Which countries helped the Sri Lankan government in the Sri Lankan civilian war 2009?

Mahamtan Vijaykumar    23 January 2020

Well, let’s see…

  • India
  • The Indian government’s support for Tamil Eelam died with Indira Gandhi. While the IPKF disaster and Rajiv Gandhi assassination killed any shattered remnants of sympathy the Indian government may have had with Eelam Tamils. The Indian government was just as big of an enemy to the LTTE as the Sri Lankan government, the difference is India is incredibly influential worldwide unlike Sri Lanka which has very little influence. If India had supported the LTTE from start to finish, Tamil Eelam would be an independent state.
    • India’s two primary fears of Tamil Eelam were:
    • 1. Tamil Eelam independence may lead to Tamil Nadu independence, if that happens, it would hurt India economically and geopolitically
    • 2. Tamil Eelam, as a de-facto state, proved to be incredibly militarily and technologically advanced compared to other separatists groups and de-facto states worldwide. Prabhakaran made it clear he would not work for India’s best interests, as such, Tamil Eelam, given its advancement, may have become as military structured as Israel and architectural prosperous as Singapore. The success of the state, exemplified through its brief success during the ceasefire(2001–2006), may have lead to Eelam being allied with other foreign powers, possibly enemies with India, engulfing their influence in the region, hence, alienating India’s. (Note*: China’s grip on Sri Lanka was India’s fear with LTTE)
  • India, post-1991, had begun consistently aiding Sri Lanka economically and militarily. During Eelam war 3, as the LTTE saw a series of victories, India became Sri Lanka’s biggest military trading partner and economic subsidizer.
    • As former SL PM Ranil Wickremisghe states:[1]
  • “When I was the prime minister of Sri Lanka previously, the LTTE was in a very strong position. Our economy was weak. Mr. Vajpayee(Indian PM 1998–2004) helped us develop the economy and extended military training. We were able to stop the sea Tigers (LTTE’s sea wing) because of him
  • Gotabhaya Rajapksa, current SL president
  • “We had a very good understanding with the Congress government in India, especially its bureaucrats. We were able to get their fullest support in defeating the LTTE.
  • During the final stages of the war, where mass human rights violations were taking place, India was governed by the INC, led by Rajiv Gandhi’s widow, Sonia Gandhi, who controlled Congress at the time
    • It was Sonia Gandhi who decided and convinced Indian PM Manmohan Singh(2004–2014) that defeating the LTTE and killing Prabhakaran was more important in safeguarding India’s interests than allowing China and Pakistan to lay their grips on the island. Sonia Gandhi, during the ceasefire, made it adamant that the only solution to the conflict was a military one. The notion to “maintain peace was” far from that of reality as she routinely advised the Sri Lankan government on possible military strategies, civilian population control, media suppression and IC negligence to a full-scale offensive. Her influence, alongside Ranil’s, played a significant role in dividing the LTTE leadership, ex. Karuna and KP’s betrayals.
    • Sam Rajappa, The Statesman journalist states[2] :
  • It was after this group’s successful initiative(The Tamil Nadu civil society group) that India changed track and gave the green signal to the Sri Lankan government to go all out to decimate the LTTE without insisting on a political solution to resolve the ethnic crisis. According to sources in Colombo, Sonia Gandhi wanted LTTE leader Velupillai Pirapaharan and its intelligence chief Pottu Amman decapitated and pledged all military support to Sri Lanka to achieve her goal. The then-national security adviser MK Narayanan, foreign secretary Shivshankar Menon and the clique controlling the Prime Minister’s Office put Sonia Gandhi’s interest above national interest and actively assisted the brutal Sri Lankan genocide that could be seen in the Channel 4 documentary thus creating the quagmire Sri Lanka finds itself in. This is evident from the fact that while the whole world is seething at what they saw in the documentary, the government of India is deafeningly silent. There is every possibility of Rajapaksa and the company being hauled up before the International Court of Justice at The Hague to stand trial for war crimes and genocide. In the event, New Delhi cannot escape responsibility for this horrendous brutality. The bell is tolling…In a sense, the Mullivaaikkal debacle was an Italian vendetta where the assassination at Sreeperumbhudoor was perceived as being the reason for the carnage on the sands of Karaithuraipattru AGA division.
  • Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, Karunanidhi, loyal to Indira Gandhi adamantly aided the government in the war against the LTTE. Karunanidhi wasn’t responsible for the chaos like Gandhi, however, his silence and support for Congress proved detrimental. Karunanidhi ignored Prabhakaran’s request for assistance, allowed TN police to arrest LTTE assets, refused to denounce support for Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government, etc.
    • RAW’s task force dubbed, Tamil Nadu Coastal Security Group, supported by Karunanidhi, allowed New Dehli to limit LTTE activity in Tamil Nadu, prevent LTTE leaders from escaping to Tamil Nadu, and destroyed the LTTE’s TN weapons smuggling network in 2007.
    • Former CM Jayalalitha stated:[3]
