By Shenali D. Waduge
|Lt. Col. Lawrence Smith
|Lt. Col. Anthony Gash
Lt. Col. Lawrence Smith was the US Defence Attaché to the US embassy in Colombo during the
conflict. Lt. Col. Anthony Gash was the UK Defence Attaché to the UK High Commission in Colombo during the conflict. Both were privy to top level information which they passed on to their respective Governments.
Their information and their observations are to be taken far more seriously than the third and fourth party LTTE-linked data that UNHRC is using against Sri Lanka. The Defence Attachés of both Governments have effectively quelled two of the most serious allegations against Sri Lanka – alleged killing of surrendered and bogus figures of dead.
It is the allegation of killing that constitutes the allegation of war crimes against the Sri Lanka Armed Forces fast-forwarding resolutions and punitive actions. However, if such crimes were not committed, what is the UNHRC up to? This is what Sri Lanka’s defence team via the Foreign Ministry must be presenting. Prove your case with facts and not fairytales.
Lt. Col. Lawrence Smith’s comments made at the Sri Lanka Defence Seminar in May 2011 (whether it is his own opinion or that of the US Government) is irrelevant, as the statement is generated by the documents in his hands while holding the portfolio as US Defence Attaché to the US Embassy in Colombo. Thus, his comments clearly negates the white flag surrender fairytales.
How silly of the US to downplay comments made by its own Military Attaché who is obviously quoting from the same report that he sends to his Government.
Lt. Col. Anthony Gash (Feb 2007-Jun 2009)
The UK Defence Attaché Lt. Colonel Anthony Gash’s despatches from January to May 2009 also demolish a key allegation of killing 40,000 civilians which is the single basis to declare Sri Lanka’s armed forces as war criminals.
His reports were classified by the UK Government as ‘secret’.
Sri Lanka must also be grateful to Lord Naseby who is taking a principled stand to fight the truth on facts.
Lord Naseby met Lt. Col. Gash in Colombo in early 2009
Lord Naseby challenged the classification of Gash’s reports as ‘secret’ via the UK Freedom of Information Act 2000 and spent three years doing so.
Lord Naseby was given 39 pages of a heavily-blackened report.
What was readable clearly proved 40,000 deaths did not take place.
Lord Naseby has been doing what Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister/Secretary and all those tasked to represent and defend Sri Lanka have been too lethargic to do. Digging for ways to prove the false allegations against Sri Lanka was what mattered and Lord Naseby stood to the defence of truth.
Sri Lanka foolishly co-sponsored the UNHRC Resolution in 2015.
Lord Naseby declared the contents of the despatches to the House of Lords on 12 October 2017.
Had the Government of Sri Lanka tabled Lord Naseby’s painstakingly sought facts, the UNHRC lies would have fallen flat. Then Foreign Minister Marapana admitted in 2019 that the Government did not use Lord Naseby’s revelation appropriately. What stops successive Foreign Ministers from doing so?
Lt. Col. Gash’s reports to the UK reveal facts too true to chew.
LTTE was keeping civilians as hostage/human shields
LTTE was controlling NFZ
LTTE was confiscating food and medicines sent for civilians using them for their combatants and families only
SL armed forces were carrying out the humanitarian operation with compassion at great security risk
What is clear is that both the Defence Attachés of the US and UK foreign missions in Colombo were pretty certain that no foul play took place.
Thus, it is pathetic for UNHRC to claim so and demand war crimes tribunals and hybrid courts.
So far it’s been 12 years and even with a Missing Persons mechanism set up – the UNHRC cannot produce 40,000 names of the dead or even missing. This showcases what a farce the allegation is.
The sealing of witnesses for 20 years is a super ploy to ensure lies and liars are kept hidden for 20 years after which the damage is done. We can recall how Milosevic was exonerated from war crimes charges 14 years after his death having been put to prison on bogus charges.
We do not wish to see the same happening to our war heroes by the same warped minds handling these kangaroo courts in the UN. How many tribunals and Truth Commissions have they held and what is the gain they have secured from these except providing themselves employment?
We have a clear case of bias and hypocrisy at play in Sri Lanka’s conflict. The very nations that supported the LTTE are attempting to put Sri Lanka on trial, completely ignoring their role in helping terror. They continue to do so by allowing LTTE diaspora to operate in their countries.
When the Tamils living in Sri Lanka wish to move on with life, the LTTE diaspora and their Western stooges together with India want the opposite.
When even LTTE combatants who have lost their childhood, lost parts of their bodies, lost opportunity to become somebody in life, want to move on, the LTTE diaspora and their Western stooges together with India want to create more troubles.
It is time the people of Sri Lanka realise the larger picture.