The numbers game
By Ranjith Soysa
The High Commissioner for the UK in Sri Lanka, James Dauirs advises Sri Lanka not get distracted by the questionable number killed during the Sri Lanka’s war against the Tiger Terrorists BUT to concentrate as to how we implement the UN resolution moved against Sri Lanka. He further stated that the dispute with regard to the numbers could easily distort the truth.
The majority of the Sri Lankans are definitely concerned about the numbers killed, as the figures vary from 7,000 to 80,000 (some even quote a figure of 140,000). Sri Lankan Census figures, UN Colombo statistics,, Paranagama Commission, LLRC report, the detailed studies of Dr Sinharaja a Delgoda , Dr Micheal Roberts and now the figures quoted by Lt Col Nash of the British High Commission as reported by Lord Naseby differ substantially from the 40 000 deaths reported in the Darusman Report , the basis of the UN Resolution.
We are aware that the UN resolution 30/1 of Oct 2015 was co-sponsored by the present Sri Lankan Government. The British with the USA governments had repeatedly moved a number of OHCR Resolutions critical of Sri Lanka’s war to save the Sri Lankans from the Tamil Terrorists, have also reiterated their keenness to observe the full implementation to be moved on and quickly.
As much as James Dauris recollected his arrival in Sri Lanka amidst violence in 1983 , I too was a witness to the Bloody Friday massacre in Londonderry in 1972 in which the British government cleared the troopers who killed unarmed civilians leading to a massive number of bomb explosions. While touching on the black patches of the British rule, I can also query about the fate of the Chilcott report of the crimes committed by the British in Iraq. While the British High Commissioner speaks of ,”the experience of people in countries around the world confirmed knowing the truth was especially important in post- conflict situations as it helped to achieve reconciliation”. Pray , tell me Mr Dauris, what type of reconciliation process was followed by the British in the wars against Argentina. Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan?
The numbers game is very important to the issue of the disciplined way in which the war was conducted by the Sri Lankan Defence forces and to restore the dignity of its members who made extreme sacrifices to defend 20 million Sri Lankans from the killing spree of the Tamil Tigers. Now, that a honoured member of the House Of Lords, Lord Naseby had produced an authentic version of the war according to a senior military attaché of the British High Commission, it is the duty of the British Government while encouraging the implementation of their own dictates as per Resolution 30/1 to truthfully examine and announce the number killed in Sri Lanka’s war in name of justice and fair play.
“Political Language is designed to make lies sound truthful”- George Orwell