  • Karunanidhi did not press the Centre for the implementation of a resolution adopted by the State Assembly in 2011 which demanded the imposition of the economic embargo on Sri Lanka and that those engaged in war crimes be brought to justice through a resolution in United Nations. Last year, when the Union government watered down a “fairly strong” US-sponsored resolution in the United Nations Human Rights Council, he should have condemned it. He remained silent even when it became obvious, though Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s letter, that it was at the instance of the Union government that the resolution was weakened
  • Politically, India had pressured the international community, alongside the US, to label the LTTE as a terrorist organization while defending the GOSL at UNHRC hearings. It was Indian caucus members of the Canadian conservative party that convinced its leadership to ban the LTTE. They also played a vital role in preventing Seeman from getting Canadian citizenship.
  • Militarily, India had given the SLA a loan of $100 million US and had supplied them with fighter jets, attack helicopters, and arms. During the ceasefire, India had provided the SLA with JY 11 3D radars for $5 million, two Indra IN-PC-2D radars free, 13 MiG 29 squadrons, hundreds of flak jackets, 5 attack helicopters, and etc.
  • RAW gave the SLA access to Indian satellites and drones to observe LTTE operations in the jungles while the Indian Air Force conducted routine airstrikes on Sea Tiger vessels and cargo-ships full of weapons while the Indian Navy created a blockade on the outskirts of the Indian Ocean to prevent the importation of LTTE arms and the escape of high-level LTTE commanders. The Indian Navy, alone, destroyed 10 of the LTTE’s “floating warehouses”, which considerably weakened the Sea Tigers. The Indian Navy was involved in reconnaissance missions and the provision of intelligence to the Sri Lankan Navy, which, as mentioned previously, subsequently carried airstrikes on Sea Tiger vessels.
  • Sri Lanka became the single largest recipient of Indian military training, and in 2008, India further extended the annual training slots for the Sri Lankan armed forces. Moreover, an informal exchange mechanism between high‐level Indian and Sri Lankan delegations (two of Rajapaksa’s brothers and his secretary, on the Sri Lankan side, and the national security advisor, the foreign secretary, and the defense secretary, on the Indian side) was reportedly established, and the two delegations met frequently in this capacity in the years 2007‐2009.[4]
  • Sri Lankan Navy Admiral, Wasantha Karannagoda, states:
  • LTTE supply ships were eliminated, one by one, with input from Indian naval intelligence, cutting off all supplies to the rebel-held areas…That, in turn, allowed us to make rapid advances and unravel the de facto state the Tigers had established in the north and east.
  • India, as of today, adamantly rejects the UNHRC proposal of an international war crimes inquiry against the GOSL
  • China
  • China has become Sri Lanka’s biggest ally
  • During the final years of the civil war, China had begun it’s “silk road” project and began conducting “debt traps” against neighboring countries to take control of their harbors. Sri Lanka has two key harbors that displayed a large interest to the Chinese government, the Trincomalee port, controlled by the LTTE, and the Hambantota port, controlled by the government. In order to seize both ports, the government requested that the Chinese help them defeat the LTTE.
  • As such, China donated $7 billion dollars in military funding to the Sri Lankan government, gave them a “gift of 6 f-7 fighter jets, gave Sri Lankan air force pilots extensive training, ammunition, anti-tank guided missiles, rocket launchers, shoulder-fired surface-to-air missiles, deep penetration bombs and rockets, mortar ammunition, night vision devices, artillery, armor, mortars, security equipment, tanks, jets, naval vessels, radars, and communications equipment(Including €27.8 million ($37.6m) of ammunition)
    • The Independent UK states[5] :
  • China leaped into the breach, increasing aid to nearly $1bn (£690m) to become the island’s biggest donor, giving tens of millions of dollars’ worth of sophisticated weapons, and making a free gift of six F7 fighter jets to the Sri Lankan air force. China encouraged its ally Pakistan to sell more arms and to train pilots to fly the new planes. And, crucially, China prevented the UN Security Council from putting Sri Lanka on its agenda.
  • Norinco, a Chinese manufacturing company, provided $200 million US of weapons to the GOSL alone. [6]
  • Poly Technologies, a Chinese arms-dealing company, alone donated 120 mm mortar shells for the army, of which 70,000 rounds were priced at $10.4 million.
    • Additional imports include 68,000 rounds of varied 152 mm artillery shell worth nearly $20 million besides 50,000 81 mm high-explosive mortar bombs for $3.7 million, all of which the army needs to reinforce its ‘pro-active’ military strategy against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)
  • The Chinese government pledged $ 2.7 million worth of arms, including a varied range of ammunition like 100,000 14.5 mm cartridges, 2,000 RPG-7 rockets and 500 81 mm airburst mortar shells to the Sri Lankan Navy
    • There were also 50 Type 82 14.5 mm twin-barrel naval guns, 200 Type 85 12.7 mm heavy machine guns, 200 Type 80 7.62 mm multipurpose machine guns, 1,000 Type 56-2 7.62 mm submachine guns, 1,000 Type 56 7.62 mm submachine guns, alongside the donation of several Shanghai-class fast gunboats, which in 2008, made up at least 1/4 of SLN vessels.
  • After the war ended, Chinese diplomats in the UNHRC urged the committee to retract their investigation of human rights violations against Tamil civilians and claimed that the government had done nothing wrong.
  • Pakistan
  • The Pakistani army decided to give the Sri Lankan government over $200 US million dollars in military aid, free shipments of arms, art rifles, mines, rockets & rocket launchers, and various other offensive weapons, key intelligence, fighter jets, and attack helicopters to defeat the LTTE
