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Geoffrey Robertson provides Oxygen to the LTTE: Where was he when the LTTE violated every possible human right for 30 years?

Sweden, March 6 -- Geoffrey Robertson, QC, a former UN appeal judge, like many Western "experts" who often combine facts with fiction, has provided much needed Oxygen to the flickering flame of separatism promoted by the remnants of the LTTE in the Tamil Diaspora by echoing what these Diaspora elements continue to peddle around in western countries.

His statement, as reported in the Melbourne Age newspaper dated 6th March 2013 that "President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Perhaps emboldened by getting away with murder - the army slaughter of some 40,000 Tamil civilians in 2009 - his government has now moved to destroy the independence of the judiciary. It has sacked the Chief Justice for a decision that it finds inconvenient", is one such example of unproven, unsubstantiated fiction.

While the issue regarding the removal of the Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayaka has an element of truth to the extent that many agree with Mr Robertson that she was not given a fair hearing, there is divided opinion about the constitutional right of the Parliament and the President to have done what they did. Besides charges relating to the Supreme Courts responsibility in interpreting the constitution, there were other charges levelled against the Chief Justice. It needs to be acknowledged however that there are doubts in the minds of many Sri Lankans whether the government acted morally and ethically, and justly, in dealing with the Chief Justice even if they acted constitutionally in removing her from office.

In this respect Mr Robertson has expressed the views shared by many Sri Lankans. It needs to be mentioned that the legal processes associated with the Chief Justices dismissal are still not over and five petitions submitted by concerned parties against the removal are to be heard soon by a nine member bench of the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka. Mr Robertson may be assured that the justice system is not dead in Sri Lanka.

However where he strays into a make believe world created by supporters of the LTTE is when he mentions "the Army slaughter of 40,000 Tamil civilians". An unsubstantiated, uncorroborated piece of fiction. Mr Robertson has strayed from his pitch against the Sri Lankan government in respect of the Chief Justices dismissal by linking it to something that he of all people should not have linked knowing he was publicising an unfounded, uncorroborated piece of fiction. To say the least, this is very unbecoming of a person of repute as Mr Robertson.

Mr Robertson should do more research into the other side of this story without providing oxygen to the LTTE supporters to keep alive their push for a separate State in Sri Lanka, by parroting what they want internationally respected personalities like him to do. If his motive is to safeguard human rights in Sri Lanka, he should tread carefully and separate fact from fiction as he would be doing a great disservice to those whose rights have been or are being violated.

Mr Robertson has not mentioned the fact that the LTTE used innocent civilians as human shields showing total disdain and indifference to the rights of those innocent people. He has not mentioned that over 300,000 innocent Tamils and thousands of not so innocent Tamils who fought for the LTTE were also saved and subsequently rehabilitated and released back to the community. He has also not mentioned the massacre of thousands of innocent civilians by the LTTE during the 30 year conflict. He has not mentioned the recruitment of thousands of child soldiers by the LTTE and their deaths when sent to the battle field as front line troops.

There are many other factually correct and relevant things he has not mentioned.

The unfortunate and strange thing is that Mr Robertson has never ever said anything about those human rights violations throughout the 30 year period when the LTTE violated every possible right of human beings. Perhaps, as he had been quiet for 30 years when the LTTE violated human rights as no other, he should get back to his shell and remain there as his credibility to be spokesperson for human rights is in serious doubt.

Mr Robertson may say he is arguing for a principle and for the justice system in Sri Lanka. However, in doing so, he is contradicting himself as he remained silent when the rights of thousands of Sri Lankans, including the rights of children were being violated by the LTTE for 30 years.

(This is the response to an article by Geoffry Robertson in today's Melbourne Age newspaper. Justice Crushed in Sri Lanka)

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Publication:Asian Tribune (India)
Geographic Code:9SRIL
Date:Mar 6, 2013
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