelands Ordinance.

Agriculture lands were being destroyed and replaced with coffee, and later tea, which were all meant for export. The refusal of the Sinhalese to work on British plantations resulted in importing Tamil coolies from South India. The British must also be held responsible for the thousands of coolies killed en route in severe conditions.

The Martial Law was declared on 29 July 1848 by Governor Torrington when the natives opposed severe taxes. The British rounded leaders and executed them without trial. British excesses were many.

The British military occupied Matale, issued proclamation, confiscated property and shot men without ceremony. Torrington continued martial law where about a hundred alleged ‘rebels’ were shot or hung, while others were publicly flogged and imprisoned.

Weera Purang Appu and Gongale Goda Banda and a monk by the name of Kudapoilla Unnanse were shot under orders of Torrington, despite appeals by the Queens’ advocate H.C. Selby. Torrington was the cousin of the UK Prime Minister.

The UK has no moral right to be bringing any resolutions without atoning for its sins first. The crimes committed by the British in then Ceylon are far more heinous than the bogus, cooked up fabrications on paper.

Many of the supposedly dead may well be living in UK under new names allowed by the British Government. When after 12 years, the accusers cannot produce the names of the supposed 40,000 ‘killed’, it more or less showcases there is no case for war crimes against the Sri Lanka Armed Forces.

Brownrigg and Torrington have committed crimes far more heinous in then Ceylon, than that the LTTE leader Prabakaran managed to do; that is the truth the UK has to accept.