    • The estimated value of arms bought from Pakistan between June 1999 to December 2007 is worth the US $50 million. However, there was a sudden increase in the importation of arms and heavy weaponry in 2009, when the SLA began to corner the LTTE, and the number of Pakistani arms tripled in value to US$150 million
    • Pakistani ISI trained Muslim home-guards played an important role in providing the Sri Lankan government with intel on LTTE activities in the East and some parts in the North from 1990–2009. They played a significant role in boiling ethnic tensions in the region as well between the Muslim and Tamil(Hindu and Christian) populations.
    • The appointment of Pakistani Air Vice-Marshal Shehzad Aslam Chaudhry as the High Commissioner to Sri Lanka saw the deployment of 15-17 highly experienced officers in Colombo who had a deep understanding of air combat against insurgency to teach SLAF officers and pilots. The Pakistani officers would also conduct bilateral airstrikes and bombardments of LTTE held areas in early to late 2009, most notably in Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu
    • In May 2008, Sri Lankan Army Lt. Gen Sarath Fonseka, held talks with commanders of the Pakistani army, regarding the sale of military equipment, weapons, and ammunition. Pakistan agreed to supply 22 Al-Khalid MBT Tanks to the Sri Lankan army and the deal was worth over US$100 million. 150 000 60-millimeter mortar shells and 150 000 hand grenades worth $20 million US was also donated.
    • In April 2009, Sri Lanka requested $25 million worth of 81 mm, 120 mm and 130 mm mortar ammunition to be delivered within a month.[7]
  • USA
  • The US government played an instrumental role in dismantling the peace process and sending arms to the GOSL.
  • Donated over $500US million in military aid
  • The United States and Sri Lanka started to enhance defense relations beyond the sale of military equipment, and training facilities were extended during the ethnic conflict. During Ranil Wickremesinghe’s time as Prime Minister in 2002, agreements were signed with the US which allowed Sri Lanka to get assistance in terms of military training, military technology, intelligence, special training in counter-terrorism, and direct monetary assistance for military development
  • During the ceasefire(2001–2006), the United States Pacific Command assessment team conducted a study from 12 September 2002 to 24 October 2002, which made several recommendations to strengthen the capabilities of the Sri Lankan Army, Navy and Air Force
    • After studying the weakness of the Sri Lankan military, it was the US who recommended the use of cluster bombs (which weren’t banned until 2010 when Cluster Munitions Convention came into effect) to destroy unarmoured area targets and arming Kfir’s and MI-24 gunships with guided weapons in case of fighting close to the enemy forces
    • The US navy had also donated the SLNS Samudura to the Sri Lankan navy during this time to surveille sea tiger activity and multiple ground surveillance aircraft to the Sri Lankan airforce to surveille LTTE activity in the Vanni jungles, something, the GOSL incapable of doing before
  • The US encouraged Sri Lanka to resume the civil war in 2006 and has aided and abetted every step of the Sri Lankan military’s operation. The new-found prowess of the Sri Lanka military is due almost entirely to the support it has received from directly or from key US allies: [8]
  • The Pentagon admits to having provided counter-insurgency training to Sri Lankan troops, as well as intelligence and “non-lethal” weapons. The latter includes sophisticated maritime radar equipment that has enabled the SLN to disrupt key LTTE supply routes from India. Meanwhile, Israel and Pakistan, whose governments and militaries are close US partners, have provided the Sri Lankan military with an expanded and technologically-enhanced arsenal…US pressure was critical in getting Canada, the states of the European Union, and other countries to proscribe the LTTE. These bans have deprived the LTTE of financial support from the hundreds of thousands of Tamils chased from their island homes by the civil war.
  • Two weeks after Mahinda Rajapaksa Election victory, then US ambassador, Jeffrey Lunstead, warned the LTTE that if it did not quickly agree to a settlement on the GOSL’s terms it would face “a stronger, more capable and more determined Sri Lankan military.” Further iterating:[9]
  • “Through our military training and assistance programs, including efforts to help with counter-terrorism initiatives and block financial transactions, we are helping to shape the ability of the Sri Lankan government to protect its people and defend its interest…The United States does not advocate that the Government of Sri Lanka negotiate with the LTTE
  • The US Navy Pacific Command provided intelligence to the Sri Lankan government during the conflict to hunt down LTTE crews and four ships.
    • This was later confirmed by the former president Mahinda Rajapaksa whose government was hostile to the United States
  • The US had also conducted drone strikes on Sea Tiger vessels and had given the Sri Lankan government access to its military satellites to monitor the LTTE’s activities in the Vanni jungles, Indian ocean, regarding weapons importations and attacks from LTTE Frogmen and infantry
  • According to Mahinda Rajapaksa, in his Victory Day statement this year from his home:[10]
  • The US was instrumental in providing the lobbying power to have the LTTE proscribed in the EU and the intel to destroy their weapons supply…the US position changed after President Obama took up his first term at the end of January 2009
  • According to Sinhala academic, Jude Lul Fernando, the UK-US axis is primarily responsible for the Tamil Genocide in 2009, stating:[11]
  • The Washington conference, hundreds of thousands of lives could have been saved and the peace talks could have been successful and thus, ethically and politically, the United States is as blameworthy for the 2009 massacre. The United States as a Co-Chair to the peace talks could have played a responsible role in de-ethnicizing the conflict by agreeing to put funds into the Post-Tsunami Operational Management Structure (PTOMS) because all communities in the island were equally impacted by the Tsunami. Instead, the US Ambassador in Colombo met with the ultra-nationalist parties and agreed not to allocate funds into the joint mechanism. Subsequently, the JHU and JVP were emboldened to file an injunction in the Supreme Court against the joint agreement on the grounds that it violated the constitution. The US colluded in destabilizing the successful peace talks, in a 2005 leaked document handed over to the Sri Lankan Secretary of Defense by US military officers which stipulated that Trincomalee Harbor would have to be captured from the LTTE to win the war. This military and strategic advice from the US—an international actor in the peace process–came at a time when neither the Sinhalese or Tamil polity were ready for war and this was demonstrated by the active participation of civil society to establish a negotiated political solution.
  • A leaked e-mail from Hillary Clinton, US Secretary of State(2009–2013) written on May 4, 2009, stated:
  • There was a meeting held with Geitner asked for and led by the IMF… They told him you were intruding into his domain by ordering/telling IMF to suspend funding to Sri Lankan Govt. My take is that the people on the ground both with World Bank and IMF believe the Tigers need to be completely defeated and any collateral damage inflicted on private people by SL govt in the process is ok”
  • Israel
  • Israel has always been a strong arms supplier for the Sri Lankan government. In the 1980s, Israel offered advice to Sri Lanka as it built its Sinhala-only armed settlements in the eastern province, which aimed to create buffer zones around Tamil-majority populations.
  • Israel has been a major arms supplier to Sri Lanka’s government, as well as providing it with strategic military advice. With permission from the United States, Israel has donated Sri Lanka consignments of Kfir jets and drones
  • During the entirety of the war, Israeli Shayetet 13 commandos partook in routine training programs to enhance the combat abilities of Sri Lanka’s STF commando unit. [12]
    • As such, donating hundreds of millions of dollars to the Sri Lankan government in military aid by giving the Sri Lankan Air Force 7 IAI Kfir Fighter Jets, by launching cluster bomb attacks and airstrikes against LTTE targets, gifting Super Dvora MK II-class patrol boats, and Dvora and Shaldag attack crafts, most of which compromise the Sri Lankan Navy as of today
    • Particularly noteworthy, was the SLAF’s Squadron 10, established in 1996, which was entirely composed of Israeli Kfir fighter jets and French Mirage attack planes. In 2006, pilots of the division had undergone extensive military training and proficiency in Israel. The airforce was also strengthened through the acquisition of several MIG-29 fighter jets, which like the Kfirs, supported ground operations in the Vanni, limiting the LTTE movement.
    • Israel’s provision of Blue Horizon UAV’s in 2006, allowed the SLN to pinpoint Sea Tiger activity and played a vital role in the 1300 SLAF operation, between 2006–2009, against Sea Tiger vessels. Israeli Bleu Horizon UAV’s are a fully integrated weapons system that allowed SLN commanders to capture and report intelligence data 24/7 in any climate, with day-night operations over pre-determined LTTE target zones, which allowed up-to-minute situational awareness on Sea Tiger activity.[13]
    • Israeli Dvora and Shaldag attack crafts, alongside the intel collected from Blue Horizon UAV’s, played an instrumental role in the SLN’s successful counter-operations against the Sea Tiger’s famous Swarm Tactic
    • Israel also tests its missiles from submarines in Sri Lankan waters
  • Iran
  • The GOSL approached Iran for loans at low interest to afford Sri Lanka’s purchases of electronic surveillance aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles after a successful commando raid on the Anuradhapura Air Base raid by the LTTE’s Black Tiger commandos, which destroyed 20 military aircraft, costing $40 million dollars in damages
    • As such, Iran agreed covertly to issue the loan and also invited selected Sri Lankan officers to train in Iran
  • Analysts have termed Iran’s aggressive courting of Sri Lanka’s military capacity as a geostrategic implication of Iran’s “Look East” strategy.
  • Iran provided $1.05 billion worth of crude oil to the SLA in 2008
  • Alone in 2007, Iran agreed to an arms deal worth up to$140.9m
    • They also agreed to lend a military facility to the SLA for free for months while they exported ammunition and weapons to the army
  • For Iran’s assistance, Sri Lankan minister Wimal Weerawamsa said that:
  • “Iran has never let us down, even when many other countries in the world refused to back us. The county as a whole is very grateful for this brotherly treatment”
  • According to The Island[14] :
  • “Iran had come to Sri Lanka’s rescue (…) when an LTTE [or Tamil Tiger] offensive had threatened to overwhelm the [Sri Lankan] army in Jaffna [P]eninsula. Sources said that several planeloads of Iranian [military] equipment were made available immediately after Sri Lanka sought assistance from the Iranian leadership.”…Before the arrival of a high level Iranian military delegation to Sri Lanka in 2009, that Iran, which is “widely believed to [sic.; be] a leading strategist in” the use of tactical boats, and Sri Lanka “have over the year developed strategies relating to small

boat operations.”

  • United Kingdom
  • Britain was giving military training to Sri Lankan Armed Forces since the 1980s
    • British SAS officers were the founders and trainers of Sri Lanka’s special ops unit, STF, and LRRP.
    • They were exporting high tech military equipment and weapons to Sri Lanka until 2009
  • In 2001, Britain added LTTE to its list of terrorist organizations. They never gave a valid reason for doing so and prevented 300,000 Tamils in the UK from donating to the LTTE, which crippled the LTTE’s budget during Eelam war 4
    • At that time, the LTTE wasn’t even declared a terrorist organization in Sri Lanka
    • Strange that the LTTE was banned even when Prabhakaran was repeatedly trying to bring the abhorrent Sri Lankan government to the negotiation table and it was long before the 9/11 attacks
  • After the successful LTTE commando assault on Bandaranaike International Airport, the damages cost the GOSL $358US million and drastically ruined the countries image to tourists
    • Britain was Sri Lanka’s largest financial aid after the assault
  • The UK, alongside the US and India, pressured the EU to ban the LTTE
    • Maj. Gen Ulf Henricsson, Swedish Military officer who was head of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Missionslammed Britain and the US for disturbing the peace process and giving pressure to other countries to ban the LTTE
  • In 2008 alone, the British Government approved the sale of £4 million of military equipment, including sonar detection components and military communication equipment, and £3million in small arms
    • In total, the Government approved the sale of 600 assault rifles, 650 rifles, 100 pistols, and 50 combat shotguns to the Sri Lankan army. The sales also included £330,000-worth of ammunition and £655,000 in body armor.
  • Between 2006–2009, the UK exported at least £12million in weapons
  • Russia
  • The Russian armed forces provided training on battlefield tactics to the SLA. They donated a total of $300 million US worth of arms between 2006–2009.
  • In the UN, Russia has supported Sri Lanka in nearly every resolution brought forward against them. The most notable one was during the final stages of Sri Lanka’s civil war in 2009 when European nations along with Canada and Mexico brought a ceasefire bill against the Sri Lanka Army
    • However, China and Russia vetoed that bill. Later on, another war crime bill that was tabled by Western nations against the Government of Sri Lanka was once again vetoed by Russia and China, along with several other nations
  • Russia donated several weapons, vehicles, and aircraft to the Sri Lankan government during the final stages of the war
    • Examples include Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-27, Antonov An-32, Mil Mi-17 jets used by the Sri Lankan Air Force, T-54/55 battle tanks, BTR-80 APC’s used by Sri Lankan Army and Gepard-class frigates worth US$ 158.5 million for the Sri Lankan Navy
  • United Nations
  • Contrary to popular belief, the UN did absolutely nothing to ensure the safeguard of Eelam Tamils, and directly aided the Sri Lankan government, politically, with their military offensive.
  • The UN expressed very little concern for Tamil civilians in the conflict zone. Unlike the Israeli-Gaza conflict during that time, and the Kurdish-Turkish conflict today, which was abruptly ended before the respected armies could complete their goals, due to strong UN condemnation and IC complaints. The UN turned a blind eye for Tamils.
  • When the conflict reached its boiling point in 2008, the UN ordered all delegations and humanitarian aid workers to leave the Vanni warzone abruptly, thus, leaving only doctors and aid-workers from independent NGO organizations to tend to wounded civilians.
  • During the final months of the war, Prabhakaran had contact UN delegates and OSLO mediators, including Eric Solheim, who advised him that IC and UNHRC would safeguard remaining LTTE cadres and civilians and reach a plausible solution to the issue, similar to the Israel-Gaza resolution they passed a few months prior.
    • However, when Prabhakaran agreed to lay down his arms in April, LTTE cadres and officers who surrendered were tortured and executed, civilians were continuously subjected to fire and shelling and the UN continued to stay silent, contrary to the UN’s re-assurance to Prabhakaran that the opposite would happen. This is, primarily, as to why there were large numbers of civilians that remained in pockets of LTTE territory, they, like Prabhakaran, believed the UN and other NGO’s would force the GOSL to halt their offensive and create a ceasefire.
  • When the war came to its bloody end, UN Secretary-General Ban-Ki-Moon, spent less than 30 minutes in the former warzone, didn’t visit any Tamil IDP camps, and minimized the killing stating that only 7000 Tamils were killed during the Wanni Operation.
  • United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, also expressed minimal concerns for innocent Tamils victimized by the state, also iterating her strong anti-LTTE stance, further exemplifying her disregard and failure to visit any of the families of the 150,000 Tamil civilians who were massacred in 197 separate Sri Lankan state-sponsored terrorist attacks: [15]
  • Firstly, let me say, I am a South African and proud of it. Secondly, the LTTE was a murderous organization that committed numerous crimes and destroyed many lives. In fact, my only previous visit to Sri Lanka was to attend a commemoration of the celebrated legislator, peacemaker, and scholar, NeelanTiruchelvam, who was killed by an LTTE suicide bomb in July 1999. Those in the diaspora who continue to revere the memory of the LTTE must recognize that there should be no place for the glorification of such a ruthless organization.
  • On May 28, 2009, a special session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) was held to investigate the reported war crimes and atrocities committed by both the LTTE and the Sri Lankan armed forces. Two motions were discussed: one requesting an international investigation, and the other one elaborated by the Sri Lankan government, which urged the international community to support Sri Lanka’s reconstruction efforts. The latter motion, which “welcomed” the liberation of Sri Lankan Tamil civilians from the clutches of the LTTE but did not mention the shelling of civilians and the need to provide in‐ international organizations with access to IDP camps, was ultimately approved (UN 2009b) while the notion condemning the Sri Lankan government for their crimes was not, despite the same council agreeing that the SLA shelling resulted in the death of a minimum of 70,000 Tamil civilians.
    • However, in April of the following year, the UN panel which investigated the final months of the war, the UN Sri Lanka Investigation Report, revealed that the GOSL was primarily responsible for civilians’ deaths, rapes in detention centers, inhumane civilian living conditions and etc. The motion they set forward afterward, was heavily opposed by many nations in the East, Middle-East, and Central America(Including the US, India, China, and Russia).
  • The Internal Review Panel Report on Sri Lanka (Petrie Report) states the following UN failure:[16]
    • Section 13
  • “The UN’s relationship with the (Sri Lankan) Government was difficult – not least because of a Government stratagem of UN intimidation. The Government declared several RCs persona non grata, or made them understand that their visas were at risk of being withdrawn, while also rejecting proposed replacements with previous experience in crisis situations”…It is difficult to believe that Ban Ki-moon was not informed about this intimidation by the GoSL. What did he do? Nothing. Here was his own staff in Sri Lanka being intimidated by the Sri Lankan government and he decides not to act. The very least that he could have done was to contact the Sri Lankan President (Mahinda Rajapaksa) and tell him in no uncertain terms that this was totally unacceptable. The fact that he chose not to do makes it highly likely that he was working with Rajapaksa, not with the people (Tamils in the North and East) who were under serious threat and which the UN was there to safeguard. The UN workers (among others) were thrown out of the North and East by the GoSL. What did Ban Ki-moon do about this serious situation? Nothing.
  • Section 15
  • As has been stated, “As the UN prepared to leave, people approached UN staff pleading with them to stay and saying “Some families have come to Killinochchi town due to the presence of international organizations and the belief that this would provide some form of physical security. There is a concern that the moment that humanitarian organizations eave, the Government will begin bombing Killinochchi town and that the physical security of the civilian population will be at increased risk…..the absence of the UN would result in no one to bear witness to incidents”. There was an advanced and, as it turned out, an accurate assessment of the humanitarian disaster to follow. What did Ban Ki-moon do? Nothing. It is very likely that President Mahinda Rajapaksa was confident that his ‘friend’ Ban Ki-moon would not act. On 14 March 2009, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) stated that actions by the Government and LTTE “may constitute international crimes against humanity, …..the UN almost completely omitted to explicitly mention Government responsibility for violations of international law”.UN officials said that they did not want to prejudice humanitarian access by criticizing the Government. It is an outrageous stance for a human rights body to adopt. As the situation in the Wanni deteriorated, some Member States in the Security Council complained that they were receiving almost no information from the Secretariat on the international human rights and humanitarian law situation in the Wanni, and senior officials in the Executive Office of the Secretary-General were expressing the same concerns. Ban Ki-moon, as the head of the Executive office, must take full responsibility for this.
  • Section 31
  • By 18 May 2009, most of the remaining LTTE leadership was reportedly killed. The Government claimed that they died in armed combat (which was certainly not true), possibly at the hands of other LTTE fighters (ie that the LTTE were killing their own leaders!). Other credible sources said many were executed, including some who on the morning of 18 May 2009 had crossed into Government-held territory unarmed and with white flags. To execute those who were unarmed and carrying white flags (of surrender) is a war crime that was done by the Sri Lankan Government Armed Forces.
  • Section 33
  • “Throughout the final stages of the conflict, the Member States did not hold a single formal meeting on Sri Lanka, whether at the Security Council, the Human Rights Council or the General Assembly.”UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon had free access to all of them. That he chose not to hold a single meeting of any of them, in particular, the Security Council speaks volumes for his support of the murderous Rajapaksa regime. It makes him as culpable as the Rajapaksas.
  • Section 35
  • Immediately after the end of the war, from 22nd and 23rd May 2009, the UN Secretary-General (Ban Ki-moon) traveled to Sri Lanka. Ban Ki-moon has a lot of explaining to do as to why he waited for the end of the slaughter before he went to Sri Lanka.As has been stated earlier, Ban Ki-moon flew over the devastated Mullaitivu area, said that he had never seen anything like this, dropped into a refugee camp (literally) with several thousand refugees, smiled, was garlanded, smiled again, and took off. That was it. We now turn to the absurd situation of Sri Lanka applauding itself at the Human Rights Council.
  • Section 36
  • “Meanwhile, on 19 May (2009), the same day the war was declared over, at the Human Rights Council a total of 17 Member States supported a ‘Special Session’ which was scheduled for May 26 and 27. The GoSL did not want a ‘Special Session’ but once it was scheduled quickly submitted its own draft resolution. The ‘Special Session’ ultimately adopted the Sri Lankan Government version which commended the Government for its support to IDPs (Internally Displaced People), welcomed Government commitment to human rights, and urged the international community to cooperate with the Government. The Resolution did not mention accountability.
  • Section 38
  • On 14 September Ban Ki-moon sent a letter to President Rajapaksa that he was “considering the appointment of a Commission of Experts” to advise him on further and to be available to him for assistance on accountability. Rajapaksa ignored the letter. By May 2010, several NGO reports had been published on violations of human rights, including a report by the International Crisis Group, which called for an international accountability mechanism. As is usually the case, on 6 May 2010, the GoSL established a domestic mechanism, the “Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission” (LLRC).
  • Section 41
  • The conflict and its aftermath saw UN staff suffer abuse in contravention of their UN privileges and immunity, and of international human rights and humanitarian law. What did Mr. Moon do? Nothing.
  • Section 44
  • “The UN never presented the full circumstances of the relocation to the Member States or the general public and the Government did not face any significant criticism for is an act. The reaction of the UN system as a whole to the Government’s withdrawal of security assurances represented a serious failure”. The Report now deals with the crucial figure of the number of IDPs.
  • Section 46
  • A Wanni local government official testified to the LLRC that during the final stages there had been 360,000 IDPs in her district alone. Others quoting local government authorities placed the population in October 2008 at 429,000. Yet the Sri Lankan Government insisted that there were no more than about 70,000 people. The UN believed that there were up to 300,000 civilians.The Government’s denial of the real numbers was to use these falsely low figures against increasing humanitarian convoys and later to rebut reports high civilian casualties. From September 2008 to May 2009, UN food assistance dropped for an estimated 20% of recipients to almost zero. Doctors in the Wanni reported people dying in their thousands from the effects of malnutrition and lack of antibiotics.
  • Section 47
  • “…. the UN did not confront the Government directly with the fact that obstructing assistance was counter to its responsibilities under international law”.

European Union(28 countries including military powers France and Germany)

  • Due to severe amounts of pressure from India, the US, and the UK, the EU banned the LTTE in Europe in May of 2006
    • Maj. Gen Ulf Henricsson, Swedish Military officer who was head of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Missioniterated the EU’s mistake in banning the LTTE: We said you should put pressure on them to come to negotiating table, but it is too early to ban the LTTE. Everybody who worked on Sri Lanka and we had the word from diplomats who worked on Sri Lanka: [17]

Everything happened very fast. And of course a lot of pressure from the Sri Lankan government to make this, and you had American pressure and so on. Then you had the sea incident outside Mullaiththeevu where the EU just listened to the Sri Lankan government version. They never phoned us to ask what happened because we had a different picture of that. Then it was to just pounce, and the ban came. Then you gave the government more or less a wild card to act because the LTTE was terrorist then. That was a part of the big war against terrorism. It was more a world-wide wish from the big powers. The LTTE also came in it. But, for me, it was a mistake. I said if you should list the LTTE, list the Sri Lankan government too. Because they used the same methods. That was obvious. So, I would say that it was a big mistake because it stopped the possibility to get a peaceful solution and negotiation, which I would say that the government did not want…the EU ban on the LTTE did not happen in the European Parliament but in the coffee shops of Brussels under extreme British-American pressure.

  • This ban was the biggest political blow to the LTTE in its history
  • LTTE was highly dependant on the financial networks of Europe than the USA or any other part of the World. LTTE assets were frozen across Europe and various LTTE activities were banned. The Tamil Diaspora living in Europe were barred from donating to LTTE and those that continued to donate were arrested.
    • The LTTE earned $300US million from the Tamil Diaspora in Europe and the ban reduced LTTE’s financial assets significantly
  • Despite advocating for human rights, in 2007, EU members Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Italy, Lithuania, the Netherlands, and Poland have donated a combined €4.09 million in arms to the Sri Lankan government
  • EU members began arresting LTTE financiers in their respective countries, helped give intel on Sea Tiger activity(Ex. France, Germany, Poland, etc), and as previously mentioned, donated large caches of arms to the SLA
  • In 2016, a top EU court gave signals that LTTE was wrongly banned and it clearly showed that Britain, the US, and India had “twisted its arm” used its influences to get LTTE banned in Europe

Moderate Aid

  • Libya
    • The Libyan government had agreed to a bilateral trade agreement with the GOSL regarding the distribution of oil to the island
      • Oil received from Libya was crucial in refueling government military vehicles during the final years of the war
  • South Korea
    • In total, the country donated $531US million during the civil war to maintain the bilateral relations between the nations and uplift Sri Lanka’s economy after LTTE operations
  • Czech Republic
    • In 2008, they donated several RM-70 rocket launchers and Praga V3’s to the Sri Lankan Army
  • Ukraine
    • In 2007, Ukraine gave four Mig-27s to Colombo worth €7.2 million ($9.8m).
  • France
    • Cooperated with the EU, but gave information to the Sri Lankan army regarding the transportation of LTTE vessels on the sea
    • Donated weapons, ex. French mirage attack planes, and gave monetary aid, due to pressure from the US and UK to the Sri Lankan Army
  • Japan
    • During the peace process, Japan accounted for 45% of all foreign aid to the Sri Lankan government
    • Japan helped provide intelligence on Sea Tiger activity, donated two vessels to the SLN, and arrested LTTE activists operating in the country
  • Maldives
    • Worked as an intelligence asset for the Sri Lankan Navy in the Western areas of the Indian ocean. They provided the SLN with intel on Sea Tiger activity in their waters and captured one LTTE vessel.
  • Slovakia
    • Between 2006–2009, the country donated 10,000 rockets worth £1.1 million to the Sri Lankan army
  • Switzerland
    • With pressure from the EU, US, and the UK, Switzerland declared the LTTE as a banned organization
      • This prevented in 40,000 Swiss Tamils, a large financial asset for the LTTE, from donating money to the group. Swiss police special forces began engaging in raids to arrest LTTE financiers and Tamils who continued to donate despite the ban
    • As of recently, a Swiss court has removed the ban on the LTTE, stating that the LTTE is “not a criminal organization”.
  • Australia
    • Gave the Sri Lankan Army $27 million in military aid between 2008–09
    • The country has a large Tamil population that donates large sums of money annually to the LTTE
      • In 2006, Australia labeled the LTTE as a terrorist organization, as such, they prevented the 30k Tamils from donating to the LTTE, those that did were arrested for “sponsoring terrorism”
  • Cuba
    • Fidel Castro announced the country’s support for the GOSL during the final years of the war in 2008 alongside Bolivia and Nicaragua, who are part of ALBA
      • Cuba and its allies of ALBA voted in favor of the GOSL and opposed an anti-human rights bill against the country in 2012 during a hearing at the UNHRC
    • Cuba’s views are ironic considering Castro’s previous statement:
  • “Those who are exploited are our compatriots all over the world, and the exploiters all over the world are our enemies… Our country is really the whole world, and all the revolutionaries of the world are our brothers”
  • Indonesia
    • In 2008, Indonesia donated several P2 APCs, made by Sentra Surya Ekajaya, to Sri Lanka’s STF unit to help the unit conduct their counter-insurgency operations against the LTTE.
    • Indonesia, which was an important arms smuggling region for the LTTE, had begun providing the SLN with intel on Sea Tiger cargo activity. The intel they provided allowed the SLN to destroy the LTTE cargoship, Matsushima, in 2007.
  • Greece
    • Donated $3 million US worth of arms to the Sri Lankan army in 2007, notably, 32,400 81mm mortar guns
  • Canada
    • Declared the LTTE as a terrorist organization on May 9, 2006, after continuous pressure from India, the US, and UK
    • Canada is home to the largest Tamil Diaspora population
      • Over 300,000 Tamils were now barred from donating money to the LTTE
      • Canada, second to Europe as a whole, was the LTTE’s most important Diaspora network
      • Canadian Tamils protest in thousands demanding that the government overrule the ban, but it was to no avail
    • However, Canadian PM Stephen Harper was the only world leader who refused to congratulate Sri Lanka on its victory and then refused to visit the Island for a commemoration celebration
      • Canada was the only country to display a concern for the deaths of innocent civilians in their official statement, unlike the rest of the world who simply congratulated the Sri Lankan government

It took 39+ countries, billions of dollars, and all-out genocide against the Tamil people to stop one Tamizhan

Footnotes

[1] Vajpayee helped Sri Lanka in war against LTTE: Wickremesinghe

[2] Sonia Gandhi wanted Colombo to decimate LTTE before finalising a political solution

[3] Karunanidhi is covering up his betrayal of Tamils: CM

[4] https://www.giga-hamburg.de/en/s…

[5] How Beijing won Sri Lanka’s civil war

[6] Sri Lanka in major arms deals with China, Russia, India

[7] https://www.sipri.org/sites/defa…

[8] Washington’s criminal role in the Sri Lankan state’s anti-Tamil war – Global Research

[9] Washington’s criminal role in the Sri Lankan state’s anti-Tamil war – Global Research

[10] No war crimes were committed by Sri Lanka says Rajapaksa

[11] Sinhala academic blames US-UK axis for genocide in Tamil homeland

[12] Israel advises Sri Lanka on slow-motion genocide

[13] When Counterinsurgency Wins

[14] Washington’s criminal role in the Sri Lankan state’s anti-Tamil war – Global Research

[15] Opening remarks by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay at a press conference during her mission to Sri Lanka Colombo, 31 August 2013

[16] The Damage Done By Ban Ki-moon To The Tamils In North-East Sri Lanka

[17] EU made big mistake in banning LTTE: Henricsson, former head of SLMM

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